Category Archives: Customer Projects

A Raspberry Pi Computer in an Altoids Tin

Turning an Altoids Tin into a Raspberry Pi computer

Turning an Altoids Tin into a Raspberry Pi computer

Although Altoids, a brand of breath mints, has its origin in the UK, it is less widely available there than it is in the US. The mints come packaged within a distinctive tin case, which people commonly reuse for different purposes, mainly as a container for small household items such as sewing materials, coins, paper clips, among many other items.

DIY enthusiasts often find the tins eminently suitable to contain electronic projects. For instance, Texas Instruments makes the BeagleBones, a single board computer, with rounded corners deliberately shaped in, so it will fit within the tin box. You can easily use the Altoids tin for enclosing the CMoy pocket headphone amplifier. The design of some microcomputer kits allow them to fit perfectly in the Altoids tins.

All the above led M. Wagner to come up with an idea of housing a Raspberry Pi (RBPi) SBC within an Altoids tin box. With the release of the RBPi Zero, he firmed up the project, calling it the PiMiniMint. His first version of the PiMiniMint had a screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 32 GB storage, infrared camera, and a full-size USB port. However, he found no space for a battery—to add the battery, he needed to remove the camera. His latest version of the PiMiniMint has a battery that lasts about 6-8 hours, a 2-inch screen, 32 GB storage, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and an OTG cable serving as a full-sized USB port.

Wagner uses a 1200 mAh 3.7 V Li-Po battery for PiMiniMint. This thin, rechargeable battery fits easily under the RBPi inside the case. He has soldered the red and black wires from the battery to the ‘+’ and ‘—’ connection points on the charging circuit. Any 3.7 V Li-Po battery should work here, preferably thin ones that the tin can hold.

Although the RBPi runs at 5 V, the battery needs 3.7 V to charge. Li-Po batteries are notorious for exploding if overcharged for long or for not being charged properly. Adafruit has a circuit that both charges the Li-Po and steps up its voltage to 5 V for the RBPi. However, Wagner uses a cheaper option—a generic USB charger. He chose a USB charger with a 3.7 V battery and with an output of 5 V. Although these tiny chargers do require a bit of preparation and de-soldering to get them to work with the RBPi, they are much cheaper.

To fit into the Altoids tin case, Wagner chose to use the RBPi Zero. Usually, the RBPi models do not boot off a hard disk, but needs an SD card. Wagner used one that had a suitable OS on it. You can select the OS of your choice and load it into an SD card. As the RBPi Zero does not come with any header, it is necessary to solder a 2×40 male header on the RBPi to connect to the iotHAT.

The Redbear iotHAT is a little HAT for the RBPi Zero, sitting directly on top and interfacing with the RBPi. The HAT gives the RBPi Zero capabilities such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Wagner chose the 2-inch Adafruit NTSC/PAL screen simply because it fits the tin case.

A Drone-Disabler with the Raspberry Pi

Drones or quad-copters are now affordable, and it is possible to record unique perspectives using their high quality video transmissions. The FAA calls them the unmanned aircraft systems, and these have started posing new challenges to security, safety, and privacy. Experts have started cautioning pilots to consider the implications of the increase in drone usage. Apart from constant surveillance concerns, it is possible for hackers using roving drones to collect location information from mobile devices.

The above has given rise to a cottage industry for anti-drone technology. You can find these devices in a variety of sizes, from handheld tools to plane-mounted types. It is possible to build one using the popular single board computer, the Raspberry Pi (RBPi). However, this rig will work against only Wi-Fi controlled network-based quad-copters. Please be careful to use this technique only on networks and devices that you own, or have permission to experiment, as otherwise, it may be considered illegal.

Many quad-copters use Wi-Fi as the key interface for communication between its controller and the tablet displaying mapping and telemetry data. Others use Wi-Fi as the sole means of control, and existing network-based attacks can be used against these devices. Since modern drones can be treated as flying computers, the attacks developed for use against traditional computer systems are also effective against drones. To illustrate the project, the AR.Drone 2.0 is selected, as it is a low-cost drone with impressive features and sensors.

Using a smartphone, a user can connect to the AR.Drone 2.0 via an access point named ardrone2. It is easy to connect, as the access point is open by default, does not require authentication, and there is no encryption involved. As soon as the user connects to the device through the access point, launching an app allows control of the drone. Although convenient for the user, the process also makes it easy for others to take control of the drone.

