March 13, 2018 Volume 14 Issue 10

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Top Raspberry Pi accessories for makers

Newark element14 recently named its best-selling Raspberry Pi accessories from the last year that helped its community of makers, designers, and engineers develop pioneering projects based on the extremely popular credit card-sized computer. Top Raspberry Pi accessories include cameras, displays, and controllers that transform the way makers of all ages, levels, and professions experience the endless possibilities of developing new technology projects with Raspberry Pi.

"The Raspberry Pi is one of the great building blocks for makers today and can be found in the modern-day tool shed of just about every maker, designer, and engineer," said Dianne Kibbey, global head of community and social media for the element14 community.

Here are the top Raspberry Pi accessories from Newark element14, along with examples of innovative projects that element14 community members have created with them:

  • Cameras: At just 25 mm x 35 mm x 9 mm, the tiny size of the official Raspberry Pi camera modules from Newark element14 provides flexibility for applications including low-light photography (NoIR Camera), drones, CCTV, school projects, and more. element14 community members have used cameras with Raspberry Pi boards to create everything from a Raspberry Pi visual Theremin, to an electronic musical instrument that can be played without physical contact, to a new security camera that is able to differentiate between a stranger in the yard and a car driving down the road.
  • Display: The official Raspberry Pi 7-in. Touchscreen Display can be used to make Internet of Things (IoT) devices with a visual display. It enables a range of educational software and programs available on the Raspberry Pi to become touch enabled, making learning and programming easier than ever on the Raspberry Pi. With the Display, element14 community members have been able to build a connected picture frame, Pi alarm clocks, a plant health camera to keep an eye on favorite florae, and even a mobile media center.
  • PiFace: PiFace Control & Display is a plug-and-play device that allows makers to use and control Raspberry Pi without a keyboard, mouse, or monitor, saving space and power while still providing a simple, yet capable, interactive user interface. With PiFace, designers can detect the state of a switch (for example, from a door sensor, a pressure pad, or any number of other switch types). One element14 community member recently used the PiFace to create a remote horse-feeder system.
  • Sense HAT: The Raspberry Pi Sense HAT attaches to the top of the Raspberry Pi via the 40 GPIO pins. The Sense HAT has several integrated circuit-based sensors that can be used for many different types of experiments, applications, and even games. It includes a gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer, barometer, temperature sensor, relative humidity sensor, 8 x 8 LED matrix display, and a small 5-button joystick. When the Sense HAT is added to the Raspberry Pi board, it enables makers and designers to control the same "Astro Pi" hardware used in space. Its multiple sensors can be used for boundless projects, and it has been used on the international space station. element14 community members have used Sense HAT to create numerous experiments, applications, and games. They've built everything from a working weather station to a thermal imaging system.

Tim Peake with Astro Pi on the International Space Station from Raspberry Pi Foundation on Vimeo.

If you are new to the Raspbeery Pi craze, or just need an extra base unit, you can start here.

The Raspberry Pi Community page can be found here.

Editor's Note: We noticed a few of these items may be on backorder now. Sorry about that! There are other places to get some of them, though, like on the site (you'll have to choose your country to find suppliers) or the Microsoft site, which has just a few basics. Please note that if you buy on Amazon, there may be a (sometimes substantial) price markup from an unauthorized reseller.

Source: Newark element14

Published March 2018

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