Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit

There’s a lot of Raspberry Pi information going around lately. Whether it’s Pi A, A+, B, B+, or Pi 2 B, any forum will have thousands of people giving all the answers possible to a problem. Though most methods work for any version, it can be tough to decide which information to choose. The Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit is a great way to gain a solid introduction to the small, credit-card sized computer. With this kit you will be able to get your Raspberry Pi 3 connected through our SparkFun Pi Wedge to a breadboard and, by utilizing the Pi's 40-pin GPIO, control pushbuttons, LEDs, and a host of user created circuits.

The on-line guides and tutorials we provide, contains step by step instructions of how to set up your Raspberry Pi and how to program it in a variety of languages. We have supplied some example code and detailed images on how to get started.

This kit does not require any soldering and is recommended for anyone with a drive to learn more about the Raspberry Pi and its programming. So if you are looking for a new challenge or a way to get in on the RPi craze, check out the Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit!

Note: We are still waiting on the status on how the RPi3 may be export restricted due to certain qualities it possesses. We may just need to verify a small amount of information before processing your order and hopefully nothing beyond that. Please keep this in mind before placing your order.

Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit Product Help and Resources

Raspberry Pi SPI and I2C Tutorial

October 29, 2015

Learn how to use serial I2C and SPI buses on your Raspberry Pi using the wiringPi I/O library for C/C++ and spidev/smbus for Python.

How to Use Remote Desktop on the Raspberry Pi with VNC

July 9, 2018

Use RealVNC to connect to your Raspberry Pi to control the graphical desktop remotely across the network.

Graph Sensor Data with Python and Matplotlib

July 23, 2018

Use matplotlib to create a real-time plot of temperature data collected from a TMP102 sensor connected to a Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit Hookup Guide

April 11, 2016

Guide for getting going with the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ starter kit.

Introduction to MQTT

November 7, 2018

An introduction to MQTT, one of the main communication protocols used with the Internet of Things (IoT).

Python Programming Tutorial: Getting Started with the Raspberry Pi

June 27, 2018

This guide will show you how to write programs on your Raspberry Pi using Python to control hardware.

Core Skill: Programming

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.

3 Programming

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

Core Skill: Electrical Prototyping

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.

2 Electrical Prototyping

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


Looking for answers to technical questions?

We welcome your comments and suggestions below. However, if you are looking for solutions to technical questions please see our Technical Assistance page.

  • No heatsink included? The SoC on the Raspberry Pi 3 runs considerably hotter than on RPi2 boards. I wouldn’t put it in a case without a nice heatsink, and furthermore a heatsink mounted with thermal adhesive and not merely double-sided tape.

    • It does get warmer than the pi 2. There's some nice thermal images at http://liliputing.com/2016/03/raspberry-pi-3-hot-hotter-raspberry-pi-2.html.

      Sitting on a desk doing regular workloads doesn't get the processor too hot to touch. Of course, you won't be able to run a server from under the pile of dirty clothes in your closet like you could with the original pi. I would recommend a vertical orientation of this pi for permanent installations.

      I'll be sure to add a section about cooling to the hookup guide. Thanks for the comment!

  • Please include a heat sink. If that came with this I would buy it.

  • Max80 / about 8 years ago / 1

    What about the AC plug if shipped in Europe?

    • M-Short / about 8 years ago / 1

      Right now we only have the one version, the power supply is rated at 240V, so you can use it with an adapter or find a power supply locally. We're always looking at how our products work and sell internationally but it can get tricky selling different version (and they never actually sell well).

  • olivthill / about 8 years ago / 1

    Could you explain in a just one or two sentences what is the goal of the FTDI module? On the picture, I see that on one side, it is linked to the Raspberry via the wedge. But, on the other side, I don't see where the lead goes to. I guess it could be connected to an Arduino, which could blink leds and run motors. Am I correct? In that case, why don't you connect the Arduino directly to a USB port of the Raspberry? Sorry for that question, but I am a beginner, and this is a ... starter kit.

    • M-Short / about 8 years ago / 2

      Sorry about that, it looks like we missed the link to the hookup guide which was still under construction when this page went up. The FTDI is actually designed to be connected to your computer (desktop, laptop, etc.) to allow you to access the Pi over serial. The usage of a monitor is nice, but finding room for a monitor, keyboard, and mouse and setting that all up can be a pain when all you want to do is quickly modify your code. The Raspberry Pi will allow you to connect over serial using the FTDI board and a terminal window on your main computer. Check out the tutorial listed as it does go over this a bit. Oops, that's more than one or two sentences...

