back to article Raspberry Pi 3 to sport Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE – first photos emerge

A Raspberry Pi 3 with onboard Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) support has emerged today. The Model B Raspberry Pi 3 will be the first in the family of tiny cheap-and-cheerful ARM-powered computers to feature builtin wireless networking. For previous models, owners have had to make do with wired Ethernet, USB Wi- …

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    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      How about a 64 Qubit quantum computing processor?

    2. Old Used Programmer

      Patience, grasshopper...

      Sooner than that, I should think, given that the PINE64+ boards should start showing up any day now.

      Like others, I have what I consider to be an ideal feature set. I can find one or more boards with any given feature. What I can't find--so far--is a single board with all of the features I want.

    3. Old Used Programmer

      If the image linked to by another poster is correct, then they've gone to a quad-core 64-bit 1.2GHz SoC. That could also be why they were able to add WIFi and BT. Perhaps the Ethernet is native now? Dunno. Not enough data yet. Also, nothing on memory size.

      In any case, if the image *isn't* a fake, this is going to be a pretty serious problem for the PINE64 project, since you pay them extra to get a WIFi/BT addon device. *If* the Pi3B has 2GB of RAM, it would be cheaper than the 2GB PINE64+ once you add WiFi/BT to it.

      If the Pi Zero is the RPFs anser to the CHIP, this may be the RPFs answer to the PIN64.

  1. HollyHopDrive

    Like I need another one....

    Like somebody else said - a 2 x ethernet port version of this would open up a whole world of opportunity for devices. Its something I wanted since the original B board.

    Anyway, I'm quite excited and will be no doubt in the big long queue of people trying to get one when release and inevitably just don't make enough of them for release day (just like the original pi/pi2 and pizero ... how are they still underestimating volumes for that thing!!)

    If this comes in [price wise] anywhere near the existing Pi2 it will be another massive hit..

  2. Webster Phreaky

    Isn't this defeating the original purpose of the Pi being CHEAP and Stripped Down SIMPLE??? What's next, will it come with a 24" LED LCD Monitor???

    1. ZSn

      If it still comes in at the same price point of $35 does it matter. If they managed to get an i7 with the same power profile and price (and form factor) I wouldn't complain.

      1. Steve Knox
        Coffee/keyboard

        If anyone manages to get an i7 system with the same power profile, let alone price, I'll eat several hats of varying size.

    2. Old Used Programmer

      I would love to see the RPF tackle monitors. When starting out from absolute scratch, a monitor is the single most expensive item to go out and buy. (Side note...I find used monitors in thrift shops, so I get them cheap, but that's not an option for everyone, everywhere.) My expectation if they did so would be a 13" or 15" 1024x768 panel, with *only* HDMI input. If they could do that at a retail price of less than $40 or $50, there would be a lot of cheering.

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Isn't this defeating the original purpose of the Pi being CHEAP and Stripped Down SIMPLE???

      That will be the Zero £4.25.

    4. Infernoz Bronze badge
      Pint

      Not having BLE on perfect for IoT board was quite stupid

      The Arduino is a nice idea, but crippled by lack of /built-in/ BLE, and too costly and clumsy via shells. The Pi is even more stupid without /built-in/ BLE for low power wireless comms and peripherals, because USB is a clumsy way to add extra features to tiny computers.

      BLE should be consider as compulsory for any tiny device now. WiFi is a nice to have when you need to use a LAN or WAN with a device and wired Ethernet is a pain or a security risk.

      A project I have in mind will need loads of BLE attached battery powered, wireless environment sensors, so I'll need loads of tiny cheap computers with built-in BLE which I only need to add environment sensors, storage and batteries to, the new Pi 3 looks like it may be suitable and economical for this.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Not having BLE on perfect for IoT board was quite stupid

        It's not primarily and IoT board and it was developed years ago, to be cheap.

        Add features, increase cost. Somebody has to make a decision on which features to meet the target price, and that decision has led to several million sales.

        So not actually stupid.

      2. mad physicist Fiona

        Re: Not having BLE on perfect for IoT board was quite stupid

        "...and wired Ethernet is a pain or a security risk."

        Why? You think WiFi is MORE secure? It isn't even as if you don't have the option - you can ditch the ethernet and get an A if you want. Which version massively outsells the other?

