Why does it not have an enclosure ?
CES 2012 Week The Rapberry Pi Foundation has begun manufacturing its pocket-sized Linux-based micro in volume, with the first batch set to roll off the line by the end of the month. The charity revealed the news this week after finalising payment details, stating its Dyson-esque regret that Raspberry Pi production had to be …
A cluster of RasPi's is known as a Bramble
These look like such fun, I plan to get one just for giggles, I will mainly use it as a media hub behind my TV in the lounge, but hope to just tinker with it for shits and giggles.
If I get it working well as a media hub, I can dispense with the ATX tower I shoehorned behind the TV cabinet.
Power consumption is < 1W at 5V on a micro-USB connector. I plan to use a redundant HTC phone charger.
My home router is behind my TV anyway, so networking is sorted. I have a wireless keyboard with a built in trackpad, connecting via a USB dongle, so that's easy. The RasPi has HDMI1.3, so the telly is plug'n'play.
I think the only thing I might need is a USB hub to connect an external USB HDD at the same time as the keyboard. However if I can get TightVNC running on the RasPi, then I can forgo the keyboard and the hub, and drive it from my laptop.
As for enclosures, the idea is that you build your own (no cooling required!), but the Foundation do plan to sell enclosures in the near future.
If this project takes off, I think there will be a nice market in accessories & expansions etc.
This really is a genius project, and I can't wait to get my hands on one. Takes me back to hacking around with my ZX-81 in the early '80s. This will open up Linux, Python and several other languages to me, as I've become detached from programming over the years. Damn you, Windows 3.1/95/98/2000/XP/Vista/7 !!!!
The whole point is to make them as cheap as possible.
If they'd had to design and manufacture injection molded cases then they'd be more than £23.
There will be enclosures on offer not long after they start selling I suspect, based on discussions people have been having over on the raspberry pi forums.
At a pinch, just make something out of lego :).
They are trying to get people interested in the workings of computers. Inspire a generation etc.
They are also trying to make it cheap. When you are trying to do that, every penny counts and a few quid for an enclosure plus tooling costs etc all adds up.
I expect there will be plenty of people selling cases for them soon enough, and there are a few that you can print on a 3d printer if you have one or get one from Shapeways etc al...
Given that it's intended to be employed in schools then schools can also teach making enclosures in "craft, design and technology" lessons. My school was broke so the most challenging thing we ever made was a vac-form container for an egg-timer, and they couldn't afford the insurance for the workshop so the actual construction was handled by a teacher.
I'm glad it doesn't come with a case - I want to buy a bunch of them and rack mount them in a blade-like chassis. I want to experiment with ARM based clustering and Raspberry Pi seems to have the lowest bang to buck currently available. Its just a shame the boards seem to have their I/O ports spread around the board rather than just front and back, but I think with the GPIO pins and maybe a bit of soldering, this shouldn't be a problem.
Aye, good spot, that is what I meant!
On a related note, I assume the CPU/RAM stack is as susceptible as any other semiconductor. However, I've only ever noticed catastrophic (ie permanently dead) component failures which I may have caused due to ESD. Whilst I'm sure subtle failures can be caused, I would hope the Pi's would not be involved in anything involved in safety-of-life, high-precision or mission critical work, so any odd behaviour will likely be put down to software bugs or the board will be replaced (especially given the low cost).
And don't call me Shirley...
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It is a full blown system. Just needs an OS on an SD card and you can boot Linux. Oh yeah and a keyboard/mouse/monitor unless you are going to run it headless as a low power server...
It will have enough oomph to run an X session so you can use it as a basic computer and learn to program on it.
I was thinking the very same thing. The PFY's of today have an attention span of bored goldfish. If they can't load a pirated game in less than 3 seconds then they are not going to be interested.
I can imagine the feedback "What do you mean, I have to program it?"
Now back in my day, I disassembled a ZX81 to solder on the connections for a joystick so I could actually fly the plane in the program I had just written. It also saved the system crashing when you pressed the keyboard to hard which caused the connection to the 16K ram pack to flex.
