Raspberry Pi Model B Revision 2.0 (512MB)
The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard. It's a capable little PC which can be used for many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing, and games, as well as plays high-definition video. The design is based around a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC, which includes an ARM1176JZF-S 700 MHz processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and 512 Megabytes of RAM. This revision 2.0 board features two mounting holes for easy installation, a built-in reset circuit, and can be powered via the USB data ports. The design does not include a built-in hard disk or solid-state drive, instead relying on an SD card (not included) for booting and long-term storage. The Raspberry Pi is intended to run Linux kernel based operating systems. Component colors may vary.
- Processor: 700 MHz
- Number of Processors: 1
- RAM: 512 MB
- Product Dimensions: 3.4 x 0.8 x 2.2 inches ; 1.6 ounces
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
- ASIN: B009SQQF9C
- Item model number: RASPBRRY-PCBA512
- Date first available at Amazon.com: October 18, 2012
1. Power supply. You need a power supply MICRO USB connector and at least .7 amps. A Kindle fast charger works fine.
2. Display cable. a regular HDMI cable works fine if your monitor supports it. The composite connector works, but it is *very* difficult to get a usable picture on a TV this way. You’ll need to edit a configuration file to change resolution.
3. Keyboard and pointing device. Because you only have 2 USB ports and a wired ethernet port, you’ll have to juggle whether you want to use a wireless USB, a keyboard/touch pad combo, etc. Most standard keyboards will work on it.
4. Internet connection (if you want internet connectivity). This can be wired or wireless. I used the edimax 7811 adapter which worked right out of the box.
5. Operating System on an SD card (minimum 4GB, class 4 – Amazon has a Sony 16GB class 10 for $11-$12 – that’s what I would use). There are a number of different ways to go. The Rasberry Pi foundation uses a Debian implementation of Linux called "Wheezy" which works well. This is a free download.
6. powered USB hub. If you want more peripherals or do not have a keyboard/touchpad combo you might want one of these.
HINTS: How-to-geek has an excellent step-by-step guide to setting it up. But here’s what you do. On a Windows machine, download Wheezy (free), use imgwriter(free) to write the image file to your SD Card (you can’t just copy the file to the card). Assemble everything you plug into the machine except the power first, slide in the SD card (it will stick out of the machine a 1/2 inch) then plug-in the power cord (a cell phone adapter with a minimum .700 amps and a micro USB , NOT a micro B, connector) in and it should fire up to a configuration screen. The only options you’ll probably need to use are A) expand the file system to take the whole card B) set your time zone and C) set the machine to boot into the graphical interface. (if you have a good power supply – 1 amp – you can overclock at this point to make the machine faster). Re-boot and you’re in a very windows-esque operating environment. If you have internet, connect using the icon on the starting desktop.
Suggestion: replace the midori browser which seems very wonky with Chromium (the open-source version of Google Chrome) Open a terminal (also on the starting desktop) and type without quotes "sudo apt-get install chromium-browser"
It will browse, it will get Email it will NOT use flash (even the Chromium "built-in" is not there) because flash is not compatible with the CPU. You can *try* to use the open-source (free) "gnash" but frankly…it’s not going to be very workable. If you set the machine up as a XBMC machine it will do some of this, but it is a totally different installation process.
It’s fun! try it. Lots of things you can do with this. It’s about the size (if you put it in a case) of a cigarette box.
Raspberry Pi is a Fantastic Platform!
The Raspberry Pi is a fantastic platform on which kids (or anyone) can learn to program and work with their very own computer. My own kids are using one as an interface for all sorts of science experiments learning to code with the Python programming language and using another Raspberry Pi as a media center. I also visit my local hackerspace and see what other people are doing with the Raspberry Pi. You should seek out a hackerspace in your area for assistance!
Purchasing a single unit such as listed above will not give you all that you need to operate the system. You will need an HDMI monitor (or DVI monitor with an HDMI to DVI converter cable), a power supply, USB hub, USB mouse, and USB keyboard for a minimal set up. Good luck!
