SpazzOut for the CanaKit Raspberry Pi B+ Ultimate Starter Kit

When the first Raspberry Pi arrived in the SpazzTech Tool Shed we found ourselves ordering a lot of extra stuff after it arrive just to turn it on for the first time. So we decided to buy a whole kit the next time around. The CanaKit Raspberry Pi B+ Ultimate Starter Kit includes most of the basics you will need to get started with the Raspberry Pi B+ including the Raspberry B+ itself. This SpazzOut is based on a single kit that we purchased outright for our own purposes. So while this is our unbiased review of this product, your results may vary. Check with the supplier before you buy.

RPi B+ Ultimate Starter Kit Includes:

  • 1 ea - Raspberry Pi B+
  • 1 ea - 8 GB MicroSD card with NOOBS already installed
  • 1 ea - Plastic case
  • 1 ea - 400 position breadboard
  • 1 ea - USB WiFi dongle
  • 1 ea - 2.5A microUSB power supply
  • 1 ea - 6 ft HDMI cable
  • 1 ea - GPIO breakout kit including interface cable
  • 1 ea - Adhesive backed CPU heatsink
  • An assortment of basic electronics components:
    • 5 ea 10kΩ resistors
    • 10 ea 220 Ω resistors (our kit came with 11... oops)
    • 2 ea Red LED
    • 2 ea Yellow LED
    • 2 ea Green LED
    • 2 ea Blue LED
    • 1 ea RGB LED
    • 2 ea Push Button
    • A bundle of make to make jumper wires of assorted colors and lengths.
  • A few handy dandy quick references:
    • Reference card for the 40 RPi B+ GPIO Pins
    • Resistor color code quick reference
    • Basic electronics assembly / soldering guide.

Good points worth noting for the CanaKit Raspberry Pi B+ Ultimate Starter Kit:

Over-all this kit is a winner, and SpazzTech will be a repeat customer. Here are some of the things we especially liked:

 

Good first impression upon opening the box:

When we first opened the box for the kit everything seems very neatly packed and labeled.

 

The CanaKit Raspberry Pi B+ Ultimate Starter Kit comes with most of what you need to get started with the RPi.

The kit really does include most of what you need to get started:

If you are already into electronics, you may already have all of the basic electronics components around, but who has a USB WiFi dongle anymore?  You can also never have too many HDMI cables. The power supply is a good thing to have. Most cell phone power cords now are 0.7A at least and we used a 1.0 A cell phone supply for our firt Pi. The 2.5A supply included in this kit provides some good overhead.

 

The only things we used to get started that were not included in the kit was a USB keyboard, USB mouse, and a monitor. Almost any HDMI display will work.

 

The MicroSD card is already loaded with NOOBS:

Its possible to create your own NOOBS image if you have an extra MicroSD, but why bother? Well, there is one drawback to having NOOBS already loaded on the MicroSD which we will get into later.

 

The case fits "perfectly" and still allows access to everything:

There are some other reviews out there complaining out the Pi not fitting into the case. No issue here. However, it fits so perfectly, its easy to imagine how a little bit of heat from the box sitting in the sun could cause it to NOT fit. That or possibly there are some tolerance issues and some of them really don't fit. Ours fit perfectly.

The Raspberry Pi B+ fits perfectly in the black case from CanaKit.

With the Pi in the case included in this kit, we could still plug everything in including the GPIO exansion cable and the MicroSD card.

 

The quick reference guides are a nice touch:

Its nice to have small guides like these laying around so that we don't have to go looking for some pdf on our hard drive or find the bookmark to a tutorial on some website.

 

Possible Areas of Improvement for the CanaKit Raspberry Pi B+ Ultimate Starter Kit:

We didn't really find any show stoppers in this kit, but there are maybe a few areas that might bother some people.

 

The chord for the power supply is a little light:

This really isn't an issue unless it gets caught under the foot of your office chair or it gets picked up in a vacuum cleaner. In most cases it should be just fine. The chord is just not as stout as your average phone charger for example.

The CanaKit Raspberry Pi B+ Ultimate Starter Kit comes with a 2.5 Amp MircoUSB Power Adapter

The jumper wires are male to male only:

Since the kit comes with the GPIO breakout kits, this isn't a big deal. You just will not be able to connect to the GPIO without using the GPIO breakout kit. We have a stock of female to male jumpers that we used before this kit arrived. Now that we have it, the male to male jumper wires will work just fine connecting to other prototype boards.

 

Breakout kit takes up 2/3 of the supplied breadboard:

The breakout kit makes connecting the RPi to a prototype circuit as simple as... well, pie. The prototype board that comes with the kit, though, only has 30 rows and the breakout kit takes up 20 of them. The markings for the pins on the breakout board are not very clear either. It would be better to just number the pins; especially with the quick reference card included in the kit. With the included jumper wires, its a simple thing to connect to other prototype boards. You can get more prototype boards like these HERE.

The CanaKit Raspberry Pi B+ Ultimate Starter Kit comes with a GPIO breakout kit.

No instructions in the kit for assembling the case:

There are some reviews out there saying the RPi doesn't fit well in the case in this kit. Perhaps some of those complaints are because there were no instructions in the kit itself. I suppose there probably are some on-line, but we didn't need them. There are, however, a couple tricks for putting the case together. See below from some SpazzTech Tips on putting this case together.

 

The NOOBS image was about 6 months old:

Having NOOBS pre-installed on a MicroSD card is a doubled edged swords.... That's too dramatic. Its more like a doubled edged butter knife. Having a pre-loaded image on a card allows us to get the Pi up and running fast. However, the image is going to be dates a little bit. Once you get the Pi connected to the Internet, however, you can bring your packages up to date with just a couple of commands. I ate dinner why my package updates downloaded and installed.

 

SpazzTech Tech Tip - Installing the Raspberry Pi B+ Into the CanaKit case:

  1. Don't insert anything into the Pi and don't install the heat sink until the case is assembled.
  2. Insert the Pi into the bottom of the case first. Ensure it is slid all the way into the little tabs on the case bottom.
  3. Ensure the Raspberry Pi B+ board is fully seated under the tabs of the CanaKit case base.
  4. Next place the main body of the case over the Pi so that the side with te HDMI and MicroUSB ports locks into place first. Its easier to lock down the opposite last than it is to lock down the HDMI port side last.
  5. Lock down the HDMI port side of the case for the Raspberry Pi B+ first.
  6. Push down the other side of the case until it snaps into place.
  7. Snap the other side of the CanaKit case to complete the assembly of the Raspberry Pi B+ case.Both sides of the Raspberry Pi B+ CanaKit case are locked into place.
  8. We are not using the heat sink, but if you are, keep it away from the capacitor C20. Its a tight fit. So be careful.

 

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