We fell in love with our first Raspberry Pi the moment we saw it play full HD video on a 55″ screen. After using it for different projects and playing with various aftermarket products, we felt there was an opportunity for a family of integrated and cross-compatible I/O expansion boards. So, late in 2013, we launched this enterprise. Our goal was to design and build peripheral boards with features that would appeal to a broad spectrum of users including experimenters, hobbyists, and professionals. From the beginning we wanted to be able to stack these boards in any combination and this resulted in the name of Pi-Plates. These products have required hardware design, board layout with Eagle, writing embedded C firmware, coding with Python, forging oversea relationships, building SMT prototypes using a skillet, and creating this website. Looking ahead, we have more boards planned and our friends and family will be helping us with functional testing, programming, kitting, packaging, and shipping.
There are many companies out there that have already covered some of this ground and they have been a great source of knowledge. We strongly encourage you to visit Adafruit, Sparkfun, and Pololu to see their offerings and learn from their tutorials.
At times, the learning curve was steep and we may have veered off course. But with the help of our friend Rick De Laet, who is Canadian and a great source of knowledge regarding all things Linux, we were able to get back on track. Rick also wrote the power switch routine that allows a DAQCplate board to initiate a RPI shutdown sequence.
Pi-Plates was funded with the financial support of John and Anne McDonald – thanks guys. We considered using Kickstarter but that would have ruined the surprise.
Finally, none of this would have happened if not for The Raspberry Pi Foundation. They were founded on some very noble goals which I wish we could duplicate here in the U.S.
November 13th, 2014