How to Choose a Raspberry Pi Starter Kit!

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“It s zack from hal chicom today. I m going to talk to you about about raspberry pi starter kits. Whether they re worth it what to watch out for when you should just build your own. We ve all been there you have a cool idea for a raspberry pi project or you ve seen one online.

You don t know where to start well you can either buy everything individually or you can choose from one of the many many many starter kits out there a starter kit comes with a set of components. Including a raspberry pi computer. That you ll need to complete a project now starter kits have been growing in popularity along with the pi. We get this question a lot should i buy a starter kit or should.

I just buy everything individually. Well. The answer is actually a resounding that depends. Whether or not a starter kit is worth it depends largely on three factors.

What you plan on using the pi for what components it comes with and whether they re up to snuff and the price of the kit in this guide. I ll briefly explain which components your starter kit should contain what to watch out for with each components and help you decide whether or not a starter kit is right for you even. If you don t plan on getting a starter kit. This guide will show you everything that you need to set up a raspberry pi for a basic project.

So it lists all the components. So it s still going to be useful one way or another now to help in our analysis. I got a pretty standard starter kit from amazon. That s similar to a lot of the other ones that you ll see i chose this one because it has the bare minimum of what you ll need to do any project.

So i ll be using this as an example throughout the guide. I also created a text and image based version of this guide. And i ve linked to that in the video. Description.

And there you ll find a little bit more detailed information. As well as links to some of the components. That i discussed and link to the kit that i m using as an example and as always be sure to subscribe. We have a lot of new content coming out.

I know we ve been a little bit slow. But we re really ramping things up now. So you have a lot to look forward to so i found a pretty standard starter kit on amazon to use as an example. It seems like a pretty good deal it seems to have all the right components with the right specs.

And it s pretty much the minimum of what you ll need to do any raspberry pi project. So this is called the a box yes. It s like an xbox. But with an a and it s a start kit starter kit.

So i m just going to go ahead and go through each component in order of what i think is most important. So you can get a good idea of what s in the box. Now the first thing to look for in your kit is that it contains a raspberry pi computer..


I mean every kit should or else i don t think you should get that kid and most kits will leave there contain a raspberry pi 3. Or a raspberry pi zero the zero is a much smaller computer that s less powerful for most projects. You ll want to use the three and it s the most powerful one that they sell so the three is usually about 35 by itself and the only reason. I would use a zero is if you had space constraints like if you were trying to build something in a very small enclosure quick note about raspberry pi zero starter kits.

Make sure you get one that says zero w. The w. Is for wireless. If it doesn t have the w.

It s the normal pi doesn t have bluetooth or wi fi. So your and i have a bad time with that one this is a pretty standard raspberry pi three nothing special about this anti static bag next. Most important thing is the raspberry pi power adapter now all power adapters are gonna be five volts because that s what usb voltage is but what s important is the amperage you want to always use a power supply that s at least two amps preferably. Two and a half amps now once you start plugging things into your pi.

It s gonna start stranding. Even a keyboard with some leds and a built in hub is gonna be draw a bit of power you can t just use your cell phone charger as the power adapter because it s not gonna provide the right amperage and when you use your pie you ll actually see it either yellow lightning bolts in the corner or worse you won t see one and things will just randomly. Fail. And you ll have no idea.

Why one thing. That s interesting about this one. And this has been popping up a lot is it has a power button on it that s kind of gimmicky when you shut down your desktop computer you just rip the plug out of the wall using this switch is pretty much like just ripping the adapter out of the wall doing that as bad. Because anything that s being written to can get corrupted.

So things that are in memory. And it only takes a couple times of not shutting your pi down properly to corrupt. It and your sd card will no longer fum now. It is good for turning it on so after you ve shut off your pi.

Properly you can just push this button. I guess twice to turn it back on. But you don t really need this so yeah. The individual cost for a power supply like this that s two and a half a mess is about nine bucks.

Something very important for your pi project is the sd card and a lot of people ask about this what size should i get. And i think people kind of harp on that too much you don t need a huge card. If you re doing like a retro gaming project using retro pi. Then you don t really need a huge card see back in the day pewter memory chips were very expensive and so game developers had to get clever with how they built their games.

They take up less space and the result is that the game roms are actually pretty small for example in super. Mario brothers. You ll notice the clouds and the bushes are exactly the same sprite they just changed the color. I would say at a minimum you want a 16 gig card in your kit.

But a 32 gigabyte card is certainly welcome in case you want to add future functionality. So a few things to keep in mind when choosing an sd card you ll want to make sure that the kid actually specifies. The manufacturer in addition to the size read..


And write speeds are actually really important. It s kind of like putting a crappy hard drive in your computer. The sd card is the hard drive for the raspberry pi. So i always go with a good one like the sandisk ultra.

And i ve never had a bad time with those one other consideration to make with sd cards. Is counterfeits. Counterfeit cards are usually larger like 64. Gigs or hundred twenty eight gigs.

So it s probably not a huge issue. If you get a smaller one after all nobody counterfeits. A one dollar bill. So the larger ones are usually targeted again the size of the sd card that you choose will depend on what your project is if you re using kodi and you want to store media files on it obviously you need a larger card.

