Category Archives: Raspberry Pi How-to’s

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).

Raspberry Pi: 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.

Banish Advertising From Your Whole Network with Pi-Hole

Pi-Hole_admin_interface

What is Pi-Hole?

Pi-Hole is a Linux network-level advertisement and internet tracker blocking application which acts as a DNS sinkhole (And optionally a DHCP server), intended for use on a private network. It is designed for use on embedded devices with network capability, such as the Raspberry Pi, but can be used on other machines running Linux and cloud implementations.
Pi-Hole has the ability to block traditional website adverts as well as adverts in unconventional places, such as smart TVs and mobile operating system adverts.

The Pi-hole project was created by Jacob Salmela as an “Open Source” alternative to the AdTrap.

Controlling Mindstorms EV3 with a Raspberry Pi

Original Article: The MagPi, The Official Raspberry Pi Magazine

LEGO Mindstorms is a great tool to gain experience in understanding robotics, but what if you wanted to make your own input sensor? In this guide, we will show how simple it is to construct a circuit to control a Mindstorms robot through GPIO in Raspberry Pi.

We will show every step from connecting the robot to writing the code. The result will be a program in Ch, a superset interpreter of C/C++, to control the direction of the robot with a push-button.

Timelapse Photography with Raspberry Pi Zero

long-camera-adaptor-for-pi-zero

This tutorial will guide you through taking photos using a Pi Zero and camera, to make a simple timelapse-capturing device. Use it to make a timelapse of a plant growing with the delay set to a day, or the progress on your building work with hourly photos, or a soldering project with a photo every 5 seconds.

Enable the camera

This tutorial assumes you have already set up your OctoCam as per the instructions. If you’re using a camera and a Pi, make sure the camera is connected.

In the Terminal, type sudo raspi-config and press Enter. This will bring up a menu on the screen. You’ll need to press 5, then choose option 1 to enable the camera, and then choose yes. Once you finish with the menu you should get prompted to reboot. This needs doing!

Build a Raspberry Pi Streaming Music Player

Pi MusicBox

In this tutorial, I will be going through steps to making your very own Raspberry Pi music player. This process is pretty straightforward, so you shouldn’t come across any problems at all.

For this project, I am going to be using a pre-built software package called the Pi Musicbox. This software contains plenty of features & functionality that make it great as a Music player.

This project is a headless music player so you will need to use a different device to be able to control it. The good thing is you can pretty much use any device that has a browser to be able to interact with it.

pHAT DAC for Raspberry Pi Zero

If you want to see how to do this visually, then be sure to check out my full video below. It goes through all the steps to getting this setup and working correctly in no time at all. If you do like the video be sure to subscribe, so you stay up to date.

Writing Your First Shell Script with Raspberry Pi

First Bash Script with Raspberry Pi

In this tutorial we’ll be writing our first bash script for Raspberry Pi. We’ll create a directory to keep this and future scripts, write the actual script, and set it up as something that can be executed from the shell.

Scripts are an incredibly powerful tool to have in your toolbox. In essence, a script is just a sequence of commands that you could otherwise have entered into the shell. The power of scripts is that they can be used to make decisions, and execute certain commands based off that decision. Scripts can be scheduled to run at certain times, and can execute trigger other scripts.

In this tutorial we’re assuming you’re familiar with how to use the terminal to navigate the file system and create files and directories.

24-bit, 192KHz Audio for the Raspberry Pi Zero with the pHAT

pHAT DAC for Raspberry Pi Zero

The pHAT provides a super affordable high-quality DAC for your Raspberry Pi. It pumps out 24-bits at 192KHz from the Raspberry Pi’s I2S interface on its 2×20 pin GPIO header.

Use pHAT DAC to build a tiny, lush-sounding streaming music device, or use it with Scroll pHAT to make a beautiful spectrum analyser!

Features

  • 24-bit audio at 192KHz
  • Line out stereo jack
  • Optional landing for dual RCA phono connector
  • PCM5102A DAC over the Raspberry Pi’s I2S interface
  • pHAT DAC pinout
  • Compatible with Raspberry Pi 3B+, 3, 2, B+, A+, Zero, and Zero W
  • Female header requires soldering

WS2812 Addressable LEDs: Raspberry Pi Quick-start Guide

This tutorial is aimed at getting some instant gratification from your WS2812 LEDs (trade name: neopixels). I’ll briefly cover a bare-bones setup for Raspberry Pi.

If you’ve never used a Raspberry Pi before, we’ve got you covered with our free, online Raspberry Pi How-To’s.

Temperature Sensing With Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi lacks analogue input, and while it’s possible to use an Analogue to Digital Converter (ADC), the DS18B20 is a fantastic, easy to use digital sensor that uses the Dallas 1 wire communication interface. Fortunately for us, the Raspberry Pi comes with built in software handling for 1 wire sensors which makes using sensors such as the DS18B20 pretty straightforward.

What is 1-Wire Communication

The Dallas 1-Wire protocol is a method of serial communication designed for simple communication between 1 Master and multiple Slave devices. Serial communication means that data is sent bit-by-bit along a single data line.

1 wire communication is most commonly used for temperature sensors, EEPROM chips, and other simple devices. Unlike other serial communication protocols such as I2C, which allows for device IDs/addresses to be assigned and handled by the master device, 1 wire devices have an unchangeable, factory set device ID. By differentiating between unique device IDs, you can chain multiple slave devices on a single data bus.

Setup Raspberry Pi Zero with Headless WiFi

Raspberry Pi Zero
The following instructions will work anytime, you don’t necessarily have to follow them for the first boot – this is just a very convenient way to get your Raspberry Pi onto a network without using any plug-in peripherals like a keyboard, mouse or monitor.

What is “headless,” anyway?

A computer setup without a monitor is said to be running headless. You might want to do this if you’re installing your Pi into some project, or want to keep power-usage and cost minimal. This kind of setup is what the Pi Zero W was built for. The idea is that you can still access your Pi’s terminal interface over your network using a protocol called SSH.

All we need to do is get our Pi set up with the right WiFi credentials and we’ll be able to remotely access it through a terminal program, as if we were using the terminal Pi’s own desktop. What’s more, we’ll get our Pi connected to WiFi without ever having to plug in a monitor, keyboard or mouse to configure it.



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