This is a latest in my adventures to see what arrange of useful things can be finished with a Raspberry Pi. The accessible people during a Pi-Shop.ch recently combined a Farnell component 14 Pi Desktop to their offerings. This pack is not usually a good case, it also includes an appendage house that contains a energy on/off symbol (yes!), a Real Time Clock with battery backup, and an mSATA hollow so that we can supplement an SSD (Solid State Disk) if we want.
There is also a software download accessible from a element 14 Pi Desktop page that adds a required functionality to a Raspbian handling complement to make a On/Off switch, RTC and SSD work. Note that this program is required for any of these new hardware pieces to work; a printed designation request enclosed with a Pi Desktop implies that it is usually required if we wish to foot from SSD or USB, though that is not true.
The initial warn that we got was a distance of a Pi Desktop enclosure. As we can see here, it is not most bigger afterwards a Raspberry Pi itself. It is 10.8cm square, and 4.3cm high.
Note: The Pi Desktop pack does not embody a Raspberry Pi of any kind. we usually photographed them together here so uncover a relations distance of a units.
To make a organic desktop system, in further to a Pi Desktop kit, we will need during slightest a following:
- Raspberry Pi Model 3 or 2 – a outline and support don’t discuss a Model B+, though I’m flattering certain it would work as well
- microSD card, commissioned with Raspbian GNU/Linux
- Power Supply
- HDMI Monitor and Cable
- Keyboard and Mouse
Before we start public of a Pi Desktop, we strongly suggest that we download a User Manual. The tiny bit of paper enclosed with a pack is an considerable instance of conveying a lot of information in a tiny space, though if your eyes aren’t adult to reading intensely tiny print, we will be most happier with a PDF document. Also, a PDF request includes some-more illustrations and diagrams, it has been updated given a printed request was produced, and it has additional information about use and technical data.
For functions of this post we am usually going to understanding with a pack itself – we am not going to try to bond a camera, supplement an SSD, or foot from possibly SSD or USB stick.
Assembly is unequivocally easy, and took me reduction than 15 minutes. There is a feverishness penetrate enclosed in a kit, be certain to hang that on a CPU before we mountain it in a case. The Raspberry Pi can usually be mounted in a box one way, or a outmost ports don’t line adult (duh). The prolonged spacer/screws are used here, to yield sufficient clearway to mountain a appendage house above it.
The appendage house goes on tip of a Pi, and further can usually be mounted one approach given of a 40-pin GPIO connector and a outmost connections. The usually somewhat wily bit here is removing a GPIO connector to line adult and chair scrupulously between a dual prolonged spacer/screws used to mountain it in the
The Pi and a appendage house are connected around their USB ports, regulating an outmost Type A to Micro USB jumper plug. There are several consequences of this that we have not seen privately mentioned elsewhere:
- You use one of a 4 USB ports on a Raspberry Pi for this connection, so we usually have 3 USB ports left for your possess use. we theory that’s ok, given we are gaining several new inclination around that one port.
- If we select to bond an SSD to a mSATA pier on a appendage board, that device will be communicating with a Raspberry Pi around this USB connection. That means it will be during USB speed, not a significantly aloft SATA speed we competence be awaiting (or anticipating for).
Also, as we can see in these cinema a energy supply tie is now done to a appendage board, not to a Raspberry Pi itself.
One other tiny tip for assembly. When we put a lid on, a energy symbol goes toward a side of a box with a camera hole. The box and lid are square, so it could be incited in any instruction though it has to be this approach in sequence to align a symbol in a lid with a symbol on a appendage board.
When we finish a public and bond a energy supply, we have to press a energy symbol on a box to start a Raspberry Pi. This, and a statements in a printed designation guide, led me to trust that a program download was unequivocally usually required if we wanted to supplement an SSD. That is not a case, however, and a PDF User Guide has been updated to make this some-more clear. The energy switch, real-time time and SSD all need installing a additional program package.
First, make certain your Raspbian handling complement is adult to date:
sudo apt-get refurbish sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Next, download a program package:
The download is a zip file, so of march we have to unzip it before installing.
Finally, implement a software:
sudo dpkg -i pidesktop-base-1.1.0.deb
The numbers during a finish of that filename will change if there is a new release.
