PDA

View Full Version : Raspberry Pi in production!



Leon
02-29-2012, 02:18 PM
It looks like the Raspberry Pi has gone into production:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17190918

It was featured on the BBC1 lunchtime news.

I've put my name down on the RS web site, so that I get notified when they are available.

Heater.
02-29-2012, 02:32 PM
Seems the raspberryPi web site is overloaded with all the interest and down just now.
Can't wait to get started on my Propeller-Pi combo.

Leon
02-29-2012, 03:02 PM
Here is the RS web page, if you want to register:

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/generalDisplay.html?id=raspberrypi&cm_mmc=UK-PPC-0212-_-02_Raspberry_PI-_-Raspberry_PI-_-Raspberry_Pi

The BeagleBone actually has a better spec. processor and is more suitable for hardware hacking, but is more expensive. I've got a couple of capes (similar to Arduino shields) partly designed.

User Name
02-29-2012, 03:08 PM
Can't wait to see if it has its desired impact - teaching more children to program. Seems like a good first step. Several more to go...

Leon
02-29-2012, 03:24 PM
The news item showed some school kids playing with them, they were asked what they thought of the system. They seemed to like it.

User Name
02-29-2012, 04:01 PM
One of the great questions in my mind was stated well by Simon Rockman:

"Today's kids aren't interested (in coding). The world has moved onwhat makes their applications work or what is inside the black box is as interesting as the washing machine or vacuum cleaner. I've long thought that there is a bubble of tech; people of my age are more techie than their children."

Obviously that isn't universally true, but there is an undeniable tendency in that direction. Only after two years of EE at a major university did my oldest son finally conclude for himself that microprocessors were fascinating. Until then they were just something dad did to put food on the table.

potatohead
02-29-2012, 04:14 PM
IMHO, the current "MAKE" culture is changing that. This stuff ebbs and flows. I like this little computer and plan on getting one. A Pi-Prop combo could make for a great, "turn it on and go" development station.

Britannicus
02-29-2012, 05:05 PM
One of the great questions in my mind was stated well by Simon Rockman:

"Today's kids aren't interested (in coding). The world has moved on…what makes their applications work or what is inside the black box is as interesting as the washing machine or vacuum cleaner. I've long thought that there is a bubble of tech; people of my age are more techie than their children.".

I understand the sentiment, but then I've always found what goes on in the washing machine absorbing too ! - My 11 year old gets up at 6 in the morning to work his wa through a Python programming course that he begged me to get him for christmas. Honestly it's not the subject that's the problem - 30 years ago I was cool 'cos I'd got a commodore 64 and could run lemmings.

Now it's seen as geeky - kids still find it exciting if given a chance. I work in IT,I'm a governor of my kids local primary school, and I help run a local beaver scout pack - I know that a great way to get a group of kids (though sadly it works best with boys) is to hand out some bits of wire some LED's and a few AA batteries and have them making circuits. The problem is that they have spoon fed entertainment and need to be given the opportunity to find the genuine delight of making it happen yourself.

Amongst the 10 year olds I know - scrap heap challenge and mythbusters is hugely popular just need to bring back "Robot wars" to get them interested in micro processors.

Leon
02-29-2012, 05:26 PM
One of the great questions in my mind was stated well by Simon Rockman:

"Today's kids aren't interested (in coding). The world has moved on…what makes their applications work or what is inside the black box is as interesting as the washing machine or vacuum cleaner. I've long thought that there is a bubble of tech; people of my age are more techie than their children."

Obviously that isn't universally true, but there is an undeniable tendency in that direction. Only after two years of EE at a major university did my oldest son finally conclude for himself that microprocessors were fascinating. Until then they were just something dad did to put food on the table.

I used to know Simon, but haven't seen him for years.

User Name
02-29-2012, 10:16 PM
Britannicus & potatohead make excellent points. So one wonders where Raspberry Pi fits in. It seems too complicated and delicate for a beginner to tinker with. Meanwhile, there is no shortage of simple and inexpensive processor boards with which to read sensors, blink lights, and spin motors. ($4.30 will get you one of those.) Raspberry Pi is more like an ultra cheap PC - at least once it's connected to a TV and keyboard. As such, it seems more suited to software development than hardware tinkering. But what software is a kid going to write on it? Code for a $4.30 uC? Or roll your own Android?

Raspberry Pi is a marvel of system integration that still seems to be searching for its niche. Is it truly "for the children?" I'm not sure. But I hope it turns out to be a tremendous hit, anyway.

Leon
02-29-2012, 10:37 PM
Apparently, most kids will be using Python on it. That's where the name Pi comes from.

User Name
03-01-2012, 02:48 AM
Apparently, most kids will be using Python on it. That's where the name Pi comes from.
I didn't know that, but I'm delighted with the choice. It seems like a giant step in the right direction. The RaspP ship may actually float.

jmg
03-01-2012, 05:43 AM
So one wonders where Raspberry Pi fits in. It seems too complicated and delicate for a beginner to tinker with. Meanwhile, there is no shortage of simple and inexpensive processor boards with which to read sensors, blink lights, and spin motors. ($4.30 will get you one of those.)

I think the point is the potential to actually do both - which is why that expansion header is so important.
That will allow the IO work, to be done, but with a GUI that $4.30 part can only dream of.

This is a development platform, but it will make things interesting if enough users start SHIPPING boards in products... that could shake up the business model ?

If the final widget invented turns out to not need a RaspPi, it will be because a Microcontroller can handle it.
I think the first IO Boards uses a small AVR, so uC will never be far away.

Remember the effect Turbo Pascal had ? - this could be similar to that.

Time to quickly check the Size of all those Prop binaries, and I think most are now in C ? (moved from some in ASM & Delphi ?) - so hosted on RaspPi could be possible...?

Heater.
03-01-2012, 07:04 AM
Jmg.
Hosting Prop dev tools is definately possible. I already have HomeSpun running under mono on a small ARM board (The IGEP from ISEE). Also Roy's Spin compiler in C works there. The propgcc compiler should also be doable.

Strangely enough a few years back when my son was 12 he got interested in creating games with some game creation softwares on Windows. I realized that was the moment he might be receptive to some introduction to programming, he had a desire/need for it even if he did not know it.
I showed him Python. I was amazed how his eyes lit up with enthusiasm for it.

Cluso99
03-01-2012, 11:53 AM
The pi hits the price point. If it can perform the functions desired (*nix) then I think it will be extremely successful. There are lots of jobs that this could do. The price will help this happen. As for its actual target audience, we will have to wait and see.

It will likely make us a good prop portable dev platform though. Pitty they sold out so quick! Noticed Farnell wants A$50 @=US$55 here...

jmg
03-01-2012, 07:41 PM
Noticed Farnell wants A$50 @=US$55 here...

Hehe - Yes, we can see how 'not for profit' only reaches so far....

jazzed
03-01-2012, 07:53 PM
Any idea if the Broadcom chip spec is open now? If so, where is it?

I don't see a Rasberry Pi value proposition with closed Broadcom docs.

rod1963
03-01-2012, 08:07 PM
It's just Farnell wanting their cut. Sparkfun would be no different. They are not in the business of selling goods that don't net them a nice fat profit margin. I'm pretty sure the $20 surcharge is their way of accomplishing this.

Still at $50+ dollars it's a heck of a deal. I can buy three for the price of a Beagle board.

As it is it will be a month to six weeks before the next shipment of Raspberries comes in. So we're in for a wait.

Dr_Acula
03-01-2012, 10:55 PM
Noticed Farnell wants A$50 @=US$55 here...

Yes I noticed that too. The Australian newspaper breathlessly reports today:

COMPUTER distributor RS Components has released what it says is the world's cheapest computer -- a tiny credit card-sized machine costing $U25 and called the Raspberry Pi.

and when you go to RS it says

Register here to express an interest in Raspberry Pi .... Price $50.40

jmg
03-02-2012, 12:55 AM
Any idea if the Broadcom chip spec is open now? If so, where is it?

I don't see a Rasberry Pi value proposition with closed Broadcom docs.

Yes, that is a very significant blind spot - but there are other silicon choices, and more are sure to arrive, so hopefully that will not be a fatal flaw to the idea.

eg Nuvoton do stacked Silicon, in easy to use TQFP128, claims video to 1024 x 768 resolution. 24 bit, but I think not HDMI out.

Gadgetman
03-02-2012, 09:50 AM
The Pi is a nice product, and cheap, but...

