BETT 2017

Our review and reflections of BETT 2017!



Our time within the mighty Excel centre at this year’s BETT Show seems like yesterday. It wasn’t, but we’ve only just come down from the high that was a great four days at the world’s leading education technology show.
Here we are, we look impressive, right? Our stand showcased the possibilities of pi-top, including interactive exhibits, such as Sense-Hats, a self-built heart rate monitor and plenty of pi-top laptops and pi-topCEEDs for visitors to try out and play with.


One great thing we enjoy every year at BETT is having the opportunity to meet such a diverse range of new people, and this year was no different. From teachers and students to education and technology media, it’s great to introduce pi-top and our movement to the education space. We even had royalty approach us – Prince Andrew, the Duke of York swung by our stand too! Our co-founder Jesse also caught up with the BBC’s technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones to talk about pi-top. Here’s a tweet he posted of Jesse afterwards:



Winning pi-tops

We also ran a competition on our stand which gave visitors an opportunity to win their own pi-top prize packages, including pi-topCEEDs, speakers, laptops and more. Entrants had to simply take a photo of themselves within the big pi-topCEED frame, and tweet it. Here’s a selection of tweets from the event:

@GetPiTop thanks for taking me through the kit #pitopforSTEM fingers crossed for the win!

Twas great sampling the pitop: it may just be the game-changer we’ve been waiting for @Getpitop #pitopforstem

@GetPiTop with #pitopforstem fun and games at#Bett2017

Went to @GetPiTop and all I got was this awful picture taken!! #pitopforSTEM



pi-top winning!

We were all so delighted when pi-top was named ‘EdTech Startup Company Of The Year’ at the BETT Awards 2017. It was a great way to end the first day of the show, and after all the hard work our team has put in the run-up to the event, and the rest of the year!


Jesse’s speech


The penultimate morning of the show saw our co-founder & CEO Jesse take to the stage for his speech on “Making STEAM a reality for the classroom” in the main BETT Arena. The interactive speech tested the audience’s attention span by encouraging them to track specific pi-top images with a specially designed pi-topPROTO board.


On the same day, we also had Cyber Ready Girls with Baker McKenzie join our stand. The four young girls were playing on CEEDuniverse and were accompanied by our friends  Dyann Heward-Mills from Baker Mckenzie, Robert Dowell from the National Museum of Computing and Pat Ryan, the founder of Cyber Ready Girls. It was a great pleasure to have that inspiring troupe on the stand.

BETT Show seems to get bigger and bigger each year and attracts a range of influencers from the industry. This year, in particular, we saw an increase in international attendees, which is great. For us, it’s the best place to see how education is evolving. BETT is really exciting to be at and it enabled us to see just how far we’ve come since the last show, both as a company, and the range of new products and improved pi-topOS.
Thanks again to everyone who supported us the event, and everyone we met a spoke to over the four days. Another great BETT Show, we’ll see you next year!



pi-top BETT 2017 competition

BETT 2017 is around the corner and as previously mentioned we have some fun activities planned, including our pi-top BETT 2017 Photo Competition. Join us at our stand and take a fun photo with our huge CEED cut-out frame. Then upload it to your Twitter including pi-top’s handle @GetPiTop with the hashtag #pitopforSTEM. It’s simple! You’ll be in for the chance to win one of 19 amazing prizes. (Terms and Conditions apply)

This competition raffle is only open during the BETT Show times between 25th-28th January 2017. The competition is open to BETT 2017 visitors aged 18+.

Come find us at F460 to enter the prize raffle – good luck!

