Raspberry Pi Model A


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by pimachine » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:03 pm
Where can you buy the model A RPi ? Everything I find seems to link to the model B ?

Thanks,
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by ghans » Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:31 am
It will be released soon.™


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by Jim JKla » Tue Dec 25, 2012 12:55 pm
There are a quite a few of us out here waiting on the model "A" previous forecasts have included
"Soon"
"A few months"
"Autum"
"Sometime before Chrismas"

The current most previlent one is "Sometime in the spring" although it's never been specified which spring. Current roumour has sales of the "B" approaching 1 Million so as you can see there's a lot of "B" users out there with a couple of small variants like the poly fuse change and the doubled memory 512 version.

It's long been the belief and supossition (community rumour) that the "A" will be a bulk production exercise aimed at being able to supply schools with multiple units. There is a suspicion that they may not be available to individuals. I dare say some enterprising school would re-sell (nominaly to parents) so the "A" will be available.

It does look like production has been centred around the "B" the "A" iis actually supposed to be a cut down version and it's not like it would need it's own production line so it begs the question what is the hold up?

If it's to push sales of the "B" thats a bit hollow because I am amongst those that allready own a "B" but still want an "A" as well as a 512 "B" (My "A" is a 256) there will be issues specific to the "A" and the sooner we get them the sooner we can investigate.

So Direct Question.

What IS the hold up?
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by ghans » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:00 pm
The auctioning of the first Model As might be a indication
that there is indeed NO hold-up , but testing going on ?


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by Jim JKla » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:03 pm
There's a whole community out here that would love to be part of that testing.
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by poing » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:23 pm
I read liz stating that producing the A now would need to cannibalize parts of the B so those that already ordered and are waiting for a B would have to wait longer.
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by Jim JKla » Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:33 pm
That would actually make sense.

Until production of the "B" gets to a stage where they can meet orders from an allready produced stock they don't start building "A"'s So it looks like if orders of "B"'s don't start to deminish we will not see model "A"'s any time soon. :D
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by poing » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:41 pm
As I remember reading, but don't quote me on this, the ongoing demand set the manufacturers (particularly RS) on the wrong foot so they did not order enough CPUs from Broadcomm while those have a long lead time. Hence the backlog and hopefully they learned. Also the model A's will all be made by Sony in Wales where the production capacity is expanded. I think the aim is now February 2013.
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by Lob0426 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:16 pm
The foundation will be producing the A model in the Sony Wales facility is the last I saw. I also believe it was stated around a February release. As you well know that can change.

The release of the 512MB B model, and the new backlog it created, is to be blamed. In reality the B model will probably be the most used for education anyway. The main advantage of the A model so far is it uses around 1/3 the power of the B model. That will make it popular with the hobbyist for robotics, solar power, home automation etc..
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by Jim JKla » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:51 am
It has to be worth taking the cost point into consideration when it comes to Educational RPi's depending on how many units a school takes on board the cost differental between the "A" and the "B" can add up to a significant sum.

I concede there are advantages the "B" has with a wired ethernet port untill we have a market place with model "A" and "B" it's going to remain guesswork.

This has to be reminicent of the Spectrum that launched with a 16k and a 48k version although both of those did hit the market simultaneously. :)

I am going to hope for a February release tempered with a smidgin of belief that something else will make it all go pear shaped. ;)
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by Lob0426 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:53 pm
Yes $10 difference in price is significant when you buy large lots. I think the second USB port, so that you can use a keyboard and mouse, will be the deciding factor. With only 1 USB the A model does not lend itself to using available equipment as easily. The $10 higher price is cheaper than most hubs and adds an Ethernet port. A lot simpler layout also, with only cables going to the RasPi, rather than the RasPi and a hub and two power supplies. Also do not forget double the memory also. Most schools are not going to realize that it runs just fine on 256MB.

You can use a wireless keyboard/mouse on an A model, but schools do not have these lying around. They usually have separate USB keyboard and mouse. Buying wireless combos would be more expensive than using a B model also. Schools also have to keep track of the components and adding hubs adds stuff to track.

What I would really like to see is a case that incorporates a powered hub that back-powers the RasPi so you have just 1 power adapter and a reduced wiring mess. I have built a hardwired version and next am going to build a wooden cased version of it. This one will have the RasPi slip into it while coupling into the lower USB port. I have all the necessary parts. What I do not have is the ability to produce a finished product. We need someone like Adafruit to pick up the ball and build a case/powered USB hub.

