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2016

In Participation of Element 14s Awesome Global Arcade project bkutzsch and myself will team up as Team "K", AKA KillerByte.  :-)

 

I am in the process of getting an old school full size arcade system to be the body for this project.  I know spannerspencer specified we didn't have to work an old school cabinet in but when I came across one and then that very night read about this awesome offering by Element 14 it seems as if this is meant to be.  Right now there are two potential donors, one an old Rai Den and the other a Die Hard cabinet, I just have to see how much it will cost to get one of them.  No clue on the full functionality of either aside from knowing that the monitor is definitely blown on both.

 

Potential Donors for E14MAME2 of the 4 are already gone but 2 still left!

 

STEM has not caught on here in my part of the US and I am hoping to be able to present this project and Element 14 out to the small local Maker community and with Braedan's help bring more awareness into the Schools of the cool potential of STEM and the value of getting our youth involved early.  Showing the positive possibilities of working with STEM and Autism Spectrum Disorder students will be a major highlight for this project and will be an incredible opportunity to show the public that students with learning disabilities can succeed in the pursuit of STEM.

 

The current project Kit is listed as:

A Raspberry PI 3, 2 classic ball-top joysticks, 15 28mm arcade buttons, 2 Arduino Leonardos, a 19" LCD monitor, a set of 2.1 active computer speakers, and a variety of usb cables, sd card and wire kit.

 

I can say we are currently planning on using all of the parts of the kit and perhaps needing to order additional parts in future renditions after the base project has shown success.  Allowing for up to 4 players is an upgrade version in the plans.  After we test out how well Minecraft can be implemented of course.

 

If our team is selected as one of the 10, we look forward to creating and blogging about our Element 14 MAME Project and sharing the success of STEM and Element 14's generous support.

dannyr

Gameboypi

Posted by dannyr Mar 19, 2016

Currently working on a GameBoy Pi build and ran into a small snag need somebody that can help me figure out some minor wiring issues

 

Wiring help on a Gameboy pi project.

Raspberry Pi is a great component for building low cost servers!

As reported yesterday on the Raspberry Pi Blog, Mythic Beasts managed the online launch of Raspberry Pi 3 in part by hosting it on Raspberry Pi itself ! It was an impressive example of eating your own dog food and Raspberry Pi 3 rose to the challenge for quite a while. Check out Raspberry Pi's latest blog to learn all the details but suffice to say we think Raspberry Pi 2 and now Pi 3 are an excellent choice for building servers. Likewise, in the interests of "dogfooding", we have been running our office on two Pi 2 and a Duo Pi blade board for six months now (as shown below) and it operates flawlessly !

BitScope Blade Duo Pi dual Raspberry Pi redundant file and network server.

Using a cheap 4-port switch and HDD extracted from an ultrabook (when we upgraded it to use an SSD instead), we've run our DHCP, DNS, WiFi AP and local file servers on these two Raspberry Pi 2 with a wall mounted Duo Pi. It's been running since September without a single crash. The key to its reliability is the stability of the power supply provided by the Duo Pi and the fact that we run the main server from the HDD (and not the SD card which boots the server only).

BitScope Blade and Raspberry Pi 3

With the launch of Raspberry Pi 3 and new Blade boards like Quattro Pi and Uno Pi, even more options are available.

BitScope Blades on a Wall - the options now available.

For example you can mount a Raspberry Pi and HAT on a blade, stand-alone or in a rack. You can even mount the Pi Display. Perhaps you'd like to be able to run four (or more!) Raspberry Pi at once and maybe do away with network switches and wires. Raspberry Pi 3 embeds wireless into every board making this possible. This is a great addition to a very powerful little computer. It means you no longer need a network switch in many cases because you can use WiFi instead and of course you don't need USB WiFi or Bluetooth dongles any more either. Add the faster 64-bit CPU of the Pi 3 all in a physical form factor and for a price that's identical to the previous two models and you have the perfect drop-in upgrade for Raspberry Pi based server solutions.

Physical Computing

For us all about physical inputs and outputs and with Raspberry Pi you get a lot of I/O at very low cost...

BitScope Blade Quattro Pi physical computing USB/Ethernet I/O.

We're of an open mind about the use of Raspberry Pi to build high demand servers like Mythic Beasts did on Pi 3 launch day. It comes down the the efficacy of the ARM vs x86 architectures and the efficiency with which the PHP engine can run a very high traffic Wordpress website in this particular use-case. However, Raspberry Pi really shines when building servers where low cost, low power and low heat are key design criteria. Lots of USB ports make it ideal for a wide range of home, SME and small scale uses nothing else compares and for what we do here at BitScope (physical computing, test, measurement, data acquisition etc) it's perfect.

