In this tutorial we investigate the Raspberry Pi motherboard. The model B Raspberry Pi is a single board computer with 512MB RAM, credit card sized and cost in the UK about £30. We will have a quick tour of the hardware and what all the connectors are for.
The Model B Raspberry Pi
- CPU: This 700Mhz central Processor Unit is also known as SoC, System on Chip as the single CHIP is the CPU, 512MB system RAM and GPU, Graphic Processor Unit
- Micro-USB power intake: This powers the RPi. Consider a power supply unit that can supply at least 1AMP. Dedicated PSU can be purchased from RS Components or Farnell’s but mobile phone chargers mat work well. An iPhone charger has an output of 1AMP and an iPad 2.5 AMP. Both seems to work well on RPi.
- HDMI: High definition Multimedia Interface: This can be the output to your TV or Monitor. If your monitor does not have HDMI input then you may be able to obtain and HDMI to VGA or HDMI to DVI connection. these almost certainly will be cheapest purchased online rather than high street stores. The price different can be quite large. Some monitors and TVs may have the composite video connection often used to connect gaming consoles to the TV
- 10/100 RJ45 Ethernet: For wired access to the network the 10/100 Ethernet connection exists. this is a single port that can work with 10Mbps or 100 Mbps connections.
- USB Ports: Dual USB ports exist. this could be for a keyboard or mouse or connection through to a USB Hub. This would be a powered USB hub that then could drive external hard disks and the like.
- Status LEDS: yes the pretty lights that flash when there is activity
- Audio Jack: If you are not using an HDMI to HDMI connection to your TV then audio can be used from this jack
- Composite Video: The yellow connect can be used to plug into some TVs and Monitors.
- GPIO: The General Purpose Input / Output interface that can be used for simple electronics projects.