Today I was a guest at @TheCodeBehind discussing .NET, IoT and how to get started. Naturally as .NET developers we drifted into the domain of Windows 10 IoT Core. We talked a little bit about where to buy the hardware, how much the cost were and what projects are good ideas to start with. I felt that this is a quite broad topic so I would like to expand on this in the following blog post.
So this is (might be) a getting started guide for Raspberry PI 2, so I am not going to talk about what hardware platform to get. I am going to talk about what modules, products and tools to get depending on what product you are going to build.
The Raspberry PI 2 is composed by the following list of hardware items, all available to use with a Windows 10 IoT Core app.
|SoC||Broadcom BCM2836 (CPU, GPU, DSP, SDRAM, and single USB port)|
|CPU||900 MHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7 (ARMv7 instruction set)|
|GPU||Broadcom VideoCore IV @ 250 MHz, OpenGL ES 2.0 (24 GFLOPS), 1080p30 MPEG-2 and VC-1 decoder (with license), 1080p30 h.264/MPEG-4 AVC high-profile decoder and encoder|
|Memory||1 GB (shared with GPU)|
|Video input||15-pin MIPI camera interface (CSI) connector|
|Video outputs||HDMI, composite video (PAL and NTSC) via 3.5 mm jack|
|Audio outputs||Analog via 3.5 mm jack; digital via HDMI and I²S|
|Network||10/100 Mbit/s Ethernet|
|Peripherals||17 GPIO plus specific functions, and HAT ID bus|
The most interesting part here, when we would like to connect sensors, LED’s and more are the Peripherals. Especially the 17 GPIO specific functions in the HAT Bus. a HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) bus is a connector that, surprisingly allows you to add hardware on top as long as they follow a certain specification. The HATs support all sorts of hardware modules such as Pulse Wide Modulation, Servo control or even GPS communication. You can even buy a clean HAT and build your own devices that fit right on top of your Raspberry PI 2. Adafruit sells lots of Raspberry PI 2 Hats (but not fruit), please note that not all hats work with Windows 10 IoT Core.
Should you want to dive right in and use the GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) you are no longer limited to using Raspberry PI 2 HATs or even modules at all. My first suggestion is to get a T-Cobbler and a breadboard (See the picture to the right) that is available from most stores including e-bay. This will allow you to see the output names as you use them in your code, should you choose to not use the T-Cobbler the pinout picture to the left is a must have (You will need it anyhow). Since you no longer have a limitation to what modules you can use the world is your oyster, but here are some suggestions on what you can build.
In my next post I will take more in detail on how to use regular hardware modules with the GPIO pins and Windows 10 IoT Core.