Raspberry Pi Piggyback Extension – the Icing on the Cake

Mar 26, 2013, 10:47 ET from Amescon Software GmbH

VIENNA, Austria, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The new RasPiComm extension board offers a wide array of new features for the $35 mini-computer expanding its possibilities. They include additional ports, a real-time clock and a four-way joystick input device. The Austrian manufacturing company Amescon believes the foreseeable future to hold near endless possibilities for users in everyday life even though the current model is specifically aimed at developers and tinkers. First results have been promising.

Vienna, 25th of March 2013

Approximately 1 million mini-computers have been sold in 2012 according to Alan Mycroft, member of the Raspberry Pi foundation. The foundation originally expected the volume of sales to hover around 500.000 units. 4.000 mini computers leave the factory in the United Kingdom each day. These numbers have convinced companies all over the world to develop further components and expand the framework. Daniel Amesberger (https://www.xing.com/profile/Daniel_Amesberger?key=0.0), CEO of Amescon (http://www.amescon.com/), is one of those developers.

"We envision our RaspiComm (http://www.amescon.com/raspicomm.aspx) extension board to enhance daily tasks through various applications. The Open-Source structure has allowed for near endless possibilities. Our small ecosystem provides a source for home and industrial automation applications. We have sold over 1.000 RaspiComm's and counting since worldwide distribution has been initiated."

Motivated, driven and encouraged through hundreds of comments and more than 70.000 daily visits on his blog Daniel Amesberger developed the RaspiComm in 2012 and finalized manufacturing by the end of the year. The extension board will offer serial ports allowing communication with up to 256 devices. The various application possibilities have been demonstrated by the international customers and community.

"Our clients implement the RaspiComm in various ways such as:

  • an access-control unit for club cards (e.g. access to a 24/7 gym)
  • a surveillance unit for photovoltaic/solar system
  • for home automation systems
  • a controlling device for stepper motors for multi shot captures of mobile cameras

A RaspiComm unit is currently being specifically customized for implementation into a satellite which is supposed to orbit the earth for many years."

It is theoretically possible to create and/or modify various complex automation processes with the low-cost Raspberry Pi in combination with the RaspiComm. An Application Programming Interface (API) has been developed by Daniel Amesberger as well and is available via GitHub (https://github.com/amescon/raspicomm). Beyond the functions of the RaspiComm it additionally supports a stepping motor board and a 128x64 OLED display. Both can be connected to the RaspiComm.

Eben Upton, creator and president of the Raspberry Pi foundation (http://www.raspberrypi.org/), supports the young Viennese CEO and his RaspiComm project and builds on the existing interest of the already existing thousands of fans and tinkers.

The extension board competes with the currently available GertBoard. The GertBoard is distributed with its own microcontroller but requires assembly in comparison to the ready-to-use RaspiComm. It is also substantially larger than the Amescon unit. The RaspiComm offers a battery-powered real-time clock bypassing electrical dependency, a four-way joystick to control additional input devices and additional ports. "We view the GertBoard as a Raspberry Pi extension for different purposes than our system. The main focus for the user largely differs between the two products."

Amescon aims to develop additional extension boards for a "plug & create" concept.

"We are only at the beginning but the tremendous approval and encouragement of the community has inspired us to drive further development forward.

The extension board (which is produced exclusive in Germany and Austria) is available for € 43,69 in January 2013 and distributed by RS components (http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/processor-microcontroller-development-kits/7722974) Several hundreds of confirmations to immediately order upon release encourage Mr. Amesberger to soon possess the necessary development budget to launch "really cool stuff".

Technical features

  • RS232 ("serial") port
  • RS485 port
  • 2 Outputs
  • 5 Inputs
  • Real-time clock
  • SPI and I2C header

Company profile:

Amescon is an innovative company specializing in hardware and software development and is spearheaded by its CEO of 9 years Daniel Amesberger. The company has been most notably successful by introducing automation solutions for cash handling purposes. Such solutions are capable of combining, counting, tracking and sealing up to 160 different types of currency notes automatically. Amescon counts numerous large banks among its customers. Shifting the focus towards the development and production of Raspberry Pi components certainly garners Mr. Amesbergers interest.

About Amescon

Amescon was established in 2003 focusing on software development for automation and custom business software solutions. Our strength lies in integrating software into hardware components which is precisely the reason why our business segment has significantly expanded over the years. Our range now includes mechanical, electronic and software engineering and development. This versatile operating environment allows us to offer "turn-key" solutions.

The earlier years were characterized by projects focusing on circuit design and software development. In 2010 Amescon took over Schulze Cash Handling Systems and added hardware development for cash handling automation to its portfolio.

We remain a small dynamic team with strong relationships to its partner companies of many years to assist in the realization of larger projects. This enables us to be flexible and implement customer projects efficiently and in a timely manner.

We are currently offering "turn-key solutions" in the following areas:

  • Eletronics development (from circuit board design to finalized product, software and hardware, microcontroller solutions - particularly ARM and PIC)
  • Small to mid-scale automation solutions ("turn-key solutions", from CAD design to the finalized machine)
  • Software development (custom business solutions)

Contact: GF Daniel Amesberger, +43-699-190-479-96, daniel.amesberger@amescon.com

SOURCE Amescon Software GmbH