Ahhhh. Happy days.
I've a feeling a Wiki will be born based on this....(re-)educating the PFY's and budding BOFH's....
I'm on the dole, but I'm still getting one - for exactly that purpose. Cheap as a Friday night Guinness and a curry...
I applaud them. Good move. Just hope it doesn't go the way of "Tux Droid".
Mine sits forlornely in the corner, waiting a resurrection. (Backup CD went tits-up!)
I still have a home-hacked ISA multi-IO card in my cupboard because I wanted more than 4 IDE devices on my Win95 box.
And when I built a Maplin Speech Synthesiser card for my Vic-20 as a teen, I wanted to use it with my RAM pack, so converted the connector to use the User I/O port instead.
Talking of Commodore, I found a bad request on the Crossrail document portal caused the server to report a Guru Meditation code. :-)
Wait, you're me, I built that VIC20 Talkback kit and converted it for the user port too, I hacked up a few IDE interfaces for 'odd' addresses and had more COM ports than was intended as well.
I must have missed a few dried frog pills if I'm posting here under multiple personalities again.
Learn to code (if you were previously unable to afford a machine).
Put together a browsing machine to hang off the back of your big telly without annoying you with fans or excessive power drain.
Run a very low power home web server or torrent machine.
Have fun and expand ones idea of what computers are beyond the frankly rather tedious Wintel view.
The next big thing (heck, I don't claim to know everything).
Here are plans for a free (as in open source) 3D printer that you can build yourself. It uses a PC for downloading and printing objects. Why not adapt a Raspberry Pi to control it? Less expensive, dedicated, and just plain cool!
Best of all, once you've built your first 3D printer, you can print another 3D printer! :-D
Father-in-law is building a home made CNC router from plans on the web, videos on youtube.
the controlling device is an ex business tower case PC with a Linux install. It's in his workshop where it can suck huge amounts of sawdust through the fans and blow it all through the CPU cooler and PSU.
A Pi would be much more resistant to heat exhaustion due to wood-based asphyxiation and could be mounted on the device itself.
You can bet you will be voted down for that negativity! And I bet I will too as it seems to have attracted quite a fanbois following.
It may be a "cheap Linux box" but I do wonder how it will fare once people get over their excitement and realise that it isn't perfect and "designed to meet costs" introduces inconveniences of use. No case (yet) so build one but no mounting holes to make that easy, wiring and connections coming out of all sides, and then there's the cost of everything else needed to make it work including a TV or HDMI supporting monitor as it does not seem to support VGA.
Having read the latest on the cost of manufacturing I can not understand how anyone could find this out so late in the day and it does cause me some concern. There seems to be many things to finalise and it even appears the boards are to be sold without any warranty as development boards rather than finished product.
think outside the box to think inside......you can mount the board to a box using those wonderful sticky pads. that gives you good control plus a little flex in case you didn't quite gets the holes in the side of the box in the right place.
With regards to the rest, yes this is a development grade product and probably deliberately to encourage people to just have a go. If it came in a highly polished box with all the cables in pretty plastic bags etc etc then the very people it is aimed at would ignore it and the populace would complain as it doesn't run the Internet (or Internet Explorer 236 as it is better known).
It clocks in at around 500bogomips, the Sparc2 I used to do Hubble image deconvolution on 20years ago was around 1/100 of that - so for advanced space research it will be great!
It does anything a Linux PC can do and plays 1080p video with hardware decode if your queue of pre-cospar Hubble images is running low.
Haven't been following this story too closely, till now ... but seeing the spec and price of this beastie makes me wonder how many uses there are out there, which we haven't even throught of yet. The ability to plug a fully-specced *programmable* computer into anything is going to change a lot of things. With local-level processing now available to any peripheral, how much bandwidth can be saved, and networks improved ?
I don't care if these have a case or not - there's plenty of uses for them as they are & I'm intending on getting a couple - one to play with & one to run my weather station.
