technics6
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:49 pm

Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:45 pm

Hi guys,

In this thread I want to point out things, that disappointed me in Raspberry Pi 2B design.

I'm writing this, because I hope that the designers of the future versions of RPi will think about these disadvantages if many people here will agree with me.

Here is my black list:

1. Lack of RTC (Real Time Clock).

I purchased RPi to create data logger for my wind turbine (logging wind speed, power production, power usage, amount of energy stored in batteries etc.).

Device is almost perfect for purposes like this. I can use fully functional MySQL database to store a lot of data. I can show that data on website served by fully functional Apache. Thats awesome!

After few hours of messing with RPi I realized that something is wrong with clock. Then I discovered, that there is no clock...

In my case - solving that problem will be no problem. I can assemble RTC module with Dallas I2C RTC chip, but... I think not all Raspberry Pi users have knowledge about electronics.

I know, that RPi is supposed to be extremely low cost, but lack of fundamental part of computer system smells like too greedy design.

Dear RPi designers - in new version of RPi please make a room for DS1307 and xtal . You may deliver future RPi version without RTC soldered to board and keep "low cost" rule.

2. Lack of internal memory.

In order to use RPi I'm forced to purchase SD card anyway, so real system cost is more than price of device.

It would be really nice, if board could have some flash chip that can utilize DMA etc.

You may just make room for flash memory...

3. Power consumption

I think there should be switch or jumper that disconnects network/USB controller (which consumes a lot of energy).

I know, that there is some way to turn it off by software, but there may be a problem with this. How to turn it on again, when I have no USB and network? :)
Forgive me my language mistakes. Im trying my best, but English is not my native langage.

User avatar
Davespice
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 1662
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:06 pm
Location: The Netherlands
Contact: Twitter

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:07 pm

Uh oh, here we go.

User avatar
jojopi
Posts: 3085
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:42 pm

technics6 wrote:I can show that data on website served by fully functional Apache.
Apache needs a network. If you have a network, most distributions will get time by NTP.
It would be really nice, if board could have some flash chip that can utilize DMA etc.
Flash has limited write cycles. Would you really pay $5 more for a board with integrated flash, that may eventually fail, instead of $5 more to add an SD card that you can swap and replace at any time?
I know, that there is some way to turn it off by software, but there may be a problem with this. How to turn it on again, when I have no USB and network? :)
If you are close enough to operate a physical switch or jumper, you are close enough to reboot.

Or you could have a program watching a switch on a GPIO pin, ready to restart the USB/LAN chip. (I am not sure that taking the LAN9512 down and up without a reboot is reliable, though. I did it once, but it is certainly not common practice.)

Oakham
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:11 pm

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:20 pm

Everything you mooted has been flogged to death, deader than a dead horse

NOT AGAIN. If you do not like the Pi there are plenty of alternatives, maybe design and manufacture your own if you have a few £££££££'s laying around, have you seen this thread ?

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 63&t=53410

or this one

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 63&t=54483

ad infinitum :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
Searching is easy, most questions have been asked before !

User avatar
jojopi
Posts: 3085
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:38 pm

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:34 pm

Oakham wrote:Everything you mooted has been flogged to death, deader than a dead horse
I disagree, actually. OP's requests are unusually daft, and not the kind of enhancement requests that occur most frequently.

Of course, if you link to this thread itself as an example, you see this same thread…

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 11018
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:12 am

Seems to me the OP is looking at the wrong board. The CubieTruck has everything he wants...on board flash, RTC, etc.

Of course, it isn't going to cost $35....though they do seem to think they can sell it for under $100. (Anyone want to bet on $99.99?)

gritz
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:33 am

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:20 am

Oakham wrote:Everything you mooted has been flogged to death, deader than a dead horse

NOT AGAIN. If you do not like the Pi there are plenty of alternatives, maybe design and manufacture your own if you have a few £££££££'s laying around, have you seen this thread ?