They're trying to foist it off on schools as some sort of device that can be used to teach kids to program...
'If they screw up, all you need to do is replace the SD-card with a clean one'..
They still need to know the pitfalls of programming in a Linux environment, though.
They'd be just as well off with running a virtual machine on a normal PC for that.

I believe that the FIGnicion and similar 'simple' SBCs, and the PropII, when it arrives will be much better choices as you don't have to worry about a large and cumbersome OS in the background.

As an embedded platform in multimedia applications, it may be useful, but time will tell.

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
03-02-2012, 03:46 PM
I'd say it would be time for them to stock up on those SD cards....

One of my jobs was computer parts wholesale.. I had a school that promised they would give me all of their business if I could produce a box of 100 replacement mouse balls. Do you have any idea what it's like to contact mouse manufacturers and ask for something like this..

Several calls later, and much laughter I had a box of balls shipped to them. Deal made..

The kids love to adopt items which can be easily had...

OBC

rod1963
03-02-2012, 04:23 PM
The Raspberry is a good device for teaching kids, it's cheap as heck, hence schools don't have to blow a ton load of money on them like full blown laptops. Brick one and you're not out much money.

SD-cards: Great idea keeping the OS on the card, makes it easy to replace.

Linux: It's a bad choice OS wise for teaching kids about computers. It's right up there with Windows 7. It's big, it's complicated, it's overkill. Good for CS majors but not kiddies. The Raspberry IMO needs a simpler OS like those found in computers built in the late 80's. Ones that easily understandable by a single person. The RISCOS used on the early ARM machines would be a improvement. Even a DOS variant would be welcome.

Small-computers like the Fignition are for a lack of a better word are too limited or too quirky. The Fignition is programmed in Forth, a almost extinct programming language. Good luck on getting teachers up to speed on this language. Really if someone wanted to go this way, just get a FPGA Amiga board. Just make sure you have Python and Basic to make a go of it.

User Name
03-02-2012, 05:09 PM
The RISCOS used on the early ARM machines would be a improvement.
A table in the Wikipedia article on RISC_OS seems to suggest this is an option.

jmg
03-03-2012, 05:34 AM
Any idea if the Broadcom chip spec is open now? If so, where is it?

I don't see a Rasberry Pi value proposition with closed Broadcom docs.

I have found this

http://www.raspberrypi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/BCM2835-ARM-Peripherals.pdf

but it excludes info on the GPU/Display, and now they have a $$ flow deal done with RS/Element14, it is not clear when/if they will release PCB schematic & Layout files.

jazzed
03-03-2012, 05:55 AM
I have found this

http://www.raspberrypi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/BCM2835-ARM-Peripherals.pdf

....

That helps. Thanks.

Heater.
03-03-2012, 11:42 AM
Gadgetman,



They're trying to foist it off on schools...


I think "foist" is a bit hard. They have a vision and a mission to encourage
youngsters to get into programming. They are a charity. There does not seem to
be anything under hand about it.



They still need to know the pitfalls of programming in a Linux environment, th



...don't have to worry about a large and cumbersome OS...

and rod1963


Linux: It's a bad choice OS wise for teaching kids about computers. It's right
up there with Windows 7. It's big, it's complicated, it's overkill.


Not really. I introduced my 12 year old some to programming with Python on
Linux. No operating system hardship involved in that approach.



They'd be just as well off with running a virtual machine on a normal PC for
that.


Clunky, complicated and unnecessary.

rod1963



Just make sure you have Python and Basic to make a go of it.


I don't follow you. On the one hand you argue against Linux or other big
complex OS. Fair enough, I think getting down to the hardware, as on a Prop say,
is a great idea. But then you suggest using Python or BASIC which get you far
away from the hardware or even OS. At which point it makes little difference
what machine/OS you are using.

When I was introduced to programming at school it was with a modem connection
to a mainframe far away. We learned BASIC and machine code without ever knowing
anything about the OS, can't even tell you what it was.

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
03-03-2012, 05:40 PM
Mine is ordered.. Will report in..

OBC

whicker
03-03-2012, 07:02 PM
Not going to order one.
Cheap and scarce with a waiting list, or a little more expensive and readily available?
No case, no power supply. if this was in a (mandatory) educational environment, imagine what a paperclip or staple could intentionally do?

I guess what I'm saying is that it isn't really a mass-market device. I would think for the bright kids that can get it and use it, it would be great. As a kid, I always had problems convincing the parents to give money to "strangers on the internet" for stuff like this. At middle school and high school, I always had problems bringing stuff home that were school property.

User Name
03-03-2012, 07:58 PM
I'll order one - when the target price is reached and the way is paved to load gcc and Eclipse on it.

GordonMcComb
03-03-2012, 08:01 PM
I'm having a hard time finding the disclaimer that says "Must be used by kids in school."

Keep in mind that RaspPi is a charity with a specific charter. Their announcement dovetails with the charter, but I'm quite certain 95+% of the initial orders aren't going to schools or kids. I would imagine that since the charity receives a kickback for each unit sold, they don't much care who buys them. If it's for schoolage kids, that's great, but that doesn't alter the royalty the charity receives on each official unit.

It's true Linux is hardly the stuff for young kids, but then again nothing's stopping someone from creating a more friendly shell, and offering the software preloaded on an SD card.

The Arduino was originally designed for, and sold to, students at a design school in Italy. I'd bet dollars to donuts that while some Italian art students are buying Arduino boards, the vast majority are being sold for other applications.

-- Gordon

potatohead
03-03-2012, 10:08 PM
This thing is cheap and powerful enough to do a lot of basic things. The lack of case, or simple OS, apps, etc... doesn't matter one bit. All of those things are simply opportunities for people to fill, nothing more. Frankly, they are the basis for a nice ecosystem.

Put a handful of these in kids hands, and connect them to other people via Internet, local groups, mentors, teachers, etc...and good stuff is gonna happen. I can't really see a failure mode on this stuff, barring some critical flaw in the manufacturing model. Looks clean to me.

Even at $50 US, this little bit of capable hardware is a no-brainer.

Linux has it's merits, and I'm always a fan of people learning a UNIX. UNIXes have some basic attributes that pack a hell of a punch, and the body of open code out there to work with is a huge use value, meaning this device has a lot of value added to it on that basis alone. Some kids will be able to handle that, others won't.

Again, opportunities. Who is to say somebody won't strip the Linux down, or simply build a more simple, application and task based way of running programs and or writing them?

I'm going to order one of these very soon. IMHO, devices like this are the future, because they put enough power to do useful things into ordinary people's hands at a price point that makes the learning investments totally worth it to enough people to sustain the manufacture of them.

prof_braino
03-05-2012, 02:23 PM
"Today's kids aren't interested (in coding). The world has moved on…what makes their applications work or what is inside the black box is as interesting as the washing machine or vacuum cleaner. I've long thought that there is a bubble of tech; people of my age are more techie than their children."

Ridiculous. People "of my age" are simply OLDER than their children. Same as its always been.

It can't be the SAME guy, but every few years I seem to hear an old guy say some variation on the old theme:

"You kids today!
In my day... IN MY DAY.... We could have got that ... for a nickle! A NICKLE!
You kids today, with your cars and telephones? Useless!
Which one of you can shoe a horse?"

I hope I turn out like that when I grow up. I've been practicing "Hey! Get off my lawn!"

http://www.newark.com/raspberry-pi/raspbrry-pcba/dp/83T1943

$35 US, with ethernet and two USB, as advertised.

User Name
03-05-2012, 03:15 PM
@Prof_b: I certainly don't think children have changed mentally or biologically. There has not been nearly enough time for evolution or natural selection to make any real difference. But our toys and technology have changed. As a kid, I took everything apart. My children, nieces, and nephews wouldn't even know where to find a screw driver. A screw driver wouldn't do them any good, anyway, because the devices are too small and techie to be held together by something so primitive as a Philips screw or three. And if they ever did get something apart, there would be nothing of value inside - nothing they could pull out and re-purpose. And --that-- is what has changed.

A modern cell phone is an engineering marvel, but what are the prospects of stealing the RF section out of one and using it in your next scratch-built ham radio? And who wants to fuss with ham radio, anyway? It is far too easy and too dependable to IM your friend in Nanyang.

I'm not knocking modern society like your prototypical old dude does. I'm saying what the aforementioned British journalist said...that for the most part, society has moved on. It seems crystal clear.

