Hello

 

The parts arrived a week ago and I was glad to find all essential pieces inside.

 

The first step was to check the RaspberryPi_V2 and install Raspbian, 2015-02-16 at that time (I saw a new one - 2015-05-05 - came out since) and made usual configuration, expand FS,

enable camera and network configuration for remote access.

 

This was my first contact with the RaspberryPi_V2 and I'm pleased about it. Improved CPU, Micro-SD slot and the 4 USBs are so far the most important points for me.

 

Wireless Network Adapter

 

I'll use the RaspberryPi headless so I need a wireless network adapter connected on USB.

For this purpose I'm using the included WiPi, which performed very well. I have tried a handful of wireless USB adapters so far and I can say the WiPi is the most reliable and trouble free so far.

It really worked out of the box, connection is very stable and it worked connected directly to RaspberryPi_V2 and to external USB hubs, both powered and not powered.

 

 

Real time clock

 

Because RaspberryPi don't have an Real Time Clock (RTC) and by design my project is not always connected to network/internet I need an external RTC.

In this case I use the provided PiFace Real Time Clock.

Installation and configuration were pretty easy. One thing I to do before using the official PiFaceRTC instructions is to enable I2C from raspi-config.

Configuration steps are bellow:

 

- install a CR1220 battery on PiFace Real Time Clock

- install PiFace Real Time Clock module on RaspberryPi

- sudo raspi-config -> select "Advanced Options" -> Enable I2C -> Finish -> Reboot

- cd /home/pi

- with RaspberryPi connected to internet -> wget https://raw.github.com/piface/PiFaceRealTimeClock/master/installpifacerealtimeclock.sh

- chmod +x installpifacerealtimeclock.sh

- sudo ./installpifacerealtimeclock.sh

- sudo reboot

- set current date/time -> sudo date -s "1 MAY 2015 10:10:30"

- with RaspberryPi disconnected from network to avoid NTP update time, let RaspberryPi powered off a couple of minutes and then turn it back on. Now check if date and time are correct, for

my case they were

That's it, I now have a running onboard RTC.

One thing I don't like about this board is the way it is attached to RaspberryPi. Sometimes the RaspberryPi pins did not make a good contact with metallized holes from RTC board and then

date command returned a wrong time. Bending RaspberryPi pins here and there improved connection, but I believe I had to change the way boards are connected.

 

 

More about PiFaceRTC can be found on the following links:

http://www.element14.com/community/docs/DOC-68907/l/shim-rtc-realtime-clock-accessory-board-for-raspberry-pi#documents

http://www.piface.org.uk/assets/piface_clock/PiFaceClockguide.pdf

 

 

 

 

Input and Display

 

 

One of the important way I send commands and receive feedback to and from RPi is the PiFace Control & Display module.

Installation and configuration was straightforward using official instructions, no tricks involved

I planned from the beginning to use Python for this project and PiFaceCAD have support for both Python 2.7 and Python 3.

 

 

For testing purposes I performed following steps:

- mounted PiFaceCAD on RPi, as described in instructions

- enable SPI port -> sudo raspi-config -> select "Advanced Options" -> Enable SPI -> Finish -> Reboot

- sudo apt-get install python-pifacecad

- run test application -> python /usr/share/doc/python-pifacecad/examples/sysinfo.py -> Success. Information about IP, temperature and memory load are shown.

 

 

PiFaceCAD can be controlled with an infrared remote controller, but I will skip this step for now, as I don't need it for the moment.

 

 

After successful installation and configuration of PiFaceCAD module, I started to write the code for control menu. I hope to have it ready in the next couple of weeks.

So far I have no cons about this module, everything worked fine from the beginning, although it feels a little bulky as it is and most likely will undergo some surgery on the display side

to lower its profile.

 

 

More about PiFaceRTC can be found on the following links:

http://www.element14.com/community/docs/DOC-68972?ICID=piFacedigitalmain-techspecs

 

 

Well, so far I have RaspberryPi_V2 + RTC + PiFaceCAD working well together. In the next post I'll add more components to this core.

 

 

May the Force be with you