Tag Archives: Raspberry Pi

Comparison of Raspberry Pi Zero Model W and Onion Omega 2+

There is a lot happening in the Maker Space! We have just watched two new major releases of embedded microprocessor platforms . . . the Raspberry Pi Zero Model W and the Onion Omega 2+. Both these platforms are impressive in that they both offer a small package with onboard WiFi for $10.   This combination of features, price and size opens up  a new world of possibilities for compact, portable projects.

After reviewing both of these platforms, we choose the Raspberry Pi Zero model W as the platform we will be pursuing at this point. The video above gives a head to head comparison of the two platforms, and the rational behind our decision.

Raspberry Pi Announces Release of the WiFi Version of the Pi Zero. The New Model W

We are very excited to see that Raspberry Pi has announced the release of the WiFi model of the Raspberry Pi zero, which has onboard Bluetooth and WiFi. Anticipated price is $10. We believe this new model will be a game changer, and will accelerate the development of exciting new prototypes and products. As of this morning, I have not found any supplier with the devices in stock, but will order one as soon as I can find a supplier. I plan to do some tutorials and projects as soon as I can get my hands on one of these. Please share your thougts below.

Review of the Raspberry Pi Zero

I was extremely excited to learn of the Raspberry Pi Zero. It is a trimmed down version of wildly popular the Raspberry Pi, and one designed for embedded operation. In getting the Pi Zero I was really impressed with its small size and low cost. It has a small HDMI output, and two micro-usb inputs (one is OTG).  The Pi Zero is about the size of a stick of gum, and is priced at $5. While I was impressed with just about everything associated with the Pi Zero, in my mind it has one fatal flaw. It has neither an Ethernet Port, nor on board Wifi. To really use the Pi Zero for any of the applications I would be interested in, Wifi or an Ethernet connection would have to be added. Making this more difficult is the issue of the Micro USB connection. I am not aware of any micro-USB wifi units. Hence, we must buy a cable that goes from micro-USB to USB, and then get a USB Wifi Dongle. The cost of the cable alone will likely be more than the Pi Zero itself, and destroys the small form factor provided by the Zero.

So, as much as I love the Pi 3, and as much as I wanted to love the Pi zero, I am going to have to give it the thumbs down. I understand when you make something small and cheap, you have to give up things. But, I with they would have dropped the HDMI output and one of the USB connectors, and provided on board Wifi.  I am hopeful they will at some point release an upgraded Pi Zero with on board Wifi. Then I would pursue development on this platform.

Low Cost Raspberry Pi IP Camera

Raspberry Pi Camera
Low Cost IP Camera with Raspberry Pi

In this lesson we give you a step by step tutorial on how to create a low cost IP camera from a Raspberry Pi and the Raspberry Pi camera module.  (If you need to get a Raspberry Pi and Camera Module, we recommend this complete starter Kit, which you can order HERE.  If you already have a Raspberry Pi, and just need a camera, you can get the camera module HERE.) We are going to assume you already have your Raspberry Pi up and running, and are able to make a connection to it via Putty or SSH. If you are completely new to the Raspberry Pi, you should probably start with the  first two lessons on THIS PAGE.

This video will take you through the steps one at a time. In addition, the tutorial below has the commands that you can copy and paste. We recommend you both follow the video, and get the steps from the instructions below, so you do not have to manually type the commands. Be very careful . . . you must be precise in following these instructions for things to work.

OK, now assuming you have your Raspberry Pi up and running, and you can connect via Putty or SSH, These are the steps to get your dandy personal IP camera working. You will type or copy and paste these lines one at a time into the Raspberry Pi command line.

STEP 1: Get Your Raspberry Pi Up to Date:

STEP 2: Install Lighttpd Web Server:

STEP 3: Enable Server to Process PHP Scripts

STEP 4: Create a PHP WEB Page:

Now you will want to type or paste this info into the nano window.

STEP 5: Save your nano file with these key strokes:

To be clear, you press the Control key and the letter “O” at the same time. Then press the enter key. Then press the Control and “X” key at the same time.

STEP 6: Restart the Webserver:

STEP 7: Check That the WEB Server is Working:

Go to a browser on a Windows computer on your network, and type:

http://10.1.15.94/

(NOTE: You would use your Pi’s IP address above. The number I use above is the IP address of our Pi. Your number will be different. You can find out your IP address on the pi by typing ifconfig into the terminal window.)

