If you are looking for accessories for your tiny, credit card sized single board computer, the Raspberry Pi or RBPi, you now have a series of them from the distributer element14. This Microstack range of accessories allows all levels of users to create and prototype physical devices simply and quickly. Most popular among the Microstack accessories are the GPS positioning and accelerometer.
Microstack claims that its modules are the “building blocks for the Internet of Things for All”. The original designers of PiFace Digital and PiFace Control and Display accessories for the RBPi have come together to create Microstack. In fact, building on PiFace, Microstack now offers several types of connected-device possibilities for the RBPi.
Microstack offers a family of stacking accessory boards that a compact and reusable. They offer a common form factor, interface connections and software. All the accessories for the RBPi are built on a platform-specific baseboard called the adapter board.
The GPS module from Microstack is a simple and easy plug-and-play solution. You can use this module for projects requiring GPS positioning for creating geo-location awareness. The GPS module has several worthwhile features. Not only can the module log data in its standalone mode, it allows the RBPi to keep time in a highly accurate and globally synchronized manner. The Microstack GPS module is one of the most complete and advanced modules and it sports an embedded high sensitivity 15×15 mm internal patch antenna with an external socket.
The antenna switching function is automatic as the GPS module has antenna detection feature along with short circuit protection. For better sensitivity, the module has a built-in LNA. The advanced AGPS technology works with an intelligent controller of periodic mode that does not require any external memory. Microstack has provided LOCUS as an innate logger solution that works independently without host and external flash. The GPS module comes with anti-jamming features that sports Multi-tone Active Interference Canceller with 66 acquisition channels and 22 tracking channels. You can combine it with other Microstack add-ons to provide radio links for supporting remote telemetry.
The Accelerometer module from Microstack is also a simple plug-and-play device for the RBPi. It is useful where measuring acceleration is necessary for projects such as tracking and motion, game and tilt sensors and robotics. The module is based on MMA84910, a simple, low power, three-axis low-g accelerometer that offers multi-range 14-bit at +/- 8g resolution.
With a 1.95-3.6 V supply voltage range, the Accelerometer module consumes only 400 nA per Hz, but provides data at ultra-high speeds in about 700µS. Its 14-bit digital output has a sensitivity of 1 mg/LSB with a +/- 8g full-scale range. The Microstack framework compatible accelerometer module has 45° tilt outputs for its three axes and you can link it to your RBPi with the I2C interface.
You can use the Microstack modules as standalone or integrate them into full custom PCBs. Therefore, the modules provide a solution right from prototyping to production. These modules offer powerful building blocks that cut down on the development time with support software and easy installation.