|Manufacturer||Raspberry Pi Foundation|
|Package Dimensions||9.4 x 7.2 x 2.8 cm; 200 Grams|
|Item Weight||200 g|
|Manufacturer||Raspberry Pi Foundation|
|Is Discontinued By Manufacturer||No|
|Date First Available||13 March 2018|
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Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
- Broadcom BCM2837B0
- 1.4 GHz Quad Core Cortex A53
- 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM
- 400 MHz Dual Core VideoCore IV GPU
- 64Bit processor
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The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ (Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Plus) is the latest version of the Raspberry Pi, a tiny credit card size computer. Just add a keyboard, mouse, display, power supply, micro SD card with installed Linux Distribution and you'll have a fully fledged computer that can run applications from word processors and spreadsheets to games. As the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B + supports HD video, you can even create a media centre with it. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is the first Raspberry Pi to be open-source from the get-go, expect it to be the defacto embedded Linux board in all the forums.
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Wifi access is via the Pi's own WiFi as is Bluetooth which runs a mini keyboard. That leaves two USB ports free. The only external cables are the Dell power supply (removable) and the RCA cable to the second speaker. I am building a portable power brick for it so I can play it on the go.
Voltage was an issue, so I incorporated a Buck Converter into the build which ensures a minimal voltage of 5.2 volts from the 19.5v 4.62a Dell laptop battery charger. The Pi 3B+ doesn't like voltages going below 5v, which is often the case with standard USB chargers, which may be rated 5v, but actually only have 4.95v available for the device.
Since I added the Buck Converter, I haven't had a single occurrence of under-voltage messages, or the dreaded yellow lightning bolt. I also added a heat sink to the Pi CPU, to assist in cooling it down as there is little air-flow in the box.
The Pi's audio output is connected to a TPA3116 D2 Dual Channel Digital Amplifier Board, to which I have attached a couple of speakers salvaged from an LG HiFi tower. The amplifier is also powered by the Dell laptop charger.
I have attached a 5 inch RPi HDMI touch screen monitor, set to portrait display.
The thumb drive contains around 10,000 MP3 files and a downloads folder, as there is not a lot of room on the SD card. I have downloaded the open source Clementine Music Player, which is now available for Raspberry Pi, which I can use to access hundreds of streaming radio stations all round the world.
All in all I'm happy with the Pi. I have stress tested the device, playing internet radio for 48 hours non-stop, whilst running a number of Linux-based CPU stress tests.
The photos shows the completed device. This is my first ever electronic project so it is a bit rough around the edges. The second speaker is removable to enable stereo sound separation. It has been painted with black 'hammer finish' spray paint and mesh covers for the 3 inch speakers.
Having now finished the project, it works well. It boots in 23.8 seconds. It has got plenty of oonce, in fact my crockery rattles when I crank up the volume.
Note that it gets to 55C (feels burning hot) quite quickly though, so a heat sink would be an appropriate peripheral.
I then connected to the GPIO header, and everything was fine. I was surprised at how finicky this generation is, and how it would actually overheat because of a undervolt during boot, so would be locked at a lower CPU frequency from then onwards. I also tried the genuine Raspberry Pi power supply (didn't have those before now)... and that was fine also. Other than the power issues (which surely the onboard PMIC should be able to manage better and prevent being so much of an issue?) this is a great board performance and stability wise.
Other than the power issue, the only other complaint I have is that it does seem to run hotter than the previous generations boards when basically idling. But I suppose this is the trade off for having more performance available. Having the onboard Wifi and PoE capability is well worth the upgrade, as long as the possibility of some active cooling being needed is taken into account.