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 63&t=53410

or this one

http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewt ... 63&t=54483

ad infinitum :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
Brings a whole new meaning to the term "rabid Status Quo fan". :lol:

Dutch_Master
Posts: 362
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:36 am

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:50 am

The key and re-occurring theme in threads like this, is that the OP's time and time again fail to grasp why the RPi was designed, for what audience it was intended and that their specific needs were and remain not part of the deliberations! :roll:

Nobody is forcing you to buy and/or use an RPi. You're free to flog it, throw it away or hand it down to a nearby school, but it's purpose remains as an educational tool to entice youngsters to get an interest in programming and ICT in general. Anything else is up to you... :!:

technics6
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:49 pm

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:10 am

@gritz

Maybe there are few alternatives. However in my opinion Raspberry Pi is the best.
It has OS that seems to work really reliable.
All alternative boards I know consume more energy.

@jojopi

I know, that apache needs the network. But I need apache to be available "on demand", and turn off network when I'm not using it.
Yes, I prefer to pay 5$ more for board with fast memory, instead of paying 10$ for much slower SD card that is not using DMA. However maybe this is not bad argument. I give up in that matter.
I will try to write some daemon, that reads GPIO port and controls LAN/USB by software (I've read somewhere that its possible to switch that chip to energy-saving mode).

@W. H. Heydt

Maybe I'm wrong, but CurbieTruck seems to need 3x more power than Raspberry.
Forgive me my language mistakes. Im trying my best, but English is not my native langage.

technics6
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:49 pm

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:22 am

Dutch_Master wrote:The key and re-occurring theme in threads like this, is that the OP's time and time again fail to grasp why the RPi was designed, for what audience it was intended and that their specific needs were and remain not part of the deliberations! :roll:

Nobody is forcing you to buy and/or use an RPi. You're free to flog it, throw it away or hand it down to a nearby school, but it's purpose remains as an educational tool to entice youngsters to get an interest in programming and ICT in general. Anything else is up to you... :!:
Guys, I'm not Raspberry enemy. I really like this product. It's awesome. I don't want anything else.

I just want to share my opinion. Sometimes consumer opinions like this make products better.
Forgive me my language mistakes. Im trying my best, but English is not my native langage.

Dutch_Master
Posts: 362
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:36 am

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:00 am

technics6 wrote:I just want to share my opinion.
Fair point.
technics6 wrote:Sometimes consumer opinions like this make products better.
Perhaps, sometimes.* But it's highly unlikely the RPi will see anything from your or anyone else's wish/demand-list implemented, at all. It was designed for a purpose and fulfils that purpose admirably, so why change? It's only 18 months since it came to market, even mobile phones have a longer design-life then that ;)

You are, of course, entitled to have an opinion/wish-list/whatever and express that in public, but it's hardly realistic to expect anything to change, especially anytime soon. Which is what you're aiming for, otherwise you wouldn't mention it :P Only when the Foundation finds the hardware needs an update and Eben c.s. gets his/their hands on a new suitable chip could another version of the RPi become reality. Until then, and even thereafter, it's pretty useless complaining about a lack of features you'd pay for on any other platform... (this is a general remark, not specific for you! No offence!)

*in practice you'd need a sizeable bag of high-value currency on the table (or under it ;)) to get any change done. Such is the benevolence of utterly free-market capitalism... :roll:

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 11018
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:45 am

technics6 wrote: @W. H. Heydt

Maybe I'm wrong, but CurbieTruck seems to need 3x more power than Raspberry.
/shrug To power the 2GB memory and on-board flash, 1GbE, the power has to come from somewhere. Though if you're not going to use the SATA connector, you can cut the power requirement by 1 A, so only twice what a Pi requires.

