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Raspberry Pi 2 unboxing

Posted by mpicker21 Feb 20, 2015

     I arrived home today to see a lump under my front doormat.  I was excited to see that it was my brand new Raspberry Pi 2, just in time for the weekend.  I've been a huge fan of the original Raspberry Pi.  I started my Pi life with buying one because I saw the cool things that Ben Heck was doing with it.  I got so jazzed about a $35 Linux machine.  I had planned on making an internet connected scoreboard using some LED driver IC's.  While playing with it in the meantime I installed OpenElec on it and was blown away.  I've spent good money on media center builds and have never had anything work so well.  The best feature is the CEC feature that feeds remote commands from my Samsung TV to the Pi over HDMI so that I don't have to do some botch job to get a remote working.  I immediately went and purchased a second Pi.  I've since gone through a couple of prototypes of my scoreboard project and the Pi works perfect for it.  It's a little overpowered for what I need but for $35 and an old wifi dongle I had sitting around it was cheaper than any other solution.  After seeing Ben Heck use an Intel Galileo I realized that that is precisely the board I need but I still come out cheaper with a Raspberry Pi.  I can also cut my programming teeth with Python, win-win.


     As far as unboxing of the new Pi goes, it's pretty much what you expect.  As you can see it comes in the same sort of packaging as the original Pi.  It comes with the obligatory Quick Start Guide.  I'm not sure that anyone opens that booklet up.  The type of people who buy small hobby-style computers like this don't tend to read safety manuals or be unaware of how to get it up and running.


     I have always liked the new layout of the B+ but never needed to purchase another Pi with the same specs as I had.  I'm really excited to work with this new layout.  The mounting holes on the original Pi were not really ideal.  This new layout facilitates solid physical design and it never hurts to have access to more GPIO.  I like the uniformity of the port layout too.  This will make designing a custom case easier.  I'm also glad that they ditched the composite video and added more USB ports.  I like that it uses a Micro SD card but I had forgotten that fact so I get to go electronics shopping this weekend.  The quality of the board seems comparable to the original Pi and I have no complaints about them.  I leave the OpenElec system running 24/7 and it's been going for a couple of years now without any problems.  I expect the same results from this guy.


     As far as plans for this thing, I have a whole bunch of ideas.  One of those is creating a small handheld device that acts as a nice radio/aircraft tracker.  The idea would be to plug a RTL-SDR dongle into it and add a touch screen for a display.  I could have some hard buttons for power and volume functions and use the touchscreen for additional interfacing.  I'd like to be able to take it with me wherever I go and search for, and tune in, push-to-talk radios.  I'd also like it to run some ADS-B software so I can track aircraft in the area.


     Another obvious project would be to upgrade my Pi model B that I use for my OpenElec system.  Menus are slow sometimes on the current system so I'm interested in seeing if the new model is snappier.  This will be my first project with this Pi and I'll post results of that.


     Another test that I'm interested in doing is seeing what I can do as far as a retro gaming system.  Just the other day I borrowed one of my Pi's from its current project and installed RetroPie.  I came across a couple of PS3 controllers that will work great for emulating old consoles.  I'm interested in seeing if the more powerful Raspberry Pi 2 can handle newer systems and bigger games.  I plan on taking this with me on an upcoming deployment.  I can't wait to pwn my coworkers in some Dr. Mario.  I'll post my results from this too.


     Other ideas include a fuzzy clock with world time abilities, an internet radio, and an aircraft spotter.

