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What you need to get your Raspberry Pi up and running and Quick Start Guide



Quick Start Guide can be found under attachments at the foot of this article.

Now that you have purchased a Raspberry Pi , here's some basic accessories you need to get up and running.

This article is relevant for all Raspberry Pi Models.

  1. A Case 
  2. Operating System - (NOOB's Recommended for most users)
  3. USB Keyboard & USB Mouse
  4. Ethernet Cable or WiFi Adapter (to connect to the Internet/Network) - Pi 3 has integrated Wireless LAN
  5. Cable to your Monitor or TV (HDMI recommended)
  6. Power Supply (Note Pi 3 has a new Power Supply)

To help you get up and running as quickly as possible, in this video we show you how to connect up some of these basic accessories, and how to boot up you Raspberry Pi. This video uses Raspberry Pi 3, but is relevant to all models.


1. A Case

title There is a wide choice of Raspberry Pi cases available for all Raspberry Pi models to help protect your Pi from damage. Cases are available for all models A and B.

BUY a Raspberry Pi 3 Case (909-8132)

Top Tip - Why not design your own Raspberry Pi case and 3D print it. Using our free 3D CAD Tool,  DesignSpark Mechanical , you can design your own Raspberry Pi case. 3D Models of the Raspberry Pi are freely available for importing into your design to ensure you have the correct dimensions to design your enclosure.

2. Operating System

You can buy an SD Card Pre loaded with NOOOB's ("New Out of Box Software" - Raspberry Pi Operating System) or you can use a blank Micro SD Card and download one of the Raspberry Pi Operating Systems from the Raspberry Pi Website Downloads Page  A minimum 8GB Micro SD Card is required for most installs. It's always best to use the most up to date version. Note: - Approved Raspberry Pi O/S's such as Raspbian are backwards compatible with older models. However, older images will not work on a Pi 3. Please update to the latest Raspbian distribution.

BUY a noobs O/S (917-6317)

Top Tip - If you want to update your current operating system to the latest one, rather than download a new image, you can run an apt-get update. Here's a guide on how to do this ,

3. Keyboard and Mouse

The Raspberry Pi uses the standard USB Keyboard and Mouse and will support some Wireless Keyboards and Mice. For older Pi Models, or the Model A/A+, you may need a powered USB Hub.

BUY A USB KEYBOARD  (795-0930)  BUY A USB MOUSE (042-0182)

Top Tip - If you don't have space on your desk to set up a Raspberry Pi with a separate Keyboard, Mouse and Monitor, you can remotely gain access to the command line of a Raspberry Pi from another computer on the same network. Using SSH, you can open a window on your computer desktop and use your Raspberry Pi. Learn more about how to SSH to your Raspberry Pi.

4. Ethernet Cable or WiFi Adapter 

If you want to connect to the Internet or a Network, you will need to either an Ethernet Cable or WiFi (Wireless 802.11b/g/n) Adapter.

Note - Raspberry Pi 3 has built in Wireless Lan 802.11b/g/n. 

BUY an Ethernet Cable (055-7032)  BUY an Pi WiFi Adapter (892-0012)

Top -Tip - There are other ways to add connectivity to your Pi, such as Bluetooth (built into Pi 3) Cellular, or Low Power Radio.

Cellular Connectivity with sparqee

5. Cable to your Monitor or TV

We recommend using the HDMI output to connect to your monitor. HDMI carries both video and audio in one cable making it much simpler to connect. If your screen doesn't support HDMI, then a HDMI to VGA + Audio converter can be used.

BUY A HDMI CABLE (905-8932)

If the TV does not have an HDMI Connection then the only option is to use the Analog Connections

On the older Pi Models, a Composite Video (the yellow connector) RCA to RCA connector for the video available in 1 meter cable

BUY a RCA to RCA Video Cable (742-4298)

For the Audio use a 3.5mm to Stereo phono RCA on the TV

BUY an 3.5mm to Stereo phono RCA (408-2062)

3.5mm to 3.5mm Audio Cable for some portable speakers

BUY an 3.5mm to 3.5mm Audio Cable (628-7180)

For newer Pi Models, (A+, B+, Pi 2 and Pi 3) there is a combined 3.5mm Audion Video jack.

Connecting to a Non HDMI Display/Screen.

Screens with DVI inputs - DVI carries video only (I.E, no audio) You will need a HDMI to DVI Cable or HDMI - DVI Adapter.

BUY an HDMI to DVI Cable (742-4343)

Screens with VGA only connections. (This is common in older computer monitors) The Raspberry Pi does not have a VGA Analogue Output, but you can buy a HDMI to VGA converter. 


You may experience over scan. This is when your Desktop image overspills the screen. Try changing the display settings on your TV. You can also adjust your settings within the Raspberry Pi Operating System.

6. Power Supply

The Raspberry Pi can be powered via the micro USB power connector. The requirement for the power supply depends on the model you have. The minimum current (measured in mA) depends on which Pi model you have.

  • Pi Model A's and First Generation Model B, require a 5V - 1.2A (1200 mA) power supply. 
  • Pi Model B+ and Pi 2 require a 5V - 2A (2000m/A) Power Supply for best results.
  • Pi 3 Model B Requires a 5.1V - 2.5A (2500m/A) Power Supply for best results.

Note: - Pi 3 will work with a 5V - 2A power supply, however you may experience some performance issues.

There are other ways to power your Raspberry Pi. These are via the GPIO Power Pins or via one of the USB Sockets.


BUY a Pi Power Supply 5V - 2A (822-6373)

BUY a Pi Power Supply 5.1V - 2.5A - Pi3 (909-8126)

Your Raspberry Pi can also run from a battery pack like a "Power Bank"

BUY a Pi BATTERY Power BANK (775-7508)

Once you're up and running with you Raspberry Pi, there are other accessories you may like to add.

title Raspberry Pi Camera Board Video Modules 

Adding a camera will allow you to take pictures and capture video (note, the camera has no audio)

The tutorial for this is found here  Raspberry Pi Camera Setup

BUY A Raspberry Pi Camera (775-7731)  

BUY A Raspberry Pi Infra-red Camera (790-2811)

Other Raspberry Pi Add-Ons

To get the most of your pi, there are lots of add on HAT's to choose from and experiment with.

Top Tip - Why not design your own HAT compatible Raspberry Pi add on board using DesignSpark PCB

Find useful tutorials and projects in our  Raspberry Pi Tech Hub  

More information and support can be found on the Raspberry Pi homepage at /

There is also more information available at

DesignSpark is an engineer and maker community from RS Components, we provide free CAD software, online resources and design support. Our flagship CAD software includes DesignSpark PCB, DesignSpark Mechanical and DesignSpark Electrical. Join our community at


0 Votes

September 2, 2017 16:51

It doesn't work for me. My screen has no HDMI socket, so I use a DVI to HDMI adaptor. I followed the instruction to write the .img file to SD card, connect the keyboard and mouse, connect the HDMI adaptor, but there is nothing after powered by 5v@2A supply. Could anyone give me help or suggestion?
nothing displayed

0 Votes

May 3, 2017 14:39

We want to know :
Can Raspberry Pi 3 Model B extend its RAM to 8G?
What is the maximum RAM that the device can have?
My email :