Adabox 005 - big disappointment :(

Just received my Adabox 005, and am very disappointed with the contents and the theme.

It’s just a plain old Raspberry Pi Zero (not a W) kit with an Adafruit Joy Bonnet, and an old copy of Magpi chucked in. The included power supply for the Zero is American only, so is useless. It should’ve been a universal one if Pimoroni are going to sell it in the UK.

As for the theme of the box, it consists of burning a custom retro pie image, and running it on the Pi Zero with the Hat attached !

If you were to buy the contents of the box separately from Pimoroni are only come to around £46 yet I paid £66.

This is the first time I’ve bought an Adabox, and will be my last. I will stick to the Pimoroni kits in the future, which are much better value and more fun.

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Really sorry to hear that :(

Even though it’s not our product, we hate to see customers disappointed! If it’s any consolation, we’d be happy to send you over a UK power supply to replace the US one.

Glad you like our kits, though :D We’re super proud of those!

I had mixed feelings about the box, but on second thoughts maybe I’m just not the ideal target for it.

Not sure how you arrived at £46, when I’ve tried to put together equivalent kit it usually just about hits £60. That said, when you take into account the kit, the MagPi, the lovely pin and the stickers it would come to £60. Looking at the past boxes though they don’t reliably come with extras (aside from the badge) and for someone who is already in the hobby extra USB cables or HDMI cables might not seem that great. The bits-only value is OK at £60, at the post-subscription price I’m not sure it really makes sense unless you’re buying basic components like LEDs from Adafruit/Pimoroni who, to be honest, can put a bit of a premium on those.

That said, when you look at their marketing it’s mostly aimed at newbies who maybe don’t have any parts yet and don’t know how to use them. For these people it’s a beautifully presented box with everything needed to get started and a bespoke tutorial and some extra goodies. It’d make a great gift for someone new to electronics and programming, but for someone who already has a collection of bits and an idea of what they’re doing? Maybe not. The only things in the box which I didn’t already have were the Joy Bonnet and one of the stickers, so I’ve essentially paid £66 for those, but that’s the major problem with “mystery boxes”. It’s nice to see beautifully designed inserts and a sleek box in a world of electrostatic bags, and from looking at the past boxes I knew this wasn’t going to be some sort of value bundle, but now that I’ve tried it once I might pass in future.

It’s unfortunate that the Digikey discount code is for an item which has to ship from the USA, so any discount is really wiped out by import fees. The US plug also isn’t great for UK/EU customers.

Like I said it’s a lovely item and great for a newbie, but if you already have any of the bits (even basic stuff like HDMI cablea or microSD cards) the value starts to look more dubious, but if Adafruit want it to be a complete project box there’s not a lot you can do about that.

The ‘value’ of the box contents isn’t that bad as @Shoe has pointed out, particularly for anyone new to the raspberry pi ecosystem. It’s quite easy to total up parts that exceed the pre-order cost of this box, equally there are some cheaper alternatives available (particularly if you look at the sundries like sd card, hdmi lead etc).

I think something Pimoroni will have to sort out with Adafruit if they intend to continue providing the subscription Adaboxes is the supply of appropriate power supplies otherwise they’re going to waste a lot of time and money supplying new ones. I’ve already put in an email to support about this for my own order; hopefully I’ll get a replacement. The power supplies can take 240V so you might be OK with a pin adaptor if you have one, but it’s not a neat solution.

Whether you’re disappointed by the contents and want a refund or want a replacement power supply i’d get in touch with Pimoroni support, I’ve found them to be a pretty reasonable bunch. I don’t think I’ve had a reasonable, polite request turned down yet.