Great Tiny Open Computer. Learn How Computers Work and What You Can Do WIth One!
The whole idea here is to be able to try things and make mistakes and still be able to get to the finish line–and you get to choose where the finish line is.
There is a small learning curve with the Raspberry Pi. First is what to buy to get it to work. Second is how to connect it. Third is how to get a boot image burned on an SD card. Fourth is learning the operating system and programming tools. These things are covered in several books, but here is a quick summary of my experience that might be helpful:
0. The Raspberry Pi Model B Revision 2.0 (512MB).
1. Raspberry Pi Debian 6 “Wheezy” 4GB SD Card Boot Disk. Actually I used this to get started quickly. You can go to the Raspberry Pi web site and figure out a compatible SD card and use a Mac, PC, or Linux PC to burn a boot “disk” from a downloaded image. For me getting started quickly was worth the extra $15-20.
2. Plugable USB 2.0 4 Port Hub and BC 1.1 Fast Charger with 2.5 Amp Power Adapter, charges Samsung Galaxy S4, iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad Mini, Nexus 7. This powers the Pi and provides extra powered USB ports.
3. StarTech.com 6 Inch Micro USB Cable – A to Micro B (UUSBHAUB6 Inch) to connect from a powered USB port on the HUB and the Raspberry Pi power port.
4. USB A to Mini USB B 6 inch cable to connect from a USB port on the Raspberry Pi to the PC port on the Hub.
5. Mini USB Keyboard Model KB1500U (I had this and it worked with the HUB.)
6. Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 USB 5V 100 mA (I had this and it worked with the HUB.)
7. HDMI cable.
8. TV with an extra HDMI input.
9. Network cable, free switch port, etc.
10. a case. I use SB Raspberry Pi Case (Clear).
11. Raspberry Pi User Guide [Paperback]
You may have many of these items in various junk boxes around the house. It is a bit irritating, however, to receive the Pi and then not have a single cable to get it running, so do an inventory first.
The key is, you can make a very inexpensive complete kit to give to a child to get them really learning how a computer works–and you don’t have to worry about what they will do to your PC as they experiment. (Except for creating a SD boot disk. Exercise extreme caution when entering the “dd” command!–Or just buy the pre-programmed SD card listed above.)
This really is simple. Twelve-year-olds get it running without any instructions and start entering commands in Linux. And it is a ton of fun. What can you do with a Raspberry Pi? What can your 12-year-old do with one? Visit the Raspberry Pi web site and browse for a while!
I should state that the power available at the Raspberry Pi USB ports is strictly limited. There is, in fact, a current limiter that makes using plenty of USB devices impossible on the USB ports on the Pi. Thus using the powered USB HUB solves several power related issues. Please note: not all HUBs work properly, I tried two I had in junk boxes and they did not work, due mostly to how the HUB got its power.
Although there are plenty of devices that work perfectly with the Pi, there are also many that don’t . If you have a concern, go to the Raspberry Pi web site and review the compatibility lists. And just because it is on the list does not mean it works using an on-board port. With my Pi, the keyboard I use works with the HUB but not if directly attached, but it is on the compatible list. Do not buy an SD card that isn’t listed as compatible. It simply isn’t worth the hassle.
Price Gouging — EDIT: The vendor lowered their price.
***** EDIT *****
The Vendor has lowered their price so please refrain from commenting about how it’s not a bad deal because it’s a lot more reasonable now.
Works great as a home media center
There are a few downsides though. When XBMC is scanning my harddrives for new content, it lags the video that it’s currently playing. It’s not a huge problem though as you can simply stop the scanning and the resume it once your video is done. I also have the Amazon Instant Video add-on installed from the Bluecop repository. It works great except that it’s a bit slow whenever you select something. Sometimes it’ll take about a minute when going from selecting a season of a TV show to showing all of the episodes, whereas when I tried this on my laptop it only took a few seconds. But with a 700 MHz processor I wasn’t expecting it to be the fastest thing in the world, so I’m not knocking it down any points. It can still flawlessly play any video I give it, and that was the reason I bought it, so it gets 5 stars.