Therefore, using a laptop computer or on an RBPi along with a USB Wi-Fi card and a new antenna, it is possible to attack and take over the controls of the drone. For instance, if a friend is flying the AR.Drone 2.0 using the app, the access point will show up in your available wireless network.

The RBPi uses two executable scripts, one to connect to the access point, and the other to disable the drone. Use the first to connect to the network and start up your favorite terminal application. Usually, the default gateway address for this network is As the access point is wide open on the drone system, it is possible to telnet to this address easily. Once you have access, you can proceed to explore the system, or to shut if off entirely.

This project needs a good antenna for effective connectivity. Connecting a good antenna to the wireless device can also extend its range. If you want a directional antenna, it is advisable to go for a cantenna, and you can easily make one from an available empty beer can. The cantenna will allow you control the selected drone without affecting any other device nearby.

Raspberry Pi Goes Binocular

This project uses the popular single board computer, the Raspberry Pi (RBPi) and a spare pair of binoculars to view and take pictures. The LCD on the RBPi is touch enabled to make it easy to capture the images.

To start with, you will need the appropriate Operating System for the RBPi. Download the Wheezy Raspbian OS from the Adafruit site, which will make it easy to interface the 2.8” TFT LCD with a capacitive touchscreen from Adafruit. Once download is complete, unzip the image and install it on the SD card. For the RBPi, you will need the Pi camera with its cable.

Make a suitable arrangement to mount the RBPi and LCD securely on the binoculars and place the camera on one of the eyepieces. This will tell you if the default cable that came with the camera is enough for the purpose or you need to order a longer one. A Wi-Fi dongle (USB type) makes the entire arrangement suitable for transmitting images over the net. In the absence of a Wi-Fi dongle, connect the RBPi to your network using an Ethernet cable.

To configure the RBPi, initially you may have to start with the Raspberry Pi Software Configuration Tool, by logging in and running the command “sudo raspi-config.” This will allow you to set the language, time zone, and keyboard layout according to preference. Additionally, you will also be able to enable the camera, set up the IP address, and the Wi-Fi credentials, which the RBPi will use to communicate.

You can mount the RBPi over the camera in a number of ways, depending on the material available. It is possible to do this with stiff cardboard, thin plywood, and tape. Measure the binoculars and the RBPi to make a suitable cutout in the cardboard. This may require using jigsaw, drill, or laser cutters. If you have access to a 3-D printer, take more accurate measurements, make a suitable image using engineering software, and print a template. Whatever the method of mounting, make sure the RBPi is secure and does not fall over.

Power up the RBPi and the camera and you should be able to see the image on the LCD screen. Place the camera on one of the eyepieces so that light passes through the binoculars and falls on the camera lens. Adjust the position of the camera until you see a well-defined circle on the screen. Now secure the camera to the eyepiece with tape.

For transportability, use a rechargeable battery pack to power the RBPi. For instance, a 2300 mAh battery pack will allow around two hours of operation. To prevent corruption of the SD card, program the RBPi for safe shutdown well before the two hours is over. If the battery pack is also mounted on the binoculars, the total weight may increase, making it difficult to hold and adjust. It might help to have the battery pack on a long enough USB cable, to allow the pack to be kept in the pocket.

It is necessary to connect the RBPi to the Internet if you want the images properly time-stamped. As the RBPi does not have an internal clock, it has to synchronize the date and time with the Internet connection.

Annoy-Pi: Using the Raspberry PI to Annoy Others

Most of us, as children, have made several attempts at annoying our neighbors. The electronically inclined have attempted circuits producing random chirps, which when hidden in cupboards, produced the most annoying effects. Another was a tiny coin-cell battery operated beeper that produced a beep every minute or so, designed to make people go crazy. Now, you can use the Raspberry Pi (RBPi), the popular single board computer, and try different programs to see which of them can produce the most annoying effect on people nearby.

The Annoy-Pi, as this project has been named, pseudo-randomizes both the duration of the beep, and the delay between them. Unlike the coin-battery operated beeper, where the beep could be anticipated every minute or so, the Annoy-Pi prevents the ability to expect the beep at definite intervals. The random pitch, lasting for a random period, also prevents the ability to identify the actual source of the sound.