But very. Large cards are going to have issues with the pi. They re just not designed for it you can still use external storage like usb drives on your pi to access movies and games. So you don t really need a huge one and this card alone is about 13 bucks on amazon another thing you re gonna always want for your pi projects are heat sinks now these actually go on the ethernet chip.

Which is also the usb chip and on the cpu. This kit came with three it looks like there s one for the memory chip on the bottom of the pie. Though i don t think really necessary guess. It s kind of cool.

But generally you only need to now when you re choosing a kit make sure your heat sinks meet a few minimum requirements the material doesn t matter this there s an aluminum one in the copper one in here. Unless your water cooling your pi. It doesn t really matter. Which one what s most important is the size and that s the vertical height of the thing this one is aluminum.

But it s very tall so this seems sufficient the ones that are very short do next to nothing now this copper one that goes into the cpu. I m not really sure how well this will work out it is pretty small. I ll probably swap it out. But i have a whole bunch of these things they re super cheap like here s a pretty tall.

One. So you know you want to basically look at the height of it next thing. That s important about your heat. Sinks is the adhesive material.

You want to choose one that uses legit like 3m tape. Some of the more generic ones. Actually they don t conduct heat away from the component. They and insulating it and trapping the heat in there.

Which is worse. I can t tell what some of these are because they re so small that there s just like a white spot. I do see one has 3m so i m hopeful..


What the other ones also used the same adhesive. So what s using a kit. Make sure that there are pictures of the heat sinks preferably of the bottom two so you can make and make sure that they re tall enough of course if they re too tall. They won t fit in your case.

Now on to something a little more interesting of the case. So this kit comes with a pretty standard pi case. There s not a whole lot to say about cases. Cheap ones are fine just make sure that it has good ventilation.

Which this one does have easy access to the port s that you need for your project depending. What your project is you might need access to your headers. So some cases don t give you access to that so you ll want to make sure that the one that you choose gives you access to all the ports. That you need and this one s actually.

I think it s usually about 7 on amazon so not a bad deal at all now there are some things that you re gonna want to look for in your kit. That are also nice to have for example does it come with a usb adapter for the micro sd card. This one is both a type c and a regular usb. Which is kind of cool and you ll definitely need this.

Because you have to put the card into your computer. At some point to set up your raspberry pi. No matter. What you re in you four.

So make sure that comes with an adapter and if not factor the price this one is usually about seven dollars on its own. So that s nice to have also obviously things like htmi cables. You probably have some extras in your house. But these are still nice to have this one is only like two feet long.

Which is actually useful for what i m gonna use my pipe for. But it might not be good for your setup. And these are you know like five or six dollars each. So it s nice when it comes with that now one thing that this kit does not come with our usb controllers.

And if you re gonna do a retro pie setup. Obviously you ll need those i recommend buying those separately. Though because the kits that come with usb controllers. They usually use the bottom of the barrel really crappy.

Usb controllers and they re not all made the same some of them won t be as responsive. They won t last as long. They just will kind of quit. You really want to do some research and read reviews.

When you re getting a usb controller and not just get one that happens to come in a kit. So i recommend not getting kits that have the controllers and buying those separately and you ll be better off. Now if you re planning on building..


Something really neat with your pie like things with leds and buttons and all that there are some monster kits out there that sell like tons of leds and buttons and resistors and transistors and connectors and you know it s kind of tempting to buy these massive kits. But you might be better off buying a separate dedicated set of components. Like you can buy an entire set of resistors and leds usually less expensively separately what your what s gonna happen is you re gonna buy a lot of stuff that you ll never use and so that s being added on to the cost so depending on what you want to build you might want to stay away from the huge massive kits. Here s an example of a kit that comes with tons of stuff.

This is actually an arduino kit now the raspberry pi kit. But it s an example of you know comes with a bunch of leds. Some jumper wires some resistors a bunch of random little things servo and you know it s really cool to have this stuff around if you have a moment of inspiration. You don t want to have to wait for it in the mail.

But just fact that under your cost still. It is cool to have this stuff around if you have an idea or see something online you don t have to wait a week for it to arrive you know all the pieces that you need you can just get going right then. But most of the time these kits just contain things that you really don t need alright. So this is everything that comes in the a box kit.

I looked up the price of each individual item which i ve listed and it ended up costing me eighty two dollars to buy all these individual components. Everything is up to snuff. I wish that this heatsink were a little bit taller. But these are cheap and easily replaceable.

Everything. Else is pretty much what i would have purchased if i bought them individually. And this kit sells for like 65 to 70 dollars. I ve seen the price jump around so for 82 bucks.

You do save some money i mean at the very minimum. This is what you will need to do any projects. Unless of course you re building something that has its own case. In which case.

You won t need this or. If you re using a battery pack with a voltage booster. Then you won t need this. And if you re not gonna be actually connecting it to a tv.

Then you won t need this so. The point is that you really need to look at what your project is for a very basic project. This will work great and just keep an eye make sure that when you re looking at a kit. They re actually listing all the specifications or else you re gonna end up with a bunch of crap anyways.

I hope you learned something interesting today. I want to hear about your pi project. If you want to post in the comment section. I d love to hear about what you re working on or what you re looking to work on also be sure to subscribe so you can check out our future videos that are coming soon and check out the video description for a link to the kit.

That i featured in this video. And also for links to other guides that i may have mentioned in passing now as always thank you so much for watching and i ll see ” ..

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