How to participate

  1. Come to stand F460 (near STEAM village)
  2. Get your badge scanned by a team member
  3. Take a fun photo with the huge CEED Frame
  4. Upload to Twitter tag @GetPiTop using #pitopforSTEM
  5. We’ll be in touch with the winners! (See below for more details)

For the chance to win one (1) of 19 prizes:

  • 1 x  Mystery Box (High Value)
    • Winner raffled out after the show. The mystery box prize will be revealed at the show. It will be raffled out at the end of the show* from all scanned badges who also tweeted us with the hashtag! We’ll be in touch the following week and it will be shipped to your preferred address directly.
  • 10 x 30min twilight sessions (webinar CPD) (Value £50)
    • Raffeld out after the show. Date and times arranged the week post-show*- we’ll be in touch with winners and announce them after the show.
  • 8 x pi-topCEEDs with Pi and Proto (Value £130)
    • Winner’s raffled out during the show. Raffling out one (1) unit twice a day at BETT 2017. Winner’s will be re-tweeted (RT’d) at 11:30am and 3pm each day. Make sure you stick around! Pick up your prize from our stand F460 shortly after with your tweet as prove or we’ll be in touch. Entries can roll over from previous day.

*Show duration: 25th – 28th January. Winners that are announced post-show will be contacted around the 31st January 2017.

Competition Rules Overview 

  1. This competition raffle is only open during the BETT Show times 25th-28th January 2017.
    1. Closing date is the 28th January 2017 at 5pm
  2. The prize draw/competition is open only to BETT 2017 attendees and participants aged 18+.
  3. Multiple entries by the same person will not be accepted.
  4. Valid entries must have complied with all the entry requirements steps.
    1. Get badge scanned by pi-topTEAM
    2. Upload a picture with CEED frame to Twitter
    3. Tag @GetPiTop
    4. Use #pitopforSTEM
  5. The prize is non-transferable
  6. The winners are selected at random by raffling
    1. Post-Show: 10 x 30min twilight session webinar and Mystery Gadget Box winner’s will be contacted post-show to arrange online webinar sessions
    2. One (of the total eight) pi-topCEED(s) will be raffled twice a day during the BETT show 2017. Winner’s will be re-tweeted at 11:30am and 3pm each day and will be able to collect their prize shortly after. Entries can roll over from previous day.
  7. Any personal data submitted with consent will be kept confidentially by pi-top for marketing purposes and will not be shared with any other third party.


Read the full Terms & Conditions

See you there!


pi-top Holiday Competition: Santa’s Little Helper Functions Game

Happy Holidays everyone!

pi-top Holiday Competition: Santa’s Little Helper Functions Game
‘Tis the season and we’ve prepared a fun little game for you. Santa’s workshop is a mess! Program the RoboElf to collect all the presents and put them under the Christmas tree while avoiding any obstacles.
Don’t miss your chance to win a free pi-top or pi-topCEED with Raspberry Pi 3 and a combination of add-on boards by playing and entering the raffle!

Competition guidelines

  1. Login to the Santa’s Little Helper functions mini-game via the website

  2. Start playing! You have to complete 5 or more level’s to be entered into the raffle.*

    Competition deadline: on Monday 12th December 2016 at 12pm GMT. 

    *Participants who have completed 5 or more levels will be entered into a raffle and winners will be announced & contacted the following week after the competition ends. Terms and conditions apply.


It’s been a busy & exciting year here at pi-top. We started shipping pi- topCEEDs worldwide, created more add-on boards, improved pi-topOS and much more. So now, we want to thank our amazing community for all of your support this year! Finally, don’t forget to order your pi-top product or find us at one of our authorised resellers to get your pi-top in time for holidays!


Much love,


Community: Here come the champions!

Community. It’s fair to say that it’s thanks to the amazing community of volunteers and evangelists that Raspberry Pi has been such a huge success with over ten million Pis sold around the world. Teachers, technicians, hobbyists and even children have embraced this little computer to make it a huge success.

Here at pi-top, we love to celebrate community and I feel so lucky that my first official task for the company was to identify 14 UK and European community members who deserve a little bit of recognition for all of their hard work and support getting people interested in Raspberry Pi and supporting the teaching of computer science.

So, without further ado, we’d like to invite you to meet our new pi-top champions; individuals or groups who we think deserve some thanks for all their effort and hard work. We’re in the process of sending them ten pi-topCEEDs each in the hope that they will be able to use them at their events to help spread their love of computer science. Champions will also be able to loan their kit out to deserving local community groups so find out who your local one is and get in touch to see if they can help you with your event too!

