Before you can begin to build a RaspberryPints digital taplist, you’ll need several pieces of hardware. Feel free to make use of any parts that you already own to save on the project’s build cost. For each item below, we will recommend a particular product. Our recommendations are not meant to imply that only that particular make/model will work for this project. However, all recommendations below are products that we personally own and have tested, so you can rest assured that they will be fully functional and compatible with this project.
We recommend purchasing your parts from Amazon because of their quick (free) shipping, quality of service and ease of returns.
These are the items that you absolutely will need to complete the project. Many of them are inexpensive.
· (1) Raspberry Pi, model B, 512mb ($40) — This is by far the most common model available. You’d be hard pressed to buy any other model, though there are still some 256mb models out there, which we do not recommend. Stay away from eBay for this item, as the counterfeit rate is very high (view this item on Amazon).
· (1) Monitor or TV ($0 – $200+) — Recommend using a display capable of displaying 1920 x 1080 (1080p) resolution. If using a monitor, we highly recommend an IPS panel over an TN or VA panel. We also recommend that the display has has VESA mounts so you can wall mount it and a USB hub so you can power the Pi directly from it. Check out our FAQ entry How Do I Choose a Display? for an in-depth buying guide.
· (1) Video cable ($5)— If your video display has an HDMI input available, a simple HDMI cable will suffice (view this item on Amazon). If your video display only has DVI inputs, you can use either an HDMI-to-DVI cable (view this item on Amazon) or the above HDMI cable plus an HDMI-to-DVI adapter (view this item on Amazon). There’s no benefit to spending extra on fancy cables because with a digital signal it either passes or it doesn’t — and if it doesn’t, it’s almost always because you’ve exceeded a 25′ – 50′ cable length.
· (1) Power supply ($10) — USB phone chargers work wonderfully. It must have a microUSB connector and provide a minimum of 700mA. You can safely use higher amperage chargers without damaging the Raspberry Pi. We recommend the Kootek 1500mA charger (view this item on Amazon).
· (1) SD card ($10)— You’ll need a minimum of 4 gb and at least a Class 10 card for decent speed. We recommend the Sony’s SF16UY/TQMN with 16 gb of space and an Ultra 1 class rating because it provides an amazing price-to-performance ratio (view this item on Amazon).
· (1) USB WiFi adapter ($10) — We recommend the Edimax EW-7811Un because it’s tiny and based on the rock-solid RTL8192CU chipset (view this item on Amazon). Alternatively, you can run an ethernet cable (Cat5/6) back to your router instead.
· (1) USB mouse and keyboard with unified receiver ($15) — We recommend the wireless Favi FE01-BL because it’s both a keyboard and mouse in a single compact device — reliable, study and very inexpensive (view this item on Amazon). Should you choose to use an existing wireless keyboard/mouse, they need to operate on a unified receiver (dongle/plug). Otherwise, you’ll need to add a powered USB hub. This is also the case for wired keyboards and mice. Note, you only absolutely need this for initial setup. Once completed, you can manage your device over your local network.
· (1) USB SD card reader ($8) — We prefer the IOGEAR GFR204SD because it’s reliable and inexpensive (view this item on Amazon). Alternatively, a built-in laptop card reader should suffice.
· (1) Windows or Mac desktop or laptop — Only needed to get you started with imaging the SD card. Must have one USB port available. Note, our instructions are written for Windows, but can be completed on a Mac with a minimum of (Google) researching.
These are items which aren’t absolutely necessary, but help make the build complete and professional.
· (1) Raspberry Pi case ($12) — We prefer a case with sides, versus the two flat plate type cases, to protect the Raspberry Pi and prevent dust from covering it. We recommend CanaKit’s clear case with a frost-etched Raspberry Pi logo because it’s the sturdiest and best-looking case we’ve seen yet (view this item on Amazon).
· (1) VESA Wall Mount ($5 – 15) — We prefer a wall mount with a pivoting arm that can accomodate tilting and swiveling for easily alignment. Most monitors and small TVs utilize a 100×100 VESA pattern; your display’s spec. sheet will list the size required. We recommend the VideoSecu ML15B because it offers all of these features, is easy to install, and leaves just enough room behind the monitor to stash the Raspberry Pi and its cables (view this item on Amazon).
Once you have everything ready to go, you should assemble the hardware. Install the Pi in a case if one was purchased, plug in the keyboard/mouse dongle and Wi-Fi adapter. Do not plug insert the SD card nor attach the power source yet.