Heater
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Tue May 29, 2018 6:40 pm

Deleted. What I was replying to is way back in this thread.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Tue May 29, 2018 7:08 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 6:33 pm
bensimmo wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 6:25 pm
Full size, what's the point in that, I have loads of micro connectors for hdmi and usb. You don't even need the adaptors now.
It's a pain to have to buy mini HDMI ones for the Zero's, give micro is smaller and Android tablet sized. But I have loads of the adaptors as they always came with my Zeros on MagPi subscriptions, lol.

Go small and stay small on the A+ series now it's competing with Zero for compactness.
Use the room to get the 802.11ac WiFi module and antenna on there and to create more compact setups.
As I understand it, the reason for the choice of the mini-HDMI connector was because it still permits soldering on only one side of the board, and that is critical to holding down manufacturing cost. The A+ (and, presumably, a Pi3A+) would not have that constraint.
I do believe you are correct, everything is surface mount. Its also the reason, as I understand it, why the GPIO header is not pre soldered. That requires an extra step. And is why the Zero W with pre soldered header costs more.
No pre soldered header is a plus for me. I've used female headers and right angle 90 degree male headers on mine. It opens more possibilities for install options and orientation.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Tue May 29, 2018 8:10 pm

I like the empty gpio header too.

But they make surface mount micro-HDMI.
A quick search shows that.
I guess it was probably cheaper to get mini-hdmi.
I'm always interested in the engineering choices, that's education too.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Tue May 29, 2018 8:16 pm

My guess is that was one of those, don't make it any smaller than it has to be things. ;)

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Thu May 31, 2018 8:51 pm

It occurs to me that there is another likely feature that would be appropriate for a Pi3A+ that might be a real plus... The way that WiFi hardware is set up on the Pi3B+ so that, when embedded in another product, there is no need to re-test the Pi for emissions. Since the expectation would be that a Pi3A+ would really be a cut-down (i.e. no LAN chip and associated board area) Pi3B+ that might be very welcome to industrial users of the A+.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:08 pm

A couple of things to remember.
The Pi3+ package has too much heat to dissipate on a Pi Zero size board.
The Pi3+ package has been double sided in every format so far. The memory is on the opposite side.

My opinion: An A+ with integrated Wifi would have sold out, without any other changes.

A Pi3A+ has most of the connectors in the same place as a Pi3B+. Full size connectors mean no added expense for adapters. I have some adapters too, but had to buy the micro HDMI. So a Zero W is $10 plus whatever you pay for adapters if you need them.
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:23 pm

I wouldn't think they'd try to fit a 3A on a Zero sized board. Requardless of heat dissipation. But what do I know? I figure it will be A+ sized, if it happens.

All my Zero W projects are currently running headless. I only ever use the adapters to do the setup. I could get by with one set but have several. In the early days of the Pi Zero the singles sold out quickly and I had to resort to ordering kits with the adapters just to get a Pi Zero.
My two A+'s are headless too.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:29 pm

This is the hub I use with my Zero's, no need for an adapter. https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/thr ... -connector and this version with my A+'s, https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/usb ... an-adaptor

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:28 pm

I just use the compact convertors you can buy in bulk for next to nothing, if I need to use a larger hdmi.
And you can buy hdmi to mini/micro HDMI cables. Picked my last ones up in ASDA for a few quid.
No need for adaptors.
A+ can go compact connectors easily.


Now has anyone designed an actual physical case for the theoretical 3A+ ?
;-)

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:52 pm

I have a coup[le of Mini to full sized HDMI cables kicking around. My PC video cards have Mini HDMI, DVI, DVI. I don't like using adapters and a cable unless I have too. The spacing is so close on those video cards I can't use an adapter anyway. Not if I want to use all three ports, which I do.
I bought those USB hubs because I wanted a hub and they already had the correct sized connectors on the end of the cable. To be honest, I only ever used the ethernet connection to make sure it worked. On the A+'s I plug a WIFI dongle into the HUB. The three ports is just enough. One for my keyboard dongle, one for my WIFI dongle (if its an A+), and one for a thumb drive to use sneaker net, lol.
I personally think an A+ would be a nice inexpensive alternative to the compute module. No messing with the daughter board etc. Advantages and disadvantages, but for those on a budget, I think it will sell. IMHO.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:31 pm

bensimmo wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:28 pm
Now has anyone designed an actual physical case for the theoretical 3A+ ?
;-)
The cases I use for A+ Pis have enough room that a Pi3A+ should fit. To answer the question actually posed...no, because no one (outside of the RPT, at least) has a Pi3A+ to verify that a case for one will work.

