Author Topic: Raspberry Pi Model A+ Experiences  (Read 3086 times)

totallymaxed

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Raspberry Pi Model A+ Experiences
« on: November 24, 2014, 03:48:52 pm »
I've been testing some Raspberry Pi Model A+'s over the last few days and wondered if anyone else had been too?

The Model A+ is about half the size of previous Raspberry Pi's but has the same mounting holes (at the same centres) as the earlier models. It lacks the the LAN port, only has a single usb port and only 256mb of RAM. But in all other ways is totally compatible with the earlier models - I could boot a test Raspian SD card from a Model B on the A+ without modifications.

The Model A+ uses the same Application Processor as earlier models, has 40 GPIO pins, far better audio quality (uses a separate low-noice power supply) which is great for SqueezeLite applications, power consumption is about 25% less than the Model A. Then there's the very low price - $20 USD + Tax & shipping.

I've been testing the Model A+ with a usb wifi adapter to get it connected and this works really well - again just like previous Rpi's. The only area where the Model A+ falls short is running something like XBMC where the 256mb of RAM is a little on the light side. But for SqueezeLite its pretty much perfect and for everything else the Model A+ is a great choice.

Anyone else got a Model A+? Any feedback, experiences or views on it yet?

All the best

Andy
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garagevibes

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Re: Raspberry Pi Model A+ Experiences
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2014, 08:48:34 am »
I haven't got a model A yet but I was tempted to get one to see if it could run as a simple orbiter combined with the small adafruit touchscreen and placed in a wall box to control lights, set alarm status etc.

Not sure if the 256mb ram would run orbiter though but a web interface may work, I know this could be done with the model b but this a+ is quite a bit smaller now and more importantly in-wall its not as tall.

Just my ideas there so cheep you can afford to experiment:)

totallymaxed

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Re: Raspberry Pi Model A+ Experiences
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2014, 09:55:51 am »
I haven't got a model A yet but I was tempted to get one to see if it could run as a simple orbiter combined with the small adafruit touchscreen and placed in a wall box to control lights, set alarm status etc.

Not sure if the 256mb ram would run orbiter though but a web interface may work, I know this could be done with the model b but this a+ is quite a bit smaller now and more importantly in-wall its not as tall.

Just my ideas there so cheep you can afford to experiment:)

Well it certainly could run a normal Web Orbiter - that would be no problem at all in 256mb. Set it to auto-boot into your favourite Web browser and set the home page to the Web orbiter you'd added for it. Job done. I'm not sure if there would be any physical/technical issues using the A+ with a current Adafruit touch-screen - you'd need to check that out. But apart from that I cant see any reason that would not work very nicely indeed. We're thinking of a similar application but using our new Athena Web Orbiter UI in Dianemo - so I agree if you like in-wall/wall mounted touch-screens the A+ is just perfect.

As you say at $20 USD plus tax & shipping its go so many possible uses I can't count them all.

Let me know how your touch-screen idea progresses.

All the best

Andy
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jamo

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Re: Raspberry Pi Model A+ Experiences
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2014, 12:46:45 pm »
I haven't got a model A yet but I was tempted to get one to see if it could run as a simple orbiter combined with the small adafruit touchscreen and placed in a wall box to control lights, set alarm status etc.

Not sure if the 256mb ram would run orbiter though but a web interface may work, I know this could be done with the model b but this a+ is quite a bit smaller now and more importantly in-wall its not as tall.

Just my ideas there so cheep you can afford to experiment:)

Don't know much about the A+ PIs but it seems to me that if you're looking for a wall-mount orbiter, you can get a cheap 7" android tablet for just a few dollars more. I guess if you particularly want it to be small and extremely low power then the PI is a good option but if it's a price-point thing, to me an existing tablet would make more sense. And it has the added advantage of being able to run Qorbiter and do other stuff if you want as well -  I have a $73 tablet that is wall mounted. It runs touch-orbiter but I use it primarily as a permanent IP camera viewer for my gate camera. It has been running for about a year and a half now as smooth as you like and the screen is on pretty much all day.

On occasion I take it off the wall (magnetic mount) and the children play games on it or I use it for the odd e-mail, to control my media, or I move it to the entertainment area if we're entertaining and expecting guests so I can keep an eye on the gate.

