A guide to kickstarting your Raspberry Pi 4 project
Since 2012, Raspberry Pi has dominated the market for mini PC developer boards. Many competitors have tried to emulate its success, sometimes offering better hardware, but none have managed to dent the popularity of the Raspberry Pi. More than 23 million Raspberry Pi boards have been sold worldwide, and not without reason. Here Sven Pannewitz, developer board product manager, reichelt elektronik, has the ultimate guide when it comes to strating at the beginning with a Raspberry Pi 4 project.
The open source computer is backed by a huge worldwide community that provides advice and support, develops project ideas and publishes ready-made concepts in forums or on video platforms. And the community is only getting larger with every new edition of the board.
As the boards and technology improves, so do the types of projects makers and hobbyists are creating. The rise of smarter gadgets and devices for the home and workplace, is leading to smarter projects. This is thanks to the versatility of the Raspberry Pi and how it can be used effectively in so many different ways. Whether it’s creating a retro games console or upgrading some old speakers to making a smart security camera or smart door bell, the Raspberry Pi can do it all.
What’s new with the 4th generation of Raspberry Pi?
The new Raspberry Pi 4 has clear added value compared to its predecessors. New Raspberry Pi releases are usually a little faster with one or two extra features compared to previous iterations, but the 4 makes a huge technical leap forward.
The mini-PC finally brings:
- More RAM
- Fast Gigabit LAN
- USB 3.0
- 4K resolution for two monitors
- A USB-C charging socket
- Greater speed
These new capabilities open up even more technology avenues to explore and the best part is, everyone can use a Raspberry Pi, even if it’s just at home for surfing the internet. But where do you start?
What you need to get started
There are a few pieces of hardware and software to install to ensure your mini-PC functions seamlessly:
- Micro SD card with Raspbian installed
- USB keyboard
- USB mouse
- Power supply
- Micro to HDMI cable
Usefully, the RPi also has an audio jack, ethernet port for wired internet connectivity and USB and micro USB ports for all your devices.
Setting up your Raspberry Pi
- Install Raspbian via NOOBS to your Micro SD card. This is an easy process and you can download the software from www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/. Simply download the zip folder and copy and paste onto the SD card. Make sure you insert the SD card before connecting and booting up the board.
- Connect screen, mouse and keyboard via any of the USB ports.
- Connect to the internet wirelessly or via the ethernet cable.
- Connect the power supply to boot up your RPi. At this point you should see the RPi display appear on your monitor.
- A set up guide will automatically launch. Follow the step by step process as directed. You will need to set the internet source, language, time zones etc. It’s also a good opportunity to set a secure password if you are connecting to your WiFi.
The Raspberry Pi is now set up and ready to run. It’s important to note that Raspberry Pi uses an operating system called Linux – this differs to Windows and Macs. It works by typing in commands rather than clicking and searching menu options as you may be used to on ‘traditional’ sized computers.
By following this simple set up guide, you can begin to explore the capabilities of Raspberry Pi 4. What project will you create next?