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Thread: raspberry pi!

  1. #1
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Default raspberry pi!

    Well, after years of consideration (yes, I'm like that), I decided to buy a Raspberry Pi... I went for the latest 3B+. I still need to get a case but will have to order that one next week due to easter holidays here. Being here in Spain gets a bit boring, especially in the weekends when the weather is bad (since early December nothing but clouds and rain) and with the easter holidays giving an extra 2 free days, I figured I may as well order me a toy. I can use my usb keyboard/mouse and my TV, so I do not need much to get started. The reason I finally went for it is that I found a few interesting projects that I would like to try.

    1. Loxberry, which is meant to complement the heart of my home automation system (Loxone) and increase functionality.
    2. Stratux, a ADS-B / gps receiver, which would allow me to use my old iPad for inflight navigation with visualization of traffic.
    3. TV backend server


    Particularly the second project is appealing to me: I just came across good flight navigation software for iPad and while it works, the fact that my iPad lacks a gps makes it rather useless. I just got the raspberry, so for this project on the list I would need to get a usb gps receiver and a rtl-sdr radio to receive ads-b. This radio can be a simple usb dvb-t receiver. The adsb/gps feed to the iPad goes via wifi and is compatible with different software packages and quite standard so there even are some Android softwares that can use it (for sure it can be usable later on). I was not thinking about the TV server first, but the ADS-B receiver uses a dvb-t compatible radio, so it became something to test. If it all works, I could get more Raspberry devices for dedicated purposes. It would be nice to also add a touchscreen in the mix for the Loxberry and make it double as a central control point (all it needs is to run an web browser, as both my Loxone and my music server have webinterfaces).

    I might try some network/cloud storage thing (but that seems straight forward, not sure it if is performing enough to be usable). Or I might try to put my music server on it (Logitech Music Server, currently it is on a pc, which uses wake-on-lan). A challenge would be to combine some functionalities (e.g. loxberry + music server + control point) which is what I want to try... Depending on what works and how it works, I could always buy more raspberry's (e.g. dedicated for the ads-b thing, a pi zero w suffices even).


    Any other interesting Raspberry Pi things you guys now of?

    edit: it just arrived by courier. Surprised how small it is... I mean, you see the photos and have reference due to the usb and ethernet ports, but still it is smaller than I anticipated...
    Last edited by VJ; 27th March 2018 at 05:23.
    pixar
    Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow. (James Dean)

  2. #2
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Well, off the bat: it is surprisingly small... even though you see the photos and have size references from the connectors, it still is smaller than what you anticipate.

    Installig raspbian on a microSD card is dead simple and the system then just works. Not sure why the decided to put e.g. a libreoffice on the raspbian distribution, but it all works fine out of the box. To the point that for many people it may even be a valid computer (text editing, mail and browsing). And it makes me wonder if this may not be the thing that brings Linux to the desktop...

    Ok, back to the fun parts. I managed to try the things I wanted to try and it seems like it all will work. I took my private ergonomic keyboard from work, so I would not be stuck using remote connections. USB keyboard/mouse just work and it had no problem pairing with a bluetooth mouse. The things I tested were mainly different distributions and installations: LoxBerry (to complement my home automation), Stratux (ads-b traffic receiver) and tvheadend on Raspbian (tv server). Today, I will start from scratch, trying out how good I can manage with doing it all via the network. By default, SSH is disabled, but you can enable it for a headless installation:
    https://www.raspberrypi.org/document...te-access/ssh/
    (it is even possible to configure the wifi, but I will use a cable connection)
    It from the terminal, it is then possible to enable the VNC server (or rdp server on older raspbian):
    http://www.circuitbasics.com/access-...te-connection/

    One heads-up: the 3B+ is very recent so some distributions are not yet released for it. If available, they are currently in unstable or pre-release state. But then getting the sources and trying to build it from them is also fun.

    I'll have to see how well I can manage it over the network, as I have a non-trivial network configuration. If it does not go well, I'll get some cheap keyboard.

