Raspberry Pi 2: We're Giving Away 50 Units!!! - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Raspberry Pi 2: We're Giving Away 50 Units!!!

Author: iamashwin99

Creation date:

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?: Banana pro

What were the biggest problems encountered?: 1)Getting the correct offset for the overscan values. 2)The difference in physical numbering and BCM numbering of the GPIO put forth some trouble at the beginning.

Detailed Review:

The brand new version 2.0 of raspberry PI announced on 5 Feb,2015 is making some noise every where in the SBC community. So let’s see what it’s all about.

My review will cover the following parts


1)About it

2) potential issues

3)Starting up the pi

4)Conclusion

5)What are other options

6)my project

1) About it


The ultra-low-cost,cards sized Linux computer has had yet another makeover, this time the The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is on a completely new level to its predecessors by being a staggering 6x faster than the Raspberry Pi Model B+. Also due to the same footprint as Rev 1.0 , it's conveniently compatible with all B+ accessories.  Some of it's enhanced features compared with previous generation are as follows :

  • 6x Faster BCM2836 ARMv7 Quad Core Processor at 900MHz powered SBC  powered SBC 
  • Double Memory 1GB RAM present in Rpi2 is twice its predecessor so you can now run bigger and more powerful applications
  • 4 USB ports so you can add even more peripherals at a time. PI now provide up to 1.2 Amp combined to all 4 of the USB ports – enabling you to connect more power hungry USB devices directly to the Raspberry PI. (This feature requires a 2Amp micro USB Power Supply)
  • Support for official WINDOWS 10,

 

2) Potential Issues


Some of the potential issues with that Board are as follows :

  • The underside of the board has a couple more protrusions and may cause a snugger fits than desired in some third-party cases. Close-fitting cases might have a problem, since some of the surface mount components have moved.(It happened to me, I had ordered a B+ case)


  • The recommended OS of choice, rasbian has been rebuilt to support arm7 but it doesn't seem to be compiled natively for arm7 , it might compromise for some performance.The solution however might come in the future as a fully supported image for rasbian

 

  • Most importantly a Glitch which has nicknamed pi 2 as CAMERA SHY ! has been found. It turns out that if you try and take a photo of the Raspberry Pi 2 using a certain type of camera, it crashes and turns off. Any cameras with a Xenon flash flash trigger a reaction in a chip on the Raspberry Pi.U16 SMPS chip on the exposed computer's circuit board seems to be sensitive to light and poorly shielded, so when the camera's flash triggers, it causes the entire device to crash.The solution to this problem would be covering the said part with Blu-Tack alternatives like black vinyl insulating tape, opaque epoxy, hot glue or RTV may also be used


  • GPIO pins put up a voltage of 3.3V but many peripheral need 5V for their working so it comes as a little trouble.


  • All of the GPIO pins are digital pins i.e they can send high low signals or receive them but some times use of analog inputs are inevitable .The possible solution would be to use ADC's (analog to digital converter) like MCP30008 .



3)Starting up the pi

I did not have a spare hdmi display or the one with RCA , so I decided to install it in a headless mode so i will put up instruction on how i went about doing it.

3A-Requirements

Rpi2

SD card

SD card  reader

A computer connected to internet

Ethernet connection

3B-Pre-install

1.  Download and prepare NOOBS on a sufficiently large SD card, 4 GB or greater.

      (This includes formatting the sd and copy pasting the noobs files inside the sd)

2. In the os folder on the SD card with NOOBS, delete all folders except Raspbian (This include folders like Arch, RaspBMC, Pidora Data_Partition if any of     them are present)

3.

Edit file \os\Raspbian\flavours.json, so it only contains the desired version of Raspbian, "Raspbian" (not "Raspbian - Boot to Scratch").

4.

  1. Edit file recovery.cmdline (in root) to insert silentinstall to the arguments list.

    Before:

     runinstaller quiet vt.cur_default=1 coherent_pool=6M elevator=deadline 

    After:

    runinstaller quiet vt.cur_default=1 coherent_pool=6M elevator=deadline silentinstall

 

5. Insert the Sdcard into the pi. Power the Raspberry Pi on to start the installation. And wait! This can take a while, like half an hour or more.

 

3C-Post Install

 

1. Insert the sd back into your pc and

In file cmdline.txt (in folder boot off the root of the SD card) add this at the end of the long line:

ip=169.254.0.2

The end result may be something like:

dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p6 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait ip=ip=169.254.0.2

Save the file and remove the sd card insert it into pi and power it up.

Connect Rpi and your PC using an ethernet cable  . Your PC should detect the new network.

 

 

2(For windows only). Download and run putty from Download PuTTY - a free SSH and telnet client for Windows

   and Download and run http://sourceforge.net/projects/xming/ from the Xming site.

2(forlinux) linux already has a SSH client so no need to download any additional files

 

3.In Putty configuration find Connection-->SSH-->X11 and tick X11 forwarding

puttycongif-x11.png?w=300&h=266

4.Entern the session settings of putty and enter the ip address that you had inserted in the step 1 above (192.168.1.69 is displayed in the pic)

puttyconfig.png?w=300&h=266

And then select save and give all this settings a name.

Click open.

If all goes well you should be prompted to type the username and password (ignore the first warning by clicking yes)

 

5.Congratulation you have setup your pi in a headless installation.

the display in black background and white text is the terminal access. type in any command you want in it such as raspi-config

ssh-raspi-config.png

 

or type in the name of a program such as scratch and you will get a new window with the program running in it

 

Sources:

  1. NOOBS at GitHub, sub section How to Automatically Install an OS
  2. Raspberry Pi Remote Connections – Without A Network!.

 



4)Conclusion

Raspberry Pi 2 essentially solves the biggest problem that limited past hardware by adopting a quad-core processor. These changes offer greater capabilities, while still keeping the same form factor, the same price point and backward compatibility with the existing Raspberry Pi. It also starts up much faster than older versions, and feels much more responsive to user input than before. It'll definitely make the company’s target of three million units shipped this year eminently achievable.The Raspberry Pi 2 is no match for cutting-edge PCs, but the fact that it remains at a price point of about $35/£25 makes it possibly the best value computing device around.

 

5)What are other options

After the emergence of the first SBC, several others have appeared in the community some of the very interesting ones with notable  difference with pi2 are listed below

*Banana pro: Banana pro has ARM CortexA7 Dual core running at 1 GHz, has built in bluetooth,wifi, IR receiver,microphone, slot for SATA drive cost@$68

*Orange pi: Has onboard 8GB EMMC Flash, Onboard WIFI,IR receiver, slot for SATA drive @ $ 59.00

 

*Odroid-C1 1.5Ghz quad core CPU , Infrared(IR) Receiver @ $35.00

 

 

6)My Project with pi

I plan to make a multimeter(a cheaper alternative to fluke multimeter or so) with logging capabilities and to produce graphical data about the variation in the input value and uploading the result to a server finally obtaining  a graphical representation of the variation

I would use an ADC such as MCP3008 to measure voltage (after splitting the voltage using resistors) and use the time taken to charge a cap to measure the resistance using this idea

 

Im halfway through the project and will post it at element14 forum latter.

Anonymous