10 Efficient Raspberry Add-ons To Enhance Performance – Part 8

Sometimes you may find yourself in great need to improve the functionality of your Raspberry Pi. There is a good chance your Raspberry does not support the functionality you want. There is also a chance that it supports your dream functionality but with the help of an external tool. An add-on in other words. It is pretty obvious that your dream add-on exists in the market or someone somewhere is cracking an algorithm to build. Never mind, here we compile a list of the best add-ons to get for your Raspberry in 2018.

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This is a GPIO (general purpose input/output) extension board designed to run on the Raspberry Pi. The gertduino is generally an Arduino that is made to be compatible with the Raspberry. What makes the gertduino a great add-on is that you can program on the PI. After building up your programs you can upload them to the Arduino. Which here is the gertduino. Both devices have the ability to communicate with each other. The add-on was designed by one of the Rasp engineer Gert Van Loo. It is designed to share functionality with the raspberry. Although picturing both the Rasp and the Arduino as market rivals. The gertduino bridges both their functions to an optimized micro-controller as well as a microcomputer.


If you are looking to automate processes in your household using the Raspberry. Piface digital is the answer. This add-on enables you to detect any state of a switch. Be it a  digital door knob or a customized cooker button. By plugging the piface digital into the Rasp GPIO you can automate motors, pumps, LEDs or thermostats. When the piface is plugged into the raspberry the user is able to write software that responds to particular switch states. This is what enables this sensing of the switches.


pi top speaker raspberry pi addon

This speaker is designed to run on the Raspberry PI 3. optimized with three position hardware switches and comes pre-configured with out-of-the-box software. With the pi-top, you can experience clear and audible audio on the raspberry pi. Given that each speaker comes with HDMI support. It means it is easy to port with the Raspberry.


Ever heard of ZigBee? Maybe no. Zigbee is a wireless technology designed to be more simple and cost-effective than wi-fi or Bluetooth. Zigbee is usually used in devices that require short range-low range wireless communications like wireless light switches and home energy monitors. Hence ZigBee can be described as a short-range personal area network. The Raspberry add-on is thus a technology that integrates the raspberry and  ZigBee. This add-on will enable your Raspberry to communicate with ZigBee devices. Thus optimizing the auto control mechanics of a Raspberry.


pi traffic addon

This is a cost-effective hardware shield that enables the Raspberry a smooth interface with the real world. The pi-traffic enables you to plug in components into pre-set raspberry positions without blocking access to other ports. However, this add-on was initially created as a learning tool. It seems to extend its scope by having four fitted standard pins that can be controlled independently.


noir camera board

This is a tiny camera with dimensions of approximately (25 x 24 x 29) mm. It connects to the Raspberry via a ribbon cable. It operates by being controlled by the BCM2835 processor whey they connect by means of the CSI interface. The CSI is an inbuilt interface built specifically to connect the Raspberry PI to external cameras. The NoIR has a sensor of 5 megapixels and a fixed focus lens. Like any other IR camera, you have to fill your scene with bright infrared light to have a good shot.


This is an add-on board that extends the inbuilt LEDs up to 18 LEDs. The things a piglow can do range from twitter notifications, running scripts statues and email feedbacks. 


This is a deluxe modular case that comes with varying heights for any of the pi versions 2 or 3. It is a great add-on since it comes with an SD slot cover. This is ideal to protect your SD card from damage. The case also supports PIs with add-on boards or shields. It also has support for LED pipes that enhance LED activity.


A 3.5 inch TFT display with touchscreen capabilities. It comes with a touch pen and is suited most to designers and curators. It’s convenient because it comes with a portable power supplying source. However, to use it, you have to install the jelly OS. kind of inhibiting for those comfortable with other systems.


This add-on was released from the Raspberry to be used for nano-satellite experiments. It collects sensed data according to the state of its environment. it is mostly used at the international space station to conduct space experiments which means it is a niche specific product.

sense hat pi addon


In this article, I have covered only a number of add-ons. There are hundreds of raspberry add-ons created for any kind of DIY project out there. It all narrows down to your requirements. All the details specified here suit the details of new versions in the market. All of them are compatible with all models of the rasp from the pi2. It may be a tough decision to choose from the assortment of brands but I advise you to check with the official Raspberry website for a better brand specification. A big difference lies between all brands but all that matters is customer requirements. What do you need the add-on for?


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