RPi Buying Guide

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Getting Started:

Buying Guide - for advice on buying the Raspberry Pi.

SD Card Setup - for information on how to prepare the SD Card used to boot your Raspberry Pi.

Basic Setup - for help with buying / selecting other hardware and setting it up.

Beginners Guide - you are up and running, now what can you do?

Advanced Setup - for more extensive information on setting up.

Trouble Shooting - some things to check if things don't work as expected.


Ordering

Raspberry Pi has appointed Premier Farnell and RS Components as its authorised manufacturing distributors.

If you see the units for sale from other sources (in particular eBay), it is likely that they are at BEST hopeful resellers, or SCAM sites, either way units will not be available any sooner than through the above distributors, or you will pay far more than it is worth (if you get it at all).

Raspberry Pi's distributors will ship worldwide to the best of their ability (ie subject to origin export and local import laws).

Countries that are currently subject to UK (including EU and UN) export restrictions include North Korea, Iran, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Zimbabwe. A full list and further details are provided at [1]

For shipping costs, please refer to the websites of the authorised resellers.

Premier Farnell Worldwide

Premier Farnell also trades worldwide under the names Farnell, Element14, Newark Electronics, CPC and MCM Electronics.

RS Components Worldwide

RS Components also trades worldwide under the names Electrocomponents, Allied Electronics and DesignSpark.


Sales order numbers

  • Allied Electronics: 70229569
  • CPC Farnell: SC12590
  • Farnell, Element 14: 2081185 or 83T1943
  • FarnellNewark.br: currently unknown
  • Newark: 83T1943
  • RS, Electrocomponents: currently unknown


Australia

Brazil

Bulgaria

Cambodia

Both distributors ship from their Singapore depot:

Canada

China

Denmark

France

(March 3, 2012 at 9:55 am: Reports that RS requires company details; Farnell postage is expensive)

Germany

Hong Kong

Hungary

Italy

Note: The VAT number is mandatory to complete the pre-order with Farnell, the same is for the registration to the RS website (i.e. you have to register as a company).

India

Indonesia

Ireland

Japan

Korea

Laos

Both companies supply from their Singapore depot:

Malaysia

Myanmar

Mexico

Netherlands

New Zealand

Phillipines

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russia

Singapore

Spain

Sweden

Taiwan

Thailand

Ukraine

UK

USA

Vietnam

Both distributors supply from their Singapore depots:

Other

Please carefully check whether any of the following companies operate in your territory:

If not, you can use the export service of the following companies. There will be extra shipping and duties to be paid when using this option.

1st Production Run & Release

The initial 10,000 RaspberryPi Boards have sold out. Preorders for coming batches are possible.
  1. The foundation have built an initial run of 10,000 Model-B units.
  2. Due to extreme demand, the units will be NOT sold directly from the shop (see #Licensed Manufacture below).
  3. You may buy a Raspberry Pi from Farnell or from RS Components
  4. A limit of one unit per person - unfortunately this also means no combined shipping for this batch (demand depends how long this will be enforced)*
  5. Normal unlimited sales should take place quickly after.
* There were reports that several people ordered multiple units at launch,
  however it appears that Farnell removed any excess items when they reviewed
  and confirmed the order for shipping dates.
  This has also appears to apply for the pre-orders they have taken.

1st Batch Order FAQ

NOTE: While every attempt has been made to provide accurate information,
      this FAQ is not official and is based on what information is available at the time of writing.

Press Releases

Farnell:

Post-Launch FAQ by Farnell, see their attached docx file for details.


RS Components:

Post-Launch statement by RS Components

Raspberry Pi, Your Questions Answered by RS Components

Q: Couldn't this have been handled better, I couldn't get on the site to order and they sold too quickly?

Both distributors were indeed unprepared for the volume of traffic the launch generated (they were warned by the foundation before hand).

Chances are if the foundation had gone with their original plan of selling through their own shop, the situation would have been far worse, with no option of pre-order either.

The distributors only have 5,000 units each to sell, reports have estimated the registered interest/pre-orders totalling over 2 million (no official figures available yet). Even if it is half of that, it means the number of available units was less than 1% of the demand.


Q: If interest was obviously so high...why only build 10,000 units?

There is a big risk involved with building a large batch of units and selling them, and 10,000 units would take well over $250,000 in capital investment. For a very small charity, that is a massive ask in itself. Much of that funding came from the Foundation Trustees' own personal investment.

Thankfully, the massive bonus of licensing out manufacture, is that the build rate is no longer limited by the foundation's own funding, which means there will be many more units available much sooner.

