ECE471 Required Hardware
For ECE471 there is no required textbook, but you will be required
to have a Raspberry Pi computer with which to do your homework assignments.
The hope is you already have a Pi from previous classes or just because
you are an ECE major.
For Fall 2023 we continue to be in the middle of a worldwide Raspberry Pi
shortage. It is starting to recover but it might still be difficult
to obtain a Pi. If you have trouble obtaining one by the second week of
classes let me know and one can be loaned to you.
If you have trouble finding a Pi, this link might be helpful:
Raspberry Pi Locator.
Just be careful and make sure you get the proper model (see below),
be careful ordering from unknown or overseas sites, and try not to pay
more than $50 or so for one (there are people online selling them at huge
markup due to the demand).
Raspberry Pi naming has gotten complex over the years. Here is a summary.
Pi Boards good for ECE471
- Raspberry Pi Model 3B
- Raspberry Pi Model 3B+
- Raspberry Pi Model 4B (note for the model 4, we don't use much RAM
in this class so no need to splurge on the 4GB or 8GB models which
can be pricy)
- Raspberry Pi 400 (this is built into a keyboard, but in theory
- Raspberry Pi Model 2B
- Raspberry Pi Model 1B
- Raspberry Pi Model 2A (the A models lack wired ethernet but that
isn't needed for ECE471)
- Raspberry Pi Model 3A
- Raspberry Pi Model 4A
Pi Boards that could work but not recommended
- Pi Zero (the zero models are cheaper and more barebones, but in theory
if you solder a pin header onto them you can do all of the
ECE471 assignments with only slightly more trouble)
- Pi Zero-W
- Pi Zero 2
- Pi Zero 2-W
Pi Boards that will *NOT* Work
- Any of the compute modules (CM1, CM2, CM3, CM4)
- Raspberry Pi Pico (often are cheap and available, but
are completely different from the other models and can't run Linux)
The 4B models are a lot fancier/faster/have more RAM but we won't need
that for class, and they have some features that make it harder to
use [for example, they need micro-HDMI cables for video and a USB-C charger
for power, unlike the earlier models].
To do the homework assignemnts you will need:
- Raspberry Pi board [I reccommend a 3B+]
(standard models are typically around $35)
- SD Memory card, 8GB or larger (if you can get one
preinstalled with Raspberry Pi Linux
(previously called Raspbian) it makes life easier)
- USB micro cable or charger [the bigger the better,
modern Pis can draw 2+Amps] (USB-C if a pi4).
You can power a Pi 3 with a regular USB micro cable
from your laptop, but the Pi will complain.
Ideally you'll have at least a charger that can provide
5V at 2Amps.
- A breadboard (the assumption is if you're an ECE you
have one by now, if you don't let me know)
Optional things that can make development easier but aren't strictly
- A case for the Raspberry Pi
- An HDMI cable for connecting to a screen/monitor
(micro-HDMI if a pi4)
- A USB keyboard/mouse if you want to use the Pi like a desktop
- Ethernet cable if you want to connect to a wired
Other Parts We'll Use
Note you do *not* have to order these yourselves, this is for reference.
I loan these parts out each year, but in 2020 due to remote learning
I had this list available for those who couldn't make it to campus.
- LED (any type), miscellaneous resistors (1k, 470Ohm)
and some wire
- Male/Female Extension jumper wires. These make it
easy to connect the Pi GPIO pins to the breadboad.
Jumper Wires at adafruit
- 7-segment LED display with i2c backpack.
These are from adafruit. There are a variety of colors,
all should work. They cost $10 and you have to solder
them together yourself (it's a relatively easy soldering
LED display at Adafruit
- DS18B20 1-wire sensor.
I usually get these from Adafruit. Cost $4.
DS18B20 at Adafruit
- TMP36 Temperature sensor. I usually get these
at Adafruit. Cost $1.50.
TMP36 at Adafruit
- MCP3008 8-Channel 10-bit SPI ADC.
I usually get these at Adafruit but they're often
out of stock. Cost $3.75.
MCP3008 at Adafruit
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