        It also ties in in well with the overall aim of the project - something people can build into something else. For a lot of people and a lot of something elses the vagaries or wireless communication are a complete non-starter. Remember you are not the entire userbase and your use is not the only one or even necessarily the most popular.

      3. Spanners Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Not having BLE on perfect for IoT board was quite stupid

        "wired Ethernet is a pain or a security risk"

        Either, I am not understanding what you mean or both those statements fly in the face of any evidence I have seen.

        Pain - how much more pain are you caused by simply plugging in an Ethernet cable than, A. paying extra for a Wifi dongle, B. installing the drivers, C. fardling around with connecting up to the right WiFi and D putting in the password? At least you can avoid A&B now.

        Security - You do use a WiFi passord I assume. This is famously not secure and easy enough for crims/spooks to swamp out and so on,

        I have uses for WiFi Pi devices in future but they are inherently fiddlier and less secure or reliable than a length of CAT5/6/etc

  3. Turnipking007

    Birthday soon!

    Raspberry Pi is having it's 1st or 4th birthday ... depending how you look at leap years soon .... I wonder if the news of Pi 3 will come out then?

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Birthday soon!

      Presumably. It looks like postings about the Pi 3 are being deleted on the official forum as soon as they are made, probably in an attempt to keep the announcement as secret as possible. I doubt El Reg will be the Foundation's favourite media outlet this Saturday morning.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Birthday soon!

        Reg ignored the press embargo on the Pi2B when it appeared too. That also upset them.

        1. Fibbles

          Re: Birthday soon!

          The Pi3 news was on the front-page of reddit yesterday. I'm not sure it could be any less of a secret.

  4. Martin an gof Silver badge

    Missing the point

    Prepared for the downvotes here, but calls for SATA / extra USB / network boot etc. are sort of missing the point.

    The whole point - as I understand it - was to produce an extremely affordable, but actually useful computer. I mean, the fact you could buy a computer capable of running a full-blown modern OS with desktop and a fairly full range of "normal" software, for under £30, was absolutely incredible four years ago.

    My boys have been using a Pi 1 B as their general purpose computer for a couple of years, and I've just upgraded them to a Pi 2, but the Pi 1 has done pretty much anything they need it to. Ironically I spent more on the keyboard than on the Pi, as I'm a firm believer in having a "good" keyboard, but they inherited a monitor, the mouse was a fiver, and the thing was powered from the USB hub.

    Eben Upton has said, time and again, that cost was the over-riding factor and they have only introduced new or improved features as it became possible to do so without increasing the cost.

    I honestly don't think that SATA is a killer feature that everyone is waiting for, and while two completely independent USB ports would be a big improvement, if it means the thing costs £35 instead of £30 then it's a step in the wrong direction.

    For its "maker" credentials, adding BLE is probably a good idea and undoubtedly the WiFi and BT came "for free" in an all-in-one device. I wonder if the WiFi does 5GHz?

    But of course the biggest point in the Pi's favour is the foundation itself and the fact that even at £30 they are able to support a fantastic education programme...

    Sorry, didn't mean to sound gushing. I realise the Pi's not perfect for everything, but it does what it was designed to do really rather well.

    M.

    1. Down not across Silver badge

      Re: Missing the point

      Prepared for the downvotes here, but calls for SATA / extra USB / network boot etc. are sort of missing the point.

      I agree. Don't get me wrong those would be nice to have. But there are other small (albeit bit more expensive) boards out there if you need additional features.

      I quite commend Pi staying true to its roots and and cost.

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Missing the point

        My thoughts too - SATA would be nice, but let's look to the future. SATA is on its way out, why include something like this just as other systems start to include a different storage media interface?

        1. picturethis
          Megaphone

          Re: Missing the point

          M.2, where are you?

        2. Joerg

          Re: Missing the point

          SATA on its way out in which dreams?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Missing the point

            "SATA on its way out in which dreams?"

            Whether it is or not, I'd think some sort of single M-SATA or similar interface would be more likely on a Pi for extra and fast SSD external storage, keeping the power profile to a minimum if and when it can be added while maintaining the price point. Although after three years of inflation they could probably set the price point at $40 instead of $35 and still be ok.

            The philosophy behind it is an experimenters tool, not to make a cheap NAS box :-)

    2. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Missing the point

      ... calls for SATA / extra USB / network boot etc. are sort of missing the point.

      They are missing a point, perhaps, but there need not be only one point.

