I recently published a blog post with instructions on creating a simple DIY Input/Output board for the BBC micro:bit, it received a lot of interest and a number of people have asked about using it with the Raspberry Pi. In response I have created a version of the board for the Raspberry Pi, this is detailed in this post.

Resources Required:

  • Copper slug barrier tape
  • 3mm Red, Yellow and Green LEDs – example
  • 5v active buzzers piezo speakers – example
  • Breadboard jumper wires – example
  • Paper fasteners
  • A4 card

Follow these steps to create your own boards:

  • Print this Input-Output Board Template onto A4 card, cut in half and trim.
  • Cover the light gray areas with copper slug barrier tape (you may need to cut the tape in half to get the correct width).
  • Make a hole in the middle of the switch circle with a paper fastener. Insert a paper fastener into the hole from underneath and open out. Ensure it makes good contact with the copper tape, but will still easily pass over it.
  • Open out another paper fastener and use a small piece of copper tape to secure the short side of the paper fastener in place to form the button as shown in the picture.
  • Bend the pins on one of the buzzers outwards, place in position and secure the pins in place with small pieces of copper tape.
  • Bend the legs on the 3 LEDs outwards, lay them flat as shown in the picture, ensuring you place the LEDs the right way around, if one leg is longer it should point towards the bottom and the flat side of LED should face towards the top. Use one long strip of copper tape to secure the top legs of the LEDs.
  • Place 3 x 330 Ohm resistors in the place and secure both the bottom legs of the LEDs and the top of the resistors in place with pieces of copper tape.
  • Using the breadboard jumper wires, make 7 x 5cm wires with female connectors on one end and bare stripped wire at the other.
  • Take 3 of the wires you prepared in the previous step and place them on the bottom of each LED strip, use small pieces of copper tapes to secure both the bottom of the resistors and the stripped wires in place
  • Use copper tape to secure the remaining wires to the bottoms of the GND, Button, Switch and Buzzer strips.

I’ve put together these example activities to demonstrate how the boards can be used in the classroom. The code for the starter program can be found here.