Getting Started - Raspberry Pi

Author: Mohit Sharma

 

Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized and portable mini CPU cum development board, which has everything which you expect from a personal computer. Also it has general purpose input output (GPIO) pins to physically interact with outer world. You can connect it with your TV monitor, keyboard, mouse and other computer peripherals. All you need to have, knowledge about basic operations of the computer and fundamental knowledge of programming logics to play with raspberry pi.

There are two programming IDE which is pre installed in the raspberry pi OS - python 2 and scrap. Raspberry Pi is available in various models (A, A+, B, B+ etc.) having different specifications and memory configurations. Recently Raspberry Pi 3 has also been launched.

 

Processor:

The Raspberry Pi is based on the Broadcom BCM2835 ‘System on chip’ (SoC) that comes with 700 MHz ARM1176JZF-S processor and VideoCore IV graphics processing unit (GPU). Processor frequency varies for different models like the Raspberry Pi 2 uses a Broadcom BCM2836 SoC with a 900 MHz 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor and the Raspberry Pi 3 uses a Broadcom BCM2837 SoC with a 1.2 GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor.

 

RAM:

The Raspberry Pi 2 and the Raspberry Pi 3 have 1 GB of RAM. The Raspberry PI Zero has 512 MB of RAM. On the older beta model B boards, 128 MB was allocated by default to the GPU (graphical processing Unit), leaving 128 MB for the CPU.

 

Networking:

Model A and A+ do not have Ethernet port thus they can be connected to a network by using external USB wi-fi adaptor. Model B and B+ have Ethernet port. Raspberry Pi 3 has Bluetooth 4.1, 2.4 GHz wi-fi 802.11n Ethernet port too additionally.

 

Peripherals:

USB keyboard and mouse can be connected externally to operate it.

RTC (Real time clock): By default Raspberry Pi doesn’t come with real time tracking thus a real time clock (DS1307) can be added. Alternatively, a program running on the Pi can get the time from a network time server or user input at boot time.

ADC(Analog to digital converter): ADC doesn’t come in Raspberry and has to connect externally using ADC ic (DS0808).

Lack of RTC and ADC are the main drawbacks in the Raspberry Pi.

 

Start playing with Raspberry Pi:

Setting up first time:

For setting up raspberry pi first time, you need following things.

- SD card - Minimum 4GB class 4 SD card (Branded one is recommended)
- HDMI to HDMI / DVI lead - HDMI to HDMI lead (for HD TVs and monitors with HDMI input) OR HDMI to DVI lead (for monitors with DVI input)
- USB Keyboard and mouse
- Ethernet (network) cable for internet
-  Power adapter (5v and minimum 700 ma) – branded one is recommended

 

Preparing SD card for raspberry Pi:

- Download the operating system for Raspberry Pi. The recommended OS is called Raspbian
- Download it here:  http://downloads.raspberrypi.org/images/raspbian/2012-12-16-wheezy-raspbian/2012-12-16-wheezy-raspbian.zip
- Unzip the downloaded file
- Right click on the file and click on “Extract all”
- Follow the instructions - you will find  .img file
- This .img file can only be written to your SD card by Win32DiskImager software software.
- Download the Win32DiskImager software
- Download win32diskimager-binary.zip (currently version 0.6) from:  http://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager
- Unzip it
- You now have a new folder called win32diskimager-binary
- You are now ready to write the Raspbian image to your SD card
- Plug your SD card into your PC
- Install the Win32DiskImager software
- In the Image File box, choose the Raspbian .img file that you downloaded
- Click Write
- After a few minutes you will have an SD card that you can use in your Raspberry Pi

 

Hardware connections of peripherals with Raspberry Pi:

- Put  SD card in the SD card slot given on Raspbery pi
- Connect Keyboard and Mouse
- Now if you are using HD tv or monitor with HDMI input, use HDMI to HDMI lead to connect with raspberry pi or If you are using monitor with DVI input, use HDMI to DVI lead to connect both. HDMI slot is given on Pi.
- Connect Power adaptor with pi for power supply but do not give the power supply yet
- Connect monitor to the power supply board

 

Booting your Raspberry Pi for the first time:

- Switch on power supply for monitor or TV first
- Start your raspberry Pi
- It takes about 10-12 seconds to boot.
- On first boot you will see the configuration window
- You can configure here settings like time zone etc.
- Reboot after configuration
- You will be asked for username and password. By default Username – pi, By default Password – raspberry

 

Now Raspberry Pi is ready to use. You can make many use cases using it.

 

Note:

If there is any problem in booting like monitor screen is flickering or it shows “No signal detected, check power adaptor’s rating and check your pi’s manual for the same.

If still you get problem or OS is not loading, may the problem be in building image file of OS on SD card. In this case repeat those steps for preparing SD card.

You can create an obstacle avoider robot using Raspberry Pi. For details you can refer - http://www.robogalaxy.com/post/obstacle-avoider-robot-using-raspberry-pi


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