The Pi Pod

Aims of the Project

  • To become familiar with the Pi and the Linux operating systems available.
  • To have a fairly self-contained unit with:
    • The Pi
    • A screen
    • A keyboard
    • A mouse
    • WiFi.
  • To not blow the thing up before I’ve had it for five minutes!

Components of the Project

The Raspberry Pi itself!
Purchased from RS Components
Waited 4 months for it to be produced and delivered.
Apart from that, I cannot recommend them at all – their after-sales service is email only and they will refuse to speak to you on the phone regarding anything to do with the Pi.
Cost: £35 (I think!)
An 8GB micro SD-card with adapter
This was a bit of a risk, but forced on me by needing more space than the 2GB SD card I had lying around. As it turns out, this was a good solution.
Again, I had it lying around so it was free.
You should be able to pick one up for under £20, possibly a lot lower.
I recommend starting out with something larger than 2GB as you will need to install packages and never know if you’ll need more room.
A Rii Bluetooth mini-keyboard with in built touchpad
Neat little device this. Even came with a tiny-tiny bluetooth dongle, stored inside the actual keyboard itself. Very neat.
Got mine from eBay seller ‘cigbargain’.
Delivery would have been fairly quick if Royal Mail hadn’t screwed it up first!
Cost: £19.
A “Really Useful Box”
think mine was a 1.75 litre box.
Purchased from Hobbycraft in person.
Cost: £4 (approx)
A 3.5″ car rear-view parking camera screen
Purchased from eBay seller easybuying168
This little piece of kit comes with all the cables except the actual power cable. It’s supposed to be used inside a car so the power cable you get is supposed to be wired in to one of the tail lights. However, it is merely a 12V power supply and they are fairly cheap to get. You may even have an old one lying about from other gadgets like speakers, that kind of thing.
One of the best things about this is: it’s the only I’ve found that is foldable – it flips down so the screen is protected.
Cost: £21.
A non-slip mat
This came with the screen, but is very handy when the Pi is slipping all over the bloody place.
A Belkin WiFi Dongle
I just had this lying about from the good-ol-days of needing a dongle for WiFi. You should be able to get one for under £10, for example, on eBay.
A craft knife
I knew I’d need one. I already had it. Let the hacking commence!
A pack of cable ties
Yes, I know. Very Heath-Robinson. Still, they do come in handy and you can pick them up in stores like the Poundstretcher chain.
I can also recommend the Rapstrap if you want something a bit easier/flexible to work with.
Cost: £2.99 for a big ol’ pack, various colours and lengths.
A micro-USB charger
That’s the connector that’s really flat and small. It’s what powers the Pi. Do not go cheap – the better adapter you have, the better and more stable the power supply will be. You’ve probably already got one, as I did, if you’ve been through a few phones. Samsung use them extensively.

Next time…

I install the operating system. Well… Systems. Repeatedly.

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