361 of 381 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2014
I was hesitant to purchase this kit because of what other people said about the price. So, I tried assembling the set myself using the cheapest versions of the same items listed in this kit. I figured out that it IS NOT CHEAPER TO MAKE THIS KIT YOURSELF unless you buy all the parts from one company and pay for shipping only once. (Or, go in person to buy the things you can.)
When I gathered all of the information from AMAZON, this is what I found:
1) Raspberry Pi ($35, new)
2) Hard case ($10-15 if you get a cheap one, $20 for a Tibow brand)
3) SD card ($5-20 depending on the size. I would choose a 16GB 10 class. This kit came with 8GB, pre-loaded with software)
4) Wi-Fi Dongle ($6 for a used one, $11 for new)
5) HDMI cable (We all have these, but if you had to buy one you can find them for $2)
6) Breadboard ($1 for a cheap-o one)
7) GPIO Ribbon Cable ($0.01, okay no biggie)
8) GPIO to Breadboard Interface Board ($8)
9) Pack of LEDs ($6)
10) 180 ohm resistors set ($1 for a 10 pack)
11) 10K ohm resistors ($1 for a 25 pack)
11) Push-button switches ($4 for a pack of 10, or $1 for a pack of 4)
So, that is $77.01 for the cheapest versions of the listed items NOT INCLUDING SHIPPING. Shipping is really why I decided to purchase this pack. Not only did I not have to leave my house to go find these pieces in person, but I only had to pay one shipping charge. In addition, the pieces came in one box on the same day so I could start messing with the Pi as soon as I got it.
Also important is the fact that this kit comes with a pre-loaded new-out-of-box-software (NOOBS) SD card. I honestly wouldn't have cared if I had to transfer the disk image myself, BUT for people who aren't comfortable doing that I would recommend getting this set. (It's honestly not hard to load a blank SD card. Just Google the instructions if you want to assemble your own kit. If you're buying a Pi, you are probably already a bit tech-savvy.)
122 of 127 people found the following review helpful
My Husband and I purchased this kit to introduce our son into the world of engineering and electronics.
My seven year old son was very eager and caught on quickly to the steps on creating a circuitry of resisters and LED.
My husband decided to go to a google site to build a virtual circuit and test it before working with real electricity and found that the transition from virtual to reality was very natural for online savvy kids like ours. Now, with the tool set from the CanaKit Raspberry Pi 2, he is able to wire and program simple circuitry on his own.
Additionally, He's working with the provided software that came in the form of a micro sd card; Scratch, Python games and his favorite game that we downloaded called Minecraft Pi via the included wifi adapter. Overall, He is learning and will continue to learn and Explore.
As a bonus, My husband has been learning how to code languages that he yearned to do while he was in college but was unable to do to his major now he feels and looks like the geek he always wanted to be. lol
142 of 151 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2014
Very happy with my purchase of this kit. Great value for what you get. Unlike some other buyers, I did not experience any issues with components being bent or mangled - all my stuff was received in pristine condition insinde a durable cardboard container.
I will say that it would be helpful to know if the RGB LED is common anode or cathode, but I had some known others laying around so not EOTW. There is a brief "General Assembly Guide" included which illustrates the actual physical look and electronic schematic symbols for common components and a color reference card for calculating color-coded AXIAL resistor values. Nothing is mentioned of using the digit system for SMD-type resistors, or of inductors, crystals, etc. It's a good guide for beginner projects reference, but by no means exhaustive.
Also, would have liked to see the T-Cobbler version of the breakout board instead of the inline version included here. If you are going to use the included breadboard, you'll find that you are left with only a single tie point on one side and two on the other and half your rows used when you've plugged this breakout in. Again, not EOTW, as you can use jumper cables to jump to another row from the breakout pin row if you need more tie points. Unfortunately, the spacing is too short to straddle two "stackable" breadboards laid side-to-side, so I would advise buying at least one more small breadboard (if not more and/or larger) so you have some extra rows available if you're going to do anything more than light one or two LEDs. Breadboards are pretty cheap, but would've been nice to not need extras.