      The whole point - as I understand it - was to produce an extremely affordable, but actually useful computer. I mean, the fact you could buy a computer capable of running a full-blown modern OS with desktop and a fairly full range of "normal" software, for under £30, was absolutely incredible four years ago.

      It is still absolutely incredible today. The RPi you can go out and buy is an amazing piece of kit, and it does do exactly what you describe for an incredibly low price.

      ... but there are other things that people might also like to be able to do, for which the RPi itself isn't ideally suited. I can see a market for some slightly more up-market boards with additional functionality. Not instead of the RPi as it stands, but as well. Not as cheap as the Pi itself, but similarly low-cost.

      I can see a market, for example, for a Pi-like device with two NICs (and no video) that could form the basis of a home-grown router project.

      I can see a market, for example, for a Pi-like device with a NIC and several SATA ports (and no video) that could form the basis of a home-grown NAS project.

      Sure, there are boards one can buy that one could use for those sorts of projects, but they're mostly not low-power ARM-based hardware, but rather either full-blown PCs with far higher power consumption than those projects require or very specialized hardware for specific applications (Routerboard hardware, for example) that lacks the flexibility for a project.

      Part of the point of the Pi is the incredibly low cost, but another part is to provide a platform that people will be happy to hack on -- a system that will encourage them to develop an interest in low-level coding. The inexpensiveness of the hardware is part of that, but the usefulness of the hardware is important too. I cannot see that the Pi family would be harmed by the introduction of a few more highly-spec'd models.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Missing the point

        "I cannot see that the Pi family would be harmed by the introduction of a few more highly-spec'd models."

        Just wondering if you're aware of the BeagleBones and such, including probably trendier and probably newer competitors? And if you are, what (other than price) doesn't meet your needs?

        Do one thing, and make sure you do it well. Do a few things, and do your best to do them all well. Try to be all things to all people, and know in advance that (a) you will fail (b) people in related markets will stop being your friends.

        1. Old Used Programmer

          Re: Missing the point

          The biggest failing of many other boards is support, particularly for those who are not experts already. With a Pi, at any time I can easily down'oad the current version of directly supported OSes and I can reliably upgrade the OS at any time. I got a relatively early Odroid-C1 to evaluate. After a few weeks I set it aside to wait for the software to mature a bit (there were some pretty severe early "teething" problems). A couple of months later, I went back to update the system and it couldn't even *find* any of the repositories the OS was built from. If I ever pick that board up again, I'm going to have to first *find* where the OS download is and only then do a complete reinstall, whether I want to or not.

          The Pi community and Foundation are doing a support job that simply doesn't exist for other boards, and that is worth a *lot* in terms of time and hassle to use boards.

          One of the key features on my ideal SBC is adequate support, and--so far--the Pi is the only place to get that.

      2. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Missing the point

        I can see a market for some slightly more up-market boards with additional functionality. Not instead of the RPi as it stands, but as well. Not as cheap as the Pi itself, but similarly low-cost.

        I did think something similar to start with, but the thing with the Pi is the Foundation which, as others have pointed out, has education as its primary goal. If I remember correctly, the spark that set Eben Upton off down the path of creating a cheap, hackable, almost disposable computer was that students were leaving school thinking that "programming" involved the ability to hack a web page together from templates and maybe a bit of manual HTML.

        He seems to have succeeded - in no small part due to the community - and as a by-product it's a pretty useful desktop computer as well. Diversifying the product range might dilute the original goal.

        Most of the examples you have given would have no bearing on that education goal at all, though they would be extremely interesting to some people. Note how successful the Compute Module seems (not) to have been...

        A more useful desktop computer could be created with the addition of SATA (or, yes, M2), more memory, various other bits and bobs, but it really wouldn't add much to the goals of the foundation, especially if it costs £50 or £60 rather than £30 (there may be licensing issues with some of those additions?). I hardly thought twice about replacing the Boys' Pi 1 with a Pi 2 at £30, but at £60 I'd have had to have a good reason to do so.

        On the other hand, if the MagPi image recently posted is genuine, it looks like the foundation might have pulled another one out of the hat. The question is whether the supposed Pi 3 replaces the Pi 2 (i.e. at the same price point) or is a "top end" addition to the range. Notice how they've effectively kept the Pi 1 in production - at reduced prices.

        M.

