Re: RPi models


A key reason to get a 4B is so you can run things on a 4B.  If somebody on the group says “it ain’t working” about some app or another, and you come back with a “sure it is”, it is good to be able to qualify with a sure-it-is on a 3B+ or 4B or both or some such.  In each revision, the computer has gotten more powerful.  They keep solving problems and improving, at the expense of previous problems and previous stability.   I like that they keep adding new features while keeping the price the same.  

I figure that by the time the Raspberry Pi 5 comes out in 2021 or so, the 4B will have most of it’s problems worked out, worked around, or at least understood, and the people who came into the hobby between 2019 and 2021 will be all about how unstable the 5 is and how damned are the people who want to move beyond the 4.  haha. 

I’d go with the latest and greatest.  For me it is silly to get the older one.  Most of the newbs will get the new one if only because the old one is harder to find and runs a little slower.  The accessories will be focused on the new one.  IF your hobby has participant churn, or expands (in participants), eventually more people will have newer units than older.  That means testing of accessories and apps will be focused on the new one.  Bugs will be fought using the new ones.  

I have a 6 year old ham radio project that runs on Raspberry PIs connected to each other over cheap modems across VHF and UHF FM radios over a 5 county region in central North Carolina.  We have about 25 connected participants, and another 190 who are disparate.  Our group now has its own modem hardware, and our own UI based on Tornado and Python, our own UPS.  This has been (and hopefully will continue to be) an amazing experience.  Part of my thing is technical support and documentation.  I maintain a web page at and another at  about the same project.  I have to (and enjoy) test each of the variants of the Raspberry PI and get our installer and run-time scripting to work on different Raspberry PIs.  I support the B, Bv2, 2B, 3B, 3B+, 4B.  
The biggest differences were 
28 vs 40 pin expansion bus
I2C bus moved between the A and B, which is why we dismissed the A and earlier.  
adding Bluetooth, because it changed the expansion bus serial port compatibility, between 2B and older, and 3B and newer.  
Adding WiFi, because we didn’t need dongles anymore
Upping the power supply voltage because 5v [apparently] caused SDcard corruption starting at the 3B or 3B+.  
Changing power connectors and video outputs between 3B+ and 4B

There have been bugs all along too.  The serial port thing on the 3B took a while to settle out.  The OS changed the way we launch background apps.  
On the 4B, one of the two video outputs is inactive in NOOBS.  That has caused some grief!   
4B wants a little heatsink where the older Raspberry PI would run ok without them (if the units were operated indoors)
Setting the video output on 4B to specific screen resolution(s?) causes and RF spur sufficient to impact WiFi reception!  

And so on.  
   Have fun!    Tadd / KA2DEW

Tadd / KA2DEW
Raleigh NC  FM05pv

“Packet networking over ham radio":
North Carolina Packet Radio Network:
Local Raleigh ham radio info:

On Dec 5, 2019, at 8:54 AM, Mark Griffith via Groups.Io <mdgriffith2003@...> wrote:

As I said, there will be many lurkers who will want to correct me.  I am "in the loop".  Perhaps not the same on as you.

Just sayin'

Mark Griffith

On Thursday, December 5, 2019, 7:31:53 AM CST, colin humphries <3humps@...> wrote:

If there is "nothing wrong with it" then you clearly aren't "in the loop"  reference the choice of 4K OR WiFi can't have both. Might want to check you facts, just saying.

On Thu, Dec 5, 2019, 05:56 Mark Griffith via Groups.Io <> wrote:

The Raspberry Pi mini-computers are a continuing effort by the Raspberry Pi Foundation.  They will release new versions as their development progresses just like all manufacturers.

The Raspberry Pi4 is just the latest one.  There are no problems with it, just some people complaining that it's different.  It was developed mostly for the people that want to do a lot of video processing, gaming, and very highly CPU intensive things.  If you don't need to do highly intensive processing, you really don't need to get one.

The only advantage of the Pi4 over a Pi 3B+ is more CPU speed, much faster processing due to changes in the hardware and 2 HDMI video ports instead of one.  Also some better USB support for faster HD access.  The Pi4 also has some better WiFi capabilities, but just minimally better.

These differences aren't going to make your APRS function better, or your radio more sensitive.

The Pi3B+ only advantage over a Pi3 is 5GHz WiFi capabilities and better USB support.

I've simplified the differences here.  I'm sure there will be lots of group members to correct me, but the point is, you don't need to upgrade to newer hardware if you are perfectly satisfied with a Pi3 or even a Pi2.  The Raspberry Pi Foundation is still producing all the older versions and they are still available to buy.

For example, the PiGate emergency email system can run perfectly well on a Pi3, 3B+ or 4.  It won't work *AS* well on an older Pi2 or B+ because they don't have built-in WiFi.  You can add WiFi in the form of a dongle, but then getting the correct driver is a problem.  Not so with all the newer devices as the driver is the same on all.  That is the advantage of using the newer hardware.  I only have a Pi4 to make sure my software runs on it as I know people will want to do that.  All my personal PiGate devices all run on a Pi3.

If you want to use a Pi4, just because you want to, you'll probably have to get a new case, and maybe a case with a fan since they do get a little warm.  But you really don't need a fan unless you are going to do CPU intensive processing.  I have one that I use for development, in a case without a fan, and it has had no issues for months of continuous use.  I moved it to a case with a fan just to see what difference that would make, and it did reduce the temperature, but to the Pi4, it really didn't make any difference.  It worked the same as before.

The same heating issue also applies to all the earlier versions too.  You'll need a new case only because the case opening to access the HDMI ports on the older cases won't work on the Pi4.  That's the only issue.  Some manufacturers are talking about the heating issue so they can sell their special cases.  If a shiny aluminum case for $20 for your $55 computer makes you feel better, go for it.  I applaud the efforts of people to make a buck if they can.

The bottom line is if you don't want to buy the "latest and the greatest", don't.  You will be able to buy and old Pi3 for years.


On Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 6:53:10 PM CST, Michael WA7SKG <wa7skg@...> wrote:

I've seen a lot of comments about issues with the Raspberry Pi 4, like
cases not fitting, needing cooling, etc. For all the stuff I've been
doing, my collection of RPi3B+ have been working fine. Other than
keeping up with the Joneses, is there a burning need to upgrade my
units? They work fine for the various applications, like APRS and
monitoring things, that I use. Are RPi3B+ still available? Or has
production/distribution ceased when the 4s came out?

tnx es 73,

Michael WA7SKG

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