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Raspberry Pi 4 first impressions

January 04, 2021 — BarryK

Yesterday posted a proposed purchase-list of Raspberry Pi4 and support items:

Today bought them. I mentioned yesterday that had ordered a barrel-socket to USB Type-C plug adapter from China, so that I can use my 5V @ 6A power supply with the Pi4:

But today bought the official 5V @ 3A supply, so as to get up and running straight away. Surprised how small it is, wonder if it can really deliver 3A.

This post is just a quick report on setting up the Pi. I thought that it would just be a few minutes, plug everything together and power-on, however, took a bit longer...

That laminated acrylic case was a bit of a headache, quite poorly designed. Here is an end-on photo, note the bend of the top laminate:


The phone wide-angle lens does distort images a bit, but apart from that, there is a definite curve on the top laminate. This is due to the USB sockets being higher than the ethernet socket. Also along the bottom, the USB sockets are not in a straight line with the bottom of the ethernet socket.

I am wondering if the board layout changed a bit since the case was designed. Anyway, I fixed it with a bit of surgery on the clear layer on the bottom of the USB and ethernet sockets. Used a file so that the ethernet socket can sit a bit lower:


...actually, filed it a bit more after taking that photo, almost halfway through. Also chamfered the front edge -- notice that the USB sockets have a little lip on top and bottom -- the top lips were able to sit just on the outside, however, the bottom lips needed the chamfer.

Due to this messing around, cannot recommend this case.

Another thing that I did not like, and I know that this is just aesthetics, but didn't like the power plug for the fan sticking up out of the case. Just now reminded of my Hardkernel ARM board, that has dedicated socket for the fan power, and also mounting holes on the board for the fan, and spring-loaded screws to attach the fan -- so professional.

Photo shows the "aesthetically unpleasing" wiring for the fan:


Plugged everything together, works great, snappy performance running Raspberry Pi OS (Raspian):


The fan is a little bit noisy. As it sits only a few millimetres above the chips, there is no room for heatsinks, but that closeness does ensure good airflow over the chips.

I would like to thank Michael, David, Paul, Feodor and Sage, for hardware suggestions.

Just for the record, the Hardkernel board that I was referring to is this one, that I bought in 2016:

...pity it is only a 32-bit CPU.    

Tags: tech