Daily Archives: 09/11/2016


8Bitdo SNES30 Bluetooth Controller

snes30-1

I ordered the 8Bitdo SNES30 controller with slight trepidation. When it arrived I was blown away with its presentation. The quality of the container is maybe half its cost. The printing on the box is excellent. The box itself is sturdy and lined with very protective padding. All in all it is a very professional package with solid construction.

Opening the box and grabbing the controller, I was brought back to my SNES days. The build quality of this thing is excellent. Holding it and pressing its buttons communicated to me that my purchase was not wasted. It is light, yet very sturdy. The buttons deliver very positive and solid feedback. The D-pad is tactile and mashable. The R and L buttons connect with your index fingers. Start and Select are right where they should be – duh.

I’ve traveled with my SNES30 a few times now. I charge it prior to travel and have not yet needed to recharge it. Total play time on my trips has been maybe 6 to 10 hours total. Given the advertised play time of 20 hours, I have maybe hit it’s half life.

Compatibility with devices has been excellent. It pairs well with a Raspberry Pi 3 on RetroPi, Lakka and RecalBox. Windows 10 pairing is flawless. My Nexus 6P accepts it like a sibling. So far, I’ve yet to be disappointed with this controller.

Charging is easy – use the supplied USB to MicroUSB cable in a PC or wall adapter. Updating its firmware is just as easy – download the latest firmware, unzip it, boot up the controller by holding START+L+R, plug in the controller to the PC and run the EXE firmware updater.

Included in the package:

  • 8Bitdo SNES controller
  • 3ft USB Type-A to MicroUSB cable
  • SNES30 metal keychain
  • Mobile device adhesive stand
  • Instruction booklet

Raspberry Pi 3 Official Black Case

Official Pi 3 Case Black

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has a few official accessories. I purchased the official Pi 2 case for my Pi 3. At the time they had not released a case for the Pi 3. The only real difference in the cases is the location of the LED ports – the Pi 2 has its power and status LED’s on the left side, the Pi 3 on the right. There are other, more exciting and innovative cases out there, but the official case is much cheaper and is of very high quality.

The case is very modular. You have the option to use or not either of the side covers. If you’re going to be using a GPIO device, the case will allow it via an optional side panel next to the GPIO pins. You also have the option of two lids; one is a partially open view port to accommodate a touch screen, the other a full cover which fits over the partial lid with the Pi logo engraved.

The entire case is tool-less. It is dirt simple to assemble and disassemble. The Pi itself snaps safely and securely into the base. All port openings are perfectly positioned and clearly labeled. The package comes with four clear rubber feet which adhere to indentations on the bottom of the base to keep the unit from sliding around on surfaces.

The latest official case is black! This is very welcome as I think most modders would prefer black to the original white and red any day.


Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry_Pi_3_Model_B

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has just sold it’s 10 millionth unit since having begun the manufacture of their original Raspberry Pi device four and a half years ago. Their original, wildly optimistic plan to reach 10,000 units at most was far surpassed soon after they shipped the first units.

The tiny computers were originally planned and designed around education – a small, affordable, easy to use computer to get children interested in technology and subsequently more deeply involved in school. Little did they know that all children, from pre-teens to old farts like me, would be attracted to its promise of a tiny world of infinite fun.

Right now I’ve got a Pi 3 dual booting OSMC and RetroPie on a 32GB micro SD card. The uses for the Pi are not yet infinite, but there are many open source projects, so many that you would need a good deal of free time to tackle them all. If you’re a part time hacker like me, you owe it to yourself to pay the $35 for a Pi and begin having fun. Hint: MicroCenter sometimes has them on sale for $29.99. 🙂

If you’re interested in the differences between the two “versions” of Raspberry Pi, below are both distributors’ boxes – RS Components/Allied Electronics and Premier Farnell/Element14. These are the two official distributors of the Pi devices. The more noticeable difference I’ve been able to surmise is that each distributor has their own box art. The other visual anomaly is on the board itself. The Alliance Technologies board reads ‘Made in UK‘ and the Element 14 reads ‘Made in PRC‘.