Raspberry Pi Click Board Sensor Kit - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Raspberry Pi Click Board Sensor Kit

Author: jmppts

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: I would have to say that the click sensors are very similar to the Arduino stacking platform

What were the biggest problems encountered?: documentation and drivers were difficult to find

Detailed Review:

I was very excited about testing these click sensors out and transitioning to the PI from the Arduino platform being limited by the 8-bit architecture has its draw backs. Unfortunately from the get go this test has been a test of my abilities to think outside the box.

 

HVAC control

 

My primary intent was to transition my current HVAC control system from the Arduino platform to the PI. and Although connections for the hardware are fairly straight forward I immediately ran into some large issues.

 

1> heat dissipation. My HVAC control is used in a solar heater which even on a day with an average outside temperature of 68 degrees F. generates an internal temperature of over 150 degrees F.  This one issue alone almost immediately ended the test of this product for use in my system due to the PI's inability to handle the temperatures inside the heater.

    this also brings up issues that with the click board installed on top of the Pi there is no room to install a Cooling fan or any sizable heat sink on the Pi increasing the concern for heat dissipation.

 

 

2> size constraints -part of the HVAC system requires knowing the internal temperature and having to mount the entire device inside the coils just wasn't feasible as it would have caused to much impedance to air flow.

 

 

3>cost- hands down a DHT11 for 50 cents is way more cost effective than the environmental click which has a MSRP of 27.20 at the time of writing. The negligible tolerance in temperature reading can be minimized with a simple averaging script.

 

I was able to run jumpers from the clicks to verify functionality with the sample code, but this defeated the purpose of the device, so I looked for other ways I could test the devices that wouldn't completely melt the Pi in the process.

 

The only other possible solution I had in mind was using the clicks for temperature monitoring of my 3D printer via the octopi/octo print server.

 

Which leads me to the last of the list of head aches I got from testing this product. That is a sever lack of documentation and driver support. The Mikroe site links to the IC manufacture site (bosch) and to a 404 page error for BME680 drivers luckly the web search wasnt to difficult and i did find a library . In the end I managed to get a driver for the BME280 to display a temperature through the enclosure plugin but further code modifications are still needed at the time of this writing for it to display the correct temperature. Other than this the only other issue was that the Pi has to be inside the 3D printer cabinet for this to work.

 

 

Overall I think that the concept is was a good idea. However, there are a few things that just don't make this a feasible solution in most situations. My  first issue with it is that if your main CPU can't fit or otherwise be placed where the sensor is needed than this isn't going to work for you. My second issue is the price point. I can do the same thing with a lot less cost and rolling right into reason three the size needed for the Mikroe clicks is far larger than what is possible for much less with similar solutions. So although yes the product does work as intended I don't see a lot of real world application in this form factor.

 

maybe if they were to go to a design that the clicks could be plugged into a ribbon cable to still take advantage of the bus it would be a better solution but the stacking solution just isn't going to work in my book.

Anonymous
  • Come on! I suppose it is just  introduction to comprehensive roadtest, quite good anyway.

    Do continue your assessments.

    Nevertheless, I honestly understand your hesitations! One day I also  faced with problem of interferencing of  RPi "heating station" on peripheria-board

    The solution is simple when using extra adapters or ribbons. You can separate sensor board. Of course the idea of clicboard wil be lost but the project can be conducted and bring some discovering.

    I used some clickboard with microchip controllers. There is some documentation on github, mikroelektronika  have many fans with active foras reach in examples. Try to dig there!

    Good luck!

    Marek