As the beeps are noticeably different, the victim is unable to immediately identify that the sound comes from the same source, and instead chalks it up to something else entirely. Changing the pitch of the sound randomly queers the situation further. For instance, when the beeps are extremely short and high-pitched, a person might wonder if they just heard something, rather than long enough to really hear something and register it. Neighbors find this to be far more annoying and aggravating rather than regular tones and intervals.

Electronic circuits produce random chirps in different ways. One of the methods is to use two unsynchronized timers—one running at a much higher frequency than the other does. The timer running at a lower frequency uses a lossy capacitor, making its frequency unpredictable. The low frequency timer also triggers its companion, and as they are not synchronized, the triggering occurs at random intervals. You can use the same technique for programming Annoy-Pi.

In programming Annoy-Pi, the principle of threading helps the concept of generating random beeps to a large extent. The operating system keeps track of the threads, which allows the program to switch from one thread to another when necessary, and to come back to its original thread once again.

One way to do this would be to have a cron job running at boot time, with the script waiting for a random 2-5 minutes before actually beeping. The next part of the code may be involved in deciding whether to continue beeping or to stop. If the two are not related to one another, the effect will be random one.

However, with all the threads running simultaneously, you must be careful to not let the script pause or stop suddenly with the threads still running. The threads need to be closed first and only then should the script stop.

As the entire exercise is based on a program, you can try creating random threads to generate various types of beeps to annoy people. Apart from being a prank exercise, the project has a deeper purpose—of stimulating the thought process of the programmer towards generating innovative ideas.

Brixo, Toaster & Jet Pack: Crowdfunded Hardware Designs

New Crowdfunded Hardware Designs

If you possess an inventive streak, there are various places from where you can draw inspiration for your next big idea. Hardware designs on sites such as the Crowd Supply, Indiegogo, and Kickstarter can provide a spark to fire up your imagination and trigger a series of thoughts to lead you to your next discovery. Some inexpensive favorites are given below.

Legos on Steroids – Brixo

Brixo presents blocks similar to and compatible with those made by Lego, and the difference may not be apparent at first glance. A closer look reveals that Brixo has chrome plated many of their blocks. The special chrome plating conducts electricity and there are three unique connector blocks that Brixo has designed especially for performing specific functions. The three special blocks are the Connector, Trigger, and Action blocks. While the Connector blocks transmit power to the others, the Trigger blocks contain Bluetooth controller and other sensors such as sound, light, and proximity. The Action blocks have motors and lights within them.

The Starter kit comprises one battery case with BLE, one motor block, 20 4×1 blocks, two 2×2 blocks, 10 2×1 blocks, one light switch, and one LED. They offer other kits of increasing numbers of blocks – Standard kit, Makers’ kit, Expert kit, and The Mad Scientist kit. Brixo also offers a Classroom kit for 40 students.

The battery block with its 9 V internal battery powers your entire assembly. The built-in Bluetooth controller allows controlling actions with Brixo’s mobile application. Therefore, you can set the Action blocks to light up, spin, move, and take action using your smartphone. Brixo’s kits are great for learning about IoT and IFTTT.

Dual Output with Toaster

While testing electronic projects, there is usually a requirement for different supplies. For instance, digital circuits need 5 or 3.3 VDC, while analog circuits may require anything between 5-16 Volts. It is cumbersome having to plug in and operate several power supply units to get all the voltages necessary – hence the Toaster.

The Toaster is a single 50 x 25 mm board, and you can plug it into your breadboard. It powers up with either a single USB cable or a wall charger with 5 Volts. Once powered up, one rail on the breadboard will have a variable voltage that can be preset to anywhere between 3.3 and 5 Volts. The other rail can be preset to any voltage between 5 and 16 Volts. The input is protected with a 1.1 A resettable fuse.

Drive Motors with the Jet Pack

The Jet Pack is a motor shield for Arduino wireless programming. As the name implies, its wireless features eliminate the need to hook up the board physically to a computer for programming. That makes Arduino programming and development much easier and quicker. Bluetooth takes care of the data transfer and wireless programmability.

Depending on how you use it, the Jet Pack allows you to drive one stepper motor or two DC motors simultaneously. The creators of the Jet Pack also offer a Rover kit that makes the Jet Pack more robotics-friendly. With the Rover kit, you get all the parts necessary to build a basic remote controlled rover.