We think these guys are a fantastic representation of what the Raspberry Pi Community is all about and I hope you join with us in offering them a big thank you for everything they do!

Thanks for reading,


Featured banner image credit to Andrew’s Blog (Photo taken at Mozfest 2016)


Spencer Organ


Chemistry and physics teacher, Raspberry Pi enthusiast and Certified RPi Educator from the West Midlands with a passion for running workshops and building fun, educational, and practical things with the Pi!


Nic Hughes

nicNic is a self confessed IT geek. He is a class teacher, Head of Computing at his school, Primary CAS Master Teacher, CAS Hub leader, a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator and works as an educational consultant for 3BM. He loves to explore different ways to teach programming and is a massive fan of physical computing and robotics. In the past he worked alongside the education team in Redbridge as a AST for ICT, running training, supporting schools and writing curriculum. He has been lucky enough to speak at a number of conferences over the years about his work with robots, physical computing and the application of Games Based Learning in the classroom. He is eager for more teachers to learn about Computing and how to teach it effectively in their lessons. Follow him @duck_star on twitter and he has a blog at

Claire Garside



Claire is an educator working with teachers, schools and communities in the North. In Hull she’s also involved with the #ConnectedHull project and at Leeds University has been part of the research team looking at the impact of Maker Ed in schools. You’ll also see her at the Raspberry Jam events in both cities.


Claire Dodd

claire-dClaire is a Girl Geek, originally from West Yorkshire but now residing in Salford. She is the Training Manager of MadLab (a grassroots, digital, innovation organisation), organiser of BarCamp Manchester (a 2-day, free to attend, annual geek unconference) & Founder of CodeUp (free & friendly adult coding tuition). Claire is also a blogger, geek, not a werewolf, volunteer zombie, and three degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

As a qualified trainer and Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, Claire often delivers digital skills workshops to both children and adults through her work. Whilst delivering her Raspberry Pi workshops, Claire has often found that finding venues with monitors compatible with the Pi is a huge barrier, and means that she has been unable to deliver as many workshops as she would have liked.

As a PiTop Champion, Claire now plans to use the Pi CEEDs to take her Raspberry Pi workshops out and about across Greater Manchester without having to worry about venues having compatible monitors!

Les Pounder

450px-les2Les is an author and maker working with many different single board computers and micro controller, but Les specialises in the Raspberry Pi and its use in education. He writes for magazines such as The MagPi, Linux Format and Linux Voice as well as blogs for Element 14 and tech radar . He enjoys tinkering, hacking and learning new skills which he shares with children and adults via the many events that he organises and attends as a STEM ambassador.  Les has worked for clients such as BBC, Raspberry Pi Foundation, University of Salford and The University of Manchester.

Les writes up his ace adventures on his blog

Andrew Mullholland527px-Andrew.jpg

Andrew Mulholland is one of our younger champions ;). He’s a 20 year old, 3rd year Computer Science student currently studying at Queens University, Belfast. In his free time outside of university, he leads the monthly Northern Ireland Raspberry Jam. On top of this, he is also lead developer of PiNet, a free and open source system for managing Raspberry Pis in schools, used right across the world.

Alan O’Donohoe


Alan O’Donohoe has more than 20 years experience teaching and leading Technology & ICT in schools in Northern England. He converted to Teach Computing in 2010, starting from zero (with no qualifications in Computer Science), he first introduced Computing into his school in Preston, then supported many others to do the same.

In September 2015, Alan joined Exa Education, Bradford based multi-award winning supplier of broadband to schools to enable him to continue to support education, technology & Computing through advice, training and events. He is currently building Exa Foundation to inspire and engage digital makers, support the teaching of Computing and promote safe, secure and appropriate use of technology.