  • Member #121096 / about 8 years ago / 1

    Currently these say they are "Pre-Order" and idea on a release date?

    • M-Short / about 8 years ago / 1

      These are now in stock and shipping. Took us a while to get the SD cards in.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5

Based on 41 ratings:

Currently viewing all customer reviews.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Glad I got RPi 3 kit

This thing went together easily. I had planned on helping an 11 year old learn programming. Found a keyboard and mouse on 'pickup day', and an early HDMI TV stored away. After downloading the software it started right up. I would not have thought to get all the extras if I were to order separately. Ordered Edimax for WiFi, plugged it in and automatically was wired. The kid is already digging into Scratch and exploring, when I turned my back for a minute. Sure the kit cost more, but I saved $20 or more than separately. RECOMMENDED. Will get to the breadboard experiments soon.

3 of 3 found this helpful:

Good way to get started

50 years ago, literally, I bought my first home computer. It had something like 1k of memory, and most of what you could do was turn lights on and off, and possibly make sounds. I was delighted, and the rest is history. This kit is the modern equivalent, and a refreshing change from the wonderful complexity of modern systems. You can feel like computing is "personal" again.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Great starter kit

It was nice to have everything in one package in order to get started with the Raspberry Pi. My kit also came with an HDMI cable that is not shown, or mentioned here.

Congratulations, you are the big winner of a FREE HDMI cable! (Seriously, this kit doesn't usually come with an HDMI cable. Enjoy!)

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Great package

I ordered 25, and all arrived well. This is a great kit to start with.

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Still a long way to go

I purchased this kit for my Internet of Things class. It's been challenging but the kit has been very helpful to work with. I've only gotten to use the Pi, adaptor, breadboard, wires, and SD card so far. Looking forward to using the rest of the equipment.

Things I've accomplished: spamming my classmates ASCII art through Terminal; using Terminal, Sublime Text, Cyberduck, and VNC in junction with each other; and making a servo motor move. Great stuff!

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Preloaded OS Does Not Work (UPDATE: Resolved)

I can't get OS installed from\onto the SD card, after choosing the recommended OS to install it starts and gets about 10% in and fails with 'Error downloading or extracting tarball'....

Edit 1-8-2017 After an hour or so of pondering and double checking things and retrying like 5 times to get the same error finally the sixth attempt worked. I'm guessing that the initial setup process is attempting to download stuff and that the failure was from an invalid server response. Wondering why it is contacting the internet during the setup process, I just happened to have a network cable plugged in. It's not mentioned that a connection is needed or used during NOOBS setup.

After getting thru the above I can say I am quite impressed with this little computer. I'm a long time Microsoft developer and this is my first step into the Linux world. I've got some more Linux learning I want to get under my belt before continuing on to using the rest of the this kits parts.

Am now into the 'Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit Hookup Guide' a bit, I think it would be a nice addition to throw a couple of printed pages in the kit related to getting the OS going and properly updating it.

Hmmm, there shouldn't be any issues with getting the Pi up and running. I'd recommend contacting our tech support team. They should be able to get this issue resolved for you.

2 of 2 found this helpful:

Excellent product, excellent company

This is not my first Raspberry Pi and probably not my last so I knew what to expect when I ordered this. My youngest son wanted to get into programming the Pi so I figured I would buy him this great kit.

When I got the kit the AC power adapter was not working - I contacted Sparkfun about this and they simply sent out a replacement AC power adapter - no questions asked. It is so refreshing to deal with companies who understand what customer service should be like.

Michael H

1 of 1 found this helpful:

Great Kit to get started with Raspberry Pi

I bought 2 of these kits, the first for my son in University to play with and a second one for myself. The Kit includes a great deal of things to help you get started. I only found 2 drawbacks with the kit. One the resistors supplied are 1/16 Watt which isn't an issue, but the size of the leads on them is. The leads are so small in diameter that they don't make a solid electrical connection in the breadboard. My old 1/4" ones I already had worked with no issues. The other thing is the switches supplied can't simply be plugged into the breadboard, maybe you could source some switches that would work directly in a breadboard.