Pi-Top: Convert your Raspberry Pi into a Laptop

Although we call the Raspberry Pi or RBPi as a single board computer and it is small enough to fit in your pocket, it is hardly useful as a computer when you are on the move. This is mainly because the SBC comes without a keyboard, display, and mouse, intended to keep the costs down. However, if you are interested in turning your RBPi3 into a laptop, there is the Pi-Top.

You get everything necessary to turn your $35 single board computer into a laptop. For instance, you get a 13.3” HD LCD screen with an eDP interface and 1366×768 pixel resolution, which comes with an active 262K color matrix, anti-glare finish, and a 60 Hz refresh rate TFT LCD module. Additionally, you get a keyboard that is fully programmable via USB and a trackpad with a PalmCheck feature that helps prevent unwanted mouse clicks.

Although the Pi-Top converts the RBPI into a general-purpose laptop, its actual strength lies in its being a tinkerer’s toolkit. Pi-Top gives you great power management with LED battery indicators. The power supply requires an input capable of 18 V at 3 A, while it offers two outputs, one of 5 V, 3.5 A, and the other at 3.3 V, 500 mA. One good feature is the 3.3 V output is persistent. That means this voltage is available even when you have powered off the Pi-Top. Battery capacity is substantial, giving a run-time of 10-12 hours. There is protection for all outputs from over-current, over-voltage, over-temperature, and short-circuit. The smart battery pack uses a charging profile recommended by JEITA.

The hub-board of the Pi-Top has a screen driver that converts the HDMI output from the RBPi to the eDP 1.2 interface required by the LCD screen. It allows connection of UART, I2C, and SPI to the RBPi for use with add-on boards. There is even a PS/2 interface. The screen consumes 3 W, but you can dim it with a PWM screen dim control to make it consume less power.

Pi-Top comes with a manual to walk you through the assembly process in steps, while identifying clearly the part necessary to use at each stage. The manual has a pictorial guide to help in assembling the laptop. That makes the job relatively simpler. Since all the tools you need are already included, piecing together the case, cables, and boards into a working laptop is an unforgettable experience. However, you do need to be careful when tightening the smallish 2.5 mm nuts that hold the boards in place, as there are various electronic components on the boards.

Once assembled, the Pi-Top is an impressive sight, with its fluorescent green finish. The external case is injection-molded plastic and is sturdy enough to be travel-worthy. When powered on, you may be surprised at not seeing the familiar Linux-based Raspbian desktop on the screen. That is because the PI-Top re-skins the Raspbian desktop as the pi-topOS. Basically, they have added a launcher and configured the desktop to add a menu button at the bottom left corner – familiar to long-time Windows users with the Start menu.

Does the NexDock Work With The Raspberry Pi 3?

Although smartphones are getting smarter all the time, some of their landmark features limit their use as a laptop, two of them standing out prominently. One is the lack of a full-fledged keyboard and the other, a reasonably sized display screen. Therefore, although the smartphone has nearly the same computing powers as your laptop, it fails to compete successfully with a laptop or netbook.

To remedy the situation, you can take recourse to the lapdock. This is a mobile docking station with a built-in battery, a Bluetooth keyboard, and a 14” LCD monitor. While you can connect your smartphone or tablet to the lapdock, it also allows you to dock your single board computer such as the Raspberry Pi or RBPi with equal ease. The lapdock can make use of any device that has an HDMI output.

NexDock is a budget lapdock with a built-in battery that supplies 3.8 V with a capacity of 10,000 mAH. It provides the user with a Bluetooth keyboard, a 14” display, two USB ports, and one micro SD card slot. NexDock has two small loudspeakers built-in, but you can use headphones on the 3.5 mm socket. This is a revolutionary concept helping to harness the productivity of single board computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Single board computers such as the RBPi3 come with an HDMI output. That makes the RBPi3 a suitable candidate for use with the NexDock. As the NexDock uses the operating system of the RBPi, you can use either Linux or Windows 10 easily. An advantage with using the Windows 10 is its Continuum feature, which allows switching between touch and desktop modes. Using NexDock with the iPhone or Android provides the user with a substantial screen size and upgrades the productivity.

This revolutionary budget concept allows you to have the best of both worlds with an SBC, a smartphone, tablet or mini PC. Simply plug in your device and continue to work with it without fear of the battery running out of juice. The massive battery in the NexDock lasts for days on one charge. That means you now have a powerful laptop to take anywhere and do anything along the way. The device measures 351 x 233 x 20 mm, and weighs 1,490 gm. Most of this weight is due to the generously sized battery with a capacity of 10,000 mAH. The display screen is 14.1 inch TN, with a resolution of 1,366 x 768 pixels.

