I've built a portable digital jukebox, incorporating the Raspberry Pi 3 B+, running Raspbian Stretch from a 32GB SD Card. I have attached a 128GB USB3.1 thumb drive as the device's main storage device.
Wifi access is via the Pi's own WiFi as is Bluetooth which runs a mini keyboard. That leaves two USB ports free. The only external cables are the Dell power supply (removable) and the RCA cable to the second speaker. I am building a portable power brick for it so I can play it on the go.
Voltage was an issue, so I incorporated a Buck Converter into the build which ensures a minimal voltage of 5.2 volts from the 19.5v 4.62a Dell laptop battery charger. The Pi 3B+ doesn't like voltages going below 5v, which is often the case with standard USB chargers, which may be rated 5v, but actually only have 4.95v available for the device.
Since I added the Buck Converter, I haven't had a single occurrence of under-voltage messages, or the dreaded yellow lightning bolt. I also added a heat sink to the Pi CPU, to assist in cooling it down as there is little air-flow in the box.
The Pi's audio output is connected to a TPA3116 D2 Dual Channel Digital Amplifier Board, to which I have attached a couple of speakers salvaged from an LG HiFi tower. The amplifier is also powered by the Dell laptop charger.
I have attached a 5 inch RPi HDMI touch screen monitor, set to portrait display.
The thumb drive contains around 10,000 MP3 files and a downloads folder, as there is not a lot of room on the SD card. I have downloaded the open source Clementine Music Player, which is now available for Raspberry Pi, which I can use to access hundreds of streaming radio stations all round the world.
All in all I'm happy with the Pi. I have stress tested the device, playing internet radio for 48 hours non-stop, whilst running a number of Linux-based CPU stress tests.
The photos shows the completed device. This is my first ever electronic project so it is a bit rough around the edges. The second speaker is removable to enable stereo sound separation. It has been painted with black 'hammer finish' spray paint and mesh covers for the 3 inch speakers.
Having now finished the project, it works well. It boots in 23.8 seconds. It has got plenty of oonce, in fact my crockery rattles when I crank up the volume.
I've had the first and second generation Raspberry Pi Bs, Raspberry Pi Zero W, and now two Raspberry Pi 3B+s. My initial experiences were a bit disappointing, as whilst the software support is great, the board seems more power temperamental than it used to be. I was fully aware of issues with the voltage going below 5v, but was surprised to see that this was still such an issue with the modern Pi, moreso than that of older ones. I ran it from a 5.02v supply with a short power lead, and had undervolt issues. I then tried a power supply that I normally use for rPis, which is tuned to 5.2v under load, and it had issues also, with several USB leads, including some good quality high amperage capable ones.
I then connected to the GPIO header, and everything was fine. I was surprised at how finicky this generation is, and how it would actually overheat because of a undervolt during boot, so would be locked at a lower CPU frequency from then onwards. I also tried the genuine Raspberry Pi power supply (didn't have those before now)... and that was fine also. Other than the power issues (which surely the onboard PMIC should be able to manage better and prevent being so much of an issue?) this is a great board performance and stability wise.
Other than the power issue, the only other complaint I have is that it does seem to run hotter than the previous generations boards when basically idling. But I suppose this is the trade off for having more performance available. Having the onboard Wifi and PoE capability is well worth the upgrade, as long as the possibility of some active cooling being needed is taken into account.
Not much needs to be said about this little device that hasn't been covered in hundreds of reviews elsewhere, but this thing truly is fantastic. It's the perfect solution for when you need a low powered dedicated device to be running 24/7 and don't want to use one of your desktop machines for the task. I've got numerous Raspberry Pis in my house running different tasks and servers. My only wish is that they had more than 1GB ram, although there are plenty of other much more powerful boards available on the market if you need something with more performance, so the Raspberry Pi is still very good (and cheap) for what it offers.
I like that this unit has the higher clock speed and 1000baseT ethernet. Would like 4GB of memory then I could see how it runs a small production J2EE java server. I'm taking the load of some of my VM instances am using Raspberry PI's for running CentOS 7 with Nginx, Postfix etc, running headless.
Great little computer that I'm now using for streaming video to my tv. I've even ended up buying one for a friend & another to learn programming on. I figured at the price they go for even if I bugger it uo I've not lost much.