jamesh
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:44 pm

DavidS wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:28 pm
Personally I would rather see a RPi B+W, that is a BCM2835 SoC based B+ with the addition of Bluetooth and WiFi.

The BCM2835 has the advantage of being an ARMv6 CPU that is more compatible with more older binary only software, that will not run on the BCM2835 SoC with its ARMv8 CPU cores and the deprecated swp instruction (a heavily used instruction in a lot of software that is closed source, still usable, and no longer maintained).

Also having the same Bluetooth and WiFi on three different RPi boards would increase the chances of us getting WiFi on systems other than n*x on our RPi (EG RISC OS, Baremetal projects, etc).
Isn't that basically a Pi ZeroW?
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:01 pm

jamesh wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:44 pm
DavidS wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:28 pm
Personally I would rather see a RPi B+W, that is a BCM2835 SoC based B+ with the addition of Bluetooth and WiFi.

The BCM2835 has the advantage of being an ARMv6 CPU that is more compatible with more older binary only software, that will not run on the BCM2835 SoC with its ARMv8 CPU cores and the deprecated swp instruction (a heavily used instruction in a lot of software that is closed source, still usable, and no longer maintained).

Also having the same Bluetooth and WiFi on three different RPi boards would increase the chances of us getting WiFi on systems other than n*x on our RPi (EG RISC OS, Baremetal projects, etc).
Isn't that basically a Pi ZeroW?
With 4 full size USB, Ethernet, full size HDMI, the composite header in place, the pin header in place. It is to the ZeroW as the current B+ is to the Zero.
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:27 am

DavidS wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:01 pm
jamesh wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:44 pm
DavidS wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:28 pm
Personally I would rather see a RPi B+W, that is a BCM2835 SoC based B+ with the addition of Bluetooth and WiFi.

The BCM2835 has the advantage of being an ARMv6 CPU that is more compatible with more older binary only software, that will not run on the BCM2835 SoC with its ARMv8 CPU cores and the deprecated swp instruction (a heavily used instruction in a lot of software that is closed source, still usable, and no longer maintained).

Also having the same Bluetooth and WiFi on three different RPi boards would increase the chances of us getting WiFi on systems other than n*x on our RPi (EG RISC OS, Baremetal projects, etc).
Isn't that basically a Pi ZeroW?
With 4 full size USB, Ethernet, full size HDMI, the composite header in place, the pin header in place. It is to the ZeroW as the current B+ is to the Zero.
Sorry, I was assuming USB hub and the correct cables, and you coulduse the ZeroWH if you want the header.

As for a 2835 Wifi/BT B+, not going to happen.
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:36 am

DavidS wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:01 pm
jamesh wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:44 pm
DavidS wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:28 pm
Personally I would rather see a RPi B+W, that is a BCM2835 SoC based B+ with the addition of Bluetooth and WiFi.

The BCM2835 has the advantage of being an ARMv6 CPU that is more compatible with more older binary only software, that will not run on the BCM2835 SoC with its ARMv8 CPU cores and the deprecated swp instruction (a heavily used instruction in a lot of software that is closed source, still usable, and no longer maintained).

Also having the same Bluetooth and WiFi on three different RPi boards would increase the chances of us getting WiFi on systems other than n*x on our RPi (EG RISC OS, Baremetal projects, etc).
Isn't that basically a Pi ZeroW?
With 4 full size USB, Ethernet, full size HDMI, the composite header in place, the pin header in place. It is to the ZeroW as the current B+ is to the Zero.

This is even more of a rubbish idea than a RPI 3A, going backwards not forwards, nice to have you back though, missed your entertaining posts.
Adieu

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:25 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:36 am
This is even more of a rubbish idea than a RPI 3A, going backwards not forwards, nice to have you back though, missed your entertaining posts.
Shows differing views. From my view the concept of a RPi 3A is more rubbish than the concept of a B+ with WiFi and Bluetooth.

Of course I would also like to see the return of the ARMv7 based RPi 2B, as it is better than the ARMv8 version.
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:32 am

DavidS wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:25 pm
fruitoftheloom wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:36 am
This is even more of a rubbish idea than a RPI 3A, going backwards not forwards, nice to have you back though, missed your entertaining posts.
Shows differing views. From my view the concept of a RPi 3A is more rubbish than the concept of a B+ with WiFi and Bluetooth.