The main problem I see here is the high cost of most Raspberry Pi cases. They average $10 to $15 compared to the $25 to $35 RasPii. Take a $10 case and add a $10 powered hub and they will probably sell them for $35, or the same cost as a B model. The actual cost of making a case is a couple of dollars. Very high profit margins out there for RasPi cases. A case/hub at $20 to $25 would be a good goal, but it will not have the profit margin compared to something like a Pibow case which is $19.95 for case alone.
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by Jim JKla » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:17 pm
One of the saving graces in the UK is a lot of Schools have kit that will run with the "A" or the "B" whichever any particular school chooses we have to consider it would be preferable to have the same model to run with at home.

Or do the schools furnish the Child with a RPi and leave the other stuff up to the parents.

I have to assume your $ pricing and see from your profile that you bring a US perspective to this discussion (note this is not without value) there are actually a lot more students in the US than we have here in the UK.

That is also before we bring in the rest of the world. ;)

I take well on board your point that a lot of schools will not realise that the RPi will run just fine on 256Mb It may however suit the foundation to have only one memory size and the "A" may well end up as a 512Mb option.

It may well be that turnover may drive down the price to a point where the foundation can do without the "A" in the mix (although I doubt this will happen).

There will be cheap USB Hubs capable of back powering the RPi once the market sees the niche, but I have to agree a one pice case incorporating hub keyboard and PSU and a slot for the "A" or with an "A" allready fitted would be a dream fix. ;)
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by Kaspaas » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:27 pm
See viewtopic.php?f=23&t=23859

and a word from Liz

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=22884&p=221352#p221352

I do agree that the USD10 difference between the two models is not substantial enough to buy a Model A in most cases.

By the time one has added a USB hub + a WiFi dongle, the difference has been made up for.

But, I'm quite sure, people will find uses where the cost difference will be important!

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by sleep lack » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:24 pm
Element14 has them in its ordering page now (order code 2254699), about 19 pounds UK, but still listed as 'coming soon'.
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by johnsigwald » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:50 pm
Cannot find the listing for Model A on Element 14.
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by LRAx » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:26 am
I think they already considered the cost of adding 256MB RAM more to the model A and I guess it would make the model a cost more than $25 but maybe sometime later this year they'll upgrade it but I think more importantly they need to add 2 USB ports to the model a so that you can connect both the keyboard and the mouse and so that schools can then buy the model a (as it would save a significant amount if you buy in bulk) :)
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by wallarug » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:35 am
LRAx wrote:I think they already considered the cost of adding 256MB RAM more to the model A and I guess it would make the model a cost more than $25 but maybe sometime later this year they'll upgrade it but I think more importantly they need to add 2 USB ports to the model a so that you can connect both the keyboard and the mouse and so that schools can then buy the model a (as it would save a significant amount if you buy in bulk) :)


You are missing the point on the Model A.

Have you heard of Model B? That includes two USB ports so that you can:
connect both the keyboard and the mouse


Model A is for Robotics and experimentation etc. Model B is for the people who want to connect really basic devices and do really basic programming (or advanced software development).
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by Jim JKla » Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:50 am
This is partialy what prompted me into starting this thread. http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=31573

If we could get a Wi-fi connection onto the USB pre-built onto the USB bus we might get away with an un-powererd usb hub for mouse and keyboard or even use an unpowered hub to run WI-fi mouse and keyboard but untill we have a finalised "A" to play with there's no way to experiment. :(
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by RaTTuS » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:00 am
the SOC has 1 USB
this is why we have the ethernet because it provides ethernet + 2 USB using the existing one up , extra needs a new board design
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by Jim JKla » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:15 am
What about the un-powered hub idea RaTTus?
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by RaTTuS » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:00 am
I'd like the Idea of the RPi being able to provide enough power for the rest of the system,
but it would probably need proper protection so as not to get walloped by bad powered usb hubs IYSWIM
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by Jim JKla » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:25 am
I suppose I am stuck till I can get my hands on an "A" ;)
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by RaTTuS » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:48 am
yeah - give it 4 weeks ... and if your quick ........
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by wallarug » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:53 am
RaTTuS wrote:yeah - give it 4 weeks ... and if your quick ........


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by mikerr » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:28 am
Hmm problem is single USB, but you want wifi, keyboard and mouse without a hub ?

(having a think about solutions without saying "buy a model B then" :) )

HP have made a wifi mouse (yes wifi - no usb adaptor required)
http://www.amazon.com/HP-WiFi-Mouse/dp/B00556O4YC
Not cheap, windows only drivers though, but I'm not aware of a keyboard version.

Just found combined usb bluetooth/wifi adaptors do exist:
http://www.amazon.com/Cirago-Bluetooth- ... B005QUQPDA
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bluetooth-3-0 ... 0522251194 (£7 !)

if you could sort drivers out, then use one of those and any bluetooth kb/mouse combo
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