I am compiling a list of add-ons and accessories for the Raspberry Pi. I will just keep expanding this post so please note the update date.
- Battery Powered Pi – I ordered the battery pack on accident and it turned out to be one of the coolest things. It has plenty of power for any project you are attempting and two ports to hookup extra devices. It has a status indicator so you know where you are on power and a nice on and off button (I know this sounds trivial but when you are testing something, it is frustrating to keep yanking the cord. I have used it to watch complete movies with my Raspbmc Pi and I still had 2/3 bars. I tried to do some “scientific” study to see exactly how long it would run for and then my Android timer ran out of batters. In the picture, you can see all the Pi lights going and the 3 lights indicating the battery level on the batter (the fourth light is just to indicate on/off). I normally rubber band it to a hard case and just go mobile.
- iPad XBMC Remote – I can hear the screams now – this isn’t specific enough to Pi. Sure, but it makes navigation super simple and is well worth the free download from app store. The seeking works so much better than the attempted fast forward through my remote.
- Aeon Labs Z-stick S2 – Most of you know my feelings on this one – it has been working for months and is super solid with little headache to install.
- GPS logger with gpsd – The thing is 10-15 years old and has a dried up suction cup on the end but still combines with gpsd and the package of gps-clients to do some pretty cool stuff.
- Quality Cases – They are two pieces of molded/injected plastic that snap together and work perfectly. They come with screws to mount version 2 boards.
- Easy Case – This case came free with a Raspberry Pi that I bought on eBay. It is a little large, but it provides a stable shell for tinkering with 2 pies (bottom and top split).
- Cheap Wifi from Amazon ($5-7ish) – These little adapters have been pretty solid. I have used them on Raspbian and Raspbmc without a problem (only exception is Chinese Pi required a hub to work consistently).
- Raspberry Pi Cobbler Break Out Board – The concept is pretty simple and I know you can easily due without but for the $7.95, life is a lot easier with this break out board.
Favorite Raspberry Pi Resources
- This guy. For some reason, the picture in the header bothers me a little bit and makes me not want to like what he wants to tell me – but the dude is always right. His blogs are always full of information and his WiringPi Library is great. Seriously, one of my favorites places to stumble in the Raspberry Pi community.
- Puzzle Cases – (Picture) Yeah it is cool to think that some young kid is cutting them out with their homemade CNC router, but in reality that is not happening and they require a ton of extra care and patience I don’t have. I had the first case for 5 minutes before I cracked off one of its puzzle arms. I had actually read the instructions and the warning that they were fragile. The second one, I was able to put together (correction, Alison was able to put together – I had dumped them in the trash). Even when you put them together perfectly, it doesn’t hold the Pi in place. I would actually argue that the Crystal Light containers with a hole for the hdmi in the side works better.
- Cheap Bluetooth dongles – I think everyone is getting lucky on these but me. I ordered the 1~2 pack of three and they work ok on some boards but not consistently. I feel bad putting them in this category because there are a lot of other factors that could be causing my poor experience with these bluetooth dongles. (I have tried upgrading kernel, switching boards, changing cmdline.txt to limit speed and I have used a couple of different power supplies.)
- SD Extension Cable – I wanted to put a Pi in a lamp and call it my LAMP server. I thought it would be cool to change out the sd cards without having to open up the lamp each time so I jumped on eBay and ordered an ‘extension cable’ for $15.00. Looked cool but all I got was disk read errors. I tried multiple cards with no luck.
- SainSmart Relay – super cheap from Amazon and gave me my first opportunity to play with a relay. It is currently used in my home automation project to open and close the garage door from our phones which is nice when we go out to exercise and don’t want to carry another device. I need to put some kind of status feed back in place, but for now we just have a camera that shows us the current state when we hit the control panel.
- Cheap Stepper Motor Kit – I have not fully explored all possibilities with this expansion board but the assembly was a fun project. I installed wiringPi GPIO library and ran the following bash script to see the magic:
#!/bin/bash gpio mode 4 out && gpio mode 5 out && gpio mode 6 out && gpio mode 7 out gpio write 4 0 && gpio write 5 0 && gpio write 6 0 && gpio write 7 0 while true do gpio write 4 1 && gpio write 7 1 gpio write 7 0 && gpio write 5 1 gpio write 4 0 && gpio write 6 1 gpio write 5 0 && gpio write 7 1 gpio write 6 0 done