A couple of months ago, while visiting the element14 community blog, I chanced upon the “Tis the Season for Inventing” contest announcement. The challenge was to submit innovative ideas using either the Arduino, Raspberry-Pi or BeagleBone Black platforms.

Element 14 Package

I had just wrapped up my desktop CNC ShapeOko build and set it up at the Makers’ Asylum garage. This build used the Raspberry-Pi as the control computer for the CNC. It was hooked to the network via WiFi, and we could SSH in to it remotely from other computers. This made life easier as it meant we didn’t have to have a computer kept in close proximity of the CNC and muck it up with dust from the mill. On top of the Raspberry-Pi sat the AlaMode Arduino clone, that I had helped design along with my buddies at WyoLum. The ShapeOko itself was paid for by WyoLum. Since the build used both – a Raspberry-Pi and an Arduino Clone, I could have entered it in either category. I settled for the Raspberry-Pi category, since most existing CNC controllers already used an Arduino hooked up to an external Computer.

I pretty much forgot about this once I submitted my idea. So it was with great surprise (and a fair amount of dis-belief ) that I read the mail from element14 informing me that I’d won the first prize ! Woot ! Me and my friends at WyoLum decided to gift the Shopping Spree prize to the Makers’ Asylum to help kit up our makerspace with useful items.

I ordered out a bunch of stuff via the local retailer of element14 – CrazyPi – and cool hawtness just landed on my desk a few days later. $1000 worth of goodies for  Makers to use at the Asylum. Let’s get Makin’ !

Here’s some pictures of what’s in the Box :

  • An 11″ HDMI display
  • Four Raspberry-Pi’s
  • Two BeagleBone Black’s
  • One Intel Edison
  • Eight Arduino UNO’s
  • One Arduino Mega
  • A Robot Kit
  • Some Power adapters, cables and breakout boards and odds and ends.




But that's not the end of it. A few days after we received the goddies, came news about the new Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. It seems we missed getting those for the Makers Asylum ! Drat

But Providence shined on us again. The Community Lead at Element14 got in touch with me and asked if I would like to receive a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B. whoa! That just made my day. Once again, I sent in my address, and pretty much forgot about it. Many weeks later, the package landed on my desk exactly on April 1st, 2015. This is what arrived on my desk today.


Opening it up, and out popped a delicious Pi ! As with the earlier prize, this one too goes to the Makers’ Asylum.


The discerning viewer will instantly recognize the all new, yummy, Raspberry Pi 2 Model B 1GB.

  • 6X Faster
  • Broadcom BCM2836 ARMv7 Quad Core Processor powered Single Board Computer running at 900MHz
  • 1GB RAM so you can now run bigger and more powerful applications
  • Identical board layout and footprint as the Model B+, so all cases and 3rd party add-on boards designed for the Model B+ will be fully compatible.
  • Fully HAT compatible
  • 40pin extended GPIO to enhance your “real world” projects
  • 10/100 Ethernet Port to quickly connect the Raspberry Pi to the Internet

We plan to use it to build some kick ass project. One of the projects we are working on at the Makers Asylum is a DIY Book Scanner. The Raspberry-Pi 2 coupled to the Ras Pi Cam looks like an ideal solution instead of using an expensive Camera.

Here’s a closer look at the board itself :



For a look at the improvements compared to the previous models, check out “Specifications” on this Wikipedia page. Besides this, the provision of four mounting holes is a nice improvement, as is the use of a micro SD card. If you’d like to play around with this delicious board, or any of the other interesting stuff we have at the Asylum, do get in touch with us.