Cloud and Cluster Computing with Docker on Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is well suited to cluster & cloud computing too. It's early days but we're working hard on the infrastructure side with BitScope Blade to make it easy to DIY your own Pi based servers for cloud and cluster computing using various software solutions.

Docker Pirates ARMed with explosive stuff - Roaming the seven seas in search for golden container plunder.

In terms of software, we particularly like Docker and some other impressive open source projects including Mesos, Spark and more. If you're interested in running Docker on Raspberry Pi we highly recommend you check out Docker Pirates. These guys are at the forefront of what's possible with Raspberry Pi on the cloud computing and server side of things. For example they recently described how to set up a Docker Swarm on a cluster with eight Raspberry Pi 3, grouped as two tiny 4 x Pi datacenters. You can scale this to almost any size with Blade Servers built with Duo Pi or Quattro Pi.

Server Storage Solutions for Raspberry Pi

The other thing that caught our attention recently is Western Digital's new PiDrive.

PiDrive BitScope Blade Raspberry Pi Server Storage Solution.

One thing you sometimes need a lot of in server applications is storage. Large SD cards are available but it can be risky to run everything from a single SD card as the crash of the Pi 3 serving the launch day traffic demonstrated. The good news is there are many storage options available when running Raspberry Pi with BitScope Blade. We designed BitScope Blade to power Raspberry Pi with more than enough juice to run a stack of USB connected HDD or SDD devices as our example at the top of this post demonstrates. The PiDrive makes it even easier by integrated USB interface into the drive itself. The new Raspberry Pi 3 can boot from USB storage devices and even across a network eliminating the need for an SD card at all if desired. In practice we've found (the right) SD cards to be very reliable, especially if you simply use them to boot across to another USB connected storage device.

The use-case described in the foundation's blog today goes a long way to proving that Eben's dream (to make Raspberry Pi a standard computing platform) can be realised and now with Raspberry Pi 3 and BitScope Blade there is great platform with which to do it IOHO !

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and friends.

Cost effective industrial computing in a familiar form factor

It's hard to spot the difference just looking at it but the new Raspberry Pi 3 pictured above with its predecessors is the latest iteration of Raspberry Pi in the popular "Model B" form factor and it's a cracker !

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Product Launch

Our friends at Raspberry Pi and element14 gave us samples and invited us to exhibit BitScope Blade at the Raspberry Pi 3 launch held today at the Shard in London. Eben introduced this new model to the world as we celebrated Raspberry Pi's fourth birthday. We exhibited BitScope Blade industrial deployment solutions using Raspberry Pi 3 and found what we've come to expect; everything just worked. Raspberry Pi 3 is based on the brand new BCM2837 64 bit quad-core CPU from Broadcom. This chip is fully backward compatible with the 32 bit BCM2836 and BCM2835 versions used in the earlier models as it also supports 32 bit code. The new CPU is a great enhancement but a most welcome new feature is the built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.

Wireless Networking

Since we launched BitScope Blade a couple of months ago, many people have taken to using WiFi dongles to network connect their Raspberry Pi to each other (instead of Ethernet switches and cables). While this works, it is no match for the reliability and higher bandwidth of a wired connection but on the flip side it does offer the physical simplicity of wireless connectivity. Wouldn't it be great if WiFi was built-in?

BitScope Blade 02, Duo Pi, Power & Mounting Raspberry Pi Model B Version 3 and 2.

Built-in WiFi & BLE !

With the new Raspberry Pi 3 you how get 802.11n WiFi built-in which is not only more reliable than a USB WiFi dongle it's also much faster. Of course WiFi networks and hotspots are ubiquitous so the Pi3's built-in WiFi makes this model very convenient and useful in almost any use-case and it all works with earlier models via USB WiFi dongles too. Indeed, this is how Bruce connected many Raspberry Pi 3 together for BitScope Blade and BitScope Micro demos he exhibited at the official launch of the Raspberry Pi 3 earlier today. One Duo Pi loaded with a Raspberry Pi 3 and 2 side by side (as shown here) also proved very useful stand-alone test bed in the hotel room when he was setting up.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and BitScope Micro Launch Day Demo

The Internet Of Things

The set up shown here is what Bruce used to demonstrate one example of what the Internet of Things (IoT) might look like, in this case for test & measurement One BitScope Micro and port adapter was connected to a small signal generator and controlled by a Raspberry Pi 3 which was powered from a 5V battery. The Raspberry Pi was configured as a WiFi Access Point running BitScope Server and Node.js so visitors could connect their phones wirelessly. By opening the web browser on their phone, visitors were able to view waveforms generated by the oscillator without any power or network wiring connecting their phone to the BitScope. Using simple controls on the web app on the phone they could change the timebase, voltage ranges and trigger settings. All the software required was hosted on the Raspberry Pi 3 itself. No special software or apps were required on the phones. He did this to demonstrate the flexible software, power and wireless connection options offered by Raspberry Pi 3; the essential elements for any IoT application.

