Raspberry Pi GPIO to Breadboard and UEXT adapter


Raspberry Pi is the most successful embedded Linux board for all times, according to their blog they have sold over 500 000 pcs, although when they post something on their blog you never know it’s true or not from our own source we know Farnell and RS Components have sold at least 100 000 each by August this year, so the number may be not exactly 500 000 but still in 6-digit range.

I will admit that our OLinuXino Linux boards were inspired and designed due to the lot of e-mails and requests from customers of ours at the beginning on 2012 when Raspberry Pi had problems to arrange their production. We were asked again and again please do small low cost Linux computer, although at that moment we were just Linux users but never dealt with Kernel compilations, Device drivers build etc. this is what triggered us to go in this direction.

So if there was no Raspberry Pi there would not be OLinuXino as well, I admit it 🙂

Despite all problems Raspberry Pi had with the manufacturing start-up they now have sorted out their production problems and schematic mistakes, so the latest model-B works fine according to what we hear. I asked today friend of mine to borrow me one Pi to experiment with and this on the picture above is what we made.

We all know that Raspberry Pi $35 price is hard to beat, but looking at the additional accesoaries and boards which are sold for Raspberry Pi I can’t say the same for them.

To use Raspberry Pi to interface real world you need additional hardware and the prices of this after sale accessories are quite high, probably to adjust the not-so profitable Raspberry Pi sale price?

For instance the Gertboard which contain few ICs and components + blank board which harly cost more than $10 for the Raspberry Pi volumes is offered for $46!

The new PiFace board with two relays and 4 buttons announced price is $36.

What we did today is small Raspberry Pi GPIO to Breadboard adapter with UEXT on it.

We called it RPI-UEXT and will have these in stock in 2 weeks, what you can do with this breadboard adapter? Well this is basically same T-shape board as our AVR-T32U4 Arduino like breadboard board: https://www.olimex.com/Products/Duino/AVR/AVR-T32U4/

You can see it how it plugs to normal Breadboard here:


The T-shapped boards was first invented by Ken Segler and we used for DuinoMite-TBA.

Every breadboard have two power supply busses on the top and bottom and there we run +5V/GND on top and +3.3V/GND on bottom. With the T-shapped board you make power supply available for breadboarding not only the GPIOs.

On top of the easy for breadboarding adapter we also have UEXT connector, what you can connect to Raspberry Pi with UEXT?

1. MOD-IO2 board https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/IO/MOD-IO2/ which cost EURO 12.95 and adds 2 relays + 7 GPIOs, you can plug together as many MOD-IO2 as you wish as they are addressable so you can have as many relay outputs driven by Raspberry Pi as you want.

The project for MOD-IO2 interfacing with iMX233-OLinuXino is on GitHub and we will release Raspberry Pi pack which will have MOD-IO2 control with Raspberry Pi

2. MOD-IO board https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/IO/MOD-IO/ which cost EURO 25.95 and have 4 relays + 4 opto isolated inputs + 4 Analog inputs, you can plug together as many MOD-IO as you wish as they are addressable so you can have as many relay outputs and analog inputs + optoisolated digital inputs driven by Raspberry Pi as you want.
The project for MOD-IO interfacing with iMX233-OLinuXino is on GitHub and we will release Raspberry Pi pack which will have MOD-IO control with Raspberry Pi

3. MOD-RTC https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/Time/MOD-RTC/ cost EURO 4.95 is real time clock with battery backup which you can connect to Raspberry Pi with the UEXT adapter

4. Four different LCD modules are available from 1 row 9 characters segment LCD https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/LCD/MOD-LCD-1×9/ for EUR 6.95, NOKIA 3310 module 84×48 pixel LCD https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/LCD/MOD-LCD3310/  for EUR 6.95, color Nokia 6610 LCD https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/LCD/MOD-LCD6610/ 128×128 pixels with backlight and LCD 4.3″LCD module https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/LCD/MOD-LCD4.3”/ for EUR 79.95. All these modules have GitHub projects for iMX233-OLinuXino which will work on Raspberry Pi also.

5. RFID readers for 125 Khz https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/RFID/MOD-RFID125/ and 13.59 Mhz https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/RFID/MOD-RFID1356/ which cost EUR 25.95 and allow you to build access control with Raspberry Pi

6. Bluetooth module https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/RF/MOD-BT/ for EUR 19.95

7. WIFI 802.11n 150MBit RTL8188CU module https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/RF/MOD-WIFI-RTL8188/ for EURO 7.95

8. Zigbee module MOD-ZIGBEE-UEXT https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/RF/MOD-ZIGBEE-UEXT/ for EURO 17.95 which allow you Raspberry Pi to connect and control Zigbee network

9. Zigbee PIR module https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/RF/MOD-ZIGBEE-PIR/ which cost EURO 18.95 and allow Raspberry Pi to detect movement via Zigbee network

10. Quad band GSM/GPRS module https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/RF/MOD-GSM/ for EURO 49.95 which allow Raspberry Pi to send and receive phone calls, GPRS data and to send and receive SMS

