Great to have you here in our Raspberry Pi tutorial for beginners! My hope is that this tutorial will give you a good overview about Raspberry Pi.
So if you’re ready, I’m ready too.
What is Raspberry Pi?
Table of Contents
- What is Raspberry Pi?
- Who Created Raspberry PI?
- Why Call It “Raspberry Pi” ?
- Raspberry Pi Versions and Models
- Raspberry Pi Modules
- How to Set Up Raspberry Pi and Install Raspbian
- How to Install Windows in Raspberry Pi
- Cool Raspberry Pi Projects
In a nutshell, Raspberry Pi is a very small computer that can fit into your hands.
Like any desktop computer, you can connect Raspberry Pi to mouse, keyboard and display monitor to have a complete set. You can use Raspberry PI to power electronics circuits, create spreadsheets, do word processing, browse the internet and play games.
The cool part, it can fit in the palm of your hands. Its size is like that of Arduino board and like Arduino you can use it to create cool projects. By the way, if you are not familiar with Arduino, you can check out our ultimate Arduino tutorial for beginners.
Aside from its small size, it is very cheap. You can get one Raspberry PI board at a price ranging from $5 to $35 depending on what Raspberry PI model you get.
Who Created Raspberry PI?
The Raspberry Pi Foundation was formed in 2008. Eben Upton, Rob Mulins, Jack Lang, Alan Mycroft, Pete Lomas, and David Braben came up with a low-cost computer to make it more affordable and accessible and to inspire young children to learn coding.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity.
Their mission : “To put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world.”
Their aim is to bring mini computers into the hands of people all over the world. They do provide low-cost, high-performance computers that people can use to learn, solve problems and have fun.
Raspberry pi has this humble beginning coming from a noble intention. The Pi was originally intended to be a micro computer to teach children coding.
But later on, it caught the fancy of hobbyists and engineers, as they saw its potential. It is considered as one of the most popular technologies in the world.
Why Call It “Raspberry Pi” ?
Raspberry Pi Versions and Models
Raspberry Pi Zero – The $5 Computer
Raspberry Pi Zero is NOT the first version released by Raspberry Foundation. But it is the cheapest. This $5 computer was launched on Nov 2015. That was almost 3 years after the first Raspberry Pi model was released.
The Raspberry Pi Mode Zero is half the size of a Raspberry Pi Model A+. But it was so improved that it has twice the functionality of Raspberry Pi A+.
This tiny Raspberry Pi Zero runs on a Broadcom BCM2835 processor. This broadcom BCM2835 SoC (System on Chip) has provision for USB port, Camera Port, Audio Port, HDMI port that connects to HDTV, LCD port, I2C (Inter-Integrated Circuit) module and UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter) module. It uses a 700 Mhz single unit Central Processing Unit (CPU).
It has also 1 GHz single core Central Processing Unit (CPU) and 512 MBytes of RAM (Random Access Memory). It has a micro-SD card slot, mini-HDMI socket for video output, micro-USB for power and 40 pin GPIO header.
Its size is very small as small as 65mm x 30mm x 5mm.
Raspberry Pi Zero runs on Raspbian. This Raspbian is a free operating system based on Debian optimized for the Raspberry Pi hardware.
If your PC has Windows operating system, Raspberry Pi has Raspbian except that Raspbian operating system is FREE.
Raspberry Pi Zero can run programs like Scratch, Minecraft and Sonic Pi.
Scratch is a visual programming tool which allows the user to create animations and games with a drag-and-drop interface
Minecraft is a very popular games that you can play in your Raspberry Pi. Watch video below and see how Minecraft runs on Raspberry Pi.
Sonic pi is a live coding music synthesizer program. You can use Sonic Pi to code and to compose music from classical music, jazz to electronic dance music genre.
And if in case you forget, you get all those features of Raspberry Pi Zero at a whooping and ridiculous price of $5.
Raspberry Pi Zero W
The Raspberry Pi Zero W is an improved version of Raspberry Pi Model Zero. It was launched 2 years after model zero at the end of February 2017.
The difference between Pi Zero W and Pi Zero is the added wireless and Bluetooth functionality. Raspberry Zero W has 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.1 and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).
Raspberry Pi 1 Model A
Raspberry Pi One Model A was launched on February 2013.
Similar to Raspberry Pi Zero, it runs on using Broadcom BCM2835 SoC (System on Chip), runs on a 700 Mhz single-core CPU and uses 32-bit ARM architecture for computer processing.
ARM stands for Advanced RISC Machine developed by British ARM Holdings. ARM architecture uses less hardware, simpler algorithm and more efficient processing.