Fun device for tinkerers
Before I get into what the Pi can do, I’ll state what it is not:
* The raspberry Pi is not a replacement for an everyday computer. The Pi’s specs are roughly equivalent to the computer I took with me to college in 1996 or my first smartphone in 2008. It is often slow and cannot run a lot of the common software we often take for granted.
* The Raspberry Pi is not a ready-to-go computer. Buying a Pi is a lot like buying a desktop motherboard; it doesn’t come with a case, or a power supply, or a keyboard or mouse. While a lot of people seem drawn to the $35 price tag, please realize that it will actually cost you closer to $75-$100 once you add all of the needed components, if you have to buy them new. The nice thing about the Pi is that most of us have the pieces we need lying around in spare parts: the Pi can be powered off an old smartphone charger or a USB hub, it plugs into a TV, and any old computer keyboard and mouse will work great.
* The Raspberry Pi is not a turn-it-on-and-go computer. I’m an experienced Unix administrator and I had a few false starts with my Pi. The Pi was designed to get kids interested in working with computers and to that end it gives you flexibility to do things that you can’t do with an everyday off the shelf machine. To that end, though, it sacrifices the ease of use that comes from latter.
In short, if you’re looking for an everyday, no fuss computer on the cheap, buy a Chromebook. Or a Roku or Apple TV if you just want a media center for your TV. On the other hand, if you enjoy tinkering with geeky things, read on…
I had been thinking about getting Raspberry Pi for a while when the hard drive failed in one of our laptops died. Since I was already placing an order for the new drive, I thought “what the heck” and ordered the Pi, a Kootek Raspberry Pi Case / Enclosure (Blue), and a Rosewill 10/100 Mbps 5 x RJ45 5-Port Switch (RC-405X) as well. I connected the Pi to a spare HDMI port on my TV and connected both the Pi and my existing Blueray player to the switch which I connected to my existing HomePlug powerline ethernet connection. I loaded Raspbian onto a spare 4Gb Class 4 SD card, connected an old phone charger, and within a couple of minutes I had a working Pi setup.
So far I have XBMC running, making the Pi a great little media center for watching streaming content I can’t get through my Blueray player. While the Pi has the processor of an ancient computer, it has a great graphics processor making it perfect for this type of use. So far I’ve used it to watch things on YouTube (my Blueray player does YouTube, too, but the XBMC interface is easier to use), TED Talks, and PBS and the quality is great all around. With the help of some unofficial plugins (search for Bluecop’s Free Cable plugin) I can access all of the free content on Hulu (I don’t have a subscription and my Blueray player only does Hulu+) and all of the free streaming content on a number of OTA and cable network’s websites. Now, when I miss a show, I can stream it in full 40″ 1080p instead of being constrained to the 15″ screen of my laptop.
I’ve also installed OpenVPN which gives me a secure connection to my home network from work or when I’m on the road. While it’s a little slow because my cable company only provides a 1Mbps uplink, it’s come in handy when needing to find files on a home computer and when I needed to get online using questionable Wi-Fi at a dive bar in the mountains, far from the nearest cell phone tower.
I’m currently toying with emulators for some older video game systems and the computer of my childhood, the Apple IIGS, though I don’t quite have them working yet.
I’m already thinking about my next Pis, too…I’m already giving serious thought to getting at least one more, along with a high-capacity external hard drive, to use as a file and print server. That way I could shut down my desktop machine and only run the low-power-consuming Pis. Using the Pi as a wake-on-lan server would allow me to remotely boot up the desktop machine any time I did need it, too. I’m also thinking about home automation and how nice it would be if I could start my air conditioner before I leave work so that I could come home to a cool house. Thoughts about how to integrate a model A into my car have also crossed my mind.
So, long story short, the Raspberry Pi is a great tool for anyone who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty with computers. While it’s far from plug-and-play, it can be a powerful little tool if you have the patience to experiment.
