Major Alvega

Major Alvega is a fictional hero from my childhood favorite comic magazine, “O Falcão”.

My real name is Jorge.

I am an Electrical Engineer by formation but systems administrator by chance.

Married, owl father of 2.

Recently returned from the LEGO’ Dark Night thanks to a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 set that my wife gave me us a birthdat present. Then discovered the Raspberry Pi, the Portuguese LEGO community, the ev3dev project, the LEGO MCP and not even God knows what more will come…

I don’t really have a focus in a particular area but I do like to demonstrate STEM concepts to my kids and I like to use to use LEGO as a framework or a tool for that purpose. So usually my “LEGO things” are more focused on showing some kind of functionality instead of looking nice. That also means that I fall to the Dark Side quite often, cutting some LEGO wires, soldering, gluing or painting something – hey, not my fault that LEGO doesn’t make LASER or UV bricks 🙂

Also quite often my small proof of concepts tend to grow too much and too fast. My first “Raspberry Pi and LEGO” project, an escalator, wasn’t tall enough for my older kid… trying to find more liftarms I soon found that there is a large online market of second hand LEGO… I was doomed!

When I started this blog, I often stated that I am not a programmer. I used some programming languages at university but I really never learned how to program so most of my coding is in fact a lucky mix of googling, copy&past and try&error iterations. Nevertheless, after some experiments with Bluetooth Low Energy protocol, I found myself doing something that might resemble real code thanks to the generosity of lots of people that opened their source to the world. Some even directly helped me!

So yes, I strongly support openness. Not just open source but open idea – science evolves “on the shoulders of giants” but also on the shoulders of lots of anonymous people who keep pushing it a bit further every day. That’s one of the reasons I like so much to use ev3dev with the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 – the possibilities are truly amazing.

Strong coffee, dark beer, apple-cinnamon, Xutos&Pontapés and Martini complete the whole pack.

You might also find me at:

5 comentários em “Major Alvega”

  1. Hello Fellow Scratch/LEGO Hacker:

    A project got started on the LEGO Education Community forums to create a set of “open” (OER) lessons that would teach Scratch Programming and LEGO WeDo Mechanics/Robotics together. If this project interests you, please take a look at the discussion so far at [].

  2. Hi,

    I’m currently working on a project where I have the new lego train and I want it to be controlled from a raspberry pi. I’ve been looking through your posts and trying some of the stuff you’ve tried. My main issue at the moment is connecting the pi to the powered up hub via Bluetooth – I can never establish a connection. I was wondering if you could give me some pointers either on what to do or where to look to find answers. Thanks

    1. Hi!
      If you have a recent RPi it should have a BLE 4.0 compatible hci device.
      I suppose you are using Raspbian linux.
      Check for the presence of the hci device with “hciconfig -a” and if is “up” the scan for your Powered Up hub with “hcitool lescan”, you should see the BT address of your hub (don’t connect your app, it will lock it).
      Then it’s really just a matter of using the same gatttool commands I use, just changing my BT addresses for yours.
      If / when that works, then you can try python later but for now bash / command line is better (and faster).

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