    One thing: while the rapsberry itself is cheap, you quickly feel the need for wanting extra's for it: a case (dead cheap), a power cable with a switch (no more fumbling with pluging/unplugging connectors), one or more extra memory cards to play around more. There is this small touch-screen seducing me: 3.5", comes with a case, for about 26 euro... But I'll refrain for now and just get the bare essentials until I know more how I'll use it. Cheap case, power cable and memory card should suffice for now.
    pixar
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  3. #3
    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    Please post some pics.

  4. #4
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    At the moment there is not much to photograph... an exposed Rapsberry pi board connected to ethernet and a TV... Experimentation is mainly related to software stuff, installing and trying different distributions.

    But I seem to manage: I got the LoxBerry installation working on a full Raspbian and managed to install TVHeadEnd next to it. As I have no TV tuner, I was unable to test it so far. I'm thinking of also trying to add a Logitech Music Server, although I'm unsure I would turn the raspberry into a music server when I return to Warsaw (there are some benefits to it being my main computer).

    I also managed to install Stratux from their image and it seems to work in the sense that my iPad sees it. But as there is no gps or radio receiver connected, I could again not test it further...

    Still want to try out dual boot options (berryboot or noobs), although it may just be easier to swap sd cards...
    pixar
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Radio receiver is on order... This should allow me to test its use as a TV server (using TVHeadend), but also as the ADS-B receiver. My girlfriend visits in 2 weeks and she will bring some missing hardware (bluetooth gps receiver) so I will be able to experiment more.

    While it is exciting to see all the possibilities, it is interesting that it is a bit a step back in technology: much more tinkering with low level hardware. I'm still a bit worried that while it is possible that many hardware can be connected and used, it still may fail due to software support (or lack of my programming skills). But as long as I have some fun in the mean time, I'm less worried about the end result. I can see it working for the 2 main uses I bought it for (Loxberry and Stratux), and anything more than that would be fun to try. On my list of things to try are some that do not need additional hardware: file server, dab radio (can use the same radio receiver - could be useful for my father's car when analog radio is switched of in Belgium), ip-serial controller for my receiver and portable internet access point (using my 3G dongle, or redistributing a wifi connection). There are some things I would like to try that may require more hardware: ir-wifi bridge, and of course the improvement of the controls of some of those using touch screen or keypad... So plenty of things to do.
    pixar
    Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow. (James Dean)

  6. #6
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Just for a try, I installed LibreElec, a kodi-mediacenter on a minimal OS. And I was surprised how well the HDMI-CEC control goes. It gets detected and the remote of the TV can be used to control the mediacenter. While I'm not in the market for that, I can see the appeal: it really turns any TV into a smart TV (or re-kindles functionality of an older smart tv that lost functionality).

    While I'm not tinkering much in the hardware sense, the projects I wanted to try so far seem to work out (they installed and ran without errors, but I have not been able to test full functionality). Still have an issue connecting it to a WPA2-Enterprise wifi, but that is not that important.

    I would love to put a multiboot (Noobs or BerryBoot), but without a keyboard or mouse connected, it is impossible to select an OS (and it cannot be a bluetooth mouse). There is a cheap touch screen on amazon and while BerryBoot and Noobs have support for touch screens, I don't know if this one is... So still wondering if I will consider it or not... Could be fun, but it also blocks the GPIO connector... And I was thinking of getting one of those thinker-kits... It feels a bit like high tech lego....
    pixar
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  7. #7
    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    How much did you pay for the raspberry?

  8. #8
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    42 euro, the same shop (PCComponentes, a Spanish-Portugese chain) now offers it for 39.99; I paid extra for fast shipping, normal shipping cost is 3.95 euro (unless you have their Premium). I'm quite sure the Model 3b would also have sufficed for me, but the price difference was quite small (now there are very good offers on the 3b).

    The RaspberryPi was cheaper than on Amazon; with shipping it became more expensive but Amazon could not deliver it before Easter. And I wanted it before Easter to have something to do on the rainy long weekend.

