RoadTest: The Ultimate Raspberry Pi Bundle
Evaluation Type: Independent Products
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: null
What were the biggest problems encountered?: Mostly finding the time to read and review the instructions to get the products working. There are alot of tutorials out there, but I have a problem of not just getting it to work but i try to figure out how it works.
The Ultimate Raspberry pi Bundle
This was such an exciting Road Test for me. I wasn't expecting that I would be chosen from all the applications that were submitted but with much gratitude I was.
The road test included a Raspberry Pi users DREAM of products: the chipkit, embedded pi, piFace digital, with piFace Digital LCD, and PiRack, (which in itself is an amazing addition to any raspberry pi!) the famous Gertboard, the raspberry pi camera module, Adafruits 16x2 RGB LCD, the xbmc bundle, and of course a Raspberry Pi which no ultimate bundle would be complete without It also came with some other very useful products like a pro-typing PCB, and the Adafuit pi cobbler, and the wi pi giving my pi wireless access. I have had so much fun learning how to use each product and trying to figure out how to incorporate them into my project.
What i liked:
Of course this bundle is ULTIMATE! It really is what every Raspberry pi enthusiast would want! I am not going to lie when i got the box in the mail it was honestly better then Christmas. If you check out my first blog post you can watch a video of me unboxing all the goodies!
When I first started testing and diving in the products i was very pleased that the raspberry pi came with an 8 GB SD card pre-loaded with noobs on it. I found that this made my life so much easier when i first needed to set up my raspberry pi for testing with all the products. I also found VERY useful was the qwerty keyboard/track-pad that came with the xbmc bundle. (HONESTLY the xbmc bundle would be nothing without it! Yet with it, it makes using the XBMC so easy to use and quit enjoyable on your raspberry pi!) It also made setting up/using my raspberry pi so much easier. All I needed to do was plug in the wipi and the SINGLE USB dongle that comes with the keyboard and BAM! super simple. No having to find a USB hub just so i could plug in the wipi then a separate keyboard and separate mouse.
Something that i think is worth mentioning about all of these products, and why they all are very awesome! Is the fact that each is so compatible with the Raspberry Pi, that no matter which product you use for your next project. It is going to make you life/time so much easier, because in some instances it is as easy as plugging it in downloading/writing some code and your up and running! Really "EASY AS PI!"
Gertboard: Very Awesome! it has a wide range of functions that it can do. It has a motor driver on it. An Atmel atmega micro-controller that you can program separate scripts on and have it communicate with your pi. It extends I/O on your pi. Has buttons and leds that can be programmed.
ChipKit Pi: Simliar to the Gertboard. Not as many i/o but same has a PIC micro-controller that you can program to run it's own code have it communicate with the pi. If I wouldn't of ran out of time i would have used the Chipkit to run dozens of LED's, honestly the chipkit could handle it and so much more.
Embedded Pi: Very similar to both the ChipKit Pi and the GertBoard used to expand I/O, also has a atmega that you can program. This one is very unique in the fact that you can use it to connect any ARDUINO shield to your raspberry pi. For example lets say you might already have some Arduino shield that you want to incorparate with you raspberry the embedded pi can make this happen.
NOTE: The Gertboard ChipKit Pi and the Embedded Pi all have female GPIO headers that match exactly the Raspberry pi gipo headers therefore you can plug them directly on the pi or use them all if you used a pi Rack. These three boards are so great you could actually use them stand alone of a raspberry pi, but i believe to get the full potential out of any of these boards would be to companion them up with a Raspberry pi. They are truly amazing and will help make project so much better.
PiFAce Digital, PiRack, and Display with Control: These three products are amazing! the pi face digital opens up so many possibilities to the pi. Then when you add the pi rack so you can put on multiple piFaces and the display it really opens up the possibilities for any raspberry pi project. I think that if you are going to buy any of the expansions for your raspberry pi the piRack is a must it always you to simply just plug in instead of worry about which GPIO pin goes where. These products were easy to use and very helpful.
PI Camera Module: It is so incredibly easy to use and i had so much testing it. A must for the pi! There are so many uses for the camera module.
All Adafruit Products: I am very impressed with the LCD module it was so easy to use, Programming it is so easy I actually found it easier to use then the pi face LCD. I love how it is RGB so the back light can basically be any color you want it to be which adds a very cool effect to any project. The pi cobbler makes protyping so easy especially when using a solder less breadboard.
Dislikes: I really only had one complaint with the whole bundle and that was the lack of power cords. I would suggest at least sending the right power cord for the Pi Rack that would have made building this project a lot nicer.
This is the link to my First blog post:The Ultimate Raspberry Pi Bundle PI DozerPost 1
Second post:The Ultimate Raspberry Pi bundle Pi Dozer Post 2
Stay tuned for the Third Blog Post! It will hold more details on the build.
Pi Dozer in Action!
Here are link to the products I Tested if you notice very HELPFUL datasheets and instructions are linked to the products pages.