If you configured things correctly, you should get an Apache info page pop up.

Also, you should be able to see your php information page by entering:

http:/10.1.15.94/php.php

Again, you should use your IP address. If you did things correctly you should have a page come up with lots of tables describing php configuration

STEP 8: Reboot Your Computer

STEP 9: Install the crtmpserver

STEP 10: Backup default crtmpserver file

STEP 11: Edit flvplayback.lua file

 Open the file in nano editor:

Now edit your file to these values:

STEP 12: Save and Exit 

To be clear, you press the Control key and the letter “O” at the same time. Then press the enter key. Then press the Control and “X” key at the same time.

STEP 13: Restart crtmpserver

STEP 14: Remove ffmpeg

We need to make sure we have a clean copy of ffmpeg, so safest thing to do is un-install it in case an old version is on your pi.

STEP 15: Intall Latest git-core and ffmpeg software

and then:

and then:

and then:

and then:

and then:

and then:

STEP 16: Now Make and Install the software:

These two commands will take a while. After inputting the commands go and get some coffee.

STEP 17: Install Samba:

 

We will want Samba to easily exchange files to and from windows.

STEP 18: Edit Samba File:

Now you need to add these lines to the smb.conf file. You should add them into the SHARE DEFINITIONS section, after the netlogin part.

After adding this code, my SHARE DEFINITIONS section looks like this:

Now save and exit the nano editor with:

Ctrl O
Enter
Ctrl X

At this point, your Raspberry Pi should show up on your Windows computer network on your windows machine.  On your windows machine, open a folder, click on “network” on the left, and you should see your raspberry pi show up. Now you can move files to and from your Raspberry Pi from Windows.

STEP 19: Install Strobe Software and WEB Page:

We will want to be able to view the live video stream in a browser, so we need to install the Strobe software. These next steps will install and enable the strobe feature.

Now the easiest way to get the strobe software is to download it on a windows computer. You can get the software by going to:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/smp.adobe/files/

and downloading the latest version of strobe media playback.

Now open the zipped folder and drag and drop the folder “for Flash Player 10.1” to your desktop.

Now move the CONTENTS of the unzipped “for Flash Player 10.1” folder onto your Raspberry Pi. You will want to move the CONTENTS of “for Flash Player 10.1” folder into the /home/var/www/html/strobe folder on your Raspberry Pi. If you installed Samba correctly, the Raspberry Pi should show up when you open a folder in Windows and click on “Network”.

Now you have the strobe software installed and you need to create a Strobe WEB page to display your live video.

First, make sure you are in the html folder by typing:

On your raspberry pi, now issue the command:

Now paste this code into your Nano window. You can paste by copying the code below, and then going to your Raspberry Pi command Window, and right mouse clicking.

Now you should save and exit nano with these commands:

To be clear, you press the Control key and the letter “O” at the same time. Then press the enter key. Then press the Control and “X” key at the same time.

STEP 20: Enable Raspbery Pi Camera Module:

At the command line enter:

Scroll down and enable the camera.

STEP 21: Start the Camera:

You are now ready to fire up the camera. You can start the camera by issuing this command in the Raspberry Pi command window.

STEP 22: View the Live Stream

Now to view the live stream just open a browser on a computer on your network and type in the IP address of your pi:

http://10.1.15.94

(Use your ip address. The one above is my IP address.

This has been a long project, but I hope well worth it. If you follow the instructions EXACTLY, it should work. Enjoy!

Comparing the Arduino, Raspberry Pi Model 2, and Beaglebone Black

In this video we do a head to head comparison of the Arduino, Raspberry Pi Model 2, and the Beaglebone black. We compare the pros and cons of each platform and discuss how to decide which platform to learn on and which is best for different types of projects.

You can pick up the gear discussed in this video below:

Arduino: This is a great place to start, and the device is very affordable.

Sparkfun Inventor Kit: Everything you need to learn microcontroller programming and circuits. This is the kit we use in our Arduino Lessons, and even includes the Arduino.

Raspberry Pi Kit: This kit has everything you need to follow along on our Raspberry Pi Lessons.

Raspberry Pi: If you already have the cords and cables, you can buy just the Raspberry Pi.

Beaglebone Black: We are not working on a series of lessons showing you how to use the Beaglebone Black. Now would be a good time to go ahead and order your Beagle.

I hope you enjoyed this video lesson, and hope you will jump in and take our lessons on using the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and the Beaglebone Black