I knew an old duffer in Colombia that made shotguns out of Jeep tie-rods. They were pieces of junk, and I wouldn't want to own one, but I admired his ingenuity and resourcefulness - the same ingenuity and resourcefulness that once existed here at home. But there is simply no need to make such a crude device anymore because modern manufacturing makes far better products at very little expense. Same with practically everything else.

Leon
03-05-2012, 04:24 PM
I was the same as you when I was a kid, always taking old clocks and radios apart and doing simple electrical experiments. I built a crystal radio when I was 12, and then got interested in electronics and radio. I'd have loved something like the Pi.

My local radio and electronics club gets quite a few youngsters enrolling for our UK amateur radio Foundation Course every year, and most of them go on to get their Intermediate and Advanced licenses:

http://www.radioclubs.net/herc/news.php?news_id=1584

I don't think that kids today are much different from when we were young, if they are given the opportunity to mess about with electronics.

GordonMcComb
03-05-2012, 08:18 PM
I don't think we'd see RadioShack spending millions getting back into the DIY scene, or new multimillion-dollar-a-year concerns like Pololu or SparkFun, if there wasn't any interest in these things. I recall reading the average age of employees at SparkFun is about 26. That's not "kids age," but I bet as kids they were already interested in these things.

Earlier this year SF gave away close to a quarter of a million dollars in free stuff to customers -- a casual estimate pegs that at about 1% of annual gross, or a minimum of $20M last year. You don't make that kind of money, or give away so much for free, if you have a slowing base of consumers. Quite the opposite.

Arduino folks are coming out with several new boards to answer consumer demand, and again you don't do this unless people want to buy from you. They plan a cheaper version of the Uno, to compete with the Chinese stuff, and an ARM-based Arduino, among others.

Then there's Parallax, with new sensors and accessories, upcoming Prop II, etc. These things don't happen unless there's demand, and I don't believe all the demand is coming from duffers.

So while some kids are more motivated to playing Farmville, you only need a couple percent of schoolage children interested in pursuing this field to keep it alive and growing.

-- Gordon

Cats92
03-05-2012, 08:36 PM
Hello,
The last 3 years I had groups of kids about 12 years old and try to make then build small robots with a Propeller Platform , 2 servos and a plastic box or play with Hanno Tbot.
(It is in a French teaching project : "La main a la pte" )
It is clear that they dont like programming at all, even with blocks.
They want something that works when you push the button and to play with.
Another problem is that we have more and more girls in this groups and clearly most hate programming.

So i fear that the Raspberry wont be a succes with them.

phishguy
03-06-2012, 12:02 AM
Looks like I ordered it just in time.


Thank you for your recent Raspberry Pi preorder.

Due to the uncertainty of lead times, we have suspended all future orders at this time. However, your order is still in place and you will be the first in the Allied order queue once the product is available.

Please stay tuned for more updates. We will contact you as soon as the Raspberry Pi is available and your order is in process.

Thank you,
Allied Electronics

__red__
03-08-2012, 01:00 PM
Looks like I ordered it just in time.

I got one of the first 10,000. It ships Monday.

I "cheated".

I "expressed an interest" as they requested but then saw a journalist post his receipt. The receipt contained the product ID. I searched for the product ID on the site and directly hit the "inactive" order page. *click*

A few days later I got the "thank you for expressing interest, order now" email and I ordered again. The second is due April 3rd.

prof_braino
03-10-2012, 01:24 AM
.... programmed in Forth, a almost extinct programming language. .....

Many forth programmers would disagree with this assessment, just as the C programmer might disagree with statements that C has out-lived its useful life. :)

rod1963
03-10-2012, 02:38 AM
It's a assessment based on observation. At the very minimum Forth is sadly below the popularity it experienced in the mid-90's. No one can point to major apps written with it(with the exception of Zoomracks), many of the vendors have went out of business. No new books being published since Rather's works.

I'm not saying it to slam the language since I used a lot during the 90's(CSI Forth, Mitch Bradley's Forthmacs and a tester for the Mup21 Forth engine from Ultratech) but saw the language basically go off a cliff in terms of usage since then.

icepuck
03-14-2012, 06:30 PM
I just got an email saying mine will be shipped 8-1-2012.
-dan

Loopy Byteloose
03-14-2012, 06:58 PM
It is difficult to say what is going on, but I had expected Raspberry Pi to be significantly backordered after what Texas Instruments did with their '$5 give away' of the TI-430.

This is tons and tons of great publicity that the chip makers are happy to see. Everyone sits arounds and talks about how good it is going to be. All the sellers have to do is stay within legal bounds, deliver a run that was likely donated by the the chip makers for their exposure, and then sit back and see if the product will be viable for enough orders to deliver. Being non-profit and such just promotes more buzz than a generic product release. They have every right to not sell anything if not cost effective, but they have gotten you reading their literature and pondering their product - haven't they.

The fact that they mentioned buying one and donating one put me off. Was this a way of saying that if you really wanted one right away - pay double?

All the intrigue really doesn't matter as I dislike lingering backorders of anything.

Similar tactics were done with the Panda Board and the Beagle Board. Frankly, I like the Panda Board best of all as it has wireless features included.

Does anyone remember 'vapor-ware'?

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
03-14-2012, 08:03 PM
Also on backorder... No expected date, but I'm willing to bet it'll be August.. Sigh..

OBC

Leon
03-15-2012, 03:06 PM
I just received an email from RS, mentioning this update by the Pi people:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/?cm_mmc=uk-email-_-other-_-uk-150312-raspberry_pi_weeklyupdate-_-0

K2
03-19-2012, 08:05 AM
It's probably old news by now, but the first run of boards were built with the wrong RJ-45 connector. Raspberry Pi needs the type that includes an internal isolation transformer. While the original boards have been reworked, it may be a challenge in the short term to source sufficient parts for subsequent boards.

Reinhard
03-19-2012, 08:44 AM
Good hidden docs ;-) found here
http://elinux.org/RPi_Documentation

Heater.
03-19-2012, 04:27 PM
K2,


...built with the wrong RJ-45 connector.

I guess that's a bit of Pi in the face. Still, at least it's not Pi in the sky.

Mark_T
03-20-2012, 12:01 AM
I think Pi in the sky would be a quadcopter project?

mikev
03-20-2012, 04:03 AM
I have ordered one. Ships in five months!!

Heater.
03-20-2012, 10:56 AM
Seem The Pirate Bay have already got dibs on "Pi in the sky":
http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/03/19/low-orbit-servers-or-a-pirate-prank/

Leon
06-16-2012, 10:47 AM
My Pi was shipped yesterday. I should get it on Monday.

Leon
06-25-2012, 01:23 PM
I received my RasPi last week. The power supplies were out of stock, but were back in stock last Friday so I ordered one and a couple of 4 GB SD cards. They arrived just now and I have got the system booting Debian Linux, and waiting for me to login. I need a USB keyboard which I can get from my local computer shop.

Loopy Byteloose
06-25-2012, 03:32 PM
Maybe you could be so kind as to tell us how much the actual total cost of this ends up to be, including your VAT. My largest barrier to buying this little bare-board bargains is that I have a Toshiba NB250 with Linux installed for less than $300USD complete. And it even has W7Starter (which I don't use) on a dual boot configuration. Don't forget that you have a TV or monitor to include.

Heater.
06-25-2012, 04:17 PM
Loopy,

Does your Toshiba NB250 weigh 45g, measure 85.60 53.98 mm, have 8 GPIO pins, a real UART, I2C and SPI buses?

Are your prepared to strap it to your next robot or quadcopter project?

After you have broken it can you pick up another one like jelly beans.

(Well, OK you can't do that last thing with the raspi yet either but that is the aim of the game.)

Leon
06-25-2012, 04:25 PM
I'm having problems with the keyboard I bought, it causes a Linux kernel panic. The forum is pretty good, and someone has suggested that it takes too much current, but it takes < 50 mA according to the label, which should be OK.

Total cost so far (RasPi, PS, keyboard and SD card) is 44.37, including VAT. I already had the TV with HDMI, but an old monitor with composite video input could be used which would cost virtually nothing.

Heater.
06-25-2012, 04:46 PM
Any chance to run your keyboard through a USB hub with it's own PSU as an experiment. My ARM boards here won't accept a keyboard connected directly.