    The radio receiver just arrived, so I may just test it quickly but may not get to it for some time as the next weekends look more busy.
    pixar
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  9. #9
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    I never got Netflix to run, let alone properly, on my 2B.
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  10. #10
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Sorry, I don't have Netflix so I cannot test it...

    The radio receiver I bought is this one: NooElec Smart. I tested it for DVB-T reception and it is immediately recognized in Rasbian (Stretch, latest kernel) and just works out of the box in TVHeadEnd on the Rasbian. So while I did not buy it as a DVB-T tuner primarily, at least it appears to work. NooElec has smaller models, but I read they get very hot and they have more fragile antenna connectors. The one I got gets warm (but you can touch it without problem), should use less power than the smaller models, should get a better signal and has a more solid SMA connector. I'll play around with the receiver in Windows as well, just to see how good it is supported.
    pixar
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  11. #11
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Any suggestions on multibooting?

    I know about Berryboot and Noobs... I would like to have a multiboot without having to connect a keyboard or so. For this purpose I though of either some buttons connected to the GPIO (e.g. one button for each os) or even a small touchscreen. The first question pops up quite frequent but I have not seen solutions for it; the second one seems possible with the official rpi touchscreen, but possibilities of using other ones are vague. Ideally I'd want a small screen (2.8-3.5") to keep the whole thing very portable, the official 7" display is a bit too big for that (but seems the only safe option so far)...

    I was thinking of a display like this: https://www.waveshare.com/product/mi...aper-hat-b.htm
    Then configure BerryBoot to have a default OS (simple Raspbian Lite or so), whose only task is to show an fixed image on the display and associate button presses with modifications of the BerryBoot-file /mnt/data/runonce (a bit as is done here: https://yoursunny.com/t/2017/berryboot-reboot-into/ ) . I'm guessing that all should not be too difficult. It would be quite static if it is a fixed image that just lists e.g. 4 boot options, but may be enough for my purpose... And one of the options could be something that uses the display in a more advanced way.
    Last edited by VJ; 11th April 2018 at 05:40.
    pixar
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Ok, from what I read, the idea to multiboot that way should work. And it may be a lot easier by getting a small lcd touchscreen rather than messing with the e-ink and buttons: a link on the desktop could run the script and reboot. So, before buying a small lcd, I'll try it... currently building some Berryboot images and then we'll see if it works. If that works out ok, a simple 3.5" lcd touchscreen with case (which can be found for ridiculously low prices) would be the next purchase.

    It does seem that running TVHeadend and Kodi at the same is too much for the Raspberry Pi 3B+: it manages, but you can see that it struggles at times (to output full HD via hdmi). More tests needed....
    pixar
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  13. #13
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Still not there... I tried these instructions:
    https://www.berryterminal.com/doku.p..._distributions
    But get the message
    read error, sector 0
    read error, sector 1
    read error, sector 29
    SELinux is disabled... file allows me to list the partitions in the img file, but I have not managed to mount them...

    A bit of an issue, as the ssh-access on a Stretch Lite is disabled by default, and lacking a keyboard it means I cannot edit the image file to enable ssh on a stretch lite on berryboot...

    Now a bit of holiday, but after that I'll get back to it. I may just use fill installations of Stretch, especially if I would have the touch screen that would make sense. :-)
    pixar
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  14. #14
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Strange, I got a notification of a reply but it does not show up...

    To answer it: the img file is a standard raspbian image which I can write to a SD card and it works fine. The img contains a FAT partition and a ext4 partition.

    One thing might be: I'm trying to mount the image in a Debian on Virtualbox... but as it is a file and not a real device, I thought that should not matter.
    pixar
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  15. #15
    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VJ View Post
    Strange, I got a notification of a reply but it does not show up...

    To answer it: the img file is a standard raspbian image which I can write to a SD card and it works fine. The img contains a FAT partition and a ext4 partition.

    One thing might be: I'm trying to mount the image in a Debian on Virtualbox... but as it is a file and not a real device, I thought that should not matter.
    Note that if you mount with -o loop it treats it like a read only file (used for mounting isos, useful if you want to dd iso to usb hdd).

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