A while back, I posted about my new Raspberry Pi 400. I was so impressed with what this all-in-one single-board computer could do, that I wanted to explore other options.
Raspberry Pi’s are available in a number of flavours from the Pi 4B, Pi 400, Pi 3B+, Pi Zero 2W and even the miniscule Pi Pico. That is, if you can find a retailer with one in stock. They can be hard to find in these days of chip shortages and supply chain stress.
The Pi4B is the latest from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It comes with either 2Gb, 4Gb and 8 Gb of RAM. I was able to get a kit with a Pi4B with 4Gb from PiShop.ca so it is functionally the same as my Pi400.
The kit included a case, a power supply, an HDMI cable and some heat syncs. I wanted a cooling fan too, so I ordered one of those separately.
The case that came with my kit wasn’t configured for a fan, so I had to do a bit of customization. I measured the fan diameter and used my CNC machine to cut an opening in the case lid to match. I also CNC drilled 4 holes for the mounting screws.
The fan is a 5V DC PWM fan, which means it can be controlled via software. The red wire is connected to one of the Pi’s GPIO 5V pins. The black wire to a Ground pin and the blue wire to GPIO Pin-14. That pin can be used to control the fan. I set my fan to come on when the CPU temperature reaches 60 Deg C. It then runs until the CPU temp drops to 50 Deg and then shuts off.
I bought a wireless keyboard and mouse combination from Amazon.ca to complete my setup.
So far, I have been using the Pi4B as a desktop computer, connected to my LG monitor – the HDMI image is beautiful. I’ve been using Chrome and Firefox to surf the interwebs, and open-source programs like LibreOffice for word processing, spreadsheets and presentation, and GIMP – GNU Image Manipulation Program photo editing software. I’m used to Photoshop, but GIMP looks like a great alternative.
I have set up CNCjs so I can use the Pi4B to control my CNC machine.
I have also installed Filezilla so I can transfer files via FTP or SFTP to the websites I manage or to other computers on my network.
I will probably eventually set up this Pi4B as a NAS – Network Accessible Storage, but I need to learn more about that. I currently have 2 drives attached to the Pi4B, a 2 Tb and a 200 Gb HDD that I salvaged out of an old laptop. So using this as an NAS makes sense.