Loopy Byteloose
06-25-2012, 05:02 PM
No, not planning to put the Toshiba NB250 on the robot, but then I am not planning to provide video and keyboard on any robot or require a sophisticated Unix file system for tasks that need none. I would like to use the BeagleBoard to provide video camera on a roving robot though. The PandaBoard would be even better with built-in wifi, but my attempt to order one was refused shipment to Taiwan for lack of being a registered business.

The Propeller offers all the other features that you mention, for $7.99 or a Protoboard for somewhat similar costs. And it provides adequate power to the keyboard and mouse.

Keyboards and Mice are rather power hungry - each requires up to 500ma. Could it be that <50ma is a typo? So they may be too much without an independently powered USB hub. Or at least a bigger wall wart.

Here is a typical USB keyboard by Apple

Keyboard Hub: Product ID: 0x1006 Vendor ID: 0x05ac (Apple Inc.) Version: 96.15 Serial Number: 000000000000 Speed: Up to 480 Mb/sec Manufacturer: Apple, Inc. Location ID: 0xfd300000 Current Available (mA): 500 Current Required (mA): 300

I did successfully take a Professional Engineers EIT exam in the State of California and they did have a rather important section on Engineering Economics.

Leon
06-25-2012, 05:25 PM
Any chance to run your keyboard through a USB hub with it's own PSU as an experiment. My ARM boards here won't accept a keyboard connected directly.

I don't think it's the current consumption, but I might try that.

The wiki has a list of keyboards that work and ones that don't. Mine isn't on it. One that is claimed to work and is quite cheap (6.65) is the Trust ClassicLine. Rapid Electronics has them in stock and I might try one.

Loopy Byteloose
06-25-2012, 08:09 PM
Regarding the keyboard (and maybe mouse) problem, it may be an inrush current problem as the keyboard (or mouse) starts up. That was the problem with the ones that just used a DIN connector before USB came along. And of course, we see that USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 provided 500ma per port as their standard.

The BeagleBoard has had some power distribution problems and apparently the wrong connections can damage the board - something about not putting too much else on it if HDMI was used. Hopefully the Raspberry Pi isn't discovering similar oversights.

I cannot make any sense out of how power is applied to the Raspberry Pi. It seems that it is all supposed to go through a miniature USB connector.

Leon
06-25-2012, 08:35 PM
That's right, it's supplied through a mini USB connector. Both RS and Farnell sell suitable power supplies, or one could modify a USB lead for use with an existing supply.

A mouse doesn't cause any problems, but I can't check it properly until I get a working keyboard.

Loopy Byteloose
06-25-2012, 09:36 PM
USB connectors are rated at 500ma tops and the wire in their cables accordingly.

I Googled around and found that you can power the Raspberry Pi via the GPIO as an alternative. It would seem that putting 1amp of power into a 500ma cable and 500ma USB port is asking for problems. And the Version B board is rated at 700ma.

Why modify a 500ma rated device and hope for more? The wire resistance may be a negative factor.

So I would probably put 1000ma or more into it via the GPIO.

tingo
06-27-2012, 06:19 PM
Maybe you could be so kind as to tell us how much the actual total cost of this ends up to be, including your VAT.
In my case, I had montor, usb keyboard, usb mouse and SD cards already.

Raspberry Pi, model B: NOK 263.19
VAT and handling charges: NOK 192.-
usb charger: NOK 99.-
usb A to b micro cable: NOK 69.-
HDMI cable: NOK 150.-

a total of NOK 773.19. At the current exchange rate of 6.035, that is about USD 128.12

Mark_T
06-27-2012, 11:57 PM
USB connectors are rated at 500ma tops and the wire in their cables accordingly.


Quick look on farnell site, HiRose ZX micro-USB connector range rated at 1A on data pins, 1.8A on power pins, 30mOhm contact resistance, gold plated. That'll take 700mA fine.

Don't confuse micro USB with mini USB connectors - the micro ones are mechanically stronger, electrically better and smaller... [ according to some article I read about micro-USB becoming the mobile-phone standard power socket, IIRC ]

Loopy Byteloose
06-28-2012, 01:46 PM
Well, I am happy the USB connector for the Raspberry Pi is rated far beyond 500ma - it needs to be.

But if someone salvages a USB cable, the wire in the cable may bottleneck the whole set up. After all, to a cable manufacturer with a USB specification of 500ma, there is no reason to provide copper wire for more than 500ma.

Added to that is the problem that keyboard manufacturers may be sloppy in rating the actual power draw of their keyboards as they previously worked fine on a 500ma USB port. They may just pick a lower number for sales advantage as there are an excess of keyboard makers at the low end of the market.

@tingo
Thanks for an objective report of the cost.

BTW, I don't think putting a VOM on a salvaged USB cable is going to provide a useful reading. My own VOM is rather useless below 100ohms.

mindrobots
06-28-2012, 02:05 PM
It looks like the USB spec specifies 28-20 AWG wire for the cable. This would provide a curretn capacity ranging from 830ma to 7.5 amps according to the wire gauge tables for ampacity that I could find quickly.

Loopy Byteloose
06-28-2012, 02:40 PM
Good, but specs are specs. Manufacturers have real out of pocket costs. A penny saved is a penny earned. And that is all copper.

My attitude is brought on by the fact that this is a Parallax hosted forum and the 2800 views of this thread have long touted this non-Parallax product to be far superior in aspects that cannot possibly be true.

Several people are very quick to refute everything I say with cleverness, but not with pragmatic engineering experience. As long as the thread keeps taking advantage of Parallax's hospitality, I suspect you will hear from me from time to time.

Look at the Raspberry Pi forums and all the threads that are dismayed with the keyboard interface not working. I gave you a simple, direct solution and you argue on. Use the GPIO interface and make sure your wire is thick enough.

Of course, if the actual power traces on the Raspberry Pi board are inadequate, the whole project may be moving on to Board C and another price increase.

Heater.
06-28-2012, 02:44 PM
Leon,

No idea how it goes with the raspi but my IGEPv2 ARM boards from ISEE only have USB v2.0 support. So USB v1.0/1 keyboards and mice do not work. Hence the need for a USB v2.0 HUB to act as a converter.

And WOOHO! Today Farnell tells me "your Raspberry Pi will be dispatched the week commencing09/07/2012" and RS have promised delivery of one within 10 weeks!

Then it's Propeller Pi time:)

mindrobots
06-28-2012, 02:50 PM
I was just commenting on what the spec said - yes, specs are specs and the real world is driven by pennies. I'm not refuting/arguing/defending or debating anything although I do try to be clever!

I've ordered a RPi out of curiousity, probably to sit next to my BeagleBone to see what it can do with a Propeller at some point. I don't think my daughter will become a genius computer engineer because I have one and let her use it. I don't I'll revolutionize the STEM programs in our local school district if I show it around the Superintendent's office. It does make you curious though and interesting to see where it goes.

mindrobots
06-28-2012, 02:53 PM
I have an August 16th ship date according to Element-14. I'm looking forward to Propeller Pi too (mostly because it sounds better than Propeller Bone or Beagle Props)!

Leon
06-28-2012, 02:57 PM
I've ordered a Trust ClassicLine keyboard, which is supposed to be one which works OK, from Rapid Electronics. They are very cheap. I should get it tomorrow.

Loopy Byteloose
06-28-2012, 03:01 PM
I realize that the Raspberry Pi looks fun, and may really be fun for someone that already knows Linux in depth.

These days, it is nearly impossible to buy a 15amp 120VAC extension cord with 15amps worth of copper in it.
These days, a 20watt stereo boom box is never really 20 watts.
These days, a Euro isn't worth what it was last year.

I used to build homes as a carpenter and the 100' 15amp extensions cords had to be able to provide a real 15 amps or you spent all day at the circuit breaker box. One buys quality and enjoys the durability. That is the reason that the Propeller has 40ma i/o, though everyone else provides nearer to half that. It is so that the fun keeps on happening, even when the user goofs.

Superlatives have everything to do with sales and hype, very little to do with education.

Heater.
06-28-2012, 03:24 PM
Loopy,


...this thread have long touted this non-Parallax product to be far superior in aspects that cannot possibly be true.

There are no such statements in this thread. Except perhaps a debate over if using a full up Linux system or a simpler micro-controller is better as an educational tool for an introduction to programming, electronics etc. I say lets have both!


...As long as the thread keeps taking advantage of Parallax's hospitality

I will certainly take advantage of Parallax's hospitality because I have a plan...The "Propeller Pi". What better place to discuss it?


Look at the Raspberry Pi forums and all the threads that are dismayed with the keyboard interface not working.