At the moment the station is running off the back of an ancient itx linux box but one of these would be ideal to replace that box. Not much local storage is needed & the rest is pushed over the ethernet.
Ok, not quite:
The GPIO pin header top-left is a do-not-fit*, the tiny blob of solder between the Raspberry logo and the CPU is a PCB errata fix that won't be on the final units.
The SD card holder may also be different, but that's not shown in the photo.
Other than those minor differences, it's exactly what I'll be buying in a few weeks time.
Yes, the "spider web" form factor is less than perfect, but the connectors (inc SD on the left) nearly fill the edges of the board, so what else could be done?
Expanding the board size would increase the cost, and it would be a shame to lose the RCA Composite video and stereo jack.
*They decided to let the end user solder on the GPIO pin header, as nobody has yet decided whether male, female, up, down or sideways connections is best for daughterboards.
Plus it saves a few cents - thru-hole pin headers are expensive to assemble.
you can get a USB I/O port from maplins for about £10, probably less if you look around the interwebs...
Its designed for the hobbyist so that you can connect sensors and motors... very similar to the USR port on the BBC B !!!
Time to dig out that robot i built for my BBC B when I was still at school, Its still in the attic at my parents home !!
From the looks of it, yes, you will be able to attach motors and sensors and so on, though it won't be as straightforward (in hardware or in software) as an Arduino.
If your goal is to run motors and such from an embedded system with very little in the way of time or effort, an Arduino will probably get you there faster. However, the Raspberry Pi is a much more sophisticated platform; if you want something that has a lot more grunt, or you want to run code from a full-fledged computer rather than a microcontroller with no keyboard or video, the Raspberry Pi is definitely the way to go.
I very much want to get my hands on one of these, though I don't anticipate it will replace my Arduino boards.
Of course, yes.....furrows - farm - make my own server farm.
At that sort of price it's a natural for hosting game servers et al to run COD sessions etc etc... and in their spare time it's a stack of World Community Grid cores.....should boost me in the Vulture Central rankings
I suspect a lot of the "why doesn't it have...?" crowd are the same that expected a low-cost Linux netbook to be capable of everything that a top spec desktop machine running Windows would do, totally missing the point that it's intended for a different job.
In this case, I suspect the Pi will be used for all sort of little jobs, at which it will excel compared to a desktop PC running Windows.
Don't run them continuously though, they're obviously intended to be run at approximately 22/7, not 24/7...
Probably only old farts like me would actually get the joke, but good effort.
Actually, I built a crystal set(!) when I was about 10 yrs old, and fitted it in a large plastic bowl about 20 sizes too big for it. I could get the BBC light programme and even Radio Luxembourg. The best bit was my step-father trying to teach me to speak morse code (dit-dah) in the same way that he did during his National Service training as a signaller.
Kids today don't know what fun is!
Several of these, a few freecycle tellies, myth tv and/or Synergy and I'll have a lovely wall at last!
If RaspberryPI can do this for the price why do I have to pay considerably more for mass produced devices? 4 off these costs less than a ton yet has more processing power of a £500 'phone'.
Screen (biggie), extra memory, patent/ license fees for various things, telephony chips and radios, battery, integration costs and testing.
I can't imagine the processor is actually that big a cost out of the £500, although a modern armv7 will be quite a bit more than the armv5 they are using here.
I believe that one of the things keeping the costs of these down are that a couple of the broadcom chips that power the device are being sold to the project at manufacturing cost, as an employee or two of broadcom are working on the project.
I do wonder if this could be adapted into a basic android phone somehow. Anyone know how expensive telephony radios/ processors are?
I think there's more to making a GSM/PCN/3G/etc phone than just the chippery, which isn't available to Joe Public (or even via normal commercial channels such as RS, Farnell, Digi-Key, etc) anyway. The RF side of things isn't simple, and afaik there's the small matter of product certification. Just a guess though. Better buying a PAYG phone for something to play with. For now anyway.