{gallery:autoplay=false} Raspberry Pi opening


The package


The box


The contents


The tasty Pi


The glamour shot


With the release of the all new, faster Raspberry Pi 2 Model B MCM Electronics has redesigned our popular Raspberry Pi kits! (Available in North America only)


Raspberry Pi™ 2 Model B Starter Kit - 83-16552RK

The Raspberry Pi Starter kit has what you need to get started with the Pi. Just the basics, A memory card, Power supply and a clear case. This kit includes a translucent case that can sit on a desk or hang on a wall.the case also has a great feature in that it can also hold the Pi Camera. Only $59.99


Raspberry Pi™ 2 Model B Camera Kit - 83-16555RK

The Raspberry Pi uses Linux-kernel based operating systems. The Raspberry Pi does not come with a real-time clock, so an OS must use a network time server, or ask the user for time information at boot time to get access to time and date info for file time and date stamping. However a real time clock (such as the DS1307) with battery backup can be easily added via the I2C interface. Only $89.99

Raspberry Pi™ 2 Model B Board & Case - 83-16550RK

The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B with Case is a great way to get started with the Raspberry Pi. Including a translucent case that can sit on a desk or hang on a wall. (Note: SD Card sold separately Part #83-16536) Only $42.99


Raspberry Pi™ 2 Model B Project Kit - 83-16551RK

The Raspberry Pi Component Starter kit is perfect for learning about electronics. Chock full of Led's, Resistors and just about every electronic component you can think of. This kit also includes a translucent case that can sit on a desk or hang on a wall. Only $138.99

Raspberry Pi™ 2 Model B Media Center Kit - 83-16553RK

Looking for a Media Player that doesn't take up much space. Look no further than the XBMC Starter Kit. This kit has the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B Black case, Wireless ethernet and a HDMI cable. Everything you need to get started playing movies, browsing the internet or displaying photos. Only $69.99

Raspberry Pi™ 2 Model B Complete Kit - 83-16554RK

The Raspberry Pi Complete Kit has everything the Pi enthusiast needs or wants. This kit even includes a drawstring bag and mouse mat. This kit has a fantastic Raspberry Pi USB hub and the translucent case that you can hang on the wall or sit on your desktop. Only $129.99

Raspberry Pi™ 2 Model B Sensor Kit - 83-16556RK

The Raspberry Pi Enocean Sensor Kit will get you started with the Home Automation and Security. The Sensor kit includes a magnetic contact sensor, Temperature sensor and Push Button switch that can will allow you to control parts of your home. The best part is the case that comes with the Pi kit will hold the EnOCean receiver and the Pi. You can mount the case on the wall for surveillance or set it on your desk. Only $159.99

MCM Electronics is part of Premier Farnell and a sister company to element14

In this 30 minute video I take you through the basic install of a Raspberry PI 2 model B, from new to running Raspbian and with WIFI, Wireless Keyboard and mouse


As per earlier Raspberry PIs, this one too has issues if used with crappy USB cables or sub standard power adapters (It may not run reliably if powered from your computer USB for example



We asked you to tell us just how much you love Raspberry Pi 2 using #iLuvPi2 and you responded in great style!


With over 140 entries we've had our hands full getting through them all, but here are the winners!

If you're name or Twitter handle is featured below then you've won a new Raspberry Pi 2! Simply Direct Message us on Twitter (you'll have to Follow us if you don't already) or message us on Facebook in order to verify your identity. Include your name, address details and phone number so the Raspberry Pi Hamsters know where to send it. We will then arrange for your Raspberry Pi 2 to be shipped out. You have 7 days to claim your prizes guys as per the T&Cs which you can read in full here.

Congratulations to all the winners!    


Victo Santos
Renzo Machaca
Rafael Murakami
Gustavo Domingues
Jammy Git
Vishnu Raj
Jacob Altar
Brandon Holland
Stephan Bodman
Steve Moody
Michael Southworth
Gyorgy Fodi
Scott Coppersmith
Lucian Cerbu
Richard Freeman
Minsu Jeun

I'd have to thank element14, especially doctorcdf for this "mystery date" which turned up on my doorstep unannounced.




I've done some comparisons, benchmarks and high-resolution photographs on my blog here: Valentine’s Day: A Date with the Raspberry Pi 2 (Model B)




In short, the conclusion reads:

It seems the Raspberry Pi foundation aren’t under any illusions as to the reasons behind their success, and the latest Raspberry Pi 2 Model B retains the key points that has driven the Raspberry Pi’s success – namely, the low cost, and straightforward backwards compatibility, which allows for the platform to feel “homogenous” without being hemmed in by the original choice of hardware.