The cake may be a lie, but this Pi is AWESOME!
Edimax EW-7811Un 150 Mbps Wireless 11n Nano Size USB Adapter (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005CLMJLU/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
Raspberry Pi case / Box / Enclosure Transparent (Green)
Plugable 7 Port High Speed USB 2.0 Hub with 3A Power Adapter
ADATA 16 GB Micro SDHC Card Class 10 with SD Adaptor
and an old 16gb usb flash drive that I had laying around…(this was due to reading about some possibility of data corruption on SD cards in some of the “high performance settings” for the RaspBMC, that I have actually yet to set because it works pretty darn good, but more on that later.)
So, I have heard these things were small, but I guess I wasnt prepared. when the package arrived, it was in a manila bubble wrap mailer thing. And it was LIGHT! I opened the package and there was this little box, about the size of a deck of playing cards. I opened it, and I had it there, in my hands, my very own Raspberry Pi. I opened the other boxes, began looking around, and got everything out, and went ahead and did some pre-assembly. (by the way, it appeared as shown on the product page, looking all immaculate, and it fit very well into my case I ordered… I will review that as well.)
Installation of the RaspBMC system was pretty straightforward, and since this is not a review of that product..(which is free by the way…) I will move on to the device itself.
Everything on the device functioned as promised. Once the system was loaded, and fully operational…(mu ha ha) I plugged in an external hard drive, the Pi recognized it with no issues, and began to play video. (I have only tested the HDMI outputs for this device’s video playback, because, why worry about the video out, when you have HDMI at 1080p.. I mean really)
I would have to give this device top marks, as it very easily handled the Bluray .mkvs I had made of a relatively funny show about a group of physicists, and their engineer friend, and dessert company waitress neighbor. The video rendered so crisp and clear, you could almost see the individual hairs on a soft kitty, if such an image was to be displayed during this upbeat half hour of fun. The audio was crisp as the clean morning mountain air, and I didnt have to put up with fan noise, no video artifacts(jaggies), no blips, or anything out of the ordinary.
Overall, I am very happy with this purchase, and plan to purchase several more, as I want to make a small, wall mountable kitchen helper for my wife. (just a small footprint computer that we can store her recipes on, that will be ‘net connected so that she can easily look up other recipes if she needs.) I am also planning on using the Pi to build a network PenTesting unit for the networks I current oversee. I also have high hopes to build a nice gaming device with it, havent decided whether it will be cabinet or tabletop yet. But that is the great thing about the Raspberry Pi is that the entry cost is so low that if you are thinking of taking the plunge, you really only have to skip a good meal at a steak house, or your premium mocha java whatsit for a week, and you can buy your very own Raspberry Pi. And while you are buying yours, be sure to gift one to me, you know, to say thanks for telling you its ok to get your own!
fun little computer
now i plan to use it to introduce computer programming, simple robotics, and who knows what else to my 8th grader.
you need some things in order to use your raspberry pi:
- usb keyboard
- usb mouse
- power supply (5 volt, 1 amp – check the specs)
- display screen (you can use your HDMI tv)
- SD memory card (at least 2 GB)
- hdmi cable (or rca video cable for analogue display)
we had spares of everything listed above except the SD memory card.
i ordered this one: Kingston 8 GB Class 4 SDHC Flash Memory Card SD4/8GB
i recommend this user guide for most users (though it’s not required):
Raspberry Pi User Guide
the user guide had me up and running in no time flat.
provided my 8th grader gets interested, i’ll be ordering at least 1 more pi soon.
What You Should Know Before You Buy!
What You Should Know Before You Buy:
♦ The only thing you get with this product is the board. No accessories, cables, instructions or anything else.
♦ It is very inexpensive with a base price of $35 (not including shipping). You should expect to pay a little more on Amazon. I paid $40.
♦ It has pretty much any kind of port you will need (USBx2, HDMI, Video, Audio, Ethernet, SD Card, and More).
♦ It isn’t the fastest computer you will see. It worked well as an XBMC box running RaspBMC, but I did see some lag.
