TL;DR:  The Raspberry Pi 2 has an A/V jack in addition to HDMI, who knew?!  Here’s my experience getting started (Spoiler: It worked - eventually).


Oddly enough, one of the things delaying me most about getting started on this project was not owning a television.


Receiving the kit in the mail was a good start, but some key pieces were BYO.  Such as a USB mouse (Check!), a USB keyboard (Not sure…), and an HDMI monitor (Oh, boy!).  Definitely out of luck on this one; being an unemployed college student, resources were pretty scarce and a television/monitor wasn’t in my budget.


Thankfully, Les, in his post on the Wi-Pi module ( happened to mention that the audio jack was actually a composite A/V jack.  Until then I had hopes of initiating this unit 'Headless,' but by most accounts found that to be impossible.

Composite Video

This was awesome!  It was only a few more weeks after that when a friend was moving offices and agreed to loan me a handy 7” television set with composite in jacks and an old keyboard! (I happened to have had a composite breakout cable laying about from an old camcorder.)  Jump ahead a rough start to the semester and midterms and here we are!


The initial Raspberry Pi Setup

....Welp.  That didn’t work.  I’m not sure what has gone wrong with this setup.  I tried another AV cable.  I tried the other SD and the other Raspberry Pi.  Neither one worked.  There was a brief flicker from the activity light and then the dullness of power.  Never a display.


Back to digging… A few hours and a few searches, downloads, reformats, and network scans later…. Turns out that a fresh installation of Raspbian and the video signal comes through the right audio channel!  Why not?


The Raspberry Pi could finally be seen booting up once the right audio jack was plugged into the video socket.


Alright.  That’s great.  Looks good. But unusable on this display.


The display is good enough to discover the IP address, but that's about it.


Next on this Thread:  How to use the GUI over SSH/VNC?  I've tried Terminal, Safari, and Screen Sharing:  No dice.


Thank you for reading and following.  Any tips, suggestions, or resources are welcome, please comment or message me.


Thank you, Adafruit, Mathworks, and element14 for your sponsorship.



Blog Entry 1:  Hello!  Teacher's Pet Students' Robotics Challenge: Attendance Automator — Blog Entry 1: Hello!

Blog Entry 2:  Design Constraints   Teacher's Pet Students' Robotics Challenge: Attendance Automator — Blog Entry 2: Design Constraints

Blog Entry 3:  Background  Teacher’s Pet Students’ Robotics Challenge:  Attendance Automator — Blog Entry 3:  Background

Blog Entry 4:  Unboxing  Teacher's Pet Students' Robotics Challenge:  Attendance Automator—Blog Entry 4:  Unboxing!

Blog Entry 5:  Design Concept  Teacher's Pet Students' Robotics Challenge:  Attendance Automator—Blog Entry 5:  Design Concept


Tags:  “teachers_pet” “attendance_automator” “raspbery_pi” “adafruit” "mathworks"