Raspberry Pi: New accessories bring battery operation or more security to the developer board
The Raspberry Pi, regardless of which you version you buy, is already a diverse and well-equipped single-board computer (SBC) that offers endless options for making whatever project takes your fancy. There are loads accessories to purchase too, making the Raspberry Pi a truly versatile device.
Now, Gumstix has announced an expansion board the Raspberry Pi Zero, which it calls the Battery Board. As its name suggests, the pHAT expansion board allows you to run the Pi Zero on two AA batteries, allowing you to implement the board in projects that may not have mains power nearby, for example.
The Gumstix Battery Board supports either NiMH or NiCd batteries, which it can charge via a micro USB port. The company has included a power switch, a 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope, too.
While Gumstix has designed the Battery Board for the Pi Zero, Pi-oT has made its MKR Module compatible with any 40-pin Raspberry Pi. The MKR Module is a breakout board and GPIO pin protector that the company has housed in a Pi-OT branded enclosure. The module uses twenty-one unused GPIOs pins, which Pi-oT has routed into individually accessible terminals. Pi-OT protects each GPIO pin with a 330 Ohm resistor, too.
The MKR Module also features a single 5V fan, and a 5V circuit protection. Additionally, Pi-oT stresses that the module is compatible with HATs.
The Gumstix Battery Board costs US$50, although it currently on backorder for around three weeks. By contrast, the MKR Module is available to order from US$35 on Kickstarter. The campaign has already reached its funding target, with Pi-oT aiming to deliver units to backers next month.