I looked, seems the issue is fixed as of June 27th with a firmware update. http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=7022&start=25 Who says new things can't have teething troubles?


The Plan:


Firstly I want to see all the nice new opensource Propeller tools up and running on the raspi. propgcc, the SimpleIDE, the new opensource Spin compiler etc.

Next I want to see a board of Raspberry pi form factor that will stack on top (or below I guess) with one or more Props on it, as a minimum all the Prop pins should be available from there.


Combined we have a tiny computer with lots of general compute power, ethernet, USB, files store etc from the Pi and a whole bunch of real time I/O and processing capability via the Prop(s)


AND it's a stand alone unit on which all it's software can be developed.


Propeller Pi.

mindrobots
06-28-2012, 03:33 PM
@heater:

I think one of Jazzed's TetraProp boards re-footprinted to fit on top of the Raspberry Pi or Beagle bone would be a formidable pairing. There's a lot of Prop goodness with 4 on a Propeller Platform footprint currently and a bunch of exposed I/O pins. They clock nicely at 100MHz, too.

Once we get GO and/or Forth up and running on the RPi, the world will be a better place!! :lol:

Heater.
06-28-2012, 03:59 PM
mindrobots,

I'd be happy with just all the Propeller tools running on the Pi and other ARM devices. The formidable pairing of ARM and Prop has been on my mind for ages.

As the good book says, we should GO Forth and multiply:)

Loopy Byteloose
06-28-2012, 04:49 PM
A GPIO interface to a Propeller driven board would definitely enhance both.

The Propeller would have a LAN interface, and off loading the video and keyboard would allow all the space on the Propeller to be dedicated to parallel tasking other stuff - like motors and sensors. Plus, the HMDI video would be more sophisticated than the VGA.

But what I tend to love about Parallax products is that it is possible to comprehensively know all the code that goes into something without making a lifetime career out of it.

I am still learning Linux and loving it, but it demands keeping up on a rather wide variety of topics.

Heater.
06-28-2012, 05:12 PM
Loopy,

Great, sounds like we are winning you over:)

I agree, the ability to know what every byte of code in your machine is for is wonderful, still we need dev tools and they run on PC where you will only ever know a vanishingly small part of what is going on. Might as well run them on a small and cheap ARM board.

Loopy Byteloose
06-28-2012, 06:30 PM
Loopy,

There are no such statements in this thread. Except perhaps.......


Ah yes, except perhaps......

Are you winning me over, not really. I see now that the LAN interface is having trouble. I'll just wait and see.

Loopy Byteloose
06-28-2012, 07:01 PM
Here is a screen shot of the Raspberry Pi web site in Taiwan.

The first problem is it is all in English. The second is the link to register is broken. And.... isn't that a BeagleBoard?

rod1963
06-28-2012, 08:21 PM
For starters it isn't from the Raspberry site but from one the distributors - RS. And yes it's not a Raspberry. If the Raspberry is alive a year from now I probably buy one. At least by then there will be software for it.

User Name
06-28-2012, 08:39 PM
That is my stance, too. The RasPi seems to be a cool thing, and I'm not bothered by its discussion here. But I'm more than happy to let others pave the way. I'd like to see where time and talent take the project. Perhaps by next year I'll actually have a use for such a board.

Edit: after seeing this (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?140777-Audio-Signal-Processing-on-the-Propeller-Demo-Board%3Cbr%20/%3E) link of Heater's, Propeller Pi is beginning to make a lot of sense.

carlyn
06-28-2012, 10:10 PM
how does this arm cpu compare to the prop? in a few short sentances ?? :)

Leon
06-28-2012, 10:30 PM
700 Mhz ARM11, graphics processor, and 256 Mbytes of RAM, all on one SoC. The board only has one other chip.

carlyn
06-28-2012, 11:59 PM
700 mhz arm11, graphics processor, and 256 mbytes of ram, all on one soc. The board only has one other chip.

well whats the problem with only one other chip, can you connect sensors xbee etc to it ? Whoops caps.

rod1963
06-29-2012, 03:50 AM
The "other" chip is a LAN controller. Otherwise it's a SOC computer.

The only whoops in this is, that production and distribution are a ongoing train wreck and probably costing Raspberry a lot of potential customers, but that's what you get when you don't involve people with that expertise. Heck they can't even get out a simple I/O board after promising to release one at the end of 2011, they are just releasing prototypes now. The board is so simple that almost any hobbyist with a PCB program could design it and send it off to Itead in a week or two. Not six-twelve months.

Heater.
06-29-2012, 05:09 AM
Rod1963,
If such a simple board for 30 odd dollars is so easy to create and market how come they are the first ones to do it?
There are of course similarly capable ARM boards like my IGEPv2 from ISEE or the Beagle board but at many times the price.
Don't forget they are a charity doing this on a shoe string budget not a huge company like TI.
For sure they were not expecting such an overwhelming demand for the first run, if ever. They have had to learn how to cope with this as they go along and it seems they have actually learned well.

Loopy Byteloose
06-29-2012, 11:14 AM
Some are absolutely sold on the Raspberry Pi -- blinded by guts and glory. ( God save the Queen! Hail Britannia! and all that...........) {Thar be mad dogs and Englishmen walking amongst us.}

Broadcomm has a good chip and it certainly can easily support a PDA or an iPad type touch screen. It certainly is a rather complete Computer on a Chip.

Comparisons to the Propeller and Basic Stamp tend to presume the biggest, fastest in the tiniest of packages is the best for everything.

But Linux is based on a multi-user file system and has a lot more overhead than many microcontroller projects require - especially in an educational context where not having a large file system and library of support items can be quite useful. These system requirements tend to distract the student from what can truly be done with very little code.

In education, one has to crawl, then walk, then run. HDMI video is quite wonderful for those that know how to exploit it; but learning analog video and VGA on the Propeller are a much simpler presentation for the student. The Propeller actually presents the true simplicity of video generation in assembler - which is generally necessary to get the optimal speeds. Parallax also tends to do things in software that others do in silicon and thus eliminate one's dependency of buying a chip with all the hardware features that one requires and just writing code to particular registers to make it work. One learns actual algorithms for I2C, SPI, RS232, buffers, stacks, and so on.

Some of us believe 'everything in moderation' and ofter a contrasting view. Personally, I dislike the having to get on a list an wait - now at 14 weeks. BUT, I have registered as it may be pretty good in 14 weeks and people are now sorting out the real user problems. It is rather disappointing that one might have to use a powered USB hub to attach many useful USB devices as the board design tried to accommodate two USB ports on very little power.

It is also a problem that these two USB ports are running through the LAN chip and users are having trouble with LAN interface at this point. More shall be revealed.

Admittedly it is sometimes worthwhile to throw away a little money to learn what is going on. For the curious and more informed, the Raspberry Pi will provide a bit of educational contrast to other devices. At least, you don't have to hack an Apple iPad to explore this leading edge.

katefdh
06-29-2012, 12:39 PM
most kids are using Python on a days ...!! its interesting to use ..:)

prof_braino
06-29-2012, 02:50 PM
T... production and distribution are a ongoing train wreck and probably costing Raspberry a lot of potential customers,...

Sorry, but this is a silly assessment. Going from ten hand-built prototypes to hundreds of thousands sold and shipped in a few months by a group that "doesn't have that expertise" is a BIG deal. Pretty much shows the folks with "that expertise" how its done, I think. Just as the OLPC drew the the declaration that a sub $1000 laptop would be "impossible" yet started the whole trend towards the netbooks we see today; the Raspberry Pi is about to start a new paradigm shift in person computing devices, or new product development, or both.

prof_braino
06-29-2012, 03:38 PM
most kids are using Python on a days ...!! its interesting to use ..:)

I know python is popular, and the Chicago hackspace PS-1 is even has classes going http://pumpingstationone.org/2011/03/introduction-to-programming-with-python/

But I couldn't find anyone to do a port of the prop GO CSP-Channels (GO-Channels and Propforth MCS) to Python (http://code.google.com/p/python-csp/). Python CSP and Prop MCS.

Maybe when enough folks have RPi, (and we get the GO Channels to propforth demo working on RPi) somebody will take interest in the python interface.

Loopy Byteloose
06-29-2012, 04:00 PM
On a positive note...
I like Python and always have. But I keep falling back to lower levels of programing for my own pursuits.

