Browse Category: Raspberry Pi

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

5 Best Raspberry Pi Zero Cases

If you are one of the lucky ones to get your hands on a Raspberry Pi Zero then you will mostly likely need a case for your Pi Zero to protect it from getting damaged, you know it will be a pain trying to get another Raspberry Pi Zero with how quick they are to come by, especially at the $5 price tag. I have compiled a list of the best Raspberry Pi Zero cases that will protect your investment and give your new Raspberry Pi Zero some sweet style. The list I have compiled is not in any particular order and the cases themselves are all top quality builds so let’s get started

1. SB Raspberry Pi Zero Case

SB Raspberry Pi Zero Case

This is just your standard plastic black Raspberry Pi Zero case. The issue right off the bat is that this case will not fit the latest Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 which has the camera connector. You can modify the lower part of this case to fit the connector however if you have one of the original Raspberry Pi Zero’s then this case will work for you. It features a three-piece injection molded ABS to create a tight fitting case.

A great feature of this case if that the GPIO cover can be removed and you can have the case open or closed depending on if your Zero is getting overheated, which it really shouldn’t. The case does allow easy access to the GPIO pins if you do use them so have the removable cover is a plus. The case is also wall mountable which is great if you are using your Raspberry Pi Zero as a server or storage device and you can hang it up behind your TV.

There really isn’t anything bad or good to say about this case other then it is a plain basic black plastic case. If you have no style or don’t care about the look of your Zero because it will be tucked away in the corner or out of view then I would definitely check this case out.

Click here for more information about the SB Raspberry Pi Zero Case

2. Black Ice Raspberry Pi Zero Case

Black Ice Raspberry Pi Zero Case

Now this is a transparent Raspberry Pi Zero case with style. It is a sandwich designed which means that your Raspberry Pi will be sandwiched between two pieces of high quality acrylic. This case will fit the newest Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 and will give you easy access to the camera connector if you do decide to connect a camera to your Pi. Its a sleek compact design that really makes your Raspberry Pi look modern and slick.

This case comes with the GPIO cutout if you plan on using them. The cutout gives you more then enough room for you to access your GPIO with nothing in the way. The case itself doesn’t come with any instructions but it should be fairly easy to assemble with just a few screws and plastic washers to go in between your Raspberry Pi and the case. The Raspberry Pi fits perfectly in this little case and is very sturdy, the Pi doesn’t move around and the USB connectors are hidden by the case to protect your Pi in case it is dropped.

Overall this is a greatly quality case that is designed and built in the USA. It has a great simple design that makes your Raspberry Pi Zero look slim and elegant. If you are looking for a plain transparent Raspberry Pi Zero case then this is it.

Click here for more information about the Black Ice Raspberry Pi Zero Case

3. Wooden Raspberry Pi Zero Case

Wooden Raspberry Pi Zero Case

This Raspberry Pi Zero case is a made out of solid wood and gives your Pi a touch of class. It really makes the Pi look beautiful and elegant and makes you want to sip some Scotch as you assemble it. The wooden Raspberry Pi case will fit the newest Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3.  It is another one the classic sandwich cases and is easy to put together with just 4 screws on each corner. Even though this case fits the Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3, the camera connector sticks out slightly so keep that in mind.

The GPIO pins aren’t easy to access if you plan on using them, it is still possible but will require you talking the case apart for easier access. This case would be more practical if you plan on your your Zero as a media server or to install Kodi and use it to stream movies and shows. The Raspberry Pi Zero fits perfectly inside the case and will be protected with the wood surrounding it. The color of the case is stained and polished well and is very smooth to the touch.

This is a very elegant case and I definitely recommend it if you will not be using the GPIO pins. The quality of the case is very nice and feels high class and is worth the cost. This case will look really good on your entertainment system and will blend in or stick out looking classy. This Raspberry Pi Zero case is also made in the United States.

Click here for more information about the Wooden Raspberry Pi Zero Case

4. PiBow Raspberry Pi Zero Case

PiBow Raspberry Pi Zero Case

The PiBow case now comes to the Raspberry Pi Zero featuring 4 unique bright acrylic colors. Each individual piece is crafted from high quality acrylic and has a transparent top which allows you to see your Raspberry Pi Zero. The PiBow case for the Zero allows easy access to all the connections and the GPIO pins as well which is great if you intend on using the GPIO pins with this case. The case is also designed for the Raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 which will fit the camera connector and this case is not backwards compatible with the original Raspberry Pi Zero.

