8-Channel ADC For the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a powerful embedded computing platform. However, for all its Linux-based muscle, it lacks one thing that even the simplest 8-bit microcontrollers usually have – analog-to-digital conversion. There are a great many ways to rectify this shortcoming, and [Chris Burgess] has brought us another – with an 8-channel ADC for the Raspberry Pi.

For the ADC, [Chris] chose the MCP3008, for its low cost and availability. In this configuration it offers 10-bit resolution and a maximum sampling rate of 200 kilosamples per second. Adafruit has a great guide on working with the MCP3008, too. With such a useful resource to hand, [Chris] was able to spin up a PCB to interface the chip to the Raspberry Pi using SPI. [Chris] took care to try to make the board to the official HAT specifications. As far as the physical aspects go, the board is to spec, however [Chris] omitted the EEPROM required for auto-configuration purposes. That said, the pads are on the board if someone wants to take the initiative to install one.

It’s a tidy build that provides something sorely missing from the Raspberry Pi, for a reasonable cost. [Chris]’s goal was to build something that would enable the measurement of analog sensors for a robot project; we’d love to hear your ideas for potential uses in the comments!

10 thoughts on “8-Channel ADC For the Raspberry Pi

    1. Many MCU have better specs at lower prices!
      Or the new Attinys, which can be programmed through UPDI (half duplex UART).
      This way you could program them OOTB and outsource real time stuff.

      If I would do more with PI’s, I would create such a shield. Super cheap programmer included sub MCU just like the beagle bone! Adc? Here you go. Uploaded and configured in a sec. Dac? There it is.
      Or touch stuff, motor control etc.

      Just like an app, but with a dedicated controller for each app.

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