A few weeks ago the Raspberry Pi Foundation released the Raspberry PI Model B+ which is an improved version of the Model B. What are the major changes and can you still use the Sleepy Pi with the Model B+?
Firstly, the most obvious differences are in the form factor. The B+ and B are the same physical size but the with many differences like:
- 4 mounting holes vs the 2 on the B.
- 40 GPIO pins vs 26 on the B
- 4 USB connections vs 2 on the B
- Micro SD vs Full size SD on the B
- Power, HDMI, Audio & Video connections moved
- Rounded corners!
Performance-wise, the B+ and the B are virtually identical, but electrically there is one major difference:
The B+ consumes around 2/3 the power of the B
This is great news for Sleepy Pi users for whom battery life is a sacred quest. All things being equal you are going to get significantly more battery runtime using a B+ rather than a B. How much more? Check out my Raspberry Pi Battery runtime calculator which estimates raw battery runtime without using a board like the Sleepy Pi (which can extend this figure enormously).
Model B @ 5V is typically 345mA or 1.73W
Model B+ @ 5V is typically 200mA or 1.0W
The other big change on the B+ is the fact the it now has more GPIO pins brought out. You now have access to 40 pins rather than the 26 of the Model B. Fortunately the Foundation in their infinite wisdom have maintained backward compatibility with the 26 of the B. This means that you can plug existing daughter boards onto the B+ and everything should work.
Mounting the Sleepy Pi
As can be seen in the picture, the Sleepy Pi sits nicely onto top of the B+ and just clear the USB and Ethernet connections.
You need to be careful that you don’t short any connections on the USB shells, so I would recommend putting a piece of insulation tape onto the USB connectors to keep from shorting. For the same reason it’s going to be difficult to use screw terminals in the Sleepy Pi above the USB and Ethernet connectors, so try and route and use terminals further up the board (Connecting the Expansion I/O explains the philosophy of linking to the screw terminals).
The mounting holes are clearly different, but it is possible if you are careful, to use a standoff on the middle hole of the Sleepy Pi to give extra mechanical stability to the setup. As can be seen in the picture, it sits on a clear area of the board just missing a few of the small components.
In conclusion, yes, you can use the Sleepy Pi with the new Raspberry Pi B+ and you will also get added benefits of increased runtime that this brings.