Craig Steele

Craig.jpgCraig is digital learning specialist and leads the CoderDojo Scotland network, having set up the first Dojo in Scotland at Glasgow Science Centre in 2012. His previous experience includes creating an interactive coding experience at CBBC Live, working on the development of BBC Make It Digital’s micro:bit and Hackstage Pass game, and co-writing a book introducing children to programming. He has a BSc in Computing Science from Glasgow University and has previously worked for Decoded, within the STEM Qualifications team at SQA, and at Hewlett Packard. Craig was nominated as one of the “BBC Make it Digital Ones to Watch 2016”.


Laura Sach

450px-Laura.JPGLaura loves Computer Science. As a teacher she worked with students of all ages from Nursery to Year 13, enthusing them with her passion for all things digital. She has provided support and training for teachers from across the country and co-founded CAS #include to provide opportunities for students from a diverse range of backgrounds to experience digital making. After becoming a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator in 2013 she has become a huge fan of the Pi, and hopes that Pi-top will help her bring more exciting opportunities to children in the South West.

Mike Trebilcock

600px-MikeT.jpgMike is Head Geek at I am Digital, an exciting new Digital Academy being created with Cornwall College and local industry.  Mike is also Business Systems Project Lead for The Cornwall College Group, one of the largest further education colleges in the UK. Mike spends most of his spare time, when not running, on educational engagement and outreach for Software Cornwall – a network of tech companies in Cornwall. He works with primary schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities as a CAS Barefoot volunteer and STEM ambassador to help setup code clubs, create work experience opportunities and helps organise monthly tech jams, giving young people the chance to explore and learn tech.

Joe Moretti

Joe1.jpegJoe is an Apple Distinguished Educator with over 30 years’ teaching experience directly in the classroom. He has taught in primary, middle, secondary, further education and higher education institutions. Originally a music specialist his role developed during his teaching career to curriculum innovator, IT pedagogist and all round guru of innovative technologies.

Although he has a reputation for innovation this is not at the expense of the most important aspect of IT in education: delivering a motivating and engaging learning experience. All of the innovation, all of the ‘wow’ and impact of new technologies counts for very little if we are not able to identify how we are improving the learning of our students.

Over the past ten years Joe has embraced developments in various mobile technologies; iPad, Raspberry Pi, Augmented Reality, iBeacons, the new coding curriculum and, of course, music. Along the way he has delivered successful workshops in all Apple’s education technologies. He is able to draw on this extensive experience to help schools identify which technologies and innovations fit best in their developing IT strategy and assist in their implementation.

Michael Horne/Tim Richardson

800px-MikeTim.jpgMichael Horne and Tim Richardson co-run Cambridge Raspberry Jam, which also includes Pi Wars and Potton Pi and Pints. They have a passion for getting kids involved in coding which is why CamJam holds workshops at every event and they are looking at ways they can use both CamJam kit and pi-top equipment together to increase their educational work. They received their first Raspberry Pis in mid-2012 and have since learned electronics, soldering and Python programming. Mike is a web developer by trade and Tim is a performance architect. They live in Potton, Bedfordshire with their respective long-suffering wives and kids.

Spooky pi-topHALLOWEEN Tutorial

Give your pi-top or pi-topCEED a haunted feel this Halloween with this spooky jack-o’- lantern tutorial!

Before we get started, this is the boo-tiful equipment required to achieve the ghastliest effects:

  • 5x yellow witches boil LEDs
  • 1x blood red LED
  • 6x 100 Ω reVolting resistors
  • 1x pi-topPROTO (or breadboard)
  • A few standard wires
  • 1x acrylic slice (included with your pi-top or pi-topCEED)
  • Access to a laser etcher (optional)
  • 1x pi-top or pi-topCEED

So, let’s get started by transforming our pi-topPROTO board into a magic dancing candle.

Step 1: Wire LEDs to your pi-topPROTO board

Screen Shot 2016-10-28 at 17.53.37.png
  • The red LED should be wired to pin 22(GPIO 25) on your pi-topPROTO board
  • The yellow LEDs should be wired to pins 11(GPIO 17), 13(GPIO 27), 16(GPIO 23). 29(GPIO 5), 32(GPIO 12)

The red and yellow lights will create a spook-tacular orange hue for your laser etched jack-o’- lantern acrylic slice!

