Category Archives: Raspberry Pi How-to’s

Interfacing the Neo-6M GPS Module & Raspberry Pi with LCD Readout

One of the coolest embedded platforms like the Raspberry Pi has given makers and DIYers the ability to get location data easily using GPS module and thus build things that rely on location. With the amount of power packed by the Raspberry Pi, it certainly will be quite awesome to build GPS based projects with the same cheap GPS modules and that is the focus of this post. Today in this project we will Interface GPS module with Raspberry Pi 3.

The goal of this project is to collect location data (longitude and latitude) via UART from a GPS module and display them display on a 16×2 LCD, so if you are not familiar with the way the 16×2 LCD works with the Raspberry Pi, this is another great opportunity to learn.

Measuring Rotation and acceleration with the Raspberry Pi

MPU-6050 Module

Acceleration and rotation sensors are most known from smartphones. The rotation of the device can be detected and can be addressed directly.

With the Raspberry Pi and a Gyroscope / Accelerator sensor it is possible to measure the rotation as well as the acceleration of the 3 axes.
In this tutorial use the MPU 6050 Gyroscope / Accelerator sensor interferfaced to a Raspberry Pi, and reads the values using I2C.

Components:

For this tutorial I have used the following components:

  • Raspberry Pi
  • MPU 6050 sensor module
  • Jumper Cables

Installing the Keyestudio Raspberry PI GPS Plate

Keyestudio GPS Plate
This Keyestudio KS0216 Raspberry Pi GPS Plate (shield) features high performance and low power consumption. It utilizes the NEO-6M Module developed by U-blox. The GPS Module is connected through the 2*20 expansion pins of Raspberry Pi. It features a large size ceramic antenna, sending locating information to GPS through the serial port. It can track up to 8 satellites on 50 channels at high speed, and it produces very accurate location data.

Plug the GPS Plate into Raspberry Pi 3. Upload your code to Raspberry Pi 3, and you can find your exact location within a few meters. It also provides you with very accurate time! It can be used in car navigation, personal positioning, fleet management, navigation and so on.

BerryGPS setup Guide for Raspberry Pi

BerryGPS IMU
BerryGPS-IMU v2 Plate has been designed to fit perfectly with the Raspberry Pi Zero. It is also compatible with all other versions Raspberry Pi, including the Pi 3B+.
BerryGPS-IMU v2 uses the M20048 from Antenova, which is a high quality GPS module which is able to track 22 satellites. The BerryGPS-IMU v2 is a GPS module which also includes the sensors that can be found on the BerryIMU v2 Plate.

BerryGPS-IMU v2 is also fitted with a barometric sensor (BMP280) which can be used to calculate altitude. A temperature sensor is also included.

Sensors included are;

  • GPS
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Magnetometer (Compass)
  • Barometric/Altitude
  • Temperature

GPS Module M20048

  • Low current consumption, <200uA when using Periodic mode.
  • Antenova M20048  ( MT3337-E chip) GPS module
  • 3.3v supply
  • NMEA 0183
  • UART  4800/9600/38400/115200 bps
  • Channels – 210 PRN / 66 Acquisition / 22 Tracking
  • Max update rate 5 Hz
  • Horizontal position accuracy <2.5m CEP
  • Acquisition sensitivity -148dBm
  • Tracking sensitivity -165dBm
  • Hot start <1s
  • Warm start <25s
  • Cold start <35s
  • Orbit prediction
  • 1PPS Sync
  • Fix LED
  • PPS LED
  • Internal antenna
  • Connector for external antenna
  • SuperCap to help store ephemeris data.

IMU:

An inertial measurement unit, or IMU, measures and reports on velocity, orientation and gravitational forces, using a combination of an accelerometer, gyroscope and a magnetometer.

Raspberry PI: Connecting a Neo-6M  GPS Module

Neo-6M GPS Module

I built a project using a Neo-6M  GPS Module with the Raspberry PI. Now there are several USB solutions, and apps that work with them, but I wanted to show how to use a $20 GPS module with a a serial UART, and Python code to decode the NMEA strings. Then you can write your own GPS interface, or combine the data with Google Maps.

Hardware Setup:

The first step is to connect the GPS module to the Raspberry PI. There are only 4 wires involved, so it’s a simple connection.

Streaming Video with the Raspberry Pi Zero W & Pi Camera

IR-CUT Camera Module
I needed a really tiny yet cheap camera so I thought of the Raspberry Pi Camera module. The Version 2 Camera Module does 8MP with good quality, although a 5MP  IR-Cut Camera better suited my needs.

About the IR-CUT Camera

The IR-CUT Camera works on Normal Mode by default. There are two ways to toggle between Normal Mode and Night-vision Mode.

1. By editing the config.txt<code> file:

and append:

exit with save and restart your Pi then the camera will work on Night-vision Mode.

Run a Program On Your Raspberry Pi At Startup

The method that I usually use to run a program on your Raspberry Pi at startup is to use the file rc.local. In order to have a command or program run when the Pi boots, you can add commands to the rc.local file. This is especially useful if you want to power up your Pi in headless mode (that is without a connected monitor), and have it run a program without configuration or a manual start.

Editing rc.local

On your Pi, edit the file /etc/rc.local using the editor of your choice. You must edit it with root permissions:

Add commands to execute the python program, preferably using absolute referencing of the file location (complete file path are preferred). Be sure to leave the line exit 0 at the end, then save the file and exit. In nano, to exit, type Ctrl-x, and then Y.