As stated earlier this case will allow you to access the GPIO pins with the case on but you will not be able to easily swap out the memory card once the case is assembled. The only way to access your memory card is to fully disassemble the case. This can become a neusense if you are backing up your SD card often but most of the time you can just leave the memory card inserted in your Raspberry Pi Zero with no issues and can backup your Zero remotely.

Overall this is a decent case to have especially if you have the other PiBow cases for your Raspberry Pi’s and want all your Pi’s to look uniform. The way the case is designed and held together with nylon nut’s I wouldn’t expect the case to protect my Raspberry Pi Zero from a fall. The acrylic itself will easily crack from a fall and could damage your Pi so don’t expect this case to protect your Pi Zero and simply use it just for style.

Click here for more information about the PiBow Raspberry Pi Zero Case

5. MakerSpot Raspberry Pi Zero Case

MakerSpot Raspberry Pi Zero Case

The MakerSpot Raspberry Pi Zero case is great if you plan on using the GPIO pins constantly and need easy access to the GPIO. The case has an imprint of the GPIO pin-out on the case itself so you don’t have to constantly check online for the Raspberry Pi Zero GPIO pin-out. The MakerSpot case is available in an assortment of colors as well and transparent colors so you have many choices to pick from.

Other then having the GPIO pin-out imprinted on the case the MakerSpot has nothing else to offer. The case is just a basic plastic case with an opening for the GPIO pins, if that is all you need then get this case since many of the Raspberry Pi Zero cases don’t have easy access to the GPIO pins. You will need to solder the GPIO header if you do plan on using the GPIO, as with any Zero. Rubber feet are included for the bottom of this case which is good when you are constantly using the pins and will keep the case from sliding around on your table.

Overall this is a basic Raspberry Pi Zero case which is useful and essential if you are constantly using the GPIO pins. Many cases for the Pi Zero are usually sandwiched together and you have no access to the connectors or GPIO pins, this case solves that issue.

Click here for more information about the MakerSpot Raspberry Pi Zero Case

How to backup the Raspberry Pi SD Card using Linux

Let’s face it, your hard drive will eventually fail and so will any storage device you own, especially something small like your Raspberry Pi SD card which not only can become corrupted but also lost if you use it outside your home transferring files at different locations. I am a big advocate of creating backups of your Raspberry Pi’s SD Card and create an image of the SD card that you can store on Google Drive or Dropbox.

I recently was using my Raspberry Pi as a server and had a ton of data and hours of software configurations that I have been using my Raspberry Pi for and during a thunderstorm the power got cut out, when power was restored and I booted up my server everything was corrupted and all my data was lost. If I had only created an image I would be able to insert a new SD card into my computer and restore my previously saved image and be back in business in 5 minutes.

Since all my computers in the house are running Linux I will be showing you how to create a backup image of your Raspberry Pi’s SD card and restoring your image back onto the SD card. The distro of Linux I am running is Linux Mint, which is a Debian Linux flavor. The steps for creating your Raspberry Pi image on Linux will work on all distributions of Linux since the command I will be using is a standard Linux command.

Objective

To create a backup image of the Raspberry Pi SD Card

Material

You will need the following:

Instructions for Backing up the Raspberry Pi SD Card

Lets start off by opening a terminal window on your Linux computer. We will be able to do everything through the terminal window. Don’t put in your Raspberry Pi’s SD card into your computer yet, before putting in the SD card run the following command to display the amount of disk space available on our system. We really don’t care about the available disk space, what we will be looking for is all the partitions on our hard drive and we will be making note of what new partitions show up when we insert our Raspberry Pi SD card. Run the following command: Continue Reading

How to Install Kodi on the Raspberry Pi 3 running Raspbian

Kodi is a open-source home entertainment media center. It’s basically a Roku but a different flavor and more open. There are many programs and video add-on’s that you can add to Kodi compared to the Roku which is a closed source media center. Kodi is the new re-branded XBMC (Xbox Media Center). XBMC was originally designed for the original Xbox to create it into a media center. It has come a long way and no longer just run on the Xbox, you can run Kodi on your phone, computer, and as I will show you today, the Raspberry Pi. We will be using our Raspberry Pi to run Kodi and use it to stream our movies on our network.