Step 2: Wire LEDs to ground

Screen Shot 2016-10-28 at 17.55.35.png
  • Wire the cathode (negative pin) to the ground rail on your pi-topPROTO board, to keep things neat we have done this on the back of our pi-topPROTO board as seen in the image above!

Step 3: Use resistors to connect your LEDs to GPIO pins

Screen Shot 2016-10-28 at 17.57.45.png
  • Next, we need to wire the yellow LEDs to RPI pins 11, 13, 16, 29 and 32
  • The red LED should be wired to pin RPI pin 22
  • This will complete the full circuit

Now, we are almost there! Put the following Python code into the pi-topCODER editor and click run to test it:

import random
from time import sleep
from gpiozero import PWMLED



while True:
    RED_LED.value = random.uniform(0, 0.5)

    for led in YELLOW_LEDS:      
        led.value = random.uniform(0, 0.5)
    sleep(random.uniform(0, 0.5))

The code uses randomised pulse width modulation (PWM) in order create a candle flicker effect!

Finally, we need to etch our spooky acrylic slice – the design can be downloaded in docx format (see below). We recommend you convert it to a dxf file that can be used with a laser etcher 🙂

Download the docx file here: halloween

Here is our ghastly haunted pi-top acrylic slice:


Eerie green halloween……. 😉

So, for the final effect. Let’s run our code again!

Here is your spooky phantom pumpkin finished project!


Makerfaire Berlin, Raspberry Pi Jam and Mozfest: a snapshot of what we’ve been up to this month

It’s been a busy month for us here at pi-top, we’ve attended several events and met a great range of inspiring people. This month saw the pi-top team heading to Germany for a second time this year, this time attending another Makerfaire in the bustling city of Berlin as Gold Sponsors.  

The event highlights the innovations and creative projects from the maker community, and this month’s event in Berlin was no different, with a colourful mixture of amazing projects, talented makers and inspiring inventions – from robots breathing fire, to a full size R2D2!

Whilst we were rarely able to leave our booth as we were often busy talking to attendees that stopped to meet us, or companion companies who were also exhibiting at the event – it was great to see familiar faces again after the previous Makerfaire in Hannover earlier this year. When we did get a chance to take a look around other booths at the event, we checked out Pimoroni, our fellow maker and educator friends from the UK, who had a real treasure trove of fun goodies at their booth, making it into a ‘candy store’ for makers, which we thought was pretty cool. One highlight of the event was being awarded the ‘Maker of Merit’ ribbon! Which praises creativity, ingenuity and innovation for our Makerfaire project.

We also caught up with James Mitchell, the organiser of the Raspberry Jam Berlin, who was also at the faire – this time with a spinning tardis and Twitter photobooth. Earlier this month, one of our friends, Nic Hughes held the very first Raspberry Jam meetup in East London, which is for fellow Raspberry Pi enthusiasts to come along and talk with other like minded hobbyists and developers. We enjoyed attending the event and ran a CEEDuniverse workshop in Digilab’s big workshop room.

To close this month, we’ll be heading to Mozfest in London on October 28th-30th, where we’ll be holding a range of workshops for the attendees. You can keep up to date with all of our news and events our Facebook and Twitter channels.

Here’s a few photos of the team from the Makerfaire in Berlin:


How to install pi-topOS to a microSD card

A simple guide for anyone who wants to install pi-topOS to a microSD card.


You will need:

  • MicroSD card
  • A computer with microSD card slot, or an adapter to connect microSD to your computer (e.g. SD or USB adapter)

Next steps are to:

Step 1Download pi-topOS from our website.

Note: Please make sure that you are always using the latest release (you can check this by comparing the date in the filename to the date in the release on our OS download page).

Step 2 – Insert the microSD card that you want to write to into your laptop or PC.

