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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Raspberry Pi Model B+ first impressions

and a worry!

Farnell element14 have just delivered my new Raspberry Pi Model B+, along with some 40-way connectors.

The Pi is destined for C3Pi, my Pi+ Arduino tracked robot. The main benefits of the Raspberry Pi B+ for C3Pi are the extra USB sockets and the reduced power consumption.

I can see all sorts of possibilities created by the 40-way extended GPIO header, but I don't expect to take advantage of those in C3Pi.

Unboxing the Raspberry Pi model B+

Raspberry Pi Model B+
Here is the Pi model B+. It's familiar, yet subtly different from its predecessors. It has a neater look about it and the 2x20 rows of GPIO pins are clearly ready for some serious work.

I have one big question, which I hope to answer shortly: what is the hardware revision of the new board?

Will some Python libraries crash on the Model B+?

The board revision matters more than you might think. Back in the days when I was running Quick2Wire I came up with a little Python script you could run on a Raspberry Pi to find out if it was a Rev 1 or Rev 2 board. This mattered because the GPIO pin functions changed slightly, so our GPIO and I2C code needed to know.

The wonderful people at Adafruit liked the code, and used it (with due acknowledgment) in their libraries.

My script was a bit of a hack, though, and a new board type might just cause it to crash out with an 'unknown board type' result. So my next job is to see what happens when I run it on a model B+.

Follow @rareblog on twitter, or follow +RAREBlog on G+ to find out the result!