After a designation completes, we have to reboot a Raspberry Pi in sequence to move a new program into use. That’s it! You are afterwards adult and regulating with a simple designation of a Pi Desktop enclosing and appendage board.
Once we have a Pi Desktop running, there is one aged robe that we need to break. To shutdown a Raspberry Pi, we should press and reason a Pi Desktop energy symbol for dual seconds. It will afterwards shutdown and energy off a complement – so elucidate one of a oldest and loudest complaints about a Raspberry Pi. If we still shutdown regulating a Raspbian GUI start menu, or even (gasp) by typing “shutdown -h now”, don’t worry. It will still shutdown scrupulously though rather than being down and powered off in usually a few seconds, a LED-ring on a Pi Desktop will blink for 30 seconds before finally powering off.
Oh, and one other thing about that energy button. If we press and reason it for 5 seconds, it will cut off energy to a Raspberry Pi immediately, though regulating a shutdown process. This is not a good idea, it can means problems such as depraved filesystems on a Raspberry Pi. You should usually do this if a Pi is hung and not responding to possibly a 2-second pull on a energy symbol on a normal Raspbian shutdown commands.
With a simple public out of a way, here are a few other things to consider about.
If we use a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B for this assembly, we can afterwards get a network tie on a built-in WiFi adapter, and we can bond a Bluetooth keyboard and rodent on a built-in Bluetooth adapter. That means a usually outmost connectors we need to a Pi Desktop are a HDMI arrangement wire and a energy supply. That creates it a unequivocally neat tiny package on your desk.
If we use a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B for this assembly, we will during slightest have to supplement a USB dongle (or two) for a keyboard and mouse, and possibly a USB WiFi dongle or a connected network cable.
The Pi Desktop support doesn’t discuss regulating a Raspberry Pi Model B+ with this kit, though a earthy specifications of a B+ are matching to a Model 2 and 3, and of march it runs accurately a same Raspbian as a 2 and 3, so it should work. we schooled utterly some time ago that “should work” and “does work” aren’t always a same thing, so we motionless to give it a try.
Hooray, it unequivocally does work! The public procession is accurately a same, it fits ideally in a box as we expected. After installing a additional packages and rebooting, all works usually fine, as it did with a Pi 2 and 3.
Of course, if we are unequivocally perplexing to make a general-purpose desktop system, a most slower opening of a Model B+ competence be a problem. But on a other palm if we have a Model B+ sitting around that we wish to use, afterwards because not?
Something else that we beheld while essay this post, that is not mentioned or illustrated anywhere in a support that we have seen, is that a Pi Desktop box has dual slots in a bottom so that it could be mounted vertically. That’s a good touch.
The tip of a Pi Desktop enclosing has a blue LED ring that gives some information about a state of a system:
- glows when a Raspberry Pi is on
- dark when a Raspberry Pi is off
- blinks while a Raspberry Pi is rebooting
- blinks for 30 seconds and afterwards does dim when a Raspberry Pi has been manually close down from a GUI or authority line, rather than by dire a energy button
A lot of people have complained about a miss of a Real Time Clock on a Raspberry Pi, so it is a acquire further with this kit. When we foot a “normal” Raspberry Pi, it comes adult with a time it was final shutdown. If it has a network connection, after a notation or dual it will get a time around NTP, though if there is no network connection, it will simply continue regulating that final date and time. With a Pi Desktop appendage house connected (and a compared program installed), if there is no network tie after a notation or dual a Pi will set a date and time from a Real Time Clock.
I also beheld one teenager annoyance. On a Pi Desktop box it says:
An intelligent energy controller to capacitate singular symbol spin on / off / reboot
Yeah, well… dual out of 3 isn’t bad, we guess. As distant as we can tell there is no approach to reboot a Pi regulating a energy button, and a PDF request doesn’t contend anything about rebooting regulating a button.
The Pi Desktop is a good kit. It is good thought-out and good implemented, as are all of a kits from component 14. If we wish to use a Raspberry Pi as an bland desktop computer, we would positively suggest this pack with a Pi 3 Model B. This pack solves several of a some-more disturbing problems or stipulations of a a Raspberry Pi, including implementing an nurse shutdown with energy off, adding a hardware Real Time Clock, and providing a tie for an SSD to vastly boost hoop space.