        1. Old Used Programmer

          Re: Missing the point

          Apparently a couple of people got CPC catalogs featuring the Pi3B and that included pricing which works out to be within spitting distance (at current exchange rates) of $35. Therefore, I would conclude that the official price *is* $35. Another question answered is, 1GB RAM, which a bit on the low side for a quad-core 64-bit CPU.

          That makes it an open question of what will be done with the Pi2B? Lower it to $30? That would mean Pi Zero at $5, Pi A+ at $20, Pi B+ at $25, Pi2B at $30, and Pi3B at $35.

          On the other hand...I'm still kind of looking for a Model A+ with 512MB, a Pi2A with either 512MB or 1GB, and a CM2 with 1GB and (I think) 8GB flash.

        2. Old Used Programmer

          Re: Missing the point

          I think there is a case to be made for a more powerful board with a mass storage interface that falls within the educational mission of the RPF. That is...a Pi "server" that can be used in a classroom in conjunction with a room full of "normal" Pis. This new board is almost certainly fast enough to do that job (looking at comparison charts and relative clock speeds, it looks to be 1.6 times faster than a Pi2B). Bumping the RAM to 2GB would help a lot. A mass storage interface (SATA, mSATA, M.2) would allow it to be a backup or other common device as well as a computer to flash SD cards, an RTC would enable it to act as a local NTP server which would solve that issue for isolated areas off the 'net.

          1. x 7

            Re: Missing the point

            "I think there is a case to be made for a more powerful board with a mass storage interface that falls within the educational mission of the RPF"

            what would you call it?

            Raspberry pudding? Raspberry tart?

          2. Diogenes

            Re: Missing the point

            have an upvote.

            Would allow teaching of networking & setting up servers which would be a lot less expensive than doing it the way we do now.

            Set up as a server I could do some decent testing of more complex websites submission of forms especially) of website s & apps, especially now that parse is being shut down

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Missing the point

        "I cannot see that the Pi family would be harmed by the introduction of a few more highly-spec'd "

        But is there a potential profit (to re-invest) / break even point in doing that for such low numbers?

        there's a minimum price / spec / production cost that needs be satisfied else they end up bankrupt

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: break even point

          Mr Upton in his interview in the Raspberry Pi podcast [1] makes the point that every time they need to re-certify the wireless, it'll cost them around £100K, so there needs to be a good reason to add another variant.

          One other snippet of note: Pi Zero production has been limited in recent months because the factory has been secretly building Pi 3. There are lots of Pi 3 in stock today. Whether it's enough, we'll see, but Pi Zero availability should improve soon.

          [1] http://thepipodcast.com/the-pi-podcast-16-raspberry-pi-3-special-with-eben-upton/ (44 minutes)

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Missing the point

      Prepared for the downvotes here

      I gave you one just so you wouldn't be disappointed! :-)

      Actually, your post is pretty much spot on.

    4. Old Used Programmer

      Re: Missing the point

      While I disagree about SATA, I certainly won't down vote you for your opinion. If the image posted this morning is real and not a photoshop fake, then the Pi3B is a capable enough board that SATA would be a real benefit. It may be getting into what might be termed "SBC server" class. If the Ethernet is NOT on the LAN chip (even if still 10/100 Mb/s) then the only things I would see (for my use cases...YMMV) would be RTC and SATA. Since at least one report states that the built in WiFi only handles the 2.4GHz band (802.11n), it may well be limited to 100 Mb/s.

      Monday is going to be *really* interesting....

  5. drtune

    Still sucks for i/o performance

    Yeah it's the same story; hang everything off a single USB host port. This was a disaster for the stuff I was doing. Having tried many of the boards on the market personally I now have a deep and abiding love for the Banana Pi (M1 - first revision) which for $35 has THREE separate real USB host ports (i.e. not on a hub) that all run in parallel at full speed AND real gigabit ethernet AND SATA; all properly implemented and independent. (and a real time clock and many more little joys) - it depends what you want it for but if you want any kind of useful i/o performance the RPis have always been a joke

    1. ZSn

      Re: Still sucks for i/o performance

      True, but what you get with the raspberry pi is the community. I've looked at these alternatives and it seems that while the hardware is good, the support for debian/kodi/os of choice is poor. A shame, but there you have it.

