Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Released: Faster CPU, Faster Networking and Power over Ethernet

RTL-SDR dongles and other SDRs are often used on single board computers. These small credit sized computers are powerful enough to run multiple dongles, and run various decoding programs. Currently, the most popular of these small computers is the Raspberry Pi 3.

Just recently the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ was released at the usual US$35 price. It is an iterative upgrade over the now older Raspberry Pi 3 B. The 3B+ has an improved thermal design for the CPU, which allows the frequency to be boosted by 200 MHz. WiFi and Ethernet connectivity has also been improved, both sporting up to 3x faster upload and download speeds.

The Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Power over Ethernet Hat
The Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Power over Ethernet Hat

The 3B+ also implements new Ethernet headers which allows for a cleaner Power over Ethernet (PoE) implementation via a hat. Previous PoE hats required that you connect the Ethernet ports together, whereas the new design does not. PoE allows you to power the Raspberry Pi over an Ethernet cable. The official PoE hat is not released yet, but they expect it to be out soon.

The faster processing speed should allow more processing intensive graphical apps like GQRX to run smoother, whilst the improved WiFi connectivity speeds should improve performance with bandwidth hungry applications like running a remote rtl_tcp server. PoE is also a welcome improvement as it allows you to easily power a remote Raspberry Pi + RTL-SDR combination that is placed in a difficult to access area, such as in an attic close to an antenna. Placing the Pi and RTL-SDR near to the antenna eliminates the need for long runs of lossy coax cable. If the Pi runs rtl_tcp, SpyServer or a similar server, then the RTL-SDR can then be accessed by a networked connected PC anywhere in your house, or even remotely over the internet from anywhere in the world. 

The Raspberry Pi 3 B+
The Raspberry Pi 3 B+

5 comments

  1. neriio

    So What Single board computer did you recommend to run soft like GQRX and other ?– nearly 100$–
    RSPI B+
    Asus TB?
    Odroid ? C2/XU4
    Beagle Bone Black?
    …?
    Thk in advance 🙂

  2. unixpunk

    Anyone get one of these yet? I can’t get any power adapter that works on a normal pi3 to work on the new one…none have the needed wattage it seems. Maybe the only option is to use the PoE hat that isn’t released yet…?

  3. Dan

    TMhe Last RPi 3 I had spewed shit all over 2m and 70cm if the Ethernet was connected. Has anyone gotten their hands on this one and seen if that’s still an issue?

  4. Val

    Very good news!
    Still I’d recommend anybody using RPi to look at Asus Tinkerboard – it’s amazing, very easy to use, and not that expensive (~1.5x price of the RPi).

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