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RPI Expansion Boards

Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:42 am

I’ve purchased multiple RPIs over the years (20+) along with expansions (Sense Hats and Cameras).

Lately however, the RPI Foundation seems to be moving away from PI extensions. We have not seen a new accessory nor an upgrade in a long time. Also, while the latest RPI4 still has the expansion pins/headers, the official RPI enclosure does not accommodate neither expansion boards nor the camera.

Is the foundation moving away from add-ons ? ... Those do not make business sense any longer ?

I loved my sense-hat and cameras and would love to explore new hardware ... anything coming soon ?

The foundation released a Weather Station a while back for schools only and said they might release it for the general public ... it never happened though.

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Re: RPI Expansion Boards

Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:06 am

The policy of Raspberry Pi Trading is not to announce new products until they are ready for release. This prevents speculation and also protects them from release date slippage.

The most recent hardware add-on releases are the PoE HAT and the TV uHat. Who knows what is to come next? We'll just have to wait and see.

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Re: RPI Expansion Boards

Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:12 am

For the most part, GPIO expansion boards from earlier models should work on the Pi4, as the GPIO has the same default configuration. The Pi4 GPIO can actually do more, so we may see newer Pi4 specific products.

The cameras and touch screen should work fine, since the Pi4 has the dedicated connectors for those products.

However, I do think they dropped the ball on the new case. It's not a very good design (no ventilation, no provision for a HAT, etc.). There are better options available elsewhere.

As far as them moving away from expansion... well... they didn't make a lot of expansion boards in the first place, did they? I only recall the sense HAT, TV HAT and POE HAT. Most of the other stuff I can think of came from 3rd parties. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: RPI Expansion Boards

Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:14 am

I think it's less about Foundation moving away from HAT boards but more about critical mass of the ecosystem. When the Pi first released they had to make their own HAT boards to demonstrate there was a market demand and inspire "what_is_possible?". Fast forward to today and there are dozens of companies successfully making RasPi compatible HATS, cases and accessories.

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