To address another point that seems to be coming up (without adding another post)... If the A+ sized board doesn't provide enough heat dissipation, a Pi3A+ could be down clocked slightly to reduce TDP. Say, capping the default at 1.2GHz instead of 1.4GHz. It would still be a far more "powerful" board than the A+. The lack of the LAN chip (and the associated thermal load) might not make that necessary, though.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:38 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:31 pm
bensimmo wrote:
Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:28 pm
Now has anyone designed an actual physical case for the theoretical 3A+ ?
;-)
The cases I use for A+ Pis have enough room that a Pi3A+ should fit. To answer the question actually posed...no, because no one (outside of the RPT, at least) has a Pi3A+ to verify that a case for one will work.

To address another point that seems to be coming up (without adding another post)... If the A+ sized board doesn't provide enough heat dissipation, a Pi3A+ could be down clocked slightly to reduce TDP. Say, capping the default at 1.2GHz instead of 1.4GHz. It would still be a far more "powerful" board than the A+. The lack of the LAN chip (and the associated thermal load) might not make that necessary, though.
The statement was that a zero sized board did not have enough size for TDP. The A+ size must work as they supposedly have already built a prototype. That was in a post about getting a Pi 3 Zero from the foundation.

Yes clocking it down is a solve. I am sure they thought of that too. TDP is probably not the only problem on a zero size. Adding W to the Zero probably made that even worse. Routing lines for the off package memory is probably part of it too.

I would think that any of the current A+ cases could work, as long as it has similar connectors and positions. If it doesn't, then none of the current cases work. But the Foundation is pretty good at, and about, trying to keep those connectors where people expect them. That also keeps the after market happy as they do not have to redesign for every single board that comes out.

I have a ZeroW with a Zero4U hub on it. I took the LAN9512 chip off of a RasPi and used a hacked hub to back power and have 4 USB ports without the onboard hub interfering. The external hub had better performance than the onboard hub. I also used a hub, a two port USB hub, on an A+, for setup. Then with a WiPi to run Octoprint server on a 3D Printer. At that point I almost had a rev1 Pi. The other one only used the two port for setup.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:15 am

Lob0426 wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:38 am
The statement was that a zero sized board did not have enough size for TDP. The A+ size must work as they supposedly have already built a prototype. That was in a post about getting a Pi 3 Zero from the foundation.
Yeah...a Pi0-3 just isn't going to happen. The parts and manufacturing cost would go far to high for the target price. Ultimately, I think that's going to be a problem as the Pi0/Pi0W may wind up as the only Pi "product line" that can't run a 64-bit OS. Not going to be a problem in the near term, but 10 years down the road, I think there's going to have to be a 64-bit capable version.
Yes clocking it down is a solve. I am sure they thought of that too. TDP is probably not the only problem on a zero size. Adding W to the Zero probably made that even worse. Routing lines for the off package memory is probably part of it too.
I don't see that as a problem for a Pi3A+. Like the Pi3B/Pi3B+ (and the Pi2B versions, for that matter), the RAM can go on the other side of the board. The Pi0/Pi0W can't do that and keep the price the same.
I would think that any of the current A+ cases could work, as long as it has similar connectors and positions. If it doesn't, then none of the current cases work. But the Foundation is pretty good at, and about, trying to keep those connectors where people expect them. That also keeps the after market happy as they do not have to redesign for every single board that comes out.
The PiBow cases fit rather exactly and a Pi3B case can't hold a Pi3B+ board. They had to make a case modification. If there is a comparable A+ case, it would have to be redesigned, not just because the the SoC package is taller, but to accommodate the WiFi shield and the memory package on the bottom. But any case that doesn't try to be an exact fit should be fine.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:57 am

It is a theoretical case of course, so subject to ideas. ;-)
And of course a play on the topic title.

But then A+ is built on the B+
3A+ would theoretically be built on the 3B+ to keep cost down.

If I remember correctly there was a lot of shifting of bits and bobs from the B+ to the 2/3B layout, rendering some cases less useful.
LEDs for one thing? And a minor shift in the SOC location and the removal of the nice push to eject SD holders.
Of course if they go WiFi then the silverraspbeey unit has to go somewhere, that has height so would stop some cases possibly.
Anyway, to be honest I've never seen an A+ targeted case.

