Learn Digital Systems Design Using Microcontrollers with Raspberry Pi Pico at Tog

Join us at Tog to learn about microcontroller design and implementation using the Raspberry Pi Pico from Cornell University by following their Digital Systems Design Using Microcontrollers. The course is perfect for intermediate coders who want to take their skills to the next level.


During this course, we’ll be watching lecture videos together and discussing the content in person. We’ll be scheduling one lecture every two weeks on Monday evenings, starting with the first four lectures. After that, we’ll discuss as a group if we’re ready to proceed with the next four lectures. With 28 lectures in total, there’s plenty of material to explore and learn from.

At Tog, we provide a welcoming environment for learning and collaborating. Our fully equipped electronics lab has lots of components and test gear, and we’ll have tea, coffee, and snacks available to keep you energized throughout the course.

Please note that this is a 3rd level university course, so it may not be suitable for absolute beginners. However, if you’re interested in learning and willing to put in the effort, this course could be a great opportunity for you to develop your skills.

To participate in the course, you’ll need to bring your own laptop and Raspberry Pi Pico. Donations to Tog are welcome but not required.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email or visit our website for more information. We look forward to seeing you at Tog!


Monday 24/04/23 7 pm – Lecture 1: Course Introduction
Monday 08/05/23 7:15 pm – Lecture 2: Hardware/software overview
Monday 22/05/23 7:15 pm – Lecture 3: Timers, timer interrupts, SPI
Monday 19/06/23 7:15 pm – Lecture 4: Direct Digital Synthesis

Simon Button Game

Each year the Dublin Maker festival comes around and our members Jeffrey Roe and Christian Kortenhorst want to take part. They have been to many maker festivals and collaborated over the years.

Christian likes to make big things with tools and Jeffrey likes to make things with technology and electronics. They tend to come together on their love of interactive games. While wandering around EMF camp last year they came across the work of We Throw Switches and their flux game

The goals of the project:

  • Two-person interactive game
  • Fit on a table
  • Be portable
  • Simple game with no need for instructions
  • Be ready in three weeks

Eary on, it came clear we would be using arcade style buttons, and addressable LEDs to meet the project deadline of only a few weeks.

Christian got started working on the box. He create an LED display that was 4 by 6 “pixels”. Each pixel would be made up of 4 addressable LEDs. Two stripes of 50 LEDs would be used and due to the wiring layout, some would be hiddle and just covered in tape.

Doubts started to come to the project team. Would these LEDs work in direct sunlight? Remember the goal is to use the game in an outdoor daytime festival. Christian came up with the idea to paint everything white and Jeffrey said let’s bump up the current to make the LEDs brighter.

Now for the brain of the game. Jeffrey started out with the idea of using the USB controller that comes with buttons. How hard could it be to use a Raspberry Pi Pico and a USB host library?

It turns out that with Jeffrey on the team running Dublin Maker there is not enough time to learn new things for projects. We quickly switched back to using the reliable and known Arduino. In order to make the game responsive all eight buttons would be required to have their own hardware interrupt.

He started to use an GPIO expainder over I2C. This device allows for lots of interrupts. We started to build out a little board that would take the connector from the buttons and power the LEDs strips. The video below shows testing an interrupt to turn on the LED in the button when the button is pressed.

The code started to come together with a few late-night sessions but the interrupts didn’t seem to work as expected. Due to the way, the buttons are wired, the LED and the button share a pin and it’s only controlled by three pins. This causes the interrupts not to trigger when the LED is turned on.

Unfortunately, we did not meet the deadline of the event and never fixed the problem before the Dublin Maker event. We coded up a bit of a demo on the LED display but was not interactive.

The project did not end there. Another big public event was only a few weeks with Dublin Comic Con Summer edition. During a few late-night coding sessions, Jeffrey came up with a new way to check the inputs of the buttons without using hardware interrupts but still be reactive. The code just checks the status of the expected two buttons to be pressed over and over so there is little delay.

The game was unleashed to the visitors of comic con, it was a hit. People loved playing it once they got going. We did kind of miss the other goal of making the game portable as it ended up a little big.

You can check out more f the photos from the build in our gallery.

Repair Cafe April

Do you have broken items at-home – clothes, small appliances, toys, electronics?

No need to throw them away!
Save your things from the landfill and your wallet from having to replace them.

Bring them to our repair café and learn how to fix them together with our volunteers. We have tools, materials, space to work on your item, and repair experts who will help you with your repair.