I trust that you do realize that the more "stuff" there is on the board, the more power it's going to use. You need to decide which is more important to you: The features you asked for, or low power. You aren't going to get both. If you really want low power and like the Pi, you could use the Model A.

gordon77
Posts: 4242
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:12 pm

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:35 am

technics6 wrote::


I just want to share my opinion. Sometimes consumer opinions like this make products better.
Some don't like suggestions for 'improving' the RPI on here, l don't see any problem with it, it's upto the foundation if they want to take any notice :)

Oakham
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:11 pm

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:42 am

THE PI WAS DESIGNED AND IS AIMED AT BEING AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL

One would not buy a traditional Automatic 4speed Rolls car if one wanted to learn how to change gears, and then write to the CEO of Rolls and suggest his 6.75ltr car should have a manual box in future !

Suggestions YES and stick them in OFF TOPIC :roll:
Searching is easy, most questions have been asked before !

gordon77
Posts: 4242
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 3:12 pm

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:36 am

Oakham wrote:THE PI WAS DESIGNED AND IS AIMED AT BEING AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL

One would not buy a traditional Automatic 4speed Rolls car if one wanted to learn how to change gears, and then write to the CEO of Rolls and suggest his 6.75ltr car should have a manual box in future !

Suggestions YES and stick them in OFF TOPIC :roll:
No reason why you couldn't suggest a manual version, the advantage of the www and forums? :D

ChaosAffect
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:23 am
Contact: Website

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:03 am

On the whole this is a great community. A lot of really smart, helpful people... until you post a criticism.

Granted, the RPi was originally intended as an educational tool. It outgrew that before it even launched. It's surpassed the educational market and become a staple of Makers everywhere. Is it really so unreasonable to talk about continuing on that path with a follow-up that's designed with that in mind?

gmc
Posts: 123
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:31 am
Location: Cheshire, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:10 am

I think they should keep it as is - granted there are a few limitations, but if they add more and more things to it then it will just push the price up.

Also one of the other major problems is that if there are a bunch of different pi versions floating around then you will soon find that downloading some open source apps that people have written will not work on all the older pi versions.

Oakham
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:11 pm

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:16 am

Yes I agree it has gone pat its original goal, but that is what producing a learning tool does, it is there to stretch ones ingenuity.

Why produce a Pi what has all the features ? It just becomes nother Cubie / APC / etal......

May as well just stick to teaching M$ Office in UK Schools and keep the myth alive that M$ Windows has to be the de-facto standard !
Searching is easy, most questions have been asked before !

ChaosAffect
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:23 am
Contact: Website

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:23 am

Nothing wrong with having differing views on it. There is, however, something really messed up about saying someone's opinion is stupid just because you don't share it.

Personally, I'm still learning (!) to use the features the current incarnation has, but I can see how some people might want more. To say that just because it's a learning tool it should remain limited is just foolish. I learned to program Basic on an Apple IIe. Does that meant that no one should have ever built a more powerful system for teaching?

It's not a black or white argument like some seem to want to make it. Could the RPi be improved AND keep it's stated goal? Of course. Is there a point where it's a consumer-level computer and not a learning/tinkering machine? Of course. See the gray area, think about it, and maybe contribute a little more to the discussion than "You're daft".

ShiftPlusOne
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 6051
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:36 pm
Location: The unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:52 am

If this thread becomes more about how stupid OP's question is or how hostile the responses are than the actual question, then there's no point leaving it open. If you think the topic has been done to death, kindly point the OP to one of the threads where this has been discussed, no point calling anyone daft. If you get a hostile response, report it, don't throw fuel on it.

Keep it civil, folks.

