I’m Martin Rowan, and I graduated many years ago with a degree in Computer Science and have spent the years since working in the computer software industry. My interest in electronics started when I was young after being given one of the n-in-1 electronics kits with a few components and spring terminals, probably from Tandy. My interest continued and I got my first-weekend job working at Maplin Electronics at their then recently opened Gateshead Metro Centre store. I think I spent everything I earned in the shop; at least I got a staff discount.

I’ve maintained an interest in electronics throughout the years since. The appearance of relatively cheap, powerful micro-computers with extensive IO capabilities, accompanied by a vast array of open source web services, sensors, hardware, libraries etc. alongside a rapidly growing community of hobbyists that have been conjuring up new projects my interest was peaked once again.

So here we are now, and I’m using this site to capture my experiences. This site is mainly for my own reference, but at the same time, it may benefit others.

Should you wish to, you can follow me on Twitter @martinrowan or feel free to reach out and connect via LinkedIn.

In the Media

September 2018 – After the release of the much anticipated PoE HAT for the Raspberry Pi 3B+, problems became apparent which were being discussed in great detail on the Raspberry Pi forum, and in my own blog post here. Raspberry Pi Trading failed to acknowledge the problem until I contacted The Register, who successfully managed to get a reply and acknowledgement of the issue from Eben Upton in this article where I opted to remain anonymous/unnamed. After this, I managed to get more engagement with Raspberry Pi Trading and was provided with a prototype of the PoE HAT to conduct some testing with, which I reported on here and was picked up again by The Register in a footnote to the release of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+.

June 2019 – The release of the Pi 4 was earlier than everyone was expecting, along with the new board came a new case and a new set of problems. The main one being excessive heat, which led to thermal throttling, especially when enclosed in a case, say like the official Raspberry Pi one, I covered my experiences and testing in a post, by the Register in early July 2019. This initial investigation has spawned a whole series of further investigations and posts here on this blog.

August 2021 – Like the original PoE HAT. The launch of the 2021 PoE+ HAT for Raspberry Pi came with issues. Whilst they quickly updated their documentation to inform users not to power the Pi via USB-C whilst the PoE+ HAT is attached, it seems at best, a workaround for another design flaw. Not as basic a flaw as getting the screw sizes for the fan wrong, but one that’s easier to fix by changing the documentation than updating the design. Some of the issues with the PoE+ are referenced in August 2021 by the Register (once again) during an interview with Eben Upton about supply chain issues impacting the availability of our favourite computing ecosystem.