A repair cafe is a community gathering place where people can bring their broken items, such as appliances, clothing, bicycles, or electronics, to be repaired by skilled volunteers for free. The idea behind repair cafes is to promote sustainability and reduce waste by encouraging people to repair and reuse their belongings instead of throwing them away.

At a repair cafe, visitors can learn how to repair their items themselves or watch and learn from the volunteers. Repair cafes also offer a social atmosphere where people can connect with others who share their interest in repairing, reducing waste, and promoting sustainability.

Tog members will be on hand to show you around the space – come and enjoy a tea or coffee and a tour while you wait!

What objects can you bring in?

  • Clothes and accessories
  • Toys
  • Small electrical appliances and electronics
  • Small furniture
    … and many other things!
    Safety (PAT) testing for electrical devices will be available.

Where? – TOG, Unit 1B Motor City
Kylemore Road, Dublin 12

When? – Sunday April 23rd, 11 am – 4 pm
Admission is free – all are welcome!

If you would like to be a fixer, drop us an email.

Continue reading “Repair Cafe April”

FOSSi: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Silicon

Are you interested in learning about integrated circuit (IC) design and fabrication but don’t know where to start? Look no further than the Free and Open Source Silicon (FOSSi) ecosystem! Join us for an exciting and informative talk where we’ll introduce you to the FOSSi ecosystem and how it can benefit electronics enthusiasts, students, and professionals alike.

If you missed this event it is now on youtube.


In this event, Thomas Pluck, a passionate FOSSi advocate, will guide you through the various aspects of the FOSSi ecosystem. He’ll provide an overview of the free and open source software (FOSS) tools available for IC design and simulation, including HDL simulators, synthesis tools, layout editors, and verification tools. You’ll learn about the community-driven approach to software development and the continuous support and updates available to FOSSi users.

Moreover, Thomas will highlight the educational resources and opportunities available through FOSSi, including online courses, webinars, and workshops. You’ll discover how FOSSi fosters innovation and collaboration through design contests and hackathons.

Finally, Thomas will discuss the affordability of IC design and fabrication through FOSSi. You’ll learn about the guidance and resources available for affordable fabrication options, enabling designers to bring their designs to life.

Continue reading “FOSSi: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Silicon”

Koji, Miso and Beyond: A Fermentation Workshop Exploring the World of Flavors and Preservation

Join us for an exciting and informative workshop as we explore the wonderful world of fermentation! From preserving fresh produce to cultivating healthy gut bacteria, fermentation has a multitude of benefits that have been enjoyed by people around the world for centuries. In this workshop, you’ll discover a variety of fermentation techniques and learn how to create delicious and nutritious foods that are not only good for you, but also bursting with flavour.

During the workshop, we’ll delve into the science behind fermentation and discuss the different types of bacteria involved in the process. We’ll cover a range of techniques, including:

  • Salting foods to encourage the growth of lactic acid bacteria, which are used to create delicious dishes like sauerkraut, kimchi, and Indian-style pickles.
  • Utilizing acetic acid bacteria to convert alcohol into vinegar, a versatile ingredient used in everything from salad dressings to marinades.
  • Using a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) to ferment sugary liquids and make refreshing kombucha, a probiotic drink that is packed with health benefits.
  • Harnessing the power of koji enzymes to transform foods and create rich, complex flavours. This ancient Japanese technique is used to produce soy sauce, miso, and sake, among other things.

Date: Tuesday 28th 6.30pm until 10pm

Cost: €20 plus fees

Location: Unit 1B Motor City, Kylemore Road, Dublin 12, D12 KRW1

Booking via the following link: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/koji-miso-and-beyond-a-fermentation-workshop-exploring-the-world-of-flavo-tickets-598313992257

Not only will you learn the techniques for each of these fermentation methods, but we’ll also discuss how to troubleshoot common issues that may arise during the fermentation process. You’ll walk away from the workshop with the skills and knowledge you need to start fermenting your own foods at home.

Join us for an evening of learning, tasting, and fun, and discover the magic of fermentation!

St Mary’s Hospital Display Table

Hillary and Gary with the display table

St Mary’s Hospital reached out to us for help a while ago. It’s a multidisciplinary community hospital in the Phoenix Park, that offers stroke rehabilitation to patients of all ages, provides in patients rehabilitation to older population and provides residential care to older persons.

They run a gardening project for residents and were in need of a display table for their plants. They sell plants to visitors and staff to help cover the funding of the garden project. Our member, Gary was happy to jump on board as an avid gardener and maker to make up a display table.