SparkFun will be closed Friday 7/3/2020 for the 4th of July holiday. All orders placed after 2 pm MT on Thursday 7/2/2020 will be shipped out on Monday 7/6/2020. SparkFun Support will also resume on Monday 7/6/2020. Have a safe holiday!
In the next iteration of the Model B line, Raspberry Pi has given us the very powerful Model B 4 with the goal of the credit card sized development platform becoming a full desktop experience. The 4GB DDR4 RAM version of this board has the ability to run two 4k monitors at once via two micro HDMI ports and features the long-asked-for, true Gigabit Ethernet. This creates a much higher-performing multimedia experience with the new Pi! In addition to two USB2 ports, the Raspberry Pi 4 also has two USB 3 ports making data transfers that much quicker over USB.
The Raspberry Pi Model B line is a desktop computer in a package the size of a credit card. All you need to do is plug in a monitor, keyboard, mouse and load the latest Raspbian image onto a MicroSD Card and you have a full desktop computer solution. Projects like Tensorflow, PiHole, Minecraft, and Kodi make it an excellent tool for a multitude of uses.
The RPi4 retains a lot of the features of the RPi3 B+ including the pin-out for the 40 pin header. Wireless is still available on the 4 in the form of dual-band 2.4/5.0 GHz WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0. A new feature on the 4 is the inclusion of a USB Type-C connector for power delivery replacing the Mini-B connector.
The Raspberry Pi 4 does have the ability to consume more power than the Pi 3 B+, so a proper power supply will be needed. Power over Ethernet (PoE) is available with the use of the PoE HAT (see related products). Those looking to use third party power supplies and cables or to run more intensive programs on the Pi; a proper source of power and heat dissipation measures are recommended.
Note: All Raspberry Pi 4 Model B - 4GB boards that have shipped after 4/1/2020 are version 1.2.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
See all skill levels
If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
See all skill levels
Based on 8 ratings:
My new Pi's from Sparkfun are running my whole house automation shockingly well. Home Assistant (HA) is an open-source solution built to run as a docker image, making it easy to get running and keep it up-to-date with the latest features.
The HA solution eliminates the need for ANY external vendor cloud services (Philips Hue, smartthings, xiaomi ...) allowing me to run entirely air-gapped if desired. Sorry to sound like an advertisement/fan-boy but has really been a game-changer for me.
The first Pi is running HassOS, a customized Pi distro of BuildRoot, which is designed and hardened for embedded systems. The packaged installer image called HassIO (HassOS + HA) makes this simple to get running. I started out with just one Pi for the whole system... but started breaking things apart to improve performance and scalability.
A second pi is set up as a docker host to run node-red and mqtt for message routing and triggers. And a third is running grafana and sqlite - offloading the automation servers from the logging and reporting duties. Sure... I could run the whole thing in a NUC, but why bother when Pi's are so cheap?
Custom sensor using 8266 (Thing boards,...) pushing mqtt message makes any custom sensors and actuators easy.
This is getting fun people. Too fun actually...budget your time wisely - once you get started it's hard to stop.
I bought the 4G version so I could have a better general-purpose computer. It is my only computer and it is working out much better than the rPi 3 I was using because it has more RAM. I have mine in an Adafruit heat sink case (no fans), and it has not frozen up on me yet. I can run 10+ tabs in Chromium now, in addition to other tasks.
I got the Pimoroni Aluminum Heatsink Case (PRT-15894) and a set of extension headers that were recommended, just in case. I wanted to connect a 40pin ICD connector to the GPIO header but found two problems: 1) the IDC connector does not fit in the GPIO slot in the case and 2) the extension headers are so long that the connector does not seat on the headers. No big deal (really!) but I feel that: 1) the hole in the heatsink case could have been made to accept an IDC connector and 2) the recommended extension header could have had pins just like the GPIO header, no? Also, I forgot about the new power and monitor connectors, so best to get the kit with all that included. Great computer!
I bought this device to connect to an SDR Play software defined radio. Ultimately my goal is to receive images from the GOES-R series of geostationary weather satellites. There are still a couple of pieces to the puzzle that need to fall into place before I try it but so far it shows a great deal of promise. I am pairing this Pi with an image from W3DJS, found here: https://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/w3djs-raspberry-pi-ham-radio-image-v2-0-released.680336/ that has every HAM related piece of software that runs on Linux known to exist. I also bought a heatsink case with cooling fans to keep it thermally happy. One of the first things I tried with this was to tune CubicSDR to a local FM station and had it running overnight. In the morning the music still sounded great and the Pi was barely warmer than ambiant. Both software and hardware worked well.
This is a great upgrade from the 3B. Really nice bump in processing power and the number of UARTs (6) is great for connecting peripherals
I'm glad to finally be able to find and purchase the 4GB version of the new Pi4. The Pi4 4GB is definitely faster and more stable than the Pi3B+. I was unsure if it would be noticeable, but it is. It is also more stable. But, it's also way HOTTER! You simply cannot run it without a heat sink or fan. And, the little aluminum cubes with fins are not going to cut it. You either need a much larger heat sink, a fan, integrated fan, or a sink integrated into a metal case. For me, fans are simply not an option because of the environment in which I use the Pi; so I am using lots of bolt-on heat sink solutions. Many are available from SparkFun.
Using with a HifiBerry DAC+ Pro for my music running Volumio. Noticeable improvement over Bluetooth input. Great out of the box and able to tweak through Volumio plug-ins. It was pretty much plug and play. Using a USB SSD for the music library and streaming Qobuz when I want to explore outside the familiar.
Does need heat management. I tried a heat sink case and on board sinks on the Pi. Without a fan it still gets warm, so I'm running a fan too.
Still messing around with the possibilities but very happy from day one.