Leon
06-29-2012, 04:02 PM
I have received the Trust ClassicLine keyboard I ordered a couple of days ago, and that works OK with the RasPi, as does the mouse. My local Asda has 5 keyboards in stock that are supposed to work; I could have saved myself some money and got the thing working quicker if I'd known that.

I can now explore the system properly.

Loopy Byteloose
06-29-2012, 05:13 PM
@Leon
Looking forward to your discoveries. If this is a useful Python environment, it just may take us all by surprise and go viral.

Leon
06-29-2012, 05:49 PM
It comes with Python, of course. I tried it out and it works OK.

It also has gcc, which I am more interested in.

carlyn
06-30-2012, 01:17 PM
Yes I noticed that too. The Australian newspaper breathlessly reports today:

COMPUTER distributor RS Components has released what it says is the world's cheapest computer -- a tiny credit card-sized machine costing $U25 and called the Raspberry Pi.

and when you go to RS it says

Register here to express an interest in Raspberry Pi .... Price $50.40

yeah and how come kindle is 99 in US and 159 here ? so today I bought a Kobo and its brill... for $83.

Leon
06-30-2012, 01:22 PM
$25 is the price of the Model A, which isn't in production and hasn't aroused any interest, anyway. The Model B is $35 here in the UK, and I actually paid less than that because of the exchange rate. Delivery was free but I had to pay VAT, of course.

Leon
07-02-2012, 09:11 AM
Farnell is accepting direct RPi orders on the 5th July for delivery in ~4 weeks.:

http://downloads.element14.com/raspberryPi1.html?isRedirect=true&ICID=raspberrypigroup_Europe

It looks like they are ramping up to full-scale production.

Loopy Byteloose
07-02-2012, 02:25 PM
RS just took my name at the end of June for 14 weeks????????? Maybe they have been reading this thread. (I shouldn't be admitting this, should I?)

Leon
07-02-2012, 03:00 PM
Try Farnell on the 5th.

Loopy Byteloose
07-02-2012, 03:39 PM
No Farnell to Taiwan, only RS. It seems only RS has global shipping.

Leon
07-02-2012, 05:32 PM
I can order one for you from Farnell.

Loopy Byteloose
07-02-2012, 06:01 PM
I am curious to see if they will really deliver to Taiwan. My PandaBoard order never came through - claimed I needed to prove that I had a valid business or something. That was from Digikey.

I looked at the Farnell registration and they seem to want to qualify that you are working in the industry.

RS Solutions also wanted a company name (I gave them the usual - Herzog Co.).

Besides, I'd have nothing to gripe about if I got one right away. These days I am trying to figure out the GPIO. The Propeller seems to offer a more flexible and useful interface -- Both are 3.3v logic. There is the one +5V pin that is the exception.

Leon
07-02-2012, 06:13 PM
I've had accounts with Farnell and RS (and Digi-Key) for years.

Heater.
07-02-2012, 07:00 PM
Loopy,
Is all this RS and Farnell wanting to only deliver to a business real so. Because if so it's totally nuts given that the entire reason for the Raspies existance is to get ultra cheap computers into the hands of young ones. Perhaps you would like to bring this to the attention of the Raspberry PI foundation. I at least would be very interested to know what they feel about that.

Leon
07-02-2012, 07:03 PM
Those restrictions don't apply to people ordering from the UK, and Europe, probably.

Heater.
07-02-2012, 07:07 PM
Perhaps. Given Ebens original desire to get more computer savy applicants to Cambridge and that they are quite happy to accept applications from around the world it makes no sense.

Loopy Byteloose
07-02-2012, 07:49 PM
I have no idea if Farnell and RS Solutions are restricted in the same way as US distributors Digikey and Mouser are, but a couple of things happened earlier this year.

1. I didn't get the PandaBoard I tried to order via Digikey after waiting quite a bit of time and they said that I hadn't provided them with a bonafide busiess address and so on in Taiwan. They had asked a lot of questions about my occupation, title, and intended use.

2. Someone in Canada was on the Forums complaining that by ordering through Mouser they were sent a rather official and lengthy inquire about some Propeller items they were ordering.

It seemed at the time that major American electronics distributors had suddenly been forced to comply with some rather arduous documentation to ship more sophisticated items outside the USA.

It could be that Farnell and RS Solutions are merely 'data mining' for future reference and not qualifying shipments. I've been a bit mental of late. So this may all be nothing.

Still, I did see that Farnell was covering merely the U.K. (maybe the EU too) and that RS Solutions was distributing to the rest of the world. This was claimed when I registered. That makes sense because RS Solutions might have the shipping infrastructure to handle the far and away, while Farnell may not. And of course, there is the ever present question of being VAT exempt.

prof_braino
07-04-2012, 09:06 PM
I just got an email from element 14 that the cap on RPi orders is 10. But the order page was temporarily unavailable.

User Name
09-05-2012, 03:29 AM
I got a hankering today to see what was going on in the world of Raspberry Pi. Cutting to the chase, my efforts to track down centers of activity were largely fruitless. Perhaps RasPi is quietly doing wonderful things in the education system, but as far as hobbyists and hackers go, I was pretty much underwhelmed.

It is possible that vast throngs of users are too busy using the stuff to stop and chat about it. I just don't know. What is the word from the street? I though perhaps someone here might know. Leon, how are your investigations going? Any chance of using the RasPi as an embedded controller? Are we still waiting for cases and chassis?

Leon
09-05-2012, 04:11 AM
Cases are available. See the forum for details of what people are doing with them.

I am currently more interested in my new Terasic DE0-Nano FPGA system.

prof_braino
09-05-2012, 04:15 AM
I got a hankering today to see what was going on in the world of Raspberry Pi. Cutting to the chase, my efforts to track down centers of activity were largely fruitless. Perhaps RasPi is quietly doing wonderful things in the education system, but as far as hobbyists and hackers go, I was pretty much underwhelmed.

It is possible that vast throngs of users are too busy using the stuff to stop and chat about it. I just don't know. What is the word from the street? I though perhaps someone here might know. Leon, how are your investigations going? Any chance of using the RasPi as an embedded controller? Are we still waiting for cases and chassis?

Remember, school just started, and the kids have other classes too. :)

Maybe you missed the bit where RPi works from the CEC link signals from the TV so it can be controlled by the remote? So an RPi on the TV can be a whole media center? (as in no more half @$$ed blue ray consoles) Or the camera coming out later this year, so openCV can make our bots vision equipped for under $100? I guess a paradigm shift in consumer robotics can be underwhelming on these forums, since "impossible" is an invitation here, rather than a limit.

We're still on track to use RPi as headless embedded workstation, and multi-props as embedded controller.

I say paradigm shift in consumer robotics is 18 months out. I base this on the props ability to interface to anything, and the RPi's availability of cheap OS services.

Opinions in support? to the contrary?

JBeale
09-05-2012, 07:09 AM
Apparently the Pi will not make it into schools in large numbers until next year, but some units are out there.

I have two R-Pi's now; one for playing around with, and the other one is working away 24/7 uploading to the web some timing data acquired by a Prop. If you're really curious, here's a raw sample: http://bealecorner.org/incoming/raw/pi2.txt Not a terribly glamorous application, but it was easy, and cost-effective. :-)

TonyD
09-05-2012, 10:36 AM
Apparently the Pi will not make it into schools in large numbers until next year, but some units are out there.
Speaking with one of the main distributor recently, they say they've sold over 500,000 units and expect to ship there million'th by Christmas.

Heater.
09-05-2012, 02:53 PM
User Name,


...my efforts to track down centers of activity were largely fruitless...

I presume you checked out the Rasperry Pi forums:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/
Seems to be quite active enough. Even the Raspberrypi.org front page has a lot of stories coming.

One centre of Raspberry Pi activity is right here:) What with getting propgcc, the new spin compiler and SimpleIDE built for ARM and running on the Pi. And getting the Prop loader to use the Pi's on board UART. Not to mention there are already two or three of us cooking up Propeller add on boards for the Pi.


Perhaps RasPi is quietly doing wonderful things in the education system,

Not yet so much. The current run of Pi boards was supposed to be a limited initial release for developers, sort of beta. It was not intended to go into schools until there was an enclosure for it and any problems sorted out.

Somehow this has mushroomed and they will have shipped a million boards by Christmas. They no longer intend to design or build a case because there are already hundreds out there. See the forum.


It is possible that vast throngs of users are too busy using the stuff to stop and chat about it

Perhaps, but the forum is pretty active.