The case, cables (power, HDMI, and jumper), and breakout are all of good quality, well-constructed, and sturdy. This isn't a custom carbon fiber case with Monster cables and a lab-quality switching power supply, but for most non-commercial uses, you should find it adequate. The case fits very well, with a cutout for the GPIO cable to pass through. I wouldn't drop it off a building, but it's sturdy enough to not have to worry about transporting it with you somewhere. The cables seem to be of good quality, and the soldering on the breakout is machine-soldered and consistent.
The SD card I received was an 8Gb Class 6 Micro-SD card in a full-size SD adapter. I had no corruption issues, the NOOBS OS installer functioned properly, and I get decent performance from it (about 19Mb/s sustained reads and 13Mb/s writes, though there is some discussion that the Pi itself may be bottle-necking SD performance). The USB WiFi adapter utilizes an RALink chipset, which is supported in most Pi distros (all available in NOOBS, most from the RPi Hub) and works well for non-commercial use. If you're pentesting, you probably aren't buying your stuff in a kit anyway =)
Keep in mind, the Pi comes configured to use UK settings! To switch displays, press 1,2,3, or 4 during boot-up for different display output options (1,2 are HDMI, 3,4 for composite video (RCA)). Be sure to configure your locale and keyboard settings under the "Advanced" menu in raspi-config (command-line: sudo raspi-config) from the UK defaults. The keyboard defaults to UK and you'll get some interesting results on some extended characters if you don't change it. I suggest seaching google for "raspberry pi raspi-config" and "raspberry pi config.txt" to learn what the configuration options are, how to modify them, and what values are appropriate. This will let you customize your display options like resolution, overscan, and CEC, as well as configure debugging options, GPIO setup, overclocking, and much more.
All in all, a good starter kit for a good price!
59 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2015
I've received another product. It was frustrating to see no thats it's not a CPU and 1GB RAM as mentioned on product description. See attached pictures.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2014
It works really well. I've had it running for days at a time and remained logged in in a shell on my desktop via a static IP on my wifi network, no glitches at all. Display looks good, seems very snappy from the command line (which is how I am using it: headless.) Runs cool; I like that. The NOOBS installer was present the supplied card, and OS install (Raspbian) and configuration went fine. I gave the minimum memory to the GPU as I didn't intend to use the GUI (although I did try it later, and it worked anyway.) The Pi worked first time with my random keyboard and mouse, and also with my 60" LG HD display. The breadboard and jumpers and connection to the pi are very good quality, although the breadboard itself is very small. The case is a black hunk of meh and was of no use to me as I had things to connect. Wifi dongle works fine (and that's how I'm using it now that it's set up: headless, and wireless.) Power supply is awesome -- I've got it running the Pi, the Pi Face, and a SainSmart dual-relay board.
Midnight Commander, the *very* most handy thing ever for casual and up *nix shell usability, is exactly this easy to obtain...
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mc
Another: I wrote a fairly serious raytracer as a component of a commercial package some years back, and I created a stand-alone console version derived from it, source code in c. I moved the source (about one megabyte -- it's very feature-rich) over using midnight commander, typed make, and shortly thereafter, was the proud owner of a fully working copy of my raytracer on the Pi. I traced some of the tougher scenes, and they came out perfect.
Another: installed apache2, went fine, now the Pi responds if hit as a webserver.
Another: sqlite3 is available and works great. It's not PostgreSQL (which looks tricky to install, too bad) but it's pretty awesome anyway.
REQUIRES mouse, keyboard and HDMI monitor/display in order to configure. There's no way to configure it "headless" (IE, over the network) board without first collecting all this stuff somewhere. Once you set it up, you can connect remotely by SSH though, so I'm hoping at that point that no keyboard, mouse or monitor will be required.
Does not physically fit the Pi Face board. The B+ has an additional double-height USB socket, and the Pi Face shorts out on the metal case, and will not seat properly and therefore cannot fit within the Pi's footprint as advertised/intended. So you will require a GPIO extension cable, female one end, male the other, and a place to put the Pi Face, or else a header extension (and bracing/support), again female to male. The GPIO cable supplied in this kit for the breadboard connection will not work in this application -- it is female to female.
