What you will need:
1. A Raspberry Pi 3 (I’m using the
2. MicroSD Card (recommended at
least 8 GB)
3. HDMI Cable
4. Micro USB Power Supply
(recommended 5V 2.5A)
5. USB Mouse
6. USB Keyboard
7. Monitor (HDMI compatible)
You can take a look at these required
materials shown in Figure 1.
The microSD card is something that
you might have laying around the house or
can find at a local electronics store. You’ll
need the microSD card adapter as well (the
bigger SD card that the microSD card can
plug into). You’ll use it to install NOOBS
(New Out Of Box Software) which makes
installing Raspbian — the preferred
operating system for the Pi — a lot easier.
Note that an operating system is
essentially the software of a computer that allows it to run
basic functions. For example, you’ve probably heard of
Windows 10 or remember those iOS updates for your
iPhone. So, NOOBS is essentially software
to help install other software.
Anyway, you can buy a microSD card
with NOOBS pre-installed if you really want
(refer to the Parts List), but we’ll learn how
to install it onto a microSD card later.
The HDMI cable is likely a common
household item nowadays. If you own a
PS3 or an HDTV, they probably came with
an HDMI cable. Otherwise, a quick search
online should be pretty straightforward.
The micro USB power supply turns out
to be something that most of us have seen
before, as well. You can find an official RPi
3 power supply listed in the Parts List, but
you can also use an old Samsung S3
charger or a portable phone charger. Since
the Pi can run a relatively large number of
peripherals, the idea is that you want to
supply it with at least 2.5A (that is, amps) of
power, but the alternatives suggested were
only 1A each (enough for powering the Pi
and a camera module). If you look at your
charging device, you’ll usually find printed
output values you can check (Figure 2).
The USB keyboard and mouse are the
standard ones you likely have connected to your home
desktops right now. Wireless keyboards and mice should
work as well if they’ve already been paired.
Finally, if you know you don’t have a
spare HDMI monitor, try checking the ports
on your TV. Otherwise, you’ll want to look
into finding a converter from VGA or DVI
Let’s get started! You’ll need to first
install NOOBS on your microSD card. This
installation consists of two major steps:
formatting your microSD card; and actually
installing the NOOBS files.
Insert your microSD into your
computer that’s connected to Wi-Fi. You’re
going to download a formatting tool
provided by the SD Association (see
Resources). If the link fails, simply go to
sdcard.org and find the Downloads page at
the top. Scroll down on the page and click
the Accept button to begin downloading a
zip file (Figure 3).
Once that has downloaded, open the
file and click all the Yes and Next buttons
the wizard throws your way. The
SDFormatter tool should now be available
for you to use.
Open it (if you have Windows 10, it
should be in the Start menu). A window
May/June 2018 59
FIGURE 1. Layout of the required materials (Wi-Fi not pictured).
Look on the charger for the
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