Of course I would also like to see the return of the ARMv7 based RPi 2B, as it is better than the ARMv8 version.
You,could start threads making a case for the boards in question. I will admit that you're unlikely to get much support, but it would interesting to read the case you would make for them.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:06 am

Pi3A+ would be good for mobile robotics.

Don't normally need an Ethernet cable, mouse and keyboard for mobile robots ;)
I want vision on my bots and that is hard to do on the BCM2835 single cores.
The CM are also hard to use, but I can see the CM3+ being used in embedded robots.

A Pi3A+ would just make easier and also save power by not having the LAN7515.
Ethernet is a power hog, need that power for the 4 cores :D

Now if I can USBboot the Pi3A+ too like I do with Zero's I can develop code and save SD card wear.
5GHz WiFi and 2.4Ghz BT is good spectrum separation, if they can be used at the same time?
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:11 am

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:06 am
Now if I can USBboot the Pi3A+ too like I do with Zero's I can develop code and save SD card wear.
5GHz WiFi and 2.4Ghz BT is good spectrum separation, if they can be used at the same time?
Since the idea would be that the Pi3A+ would use the BCM2837B0, boot over USB would be available by default.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:33 am

Since the idea would be that the Pi3A+ would use the BCM2837B0, boot over USB would be available by default.
That is assuming the 2837 have the boot from USB code in the boot ROM?
I don't play with CM's yet, can the CM3 boot from USB?
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:34 pm

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:33 am
Since the idea would be that the Pi3A+ would use the BCM2837B0, boot over USB would be available by default.
That is assuming the 2837 have the boot from USB code in the boot ROM?
I don't play with CM's yet, can the CM3 boot from USB?
All BCM2837s can boot over USB. The code to do so is "baked in" to the chip. The Pi3B+ has the OTP bit set at the factory. I haven't seen anything said about the Pi3B, which at least previously didn't have the OTP bit set and you had to do it yourself.

The CM3 and CM3L get little trickier. Both boards would have to have the OTP bits set as they aren't done at the factory. Since the CM3 has on board flash, if that is loaded with a bootable image, that would take precedence over the USB booting so you'd either have to set the OTP bit without actually flashing the on-board eMMC, or you'd have to make it non-bootable after the fact. Since the CM3L can be booted from an SD cards (there's a card slot on the CPIO3 dev board), the OTP bit can be set from that and then the CM3L can boot over USB. I have a CM3L set up that way.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:06 am

All BCM2837s can boot over USB
New 3B+ will boot Sakaki's 64bit Gentoo from USB stick :o
Did it on three different sticks, two different brands just to prove it was not a fluke.

Now I really want a 3A+, a bunch of them in fact.
Robot lawnmower with CV is getting closer :lol:
CV is hard enough, hopefully 64bit and better NEON access will speed it up.
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sun May 06, 2018 11:23 pm

I think the perfect use for the Pi3A+ is as a 3D print server. Octoprint (Octopi) , a couple of others, would be perfect on one.

Needs only one USB. Check
Needs WiFi adapter. Check
Needs small size for embedding in or under chassis. Check
Needs pi3 type power and memory for drag and drop slicing. Check (pi2's sliced fine too)
Can accept touch display for stand alone printing. Check
Camera connector. Check

What would it be missing for 3D printing. Not much. Maybe a STM32 based hat (MegaPi (Atmel Mega2560) board for reference) as a controller/host solution? LOL? Not really in the Foundations scope.

No chance of a Raspberry Pi3+ 3D printer? Darn!

The Pi Zero W is a great board, but it has not met this need. Not enough processing power to handle slicing. B+'s have about the same problem.
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Mon May 07, 2018 9:40 am

Lob0426 wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 11:23 pm
No chance of a Raspberry Pi3+ 3D printer? Darn!
I am struggling to believe that such a printer requires a 3A+ and a 3B+ wouldn't do.

I would go as far as suggesting a 3D printer based around a 3A+ would be less useful in general than a 3B+ because it doesn't cater for a wired ethernet connection

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Mon May 07, 2018 1:57 pm

hippy wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 9:40 am
Lob0426 wrote:
Sun May 06, 2018 11:23 pm
No chance of a Raspberry Pi3+ 3D printer? Darn!
I am struggling to believe that such a printer requires a 3A+ and a 3B+ wouldn't do.

