Browse Month: March 2017

3 Must Have Raspberry Pi 3 Accessories

The Raspberry Pi 3 has been released for a while now and there are many accessories that you can purchase for it: camera’s, wifi adapters, case’s, LCD screens. Today I want to list the 3 must have Raspberry Pi 3 accessories that I think every user needs. I will be discussing my favorite Raspberry Pi 3 case, Add-On WiFi adapter and my favorite Raspberry Pi 3 camera.

Raspberry Pi 3 Case

Official Raspberry Pi 3 Case

Might as well start the list off with the Official Raspberry Pi 3 case. This case is the official case from the Raspberry Pi Foundation and comes with a removable top lid and side panels. The removable top lid will give you easy access to the camera and display ports. The official Raspberry Pi case comes in multiple colors and the one I have pictured is a White/Red combination which really pops out and has a modern feel to it. Since this was designed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation your Pi will fit perfectly in the bottom and will be a snug fit. Unlike some of other cases which screw the Pi down, this one just pops into the plastic inserts.

The one downside is the ventilation isn’t the best. This case doesn’t include any heat-sinks and you might want to invest in some heat-sinks to put over the two processors on the board to help dissipate some of the heat that is generated when using the Pi. If you are just using your Raspberry Pi as a small server or not doing any crazy computing on it, which will use a lot of power and generate more heat, then I think you will be okay with the heat. If you are worried about ventilation you can pop off the removable side panels to get the air flowing inside of the case.

Another complaint about this case is that it does not have key-slots on the bottom of the case for wall-mounting. If you don’t plan on hanging the Raspberry Pi on the wall then this really isn’t an issue. You can also just use some Velcro and it will hang on the wall with no issues. This is what I ended up doing for my Raspberry Pi server and it works with no issues.

Overall, I think if you are looking for a cheap case and like the White/Red combination then this is a decent Raspberry Pi case. It may not be the coolest case on the block but it gets the job done and will protect your project from getting damaged.

Click here for more information about the Official Raspberry Pi 3 Case

Raspberry Pi 3 Extended WiFi Adapter

Alfa Wifi Adapter

I know what you are thinking, the Raspberry Pi 3 comes with an onboard WiFi adapter, why would I need another one? The answer is because it sucks, or I should say the range is not the best. The onboard Wifi adapter on the Raspberry Pi 3 works great for when your Raspberry Pi is close to your network router but if you plan on putting your Raspberry Pi 3 on the other side of your house you may need to get a WiFi adapter.

The Alpha AWUS036H WiFi adapter is one of the most popular choices for pen-testing and connecting to your WIFi at home. It has great range and can pick up signals up to a block away without much loss. It also includes settings for increasing the power of the WiFi signal to connect to networks further away.

When you purchase from Amazon there are a few choices that you can buy. Some of them come with a holder and flex cable which are not necessary. I bought the model that comes with the 5dBi and 7dBi antennas. The 7dBi antenna is a directional antenna meaning it can get better signals depending on which way it’s facing. The reviews for the 9dBi antenna are not the best, so I personally wouldn’t recommend it. The only other downfall with the Alfa AWUS036H is it is not compatible is 802.11 N signals, which may be an issue if a network is setup for only 802.11N

If you are looking for a WiFi adapter that works perfectly on the Raspberry Pi and has great reviews then you can’t go wrong with the Alfa AWUS036H WiFi adapter

Click here for more information about the Alfa AWUS036H WiFi Adapter

Raspberry Pi 3 Camera Module

Pixy Camera Module

The Pixy camera module has been getting very popular lately and there has been many write-ups about it. It has a button you can push to “teach” it objects which you can program your projects to either follow the object or identify it. It includes libraries for the Arduino and Raspberry Pi. The Pixy camera includes mounting hardware to attach Pixy to your robot creation. The firmware, software and hardware are open source and constantly updated.

There are many mounting options. One of them is this which has a servo for pan/tilt. I think this camera is very neat and the resolution is okay for a basic robot. I would use this camera module for more advanced projects which include project tracking or avoidance especially since it includes libraries for the Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Definitely check this camera out if you are making any type of robot project.