On the other hand, a Gert-board or similar RF addon for an unlicensed or permissively-licenced waveband (is that still the expression) might be interesting. What's the state of play of 433MHz low power radio these days? Is it still usable in urban areas with all this powerline Ethernet kit splatting everywhere?
I love how all the fanbois kept shouting that the price wont increase and this will be the real final price blah blah. And then gradually they've worked in extortionate shipping prices and then 'oh and remember that doesn't include tax' and 'oh remember that doesn't include blah blah blah'.
By the time they've finished all the 'oh and don't forget' costs, we'll be paying 2-3 times the original quoted price.
Oh and thanks for the update which pretty much repeats what was said in the previous story about this equipment :)
The Raspberry Foundation is a not-for-profit charity, so don't bleat on about price gouging. Shipping prices will be kept down, tax is unavoidable, and the Foundation discovered that importing the components and assembling in the UK would attract a lot of import tax. That's why the manufacture has been moved overseas, to keep costs down.
Would you rather they said £99 up front and stuck to it? At £99 it would still be a remarkable achievement.
Unit: $35 = £22.84 to £23.36*
VAT @ 20%: £4.57 to £4.62
Postage: £1.58 (1st class) or £2.35 (1st class tracked)**
Handling (eg CC fee, box): £1 (estimate)
Total: £29.99 to £31.38
*Today's XE and Post Office rates.
**From the Post Office - anywhere in the UK, including the Highlands and Islands, Scilly Isles, and the Isle of Man.
To those moaning about PSU, SD Card, mouse, keyboard & display - at no point did the "quote" ever even hint at including any of those.
If you follow the link to the Raspberry Pi site, one of the main reasons they can't produce it in the UK are the tax laws, that charge for importing components and building here, but not for assembling the entire thing elsewhere and importing it. This is madness, it's preventing them from keeping the jobs in the UK. There's a bit of a campaign starting on their blog posts to highlight this to the government and try to get it changed. I think it's something The Register should get behind.
http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/509 - the blog post detailing the tax problem
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/27158 - Government E-Petition
I wonder how much they would cost if they had decided to manufacture in the UK. I can (kind of) understand Dyson's POV where a 20% increase in costs would add to an already expensive product, but the same kind of percentage increase here would make a much smaller total difference.
I know they are going for cheap-cheap-cheap, but I can't help thinking that it would have been much better if the board that was designed in Britain, and will be used by a generation of British kids was actually built and engineered in Britain too - something to be a little bit proud of, perhaps.
Bad form to repy to one's own post, I know. But as the commenter below me, and a very enlightening article on the RaspPi website says, there seems to be a typically British tax law that penalises anyone wanting to manufacture electronic systems in the UK. I would encourage anyone that has the slightest interest re-igniting Britain's once world-class manufacturing industry to sign the petition in the post below.
Looking at the threads on the Pi forum it seems they are claiming it would cost around £5 more per board to produce in the UK but that doesn't seem to be entirely due to tax and/or duty as that's cited as 2.5% which would be less than 40p per board ( model A ).
The real problem looks to be UK assemblers charging £4.60+ more per board than far eastern counterparts.
So I have a PC behind my TV running MAME and a couple of home made joystick boards. Baesd on the number of low powered old games that I play (Invaders, Asteroids), it will be interesting to see this board fired up to play Mame.
Then I could build the entire system into the underside of a joystick board.
Standard HDMI connector, onboard video decodes at 1080p 60Hz no problem. Will play back video at that rate while consuming less than 1 watt and generating next to no heat.
There's also a video showing it playing Quake 3 Arena at about 20fps too. Apparently it can perform faster but there was a problem with a specific library holding it back.
I expect MAME would be a walk in the park for the Pi, looking forward to that too.
