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3.1: Required Resources

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    This page is essentially a shoping list created for the Spring 2024 Physical Computing Class and the prices will change and there are many more options, so go out and find what you need.  You will need a laptop, as you will run your Pi in headless node and use the laptop display and keyboard to operate the Pi.  The first time you boot up though you will need a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and will need to run the Pi in Desktop mode.  These components will not be considered as required, as we have them in the lab, but you may want them if you have issues at home, and some of the bundles below include these suggested items.

    You can buy a kit like the Raspberry Pi 4 Ultimate Kit from Canakit that has most of the material you need, but there are cheaper and more customizable options.  You must realize there are hundreds of vendors selling the devices and I am not endorsing one or the other, and that the prices and availability will change.

    1. Raspberry Pi 3b or 4 or 5 (the 5 is not released yet, but will probably be released before class starts) Adafruit currently has Pi 4s available and I would suggest either the 4GB ($55) as it is only $10 more than the 2GB, or the 8 GB ($75).  Note, each version of the Pi has different chips and layouts.  For example the Pi 3 has one hdmi while the pi 4 and 5 have two micro hdmi, and so once you pick your pi, you will need to get cables that are approriate to that board.
      clipboard_e981470c6970f3efe66d7f71262ff87af.pngFigure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Raspberry Pi 3B (2015), 4 (2018) and 5 (about to be released). Images from Adafruit's website, the 4GB Pi 4 costs $55 (image credit

    2. USB C 5V 3 amp power supply.  You may already have one for your cell phone that works, and you can get a power supply by itself like this official power supply from Adafruit.  I suggest you get a kit that has other items you will need, like this Power supply with switch, case, microSD card, USB-MicroSD converter, microHDMI to HDMI cable and heat sinks for a Pi 4 that costs $19.89. The only "essential" items here are the power supply and the microSD card, but you will want the others, and they will be further described in the suggested materials page.
      clipboard_e780b4769bf0daf44910bab6a0ab291a8.pngFigure \(\PageIndex{2}\): iUnker power supply with case and heat sinks( Amazon) that costs $19.89

    3. Cobbler, Bread Board and Ribbon Cable. Once again, you can buy from multiple vendors, but this one from Amazon looks like a good deal and also provides additional items like wires, resistors, buttons, all of which I can lend you in class, but you would probably want for your own.  I would also suggest you look into buying an extra cobbler and breadboard so you can have multiple circuit boards set up at the same time.  But that is not neccessary.

      Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\): Breadboard kit from Amazon that costs $16.50.  we will use everything in this kit and it even has a little box.(KeyStudio GPIO Breakout Kit)

    4. microSD card  (included in item 4 kit above),.  You will want 32 GB or more. Further information on micro SD cards can be found in section 2.2.4 of the IOST library that we will be using in the course. That information will be updated and will not apply to Pi 5s.  Tom's hardware suggests this one.   I actually suggest you buy multiple identical microSD cards, as it will then be easy to copy from one to the other.  Sometimes we have had issues copying cards between different brands, and learning how to back up your work is very important.  The prices are very reasonable on Amazon, with this $8.99 Silicon Power 32GB 3D NAND High Speed MicroSD Card getting high ranks from Ton's Hardware.
    5. CSI camera: We will use the MIPI CSI (Mobile Industry Processor Interface Camera Serial Interface - CSI for short) port to run a camera, although we could use the USB (Universal Serial  Bus), but the CSI is integrated  into the chip and so uses less resources on the Pi.  Section 2.6.1 of the IoST library covers the camera, which you should take a quick  look at to understand what it is you need to buy. I do have a serious word of caution, if this is your first time connecting hardware to software (Physical Computing) you should get a simple camera and learn the basics, and then go and buy a fancy one with all the bells and whistles once you have the coding skills to make them work, so my advice is start out with the simplest one.  You do not need to buy the camera before the class starts, but you will need to buy one.
      clipboard_e112e7d95254abd631a19ea001b79bab4.pngFigure \(\PageIndex{4}\): I am not endorsing any camera, but I advise you to get a camera with a mount, as that will make it easier to deploy. (Image credit Amazon left, middle, right)

    6. DHT22 Temperature and Humidity sensor.  This is a basic sensor that I want each student to own, but once class starts we can buy a multi pack and they get real cheap.  Note, there are three pin ones that have a built in circuit  board, and you need to be careful with those, as they may be set up for different communication protocols than the one we will use.  In our case we will  use this to build our own circuit board (you will learn how to solder several circuit simple circuit boards this semester).  So I want you to buy a 4 pin DHT22, as that is what our circuit board will be set up to use. Also, as a generic statement, if you are considering buying an electronic component and one option has information stamped on the device, and the other does not, I would suspect the one with the information is of better quality. But that is only a suspicion, sort of a dubious rule-of-thumb, and you really need to see if you can find a data sheet, as there is nothing to stop the manufacturer of a cheap knock-off from adding information to their device. 
      clipboard_e26e9abc09ed5f198bebce25db5350bc1.pngFigure \(\PageIndex{6}\): DHT22 sensors, you need to search and find what you find(Image source Amazon: left image, right image)


    3.1: Required Resources is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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