PI Hard with a Vengeance

A novice explores the Raspberry Pi.

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Ran into a few problems before even getting into the programming.  I have been reading several books on python while waiting for a delivery of arduino and parts to build a robot.  Anyhow every time I have tried to enter code or update the system, strange things have been happening.  The first keyboard I kept missing keys or getting certain keys stuck in the buffer. so I replaced the keyboard and it seemed to correct the problem.  For the last 2 days I kept trying to download software to install hardware or update the Raspberry Pi itself. My internet connection kept crapping out after 3-4% of a file. (could not keep an internet connection for more than a few minutes)
So I chased software and configuration settings and could not find it.  Replaced the wifi hardware and still no go.  Then I plugged the faulty wifi dongle direct into the usb port and the keyboard into the powered usb Hub/splitter.  The Wifi started working and the keyboard started having the same problems!

It was the powered USB hub! Raspberry Pi does require a powered Hub since it does not supply enough power to run multiple USB devices on it’s own.  I had purchased the Amazon Recommended (pictured, Macally) one with my Raspberry Pi as a package deal.  The problem is that it is only 800Ma.  I thought it should be plenty, but obviously not.  Most people recommend at least 2 Amp for the hub and that is what I will be looking for now.

Well the RPI is running smooth, the OS has been upgraded and is configured to my preferences and I have been able to explore Python for a bit. The next day or two I should be getting the robot kit, so I will be able to use some real world examples and really try out this little device!

I have started a new page off of this main one as well, titled hardware. Listing all of the parts I am currently working with.  I will try and post some pictures and links for that page as well.

The Robot I ordered is the Sain Smart for Aurduino Mega2560 4wd mobile Platform. I will also try and build a page for the robot as well since the documentation is really lacking on it and it appears that no one has recorded their builds to share with others.  Real novices are having a real hard time with the document that Sain Smart Provides.  See if I can help with that as well.

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Written by pihard

April 22, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Posted in Raspberry Pi

The journey begins… Into the Raspberry Pi hole!

with 3 comments

Rasp_turn_aroundI am a 45-year-old father of one with very little experience in programming and even less experience in electronics. My programming experience is limited to C64 and Timex Sinclair 1000 basic when both machines were new and state-of-the-art during my teen years.
Fast forward 25 years and my son wants a Raspberry Pi computer. Helping him set it up and things just start sparking and growing in my mind. The more I explore this device, the more I imagine what it could be used for. Now I own my own RPI setup and have started to explore it as a complete and utter novice.
I understand the device was designed to introduce children into the world of micro-controllers, but I can see it has much more potential. As an older adult, I think it is harder to teach ourselves and to grasp the ideas behind new technologies. But this little device and the community that supports it make it a very powerful learning platform. So I decided to document some of my adventures into the world of this tiny micro controller and see what I can create and unlock. Hopefully you will be able get something out of my experience and insights.
With grand ideas of web-connected robots and RPI controlled CNC or 3d printers to fabricate parts for prototypes, this will prove to be an exciting learning experience for “this old dog”.
Well, here we go. Enjoy the ride!

Written by pihard

April 19, 2013 at 6:40 am

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