♦ It is built as something to experiment with and tinker around with.
♦ Once you plug everything into this thing, you basically have a spider web of cables shooting out of every side.
♦ There is no power button which is a little annoying. You have to pull the power cable to turn it off.
♦ Hardware – There are plenty of resources on the Web that give you ideas and quick start guides, so I won’t go into that here. I will just give you my basic setup pieced together mostly by stuff I already had.
1. Raspberry Pi Model B Board (Raspberry Pi Model B Revision 2.0 (512MB)).
2. Raspberry Pi Case (SB Raspberry Pi Case (Clear)).
3. Two Fast SDHC Cards (Transcend 8GB Class 10 SDHC Card (TS8GSDHC10)).
4. A Normal HDMI Cable in an HDMI to DVI converter in the back of my monitor.
5. A Normal Ethernet Cable into the back of my router.
6. A Power Bank plugged into the Mini USB port to power it (just had it laying around, a normal power source will be fine).
7. A USB mouse and keyboard I had laying around.
8. A USB Hub. I tried several that I had laying around and this one was the only one that worked: Tek Republic TUH-200 USB 3.0 +2.0 4 Port Hub.
9. A small speaker block attached via an aux cable (my monitor didn’t have speakers, but not needed if you use a TV and HDMI).
10. An old Windows Media Center USB IR receiver and two different Windows Media Center Remotes.
Like I said before, this was mostly built on stuff that I had laying around at home. I did notice that most of the USB Hubs that I tried were not compatible, so make sure to check Raspberry Pi compatibility lists around the Web if you need to buy some of this equipment.
♦ Setup – First thing I did was follow the quick start guides to prepare and format the cards and plug in all the basic hardware. The best place to start is probably raspberrypi dot org. I downloaded the Raspbian image and the RaspBMC image. There is also a starter image called NOOBS, but I went ahead and skipped that one for now. I imaged the two SDHC cards that I had with the two images and then tried everything out.
♦ Use and Performance (Rasbian) – The Rasbian card started right up with a bunch of text scrolling by on the screen and then went to a configuration screen. I chose some options based on a howtogeek dot com article I read and rebooted. It then came up to a Windows like GUI. I tooled around in it for a little bit and tried a few programs including the built in browser. Network connectivity through the Ethernet port worked perfectly. There was some obvious lag when doing things, but not too bad. I don’t have any experience with Linux, so Rasbian is something I will be experimenting with and learning.
♦ Use and Performance (RaspBMC) – I have toyed with XBMC a little bit, but not a lot. I plugged in the RaspBMC card into the Raspberry Pi and started it up. It booted to a really nice looking XBMC interface and skin. I was surprised how polished it looked. I did immediately notice some lag when moving the mouse around, but I got used to it. I was able to quickly find where you can add network shares and it immediately found the Windws SMB shares that I already have set up for my media. It did a really good job of scraping the movies and added them to the library pretty efficiently. I played some different movies and everything worked perfectly right off the bat. I fully expected to run into video codec problems with my MKV files, but everything worked fine. Navigating was also a little laggy, but not too terrible. I also plugged in an old USB IR receiver from one of my old desktop computer and was surprised to see that it worked immediately with two equally old remotes. I didn’t expect that to work so easily, so that was nice. Video and Audio playback was very good, but at one point I did see some audio lag in one of the 1080p files that I tried out. Overall, I was surprised how polished this XMBC version was and how easy it was to set up.
Overall, the Raspberry Pi was really fun to play with in my initial experimentation. The XMBC version was really nice and the Rasbian GUI looked good. It was a little slower than I had hoped, but I’m sure my expectations were a little too high for such an inexpensive piece of hardware. All in all, I paid about $61 for the board, a case and an SD card, so not bad to tinker around with. I made up the rest of the equipment with stuff I already had. I look forward to learning more about it and experimenting with it going forward. If you are looking for a fun little project computer, this is worth a look. Just don’t expect blazing fast speed.