I'm all for them dropping to say 1GHz if it helps.
I'm assuming they do not support 'Turbo' style modes for single core usage (or even quad core, say for some seconds and then drop back)

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:25 pm

Getting rid of those push to eject uSD card holders made me very happy. No more cards popping out, they stay where you put them. No more delicate mechanics to break.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:32 pm

Heater wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:25 pm
Getting rid of those push to eject uSD card holders made me very happy. No more cards popping out, they stay where you put them. No more delicate mechanics to break.
Each to their own.
:-)

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:00 pm

For once I agree with Heather ;-)

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:00 pm

bensimmo wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:57 am
Anyway, to be honest I've never seen an A+ targeted case.
Ahem... https://www.adafruit.com/?q=raspberry%20pi%20case&p=1

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:11 pm


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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:12 pm

This is the case I have. The board would have to change a lot for it not to work.
https://www.adafruit.com/product/2281
Cases like the PiBow cannot handle any real changes.

I think the main reason the A+ was not popular is the lack of a network connection. That coupled with a single USB turned most people off. It's main advantage was OTG. The size was good. The Zero/Zero W has made the A+ moot.
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:55 pm

I just cut that one layer of the Pibow case with my dremel. The one that sits right on top of the Pi that has all the extra zig zagy bits. I just leave the outer ring there and cut all the zig zagy bits out until it sits flush. After that my Zero case fit my Zero Plus, and my 3B case fit my 3B+.

Mounting a Hat on a Zero can be a little tricky, if you want to use stand offs in all 4 corners. Its one reason I still have an A+ mounted to my Sense Hat. I didnb't need WIFI and I also have a RTC attached. An acurate date and time would be my only requiremnt to have WIFI if I didn't have the RTC. You could put a couple of washers in I guess to get the stand off lengths all even.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:22 pm

Lob0426 wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:12 pm
The Zero/Zero W has made the A+ moot.
Only for some uses, but I take your intent. A Pi3A+ would erase that, though, because you would no longer be constrained by the BCM2835 limitations. (At least, not all of them.) Project designers could then deal with tradeoffs of how much memory/CPU performance the project calls for as balanced against board size and power requirements. That should make for a healthy market for both boards. At least until the BCM2835 is considered to old and slow to be viable even on a Pi0/Pi0W. (I have at times put forward a possible path to upgrade the Pi0/Pi0W, but I will readily concede that I can't think of a way to make the economics work short of a financial "angel" who comes in and pays for the up-front costs which would most likely run to 7 or 8 figures.)

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:51 am

I don't know if OTG would still be available on a Pi3A+. I think it would since it is in the VC4. But I am sure the extra processing power and memory would be welcome on a mid-sized board. Maybe someday they will show us the prototype and it's specs.

Some case adjustment have been needed for new models, especially LED moves. Plus the memory module.
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:10 am

Lob0426 wrote:
Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:51 am
I don't know if OTG would still be available on a Pi3A+. I think it would since it is in the VC4. But I am sure the extra processing power and memory would be welcome on a mid-sized board. Maybe someday they will show us the prototype and it's specs.
One presumes that OTG would work the same way it does on the A+, you can be either a bus master or a bus slave. You can't select dynamically the way a Pi0/Pi0W can because the full size USB-A lacks the extra connector to detect which mode should be used.
Some case adjustment have been needed for new models, especially LED moves. Plus the memory module.
It depends on the case. the one I use are sufficiently transparent that LED location isn't a factor. Likewise, I think they have enough space under the board so that having the RAM on the bottom wouldn't cause any problems. They certainly have enough room over the top of the PCB so that the added height of the BCM2837B0 wouldn't be an issue, and the same applies to the Pi3B+ type WiFi shield.

Really, the assumptions that I'm working from--and that I think most others are as well--is that a Pi3A+ would have the same general features of a Pi3B+ without the LAN chip all that follows from that, with the board following the Model A+ form factor. Now this does imply that a Pi3A+ would run with a lower rated PSU than a Pi3B+ requires. If one allows for 500mA for the one USB port, a Pi3A+ should be expected run run flat out on less than 2A and ought to be able to handle a modest load on the USB port and full out CPU load on a 1.5A PSU.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:09 am

Good points.

Even if they used the older BCM2837 and the older WiFi package, it would be a huge step up from the A+. Or a downclocked BCM2837B0. It wins either way.

I forgot about the fifth line in the Micro USB.
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