My previous article is available at http://labby.co.uk/pirack-review/
Today I was using my Raspberry Pi and needed to use one of my addon boards, namely the “GPIO Board with Terminal Block For Raspberry Pi”, Maplin part number N31NT, http://www.maplin.co.uk/gpio-board-with-terminal-block-for-raspberry-pi-682474.
I realised that this was an ideal opportunity to test the board with the PiRack that I have been asked to review.
The GPIO board is a very useful piece of kit for tinkerers such as myself that regularly work on breadboards as the pins are all exposed, neatly labelled and easily accessible. Being able to secure the jumper wires onto the board is a godsend, it is very quick and reliable.
The GPIO board connects to the Raspberry Pi with a standard 26 way IDC connector, similar in style to an IDE cable.
Connecting it to the Raspberry Pi is straightforward, line the connector up and push onto the pins.
Doing the same on the PiRack has revealed a glaring flaw.
The jumpers on the PiRack phyically prevent the IDC cable from being connected – they are in the way.
As many people will get parts such as the GPIO board from Maplin and similar outlets the likelihood of this being a showstopper is very high.
My solution would be to move the jumpers JP2, JP4, JP6, JP8 directly above the jumper they are currently next to and move jumpers JP9, JP10, JP11, JP12 to the left by approximately 5 millimetres which would give clearance for standard IDC cables.
I consider this a major oversight on the part of the PiFace team, and I hope it is rectified in the next board revision.