While the benefits of the increased core count will not necessarily be apparent to single thread tasks, the CPU also delivers with a more recent architecture which allows the performance per clock to increase. As a result, it appears the new CPU has much better single thread performance in part due to better caching and memory bandwidth, even comparing a stock Pi 2 to an overclocked Pi. The multi-core advantage makes sense for many tasks, as they may involves running multiple threads – think of certain server tasks with a thread per connection, dynamic content generation invoking multiple tasks, using one Raspberry Pi to do multiple things (e.g. attaching several RTL-SDRs), handling data and display on the same unit or handling multiple sensors.


It’s amazing that they’ve been able to work closely with Broadcom to specially produce the BCM2836 for the Pi 2, no doubt in part due to the major sales volumes generated. Through their refinement, they have been able to keep the cost identical, while offering so much more. In everyday use, the difference is very noticeable, from boot times through to actually using the device. It is much more pleasurable to use interactively, with less patience required compared to before.


Of course, being the natural evolution of the Raspberry Pi, it is expected that most purchases from now-on will be of the Raspberry Pi 2. Is there any downside? Well, the only one I can see is in power consumption under load and incompatibility with non-upgraded distributions (not so much an issue for Raspbian based OSes) – but aside from that, it’s pretty much a free lunch!

Last week, we launched Raspberry Pi 2 in London.


Our PiCycle campaign gave away 100 Raspberry Pi 2 boards to fans.10463963_847753568621371_6864553509864960505_n.png


Now, Picycle is coming to America!


That's right, our PiCycle is in San Francisco with another basket full of Raspberry Pi 2 boards to give away. To be in with a chance of winning, here's what you need to do:


  1. Find our PiCycle! We are in San Francisco.  Exact location to be announced via @element14 .
  2. Tell us! Snap a selfie with the Picycle and tweet the picture to @element14 using #iLuvPi2

It's that easy! Stay tuned to our social media channels for more information about the American leg of our Picycle giveaway!


Not in America? Missed us in London? Don't worry! You can still win a Raspberry Pi 2 by taking part in our global Twitter competition using #iLuvPi2. Find us on Twitter for more information!


Good Luck and check here for full terms and conditions.

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Do you love Raspberry Pi ?


We love Pi too #iLuvPi2 !!

We know how much you've been waiting to get your hands on the Raspberry Pi 2.  Missed your chance on launch day?  No Problem! You can still get your hands on one.

1. Tell us why you love Raspberry Pi!

It can be a picture, a project or a video. You can enter from 9am GMT on the 3rd of February until 9am on the 9th of February.

2. Share your picture, video or project with us on our element14 Facebook page, or on Twitter with the hashtag #iLuvPi2

3. We’ll announce up to 50 winners on the 13th February, 2015. So it could be your lucky day (punk)!

Make sure you don't miss any more Raspberry Pi 2 news!  Register as an element14 Community member and follow this space.


Full terms and conditions.


2nd February, 2015

The Raspberry Pi2 is one of this year’s most hotly anticipated sequels. To celebrate, we’ll be riding our Raspberry PiCycle around London’s iconic South Bank offering you the chance to win one of 100 boards.


To be in with a chance of winning, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Find the PiCycle in London's South Bank.  Ask for a Raspberry Pi 2.
  2. Tell us about it! Snap a selfie of yourself with the bike and tweet the picture to @element14. 

It’s that easy.  So stay tuned for more information!

Where: London, South Bank, Monday, 2nd Feb, Noon GMT 


Not in London? Don't worry.  We have a Raspberry Pi 2 RoadTest.  We will also have other opportunities to win a Raspberry Pi 2 throughout the rest of the week. 


That’s it! Good luck. Check for full terms and conditions.