Make a “Safe Shutdown” Button for Raspberry Pi

Shutdown Button

Pulling the power to your Raspberry Pi can cause image corruptions & other issues that can damage your Pi! In this article, we will create a small push button that will work as a ‘Safe-Shutdown’ option. We’ll connect it to our Raspberry Pi using the GPIO pins and some jumper wires, and with a few lines of code, we will have our own power switch!

First, we are going to look at a simple way to wire a button to the Pi GPIO connector. We will then write a python script that will shut down the Pi safely. The final step will be to setup the Pi so that the button will work all the time. Let’s Get started!

Make a Raspberry Pi into a Anonymizing ‘TOR’ Proxy!

Tor + Onion + Raspberry Pi

TOR: The Onion Router is software that enables you to use the internet anonymously. By setting up TOR on a Raspberry Pi you can create a network router that scrambles all of your internet connection.

Turning a Raspberry Pi into a TOR Router has suddenly become much more appealing with Governments changing laws enabling ISPs to track customer internet usage, and selling on the data to advertising companies.

Use a Raspberry Pi to set up a TOR Network Router. I choose a Raspberry Pi 3 specifically because it has built-in wireless networking (the Pi Zero W would work well in this regard too).

The Raspberry Pi connects to the TOR network. All you have to do is then connect the Raspberry Pi to your broadband network, and connect your device to the Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi as a Hotspot/Access Point using ‘DHCP’

Raspberry Pi as Wireless Access Point

The Raspberry Pi can be used as a wireless access point, running a standalone network. This can be done using the inbuilt wireless features of the Raspberry Pi and even the Raspberry Pi ‘Zero W’, or by using a suitable USB wireless dongle that supports access points.

Note that this documentation was tested on a Raspberry Pi 3, and it is possible that some USB dongles may need slight changes to their settings. If you are having trouble with a USB wireless dongle, please check the forums.

In order to work as an access point, the Raspberry Pi will need to have access point software installed, along with DHCP server software to provide connecting devices with a network address. Ensure that your Raspberry Pi is using an up-to-date version of Raspbian is “Stretch“, or better (e.g. 2018-06-27-raspbian-stretch-lite.img).

VPN Server: Build Your Own Virtual Private Network

In this tutorial, I will be going through the steps on how to setup a Raspberry Pi VPN server using the OpenVPN software. I will also go into setting up various things you must do to ensure that your connection is as secure as possible by setting up encryption keys.

This can be a bit of a long process, but it is a relatively simple tutorial to follow, and shouldn’t require any extra interaction once it has been configured.

Using a Raspberry Pi is a cheap way of setting up a virtual private network (VPN) that can stay online 24/7 without consuming a large amount of power. It’s small and powerful enough to handle a few connections at a time making it great for private use at home.

VPN’s are an incredibly useful network tool that can allow you to gain access to encrypted and secure internet traffic even when you are utilizing public Wi-Fi.

Raspberry Pi for the Ultimate Retro Gaming Machine

RetroPie Logo 2015
A Raspberry Pi emulator can provide you with hundreds of hours of fun and remember those good times playing those classic retro games. This article will take you through all the steps that you will need to do to have a fantastic All-in-one Retro Gaming Emulator.
This game emulator is an excellent project if you’re an avid lover of retro games that you wish to replay. It’s important to remember that the Pi might not be able to play all the classics due to its limited processing power. With that said, it’s still an excellent way to play those classics.

If you’re not big on reading and you would like to see how this is done visually then check out the video I have prepared below. If you love the video, then you should subscribe as I will be adding a lot more videos on fantastic projects in the future. (PS. Sorry about the audio in this video, it’s quite old now).

Compile VLC Player with Hardware Acceleration

VLC media player

Thanks to a post on the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Message Board, where people have detailed the instructions on how to easily compile VLC Media Player with Hardware Acceleration. For this project, you’ll just need a Raspberry Pi and the basic peripherals: a power source, screen, keyboard and mouse, and microSD card (you need all of this to get Raspbian Installed in the first place, anyway).

Before we begin, a quick note for those of you who already have Raspbian, and may have installed VLC Media Player from Raspbian’s repositories: I recommend that you remove that version. You can do so by running the command:

Raspberry Pi “Zero”: HDMI Monitors Has NO SIGNAL

Raspberry Pi Zero
When connecting a Raspberry Pi ‘Zero’ for the first time to a TV monitor with HDMI, and receive the message: “No Signal”. I tried it on several inputs and cables with no luck. Other devices work fine with the TV, and the cables so there can not be the problem. Then I tried a computer monitor with HDMI, also with no luck. What is happening?

I’ve investigated the problem for a couple of hours, before finding the solution.

The Raspberry Pi ‘Zero’ outputs a relatively weak HDMI Signal. Some devices may not immediately notice the Raspberry Pi ‘Zero’s HDMI Signal, or may not go through the negotiation process.

Connecting ‘Xbox Controllers’ to the Raspberry Pi

Xbox Controller

If you have ever tried to use an Xbox controller with the Raspberry Pi, you will find very quickly that they do not work correctly right out of the box. In fact to get them working you will be required to install a special driver.

With the newer Xbox One controllers that feature the Bluetooth functionality, you will also find that they will need extra work on top of the driver installation to get them to run. Namely, they are not properly supported by some of the Bluetooth functionality that is switched on by default.

This guide will show you how to get your Xbox Controllers up and running on the Raspberry Pi, while also walking you through how to get the newer Bluetooth enabled controllers to pair successfully on the Pi.



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