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rPi Kits

You can put them in a case, you can put them in a rack, you can blast them into space. But you need to acquire them first. Historically I have purchased CanaKit Amazon Store starter kits.

Now that some of my efforts edge away from Proof of Concept toward Prototype, that starter kit approach becomes extravagant and limits evaluation of power supplies (PoE, battery backup, …) and other components of the grander system.

The triggering event is a desire to have my Zigbee and Z-Wave dongles available to Home Assistant (HA) over the network rather than be directly connected to the HA system which is almost certainly going to remain a container running in a VM running on physical hardware surrounded by a boatload of metal and electrical interference, not a great place for the radios, nor does mapping the USB devices directly into the VM and container happen easily.

Canakit rPi 4 8GB RAM full kit

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rPi Rack Mount

I find myself using Raspberry Pi devices for more than just custom electronics projects such as:

  • Freezer temperature monitor
  • Touch-screen clocks for kids (wake up time, exit room time, play soothing music, etc.)
  • Digital photo frames

Now I’m looking as uses such as running Home Assistant (HA/ on an rPi, have a dedicated development rPi, etc. That leads me to think about placing them in the rack mount. If they are in the rack mount, let’s organize them instead of having them freely shifting about on a rack shelf right?

Some options under consideration: (we may receive an affiliate commission if you purchase from these links)

Complicating the decision is peripheral devices. For HomeAssistant there should be SSD, Z-Wave stick, and Zigbee stick. It would be nice to power the rPis via PoE but there is ample power at the rack anyway so PoE isn’t key.

Speaking of USB to NVMe for SSD connection, see SSK Aluminum M.2 NVME SSD Enclosure Adapter, USB 3.1/3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps) to NVME PCI-E M-Key Solid State Drive External Enclosure Support UASP Trim (Fits only NVMe PCIe 2242/2260/2280) looks like a good target, pretty inexpensive too.

If one doesn’t go the SSD route, leverage zram and log2ram Extend The Lifespan of Your Raspberry Pi’s SD Card with log2ram (

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My first Smartphone, a Motorola was named Laura.  Her GPS and in turn the directions she gave were interesting to say the least.  Hawaii will never be the same after Laura visited in 2012.

Next came the iPhone 5 Annette who served until iOS updates were no longer available and she became a security risk, not to mention rather pokey.

Shortly after Annette joined the family, Mel acquired an iPhone 5s still affectionately known as Bernadette.  Bernadette doesn’t give as good of direction as Annette did but she has her shining moments.  If Apple can manage to produce another ‘small’ phone like the 5s yet with more current hardware than the SE, Annette will be retired.

Next up was and is Claudette, affectionately known as Claud.  After the size of Annette, Claud is huge being a Pixel 2.



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Welcome to ynotwidgets

What does one do with all of the ideas bouncing around in one’s head?  Market them of course!

This site is a vehicle to:

  • Sell some of the products that have escaped my brain into the real world.  These tend to be physical gadgets or software.  Someday I would like to add a book to that list.
  • Share random thoughts.  Most thoughts ooze out and permanently escape, capturing a few of them to look back on 1, 3, 5, 10 years from now should be enlightening.
  • Practice the care and feeding of a WordPress site.