The Cloud and Compute Clusters

Of course the other side of the equation in IoT is the cloud, where "the intelligence" of the devices resides. With BitScope Blade, Raspberry Pi 3 has got that covered too !

BitScope Blade Pack 10 Uno Pi Physical Compute Cluster

Whether it's physical or cluster computing for data acquistion and number crunching or distributed processing for private, hybrid or public clouds, Raspberry Pi 3 makes it all very easy to build. Shown here is a BitScope Blade Pack 10 populated with Uno Pi (instead of the usual Duo Pi) with one Raspberry Pi and space for one HAT on each blade. BitScope Blade Packs power each blade via the end plates so no power wiring is required and now with Raspberry Pi 3, no network wiring is required either because WiFi can be used instead. In one compact unit a physical computing system can be built including the I/O (via HAT devices, more on this soon). Alternatively, using Duo Pi a pure compute cluster can be constructed, with wireless internal networking and connection with external IoT devices like the one above. Another benefit of the new Raspberry Pi is the quad-core 64 bit CPU which affords greater compute capacity in any size cluser and the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity options for connecting even the smallest and low power of IoT devices.

BitScope Blade & Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

Raspberry Pi has always been a great low cost compute platform, whether for the educational purposes for which it was originally designed or the huge range of domestic and industrial applications in which it's been deployed since.

Oden Technologies real-time factory analytics system.

We developed BitScope Blade to make it easy to embed Raspberry Pi into a wide range of these sorts of applications. The new Raspberry Pi 3, with its 64 bit performance and full wireless stack makes it even easier to develop reliable physical computing systems at very low cost. Whether it's a single IoT device like a BitScope Micro based data acquisition system or a large compute cluster with network connection or monitoring systems running real-time analytics for manufacture operations such as the Oden System, BitScope and Raspberry Pi offer effective low cost solutions.

I recently had the opportunity to take the Raspberry Pi 3 Model BRaspberry Pi 3 Model B out for a test drive.   The form factor of the new Raspberry PI is the same with the exception of the LED’s being moved from the right side to the left side of the board (Pi facing up with USB data ports facing you).   If you have a clear case or you don’t mind having your view of the LED’s blocked then most cases that fit the Model B+ or the Pi 2 model B will fit the Pi 3.

 

Labeled Comparison of the Raspberry  PI 3 and the Model B+

 

I upgraded my micro SD card to a clean install of Raspbian Jessie using SD Formatter 4.0 to erase my old Wheezy install then NOOBS to install Jessie.  If you prefer, the foundation does have a process to upgrade Wheezy to Jessie via the command line; however, it’s not recommended (Procedure: Click Here).  The new Raspbian operating system works on the Model  B+ and PI 3 and boots straight to the desktop out of the box.  You can switch this to boot straight to the command line by using the Raspi-Config program. Raspi-Config can also have Raspbian auto log you in as user “Pi”.  In the pictures, the Raspberry PI 3 is the unit plugged in (I left the model B+ with the Wi-Fi dongle in the pictures to compare against).

 

PI 3 and Model B+ case switchedCase swap: Raspberry PI 3 hooked up and sporting the B+’s clear case.

 

Compared with the model B+ the PI 3 is substantially quicker.   The boot time for the PI 3 was 27 seconds to command line and 32 seconds to the desktop compared with 37 seconds and 55 seconds for the model B+ (timed using a switched outlet, using a fully updated Raspbian Jessie micro SD card, with auto log in enabled).

 

Side by Side Desktop.jpgRaspberry PI 3 up and running with the 7” Raspberry PI touchscreen display. 

 

The PI 3’s built in Wi-Fi worked seamlessly in the background and required no input on my part other than programming the ID and password for the local Wi-Fi.  All drivers were already loaded in Raspbian. Download speed is on par with the Wi-Fi dongle used on the B+ (if not a little faster).  The PI also automatically logs into the Wi-Fi after rebooting to the command line or the desktop.

 

The updated browser that comes with Raspbian Jessie (as compared with Wheezy) can surf YouTube and play videos.  Even with the desktop’s overhead, surfing YouTube is substantially better than on the B+, and video playback was flawless once I stopped scrolling around.

