Bitbanging your SPI RTC on your Raspberry PI

In my previous post I described the steps I followed to get my DS3234 Real Time Clock working on my Raspberry PI 2. It turns out that the audio board we were using on the pinger project had already claimed the SPI port and both Chip Enable (CE) pins so I went searching for an alternative solution.

The DS3234 module I purchased from SparkFun

The DS3234 module we will use on the Bitbanged SPI Bus

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Raspberry PI and your SPI Real Time Clock (RTC)

This post documents how I got my DS3234 SPI Real Time Clock working with my Raspberry Pi 2.

I have previously used I²C Real Time Clocks on my Raspberry Pi without a problem. Setting  up these I²C RTCs was as simple as attaching the appropriate wires and loading the kernel module. So you can imagine my disappointment when I attached my shiny new DS3234 RTC, loaded the kernel module and found no rtc devices appearing in /dev − even after I had unbound the spidev modules from the SPI bus.

It seems the world of embedded Linux has moved on and now uses Device Tree overlays − or maybe they always were and I just wasn’t paying attention − to configure the various pieces of attached hardware.


The Freetronics I²C DS3232 Real Time Clock Module

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Scott is working with two James Cook University students, Chris Tyler and Tyler Binder, across summer to produce a hydrophone/buoy platform that can be deployed in marine environments. The project includes:

  • Design and production of an appropriate housing
  • A passive solar trickle charging circuit for AA nickel metal hydride batteries
  • Design and production of an audio amplifying circuit
  • 3G telemetry using the Telstra mobile network
  • Integration of a Venus GPS module
  • Digital audio processing
  • Integration of the project components

So far we have integrated the hydrophone into the buoy housing, follow this blog to watch our progress.

Tyler Binder and Chris Tyler

Tyler Binder (left) and Chris Tyler (right) with the Buoy housing prototype.