More on the Pi Face -- I believe many readers will find this relevant: the relays themselves are rated at 10 amps and 240 volts. But the specifications for the Pi Face relays as installed are only 20 volts and 5 amps!!! This made the relays useless to me, and to anyone who (of course) wants to switch a vanilla AC device. I had to buy a SainSmart dual relay board and some male-to-female square pin jumpers (4 pins worth) to get done what I needed done, which was pretty minimal, actually. Just a couple of watts, but at 120 VAC.
Documentation: None. You'll be going to the net, and that's going to be fairly time consuming -- the information you will require is spread out all over, and varies in quality from awesome to uber-stankified. Prepare to build a whole new network of bookmarks.
When you want to power it down, make sure you SHUT it down first...
sudo shutdown -h now
...wait for that to complete, THEN power down. You *nix first-timers can thank me later. :)
Someone might want to start selling cards (8GB, 16GB and larger) with NOOBS/raspbian already configured for headless or command-line operation and tested for correct operation on the B+. Or just raspbian itself. Would have saved me a great deal of time and fooling around. No card reader here. This will require having SSH available within NOOBS, etc., but I'm sure it could be done. I did look for one, but either there isn't one, or my google-fu is weak -- entirely possible. Would also like to see PostgreSQL available as a simple apt-get. Not sure why that seems to be a problem, but from what I'm reading... it is. Perhaps someone will enlighten me in the comments.
Using first Pi for:
Remote (headless, wireless) ability to shut down my salt aquarium filtration system so that I can feed the waterkids (corals, fish, invertebrates) without the filter system immediately filtering out the food. The Pi starts the filters again after 45 minutes. Also good for filtration media changes, keeps gunk from being blown through the system when the filter media is being cleaned or replaced. Ordered another Pi tonight, same kit, so I'll have one just to play with again. :)
The Pi itself is a remarkably high powered machine for its size and at this point in time. I hope that next time around we get a couple (or more!) gigs of RAM instead of the 512MB, and perhaps even a speed bump for the CPU, but I really just want the RAM. I'm totally impressed with the machine as it stands right now, and no, I'm not clueless as to speed -- I have an 8-core 3 GHz machine on my desk. I'm just able to keep things in reasonable perspective. I totally wish I'd had one of these as a kid. Oh well. I'm still a kid, really. Just a really, really old one. Almost 60. :)
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2014
Package arrived with EVERYTHING advertised. Being the pessimist I am, I was expecting to be shorted a few of the smaller parts, but everything arrived as promised.
All of the LEDs work, all of the resistors meet tolerance levels, and everything works as is its supposed to. I have had NO problems with anything in this package. Even the case is great quality.
As for the Raspberry Pi itself, it works flawlessly. It has its shortcomings, but that's just part of the Raspberry Pi system. I have posted about this in a another Pi product, but the meat and potatoes of it is:
1) The Raspberry Pi only has digital GPIO. This means you cannot use a potentiometer, photoresistor, or any other analog input for your projects without buying another board to attach to this system.
2) The GPIO pins are madness. Each pin has two different numbers (chip and board numbers), and neither set are in any discernible order. If you want to work with the GPIO, or prototype, you are going to NEED a pinout to know which pins you need to use.
Other than that, the Pi platform works excellently. It's a simple system that can entertain young, fresh minds as well as older, experienced prototypers.
I would DEFINITELY recommend this package to anyone who is just starting out with prototyping and the Raspberry Pi. It's a simple package, but can satisfy just about any project a beginner could have in mind. Yes, these individual pieces can be had, for cheaper, individually, but a new system can be overwhelming for a beginner... it's easier and more convenient to just go this way. I would rather pay a couple of extra dollars here than piece together a kit, like this, and ultimately get overwhelmed and discouraged.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2014
The product arrived rapidly and in excellent condition.
Everything was received as described.
Initial boot up was flawless.
The kit also contains a single descriptive cheat sheet
referencing some of the contained discrete components
and other components that the experimenter might en-
The only improvement that I would suggest is that a single
sheet of brief "Quick Start" instructions might be included
for the initial set up, boot and starting the GUI. Remember,
the original purpose of the Pi being developed was for ed-
ucational purposes for those that might not be as familiar
with Unix/Linux systems. One doesn't want a neophyte to
become frustrated in getting this new gizmo they have re-
ceived and, figuratively speaking, vocalizing a raspberry
at their brand new Raspberry Pi!
