Archive for November, 2014

Raspberry Pi Model A+ Review

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

I thought y’all would be interested in an extensive review of the new Raspberry Pi Model A+ with extensive WiFi stick compatibility and power consumption comparisons with other Raspberry Pi models (and much more) are all in there for your reading pleasure :-)

Raspberry Pi Model A+ Review @

(click on image for larger version)

Article Index

  1. Introducing the Raspberry Pi Model A+, Feature Comparison
  2. 40 pin GPIO header, Only ONE USB Port
  3. Switching Power Regulation, Improved Board Layout, Software Compatibility, Hardware Compatibility
  4. Hardware Compatibility (continued)
  5. USB WiFi stick compatibility, Power Consumption
  6. Power Test Results, Conclusion


Raspberry Pi Model A+ works great with RoboPi!

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

I received the Raspberry Pi Model A+’s on Monday, and have been playing with one whenever I found some “spare” time.

Raspberry Pi Model A+ with RoboPi @

(click on image for larger version)

Here we have the “Hello World!” of the electronics world – lighting an LED:

Python 2.7.3 (default, Mar 18 2014, 05:13:23)
[GCC 4.6.3] on linux2
Type “help”, “copyright”, “credits” or “license” for more information.
>>> import RoboPiLib as RoboPi
>>> RoboPi.RoboPiInit(“/dev/ttyAMA0”,115200)
>>> RoboPi.pinMode(0,RoboPi.OUTPUT)
>>> RoboPi.digitalWrite(0,1)

It worked on the first try!

Mind you, that did not surprise me. I would have been shocked if the A+ was not compatible with add-ons that worked with the B+

Just like with the B+ standoffs can be installed on the A+ that RoboPi can rest on to stop it from “flopping around”.

Related Links:

Raspberry Pi Model A+ in Canada: I scored some!

Monday, November 24th, 2014

I managed to score five new Raspberry Pi Model A+ ‘s from Allied Electronics Canada!

Raspberry Pi Model A+ from Allied

(click on image for larger version)

Just for yucks, I checked what Element14 says for Canada (of course they do not show any stock)

  • 247 Further stock expected to ship on 5-Jan-2015
  • Per the manufacturer, more stock expected week of 09/03/15

Allied has about 330 A+’s left at this time, I bet they won’t last long.

Banana Pi 7″ LVDS LCD module review updated

Monday, November 24th, 2014

I’ve updated my review of the Banana Pi 7″ LVDS LCD module at…t-lcd-module-review/

Banana Pi 7" LCD Review

I added power usage for:

  • boot max
  • desktop idle
  • after ‘sudo halt’

for with/without the 7″ LCD

Element14 CSR in Canada says they will not carry the Raspberry Pi Model A+

Friday, November 21st, 2014

I’ve been waiting patiently for Element14 to start selling the new Raspberry Pi Model A+

A couple of days ago, they posted an ad saying that it it is available in limited quantities – see image below:

Element 14 says they will sell Model A+ on line - but chat says no!

(click on image for 1080p version – here is the link to the page above)

I’ve been waiting as patiently as I could, as I really want to test it as I think it will be a great board for many of my projects, so this morning I contacted their customer service using their on-line chat.

Here is the start of my chat:

Ray: Hi, how can I help?

you: Introducing the Model A+ The least expensive, most compact single board computer.Limited quantities available!

you: when will I be able to order it?

you: an inactive link has been up for about three days now


you: you can see it at the link above

Ray: we are not going to stock the model A+

you: Really? then why are you listing it as being available?

Ray: it is coming for our UK sister company

Ray: part 93X7446


I admit I complained to Ray about the situation, and asked for the email address to use for customer compaints (which is

I searched for the Model A+ by the part number Ray provided, and did find a listing page at

This page shows “Awaiting Deliver”, and stock & lead times shows

“Per the manufacturer, more stock expected week of 02/03/15”

Now this suggests a few possibilities:

1) the Raspberry Pi Foundation BADLY underestimated the demand for a $20 Model A+

2) Element14 in Canada is confused – web site says they will stock it, customer service representative says they will not stock it.

(This may mean that they will only make it available as a “direct ship” product from the UK – likely increasing costs for customers)

I’ll order a few from the UK or the states (assuming I can find some in stock somewhere) – but that means that I’ll end up paying FAR more than $20 each.

I strongly suspect the Model A+ will outsell the proverbial hotcakes…

Now I am off to search the web for a few to play with.


I appreciated how Ray was trying to be helpful, and I know he is in a tough spot. Apparently I was not the only upset customer. Element14 should carry the A+ in Canada, after all they are “THE” official distributor.

I suspect they will be getting a LOT of complaints…


MCMElectronics now expects A+’s on Dec.13 … they keep pushing back the availability date.