Monday, January 26, 2015

Raspberry Pi B+, the Unboxing!

A month or so ago I posted a link to a guy that built a really cool retro console emulator using a Raspberry Pi. It was so cool I made a couple impulse buys on Amazon and before you know it I had my very own Raspberry Pi B+. I also bought a couple retro controllers because what's the point of emulating ExciteBike if you're going to play with it on your keyboard?

Anyhoo, here's what the box looks like. This is my first Raspberry Pi so I probably went overboard, I bought the CanaKit ultimate starter kit. I was afraid of getting halfway into my build and finding out I was missing some stupid switch or something. $59.99 on Amazon right now.

The first thing I noticed was how small the case it came with is (Lego Spider-Man for scale). I knew these things were small but I had no idea it was THIS small. My biggest concern at this point is once all the cables are plugged in this box is going to look kinda silly.

The power adapter is just like a cell phone charger. It even uses a micro USB connector.

Oh crap, I have no idea what these are.

Ditto on all these wires

And here's where I feel like I might be in over my head. I haven't soldered anything since I was in high school.

Still feeling in over my head.

At least I recognize these cables.

So here's where the magic happens... kind of. The Raspberry doesn't have a hard drive so everything loads off a MicroSD card. I have a couple 2gig ones but the Ultimate kit included an 8gig one with the operating system pre-installed. Look at how tiny this thing is. It holds more info than what, 7,000 floppies?

This is a very small wireless adapter yet I'm kind of disappointed in it. I wish it was either built onto the motherboard or was oriented differently, maybe vertically? I don't know, before I saw all the wires and diodes this thing came with connecting this baby to my wireless network was my biggest fear. I'm hoping this thing is plug and play but I have a bad feeling about this.

Here's the actual guts. Again, it's hard to explain just how small this thing is. It's no bigger than my cell phone.

Here's a better look at the power plug, the HDMI connector and a 1/8th inch jack that handles both video and audio in case you need to plug in a pair of headphones or hook this up to something that doesn't take HDMI. An HDMI cable was included but no adapter for this.

Pretty standard 10/100 network connector and 4 USB hubs.

The cutest little heatsink I've ever seen. It's like half an inch by half an inch. I've read that unless you plan on overclocking the pi this is pretty unnecessary but the case has plenty of vertical room so I'll probably use it.

That's pretty much it, sorry it's a bit anticlimactic at the end. I didn't even try putting it together after I opened everything up. I spent most of my free time on Sunday watching instructional videos on youtube. It looks like putting it together is a snap and all the diodes and switches are totally unnecessary for what I want to do with it. I'd like this whole enterprise to go as smooth as possible so I'm going to take my time reading more on RetroPie (the emulation software I want to run) and the controllers I bought before putting it all together. If everything goes right I should be looking at this boot up screen in the next few days:

I'll try and keep everyone up to date on how it goes.


Anonymous said...

I recently soldered a few replacement capacitors into my TV (thanks for nothing Samsung). I could totally help you screw this up if you need soldering stuff.




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