What is the word from the street?

From my end of the street I would say it's amazing.

They have a put together in a short time an entire new architecture for Debian that uses the floating point hardware on the Pi properly (Normal ARM Debian does not)

First thing I wanted was a working Free Pascal compiler, floating point related bugs in that went all the way to the FPC developers and were fixed in short order.

I wanted a recent version of node.js so as to make easy connections from Prop serial to WEB pages. Sure enough it has been sorted.

The Nokia guys have been working on version 5 of Qt for the Pi. Oracle has taken Java on the Pi seriously.

I have Simple IDE and Propeller dev tools running on the Pi.


Any chance of using the RasPi as an embedded controller?

With 17 GPIO pins, a UART, SPI and other interfaces why not? Up to some definition of real-time. You embedded system then has a real file system and networking and video if need be.

For more time critical stuff and more IO I want to ad a Pi form factor board carrying a Propeller. It could also provide a VGA text terminal for the Pi (The Pi does not do VGA)


Are we still waiting for cases and chassis?

No: http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=58

(http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=58)

Heater.
09-05-2012, 03:47 PM
I thought I'd look around the Raspberry Pi scene as well.

YouTube returns over 3000 hits for the search "Raspberry Pi", the first 20 on pages of results are all definitely on topic, gave up looking after that.

Google returns 7000000 hits for "Raspberry Pi" by contrast less that 500000 for Parallax Propeller and even less if you put quotes around that.

So, I don't know about "centres of activity" but there seems to be an awful lot going on spread around out there.

I just hope we can jump on board with a Prop add on board design for the Pi. With soon one million Pi out there that's a lot of potential customers for Parallax. And I believe the educational goals of Raspi and Parallax are complementary and in alignment. Good for everyone.

John A. Zoidberg
09-05-2012, 05:28 PM
I just ordered one yesterday and it'll be shipping to my doorstep tomorrow, I hope. :)

Can't wait to play with it, especially the I/O ports! I get so uber-excited on the external ports, I read the community magazines on the interfacing technique before the thing reaches my home.

In my area there are stocks in Singapore's Element14 so it's quite easy to buy it.

User Name
09-05-2012, 05:41 PM
Thanks for the informative responses! I'm slow to reply simply because of the workload at the moment.


Google returns 7000000 hits for "Raspberry Pi" by contrast less that 500000 for Parallax Propeller and even less if you put quotes around that.

Not sure what the origins of such a remark are, but I hope my questions didn't put anyone on the defensive. I suppose I'm as aware as anyone of the tremendous publicity success the RasPi has been.

I've been out of the loop for a while. Knowing the ingenuity of the human mind, I couldn't help but fantasize about all the great things that were surely taking place. When I actually visited raspberrypi.org, though, there were two individuals logged in at the moment, and the most elaborate project I saw was where someone had fashioned a laptop with the RP at its heart. This surprised me, so I figured that either the activity was occurring elsewhere or else there wasn't a lot.

As for 'hits,' it seemed that most of them dealt with supply and delivery issues. There was a noticeable dearth of substantive hits. I still figure that a lot of activity must be going on, at least in software, and that we'll see more as time passes.

I've got a lot of specific comments to make, but no time at the moment to make them. I'm very pleased to hear that the RP is serviceable as an embedded controller, and interested in the project of JBeale. Embedded control is certainly the application that would cause me to buy one at the moment. Must-have apps might fuel further purchases and more elaborate installments.

User Name
09-05-2012, 06:47 PM
One centre of Raspberry Pi activity is right here:) What with getting propgcc, the new spin compiler and SimpleIDE built for ARM and running on the Pi. And getting the Prop loader to use the Pi's on board UART. Not to mention there are already two or three of us cooking up Propeller add on boards for the Pi.

Exactly. When it comes to the type of RasP projects that would interest me, I found more of them here than anywhere else.


They have a put together in a short time an entire new architecture for Debian that uses the floating point hardware on the Pi properly (Normal ARM Debian does not)

First thing I wanted was a working Free Pascal compiler, floating point related bugs in that went all the way to the FPC developers and were fixed in short order.

I wanted a recent version of node.js so as to make easy connections from Prop serial to WEB pages. Sure enough it has been sorted.

Where does one keep tabs on this sort of thing? Is it on raspberrypi.org? Because of the glut of old and irrelevant info on the internet, it is difficult to find the good stuff. Maybe it comes down to using the right search terms, starting with -backordered, -delivery, -Farnell, and -announced. :)

User Name
09-05-2012, 09:26 PM
I am currently more interested in my new Terasic DE0-Nano FPGA system.

That is a brilliant product! The size...the stackable peripherals...the looks...the price.

As for the performance, the spec sheet indicates a 50 MHz clock, but I can only imagine that is frequency-multiplied internally.

So this way you don't have to wait for your dream uC, you can make it yourself!

Leon
09-05-2012, 09:40 PM
It is a nice little board:

http://www.terasic.com.tw/cgi-bin/page/archive.pl?No=593

Shipping from Terasic used to be expensive, but they are now available from RS, Farnell and Digi-Key with free shipping here in the UK.

I have an older Cyclone II board with a 50 MHz clock and I've used the PLL on that to multiply it up to 200 MHz. I haven't tried it yet with the DE0--Nano.

User Name
09-05-2012, 11:33 PM
Thanks for the info, Leon. I anticipate a Verilog-filled weekend.

Leon
09-05-2012, 11:50 PM
I use VHDL, I can't get on with Verilog.

Tymkrs
09-06-2012, 12:16 AM
An FYI for folks wanting to get into RaspPi, they're coming out with a new revision that seems to be improved as far as power management and mounting goes:

http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/1929

Looks like adafruit is giving away Pis with orders over 350 - I assume to make room for the new ones?

http://adafruit.com/products/998

JBeale
09-06-2012, 01:50 AM
Looks like adafruit is giving away Pis with orders over 350 - I assume to make room for the new ones?
http://adafruit.com/products/998

As far as I know, Adafruit is not an authorized Pi distributor (that is still exclusive to Allied & RS, and their subsidiaries) and they do not sell the Pi board separately. So they must have bought some through the normal retail channel- I doubt they have a large stock.

Tymkrs
09-06-2012, 02:01 AM
That makes sense. I tried to see what they were selling it for, but obviously couldn't find a pricetag. Like you said, it must be just an internal stock they acquired. Either way, sounds like new ones are in production!

JBeale
09-06-2012, 02:22 AM
... interested in the project of JBeale ...
My current project is pretty mundane. I have three OCXO (ovenized oscillators) and one GPS unit. Each produces a 1-PPS (pulse per second) signal. I am studying the stability and drift over time of the oscillators. The Prop takes these four inputs (one per cog) and records a time-stamp on the rising edge based on its system clock, 100 MHz in my case, for 10 ns timing resolution. Then the elapsed seconds, 1 PPS duration of channel 1 (as a delta from 1E8 clock ticks), and the pairwise timestamp deltas between channels T2-1, T3-1, T4-1, T3-2, T4-2, T4-3 are sent via a serial-to-USB link to the R-Pi. The R-Pi logs the data to CF card, and also every half-hour, uploads the previous hour's worth of data, plus a 10-second brief excerpt to my website, for downloading and plotting elsewhere (for example, see attached plot. Top six graphs are the linear trends, bottom two show the residuals. Bottom right is the Ch.1-2-3 residuals vs. Ch.4 GPS, which has a 60 ns "sawtooth" characteristic, giving the wider trace).

In this application the Prop does the real-time measurement by capturing the edge timings, and the R-Pi is just doing mass storage and network uplink. For this job the R-Pi could (for example) be replaced by an Arduino with CF card + ethernet shield, but I believe that combo would actually be more expensive than a Pi. Also, coding on the Pi side was quite fast and easy with the power of shell scripting and all the usual Unix-ish command-line utilities. Here, the Pi is using maybe 1% of its resources so it could be doing many other things as well. It could be generating the graphs also, for example (I use the KST plotting tool- NumPy / SciPy is even more powerful). Before the Pi I would have used my desktop PC, but that uses about 100 W, and the Pi draws only about 2 W so I don't worry about leaving it on all the time.

95354

Circuitsoft
09-06-2012, 02:46 AM
It might be interesting to have the prop receive the 1PPS from the GPS, and have an output driving a heater connected to its crystal. From there, it could basically adjust its own clock in a PLL-like fashion to have a stable clock, which could then be used as a timebase to compare your OCXOs against.