Although the main functionality of the NexDock is boosting mobile productivity, it can also serve to turn your RBPi into a full-fledged computer. However, you can also use it as a secondary portable monitor, a game controller for your iPhone or use it as a dual-screen for AirPlay-enabled games.

For the future, the company is planning to build high-end mini-computers, where you can swap parts. These will have the capability to connect with devices via a single USB-C port. This will serve to reduce the cost of upgrading your computer, as the process serves to separate components that need frequent updates from those that do not. Therefore, while you retain the keyboard, display and the battery, you can update the processor, memory, and operating system as you wish.

How Can I Protect My Raspberry Pi?

By connecting the Single Board Computer to the Internet, you actually run the risk of compromising your Raspberry Pi or RBPi to different types of attacks from malicious persons. However, as several advantages of an Internet connection far outweigh such risks from attackers, there is merit in looking for ways to mitigate them. Spain Hardware from Madrid is venturing on a Kick Starter project to enable hardware protection for the RBPi.

When your RBPi requires secure communication, you can rely on the PiSec module, from Spain Hardware, to provide the necessary assistance. PiSec, being a protecting module, uses its own hardware to protect and encrypt all the inputs and outputs on the RBPi. PiSec protects the RBPi from all angles – SD card, USB, and Ethernet, offering a strong hardware base security that includes Elliptic curves and AES-256 XTS.

PiSec, based on a True Random Number Generator, works by generating safe and strong encryption keys and certificates. Internally, PiSec uses a protected file system that it protects with an internal certificate making it impervious to unauthorized access. The processor on board the PiSec module makes use of Elliptic Curve Cryptography to reduce its own overhead and speed up the process of verification.

PiSec provides protection complying with certificates such as the AES 256-bit XTS Military Grade Encryption and X.509. Repeated attempts after a predefined number of unsuccessful attempts to gain access to the RBPi results in the PiSec automatically blocking access. This helps in preventing DoS or Denial-of-Service and brute force attacks.

Typically, you can use your RBPi right out of its box, including its Ethernet connection, the USB ports, and its SD card. You can use the SBC to collect, store, and transfer data, but the RBPi handles all this using clear text, which anyone can intercept and read. You can use your tiny but powerful computer in several ways, for instance, as a standalone PC as a storage system, data logger, and standalone server, a device to control complex systems/machines, or used with licensed software. In all these cases, it will certainly hurt your business if your data is exposed and someone sniffs the actuator or the sensor communication lines and steals your telemetry.

There are several ways to achieve security through software generated keys and certificates. However, relying on a hardware solution is a far better solution, as most of such software solutions do not use a true random generated number. PiSec offers this strong protection security to the entire RBPi, including all devices on its SPI bus, without overloading the processor of the RBPi, nor collapsing its OS. Being a hardware solution, it is simple enough to plug the PiSec on your RBPi, without any necessity of a learning curve or any previous experience on security.

Features of the PiSec include a TRNG or true random number generator. It obtains the random seed from on-board white noise generators that are FIPS and AIS 31 compliant, and with a very high entropy level. TRNG is crucial to creating strong secure keys and certificates.

Sleep Better with a Raspberry Pi

Sleep is an integral part of our lives, and lack of quality sleep quickly leads to a whole host of issues related to physical, emotional, behavioral, etc. Quality sleep is linked to a good environment that includes proper bedding, clothing, temperature, humidity, and lighting among other things. Although electronics may not be able to help much with the proper choice of bedding and clothing, a cheap but versatile single board computer such as the RBPi or Raspberry Pi is a good contender for controlling temperature, humidity and lighting during sleep hours.

When using the RBPi for controlling the environment of the bedroom, it is necessary to build an RBPi-based temperature-monitoring network in the house. This helps to get some hard data on the existing temperature trends at different places, so it will be easy to know whether the solutions tried did actually work. Since temperature is to be monitored at different places at the same time, it is necessary to use remote sensors.

You can use temperature sensors such as the single-wire DS18B20 thermometers for inexpensive and accurate temperature measurement. This model has two types of sensors – transistor-sized and waterproof, and you can use either for the purpose. However, people have found the waterproof sensors were easier to position and calibrate, and they were slightly more accurate as well.

