Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Raspberries …

In Hardware on Jun 24, 2012 at 00:01

Recently got a Raspberry Pi here. Add keyboard, mouse, display, and USB power adapter and there it goes:

DSC 3341

Oh yes, I did have to put Debian 6 (Squeeze) on a 2 GB SD memory card first, using these instructions.

Note that my 1280×720 screen size isn’t auto-detected, but it’s good enough for now. This is the whole system:

DSC 3342

Next step – switch over to Ethernet:

  • plug in an Ethernet cable, it automatically registers via DHCP
  • log in via SSH, get rid of the greeting (simply create ~/.hushlogin)
  • set up password-less SSH access, yada, yada, yada

Done. Now I can unplug the keyboard and mouse, and insert a JeeLink. It’s recognized right out of the box:

Screen Shot 2012 06 23 at 15 13 48

Does it work? Let’s check with JeeMon (using a runtime built for ARM, of course):

Here’s a quick look at some stats and then a check that JeeMon works:

Screen Shot 2012 06 23 at 15 09 54

Looks good. Now let’s see if the JeeLink is accessible:

Screen Shot 2012 06 23 at 15 15 54

Yup. Done. Total setup time: 5 minutes (plus another 10 for the SD card). Well done, Raspberry Pi!

This draws 14 W in total, including 11 W for the display (when on) and 0.4 W when Ethernet is plugged in.

  1. Nice one…

    I’m not going to ask when you ordered yours though, as I might get depressed. I joined Farnell and RS’s queues back in March. Farnell took my money a few weeks ago and has an expected delivery date in the first two weeks of July (not long now!), but RS only took my money last week, and posted a lead time of 9 weeks! I don’t know what they’re playing at, but there is no way “unexpected initial demand” can be blamed for 9 weeks from now! I’m pretty sure I could send beat those times by sending off the schematics and having it made in China myself!

    Anyway, have fun, and I think you should send me your scope to cheer me up ;-)

    • Got it via a friend, who ended up with a second slot and passed that one on to me.

      But hey, scarce or not, it’s still just an ARM-based Linux board. There are about a million other alternatives…

  2. i also want one :( ^^

  3. Hey, you should try using Carambola. It might be more suitable than Raspberry.

  4. Mine was dispatched last week from Farnell, so hopefully it will arrive in the coming days.

    What’s that monitor you’re using JCW? It looks like you ripped it out of a case ;-)

  5. Oeps, missed the “display” link. Sorry about thank, and thanks for the link.

  6. I’m mixed on the Raspberry Pi. It’s a really cheap ARM board running Linux with USB, Ethernet, and HDMI. Aside from “normal” use, people are interested in using it for HTPC, media players, etc.

    But the main chip is from Broadcom, a company notorious for not releasing information to the Open Source community. Note that I don’t call it an SoC – it’s described as a “video processor” or somesuch and the ARM core is a co-processor. So on startup it first boots the GPU using a closed-source blob, which allocates memory for the ARM processor and allows it to boot Linux.

    So Linux on this hardware will only progress for as long as Broadcom supplies updated drivers. That may not matter, depending on what you use it for. But it’s something to keep in mind.

    • Good point – in effect, it’s “open with a little nasty hook” ;)

  7. I think it’s probably picking up the display just fine but it as standard expects an overscan. You have to change the settings in /boot/config.txt and reboot. If you create /boot/config.txt and enter the line “disable_overscan=1” I think it should work. If not look and for more information.

  8. So, if I read this correctly, I could use a PandaBoard ES to keep track of a group of JeeNodes and their associated sensors? This would be exactly what I want to accomplish with a home monitoring/gardenbot/weather system I envision.

    • Sure. Or any other board. The Carambola, if you don’t need video out. BeagleBoard. Draguino. Routers. There are literally dozens to pick from – across a huge range of variables: CPU power, memory, connectivity, power consumption, OS support, I/O pins, size, enclosures…

  9. Congratulations on your R-Pi (still waiting on mine). You can find out more about fixing the underscan black-borders problem here:

  10. I can’t wait for mine to arrive… and I was also planning to use it hooked up to some Arduino or Jeelab stuff… They took my money last week and I expect to get it in 9 weeks also…

    Are prototyping boards for the Raspberry available anywhere?

  11. You got yours!!! Congratz, I’m still waiting…

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