Just an idea... After the initial manufacturing run, why not offer the A+B versions for sale as UKA+UKB also? Manufactured in the UK, would cost more (~£5?) but you would have the choice to buy British if you wanted and have your Pi with 'Designed and Built in the UK" on the PCB. Shirley any purchases for UK schools etc would go for one of these and would also serve to highlight the cost differences which could then be discussed and brought to the attention of the Govt. Would be interesting to see what difference the price would make to the demand of the UK and non-UK versions. Waiting for my RasPi model UKB
You see, the whopping extra £5 or so the tax payer could choose to pay for a UK built version goes towards:-
a) UK taxes on imported components.
b) Paying for it to built by a UK company which pays UK taxes.
c) Built by UK workers who pay UK taxes.
d) Being proud to be British.
Also, I'm sure most people in the here would buy a UK version. You never know, you may get a fair few overseas sales too. Its a win all-round IMHO. Lets just have the choice.
You sir are a buffoon.
Look, if some of you people took the time to read about the device and the ethos behind it, it would perhaps eventually dawn on you that these things are aimed fairly and squarely at school children. Not for hobbyists or engineers or any other adequately paid contributor to these pages but school children. I take it you've heard about them before, people that have little income of their own to splash out on patriotic gestures be it to British industry or UK tax. The idea is, and always was, to produce the device at the lowest price possible thereby enabling education establishments to provide children with a programming/development platform. So cheap in fact that it could be viable to give it free of charge, depending on the schools budget.
If you want to contribute to to the treasury, gift them a fiver when you buy your own.
A see-through case might not be quite as drop-proof, but who cares -- seeing the bits inside makes it much more appealing to youngsters.
(I have a limited-edition Psion Organiser II with see-through casing, and just looking at it makes me want to write OPL.)
First of all you can most likely fit it into any standard plastic case which you can get for free from companies making plastic cases. (If they believe you might buy a couple of dozends eventually)
Second, that board gets much of its value from not having a pre-made case. It means you can put it into just about any case. It can be anything, from a simple embedded module, to a palmtop. Just put it into whatever case you want.
I'm sure within months people will come up with all sorts of cases for it. For me, I'd prefer a little palmtop case where I could put in a small LCD and keyboard.
As other posters have said, so many things this could be used for. The fact it comes without a case only makes it more useful - think about plugging in sensors to record temperature, pressure, light, movement.
Then you can start building programmable heated coffee mugs, toasters, remote control toys, lamps, blinds... basically think of any piece of furniture or dumb gadget you have and how it could be improved if you were able to add a computer, or program it with some complex instructions - without having to buy an expensive off-the-shelf solution.
This could spur a whole new generation of inventors... the only danger is becoming a generation of bankrupts who got sued for some kind of patent infringement for doing something obvious *with a computer*.
in my company, which has major hubs in the UK, NY and Singapore, we get the majority of our product from China, because it is cheaper and suppliers seems to react faster. On the flipside, i have a contract in SG atm because there has been a growing number of counterfeit products coming through.... they are getting better and better too.
"We don't shift our production to China because it would be more expensive and the turnaround times are so much higher."
Germany does a great many things better than UK plc of late.
The Raspberry Pi folks report that the UK manufacturers could offer fast turnround but there was a very significant price penalty to pay. That's the way UK management sees "markets" - scalp for revenue, forget fair and reasonable leading to loyalty.
Not that it's the entire reason and not to disagree with you entirely but there's those damn yooman rights, scads of environmental legislation and elfin safety laws in the UK that the far eastern manufacturers seem to play fast and loose with to add to the cost as well, not to mention the ludicrous tax laws.
A nasty, cynical person might also suggest that some 'UK' assemblers would ship the stuff off to the far east to be stuck together too and just make a profit on the handling for little actual effort.
"Most people when given the choice, buy the cheapest. It's human nature."
Most people aren't given the chance to make a fully informed choice. It's the inhuman nature of the advertising/marketing business.
E.g. suppose Tesco sells their own brand Widget X for £20, made in China.
Aldi/Lidl sells something comparable with Widget X, made in EU. Suppose it's £22.
Which do you think sensible fully informed people might buy?