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: Still sucks for i/o performance

      I now have a deep and abiding love for the Banana Pi

      Yeah, on the surface it looks like a decent hardware spec at a decent price, but absolutely nothing I have found out about the project and the support and the suppliers has given me the slightest bit of confidence in the product.

      The Pi was never designed for people like us to build NASes out of and it does the jobs it was designed for very well - it supports a wide range of educational projects and tools and to top it off it is a perfectly usable desktop computer. In fact in some ways the "desktop experience" my boys now get on their Pi beats the desktop experience I get on my EeePC which was running OpenSuse until they dropped 32 bits from the latest version, and now runs Mint.

      But it could all have been very different. I followed the project from reasonably early on - perhaps a year before launch - and nobody knew that what has happened would happen. Before the "community", it looked very much like a niche product. People who needed to do "maker" things were mostly using Arduinos, and people who wanted to do what is now termed "coding" simply installed Scratch or BluJay or plain Python or whatever on their desktop. Much of the early discussion was along the lines of "why on earth do you want to do that?", "there are existing solutions for that problem" and "you're throwing away tens of thousands of pounds of your own money".

      It was the emphasis on education - not just saying "hey, we've made a cheap computer, go and use it", but actually employing teachers to develop resources and "evangelise", it was paying for certain software development work and actively encouraging the community that made it all take off. Oh, and that price point. When the Pi launched there was nothing, repeat nothing as capable, as (fairly) easy to use (it got better very quickly) at that price point.

      And for those complaining about the fact that it could be made cheaper in China, please go back and read the history of the decision to bring it back to Wales. Yes, price was a factor, and it turned out that Sony near Bridgend (I drive past the factory every day on my way to work) could match the Chinese, once it was realised the quantities that would be required. A major thing though, I think, was that they had problems "managing" the Chinese. Remember when yet another delay was posted because the Chinese factory had saved a few pennies by installing the wrong kind of Ethernet connector? Yes they said it was an "accident" but... Remember how that meant that the Pi couldn't have passed EMC compliance? I don't think there has ever been such a gaffe at Bridgend, where Raspberry Pis are made by nanas (see one of the comments).

      M.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "managing" the Chinese.

        "A major thing though, I think, was that they had problems "managing" the Chinese. "

        I remember reading about those challenges in some depth in a couple of places - not just the Ethernet connectors on the official Pi blog, but other worrying stuff too.

        I remember not being able to find those articles last year shortly before the Chinese state visit, during which we finally got the long-speculated-about official announcement that the Chinese would be first financing and then building some of the UK's next round of nuclear power stations. In at least one place I did find there was still a *link* to one of the articles, but I can't even remember enough to find that now either (I think it was a Sony-related story in a south Wales business section somewhere).

        I remember thinking that's a bit of a coincidence, and a bit of a shame.

        But in general, many thanks and best of luck to Team Pi.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: "managing" the Chinese.

          The "managing the chinese" comment is nonsense.

          Raspberry Pi for the Asian region are still made in China by Embest. Both RS and CPC/Farnell/Element14 do manufacturing of various products in China already and it is these companies that are doing the manufacture and distribution of Raspberry Pi SBCs (not including the Zero) on behalf of Raspberry Pi.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "managing" the Chinese.

            I'm the AC who wrote the comment titled "managing the Chinese" (but not the original reference to that term).

            I'm well aware that "made in China" Pi serves a large part of the global market. And why not, especially if they have no meaningful local equivalent of FCC or CE regulations re EMC, and other "administrivia" of the kind that "light touch regulation" types want to forget.

            It doesn't change the obvious fact that "managing your outsourcer" can be hard work if a company and its outsourcer have different goals - whatever's being outsourced, wherever.

            And really, if I could find those articles, I think you'd probably understand too. But I can't. Which is a real shame for all concerned. Instead, in the interim, I offer you the widely available tales of AliBaba and the forty million duff hoverboards, and this month's announcement of UL 2272 construction and test standards for such [1].

            I know I didn't dream these articles. I reluctantly accept that truth and honesty are not necessarily values shared by our leading politicians and industrialists. It seems that as a consequence of this, inconvenient facts have to disappear sometimes. I'm sure lots of other people have noticed this on previous occasions too, particularly where big money is nearby.

            [1] http://www.cnet.com/uk/news/new-safety-standards-might-save-hoverboards-from-extinction/ (too many adverts)

          2. x 7

            Re: "managing" the Chinese.