 

Pi 3 playing a youtube video at 720 resolution.Raspberry PI 3 Playing a video full screen at 720 resolution using the 7” Display.

 

I was unable to find a way to play YouTube videos directly from the command line; however, I found a way to play twitch streams straight from the command line using a python package called Livestreamer along with Omxplayer.  The setup information can be found here (Click Here).   The app allows streams to be played in high, medium, low, & mobile quality.   The channel you want to stream must be online and streaming for the app to work. This app may also work with other sites as well and streaming from the command line means less overhead.

 

Opening up a Twitch stream from the command line.Opening up a twitch stream directly from the command line 

 

Raspberry PI 3 playing a twitch stream.Raspberry Pi 3 playing a stream directly from the command line using the 7” Display.

 

The Raspberry Pi 3 was quite fun to work with and is quite fast. Having Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in means that all 4 USB data ports can be used for projects and not communication dongles.   Pairing a touchscreen and a Bluetooth keyboard to the Raspberry PI 3 Model B may mean that dongles may become a thing of the past (once the Bluetooth connection is programmed).   Additional Information on the Raspberry PI 7 inch Touchscreen Display I used for this blog post can be found here: (Click Here).

With our ever increasing media libraries containing movies, TV shows, music and pictures we need something that can serve this content to any of our devices.

 

25100202219_0e81f79d0e_b_d.jpg

 

If you fancy opera in the kitchen, jazz in the bathroom and the latest Hollywood blockbuster in your pocket, then you need a media server and the Raspberry Pi 2 is the ideal low cost candidate.

To replicate this project you will need:

 

  • A Raspberry Pi 2Raspberry Pi 2
  • A laptop running Windows/Mac or Linux
  • A minimum of 8GB SD card
  • A 2A power supply
  • An Ethernet cable connected to a router.
  • An external USB hard drive

 

16249575259_467b219fb4_k_d.jpg

 

We start the project by installing the latest version of Raspbian on to an 8GB or greater SD card. The best tutorial on how to do this is provided by the Raspberry Pi Foundation and can be found on their blog

With Raspbian installed we now need to boot our Raspberry Pi. Insert the microSD into the Raspberry Pi, then attach any peripherals such as keyboard, mouse, HDMI, Ethernet to the Pi. Lastly attach the power cable to boot the Pi.

When your Pi has booted to the desktop, click on the menu to the top left of the screen and go to the Preferences menu. From there select the Raspberry Pi Configuration application.

In this application we need to change the boot behaviour so that the Pi boots to the terminal and is logged in. We’ll also change the memory for the GPU to only use 16MB of RAM, and overclock the Pi 2 to 1GHz.

With these changes made, save and exit the application. You will be asked to reboot, do so before progressing.

With our Pi rebooted we now find ourselves at the terminal. It may seem a little scary at first but the terminal is the best way to work with a Linux computer.

Setup software

Our next goal is to install the software necessary for our Pi.

First we update our list of available software. In the terminal type.

 

sudo apt-get update

 

The update will take a few moments to complete. When the terminal is returned to you enter the next command to install the HTTPS transport package to enable access to HTTPS content over the Internet.

 

sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https -y --force-yes

 

Next we shall download a key that will authenticate our downloads to ensure they are safe

 

wget -O - https://dev2day.de/pms/dev2day-pms.gpg.key  | sudo apt-key add -

 

With the key downloaded we now add a new repository to our list, this repository is provided by dev2day.de who has worked on the packages that will power our Plex install.

In the terminal type

 

echo "deb https://dev2day.de/pms/ jessie main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pms.list

 

We now update our list again, to ensure that we now have the latest updates for the Plex Media Server.

 

sudo apt-get update

 

Lastly we install the Plex Media Server software.

 

 

sudo apt-get install -t jessie plexmediaserver -y

 

The install will only take a few minutes and once completed the Plex Media Server will automatically start as a background service on your Pi.

Fix IP address of the Pi

To ensure that we can discover our Pi on a network we will now fix the IP address of the Pi.

First we need to find out the IP address, in the terminal type.

 

 

hostname -I

 

Write down your IP address!

Now let's fix the IP address, in the terminal type

 

sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt

 

At the very end of the line we will add the IP address that we earlier wrote down. So type

 

ip=THE IP ADDRESS YOU WROTE DOWN

 

With the IP entered press CTRL + O, then Enter to save your changes.

Now press CTRL + X to close the file.

Now reboot your Pi to make the changes permanent.

