Building your own Model A Raspberry Pi

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When the Model A Raspberry Pi is released in the coming weeks or months, you’ll have the opportunity to buy an even cheaper ARM Linux computer that will draw 1/3rd the power of the classic Model B. Some people just can’t wait a month to get their hands on it, so [Blair] decided to make his own.

The Model A Raspberry Pi is nearly the same as the Model B; the only things missing are an Ethernet port, a single USB port, and the associated chips required to drive these ports. In a brave bit of desoldering, [Blair] removed the Ethernet/USB controller with a butane torch.

In part two of [Blair]‘s adventures, he removed the Ethernet connector and replaced the two-high USB ports with a single port, greatly decreasing the height of the Raspberry Pi.

As of right now, this is just about the only way to get your hands on the lower power, more compact Raspberry Pi. We can’t wait, though, for the eventual tutorial of how to turn a Model A into a Model B. That’ll be an awesome demonstration of god-like soldering skills.

Raspberry Pi Model A coming soon

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[Liz] over at the Raspberry Pi foundation took a trip over to the manufacturing facility in Wales and found some of the very first Model A Raspi samples. They’re just samples, but this means we should be seeing a few Model A Raspberry Pis pop up on Element 14 sometime very soon.

As the lower-cost model of the Raspberry Pi, the Model A lacks a few features of the more complete Model B. For starters, there is no Ethernet port or controller, and only one USB port, This greatly reduces the power requirements for the Model A, measured by the Raspi Foundation at about 1/3rd of the power draw of the Model B.

To save costs, the Model A is using the same PCB as the Model B – the Ethernet controller and port simply aren’t populated. It may seem like a downgrade, but if you’re planning on building a Raspi-powered autonomous drone, high-altitude balloon, or other robotics project, the reduced power draw will be a great feature.

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