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Identify and Shop for Raspberry PI

There are several Raspberry PI models. The model used by TARPN is called a B and is particular in that it has EtherNet built in.

In order to build a TARPN packet node, you will one of these and it will be dedicated to running your node. In order to be compatible with the assembly instructions on the TARPN web site, we will be making physical modifications to the Raspberry PI which may make it incompatible with some daughter cards. If you decided you will get a case for the Raspberry PI, that case must expose the expansion connector shown on the top of these photos. I recommend the Zebra case for those who will not be using custom cabinetry for their node.

Of the six common versions of Raspberry PI B, there are five which are supported for the TARPN packet node.
All six models were listed at $35. If you are buying new, get the latest one on the top of the list below. The list changes as new Raspberry PIs are released. Some of the newest releases aren't the best, however. You can get the unit below for under $40 easily, including shipping. Beware of kits which include accessories. The kits exist to provide some profit to the vendor because the margins on the Raspberry PIs are so small due to competition. Most of the accessories are not what you'd get once you know about these things. This site will help you shop for the needed accessories.

Four of these Raspberry PI models have 4 USB ports, while the other has only 2 USB ports. Newer models are faster and prefered.

The TNC-PI, built for the Raspberry PI, was originally shipped with UART control, good for only one TNC-PI at a time. However, the original TNC-PI supports I2C bus, which all of the Raspberry PIs on our good list also support, and which enable the Raspberry PI to address many TNC-PI. The TNC-PI sold on our web site is pre-configured for I2C (which excludes UART), and all TNC-PI can be configured after purchase but, and here's the rub, the newer Raspberry PIs, models 3 and newer, come configured so they don't access the UART. There is a software hack to make the newer Raspberry PI talk to the serial port but it isn't something you'd leave permanently in place. An older Raspberry PI can be used to move the TNC-PI from UART to I2C. If you have an older Raspberry PI, keep it around for this TNC-PI rescue operation. Definitely don't buy an older Raspberry PI for this purpose, however, unless it is $10.

Here are photos and recognition details for each of these model B Raspberry PIs.


March 14, 2018
Raspberry PI 3 Model B plus
1.4Ghz 64bit 4-core processor, dual band WiFi, 300mbits/sec over Gigabit Ethernet.
List price is $35.
This is the good board for TARPNs. If buying new, get this one.
It says Raspberry PI 3 Model B+ on the top of the board, but more obviously, it has metal topped ICs. The older units do not. It has four USB sockets and an Ethernet port.
This Raspberry PI requires a Class 4 microSDHC Flash card of 8MBytes or higher
Amazon for Raspberry Pi 3+
rpi-3b plus
February 28, 2016
Raspberry PI 3 Model B v1.2
1.2Ghz 64bit 4-core processor, 1024MB of RAM, 4 available USB ports, 100baseT Ethernet, HDMI, stereo audio, 40 pin expansion header, WiFiN, Bluetooth 4.1, BLE.
This is a good board for TARPNs. It's not as fast as the 3B+ but it is really close.
It says Raspberry PI 3 Model B on the top of the board.
This Raspberry PI requires a Class 4 microSDHC Flash card of 8GBytes or higher
Amazon for Raspberry PI 1.2Ghz 64bit
rpi-2-model-b_1-800x800
February 1, 2015
Raspberry PI 2 Model B
900Mhz 32bit 4-core processor, 1024MB of RAM, 4 available USB ports, 100baseT Ethernet, HDMI, stereo audio, 40 pin expansion header.
List price is $35.
This board works with TARPN but it is noticeably slower than the newer boards. It has an advantage over the newer boards for diagnostics in that the pins 8 and 10 serial port are functional. The newer boards stole that UART for the Bluetooth-connected console. Pins 8 and 10 are used to talk to and restore a defaulted TNC-PI which we run into once in a while. Somebody in the group should have one of the older several Raspberry PIs. This is the faster of the older units.
It says it is a Raspberry PI 2 Model B on top of the board.
This Raspberry PI requires a Class 4 microSDHC Flash card of 8GBytes or higher
Amazon for Raspberry PI 2 900Mhz QuadCore 1024MB
rpi-2-model-b_1-800x800
July 14, 2014
Raspberry PI 1 Model B+
This model was called Raspberry PI B+.
600Mhz processor, 512MB of RAM, 4 available USB ports, 100baseT Ethernet, HDMI, stereo audio, 40 pin expansion header
This board works with the current TARPN scripts but it is an antique and really slow.
A key identifying feature for this model is that it has four mounting holes, 4 USB ports. Says Raspberry PI B+ with a V number on the top of the card.
This Raspberry PI requires a Class 4 microSDHC Flash card of 8GBytes or higher
Amazon for the Raspberry PI Model B+ 700Mhz 512MB
raspberry_pi_bplus
Oct 15 2012
Raspberry PI 1 Model B rev 2
600Mhz processor, 512MB of RAM, 2 available USB ports, 100baseT Ethernet, HDMI, composite video, stereo audio, 26 pin expansion header
A key identifying feature for this model is that it has two mounting holes.
This board works with the current TARPN scripts but it is an antique and really slow.
This Raspberry PI requires a Class 4 SDHC Flash card of 8GBytes or higher. Note, this does not use the micro SD card.
Click for larger image. Note on image: The black-tape on the USB connector housing was added to keep the TNC-PI from shorting out. The mounting holes are partially obscured, one by a threaded spacer inserted into the hole. the other by the black tape.

2014_05_n41185or_working_raspberry_pi
Feb 28 2012
Raspberry PI 1 Model B rev 1 -- NOT SUPPORTED BY TARPN

This model of Raspberry PI will not be supported for TARPNs.
A key identifying feature for the PI 1 Model B rev 1 is that it has no mounting holes.
Click for larger image. Note on image: The heat-sinks were added by the owner. They are not present on most units.

Raspi TV family photo  Feb 2017

Mostly complete family photo
raspi_tv_family_photo_2014

And another: Mostly complete family photo
raspi_tv_family_photo_late_2015
© Tadd Torborg, 2014↝2019 -- all rights reserved