A Raspberry Pi computer consists of a board only and boots from a compact SD card. Installation of the Raspberry Pi parts is simple and generally requires configuration changes and plugging components into the appropriate interfaces. Popular installation options include the addition of a case, camera board, or real time clock.
Raspberry Ports and Hardware Interfaces
The Model A Raspberry Pi has one USB port and the Model B Raspberry has two. You need to attach a USB hub to connect additional devices such as network adapters and external hard drives. Hardware interfaces include 26 general input/output pins (GPIO), an I2C bus, I2S audio, an SPI bus, 3v3, 5v, and ground. You can indefinitely expand the number of GPIOs through the I2C or SPI bus. Because the device features package on package RAM on the system on chip, you cannot remove, swap, or upgrade it, and 512 MB RAM is the maximum memory the Raspberry Pi can support.
Adding a Raspberry Case
A Raspberry Pi case protects the computer and can act as a heatsink. Ensure that the case allows access to all the ports, provides adequate room for installing additional parts, and lets you see which LED indicator lights are on. Look for a case that clips open easily to allow you access to the board. Most cases simply clip into position around the board. Always follow the case manufacturer's instructions when assembling enclosures.
Installing a Raspberry Camera Board
Raspberry offers a camera board with a 5 MP fixed-focus sensor. It attaches to the Raspberry 15-pin MIPI Camera Serial Interface (CSI) via a 15-pin ribbon cable. Before installation, install and update Raspian on your device. You can download the latest version from the manufacturer's website. Check whether your device contains the latest firmware upgrade by entering the 'Sudo apt-get update' command while the device is connected to the internet. Install newer versions of the packages with the 'Sudo apt-get upgrade' command, and remove redundant packages with the 'Sudo apt-get autoremove' command once the update is complete. Enable the camera in the configuration menu. Switch the Raspberry off, ground yourself to prevent damage from static electricity, and plug the module into the 15-pin connector.
Installing a Raspberry Pi Real Time Clock
To keep manufacturing costs low, the Raspberry comes without a real time clock. The device usually updates the date and time via the internet, but you can add a clock if you generally use the device offline. Look for a clock designed for the Raspberry, such as the Ras Clock. Insert the module's battery, matching positive to positive. Plug the module directly into the Pi's six GPIO pins at the SC card end of the board.