Let’s take a closer look at the awesomeness that is the Raspberry Pi 3!
A few weeks back some of the Afrihost Crew got their hands on the new Raspberry Pi 3 to tinker, build and hack some awesome things!
Here are my impressions and a quick-ish unboxing of what you get in the package, how to setup the basic Noobs OS and what you can potentially use the Pi 3 for.
Let’s unbox the Raspberry Pi 3
It was a bunch of fun filming this! Spoiler alert, unfortunately Gian hasn’t provisioned drone deliveries just yet, but there’s a gap in the market here – your next router could come via drone 😉
So delivery over, I cracked open the boxes and started figuring things out. If you’re already itching to get your hands on a Pi – you’re in luck! You can WIN your very own, go and enter our competition.
The learning curve
I’ve spent some time with the Arduino and setup some super advanced engineering things like having the LED blink a bit, going as far as setting up a switch to make different LEDs do different things. Needless to say, it’s well over my head and a huge learning curve for me. Fun nonetheless, but I had some pretty daunting expectations when the Raspberry Pi 3 did arrive. After a bit of reading though, the setup went incredibly smoothly. Noobs OS was up and running within about 15 mins and boom – there’s your fully fledged computer.
Being an avid user of Ubuntu and Debian desktops for some time I felt right at home.
Obviously there’s a whole lot more to the Raspberry Pi 3 than Noobs OS and Raspbian. The use cases for this thing are practically endless – we’re exploring lots of really cool projects, so keep checking back! You can setup anything from a stand alone desktop to the most intricate home automation node and eve a small server.
Because the Pi is so popular, user documentation online is amazing. Chances are that if you’ve thought of a use case for your Pi, someone has done the project along with some masterful documentation. A good example of this is what’s called a magic mirror. I have bookmarked two write-ups which I’ll be attempting as soon as I can somehow prioritise a list of things to do first and last with the Pi, or get more Pis!
Image from michaelteeuw.nl
The biggest differences between the Pi 3 and the Pi 2 is the additional of WiFi and Bluetooth. Having these built into the Pi (whereas the Pi 2 you’d need add-ons for it to work) creates huge benefits for connectivity.
The full spec list on the Raspberry Pi 3 is as follows:
SoC: Broadcom BCM2837
CPU: 4× ARM Cortex-A53, 1.2GHz
GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV
RAM: 1GB LPDDR2 (900 MHz)
Networking: 10/100 Ethernet, 2.4GHz 802.11n wireless
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.1 Classic, Bluetooth Low Energy
GPIO: 40-pin header, populated
Ports: HDMI, 3.5mm analogue audio-video jack, 4× USB 2.0, Ethernet, Camera Serial Interface (CSI), Display Serial Interface (DSI)
Taken from raspberrypi.org
Wrapping things up
I’ve had the Pi 3 for a good few weeks. With the exception of setting up the unboxing and installing Raspbian I’ve also setup an HTPC with OpenELEC, an ad blocker and my most recent (and probably the longest) adventure of setting up some home automation tools with OpenHAB.
I’m trying to document as much as possible to post up here, and I think the guys in the team are doing the same – so you’ll want to keep checking back to the blog for more updates.
Our team is hacking through some pretty amazing projects, so be sure to keep checking back for articles on those!
Oh! You can always WIN your own Raspberry Pi 3 by entering our giveaway right here on the blog. Head over to the giveaway page for more details, entries close at midnight on 31 May 2016.