Hack a USB hub, power your Raspberry Pi

Hacked USB HubSo I got my Raspberry Pi, but I’m still waiting for a case before I get going with it. One thing that occurred to me is that if I don’t plan this out well, I’m going to discover a real drawback to becoming a Pi-head: This thing’s gonna be messy.

In a most basic setup, a person would likely need an AC receptacle for the rpi itself, a USB hub, and an external hard disk. That’s three separately powered lumps to do the job of a “normal” tower computer. Then you’ll have cabling all over the place. Well, this hack looks pretty darn easy, and it will at least spare me one power plug.

Hacking the USB Hub, In a Nutshell.

Buy one of those cheap USB hubs with no power supply included for around 3 or 4 bucks. Hardwire a power supply to it, and hardwire a micro-usb lead to power your Pi.

In total, this project, mods and all shouldn’t cost more than about 10 bucks, and you end up with one less thing to plug in.

Thank pihub for a Great Idea!

Check it out: http://pihub.blogspot.ca/2012/06/raspberry-pi-power-supply-and-powered.html

Raspberry Pi – List of Compatible Peripherals

Raspberry Pi in a Pibow CaseToday I ordered a Pibow case from their site. A friend of mine who has several Raspberry Pi machines has decided that he has one extra, so he will sell it to me.

I will need to set up my own bootable SD Card. Here is the list of known good (and known-to-be incompatible) SD Cards, USB Hubs, etc.:

http://elinux.org/RPi_VerifiedPeripherals

I have a keyboard, mouse and a TV for this. I still need a power supply and perhaps a USB hub I can dedicate to the cause.

I have no idea what the hell I’m going to do with this thing, but I’m still crazy excited. I’m such a nerd.

Have you seen the cool new Raspberry Pi stuff? (updated 2012-08-11)

I waited for what seemed like an eternity before Raspberry Pi made it out of the gates. Now, after just a few months, a new ecosystem of software and accessories is emerging.

Would you like a $35 media centre? Check out the xbmc port, raspbmc (the Raspberry Pi Media Centre), and this cool multi-layer case from Pibow:

Additional third-party products continue to be announced on the Raspberry Pi site. What caught my attention today was the Gertboard, a multipurpose digital and analog i/o board for controlling relays and such.

Gertboard

Gertboard image from element14

Gertboard’s underlying technology is nothing special. I probably could have designed it myself, or adapted a something like a Velleman kit to do the same thing. But a product doesn’t need to be insanely innovative to be groundbreaking. The truly remarkable part is that when we combine well-supported Linux development tools with a hardware 1-2 punch like rpi+Gertboard, today’s microcontrollers / PLCs / development boards / core modules start to look a little long in the proverbial tooth. It’s no wonder rpi is endorsed by the likes of LadyAda and others in the open-source community.

Raspberry Pi is quickly evolving from a cute little novelty module into a very powerful, elegant and inexpensive Linux-based ARM platform for embedded applications and much more. Combined with Gertboard it could easily be the first nail in Arduino’s coffin.

The icing on the cake is that the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s mission is to bring programming to the masses. While their product is already economical, their conscious effort to demysfity software development adds even more value.

Large, colorful images require a lot of memory…and that’s one area where we’ll need more memory than an Arduino can provide. We had a hunch that the Raspberry Pi could make this process easier. But even we weren’t prepared for what a cakewalk this would be.
— Lady Ada, Light Painting with Raspberry Pi

Don’t get left behind. Even if you don’t plan to buy r-pi right now, the Foundation’s WordPress-based site is a great feed to add to your reader.