Testing the sensors on the RBPi is simple as this SBC supports the DS18B20 sensors by the built-in w1-gpio library. The RBPi allows easy readouts of the 1-Wire devices. You can wire up a few DS18B20s to multiple RBPI, Model A+ and position them at all main parts of the house. It also helps to integrate data from your Nest Thermostat API, if you are using this and collect the local outdoor temperature data as well – use the Weather Underground, for instance. Monitor the temperatures from the different sensors on a rolling 24-hour graph, and you can make out if there is a trend.

It is possible to even out temperature variations in the house by sealing vents and leakages in areas where the temperature dips. However, this may not be enough to raise the temperature to comfortable levels at locations distant from central heating ducts. Moreover, not all walls of the house may receive equal amounts of sunlight, and this may be another reason for the temperature dropping in certain rooms after sunset.

You can use unobtrusive wall-mounted space heaters to boost the temperature up in these areas. Usually, these are slabs of stone with heating wires running through them. Stone has high thermal capacity, meaning it retains and radiates heat for a long time. This arrangement is also safe for use in children’s bedrooms. When used on a thermostat-triggered outlet, the heater only turns on at a select temperature that you choose. You can fine-tune the settings after monitoring the temperature data for a couple of nights.

This project is useful if you are planning to have an extended network, with remote-controlled HVAC using branch air ducts. Individual controls on the branch ducts can control the airflow, so the system efficiency goes up, such as by turning down the airflow to sections of the house where there is no one present.

The Popp-Hub Home Automation Gateway with the Raspberry Pi

Sometimes it is necessary to monitor the home remotely, such as when you are away on a vacation. For this, you need to hook up all the sensors in the home to the Internet for remote monitoring and control. To avoid the complexity of wiring, people prefer wireless devices for monitoring the sensors. As wireless devices could also be in the form of nodes, with each node monitoring multiple sensors, you need a gateway acting as a bridge for connecting many wireless nodes to the Internet.

Launched by Z-Wave Europe and Popp & Co., Popp Hub is one such home automation gateway. What distinguishes it from others available on the market is it is based on the famous Single Board Computer, the Raspberry Pi or RBPi running Linux. The Z-Wave Plus home automation Popp Hub supports Z-Wave and IP smart devices.

The reference design of the Popp Hub gateway includes a software stack certified by the ZigBee Home Automation. It also includes tens of APIs for simplifying the ZigBee integration and the development of applications within a Linux system. The APIs incorporate TCP/IP for the ZigBee bridge as this enables easier integration of low power connectivity solutions and faster development of applications. The included USB dongle is CC2531-based and it runs the ZigBee HA1.2 certified Protocol Stack, MAC and PHY – this has been extensively tested for interoperability.

Z-Wave Europe GmbH is Europe’s largest distributor for all devices based on the Z-Wave wireless technology. They sell and distribute the Popp Hub smart IP home gateway on behalf of the UK-based Popp & Co. The Single Board Computer RBPi2 in the Popp Hub runs the Z-Way Middleware. According to Z-Wave Europe, Z-Way Middleware happens to be the first Z-Wave controller certified to the new standard, the Z-Wave Plus.

Z-Wave Europe claims you can connect Z-Wave wireless enabled devices sourced from more than 300 device manufacturers to the 89x71x25mm Popp Hub. These devices could be remote controlled devices, for windows and blinds, alarms, lighting, security or HVAC. Additionally, Popp Hub is capable of working with several non Z-Wave devices as well, such as IP based devices, plugins and IP cameras.

Users can use a mobile Android or iOS application, a remote control or a single wall switch to control up to 230 Z-Wave devices connected to the Popp Hub. This includes features such as selectively activating the heating system or closing windows automatically depending on changes in the weather conditions. If a sensor device has set off any alarms, you will receive a notification from the application.

The RBPi2 is a 900MHz, quad-core Cortex-A7 SoC that runs on 1GB of RAM and Linux-based firmware. All major ports of the RBPi are exposed to the user. Besides, it has an audio jack, an Ethernet port and four USB ports. You can use Wi-Fi or other wireless devices on the USB ports. The internal SD slot handles the 8GB SD card that holds the Operating System.

Within the Popp Hub, a Sigma Designs SM5202 chip augments the basic RBPi2 functionality. This is a static controller certified by Z-Wave Plus and it provides 48 command classes and adds enhanced security.