Escape box platform

The escape box platform is the basis for creating ‘escape boxes’ which are puzzle boxes similar to escape rooms. The platform is based on the Raspberry Pi and provides for robust and easy-to-connect (using flat ribbon cable and IDC connectors) control.

Revision 1

The first revision consists of two PCBs based on the prototype versions that we actually built while making our own escape box. The revision 1 platform supports:

  • A large number of digital 5V GPIO pins, connected through an I2C-bus and MCP23017 GPIO extenders (of which up to eight can be connected to the bus, providing for 128 GPIO pins in total). Each puzzle will generally use its own extender board.
  • Two digitally addressable (WS2801-based) LED strips, connected through separate SPI buses.
  • Mono audio
  • Three PWM signals to control servos.
  • Various 3.3V GPIO pins and power rails.
Escape box platform motherboard. Connects to a Raspberry Pi (all generations) and provides 5V I2C, 3x PWM servo, 2x SPI, audio (mono) and various GPIO/voltage headers. For use with the MCP23017 I2C daughter board.
MCP23017 daughterboard. Connects to an I2C bus and provides up to 16 5V GPIOs.

Revision 2

The revision 2 motherboard improves over the first revision in several ways:

  • The board now has proper mounting holes
  • All connectors are now properly modelled as IDC headers, giving each connector ample space.
  • There is now room for an (optional) circuit that allows turning the box on and off through a relay. Additionally a USB connector can be used to supply power.
  • There is now room for an (optional) LoRa radio module, allowing us to track and control escape boxes remotely through The Things Network.

The revision 2 IO board has mounting holes as well as an improved form factor. Additionally the board supplies ample ground and +5V connections. It also comes with labelling on all sides to ease connecting the modules inside the tight spaces of a box.