Q: I've been unable to register an account with the distributor, as I am not a company?

There have been several reported problems with individuals placing orders (i.e. not having company accounts or details).

Both distributors "should" take orders from individuals, however it appears each of the different localised sites may have different requirements so this will be investigated to ensure that this is corrected if needed.

Often, many of the company related fields on application are optional, if in doubt contact their sales team for help.


Q: Worldwide launch? It was not available here!

The distributors decided to make the units only available from selected locations, it appears the foundation were not made aware of this beforehand.

Considering the small number of available units, it would have been unlikely to have improved the situation.

Worldwide availability will be monitored, it is expected that they will be made available as soon as possible.


Q: The price for the RPi from Farnell verses the price from RS Components is different, why?

RS Components (at least for the UK) do not include shipping costs for non-corporate accounts. Farnell (again for the UK) will ship for free.


Q: I've only been able to register my interest, what now?

Be patient, both distributors have said they will contact people when they have more details (alternatively keep an eye on their sites for news).

RS Components, in particular have only taken people's details, and according to the above press-release will wait until they receive their allocated 5,000 units.


Q: I registered on the Raspberry Pi Site's Mailing List but I didn't get an email

Unfortunately, the mail server had problems with sending out the 100K+ emails in time, it is believed the email was often marked as spam by a lot of email systems so was rejected or returned on-mass, or sent to Junk folders. Yes, this system should have been tested, but the foundation were keen not to send unnecessary emails to people prior to launch.

The email contained the same information about the announcement as was publicly posted on the website (28th Feb 2012) before launch day, no additional or extra information was given through the email.

Licensed Manufacture

The foundation has chosen to license manufacture of the RPi, which should provide several advantages including:

  1. The involvement of RS Components and Premier Farnell means that build volume can be increased much, much faster than would have been possible otherwise. Due to costs and working capital, the foundation would have been limited to batches of only 10k Raspberry Pis; the Raspberry Pi will now be being built to match demand.
  2. Both Premier Farnell and RS Components have worldwide distribution networks, so wherever you are in the world, you will be able to buy from a local distributor. It’s a much better way for you to buy than getting them all shipped from the Foundation in the UK.
  3. Both RS Components and Premier Farnell will be taking preorders, something which the foundation would otherwise be unable to do.
  4. The foundation will still receive a percentage from the sale of every RPi sold, which will be put straight back into the charity.
  5. Primarily, by removing the focus on dealing with manufacture, distribution and sales, this frees up the limited resources of the foundation to focus on the original aims and goals of the project.

Additional detail is available in the video interview between Eben Upton and SlashDot here (28/02/12).



What You Get In The Box

This is unconfirmed until units start to ship:

1. Pre-Assembled Raspberry Pi board

2. Quick Start Guide (likely to be paper copy of RPi Model-AB Guide)

Note:

1. The board will be supplied assembled (since most of the components are not suitable for home builds, including the BGA[1]package mounted SoC[2] and PoP[3] memory).

2. The board will NOT have GPIO or JTAG header pins (are not supplied, although may be available from the shop later on).

3. The board will NOT have CSI and DSI connectors fitted (needs confirmation).

4. All other connectors will be assembled in place.

Accessories

Some accessories will be made available from the shop (farnell have several bundles planned):

  • USB Power Supply (UK/EU/US Compatible)[4]
  • Pre-Prepared System SD-Card (software will be provided to prepare your own) -size is unconfirmed
  • Cases (will be available in a few months - i.e. Q2 2012)
  • AddOn/Expansion Boards (will be available later on - i.e. GertBoard due soon)

See Typical Hardware You Will Need for details about other items you may require.

Price

Although the foundation is UK based, the guide price of the units are in USD since the RPi components are sourced in USD$.

The price is $25USD (~£16GBP) for model A, and $35USD (~£23GBP) for model B.

Items will be subject to local Tax (i.e. UK will have 20% VAT added) and shipping cost is not included.

Clones & Copies

The foundation plans to release all the required schematics and plans to reproduce the RPi hardware, so clones and copies will be welcome.

However, since the unit is built around the Broadcom SoC, the interested party will require suitable sized orders to obtain them. The foundation were fortunate enough to be supported in this aspect by Broadcom to enable the project to be feasible.


References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ball_grid_array
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_on_a_chip
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Package_on_package
  4. http://www.raspberrypi.org/forum/general-discussion/is-the-raspberrypi-going-to-be-sold-as-a-kit/#p32289