User avatar
RaTTuS
Posts: 10493
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:12 am
Location: North West UK

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:06 am

technics6 wrote:Hi guys,

1. Lack of RTC (Real Time Clock).
not a problem - either use a internet connection so ntp can do it's stuff or add one yourself

2. Lack of internal memory.
not a problem - 512MB RAM is enough for nearly everything YMMV
oh you mean on the SD card - well - 32GB SD cards work fine [64GB ones also IIRC]
or if you want lots and lots of space add a hard disk and use that

3. Power consumption
use a model A
if power is that much of a problem
How To ask Questions :- http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
WARNING - some parts of this post may be erroneous YMMV

1QC43qbL5FySu2Pi51vGqKqxy3UiJgukSX
Covfefe

User avatar
redhawk
Posts: 3465
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: ::1

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:14 am

You get what you paid for the Raspberry Pi was designed mainly for educational / DIY hobbyist purposes, if you want a machine with a PC specification then buy a PC.

Richard S.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 23950
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:26 am

On board flash limits you to the on board flash (unless you have the SD card slot as well which is extra expense). SD cards, easily interchangeable, come in different sizes etc.

RTC? Would be nice, but they are quite expensive for what they are (chip, battery holder, battery etc), which is why the original design doesn't have one. There are however a number of aftermarket add-ons you can use quite easily.

As for disconnecting the USB/Ethernet - can you just use a model A? A better (less pwoer hungry) controller would be nice, but again, that costs money. The reason the Pi is as it is, is down to trying to get it to a specific cost.

And to emphasise Shift's post above Keep It Civil.

As for future development, I am sure things will change (I do not know the Foundations plan - this is my personal assessment), the Pi will get better as time goes by, but don't expect a fast turnaround. The device as it is does what it was intended to do - there a lot of scope in it right now, so HW changes will take quite some time to come along.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed. Here's an example...
“I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.” – Steven Wright

User avatar
meltwater
Posts: 1014
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:38 am

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:47 am

Another one of these posts...
Aside from the headline, there are some interesting parts to this, particularly since as all the points raised have solutions. All mentioned above, yes they may include some compromise but to fit everything in a $35 budget in the size available, there has to be some. Threads like this although sometimes repetitive are still useful (as long as the tone is respectful - oddly the foundation did take a little time to think it through before making it) as it can highlight areas where people need info on alternative solutions to what they are used to and may highlight some "easy" tweaks to improve things.

1) RTC is a compromise, again comes down to what else would you need to loose or could add instead of better value. Potentially more useful would be wifi (reduces the RTC issue but provides much more as well), again it is a cost/space/usefulness calculation (plus a USB one isn't much extra).
2) The internal memory becomes an advantage in some ways, swapping cards gives you a whole different set-up (without needing a screen or anything else to do it). For education, this has its own issues, but I imagine is more helpful than not.
3) I wasn't aware of the option to switch off the LAN/USB chip, that is really handy. Oh, to switch it on and off without LAN/USB, you do have GPIO so a resistor and a switch and you have a (very flexible) solution!
There is also potential to reduce power still by replacing the linear regulators with switch-mode ones, again this was size and cost issue (it was in the original plans as far as I recall). Would be interesting to know how the power consumption stacks up to other boards though (no doubt someone has done this already).

The balance of the compromises may not be 100% what you are after, but the fact that you select it over other boards must mean it isn't far off your needs (which considering it wasn't designed specifically for you, has to be a good thing).

_______
I've been using it since it was released and I am still finding new and interesting things to do with it (it is full of surprises).
______________
http://www.themagpi.com/
A Magazine for Raspberry Pi Users
Read Online or Download for Free.

My new book: goo.gl/dmVtsc

Meltwater's Pi Hardware - pihardware.com

Like the MagPi? @TheMagP1 @TheMagPiTeam

User avatar
Jessie
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:40 pm
Location: C/S CO USA

Re: Disappointed with RPi 2B - ideas for new version?

Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:07 pm

Boy do these RTC zealots get tireing. If there were a need to spend more money to include something it would be a PSU.

How about I complain that the R Pi doesn't come with a free joypad, because that is what I use mine for most of the time? I bet more purchasers would get use out of a joypad than a RTC. Why isn't one included? Because it costs money and only maybe 25% of the users would need it (amongst other things).

Return to “General discussion”