My only gripe is power- I have an ugly cable running to it from the power supply.

totallymaxed

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Re: Raspberry Pi Model A+ Experiences
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2014, 01:06:10 pm »
Don't know much about the A+ PIs but it seems to me that if you're looking for a wall-mount orbiter, you can get a cheap 7" android tablet for just a few dollars more. I guess if you particularly want it to be small and extremely low power then the PI is a good option but if it's a price-point thing, to me an existing tablet would make more sense. And it has the added advantage of being able to run Qorbiter and do other stuff if you want as well -  I have a $73 tablet that is wall mounted. It runs touch-orbiter but I use it primarily as a permanent IP camera viewer for my gate camera. It has been running for about a year and a half now as smooth as you like and the screen is on pretty much all day.

On occasion I take it off the wall (magnetic mount) and the children play games on it or I use it for the odd e-mail, to control my media, or I move it to the entertainment area if we're entertaining and expecting guests so I can keep an eye on the gate.

My only gripe is power- I have an ugly cable running to it from the power supply.

Good point - and we've gone that route in the past successfully. But that kind of solution never looks anything other than a tablet mounted on the wall. I think OP was looking for something that could be built into the wall and look more cosmetically agreeable. Would Qorbiter run on an A+ in 256mb of RAM?...possibly. I'm not familiar with the specifics of what it needs in terms of resources etc (hopefully someone else will post on this)

I do know that our Athena HTML5 Orbiter UI will definitely run very nicely on the A+ and will not need any special software or setup on the Rpi. It just needs a modern browser like Firefox or Chrome and your done. Of course the A+ + adafruit touch-screen + usb wifi adapter plus some power (at less than 500mw the A+ doesn't even get warm) into a wall box is all you need to connect into your Core whatever kind of Orbiter you choose.

Andy

Lastly lets keep this thread for Rpi A+ related discussion
Andy Herron,
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phenigma

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Re: Raspberry Pi Model A+ Experiences
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2014, 12:22:06 am »
I haven't got a model A yet but I was tempted to get one to see if it could run as a simple orbiter combined with the small adafruit touchscreen and placed in a wall box to control lights, set alarm status etc.

Not sure if the 256mb ram would run orbiter though but a web interface may work, I know this could be done with the model b but this a+ is quite a bit smaller now and more importantly in-wall its not as tall.

Just my ideas there so cheep you can afford to experiment:)

I have run orbiter on an Adafruit touchscreen.  The screens are much too small to be usefull as a full orbiter, a minimal version *could* work but that is a lot of effort.  Running a weborbiter or something similar, as totallymaxed suggests, is likely the best option for the A+.

J.

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Re: Raspberry Pi Model A+ Experiences
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2014, 06:24:22 am »
Currently playing with PI-A+ with a  Capacitive 2.8" PiTFT  (touchscreen for Raspberry Pi). Hoping to replace the screen with a 5-8" screen once we get it all working with LMCE. Using the A+ version mainly to test the ability to use as a portable (remove from wall) because of lower power consumption. Will be designing a in-wall mount that will include a charger for the 1200mAh Lithium Polymer battery we hope will work as a portable power source.

Will post later the results, if any.


microbrain

totallymaxed

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Re: Raspberry Pi Model A+ Experiences
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2014, 01:14:44 pm »
Currently playing with PI-A+ with a  Capacitive 2.8" PiTFT  (touchscreen for Raspberry Pi). Hoping to replace the screen with a 5-8" screen once we get it all working with LMCE. Using the A+ version mainly to test the ability to use as a portable (remove from wall) because of lower power consumption. Will be designing a in-wall mount that will include a charger for the 1200mAh Lithium Polymer battery we hope will work as a portable power source.

Will post later the results, if any.


microbrain

What LCD are you planning to use for the 5.8"? The Rpi A & B+ have been used in many battery powered applications so the A+ should be no problem at all - and will be much kinder on the batteries too.

Keep us posted!

All the best

Andy
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totallymaxed

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Re: Raspberry Pi Model A+ Experiences
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2014, 05:22:16 pm »
I have run orbiter on an Adafruit touchscreen.  The screens are much too small to be usefull as a full orbiter, a minimal version *could* work but that is a lot of effort.  Running a weborbiter or something similar, as totallymaxed suggests, is likely the best option for the A+.

J.

...we're looking at custom Orbiter UI layouts for very constrained resolution displays. These might just display say lighting controls and maybe audio/TV sources on the small display in-the-wall. It would be a full Athena Orbiter but the UI would limit it to delivering specific control functionality. That Ui change would be customisable for each Orbiter installed in a system just by editing the HTML5 code & CSS.

You could do something along these lines with the current LinuxMCE/Dianemo UI1 Orbiters too... but you'd need to design & implement a new skin in HA Designer and that is non trivial unless you know what your doing (and even then its still not easy!). Not sure about Qorbiter but I assume you could do something again along these lines in that too...

All the best

Andy
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