I was tinkering with the core_freq and v3d_freq options in /boot/config.txt trying to see if I could squeeze any more out of the Raspberry Pi 3.

I started at 600. System booted, splash screen displayed, started to load Emulation station…..Black screen. System froze.

Ok… Back up to 575. Booted, Splash, ES loaded….Graphical artifacts for a few seconds…freeze? Not completely I could still SSH so I backed off the settings again.

550, boot, splash, ES, Able to navigate…No Artifacts… 3D applications work…Jackpot.

So, it’s only a tiny improvement but it still counts.



I tried fiddling with the h264 but it seemed to cause more instability at anything higher. The extra 50 over my previous 500 did give an improvement to 3D rendering on some struggling applications. It’s a significant improvement over the default stock settings as well. The VideoCore IV is underpowered in todays world so every notch on the belt counts.

EDIT: I backed core_freq and v3d_freq down to 525. After a full day of running the Pi became unstable at 550 but 525 has been fine for a couple weeks now.

Get the rest of my settings from my previous post


I have been enjoying my Raspberry Pi 3 for a few days now the extra speed and built in wifi have proven to be excellent upgrades to the product.

Overclocking still seemed to be a topic not too many people had been willing to hit yet, even myself I was waiting for something in the raspi-config to show up. Last night in the retropie dev channel a fellow name Twisted0815 showed up and said he had a stable overclock at 1450 running and it was running well. I decided to give this a whirl and asked for his settings



After adding the settings to /boot/config.txt and rebooting sure enough the pi came up without issue.

I popped open a heavy application and left it running for 10 min, no issue.

I played some games on it for a half hour straight no issue.


I already had heatsinks on my Pi, I always heatsink a machine I intend to overclock and all my Pi’s going back to the Pi 1 B were overclocked in some manner but here are my reports.

Idle: 49C
Moderate application usage: 59C
Single and dual core load: 63C

Further testing

After doing some stress testing to the system at this setting I noticed with one core operations and dual core 1450 was stable but at 3 and 4 cores it would lock the system. I went to a thread on raspberrypi.org where they seemed to test every setting they could in 10mhz increments and tried them out with 1450. Still experienced a lockup eventually but made it further with the 4 core test than before.

I backed my settings off to 1350 like theirs and I was able to get a stable test result with all 4 cores and no crash. My temp in the peak of the test with all 4 cores loaded  floated around 79C to 80C with a heat sink.

I hope we get an official answer from the foundation at some point and perhaps a rasps-config option but I’ll stick with 1350 for now unless someone comes up with a stable 4 core solution that’s higher.

Updated finalized settings:








Raspberry Pi launched a new model on Monday the Raspberry Pi 3. Today is Thursday just a few days after launch and I am quite happy that mine has arrived.

At first glance it looks identical to a 2 however there are a couple differences to note. The foundation logo has moved over a bit and there is now an antenna next to the USB ports for the built in wifi.

The Raspberry Pi 3 upgrades the CPU to a ARM v8 Cortex A53 that runs with no overclocking at 1.2ghz and with 4 cores that gives you a good chunk of power for the size and price. The RAM is still 1GB, I would have liked to have seen 2 or 4 but 1GB will still hold the fort.

The microSD card slot changed slightly and this threw me off for a couple minutes. It no longer does the spring loaded lock/eject so you just slide the card in and that’s it.


There’s tons of bench marks out there so I am not going to rehash it here but it is safe to say it’s significantly more powerful than the Pi2. In fact it is at the point where I’d actually recommend a heatsink because the device generates much more heat. You can still get away without one as some tests have shown and the device has built in precautions against heat however I like to err on the side of safe and functioning devices.

To test the CPU I ran it through some Dreamcast emulation and the improvement was significant. On the 2 the Dreamcast was playable but the sound was wretched and poppy. The Pi 3 on two games all the sound issues were gone and a 3rd they were significantly reduced.