 

sudo reboot

 

With your Pi rebooted we shall now test that we can access the Plex server. On your laptop or desktop PC open a web browser and type your IP address followed by :32400/web so for example I typed.

 

192.168.0.90:32400/web

 

24841031413_78331093d4_b_d.jpg

 

This will now open the Plex Media Server software and we will need to read and accept the Terms and Conditions before progressing.

Once Plex has loaded take a few moments to get familiar with the interface. Specifically the libraries, which will house your media collection.

The SD card of our Raspberry Pi is rather small, so let's add an external hard drive and store our media there.

Plug in your USB drive. Nothing will happen in Plex until we mount the drive. In Linux, mounting a drive means that it is ready to be used. On your Raspberry Pi, in the terminal type

 

dmesg

 

You will see a lot of text whizz up the screen but keep a look out for your hard drive.

So now lets create somewhere to link our hard drive to the Raspberry Pi this will be a directory called “library”. In the terminal type

 

sudo mkdir /mnt/library

 

Now we shall open a text editor and add a line of code to mount the drive on boot. For our drive we used a FAT32 formatted drive. As this is the only USB drive it will be given the assignment “sda” and if the drive has one partition, where our data is stored, then it will be “1”. This gives us the location of our media which is “sda1”.

 

sudo nano /etc/fstab

 

25467761615_c0b2d45027_b_d.jpg

 

So now we shall mount our drive, got to the last line which starts with a “/” and make a new line under it. Enter the following and try and keep your spacing similar to those above.

 

/dev/sda1    /mnt/library   vfat   defaults    0    0

 

To save your work press CTRL + O followed by Enter. Then to exit press CTRL + X.

Reboot your Raspberry Pi.

 

sudo reboot

 

Once the Pi has booted back up navigate to your content by typing.

 

cd /mnt/library

 

Now we need to see where our content is, so to find it type

 

ls

 

You should see lots of directories and files, just as you arranged them on your main computer.

Our next step involves enabling access to the files for any user. As our server will be in our home we shall enable access to all of the content for all of the users. Typically this is not the done thing for big servers in production but for our server this is fine. So to enable access we need to type

 

sudo chmod 777 -R /mnt/library

 

Now this might take some time so be patient.

 

25349753862_c979d92f73_h_d.jpg

 

So now that we our drive ready to serve our media, let's start using it!

Back to our laptop/PC and open your web browser to your Plex Media Server.

You will be prompted to add a library, so go ahead and do so. Now which library you add depends on what you have. I chose to add a couple of TV series. When ready click on “Add Library” to import the media.

 

24837201614_aacabb5271_b_d.jpg

24841031493_351b6b9f21_b_d.jpg

 

Depending on the amount of media that you have to import this process may take minutes or hours, so please be patient and wait for the process to finish.

When the media is imported, Plex will try its best to grab the metadata, the information about the content such as genre, IMDB data, actor details etc.

 

24841467453_b9cea3a480_h_d.jpg

Multi User Access

The huge benefit of Plex is that any user on the home network can access any of the media in the library. So children can watch their favourite films on the mobile device, parents can listen to music or podcasts or share their family photos on their laptops.

Plex can also be streamed to a chromecast device, enabling high definition movies to be enjoyed on the big screen.

Listen to all of your music across your entire home and all you need is a Raspberry Pi and a little Linux know how.

Thanks to Gareth Halfacree, whom took a series of photographs of the Raspberry Pi processor under heavy load, I think. Note there's no load on the GPU in these photographs. You can see how potentially hot each processor chip of the Raspberry Pi get. These are at stock processing speeds with no overclock and using sysbench to push the CPU.

 

element14 does sell Raspberry Pi HeatsinksRaspberry Pi Heatsinks

 

{gallery} Raspberry Pi Operating Temperatures Individual Scaling

Raspberry Pi 1 Model A+

Raspberry Pi 1 Model A+: 13.5degC to 28.8degC

Raspberry Pi Zero

Raspberry Pi Zero: 13.1degC to 44.1degC

Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+

Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+: 14.9degC to 32.5degC

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B: 12.4degC to 49.4degC

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B: 16degC to 87.6degC

Close up of Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Close up: 45.1degC to 101.3degC

{gallery} Raspberry Pi Operating Temperatures Normalised Scale

Raspberry Pi 1 Model A+

Raspberry Pi 1 Model A+: Normalised Temperature View

Raspberry Pi Zero

Raspberry Pi Zero: Normalised Temperature View

Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+

Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+: Normalised Temperature View

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B

Raspberry Pi 2 Model B: Normalised Temperature View

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B: Normalised Temperature View

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