In fact, most of the smartphones today uses ARM technology for processing.
It has a memory of 256 MBytes.
Raspberry Pi 1 Model A+
The Raspberry One Model A+ replaced the original Model A in November 2014.
Compared to Raspberry A model, it has more GPIO pins. It has 40 pins on its GPIO header. It runs on micro SD. It has a much lower power consumption around 0.5W to 1W. It has better audio with a dedicated low-noise supply. It has a smaller size than A. It is approximately 2cm shorter than model A.
It has also bigger memory compared to model A. It uses 512 MBytes memory.
Raspberry Pi 1 Model B
Raspberry Pi One Model B was the first ever released Raspberry Pi product. It was launched on second quarter of 2012. It uses a 32-bit ARM architecture and Broadcom BCM2835 System on Chip (SoC).
Compared to Raspberry Pi One A and A+, it has more USB ports (3 USB ports). It has also provisions for SD (Secure Digital) card, MMC (Multimedia Card) and SDIO (Secure Digital Input/output) card. It can also connect to internet network with its Ethernet USB adapter.
Currently, this is not available in the market since it was already replaced by Raspberry Pi One Model B+.
Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+
Raspberry Pi One Model B+ is the improved version of Model B which came out later on July 2014.
Compared to B, Raspberry Pi One B+ has more USB ports and more GPIO pins. Raspberry One B has 3 USB ports while Model One B+ has 4. Raspberry Pi One B has 8 GPIO while B+ has 17 GPIO.
One significant difference also is Raspberry Pi One B+ uses Micro SD while B was using SD cards.
Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
Raspberry Pi Two Model B was launched on Feb 2015. This is now part of the 2nd generation of Raspberry Pi products with much better specifications and performance.
Raspberry Pi One uses ARM v6 while Pi model Two B uses ARM v7. It also uses a newer version of chip set with Broadcom BCM2836.
Comparing BCM2835 vs BCM2386, you will see that they have almost the same architecture. The only difference is the processor. BCM2835 uses a 700 Mhz single core ARM1176JZF-S processor while BCM2836 uses a 900 Mhz 32-bit quad-core Cortex-A7.
Raspberry Pi Two B has bigger memory of 1 GBytes. It has 4 USB ports.
Like Model One B+, it also uses micro SD. And it can connect to internet connection via Ethernet USB adapter.
Raspberry Pi 2 Model B+
Raspberry Pi Two Model B v 1.2 was launched in Oct 2106.
Compared to Model B, here are some of the improvements. It uses ARM v8 compared to ARM v7 architecture of Rasp Pi Two B.
The chip set is now Broadcom BCM2837. Remember that Pi Two Model B uses Broadcom BCM2836. The architecture of the BCM2836 and BCM2837 are similar. The major difference is the processor. BCM2837 uses 900 MHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 while BCM2836 uses a 900 Mhz 32-bit quad-core Cortex-A7.
What’s the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit?
The number of bits refers to the size of the data that it can handle at one single time. Rasp Pi Two B can handle 32 bits at a time while Rasp Pi Two B+ can handle 64 bits at a time.
To know more about bits or binary digits, read this.
This makes Raspberry Pi Two B+ about 40% to 50% faster than Rasp Pi Two B.
Raspberry Pi 3
The Raspberry Pi Three Model B is the third-generation and the latest Raspberry Pi. It was launched on February 2016. It runs on Broadcom BCM2837 System on Chip (SoC) which has a 1.2 Ghz 64-bit Quad Core Cortex A53 as microprocessor. It runs on ARM V8 Architecture.
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B has 1 Gbytes memory. It has 40 pin GPIO (General Pin Input / Output). It has 4 USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports, stereo output and video port. It has an HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) for high definition TV. It has also CSI camera port, DSI display port for touch screen display.
Rasp Pi 3 B uses Micro SD (Secure Digital) card. It has Wireless capability, Bluetooth and internet connection capability via Ethernet adapter.
Raspberry Pi Modules
Like Arduino that you can expand with Arduino shields, you can also expand raspberry pi computer by adding Raspberry modules.
Here are some of the popular raspberry pi modules that you can buy from Newark.
Raspberry Pi Camera Board
The Raspberry Pi Camera Module v2 uses an 8 Megapixel Sony IMX219 image sensor. It has a fixed focus lens. It can take pictures and video. It can be attached to your Pi board using CSI (Camera Serial Interface) which is specifically designed to be used as camera interface.
The camera board is 25mm x 9 mm x 23 mm and can be connected through a short ribbon cable. You can use for CCTV, motion detection or time lapse photography.