My first Pi and could not be more pleased. Came with a lot of parts to really let me play and learn the world of Pi.

Excellent introduction to RasPi 3

I was able to program it almost immediately, except for the failed SD card. That was something I had never seen before, as the card that came with the kit literally smoked. But, the tech support was excellent, and I was up and running within a week.

Way to roll out a new product

We used the RPI3's for digital signage. With all the helpful web hints on converting the RPI to kiosk mode and a little javascript we were able to help a senior living facility to update all digital signs in their building instantaneously. Kit was very helpful to let us know what we could use. Scaled down kit of RPI3, SD card, tin and power supply and flexible 3' HDMI cord would have helped once we got everything running.

Great kit

Had everything I needed to get started.

Great way to start

My daughter wanted to use a Raspberry Pi for her science experiment and this set is really perfect (in fact, more) than what we needed. That gives us lots to explore after the experiment is done.

We did have a problem with the case... we put the MicroSD card in first, and then setting the Pi in the case snapped the card! We did that twice before we figured it out. I'd put it in the case reviews but I don't have permission (since I bought this kit). The case is nice, though, and lets you have access to all the ports, just make sure you take the card out, put the Pi in the case, and re-insert the card before you use it.

Works Great with High School Students

My high school students are using this to run a Scratch to create a digital kiosk for a museum. This kit is awesome and very easy to use.

Love it

Great way to ramp up to speed on the raspberry pi

Great basis for electronics prototyping

This kit is a great platform for electronics with the RPi. The Wedge, breadboard and colored jumpers are perfectly suited for prototyping. Getting the RPi set up with the supplied microSD card was very straightforward. For interfacing with 5V circuits, a useful companion to this kit is the Logic Level Converter (BOB-12009), as the RPi uses 3.3V I/O.

It´s a great product

This is a good producto to star with the IoT concept

Great value!

Great product and price especially for one just starting out with the Raspberry Pi. Bought this for a member of my family that has seen some of the projects I have completed and was intrigued by them. Now that he has his own, I am sure he will surpass me with his skills rapidly seeing how he is 13 and I am...well his uncle and I'll leave it at that.

Excellent to get yourself started.

The only downside, why I don't give 5 stars, is that the breadboard holes aren't very tight: the LEDs and resistors wobble when inserted, and you have to move them a bit with your finger to close the electrical connection with the breadboard.

My first Pi, needed complete kit, was nervous

All needed parts got me up and running painlessly.

Ribbon cable is a little short when using 7in pitouch.

Glad I ordered it

Thanks, Terry!

Best thing I ever owned!

It worked perfectly out of the box no hiccups.

The perfect kit for my Sunday-morning fun

The "Raspberry Pi 3 Starter Kit Hookup Guide" is an extremely simple and helpful way of introducing me to this beautiful kit. The Pi Wedge is the perfect accessory. Its design is brilliant. I am going to have a lot of fun learning with this kit and growing from it.

Kit worked well after we recognized that the need to use the connectors wires for 5v and ground between the Pi 3 and the board side connector. The installation went without any problem WiFi worked with out hesitations

Sparkfun did help pointing our the need to connect the auxiliary power connector

now into the camera application and Python and Processing (available for Pi 3) which allows interface to Arduino uC (Pi 3 as uC does not have the pins to deal with large project,

however it will handle the display for Arduino uC by Python (camera) or Processing (graphics) using serial cable or radio (or wifi if you can deal with channel selection to not interfere with home wifi traffic).

Great leap into the real world of IoT

Even though it is a baby step in the grand scheme, it was a giant step for me. I bought the Pi starter kit and a couple of sensors from SparkFun. After only one false start (I left the red box with the parts in a bathroom and had it locked in the building over the long Thanksgiving weekend when I wanted to work on it. Fortunately they didn’t think I was a terrorist when they found it and retrieving it just meant an hour and a half drive each way.) and just one visit to the the local electronic supply store to buy some breakaway headers (it might be nice to include some of these in the starter kit) to solder onto the temp/humidity sensor, some solder and a new soldering iron in case I couldn’t find my 35 year old one, within 3 days I had the Pi cranking, the PC development environment working including ssh and xvc server and client, headless operation, wireless network connectivity, a DMZ and fixed IP set up, the breadboard, sensor and LED wired up and the unit connected to Microsoft Azure IoT Hub and Blob Storage first with simulated data and then with real readings. What is left to do on this project is to wire up the two soil moisture sensors with an A to D chip (still need to purchase) and code those readings into the data payload. Oh, and a second trip to the local store to return the new soldering iron because I found my old one stashed in a box in a drawer with my 35 year old wire wrap tool;-). All in all a very nice experience. I think I will be coming back to SparkFun many times in the future.

