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My Raspberry Pi Accessories

July 16, 2013 10:51 pm Leave your thoughts
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Raspberry PiIf you have browsed around this website for a while, you may notice that there are a bunch of Raspberry Pi articles that I wrote. Since I love that little computer a lot, I will most probably write more articles about it. I do notice however that I do not have a definitive list of equipments that I use to get my Raspberry Pi working smoothly, every time I write an article about it I would have to remember if I have mentioned it previously, otherwise new readers will get confused.

So today I will show you all what sort of accessories are attached to my Raspberry Pi and these are the accessories that will make most if not all Raspberry Pi builds to run with ease. I like easy stuff and these are the easiest plug and play equipments that you should consider if you haven’t got one. I think it’ll be good to share with you all as it took me quite some time to research each of these, making sure it works for my board. Keep in mind though that electronic equipments always have different batches and slight variety so read the descriptions first if you find one in Amazon or other shops.

Display Connections

I use my old VGA monitor as oppose to HDMI connection. It took me a while to research the correct converter, however the best one that I came up with is the one that does HDMI signal decoding as well as sound processing. It’s really compact and easy to use.

There are others that has external power has other features such as multiple outputs, however I found that simpler is mostly better.

If you decide to go with this kind of connector, then don’t forget to visit our article here on how to correctly setup the Raspberry Pi to use the VGA converter.

Speaker

Since I mostly use my Raspberry Pi for playing retro games and don’t want the setup to eat up too much space, I chose to use the X-Mini Speaker. The cool thing about this speaker is that despite it’s small size, it’s able to produce great quality sound. Obviously don’t compare this to desktop speakers with subwoofers.

Being able to charge this portable speaker just via USB is also great, which means it doesn’t need any power plug.

The X-Mini speaker’s inbuilt battery also last quite long too. I can’t really say the exact number however there has been times when I forgot to switch the power off overnight and it’s still on the next day.

Wireless USB Dongle

The Raspberry Pi comes with an ethernet port, however if you are like me, you would want to put the Raspberry Pi next to the TV or in your home office (aka. game room) without the hassle of extending your network cable.

This is one of the other things that I had to do extensive research on too. There are numerous occasion where people have difficulties getting USB dongle working with the Raspberry Pi, mostly because of driver incompatibility, unrecognised chip, etc.

The Edimax Wireless Nano USB Adapter is one of the USB dongle that just works with the Raspberry Pi, in my case I didn’t even need to install drivers of any kinds, I simply used the GUI setup.

Powered USB Hub

This is one of the other essential accessories for the Raspberry Pi. By default, the machine comes with 2 spare USB ports, this is simply not enough as you’ll want to use more ports for the speaker (power), mouse, keyboard, USB sticks, wireless dongle and other things that you might want to connect to.

The one point to remember is that the Raspberry Pi is a very low powered machine, therefore the USB hub must have external power.  You can basically use any powered USB hub however I like the “squid” looking one as each ports have their own “legs”.

SDCard

Obviously you need this one, but make sure to consult the compatibility list here. I actually had to try twice until I got the right card. For some reason the 16GB Sandisk SDCard that I originally use never worked with the Raspberry Pi, instead my older 8GB card did. So again, make sure to consult the list before purchasing one.

Casing

I can always get a specialised case for the Raspberry Pi which will fit just perfectly. They are easy to get from Amazon or other online stores. However when I first got my Raspberry Pi I was feeling creative and I heard a lot of people use Lego to build the casing. Therefore I decided to get one as well to house my Raspberry Pi and that what’s literally happened. My Raspberry Pi now resides within a Lego house.

If you decided to use lego for your casing, it’s a good idea to get a set that includes the base and lots of bricks. This way you can model it whatever you want.

I also go down this path because I think Lego plastic is just fantastic. I think each one of the blocks are made of high quality plastic that would last for quite a while.

Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad

When I hooked my Raspberry Pi with the large TV I don’t want to use wired keyboard because it would just be messy. I can’t use normal wireless keyboard and mouse too as they normally have very limited operating range. To be able to control the Raspberry Pi connected to a TV while I’m sitting on the couch, I needed a high quality wireless keyboard and touchpad.

One of the best one that I found is the Logitech K400 wireless keyboard and touchpad combo. The range is great and the touchpad is very responsive and easy to use.

So in closing, the above are the accessories that I have connected with the Raspberry Pi at home. These are the actual devices that I’m using at the moment, so it should be safe to say that they are compatible with most Raspberry Pi boards. I say most because I’m not sure if every Raspberry Pi revision has the same compatibility.

Have fun!

 

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