            " Both RS and CPC/Farnell/Element14 do manufacturing of various products in China already and it is these companies that are doing the manufacture and distribution of Raspberry Pi SBCs (not including the Zero) on behalf of Raspberry Pi."

            You do realise that at least some of the European demand is actually being produced by Sony in South Wales? Probably the only part of Sony that now makes a profit

            see http://www.sonypencoed.co.uk/contract-manufacturing/

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: "managing" the Chinese.

              Yes, I'm well aware of the Pi production at Pencoed.

              I was just point out that some Pis are still made by Embest in China, as the omitted "for the Asian region" would have made clear.

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Still sucks for i/o performance

        I can't credit claims that a Pi, especially an early Pi, delivers acceptable desktop perfomance unless the user only needs console-style usage with no internet-delivered functionality.

        My own experience of all three versions of the B I own is that the early models are all but unusable for intenet access such as wikipedia use, and that only the Pi 2 has finally beaten the double-click insensitivity issue.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Still sucks for i/o performance

      The RPi was initially supposed to improve IT in schools. I don't know if anyone seriously expected it to have a major impact there, if so I suspect they're likely to have been disappointed but not because the device was underpowered.

      Instead the RPi shipped in sufficient volumes to create a viable software and hardware ecosystem for hobbyists and developers. It makes a great media centre that you can just pug into any modern TV but is also the basis of many small projects that might otherwise never have happened because specialist hardware is required. For example, I've got a 3" touchscreen that sits nicely on the RPi's geek port. Not sure what I'm going to use it for but I can imaging all kinds of industrial machines using something like this for the next control panel. And I hope they do because the software stacks available for the RPi are light years ahead of most embedded devices, and are still likely to be supported for the life on any particular device.

      Hence, the RPi has succeeded in establishing a hardware and software platform where none previously existed. Maybe it took a while to go from the RPi1 to RPi2 but it looks like things are picking up in which case we could soon be looking at some pretty beefy devices that still only cost around $ 35, but the market may focus on those with the lowest power draw: SATA in an embedded device isn't going to make much sense.

      Now, if they'd include FreeBSD as part of NOOBS!

  6. ZSn

    Arduino 101

    While the latest twitches from the raspberry pi community get faithfully reported here I notice that any arduino related news is rarely mentioned. The arduino/genuino 101 which is a big step up from the old UNO has been barely mentioned. It would be nice to hear what's new with the arduinos once in a while. While the raspberry pi community is large so is the arduino community.

    On a side note, has anyone got their hands on an arduino 101 and had a play - is it worth getting?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Arduino 101

      Arduino is only for 'murica now. In Europe it's been rebranded genuino for trademark nonsense.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Arduino 101

      @Zsn

      Just out of curiosity, what sort of things do you do with your Arduino?

      I've only brushed with them - An Arduino Duet sits on the PCB of my RepRap 3D printer. I'm not a coder, but I got the impression during the course of commissioning the printer that it would only take a week or two to bend an Arduino to my will.

      Very tempted to drop £50 on Banggood.com's cheap n cheerful stepper motor kits, sensors and some Arduinos, and make something (don't know what, but like Lego Technic, that's the point).

      Perhaps Arduinos don't get much coverage on the Reg because they are headless systems? Unlike the Pi, they aren't designed to run a GUI OS. If the Reg reviewed Arduinos, it would have to start reviewing soldering irons, Dremmel-like tools, glues and hot wires. Fun stuff for sure, but creeping away from the Reg's core competencies.

      1. ZSn

        Re: Arduino 101

        @Dave 126

        Well I've just got one, so not that much at the moment. I'm going to build a 4x4x4 led cube with my daughters who seem quite keen on it (there are some cheap €5 kits on ebay, cheaper than the individual leds, I'll see how that works out). My 7 year old daughter who is heavily into pink and barbie dolls seems to be quite keen on the Arduino and building things with it, so I have some hope of turning her onto the STEM subjects.

        They have said that they want to decorate next years Xmas tree with RGB leds that the Arduino can control and so have shifting colour run through it (there are some very nice addressable LEDs that can do that). This of course horrifies my wife who is a purist with regards to the Xmas tree lights (I think that we will outvote her on that!).

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Arduino 101

          @Dave 126

          Arduino is real-time, and instant boot into their program. I build them into larger projects.

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