CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Kit

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Kit

Bought this setup the last time it was up. My 9yo really gets into stuff like this.

I thought it would be much easier to find directions on what to do with the electronic stuff. It’s mostly been sitting in the box after doing a few other things.

If someone could provide a link or two on how to use the whole kid, I would appreciate it and so would many others.

If you’re just looking to use the unit for other things and not the electronics, it’s a great item.

Check out:

Use the Pi to block all ads to wireless network and more.

*whole kit, not kid, my kid is kinda wonky, but I’ve got him pretty figured out for now.


A few things:
The Ultimate Starter Kit has no ‘manual’
Your best bet is to start with:

  • learning how to set up a Pi (on the website)
  • learn how to install updates and software on the Pi (on the website)
  • learn basic Python - various places to learn this - from books to tutorials (there’s one on the site), plus other videos and sites can help a lot here.
  • learn how to use Python to control the GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) pins. There are some great tutorials on how to create flashing LEDs, control them in a specific order, monitor for button presses, etc. Just remember - never power the LED straight from the pins! Always use a resistor to control the voltage. Seriously. I toasted my first Pi this way. :slight_smile:
  • From there, you can dig and find a lot more components and how to control them - everything from LED screens to ‘sound cards’, a SenseHAT which has sensors on it you can use (accelerometer, humidity, temp, etc.), and there are other kits with more sensors like light or sound, switches, and so forth you can grow your knowledge with.

Some of the things I do with mine so you get an idea:

  1. PiAware box - you have to get the USB Receiver and an antenna (both on Amazon), but FlightAware will give you a free Enterprise account as long as your PiAware box is online. Great to see nearby aircraft in the air, and its using radio signals, not an internet feed. FA uses PiAware and other receivers to collect data.

  2. Pi-Hole - network-wide ad blocking. It doesn’t block everything, but it is a noticeable drop in bandwidth consumed. I am on a limited connection (10Mbps down, maximum xfer of 10GB/Mo.). Since adding the Pi-Hole, I have not reached my data limit in months.

  3. Smart Digital Photo Frame - this is actually running Screenly with 3 apps: A weather app, A ‘web page’ hosting tons of family photos the family uploads to on Google Drive, and a calendar for reminders.

  4. a micro-webcam (Pi Zero Wireless with a camera in this case) - pretty small, but works for my needs. Simple webcam setup using MotionEye OS.

  5. I am now working on a ‘Bartop Arcade Machine’ - which is where the Console kit is similar in some ways, except a much smaller form factor and external display and controllers.

The Console kit is nice, but the controllers? The ones it comes with are hit-or-miss. I will say this much: They may be stiff out of the box. Give them time to adjust to normal use before you judge them. They do need a ‘break-in’ period.

You also have multiple options for the gaming software: Lakka, Batocera, Recalbox, or RetroPie. The Raspberry Pi Foundation site has a page to walk you though setting up Lakka using the NOOBS (New, Out Of Box Software) installer. If you get frustrated with Lakka, search for how to set up the other game emulators. Everyone is different, so try them all to see which one you like best.


Awesome reply. Thanks for the info.

As far as using this for Kodi, is it Plug & Play ready or will I need to install more programs for that?
I know how to install the add ons in Kodi but I’m not a techie so I don’t know how to install Kodi itself.
I’m hoping it comes pre-loaded but I’m probably outta luck on that.

“I’ve got him figured out” – just you wait. Mine all became insane in their early teens. Now that they are 20+, they are much better. And I’m apparently much smarter than I was only 10 short years ago, too :slight_smile:


I’ve been planning to do this project:

I reckon the breadboard would make this easier. I already have the relay and remote, but have hesitated on the Pi for some reason.

Whatchu think?

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Could use an upgrade to the B+ for my Arcade1Up retropie conversion.

A what?

Check out

OSMC is available through NOOBS, so the only ones you have to add in manually would be PVR and custom apps. Its pretty easy to get going though.

I was told that in their early teens, the stupid fairy hits them with her magic wand and takes all their smarts. When they are in the 20s she comes back, hits them with her magic wand again and restores what she took.

I hooked my Pi up to my Ender 3 3D printer with OctoPi installed and a Pi cam. Now I can control and monitor my printer with OctoPrint, and even create some cool time-lapse videos of the prints.

Trying to figure out which one is the best bargain. Can’t I just use the first kit to install RetroPi and use any Bluetooth game controller?

This would work, but I’d be inclined to use a microcontroller rather than a Pi. The microcontroller would be cheaper, of course, but also the Pi doesn’t like to lose it’s electricity suddenly - it can corrupt the SD card (though in this application it seems unlikely). It’s also a full Linux computer, so if you don’t keep it up to date you risk security problems.

For microcontrollers, the ESP8266 is very cheap and very popular for this application. There is even a brand “Sonoff” which puts both an ESP8266 and relay in a single package for around $6 AND they have software which lets you control it from your phone or over the internet. has a website. Drop them a email and tell them your kit didn’t come with the guide. They will email you a pdf of the expedients you can do to get you started.

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The quick start guide is on line.

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What is going on with that Micro SD Card reader? It looks like the card is IN the USB Plug. What is going on with that thing?

Yes, you are seeing correctly. Pretty cool, huh?

I seem to recall there being extra stuff I would have needed to do to get a bluetooth xbox controller to work with RetroPi. I just used USB controllers for simplicity.