The Raspberry Pi 3 has been released for a while now and there are many accessories that you can purchase for it: camera’s, wifi adapters, case’s, LCD screens. Today I want to list the 3 must have Raspberry Pi 3 accessories that I think every user needs. I will be discussing my favorite Raspberry Pi 3 case, Add-On WiFi adapter and my favorite Raspberry Pi 3 camera.
Might as well start the list off with the Official Raspberry Pi 3 case. This case is the official case from the Raspberry Pi Foundation and comes with a removable top lid and side panels. The removable top lid will give you easy access to the camera and display ports. The official Raspberry Pi case comes in multiple colors and the one I have pictured is a White/Red combination which really pops out and has a modern feel to it. Since this was designed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation your Pi will fit perfectly in the bottom and will be a snug fit. Unlike some of other cases which screw the Pi down, this one just pops into the plastic inserts.
The one downside is the ventilation isn’t the best. This case doesn’t include any heat-sinks and you might want to invest in some heat-sinks to put over the two processors on the board to help dissipate some of the heat that is generated when using the Pi. If you are just using your Raspberry Pi as a small server or not doing any crazy computing on it, which will use a lot of power and generate more heat, then I think you will be okay with the heat. If you are worried about ventilation you can pop off the removable side panels to get the air flowing inside of the case.
Another complaint about this case is that it does not have key-slots on the bottom of the case for wall-mounting. If you don’t plan on hanging the Raspberry Pi on the wall then this really isn’t an issue. You can also just use some Velcro and it will hang on the wall with no issues. This is what I ended up doing for my Raspberry Pi server and it works with no issues.
Overall, I think if you are looking for a cheap case and like the White/Red combination then this is a decent Raspberry Pi case. It may not be the coolest case on the block but it gets the job done and will protect your project from getting damaged.
I know what you are thinking, the Raspberry Pi 3 comes with an onboard WiFi adapter, why would I need another one? The answer is because it sucks, or I should say the range is not the best. The onboard Wifi adapter on the Raspberry Pi 3 works great for when your Raspberry Pi is close to your network router but if you plan on putting your Raspberry Pi 3 on the other side of your house you may need to get a WiFi adapter.
The Alpha AWUS036H WiFi adapter is one of the most popular choices for pen-testing and connecting to your WIFi at home. It has great range and can pick up signals up to a block away without much loss. It also includes settings for increasing the power of the WiFi signal to connect to networks further away.
When you purchase from Amazon there are a few choices that you can buy. Some of them come with a holder and flex cable which are not necessary. I bought the model that comes with the 5dBi and 7dBi antennas. The 7dBi antenna is a directional antenna meaning it can get better signals depending on which way it’s facing. The reviews for the 9dBi antenna are not the best, so I personally wouldn’t recommend it. The only other downfall with the Alfa AWUS036H is it is not compatible is 802.11 N signals, which may be an issue if a network is setup for only 802.11N
If you are looking for a WiFi adapter that works perfectly on the Raspberry Pi and has great reviews then you can’t go wrong with the Alfa AWUS036H WiFi adapter
The Pixy camera module has been getting very popular lately and there has been many write-ups about it. It has a button you can push to “teach” it objects which you can program your projects to either follow the object or identify it. It includes libraries for the Arduino and Raspberry Pi. The Pixy camera includes mounting hardware to attach Pixy to your robot creation. The firmware, software and hardware are open source and constantly updated.
There are many mounting options. One of them is this which has a servo for pan/tilt. I think this camera is very neat and the resolution is okay for a basic robot. I would use this camera module for more advanced projects which include project tracking or avoidance especially since it includes libraries for the Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Definitely check this camera out if you are making any type of robot project.