Geek Gran buys a Pibrella


Raspberry Pi with Pibrella in place on top (Do you see its red button and traffic light LEDs?)

I always get carried away with the excitement of Raspberry Jams so York’s at the National Science Learning Centre was no exception.  I came away with a Pibrella and very little idea of what I could do with it.  First I needed to get the Scratch GPIO* software to control it, as mentioned in the last post.  As I don’t have an internet connection to my R Pi, I decided to buy the SD card with Scratch GPIO on from Wishtrac.

A great place to get Pibrella and GPIO helps is on the Wishtrac blog at or here’s one of their ‘get started’ worksheets HELPSHEET 4A:

I’ve now got it set up and have had a few teething problems to do with understanding how I use the software.

Tip: If your Pibrella doesn’t seem to all be working:

  • check you’ve got an adequate power supply to it. I’ve moved my Pi power supply to Pibrella and am using my 4 x USB hub to power the Pi,
  • check you are choosing the correct icon on the GUI^ for your Scratch GPIO. I’m not sure about this yet myself but I’ll report when I crack it.

I foolishly changed both of these at once so I’ve yet to find out which or if both are the important factor/s.

My better half set me a task to get a Scratch sprite jumping when the Pibrella button is pressed so I’ve managed to do that. Hence the dragon on the screen.  I also typed in some test Scratch code to make sure all the LEDs lit.

Anyway, that’s my foray into physical computing so far.

That’s all for today folks. Happy Raspberry Pi-ing!

* GPIO General Purpose Input Output
^GUI Graphical User Interface (See post on 11th November 2014)

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