Downloads and Resources


1. Software and Source Code

The Raspbian maintainers have been kind enough to include the SimBaMon battery monitor in their repository, so you can just do this:

  sudo apt-get install simbamond
Packaged versions of some of the other projects (and snapshot development versions of SimBaMon) are available from (an Ubuntu PPA1 set up to be suitable for Raspbian). See the next section for installation instructions.

Source code for all the projects is available on the Git Hub open source hosting site. The project is called Pi-Tronics. To get started install git and clone the master branch:

git clone git://
This will create a directory pi-tronics on your local system. See the file README.txt in that directory for details of what is where.

You can also browse the code on-line — here's the flood alarm script, for example.

1.1. Installing Pi-GATE Software

To install from our Ubuntu personal archive:

1. Add this line to /etc/apt/sources.list:

deb precise main
You can use a text editor (e.g. nano) to do this, or paste this one-liner into a terminal prompt:

echo deb precise main |sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
2. Import the GPG encryption key from Ubuntu so that the Pi can verify the package's validity:

sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver --recv-key 6C12C1CF
3. Update your list of available packages (this may take a couple of minutes):

  sudo apt-get update
4. Install the package (where "package-name" is one of our packages, e.g. "simbamond" for the battery monitor):

  sudo apt-get install package-name
And that's it!

Note: the above gets you the most recent stable release; if you want to live on the edge, you can get more recent experimental builds by adding the snapshot PPA to your sources list, e.g.:

echo deb precise main |sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list

1.2. Installing WiringPi for Raspbian

On Raspbian, you can install WiringPi from a .deb file like this:

  sudo dpkg -i ./wiringpi_2.13_armhf.deb
See our page on Pi software packaging for more details.

2. Books and Sites about the Pi

Books about the Pi are proliferating almost as rapidly as the community of Pi aficionados.2 These are three of my favourites:

  • Eben Upton and Gareth Halfacree's book The Raspberry Pi User Guide is definitely the first place to start. Required reading.
  • Gray Girling's Haynes manual is my all-time favourite so far, perhaps because I remember my brother using these manuals to figure out how to fix his Triumph Herald way back when. It also has great graphics and an excellent mix of hardware and software, plus some philosophy and history to boot. I love it.
  • Slightly off the beaten track, but a great fit for the Pi's mischievous implications, I recommend Stefan Sjogelid's Raspberry Pi for Secret Agents. If the NSA and GCHQ are going to spy on every citizen for no good reason shouldn't we spy on them in return?!

If it's your birthday, ask for a book token — there's more to drool over in the next section.

There are also lots of great websites about the Pi — some that stand out:

There are oodles and oodles of Pi hobby sites — really too many to make a list these days!

3. Electronics Books and Sites

For introductions to basic circuit building, breadboarding or soldering, and to hacker electronics in general, see for example:

  • Simon Monk's 2013 book Hacking Electronics, which achieves a nice balance between explaining relevant theory and quickly getting on with practical stuff right from the start. Although some of the chapters are specific to the Arduino3 there's a lot of generally useful stuff too, including introductions to breadboarding, stripboard, soldering and the like. A good book if you're in a hurry.
  • The 2009 Make Electronics by Charles Platt, which also has loads of great introductory material, and is a typically high quality O'Reilly production with Make Magazine's usual emphasis on colourful graphics and detailed instructions for the hobbyist. This book is very detailed and has lots of intriguing background4.
  • The Embedded Linux wiki has great globs of Pi-related stuff, including a bunch of very useful tutorials.
  • AdaFruit's tutorial pages include an excellent guide to soldering (and one for measuring).
  • Another useful beginners' site is Electronics Club.

And lots and lots of others!5

4. Circuits: Calculators, Simulators, Diagrams

The circuit diagrams are available on Circuit Lab under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA licence.

For circuit debugging these Voltage/Resistance/Current calculators are useful: this one, this one, and this one all worked well for me at one time or another.


  1. PPA: Personal Package Archive. Usually used for Ubuntu software packages but also useful for certain types of packages for the Raspberry Pi.
  2. In July 2013 Google lists more than 12 million hits for the phrase "raspberry pi"!
  3. The Arduino is an extremely capable device that is both fore-runner and partner to the Pi. Based on a micro-controller chip, Arduino has been a major driver of the wave of low cost, flexible and open hardware on whose crest the Pi is now riding. It has a larger set of interaction functions (higher power and better safeguarded than on the Pi), but is a bit less powerful and general-purpose from a computational point-of-view. No doubt both will co-exist, and a good number of projects combining them are already available.
  4. I never knew, for example, that in terms of the movement of electrons electricity flows backwards from negative to positive, and that the conventional reverse flow is just that — a convention dating back to a mistaken conjecture by Benjamin Franklin. Well I never!
  5. If you really want to get in deep, here are two comprehensive sources: All About Circuits; the MIT Circuits and Electronics starter course in electrical engineering.

download Downloads and Resources.

comments powered by Disqus