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Hands-on with the Raspberry Pi Model B+

Posted by Jerry Hannan Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Hands-on with the Raspberry Pi Model B+

There accept been a several absorbing new accouterments announcements from the Raspberry Pi Foundation this year.  Sometimes I admiration how they do it all - with so abundant captivation in education, development of new accouterments and software, and the abounding Pi user groups and events. It absolutely is absolutely impressive.


On the accouterments advanced this year they accept released:

  • April: Compute Module, the operational audacity of a Raspberry Pi repackaged assimilate an SODIMM board
  • July: Model B+, a physically bigger and added adaptation of the Raspberry Pi Type B
  • November: Model A+, a smaller, lower-power, lower-price adaptation of the Raspberry Pi Type A

For this column I am attractive at the Model B+ board, which is an all-around bigger architecture over the aboriginal Model B.  The B+ retains basal affinity with the B, including the aforementioned CPU, GPU and memory, and it still runs the aforementioned software. But it has the afterward improvements:

  • Four USB ports
  • Micro SD aperture (the A+ additionally has this)
  • 40-pin GPIO (the A+ additionally has this)
  • Composite video achievement alloyed with Audio jack
  • Lower ability consumption
  • Improved lath design

Even added acceptable account - the nominal amount remained the aforementioned ($35), but at atomic in Switzerland the B+ absolutely costs a bit beneath (CHF 38.30 vs. 42.90). It's accessible to see why I couldn't abide acclimation one!

While the anatomic improvements are good, and important, it's the concrete improvements that are my favorites. The anamnesis agenda has been afflicted from a accepted SD to a Micro SD, the adapter from a friction-fit (push and pray) to a push-push (click-in/click-out), and the agenda no best protrudes so far above the bend of the case.

The USB connectors accept been confused aback so that they are alike with the bend of the lath (I never accepted why they were not to activate with, it charge be some array of actual quirk). There are four ascent holes places in a nice approved aboveboard layout, admitting the aboriginal B lath has alone two ascent holes placed acutely randomly. This makes it easier to architecture cases and added mounts, and it makes it added solid and abiding back it is mounted.


Ok, on to the anatomic improvements, accepting four USB ports rather than two will in abounding cases annihilate the charge for the PiHub USB amplification device. Obviously if four is still not abundant you can still use the PiHub, but I would apprehend that to be rare. On abundance I accept a Logitech Unifying (keyboard/mouse) receiver, a wi-fi dongle, a Bluetooth dongle and a BluRay drive. Aloof right.

The change in blended video achievement ability account some aggravation for a (very) few people. The blended video out jack has been removed, and the video arresting has been alloyed assimilate the 3.5mm audio (now audio/video) achievement jack, in the aforementioned way it is done on iPods, smartphoes and such. So if you accept been application blended (analog) video output, and you don't accept a 3.5mm-to-3xRCA cable, you'll accept to get one. I aloof looked, they are accessible actuality in Switzerland for CHF 6.- so it is not a huge expense, but accepting to delay a day or two for a cable could be frustrating.

The lower ability burning of the B+ lath can additionally annihilate the charge for the college ability accumulation that was accession account of the PiHub. An bigger ability accumulation architecture additionally makes it added stable.

Changing to a Micro-SD agenda is a win in several ways. The admeasurement seems added analytic with the Raspberry Pi design, the push-push (click-in/click-out) is added defended than the old abrasion connector, and while the agenda is still accessuble from alfresco the case, it does not beetle about as far above the bend like the old SD agenda did.

I ordered the B+ from the Pi-Shop in Switzerland, and I got the aforementioned able and affable account that I got back I ordered the aboriginal Type B aftermost year. In accession to the B+ lath I got an 8GB Micro-SD card, but rather than the NOOBS agenda with software pre-installed, I got a Kingston Class 10 Multi Kit, which includes a accepted SD adapter and a USB adapter. Oh, and I additionally got a cellophane case.  The absolute for price, including shipping, was CHF 67 (about £45 or €55).

Transparent Case
Transparent Case for Model B+
When it accustomed and I unpacked it, my aboriginal consequence was that this is a acutely bigger advised lath than the aboriginal Model B was. The way that aggregate curve up properly, the accepted tidiness of the design, alike the angled corners on the PC lath all accord a acceptable impression.

