The Raspberry Pi has been out for six years and three months and we can finally say that the perfect on/off switch add-on for it has now been created. The Hackable Pi Switch Cap, an upgraded version of the previous (and also excellent) Hackable Pi Switch, has ditched the cable-filled setup for a much more streamlined version that also offers some truly special extras with the addition of media remote control support.
The Cap part of the name signifies that it connects via the GPIO pins, sitting on top of the Raspberry Pi much like a HAT. It only uses the first twelve GPIO pins, though, leaving 28 spare on (most) Raspberry Pi models so that you can attach more bits, which is nice. These twelve pins provide power to the Raspberry Pi, as well as allowing for an interface for the remote controls which you can get with it.
It looks like a much neater fit when it’s installed on a Raspberry Pi as well, and uses the same 5 V micro USB input port as the Pi itself so you don’t need to use a different power supply with it. The Cap will wait for you to press the nice power button on the board or press the power button on the remote and start providing power to the Raspberry Pi. It will then turn the Pi off with a software shutdown, but it also supports a hard power-off – and it’s still hackable, just like the original Pi Switch.
The remote support is a great addition, with some default Kodi support as part of it. It’s LIRC compatible as well, so you should be able to adapt universal remotes to work with it. This makes it perfect for media centres.
All of this would be enough, but the Cap also includes optional temperature/humidity and pressure sensors, as well as a tiny OLED screen, allowing it to be used in more traditional utility projects. Even so, we’re still going to use our first one with our Kodi Pi sitting below our TV, naturally.
Everything you’d want from a custom power-switch for the Raspberry Pi, and more. The Switch Cap perfects any media centre, but can also work in specific Pi programming projects.