Add an SSD, WiFi, and RTC to Your Raspberry Pi 2 Board with a $49 CSB502SSD Add-on Board (Crowdfunding)

If you wish your Raspberry Pi 2 could be a little more responsive, including WiFi connectivity and keep the time even when network is not available, and a few extra goodies then Pi 2 Design‘s CSB502SSD add-ons board (Raspberry Pi HAT) could be worth a look.


CSB502SSD technical specifications:

  • Storage – mSATA socket for up to 1TB on-board storage via PL2571 USB to SATA bridge controller
  • USB – 2x extra USB 2.0 ports
  • Connectivity – GWF-3M08 WiFi 802.11 b/g/n module (Ralink RT5370) with IPEX connector and up to 150 Mbps connection.
  • Real Time Clock – DS1339 with 16mm coin cell battery backup and programmable alarm.
  • Sensors – 1-Wire DS18B20 temperature sensor to monitor the health of SSD drive. 64-bit ID to identify the shield
  • Power Supply – 8V-24V DC input (Up to 27.5W) for peripherals and Raspberry Pi 2.
  • Dimensions – Full size Raspberry Pi 2 I/O Shield

Since the SSD data transfer will take place over USB 2.0, you may not not get much higher throughput compared to a USB 2.0 flash drive or a good class 10 SD card, however as I found out in Voyo V2 review, random write performance for USB flash drive are dismissal, and a SSD connected via USB was about 120 times faster for random writes. So any applications that requires good random writes, for example frequent databases writes, should gain in performance.

The add-on board / shield has now launched on Kickstarter, where you can pledge $49 to get it together with the micro USB to USB cable, a power supply, Wifi antenna and mounting posts, but without an SSD. Shipping is not included and amounts to $10 to the US, and $28 to the rest of the world (but the price should go down to $18 soon, so you may want to wait).

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