Click here for more information about the Pixy Raspberry Pi 3 Camera Module

How to Perform a Quiet Boot on the Raspberry Pi

If you plan on using your Raspberry Pi as a Retro gaming station or are using it in a setting where you want to remove the boot text from being displayed on the Raspberry Pi then you need to make your Raspberry Pi perform a quiet boot. A quiet boot will remove the rows of text that are displayed during a boot (also called verbose boot) and can be replaced with a logo. This can come in handy if you are making your own arcade machine or a commercial product with the Raspberry Pi.

Objective

To perform a quiet boot on the Raspberry Pi and remove the boot text

Material

You will need the following:

Instructions

Performing a quiet boot on your Raspberry Pi is very easy and it will only take us a view steps. I wrote these instructions on the official Raspbian Jessie distro but if you are running any other Raspberry Pi distro it should work the same way. Continue Reading

How to Setup a Raspberry Pi SFTP Server

SFTP stands for SSH File Transfer Protocol and is a secure way of remotely transferring files between 2 computers. It is a more preferred way of transferring files over the standard FTP protocol because it uses a secure connection meaning all your data is encrypted. FTP is an insecure way of transferring files and can easily be monitored over your network to intercept and see what files are being transferred, like secure bank information.

SFTP runs on port 22, the same standard port as a regular SSH connection, and FTP runs on port 21. It is advised that you change your SSH Port to improve security on your network. You can also port forward port 22 on your router to allow access to your Raspberry Pi server over SFTP from anywhere outside your network, but make sure you change your SSH port if you will be doing this to reduce the amount of attempted hacks on your Raspberry Pi SFTP server.

Today I will be showing you how to setup a Raspberry Pi SFTP server so that you can easily access files on your Raspberry Pi. This can be very useful if you are using your Raspberry Pi as a Network Attached Storage device or simply as a web server. Transferring files over SFTP will allow you to quickly download or upload multiple files with no issues and make changes to your web server on the go.

Objective

To setup our Raspberry Pi as a SFTP Server

Material

You will need the following:

Instructions

Setting up your Raspberry Pi SFTP is very easy and all we need to do is basically enable the SSH server on our Raspberry Pi because our SFTP server will be transferring files over SSH. Open a new terminal window on Raspbian desktop and type the following command to open the Raspberry Pi config tool. Continue Reading

How to Build a Raspberry Pi Security Surveillance Camera with MotionEye

Turning your Raspberry Pi into a security surveillance camera is a cheap alternative to setting up a security system in your house or office. The Raspberry Pi 3 is more then powerful to capture video with the Official Raspberry Pi camera. Today we will be installing MotionEye on our Raspberry Pi to turn it into a security camera. We will be able to view live video in our browser as well as auto record videos when motion is detected. This is great for saving precious space on our microSD card and only keeping the videos we need. We can also save the videos and delete them after a set amount of time. Setting up a Raspberry Pi security camera with MotionEye is very easy and works right out of the box with the default settings.

We will also be able to setup a network of security cameras with multiple Raspberry Pi’s and monitor all of camera over one interface. If cost and space is an issue it is possible to upload all our videos to your Dropbox or Google Drive account for easy access anywhere. This is a great low cost solution to building a security system in your house and you can also use it as an outdoor system as well to monitor your front door. There are a ton of Raspberry Pi compatible cameras you can use for the Raspberry Pi security camera and the choice is your’s depending on your needs. You can use the official Raspberry Pi camera that plugs into the camera port or you can use an old webcam that you have laying around and plug it into the USB port.

Objective

To build a Raspberry Pi security surveillance camera system that is run and controlled over your own network

Material

You will need the following:

Instructions

Let’s get started. We will first need to install our camera onto the Raspberry Pi by plugging it into the camera port. I am using the official NOIR Raspberry Pi camera in this tutorial, however you can use whatever camera is compatible with the Raspberry Pi. Plug your camera’s ribbon cable into the camera ribbon slot on the Raspberry Pi board, the camera ribbon port is the one located behind the Ethernet port. You your fingers to pull up on both sides of the connector to open it up and insert the ribbon cable with the metal leads facing away from the Ethernet port. Once the ribbon cable is seated all the way inside the connector you can push down on the connector to lock the camera’s ribbon cable in place. It is important that the metal leads face away from the Ethernet port or your camera may not work or even worse it can be shorted. Continue Reading