The Raspberry Pi foundation announced it’s latest member of the Raspberry Pi family, the Model A+. This is a departure from the usual credit card form factor, in that they’ve managed to knock off 20mm from the length, resulting in a very nice 65x56mm form factor.
With the announcement on Monday, I placed an order for a couple, and Tuesday morning a package arrived in from Element 14.
There is a big similarity between the Model B+ and the Model A+, in that the Model A+ looks like a cut down version of the Model B+, in the same way that the Model A looked like a cut-down version of the Model B.
So the main changes from the A to the A+ are:
- A 40-pin GPIO header replaces the Model A’s 26-pin GPIO
- A microSD slot in place of the full-size SD slot in the Model A
- A 3.5mm jack now has Stereo audio and Composite video as opposed to separate connectors
- A new, more efficient power management circuit, reducing power consumption by about 25%
The following picture shows the similarities in layout with the Model B+, and and also the size difference (Model B+ on top).
I joked in a recent post about the Model A that it would inspire a whole deluge of small form-factor media centres, so here’s a pic of a 3D printed case I’m working on. All the relevant ports come out once side, which is ideal to keep them hidden at the back of the machine.
I also did a quick power measurement comparing the Model B+ to the Model A+.
Using a 5v bench power supply, the Model B+ averaged at 220mA during boot, settling to 190mA at idle. The Model A+ averaged 110mA during boot, settling to 80mA at idle when booted. This was without any display or USB device connected.
So the Model B+ idles at just under a watt (0.97) and the new Model A+ idles at 0.41 watts. Pretty impressive!
Initial impressions are great, nice form factor, it’s excellent that its form-factor and pin compatible with the Model A+, and this also means that it will work with all the Raspberry Pi HATS out there without modification. And the low power means it’s great for battery-driven projects.
And here’s another iteration of the case. Next is to add a clear acrylic laser-cut cover with nice shiny stainless steel hex head bolts! 🙂