I would go as far as suggesting a 3D printer based around a 3A+ would be less useful in general than a 3B+ because it doesn't cater for a wired ethernet connection
The WiFi connection.
Few normal home printers use Ethernet or even USB now, wireless is fast enough and can be directly accessed.
Of course the B+ size do, it's just the A+ size is better.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Mon May 07, 2018 9:23 pm

I agree with bensimmo

The trend right now on 3D Printers is to go wireless. Being untethered makes sense. Many people use mobile devices to find things to print. They then use a WiFi server, such as Octopi or Repetier host or others, to carry out the print job.

Hippy;
Even today most homes and apartments are not cabled for wired networks. And if you are renting you cannot modify the place to be wired. The fact is that most newer Laptops and Two in Ones do not have an RJ45 jack for wired networks. And very few printers or 3D printers have an Ethernet jack either. I personally go wired wherever it makes sense. I used two Pi 2 boards for about a year to run my 3D printers, both wireless. My wife found using Octopi complicated their use for her. Sometimes wired is not practical. Wireless overall works better for more people.

My cure was to integrate a 10" Win10 Tablet onto the printer. Making it totally stand alone! And this is definitely my preferred way to use my 3D printers.

A B+ can slice MOST things, but is slow, a 2B is much faster, and 3B or 3B+ even better. One project I dropped on a B+ would never finish slicing as it failed after an hour. It did slice and print on a 2B. A B+ works best when you slice the project, then save it as G-code to be streamed by a host such as Octopi. Then the RasPi is not carrying out the slicing. A B or B+ works well when using a touch screen to initiate prior printed and sliced projects that stay on the card.

Many 3D printers are not wireless as yet. And one of the most popular devices to make them wireless is a Raspberry Pi. The extra USB ports and Ethernet port are not needed if WiFi is onboard. The original A+ does not work well due to it's 256MB memory (and of course it's lack of Ethernet or WiFi, requiring a hub). I did test one and it was ok with streaming gcode. The later version at 512MB is the same as a B+ in slicing performance. The larger B style boards are harder to integrate into the printer itself. The Pi Zero W works, but has had slower performance in streaming due to something in it's handling of WiFi and USB. And it's slicing performance is about the same as a B+.

For this particular use case a Pi3A+ makes sense. I am sure that there are other uses where limited USB with WiFi and Bluetooth is all that is needed. Robotics comes to mind.

Can it be done with a Pi3B or 3B+, yes. But why did they come out with the Pi Zero and Zero W? I mean, a B or B+ can do what a Zero W can do right? Sometimes size, and performance, does matter!
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sat May 26, 2018 2:57 pm

gkaiseril wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:53 pm
That would be a strip down of the Pi 3B/Pi 3B+. I do not see anyone else looking for this type of board.
I very much have been waiting excitedly for a pi3a (with onboard wifi/BT ) an OTG in addition to the standard USB would be great!

The PcDuino4 H3 board (same as nanoPi m1 1gb. version) is rather a perfect size & capabilities so much so for me for something more powerful then a Pi zero but smaller & cheaper then a Pi3. Many others feel the same about alot of the h3 boards in smaller foot prints. Check out Armbian site or retrorangepi site and see all the support the community & kind individuals have developed.

The best hardware combo for me I have tried (but dislike the bigger then a full size Pi size) was the Orange Pi Plus 2E. Another H3 cpu (quad-core a7 like pi2) but with 2gb RAM and 16gb emmc with option of microSD as boot or storage. on board WITH ANTENNA JACK wifi/BT.
Orange Pi definitely is 2nd rate service & support compared to the Rasp pi, but the H3 is an exception to their long list of unsupported great sounding cpu's. It has much user support and comes in desired footprints & hardware combos.
I would research what of these are in most demand, most sales, and who is using and why before going ahead with building Pi3A+.
There is a place for a smaller board with greater capacities and certain hardware.

Now if the CM3 was cheaper (like 20) I could see add-on development happen enough for that to fill its place. I do not know if expanding RAM from that form is an option. I do see some module carrier board options developing. WaveShare has one with some interesting components. BUT none have a smaller footprint, or specific add-ons desired for compact builds. There is much room for development if cost was down. I have seen a full-size PI type carrier but at over $80 without the cm3 and being no more then a hub & GPIO 40 pin access it outprices to have three of a pi3+'s


I still use Raspberry Pi's as my primary platform. I have around 20 ranging from numerous pi zeros, pi1b, pi2, pi3 , & pi3b+
No pi A+. WHY? because without more RAM & with only a single core there is no advantage of the Pi A+ over the zero for me (beside DSI port).