The cellophane case is nice, and a lot easier to accumulate (albeit beneath fun) than the layer-cake case that I got for my aboriginal RPi. Back you put the two units in their cases, and again you about-face anniversary of them over in your easily a bit, you can absolutely see how abundant bigger aggregate goes calm with the new design. Getting rid of the abstracted video adapter makes added of a aberration that I anticipation it would, and of advance accepting the USB plugs band up on the lath bend is actual nice. But the absolutely big advance is accepting the tiny Micro-SD agenda alike with the lath edge, rather than accepting bisected of the old accepted SD agenda afraid out of the case. Nice.

Micro-SD HC Card
Micro-SD HC Agenda with Adapters
The Micro-SD agenda itself is a amusement to use. I approved both adapters and they formed aloof accomplished (duh). The USB adapter alike has a keychain-tail on it - not actual advantageous if what you are activity to do with the agenda is aloof use it in the RasPi, but you never now - anyhow it's accessible and acceptable to apperceive about.

Loading and starting up the Model B+ is still absolutely the aforementioned sequence. If you buy a NOOBS (New Out Of Box Software) preloaded Micro-SD card, you aloof bung it in and you're accessible to boot. Since I got an abandoned card, I aboriginal had to download the latest NOOBS angel (1.3.10 at the moment) and again achieve it assimilate the Micro-SD card.

 On the aboriginal cossack it asks which operating systems you demand to install. I chose Raspbian, Pidora and openElec. It again goes off and repartitions the SD agenda and installs the called operating systems. This is one of the best time arresting genitalia of the accomplished process, it takes about 15-20 account to install those three.

Once the accession is done you can reboot, and again baddest which of the installed operating systems you absolutely demand to boot. I chose Raspbian, of course, and again absolved through the action of configuring and customizing the installation. You can accept if you demand to cossack to a command-line (text mode) interface, a GUI desktop (LXDE), or anon into the Scratch programming environment. No abruptness here, I chose LXDE.

One added thing. The alternative (extra cost) codec authorization keys for MPEG-2 and VC-1 formats are angry to the CPU consecutive number. That meant I had to adjustment new licenses. Not a big deal, it's still asleep accessible to adjustment through the Raspberry Pi Store, and the keys access in an email anon afterwards you order.

So, there you accept it. A nice agleam new Raspberry Pi Model B+, up and active in beneath than an hour. Completely accordant with the aboriginal Model B, but decidedly bigger in concrete design.  Actual nice indeed!

Hands-on with the Raspberry Pi Model B+

There accept been a several absorbing new accouterments announcements from the Raspberry Pi Foundation this year.  Sometimes I admiration how they do it all - with so abundant captivation in education, development of new accouterments and software, and the abounding Pi user groups and events. It absolutely is absolutely impressive.


On the accouterments advanced this year they accept released:

  • April: Compute Module, the operational audacity of a Raspberry Pi repackaged assimilate an SODIMM board
  • July: Model B+, a physically bigger and added adaptation of the Raspberry Pi Type B
  • November: Model A+, a smaller, lower-power, lower-price adaptation of the Raspberry Pi Type A

For this column I am attractive at the Model B+ board, which is an all-around bigger architecture over the aboriginal Model B.  The B+ retains basal affinity with the B, including the aforementioned CPU, GPU and memory, and it still runs the aforementioned software. But it has the afterward improvements:

  • Four USB ports
  • Micro SD aperture (the A+ additionally has this)
  • 40-pin GPIO (the A+ additionally has this)
  • Composite video achievement alloyed with Audio jack
  • Lower ability consumption
  • Improved lath design

Even added acceptable account - the nominal amount remained the aforementioned ($35), but at atomic in Switzerland the B+ absolutely costs a bit beneath (CHF 38.30 vs. 42.90). It's accessible to see why I couldn't abide acclimation one!

While the anatomic improvements are good, and important, it's the concrete improvements that are my favorites. The anamnesis agenda has been afflicted from a accepted SD to a Micro SD, the adapter from a friction-fit (push and pray) to a push-push (click-in/click-out), and the agenda no best protrudes so far above the bend of the case.

The USB connectors accept been confused aback so that they are alike with the bend of the lath (I never accepted why they were not to activate with, it charge be some array of actual quirk). There are four ascent holes places in a nice approved aboveboard layout, admitting the aboriginal B lath has alone two ascent holes placed acutely randomly. This makes it easier to architecture cases and added mounts, and it makes it added solid and abiding back it is mounted.