Boot time is also drastically improved with the new device


Not having to waste a port on wifi is fantastic! To me it’s like the Rpi3 came with a new feature and an extra usb port. However I suspect the drivers and firmware might need some tweaks. Connecting to the internet from the device seems to always work no issue but if you have any services like ssh or samba going into the Pi seems to be intermittently bad. It feels like the device sleeps the wifi and it takes 10-30seconds to wake it? If i hammer the device with pings it eventually comes back and stays up as long as traffic is active.

As it turns out this hypothesis was correct and the issue can be corrected with the following command:

sudo iwconfig wlan0 power off

Pop that into a boot script somewhere and you’re off to the races!

Bluetooth LE

Can’t really review this yet, drivers don’t exist but it’s another saved USB port if it works out.

Good times

So in a years time we have gone from ARMv6 to ARMv7 and now with the 3 ARMv8 that’s some impressive headway. I now have a Model B, A+, 2, 3 and hopefully at some point a Zero. It’s clear I enjoy the products as they have opened up computing and electronics to a new generation (including myself) so keep up the great work Raspberry Pi.


I was at Walmart yesterday and taking my usual browse through the electronics section looking for a gamepad. The PC section had a wired logitech gamepad as its only option and wired is not what I am after. In the console section I was looking at the PS4 area and they had a Rock candy wireless gamepad for $26. This seemed like a good buy as I had a bluetooth adapter already and PS3 used bluetooth!

Not bluetooth

Once I had the gamepad out of the glass case it was obvious this used a usb key to facilitate the wireless functions which is actually a better option so I bought it.

Why not bluetooth?

Well I like bluetooth don’t get me wrong. I made a bluetooth arcade controller not too long ago remember? But there is one slight issue with bluetooth and the Pi. Linux. Bluetooth works on Linux and you can pair things and use them but it can be finicky. I had horrid issues getting a device to reconnect after a power cycle (of the device) before having to manually compile the latest bluetooth stack and even doing that it still took 30seconds to 5 minutes to re pair sometimes. So while I do have working bluetooth on my Pi a usb key is still more convenient.

But did it work

So I got the controller home and took it out of its razor sharp slit your hands plastic container, put in 2 AA batteries and plugged in the key to the Pi. The key blinks every 2 seconds the controller does nothing…. Hmmm. I was looking all over for a switch, no switch. I pressed the home button…Nothing. I held the home button and the controller came to life!

I opened up the Piplay menu and started the configure SNES wizard and sure enough each button press responded and it moved to the next. When I got to the directional keys however the thumb stick worked but the digital directional buttons did not…Oh well. In general it did work.

Play test

I tried out a few SNES games now that the controller was set up and the controller responded well from across the room. Using the thumbstick on 2d games is a bit to get used to but it passes


Rock candy wireless ps3 gamepads are a cheap and easy to use wireless gamepad solution for the Pi


Some time ago I made a post about adding a shut down button to my Raspberry Pi which I then followed up with how to set it up to also be the power on button. It’s a very popular post but it used a goofy large arcade button for the task. In a recent order to Adafruit I decided to but some small tactile buttons to see if I could come up with a better solution.

When the order arrived I was hoping that the buttons would fit in the PiBows ribbon slot which would have been the ideal solution. What I found was that the 2 pins were longer than the slot so I decided to modify the PiBow a bit to make this work.


I cut the red layer where it creates the lip for the ribbon cable. This was quite easy and does not affect the stability of the layer.

For the button I used one of the easy connector cables from Adafruit from my original button project and cut it to a shorter size and then soldered the wires to the pins.

I then put the case back together and slid the button into place. on the bottom side of the button I also used some plastic adhesive to keep the button from sliding but still allowing me to remove the top layer.

Making it work

To make the button power on your pi when it is off (standby mode) make sure to put the button on Pin 5 (GPIO 3) this pin when activated will wake the Pi and start the boot process. For the shutdown feature I use retrogame a utility maintained by Adafruit for reading GPIO presses and interpreting them into keys or actions. My custom retrogame for shutdown is on my github here and you can find details about it here in another post.