When I finished building my weather station it was on a large full size breadboard. I didn’t like that it there was so much space on there that was just wasted and I had a half size sitting around that I thought would work well. Unfortunately, the ADC wouldn’t let everything else fit properly. I did some research and found that Microchip also produced a 2 channel ADC called the MCP3002. Since I was using only 2 channels on the MCP3008, I thought this would work nicely and I counted all the slots on the half size breadboard and it would fit perfectly! So I ordered a couple from Newark…

When they came in I had to test to make sure it was going to work, so I placed in the half size breadboard, wired up a TMP36 analog temp sensor, and connected the breadboard to my spare Pi. Well, come to find out, the driver I had didn’t work. Neither did the other one I found online nor the others I found. I was a bit depressed because I really wanted it to work.

My last hope laid on the Adafruit forums. (Love Adafruit by the way!) I was a bit worried as they don’t sell the MCP3002 and they have messages on there about only supporting their products. So, reluctantly I posted a question on the forum asking if the driver they provide for the MCP3008 would work for the MCP3002. At first their people informed me that it would work, but I told them I had tested it and it didn’t. In one of my responses I made sure that I mentioned that I had wired it as per the datasheet and added a link.

Come to find out, the reason their driver wouldn’t work is because the 3002 only wanted 4 bits sent to it for the request and the 3008 wanted 5. So, Rick (who I think works for Adafruit) helped with adapting that part of the driver. When I added his piece to the 3008 driver, it still didn’t work. I then took another look at the datasheet and found another difference in the 3008 vs the 3002. The 3002 only provided a 11 bit response vs the 12 that the 3008 provided. I then updated the code to account for that and voila! it worked like a charm.

After I got it working, I posted about having to make the other change. Rick then asked me to post the full driver so that it could be added to their python library. So yeah, that’s the story of writing my first driver…

Here it is by the way if you need it:

def readadc(adcnum, clockpin, mosipin, misopin, cspin):
if ((adcnum > 1) or (adcnum < 0)): return -1 GPIO.output(cspin, True) GPIO.output(clockpin, False) # start clock low GPIO.output(cspin, False) # bring CS low commandout = adcnum << 1; commandout |= 0x0D # start bit + single-ended bit + MSBF bit commandout <<= 4 # we only need to send 4 bits here for i in range(4): if (commandout & 0x80): GPIO.output(mosipin, True) else: GPIO.output(mosipin, False) commandout <<= 1 GPIO.output(clockpin, True) GPIO.output(clockpin, False) adcout = 0 # read in one null bit and 10 ADC bits for i in range(11): GPIO.output(clockpin, True) GPIO.output(clockpin, False) adcout <<= 1 if (GPIO.input(misopin)): adcout |= 0x1 GPIO.output(cspin, True) adcout /= 2 # first bit is 'null' so drop it return adcout # change these as desired - they're the pins connected from the # SPI port on the ADC to the Cobbler. There are 2 Chip Select pins. # one for each ADC SPICLK = 18 SPIMISO = 23 SPIMOSI = 24 SPICS = 25 # set up the SPI interface pins GPIO.setup(SPIMOSI, GPIO.OUT) GPIO.setup(SPIMISO, GPIO.IN) GPIO.setup(SPICLK, GPIO.OUT) GPIO.setup(SPICS, GPIO.OUT)