Hint: all of our microSD cards ship with an SD card adapter, and you will likely need to use this (or a microSD-to-USB adapter) to connect to your computer.

Let’s get started!

There’s a great tool called Etcher, created by an Internet of Things company called This software has been specifically designed to write operating systems to SD cards and USB drives.

It works the same on Windows, Linux and OS X (trust us – we’ve tried!) and is incredibly easy – with only 3 steps!

1) Select the zip file that you just downloaded. You could extract the image onto your hard drive first, but Etcher is clever and extracts the file whilst it writes, so why bother? 🙂
2) Select the SD card from the list. If there are multiple drives that are available, make sure that the drive you select is the correct size, to prevent writing to the wrong drive. If you are not sure which drive to write to, then remove all other drives until only the SD card is in the list.
3) Click ‘Flash’!

That’s it! Etcher will install pi-topOS for you (AND it also verifies that it was 100% correctly written). Then all you need to do is plug the microSD card into your Raspberry Pi, and switch on the device.

If, for some reason, this is not working for you, then check out this blog post for another way to get it working or reach out to us via

All the best,


New pi-topOS update October 2016!

Firstly, we want to say a huge thank you for all of the great feedback from our community that we’ve been receiving. It is with their help that we were able to make this update possible.  Our software team have been busy making some brilliant improvements to our operating system (OS) pi-topOS!

What has changed? 

There are a large number of new features and improvements to the new pi-topOS. Some of the key features are as follows:

  • Includes all of the benefits of the brand new Raspbian release (2016-09-23) (Raspberry Pi Foundation blog post here)
  • Smoother transitions between dashboard and desktop modes
  • Improved configuration wizard and dashboard tour
  • pi-topCODER now fetches online worksheets (which will be updated and expanded) – these can be stored locally, so you can access them anywhere!
  • Updated pi-top hardware interaction
  • OS stability and usability improvements
  • CEEDUniverse has lots of new features – the whole world and menus have been redesigned and there are several new mini-games to check out!

Overall, you should feel it running more smoothly.

We have done our best to ensure that updating your current SD card is as smooth as possible; however, due to the large number of updates (particularly those coming from the latest Raspbian release), we highlyrecommend downloading the image from our website (as described below).

How do I update? 

You can download the latest pi-top SD card image from the link below:

To install the OS, we recommend Etcher by It is the easiest and safest way we’ve found to install any operating system to your (micro)SD card! Plus, you can install directly from a zip file.

Once you’ve flashed your microSD card with pi-topOS, you can simply plug it back into your Raspberry Pi and go!

What happens after you download it?

You will be taken to the Welcome screen, where it will take you through the setup, show you around the dashboard, and that’s it – you’re ready to go.
Need some help? 

If you are having troubles downloading or the new pi-topOS please don’t hesitate to email us via – thanks! 🙂

Keep to the beat! – Heart Rate Monitor Tutorial

Last tutorial in our LED trilogy! If you haven’t – then check out our Light It Up!-LED Tutorial and CEED Universe Compass Tutorial.

Components needed: 

  1. ADS1115 x 1
  2. LDR x  1
  3. LED x 1
  4. 510 kΩ Resistor x 1
  5. 5 Ω  Resistor  x 1
  6. Wires x 11
  7. pi-topPROTO board x 1

Background: This project was created with hearts in mind. It demonstrates and reveals a technique to measure the heart rate by sensing the change in blood volume in a finger artery while your heart is pumping! Compared to our last two tutorials, it is a bit more complex; however, it is perfect for an inter-curricular class or a fun family project for the weekend.  

Step 1: In this tutorial you will learn to make a heart-rate-monitor with an LED circuit on the pi-topPROTO board.

Step 2: The diagram below illustrates how the components should be soldered onto the pi-topPROTO board:





Step 3: To build this circuit on the pi-topPROTO board, solder the LED to the board.


Step 4: Next solder in the resistor and complete the circuit using a wire.


Step 5: Now solder in the LDR (Light Dependent Resistor), its accompanying resistor and complete the circuit using another wire.


