Pie R 2: The Ultimate Mini-Computer for DIYers and Robotics Enthusiasts
If you’re into DIY electronics, programming, or robotics, you’ve likely heard of the Raspberry Pi. The credit-card sized computer, developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation in 2012, has become a popular platform for makers of all skill levels to experiment and create their own projects.
The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, released in 2015, was a significant upgrade from the original model. However, the release of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ in 2018, with its increased processing power and faster networking capabilities, made it the go-to choice for many hobbyists and professionals alike.
But what about the Raspberry Pi 2, or more specifically, the Pie R 2? Is it still worth considering for your next project, or is it outdated and irrelevant? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Pie R 2?
First things first, let’s clarify what Pie R 2 actually is. Essentially, it’s a customized version of the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, made by a company called Banggood. There are a few key differences between the two:
– The Pie R 2 has 8GB of eMMC flash storage built-in, while the Raspberry Pi 2 requires an SD card for storage.
– The Pie R 2 has an aluminum case with a built-in cooling fan, while the Raspberry Pi 2 does not.
– The Pie R 2 comes pre-installed with the Armbian operating system, while the Raspberry Pi 2 does not come with an OS by default.
In terms of hardware specs, both the Pie R 2 and Raspberry Pi 2 have a Broadcom BCM2836 processor with a clock speed of 900MHz, 1GB of RAM, and a range of inputs and outputs, including 4 USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Why choose Pie R 2 over another Raspberry Pi model?
So, given that the Raspberry Pi 3 and 4 are now available, why might you choose the Pie R 2 over these newer models? There are a few reasons:
– Cost: The Pie R 2 is significantly cheaper than the Raspberry Pi 3 and 4, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.
– Compatibility: While the Raspberry Pi 3 and 4 have improved processing power and networking capabilities, they may not be fully compatible with all existing projects and accessories. The Pie R 2, on the other hand, is essentially a Raspberry Pi 2 with a few added features, so it’s likely to be more compatible with older projects and accessories.
– Simplicity: Some users may prefer the simplicity of the Pie R 2’s setup and pre-installed OS. It’s ready to use out of the box, without the need to download and flash an operating system onto an SD card (although you can still do this if you wish).
What can you do with Pie R 2?
As with any Raspberry Pi model, the possibilities are endless. Here are just a few examples of projects you could create with Pie R 2:
– Media center: The Pie R 2’s hardware specs make it suitable for use as a media center or game console. With the pre-installed OS, you can run media center software like Kodi or RetroPie without the need for additional setup.
– Home automation: The Pie R 2 can be used to control home automation devices like lights, thermostats, and security systems. You could also create your own DIY smart home system using sensors and relays.
– Robotics: The Pie R 2’s GPIO pins make it suitable for use in robotics projects. You could create a robot that responds to voice commands, or use it to control a drone or other RC device.
– Network storage: Thanks to the built-in flash storage, Pie R 2 can be used as a network-attached storage (NAS) device. You could store files, media, and backups on the device and access them from other computers on your network.
Q: Is Pie R 2 a standalone device or does it require additional components to function?
A: Pie R 2 requires a power supply (micro USB), a keyboard and mouse or other input device, and a display (e.g. TV or monitor) to function. You may also need additional components for specific projects.
Q: Can Pie R 2 run the latest version of Raspberry Pi OS?
A: While Pie R 2 comes with a pre-installed OS, you can install the latest version of Raspberry Pi OS if you wish. However, the device’s hardware specs may limit its performance with newer OS versions.
Q: How does Pie R 2 compare to other Raspberry Pi models in terms of performance?
A: In terms of processing power, Pie R 2 is on par with the Raspberry Pi 2, but lags behind the more recent Raspberry Pi 3 and 4. However, its built-in flash storage and pre-installed OS can offer a level of convenience that may make up for any performance differences.
Q: Is Pie R 2 suitable for beginners or is it more advanced?
A: Pie R 2 is suitable for users of all skill levels, but some prior knowledge of programming or electronics may be helpful. The pre-installed OS and included software make it easier to get started than some other Raspberry Pi models, but you may need to learn additional skills depending on the project you undertake.
While it may not be the latest or most powerful Raspberry Pi model, Pie R 2 still has plenty of potential for DIY projects and experimentation. Its low cost, built-in storage, and pre-installed OS make it an attractive option for beginners or those on a budget, while its compatibility with existing accessories and projects may appeal to more experienced users. Whether you’re looking to create a media center, home automation system, or robotics project, Pie R 2 is worth considering as a platform for your next project.