Inch Touch Screen Monitor Raspberry Module
Want to have a touch screen on your Raspberry project?
This 7inch touch screen monitor is perfect for your needs. It has a screen resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. It connects via an adapter board. You need to connect it to GPIO port for power supply. You will also need to connect ribbon cable to DSI (Display Serial Interface) port.
Nothing to worry on the touch screen drivers since it is integrated into the latest Raspbian Operating System of Raspberry Pi. This touch screen monitor has 10 finger capacitive touch sensor capability.
Raspberry Pi Sense HAT Module
Raspberry Pi Sense HAT module is attached to the top of your Raspberry Pi board using the 40 GPIO (General Pins Input/Output).
Sense HAT module is composed of different IC and sensors that you can use for many different Raspberry projects.
The Raspberry Pi Sense HAT has Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Barometer, Temperature sensor, Relative Humidity sensor, 8×8 LED matrix display and 5 joystick buttons.
Gyroscope sensor is used to measure or maintain rotation motion. It measures angular velocity in degrees per second (DPS) or revolution per second (RPS). Angular velocity is a measurement of the speed of rotation.
Accelerometer sensor measures the acceleration. Watch video below to understand how accelerometer works.
Magnetometer measures the direction, strength, or relative change of a magnetic field at a particular location.
Barometer measures the atmospheric pressure.
Temperature sensor measures temperature.
Relative humidity sensor measures the relative humidity in the air. Relative humidity compares actual moisture in the air vs. the computed highest amount of moisture that can be held on air at a given temperature.
HD44780 LCD display Module
LCD character displays are a simple and a cost-effective way to display a text. Raspberry Pi Tutorial created a step by step guide on how to do it.
Using I2C capability of Raspberry Board, you can display your output on HD44780 LCD Module.
Raspberry Flick HAT Board
Raspberry Flick HAT boards are added on top of your Raspberry board. This module uses technology that enables the PCB to detect your gestures 15 cm away from the board.
What is cool with this module is that it can also detect 3D movement – sideway movement and up – down movement. You’ll be able to control your Raspberry without touching it.
Microstack Accelerometer Module
How to Set Up Raspberry Pi and Install Raspbian
You can’t run your Raspberry Pi without an operating system in as much as you can’t run your computer without Windows (or Linux).
Step 1: Download the Raspberry Operating System.
You can download the Raspberry Pi Operating Software here. You can start with NOOBS (New Out Of Box Software). Noobs is easy to use that has Raspbian installed on it.
Step 2: Set up your Raspberry Pi and Install Raspbian
Use this video below to guide you on setting up Raspberry Pi for the First time. You need to connect your monitor, keyboard and mouse into your Raspberry Pi. Then follow the video.
How to Install Windows in Raspberry Pi
Take note that we are not installing Windows 10. It won’t run on Raspberry Pi. We are installing Windows 10 IoT Core. This is a version of Windows 10 designed for Raspberry Pi 2 and 3. It allows you to use Windows technologies on low-cost computing solutions such as the Raspberry Pi.
Step 1: Connect your SD Card to your PC or Laptop
You don’t need your Raspberry Pi yet. All you need is a PC or laptop that is running on Windows 10. Then connect your Micro SD card to your computer via Micro SD adapter.
Step 2: Install Windows 10 IOT to your SD Card
Go to Windows 10 Center. Click Get Windows 10 IOT Code. Install the application.
Step 3: Setup New Device (Your SD Card)
Go ahead and select set up a new device. Fill in the correct details. It is important that you select your SD card. Select WIFI if applicable. Click download and install.
All files will be downloaded and installed in your Micro SD card. Wait for some time…. Be Patient….
Step 4: Install Windows in Your Raspberry Pi
After it is installed on micro SD, eject the SD card from your PC. Setup your Raspberry PI with complete accessories: keyboard, monitor and mouse.
Insert micro SD into the Raspberry Pi and power it up. Windows will install on your Raspberry Pi.
Watch the video below to guide you on how to install Windows on Your Raspberry Pi.
Cool Raspberry Pi Projects
Raspberry Pi Laptop
You can choose to buy this Pi Laptop here. Or you can choose to build it on your own. Raspberry Pi is a complete single board computer. You just need a good case, keyboard, mouse and monitor. That would complete your Raspberry Pi Laptop. You might call it as Rasp-Top.
Raspberry Smart Phone
It’s lovely to own an IPhone or Samsung galaxy. But nothing beats the feeling of creating your own phone. You can use Raspberry PI to create your own smartphone.
This guys from hackaday came up with a guide to create your own Zero Phone – a smartphone that runs on Raspberry Pi Zero. At $50, you can have your own Zero Phone.