Exactly what I needed

I've been working with electronics and programming for 30 years and have never ordered from spark fun till now. This is the simplest programming and electronics engineering kit I have ever used! The components in the kit are enough to get started, but are by no means its limitations, the possibilities are endless. I am ordering more, along with a few zeros.

decent start

I bought this to use the FLIR Lepton (160x120 version—I had to get that from Digikey) as well as for parts to screw around with an Arduino Uno. The SD card was corrupted on arrival; it partially booted but then froze. Using the included uSD USB reader, I downloaded an OS which works for the 7" touchscreen LCD that SparkFun sells. That worked flawlessly, so I only wasted 10–20 minutes on the corrupted SD card. I will have to say that the uSD reader got kind of stuck in my USB port (other cables worked fine); I broke the little bit of plastic holding the little lanyard to it, but that's my fault. Maybe only use "loosened" USB ports with the reader?

Other than the above, the starter kit did get me started. Some components for debouncing the buttons would have been nice. I would have given this a 3.5 if possible, but I'll err on the nicer side in the hopes that SparkFun will think about what I've said in this review. :-)

Just what I wanted and needed

A great kit! The Pi booted first try: a great combination of compact compute power and features. The board is mostly connectors! And of course Linux is the Right OS. I now understand what all those headers and connectors are about, and I'm ready to start breadboarding.

Excellent selection/ Very good value

I have many years of computing and electronics in many contexts. I have worked extensively with Arduinos. So I couldn't resist giving the Pi a try, could I?

Very impressed with the selection of "bits" Sparkfun have put into this package, and with the price achieved. You CAN (if you wish) use it "headless" with almost any "ordinary" computer, via USB, if you wish. Me? I'd go the also-possible route of connecting a USB keyboard and mouse, and plugging it into a monitor... it offers an HDMI output. At least while you are "getting to know it".

Don't be confused by the similarities... the Pi and the Arduino are very different beasts, they are aimed at different markets. A lot of fun (and use) can be had with either. But just as you wouldn't use a hammer where a paintbrush was needed, make sure that you consider what you want to do, if you are thinking Pi? Arduino?... but do at least one of them! With this very sensible kit... which has many generally useful elements, even if you don't go far with Pi's... you can see if Pi is for you for not a lot of money.

Pi or Arduino? See... http://sheepdogsoftware.co.uk/hh/hh9bardupi.htm

Incredibly awesome!

I have experimented with many Arduino models, including the Yun, and Spark. This model of Raspberry PI far surpasses anything I have had the pleasure to experiment with. Now I'm experimenting with using Apple's Swift in a Docker container running on a Raspberry PI 3, which is approaching the Holy Grail of embedded system development.

Really awesome kit

I wanted to try python on a Raspberry Pi. I have not knowledge of Linux. But this kit plus the tutorials showed me exactly what I needed to do.

Lots of Good Stuff

The board came up and ran, right out of the box. I got leds to work on the first try. My only complaint is that the wedge is short a few pins, and the kit should include a schematic of the wedge. Once I got that, my hook-up problems were gone. My project is proceeding on track. Great product.

An excellently put together kit

This kit is well organized and well stocked, allowing you to get the RasPi up and running in no time at all. In only an hour, I went from opening the box to making some basic breadboard projects controlled by the RasPi. Great product!

Awesome Package

Everything works as advertised and the starter kit provided everything I needed to get up and running quickly. Will plan to buy more rpi gear from SparkFun!

Been playing with this for around 3 months now. I gotta say, it's a great kit to get started with. The wedge makes mapping your hardware and code so much simpler. 9.75/10, would recommend or perhaps buy as a gift.

Very nice kit

This is a very nice kit to get started with Raspberry Pi. The supporting information was also very helpful.