A DSI on a smaller pi3A+ , even without a header would definitely be choice for most using the Pi 7" touch. Allowing for a slimmer tablet build. Granted you could hack a Pi up but alot of us like keeping our more pricier components in better condition.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sat May 26, 2018 3:39 pm

piguyang wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 2:57 pm
Now if the CM3 was cheaper (like 20) I could see add-on development happen enough for that to fill its place. I do not know if expanding RAM from that form is an option.
More RAM is not an option...at this time. The limitation is in the VC4.

You might take a look at the CM3L. It's cheaper, but it doesn't have the on-board eMMC flash. That way, you can put as much flash as you want on the carrier board, or you can use an SD card on the carrier. Or...you can set the OTP bit for USB booting and run from a mass storage device.

As an aside...it's been interesting to see both the support for a Pi3A+ as well as the the opinions of those who think it is a poor idea. Those supporting have mostly stated why they think it's a good idea (citing their own and other known use cases). Those opposed have not generally given much in the way of reasons why not.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sat May 26, 2018 9:19 pm

The question is, would whatever development and tooling that is needed, be paid back in sales.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Sat May 26, 2018 9:44 pm

For what its worth, I personally think there is a market for it. Think of it as a quad core Zero, or quad core A+. Granted its likely going to be twice the size of a Zero but still slim with no Ethernet and no double height USB jacks. Just my 2 cents. Assuming it will be similar to the current A+. I have 2 A+'s in use and would happily swap them out for a quad core equivalent. :D

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Tue May 29, 2018 12:08 am

Some good point brought out here lately.

Considering some peoples opinions here, the Pi Zero W should have been a total flop, but it isn't. There are many looking for a more powerful, WiFi only board. The Pi Zero without WiFi/Bluetooth found many uses. The pi Zero W went even further. And my personal opinion is a Pi3A+ will extend that even more. The Bluetooth/ WiFi really takes away many of the barriers created by the single USB. It will have lower power use than the Pi3B+, just a the A+ had a lower power usage than a B+ did.

Lots to think about on the topic. I hope that the Pi 3A+, that there is a prototype already, will come out. I think the foundation will have another problem with them selling out in a short time. My guess is it is the same old problem, the Pi3B+ is using up all the processors they can currently build.


The Raspberry Pi sure has came along way from that first 10,000. The Foundation has done really well.
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Tue May 29, 2018 12:37 pm

Lob0426 wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 12:08 am
Considering some peoples opinions here, the Pi Zero W should have been a total flop
I'm not sure how you come to that conclusion, that anyone has ever suggested such a thing.

There is the low-end Zero W and the high-end Pi 3B+ and there is a place for something like the Pi 3A+ which can sit in the middle. No one is disputing that.

It is more whether it is worth RPT producing a specific board to fill that gap which is being debated. We are all entitled to our views on that, what the need for it is and what any market would be. I can't see that there would be much of a gain from having a Pi 3A+ but others disagree.

Those arguing for it can and should keep doing so. If those arguments sways RPT into producing a Pi 3A+ so be it. I don't think it would be a runaway success but I am happy to be proved wrong if it is.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Tue May 29, 2018 4:57 pm

So far every board the Foundation has produced has been a success.

Just as the Zero was improved by the addition of a W version, so would the 3A+ benefit. And everyone is allowed their opinion, did not mean to imply they did not. Not every use needs an ethernet and four USB ports.

Besides, a Pi Zero W with full sized connectors, HDMI, USB, how can it go wrong. LOL!
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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Tue May 29, 2018 6:25 pm

Lob0426 wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 4:57 pm
So far every board the Foundation has produced has been a success.

Just as the Zero was improved by the addition of a W version, so would the 3A+ benefit. And everyone is allowed their opinion, did not mean to imply they did not. Not every use needs an ethernet and four USB ports.

Besides, a Pi Zero W with full sized connectors, HDMI, USB, how can it go wrong. LOL!
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.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

Tue May 29, 2018 6:30 pm

Lob0426 wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 4:57 pm
So far every board the Foundation has produced has been a success.
Eben Upton has described the Model A as the one failure because they sold "only" 100K of them. The A+ has--clearly--been a success, even if not a really wild success. They are, after all, still being made and sold, though that might not continue to be the case if a Pi3A+ were to be launched.

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Re: The Case for the Pi3A+

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.

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