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I arrived at around £46 as follows:

  1. Pi Zero + Adaptors + Pibow Zero Case £13
  2. GPIO Hammer Male + Female + Installation Jig £6
  3. Joy Bonnet £16
  4. 8GB Micro SD Card £4
  5. Mini HDMI cable £1
  6. MagPi £6

As it was from Adafruit I suppose I thought this box would be more Maker orientated.
In my mind I was expecting a box of parts around a theme and a beginner tutorial to get you going. From there you could iterate on what you had built, and they would chuck some ideas in on what you could pursue next. I know this box concept was aimed at beginners but there should have been some scope to progress to trying out more advanced things. After you built this box, the only thing they suggest next is to attach a TFT screen obtained via the Digikey offer.

Yes, the package is very nicely packaged up but I think it is a case of more style over substance. I think the Pimoroni kit packages are just as nice.

I’ve got the Scroll Bot kit and I like how it leads you through simple tutorial to get you going. It has plenty of examples and suggests what you could do with it. The kit is all built around the ethos we’ve set you up with a solid foundation, now go forth and make. To me this box lacks that. A beginner/newbie is missing out on what to me is the essence of what makes this hobby so much fun.

I suppose my ideal box for this theme would have been a kit along the lines of the Picade HAT and parts kit.

The ‘value’ of the box contents isn’t that bad as @Shoe has pointed out, particularly for anyone new to the raspberry pi ecosystem.

Oh absolutely, that’s what I was trying to say: for a beginner it’s a beautifully presented box with everything you need to start and illustrated guides to match plus some extra goodies, and as Adafruit pointed out on their stream yesterday it’s really intended for beginners, not people who’ll have some of these bits anyway or who are comfortable sourcing things independently. I don’t regret buying it, but like I said now that I’ve tried one I might pass on the others. (That said those badges are really lovely).

equally there are some cheaper alternatives available (particularly if you look at the sundries like sd card, hdmi lead etc).

euang: Mini HDMI cable £1

Again, that’s something Adafruit have a premium attached to: on their store the same cable is ~$6. I know some people see that as bad value but at the same time there’s something to be said for a carefully curated shop of parts. A more experienced person might navigate the dodgy eBay clones OK, but for a beginner having everything with guaranteed compatability and specs can be worth a premium depending on your circumstances.

Whether or not the box is good for you really depends on your needs, and like I said at the start of my previous post I guess I’m just not the intended market.

I was thinking of going for thia as previous Adaboxes looked good. It’s a shame that this was the first UK box, I would expect most of the UK market for this product would have a drawer full of Raspberry Pi bits already. Maybe I’ll give box 6 a go.

I totally agree with Euan, if this is the standard of Adabox then 05 will be my last, a complete waste of money, and disappointed that Pimoroni have put there name to this. One thing that I was pleased with in the box was the Hammer Header kit which is much improved from my previous ones, The bit you hit with the hammer is now thicker and seems to be polycarbonate, the only useful part of 05.

Personally, I think you can never have too many RPis about the house, so not complaining, but the US power supply isn’t terribly useful in Ireland (which uses UK plugs). A universal plug would have cost about $2 extra. That said, it is a nice project, but quite different from prior adaboxes, which were almost all based around the Feather ecosystem.

Hi I’m also stuck with w 2 pin US plug and not a 2 pin European adapter !

To I think that I payed over €80 and no zero W and an 8gb card ! I run most of the time 16gb or 32gb Sandisk Ultras class 10, hopefully the 8gb Toshiba 70mb card will cut the mustard.

You didn’t even include a wifi dongle so again need to use a hub to connect my mouse/keyboard combo and wifi dongle… very messy cable system etc…

Like said by other poster glad to see the jig has improved but you could have mentioned to others if they are reordering and previously had bought a jig you’d include in the pack for free.

In the end I prefer your own kits much more complete and packaged better for the Ada-Box 005 the DHL box that arrived was very big ! But still not big enough for the magazine which was bent.

Please next time maybe say what’s in the box to avoid big dissatisfaction unless you start to offer a subscription service. My suggestion is you could offer your own kits at a better price but different levels beginners, advanced and expert levels.