I decided to try and spend some time working with my Raspberry Pi this week. The first thing I wanted to do was to add an MCP23017 to the device to expand the I/O. I did this by buying the Slice of Pi I/O kit from Ciseco. This adds the MCP23017 and some pluggable headers via a PCB that slots onto to the GPIO headers on the Raspberry Pi. It comes in a kit form and needs some basic soldering skills to put it together.
The Slice of Pi I/O took about 20 minutes to put together and was fairly easy. I would recommend it as a beginner project if your new to soldering and electronics.
Unfortunately my Raspberry Pi is still running Debian, rather than Raspbian. This means I don’t have I2C support yet, so my next step is to re-install with Raspbian and test the device out.