11. GPS module https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/GPS/ which cost EURO 29.95 and allow Raspberry Pi to log your GPS coordinates

12. Wii Nunchuck joystick https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/Accel/MOD-WII/MOD-Wii-UEXT-NUNCHUCK/ which cost EURO 6.95 and adds 3-axes accelerometer, XY joystick and 2 buttons so you can control your Raspberry Pi Games

13. Digital 3 axes accelerometer https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/Accel/MOD-SMB380/ which cost EURO 14.95 and allow you to measure acceleration with Raspberry Pi

14. Digital 3-axes magnetometer https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/Interface/MOD-MAG/ which cost EURO 7.95

15. RS485 convertor with 1000V isolation https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/Interface/MOD-RS485-ISO/ which cost EURO 16.95 and allow Raspberry Pi to talk to instruments or DMX network

16. Thermocouple module https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/Interface/MOD-TC-MK2-31855/ which cost EURO 11.95 which allow Raspberry Pi to measure temperature -200C+700C with 0.25 resolution and as these modules are addressable you can attach as many thermocouples as you need

17. Heartbeat biofeedback sensor https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/Biofeedback/MOD-EKG/ which cost EURO 25.95 and allow Raspberry Pi to log EKG signals

18. Pulse oximeter biofeedback module https://www.olimex.com/Products/Modules/Biofeedback/MOD-PULSE/ which cost EURO 25.95 and allow Raspberry Pi to log oxigene levels in the blood.

Many new modules are on design stage including: 3-channel RGB LED controller, 3-channel 110/220VAC dimmer controller, Single phase Energy metering module etc etc.

BeagleBone-UEXT adapter is on the way also 🙂

17 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Steve Anderson (@IrregularShed)
    Nov 21, 2012 @ 20:55:47

    That looks great – exactly what I need to start driving some of the multitude of obsolete display technology I’ve amassed directly from Linux. Good work!


  2. André
    Nov 21, 2012 @ 23:27:39

    This looks interesting! Will it work with both revisions of the Raspberry Pi? As they’ve changed the the GPIO header a little between the first and second revision.


  3. cnxsoft
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 05:08:14

    Do you have a price for the Raspberry-Pi UEXT board? Am I right to assume it should be 12.95 Euros like the AVR-T32U4 board?


  4. ultimateohm
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 14:00:26

    Is I2C in RPI-UEXT open-collector? I2C on Raspberry Pi seems to be pulled up by resistor.


  5. Joe McClaine
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 17:37:58

    Looks like a great product and interesting to hear some of the history around the RPi and the Olinuxinos.

    The RPi may be great for educational use, but for embedded controllers the new A13 Olinuxino Micro with VGA output and touchscreen option looks to fit the bill better than an RPi.

    One thing that seems to be missing from both though (correct me if I’m wrong) is a packaged linux distribution with good real time capability ie. a tested and supported Preempt_rt patch. If this were available there would be little reason for people not to spend 10-15 euros extra and move from Arduino/Maple type boards to the A13 Olinuxino Micro for the huge extra flexibility it gives.

    Also, of course, its a shame that the A13 is limited to 800×600 graphics. Even cheap LCD monitors usually have higher native resolution than this. Is the A10 chip that much more expensive?


  6. Trackback: แปลง GPIO ของ Raspberry Pi ให้ไปใช้ UEXT ของ Olimex | Raspberry Pi Thailand
  7. Carlo
    Nov 22, 2012 @ 21:34:24

    All this is very interesting. I’ve received my first 6 MOD-IO2 last week and I’m working for some standalone small home automation projects (I willl put the projects on your web site when ready). In the future I think I’ll get an A13 Olinuxino for more complex centralized home automation connected to UEXT boards.
    I don’t understand if you have a board with more UEXT connectors in order to connect more UEXT boards. On the MOD-IO and MOD-IO2 we have male-female connectors but if I need for example to connect at the same time a MOD-TC, a MOD-RS485 and a MOD-ZIGBEE?


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Nov 23, 2012 @ 09:30:01

      connecting more than one board to UEXT is possible, all new modules we do like MOD-IO, MOD-IO2, MOD-TC-MK2 etc are I2C addresssable so you can connect many same or different modules to UEXT and they will work together


  8. Norman Van Treeck
    Nov 24, 2012 @ 22:24:10

    Reblogged this on Astronomy and Law.


  9. Trackback: Olimex to Provide $5 Raspberry Pi GPIO to Breadboard & UEXT Adapter | CNXSoft – Embedded Software Development
  10. Trackback: A13-OLinuXinio-MICRO – EURO 28 Open Source Single Board Computer is for sale « olimex
  11. Trackback: Raspberry Pi now can work with UEXT modules « olimex
  12. Trackback: Friday Free Board Quiz issue #25 is RPI-UEXT + MOD-IO2 | olimex
  13. adizioglu
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 00:10:17

    Is there any python example with UEXT adapter , Raspberry Pi, MOD-RS232, and MOD-RS485.


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