JBeale
09-06-2012, 03:50 AM
That's a good idea, making the Prop into a GPSDO (GPS-disciplined oscillator). Seems like it would be pretty easy to do.

Tubular
09-06-2012, 04:03 AM
As far as I know, Adafruit is not an authorized Pi distributor (that is still exclusive to Allied & RS, and their subsidiaries) and they do not sell the Pi board separately. So they must have bought some through the normal retail channel- I doubt they have a large stock.

Yes I wondered that too. Apart from RS/Allied, the other dist group is Element14/Farnell/Newark/MCMelectronics

User Name
09-06-2012, 06:46 AM
@JBeale: Thanks for sharing the details. Time is a fascinating thing to measure. Somewhere in the pile I've got an SC-cut, 5th overtone OCXO that I dote over. It's big, and the heater consumes a fair amount of power (in terms of modern sensibilities at least). But it requires infinitely less maintenance than a rubidium source or a hydrogen maser.

So are you using an SD card, a TV, and the official R-Pi keyboard, or have you gone fancier than that? Have you done any programming on the R-Pi other than in scripting language?

I really like the idea of maximizing the use of the R-Pi without investing heavily in add-ons. (Laptops I have.) Your example seems to illustrate a useful capability that requires very little added expense. Thanks!

JBeale
09-06-2012, 07:27 AM
Actually, I find it easiest to work with the Pi through a serial terminal into its onboard UART, from my regular desktop PC. I've also tried running it as a standalone with keyboard and mouse and DVI monitor, which works, but as I am working I frequently refer to web pages for various info, and the Pi's own GUI and web browser are not responsive enough for my taste. Which is fine, I don't really need it to be a web browser. As an embedded system with ethernet, USB and relatively spacious memory it is quite useful for my simple data-acquisition needs. (If they ever get hardware-accelerated X Windows going, it would help, but in any case a 700 MHz ARMv6 is not going to compare with a modern desktop machine.)

Heater.
09-06-2012, 11:19 AM
User Name,

I only threw those YouTube and Google hit counts in there because you opened by saying you had not found much Raspi action. They show there is quite a bit. But yes, hit counts don't mean much.

I'm very surprised that you only found two individuals logged into the Rasp forums. One of them would have been me:) I have been logged into there continuously for a month or so. Normally when I take a look there are hundreds of people on line.


Where does one keep tabs on this sort of thing? Is it on raspberrypi.org?
Yes, the net fills up with junk very quickly, be it just repetition, whining, obsolete or wrong info. Who on earth is going to watch those thousands of Raspi videos?

Rant: Why does everyone now feel the need to say everything via a video now a days? Did they forget how to write? With a text you can quickly skip through and see it might me what you are looking for or do a search on it. With a vid you have to sit through the whole thing before you find out it is useless chatter.

I have only been checking the raspberrypi.org front page and lurking on the forum for a bit. They have so many sub forums it's hard to keep up with. What with the plethora of languages operating systems etc etc.

JBeale
09-06-2012, 04:19 PM
Just to take this thread off-topic, at the end of the month you can allegedly buy this: http://blog.makezine.com/2012/09/04/49-feature-packed-cubieboard/

which is a Linux board using a 1 GHz Allwinner A10 (Cortex A8). 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 96 IO pins, SATA, HDMI, 2x USB host, 1xUSB OTG, for $49.

It will be interesting to see what the state of the software is on this board. There is allegedly no documentation at all for the Allwinner chips, they just rely on a reference design.

Heater.
09-06-2012, 04:53 PM
The world has gone nuts on cheap ARM boards. There is also the Olimex a23-olinuxino on the horizon.
https://www.olimex.com/dev/a13-olinuxino.html

User Name
09-06-2012, 08:12 PM
I gotta admit I'm a sucker for cheap ARM boards. Evidently I'm not alone. The CubieBoard in particular is calling my name right now... I love the onboard esata+ connector. Makes life a lot easier.

@JBeale: Perfect. I'm taking the Pi plunge today. Bag the keyboard and all the other trappings.

@Heater: I share your frustration over the proliferation of videos. I first became irritated with that on news websites, where I wanted a bit of text to scan but was forced to load and watch a video to learn more. Forget it.

Also, it seems pretty clear I didn't give raspberrypi.org a fair shake. Once again, I was scanning for quick answers, and the sample posts I selected to read were not inspiring or engaging, or really going anywhere.

Heater.
09-06-2012, 08:26 PM
User Name,
Ha, Just search for "Heater" on the Raspi forums to find out where the action is:)
There must be some other Parallaxians there as well by now.

JBeale
09-06-2012, 10:05 PM
@JBeale: Perfect. I'm taking the Pi plunge today. Bag the keyboard and all the other trappings.


Yep, you don't need much if you just want to work through a shell prompt. Here's a convenient way to work with the Pi through a USB-serial link. Just 4 wires, and no separate power supply needed!
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/tGgcfLKxu-WwtoR-yA9tXtMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

For my USB-to-3V3-Serial adaptor I used this, under $2 shipped (how do they do that?) Although a USB extension cable is also handy.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-To-RS232-TTL-PL2303HX-Auto-Converter-Module-Converter-Adapter-5V-3-3V-Output-/350568364250

You can also just work remotely via telnet or SSH into the Pi, over the network, but you'll still need a power supply connection plus the network.

Leon
09-06-2012, 10:33 PM
Farnell is now getting them made in the UK:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19510040

Heater.
09-07-2012, 01:13 AM
Leon,

That is great news and something of an amazing achievment in this modern world of Asian everything. But it really put my mind in a Spin. I mean it's a plant bellonging to the evil Sony corporation. Any way can't wait to get my "Made in UK" Pi.

User Name
09-07-2012, 05:11 AM
I use VHDL, I can't get on with Verilog.
VHDL is more like the PLD tools I began with. Unfortunately Verilog is all I have right now. What tools come on the DE0-Nano CDs? Anything useful in that regard?

Leon
09-07-2012, 06:05 AM
Altera Quartus II is provided with it (VHDL and Verilog) but it's best to download it, to get the latest release.

User Name
09-21-2012, 01:01 AM
This (http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/04/raspberry-pi-getting-started-guide-how-to/) is exactly the sort of website I expected to find on the R-Pi. It is clear, concise, complete, and to-the-point. I'm surprised how many months passed before it appeared. Perhaps it is a reflection of the fact that supply has finally caught up with demand. Why field articles for devices your readers can't get hold of?

Cluso99
09-21-2012, 03:18 AM
User Name: Thanks for the link!
Could have helped last week. I am going to recreate my sd card again to use the correct answers.

Heater.
09-21-2012, 09:47 AM
Nicely done intro to the Pi. But all that info is on the rasperrypi.org site. Don't forget it's early days, this was only intended a prelaunch for developers and it mushroomed beyond anyones expectations.


Why field articles for devices your readers can't get hold of?

I don't know, there are 15000 Raspies on the map here, http://rastrack.co.uk/ which is estimated to be a lot less than ten percent of what's been shipped. Looks like a million Raspies will have been shipped by Christmas, not bad going.

Rsadeika
09-21-2012, 01:00 PM
I noticed on the RPi site, a discussion about overclocking the RPi, has anybody tried this? If you have, does it make any noticeable difference in how the GUI reacts at that speed? Faster, much faster, desirable faster?

Ray

Rsadeika
09-21-2012, 01:38 PM
I guess I answered my own question. I had to re-image my SD card for a new install, so I downloaded the latest wheezy raspian.
In the raspi-config there is a new selection for overclocking, so to do over-clocking, it has become a painless procedure. I am now
running the RPi at 1GHz, still have not decided as to whether it makes a bit of difference. Hope somebody else tries it, to see
how it works for them.

Ray

Cluso99
09-21-2012, 09:05 PM
I am waiting on delivery of a MK802 II that I snatched on eBay for A$51. It's much faster than the RPi so interested to see how it performs - like the wifi instead of ethernet.

User Name
09-23-2012, 12:04 AM
For my USB-to-3V3-Serial adaptor I used this, under $2 shipped (how do they do that?) Although a USB extension cable is also handy.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-To-RS232-TTL-PL2303HX-Auto-Converter-Module-Converter-Adapter-5V-3-3V-Output-/350568364250

I truly don't know how they do that. But they do. My adapters just arrived - and they work great. I found the PL2303 driver here (http://prolificusa.com/pl-2303hx-drivers/).