Unpacking the Raspberry PI 3

This is part two, in my series on my first IoT project. The first part described how I got here, and this post is going to be about getting ready to jump in.

Hardware

Without further ado, I give you the Raspberry PI 3 – I bought mine through ThePiHut.com

Raspberry Pi 3 - Package Raspberry Pi 3I doesn’t look like much, and to be honest, I was surprised how small it was – it’s 85 x 56 x 17mm. A couple of months ago, I backed the Wino Board on Kickstarter – and that was a really small board – so I know what a small board looks like.
Me being too lazy to pick up another programming language in the following months, meant that I didn’t get started with the Wino Board, but with the release of Windows 10 Core for Raspberry PI, I could jump right in programming C# – Which I am already proficient in.

Getting the board is one thing, and if you were to plug it into a monitor and feeding it power, you would end up with a screen like this:

Raspberry PI No OS ScreenAlso note, if you provide a faulty OS on the SDHC card, this is the screen you’ll be seeing.

OS

Next step is to get the Windows 10 IoT Core OS installed on a micro-SDHC card and then plug it into the Raspberry Pi 3. Following this link, you will find all the available release images from Microsoft. Get both the IoT Dashboard and the proper Image (which currently is for the Raspberry Pi 2) – Microsoft has a really good guide for this, right here.

Note: You will need to become a Windows Insider, in order to get the latest Raspberry Pi image.

I had to install the image twice, using the IoT Dashboard the second time (not the first time) – which I recommend – that is, using the IoT Dashboard 😉
If you make it this far, you’ll see the below image when connecting power and monitor:

Raspberry Pi 3 OS Screen

Development Environment

Having the right development environment setup is also both an important part, but with Microsoft also a very easy step to complete. In a few easy to follow steps, you can, free of charge, start developing code to run on your Raspberry Pi 3.

You will of course need the latest version of Windows 10 – If you are not running the latest, or Windows in an earlier version, you can easily run this as a virtual machine either by using Virtual Box or follow this guide by Kennie Nybo Pontoppidan (b|l|t), to set up a Hyper-V environment.

Once you have your environment up and running, you will be needing Visual Studio. Consider yourself lucky! Microsoft is actually letting you have the Community Edition for free.

To be honest, this one was a bit tricky for me, since I already had multiple versions of Visual Studio installed on the same laptop. So I didn’t download and install the Community Edition as mentioned above. I already had Visual Studio Enterprise installed, from my MSDN subscription. If you don’t know what an MSDN Subscription is, please check out the benefits here.

To be able to develop code to run on the Raspberry Pi, we need to ensure that Universal Windows App Development Tools are installed. I had to re-run the Visual Studio installation, in order to add the features to my installation.
First you re-run the Installation process:

Install Universal App DevI have highlighted the feature you need installed. If you try to create a project before installing this, you’ll probably get this error message (I did!):

Visual Studio ErrorOnce the above feature has been installed, you’ll need to download and install this Visual Studio Extension (not only for C#). It’s the project templates for Windows IoT Core Applications. And now you’re all set to go, when you create a new project in Visual Studio:

Create IoT ProjectNext

In the next bit of this introduction to programming your Window 10 Core IoT with C#, I will be looking at how to deploy my first project to the device and see it running.

 

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