Of course, I suppose that most of the Raspberrys are being
sold to folks already familiar with systems.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I view this kit as one of the best ways to get acquainted with the Raspberry Pi (also, be mindful that earlier reviews were for the older Raspberry Pi B card with slightly different kit components, so this kit is now a practically different product...). True, you could get all these components piecemeal, and it's quite likely you won't need some of these anyway (I'm thinking about the heatsinks in particular...if you aren't planning on overclocking the board, you'll be fine without heatsinks). But this kit by itself does offer you enough stuff to pull off some intermediate-level projects. The kit also includes some highly useful items, such as a wifi dongle, NOOBS, and an HDMI cable, that offers convenience to the end user and really helps you get up and running out of the box. Really all you need to get going aside from this kit is a television/monitor with an HDMI input and a USB mouse/keyboard...both of which hobbyists or tinkerers likely already have lying around the house.
The B+ is a joy to work with over the B. The addition of two more USB ports is especially welcomed, as are the mounting holes in the board. And for the price, you're pretty much getting a decent Linux box with which you can do a kajillion things. The Raspberry Pi community is HUGE and dedicated to education and open sourcing of material. I don't feel as though I'm on my own with this thing.
I will also say this - my 10 going on 11 year old son is interested in stuff like this. He messed around with littleBits for awhile, and while littleBits are a quality product, they are so expensive and (I think) somewhat limiting because a kid really needs their module library to do things. With Raspberry Pi, obviously the price is a big feature, but I also believe it's far more open ended than something like littleBits. The board is good quality and really encourages open-ended real-world-application tinkering. It's a winner.
So for first timers I really suggest getting this kit, since the value you get from the components and the convenience is higher than the price charged. This is a very good kit.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2014
UPDATE: I decided to take the packaging apart since it was a folding box, and lo and behold,I found the missing MicroSD card in one of the folds. I'm changing my rating to 5 stars (from three). I'd advise you to be careful when unpacking, since that card is so small and can easily get caught in the folds. I'm editing the review to eliminate the missing SD card.
Since i have several SD cards laying around, I downloaded NOOBS, unzipped it, and copied the files to the SD Micro card. That's it, that's all there is to it. Hooking up the rest was very easy. I am pretty proficient in putting computers together with spare parts, etc., but this isn't hard. One thing that isn't obvious is where the MicroSD card actually goes (on the bottom on the opposite end where the USB/Network plugs are). The confusion here is likely due to the B+ being a very new product, and the switch from the standard SD card to MicroSD, which happened with the B+ model. There is a lot of help on the internet, and most of it very good. The Raspberry Pi site is also good.
Raspberry Pi company has put a lot of thought and effort into this product, including what Raspberry Pi is not, and it shows. The result after you put it together is a bare bones system that you can do a lot of things with, and you can really gain some expertise without a lot of dollar anguish if you break something. I expect it would be great for kids to learn, indeed any age would learn if they were interested.
I'm very impressed with the Raspberry Pi itself. NOTE: Since writing this review, I have eliminated the portions relating to the missing SD card, since it was found in the folds of the packing box.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2014
Overall: this kit has the things you need to get off the ground quickly, and and you can get up and running for less hardware-driven applications with everything included in this kit. The Raspberry Pi is a nerd's dream, and if you or the nerd in your life do not have one, someone did something wrong somewhere and that should be remedied. For getting started and getting used to the I/O, this has what is needed so you too can turn this into a money pit.
1. My NOOBS card came improperly formatted (improperly partitioned and not readable by the Pi) and I had to reformat and download the software again. The software was freely available, and a new version came out between my order and delivery, so a download was in order regardless. But it wasn't good to go out of the box and that was irritating. That's kind of why you buy the kit.
2. All the jumpers are male-male, and with male I/O pins that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Yes, the ribbon cable can be used to bridge that, but it's cumbersome. It isn't mentioned in the description, so if that's the kind of thing that bothers you, consider dropping a couple bucks on a jumper pack.
I'm still quite happy with the overall kit, and it was much more convenient than tracking down individual components. But the fact that I couldn't just plug everything and get going was a bit of a hassle.