Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards
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?: Aurduino, Raspberry Pi Camera
What were the biggest problems encountered?: Finding time to put things together... Delivery time for some of the extra items needed.
I am writing this review before I have completed building what I wanted to build.
I felt I needed to provide some feedback even though I have some way to go.
I put 2 possible projects down when entering the road test, I will discuss these in turn.
I hit some delays as I was tied up on another project and extra components needed ordering - some were shipped from China (you cannot trust location information on ebay).
I am still short of one item needed to make a waterproof camera box.
First of all, I discovered I was not doing anything new.
There are a wealth of articles out there on how do do almost anything with a Raspberry Pi.
This means my focus shifted to re-using existing applications to achieve my aim.
Some general comments about the new version of the Raspberry Pi:
It boots fast and is really quick - I saw no performance issues with all I did.
Using the standard software means you can be up and running, connected to WiFi very quickly.
I ordered the new Pi camera module to use with this and that is also really good.
My challenge was to be able to use the Raspberry Pi, with a camera Module outside - hopefully as a self powered installation.
This meant creating a waterproof case and stand-alone PSU.
Use a water proof solar power battery unit.
Main problem is the Raspberry Pi does not have a very low power mode.
My planned solution was to use an Arduino (Pro Mini) to turn the Raspberry Pi on at predefined intervals.
If the power Led is disconnected, the Arduino can be configured to run in a very low power mode and wake every 8 seconds.
After a number of 8 second intervals, I would operate a relay, which powers the Raspberry Pi.
The raspberry Pi would boot up, then take a picture, set a lead high to indicate to the arduino, it is shutting down, the shut down.
When the raspberry Pi shuts down, the signal to the arduino would go low, indicating the relay can be turned off and the low power cycle can resume.
I discovered that the Solar Cell / Battery unit would not stay on - it just won't work in this way. (I think it has a power converter circuit to generate the output voltage).
The theory would work, but I would need bigger batteries or a more complicated solar cell / battery solution.
As I was thinking garden use - then running a wire to the unit from a PSU inside is an option.
For safety this would be 9 or 12 Volts.
I made up a simple regulator and connector so the raspberry pi can be fed with 5 Volts
An alternative could be to run a data cable and use a pair of "Passive Power over Ethernet" adapters to insert / extract the power.
The Housing or case looks like this.
My plan is the camera mount will be glued to the inside of one of the holes.
On the outside, I need to have some optically clear glass, which can be glued in place to may it waterproof.
The photo shows a piece of screen protector, I ordered a Camera UV Filter and found when it arrived 3 weeks later it was not going to fit.
Also show in place but not fitted is a PIR detector.
This is something I may use, so it can used as a wildlife recorder as well as a time lapse camera.
I will continue with this projrct as time permits.
Application 2 - Display Screen for a Foyer
I have got a demo working of this and plan to deploy it.
My thinking here is that the content should be on-line so it can be updated without need to physically update the device.
I found others have done this before me.
There are applications that will display a set of images from a folder.
This would mean creating scripts to download and refresh the display.
One drawback is that unless there is some user input, then screen saver will cut in and blank the dsplay.
I then came across something called fullpageos.
My plan is to use the fullpageos application, with it displaying pages that are held on a wordpress website.
I have proved the concept, I just need to finish the configuration.
On the wordpress site, I am creating a blank page template, (no menus etc) on which is displayed a "Slider" that displays content - a slide show of images / videos in turn.
The raspberry pi, will boot up and the fullpageos application will display my web page, the slide show content can be easily be edited on the website.
My conclusions - this new raspberry Pi works well, the WiFi has worked without any problems and you can find lots of examples out there to base your own projects on.