Ok, on to the anatomic improvements, accepting four USB ports rather than two will in abounding cases annihilate the charge for the PiHub USB amplification device. Obviously if four is still not abundant you can still use the PiHub, but I would apprehend that to be rare. On abundance I accept a Logitech Unifying (keyboard/mouse) receiver, a wi-fi dongle, a Bluetooth dongle and a BluRay drive. Aloof right.

The change in blended video achievement ability account some aggravation for a (very) few people. The blended video out jack has been removed, and the video arresting has been alloyed assimilate the 3.5mm audio (now audio/video) achievement jack, in the aforementioned way it is done on iPods, smartphoes and such. So if you accept been application blended (analog) video output, and you don't accept a 3.5mm-to-3xRCA cable, you'll accept to get one. I aloof looked, they are accessible actuality in Switzerland for CHF 6.- so it is not a huge expense, but accepting to delay a day or two for a cable could be frustrating.

The lower ability burning of the B+ lath can additionally annihilate the charge for the college ability accumulation that was accession account of the PiHub. An bigger ability accumulation architecture additionally makes it added stable.

Changing to a Micro-SD agenda is a win in several ways. The admeasurement seems added analytic with the Raspberry Pi design, the push-push (click-in/click-out) is added defended than the old abrasion connector, and while the agenda is still accessuble from alfresco the case, it does not beetle about as far above the bend like the old SD agenda did.

I ordered the B+ from the Pi-Shop in Switzerland, and I got the aforementioned able and affable account that I got back I ordered the aboriginal Type B aftermost year. In accession to the B+ lath I got an 8GB Micro-SD card, but rather than the NOOBS agenda with software pre-installed, I got a Kingston Class 10 Multi Kit, which includes a accepted SD adapter and a USB adapter. Oh, and I additionally got a cellophane case.  The absolute for price, including shipping, was CHF 67 (about £45 or €55).

Transparent Case
Transparent Case for Model B+
When it accustomed and I unpacked it, my aboriginal consequence was that this is a acutely bigger advised lath than the aboriginal Model B was. The way that aggregate curve up properly, the accepted tidiness of the design, alike the angled corners on the PC lath all accord a acceptable impression.

The cellophane case is nice, and a lot easier to accumulate (albeit beneath fun) than the layer-cake case that I got for my aboriginal RPi. Back you put the two units in their cases, and again you about-face anniversary of them over in your easily a bit, you can absolutely see how abundant bigger aggregate goes calm with the new design. Getting rid of the abstracted video adapter makes added of a aberration that I anticipation it would, and of advance accepting the USB plugs band up on the lath bend is actual nice. But the absolutely big advance is accepting the tiny Micro-SD agenda alike with the lath edge, rather than accepting bisected of the old accepted SD agenda afraid out of the case. Nice.

Micro-SD HC Card
Micro-SD HC Agenda with Adapters
The Micro-SD agenda itself is a amusement to use. I approved both adapters and they formed aloof accomplished (duh). The USB adapter alike has a keychain-tail on it - not actual advantageous if what you are activity to do with the agenda is aloof use it in the RasPi, but you never now - anyhow it's accessible and acceptable to apperceive about.

Loading and starting up the Model B+ is still absolutely the aforementioned sequence. If you buy a NOOBS (New Out Of Box Software) preloaded Micro-SD card, you aloof bung it in and you're accessible to boot. Since I got an abandoned card, I aboriginal had to download the latest NOOBS angel (1.3.10 at the moment) and again achieve it assimilate the Micro-SD card.

 On the aboriginal cossack it asks which operating systems you demand to install. I chose Raspbian, Pidora and openElec. It again goes off and repartitions the SD agenda and installs the called operating systems. This is one of the best time arresting genitalia of the accomplished process, it takes about 15-20 account to install those three.

Once the accession is done you can reboot, and again baddest which of the installed operating systems you absolutely demand to boot. I chose Raspbian, of course, and again absolved through the action of configuring and customizing the installation. You can accept if you demand to cossack to a command-line (text mode) interface, a GUI desktop (LXDE), or anon into the Scratch programming environment. No abruptness here, I chose LXDE.

One added thing. The alternative (extra cost) codec authorization keys for MPEG-2 and VC-1 formats are angry to the CPU consecutive number. That meant I had to adjustment new licenses. Not a big deal, it's still asleep accessible to adjustment through the Raspberry Pi Store, and the keys access in an email anon afterwards you order.

So, there you accept it. A nice agleam new Raspberry Pi Model B+, up and active in beneath than an hour. Completely accordant with the aboriginal Model B, but decidedly bigger in concrete design.  Actual nice indeed!

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