Step 6: The next step is to solder in the analogue to digital signal converter (ads1115) into the pi-topPROTO board.



Step 7: Connect the ads1115 to the 5V power supply.




Step 8: Connect I2C connections (SCL and SDA) on the ads1115 to pin 5 and pin 3 on the board respectively.



Step 9: Connect the ADDR pin to the GND pin on the ads1115 so as to define the I2C address on the ads1115 as 0x48.



Step 10: The next step is to move onto the python code! This can be done on your pi-topCEED. After you have booted your pi-topCEED up: click on the Main Menu, accessories and then open up a terminal window as seen in the screenshot below.



Step 11: Type in “sudo idle &” into the terminal to open up idle 2 which will allow you to create a run python scripts on the Raspberry Pi!



Step 12: Once the python shell environment has opened up, click File and then New to open up a new text editor. This text editor is where you will type your code, save and run the project! Once you run the project on the text editor the results will be displayed on the python shell environment that was previously mentioned.



Step 13: The next step is to now copy the code below in the python text editor:

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

import matplotlib.animation as animation

import time

import Adafruit_ADS1x15

import pylab

import numpy as np

from scipy.interpolate import interp1d

from scipy.signal import butter, lfilter, filtfilt

# from scipy.interpolate import spline

#get plot and draw axes

fig = plt.figure()

ax1 = fig.add_subplot(1,1,1)

moving_y = []

xaxisthings = []

startTime = time.time()

secondsShown = 5

secondsCalc = 5

plotHz = 20                        

totalWidth = plotHz*secondsShown

Oversample = 5

allY = [0]*plotHz*secondsShown

allX = [0]*plotHz*secondsShown


#function to set the next y value

def new_y_value():

   time.sleep(1/(plotHz * Oversample))

   return Adafruit_ADS1x15.ADS1115().read_adc(0, gain=16)


def animate(i):

   #add a new y value, and remove the first

   totaly = 0

   totalx = 0

   count = 0

   for j in range(secondsCalc * plotHz * Oversample)

       totaly +=new_y_value()

       totalx +=time.time()-startTime


       if count == Oversample:



           count = 0

           totalx = 0

           totaly = 0

   while len(allY) > (secondsShown*plotHz):






ani = animation.FuncAnimation(fig, animate, interval=1)



Step 14: After creating your code, click on “File” and then “Save as” to save the code that you have written so that you can come back to it and run the code whenever you want!

Step 15: After saving your code, put you finger in between the LED and the LDR and press F5 to run your code and see your heartbeat displayed across the screen as seen in the image below!

Heart Rate Monitor.png

CEED Universe Compass Tutorial

This is the second tutorial in our trilogy. If you missed the first – please check out our Light It Up! – LED Tutorial for pi-topCEED.

Components needed: 

  1. LED x 4
  2. Resistor(100Ω) x 1
  3. Wires x 8
  4. pi-topPROTO board x 1


Background: Now that you know how to build one LED, we can step it up to the next level and build an LED compass. This can be useful when you are travelling or lost your way through the vast CEED Universe. Check your direction by using your own LED compass to guide you

Step 1: In this tutorial you will learn to make a compass on an LED circuit on the pi-topPROTO board.

Step 2: Below is a image of how the circuit should be connected with the LED soldered in place first (please follow the link here to take you to our video showing you how to solder onto a pi-topPROTO board).

led_compass_schem 1.png

Step 3: The next step is to solder the resistor in place.


Step 4: The next step is to solder the wires that connect the LEDs to the GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) port pins that will detect the signals being sent from the code when the CEEDUniverse game is being played so that you can see if you are getting closer or further away from your target destination. To learn more about GPIO pins please follow the link here.


Step 5: Once the circuit has been soldered in place (please follow the link here to take you to our video showing you how to solder onto a pi-topPROTO board,) all you have to do is slide the pi-topPROTO board into the HUB and run the CEEDUniverse game to use the compass! You can watch a short video showing you the final product below.