Thursday, July 24, 2014

Let's Get Current

OK - I know I shouldn't have, but I just had to. The new Raspberry Pi is out - the Model B+. So I ordered one a few days back and it arrived today. It won't go astray as I plan to have two units on my own layout - one will drive wireless control of the layout and the other will be for programming locos at the workbench.

The Model B+ is the higher-spec variant of the Raspberry Pi. It replaced the original Model B in July 2014. Compared to the Model B it has:

  1. More GPIO. The GPIO header has grown to 40 pins, while retaining the same pinout for the first 26 pins as the Model B.
  2. More USB. There are now 4 USB 2.0 ports, compared to 2 on the Model B, and better hotplug and overcurrent behaviour.
  3. Micro SD. The old friction-fit SD card socket has been replaced with a much nicer push-push micro SD version.
  4. Lower power consumption. By replacing linear regulators with switching ones we’ve reduced power consumption by between 0.5W and 1W.
  5. Better audio. The audio circuit incorporates a dedicated low-noise power supply.
  6. Neater form factor. They’ve aligned the USB connectors with the board edge, moved composite video onto the 3.5mm jack, and added four squarely-placed mounting holes.
Anyway so it arrived and as soon as I had pushed some food into my face after work, I pulled the package out and plugged in all of the cables on my table and inserted a MicroSD card I already had imaged with my Raspian "June 2014" and JMRI "3.8".

As expected it all just worked fine. So the next trick and test I wanted to see was to not use the powered USB hub. So I pulled the hub out and inserted the Wireless Adapter into the R-Pi itself.

Power was switched on and it all fired up and again I was able to drive a train. Happy happy, joy joy.

So this now leads me to the next test I must do once I can get some time at the club - that is to hook the setup into the N Scale Exhibition layout and test how far away I can get and it still work. Also to see how many can drive at the same time too.

Maybe it will all be a ripper and the new Pi has enough power to drive the adapter and hence cost and size of the setup will be lower for connecting to the layout. Now I can't wait till next club day for me!

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