Hardware recommendations (Picroft)

I’m about to jump into this and I want to do it right. I was going to get a Pi 3 B+ – is there any reason I should get a Pi 3 instead? Also, what about the microphone? I’d prefer not to have a big USB mic sitting on top of/next to the Pi.
Is the Respeaker mic array board recommended? Any other repurchase advice, in general?

The b+ would be a little bit faster I think this is the only difference you can expect. I am currently running Mycroft on a 3b and it runs ok. That being said I just got a b+ for 36€, so it’s pretty cheap there is no real reason to go for a 3b, I use this one as my multimedia center with OSMC / Kodi, this is what my 3b was doing before and the 3b+ is definitely a little faster.

As for the microphone I use a Playstation Eye microphone but if you don’t want a USB mic, I just saw this…

It has been designed for voice applications. I haven’t tested it though.

I’d definitely go with the Pi 3B+ over the Pi 3, we’re just starting to support the Pi 3B+ now. In our experience we’ve found the PS3 eye and Jabra 410 to be good microphones, but the Jabra 410 sounds a bit big for what you’re trying to do.

Thanks, Kathy!

I was sort of leaning toward the ReSpeaker mic array but this post seems to indicate that it won’t work…

I guess the PS3 Eye is an OK interim solution. I can always play with the ReSpeaker mic array later.

I have that respeaker linked above and works perfect. (Picks up. “Hey mycroft” at 25 feet around the corner of a wall with normal speaking voice)

Installing requires some manual steps at the pi as described on their wiki. No big deal.

The installer might do this automagically later on in time. The leds need some coding, but multiple people are looking at it.

Btw, they have a new better version using the same drivers. I would choose that one now if you need to buy.

Has two adc chips with two hardware loopbacks which makes life a lot easier with noice/echo cancellation later down the road.

I descriped the respeaker install steps on my blog.

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That is an epic write up on your blog, seems like Hackster.io quality to me!

There are no complete Mycroft guides yet, just a couple skill demonstrations.

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Thank you, j1nx! Where can I find your blog?

Ah right, apologies. Check out my topic here;


I would love to find someone in the community who wants to be the lead on the Picroft scripts. Right now I know I bottleneck this somewhat. I find refining this is really interesting and fun, but the process is also a time-sink waiting on images to burn, testing from scratch with new hardware, rebuilding master images, etc.

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Would love to help out where I can, but like you always strugling with time…

Know my portion of linux and such, however not yet enough experience and knowledge about the Mycroft software stack to take any lead position or pin myself to promises I might not keep. However will get there in the near future.

I ordered all the parts for my Picroft, including the ReSpeaker mic hat. I now have a couple of follow-up questions…

  1. My stock of micro-SD cards is lower than I thought. What does everyone recommend? I’m asking about both capacity and brands/specs.
    2 (@j1nx) The ReSpeaker mic hat doesn’t fit in a standard case. What case did you use?

Can’t comment on question 1 because I just took the lazy route of ordering two SD cards from the RPi shop as a bundle type of thing. Assumed, they knew which was good. No issues so far, so…

About the case: I ordered the Orbital Case;

Would like to mod it by opening up the top but hasn’t started that yet because I am thinking of swapping the ReSpeaker 4-Mic with the new 6-Mic circular array for the ned product.