There are many different tutorial out there for installing Kodi on the Raspberry Pi but many of the tutorials require you to be running a custom OS, today I will be showing you how to install Kodi on Raspbian. The reason I installed Kodi on Raspbian is because I already had my Raspberry Pi running Raspbian and had my web server and ad-blocking software running on it and it was right behind my TV. Instead of getting a dedicated Raspberry Pi I just installed Kodi along side my server. The Raspberry Pi is great for running Kodi, it has more then enough GPU and processing speed compared to the older versions of the Raspberry Pi and the performance is great. I recommend running Kodi on the Raspberry Pi 3. If you want to install Kodi on an older Raspberry Pi like the Raspberry Pi 1 or Raspberry Pi 2, you may get some lag when browsing the menu’s or playing back video and your overall experience will suffer.

Objective

To install the Kodi media center on a Raspberry Pi 3

Material

You will need the following:

Optional Supplies:

Instructions

Continue Reading

6 Best Cheap Raspberry Pi Cases 2017

If you own a Raspberry Pi and plan on making your project more permanent then one of the first things you’ll need is a case for your project. There are tons of cheap Raspberry Pi cases out there and they all are very unique and can give your project some character. Your new Raspberry Pi case will give that rectangular piece of tech some personality. Today I will be showing you 6 of the best Raspberry Pi cases you can pickup for under $20. The cases are in no particular order but they all offer great quality and durability. I tried to pick a list of cases which are all different from each other and pick cases that are practical as well.

1. Official 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

2. KuGi Transparent Raspberry Pi 3 Case

KuGi Transparent Raspberry Pi 3 Case

The KuGi is a clear acrylic clear transparent Raspberry Pi 3 case. Whats special about this case is that it will also fit your older Raspberry Pi 2 Model B & Pi Model B+ with no issues or making any adjustments. The case allows easy access to all the GPIO pins as well as the camera and display ports. The top of the case easily pops up giving you easy access to the Raspberry Pi. The KuGi transparent case is an all around cheap reliable quality built Raspberry Pi case.

The case is only two pieces, a top and a bottom, which snap together. The case doesn’t feel cheap and has a nice slick feel to it when holding it. What’s great about this case is the bonus accessories that come with the case like the heat-sink and rubber feet. The case comes with two heats-sinks that you can put on top of both processors on the Raspberry Pi. They are attached with some double sided tape that you simply peel off. The rubber pads are great, simply attach them to the bottom of the case and the case will not slide around when plugging in your power cord or HDMI cord. The rubber feet make this case feel like an all around solid case.

Another thing that I like about this case is that unlike the Official Raspberry Pi case where the Raspberry Pi just snaps into the bottom part of the case, the KuGi case comes with four screws that you screw the Pi down into the bottom part of the case. This keeps your Pi safe and sound and you don’t have to worry about it popping out or shifting around inside the case if you are moving it around. Another feature this case has are the key-slots on the back of the case that you can use for mounting the case on a wall. The only issue is that the key-slots are cut directly into the case which means you can not use anything metal to hold your case on the wall because the metal can cause the Raspberry Pi to short circuit. Simply use a thumbtack or some kind of plastic if you decide to hang it on your wall, I just used good old Velcro on my project with no issues.

Overall for the price of this case it comes with a lot added bonuses like the heat-sinks and the rubber feet. This is my go-to cheap case. You can show-off your Raspberry Pi in a nice clear case all while not breaking the bank and keeping overall project costs down.

Click here for more information about the KuGi Transparent Raspberry Pi 3 Case

3. NES Raspberry Pi Case

NES Raspberry Pi Case

With all the rage around the new NES Classic, which allows you to play old NES games on one system legally, they are sold out everywhere and many people are building their own Raspberry Pi emulators using RetroPie to play all their old school games. If you want to make your Raspberry Pi look retro then this is the case for you. Its a small NES Classic lookalike with a movable front lid just like the original one which flips open and allows you to plug in your USB connections or ethernet cable.

One issue off the bat is that if you are running your Pi over ethernet then cosmetically it will not look good since you will have a big ethernet cable coming out of the lid which takes away from the look and feel of this case. Same thing goes for if you are plugging something into the USB ports like a mouse or keyboard. The only suggestion for this would be to use WiFi and to use a Bluetooth connection for the keyboard and mouse. If you are using this case as a retro emulator than you should invest in a Bluetooth controller to begin with. There are many great old school controller replicas out there that are compatible with the Raspberry Pi.

The front lid on this case is movable but the power and reset buttons are just decorative so unfortunately you will not be able to power on the Pi with the front buttons. The top and bottom of the case bolt together with 4 screws and your Pi snaps into place inside. I found that even though you just snap the Pi in place it doesn’t seem to move and it’s a nice snug fit. The case overall feels like a cheap plastic.

The case does come with 2 heat-sinks which you can put on the 2 processors on the Raspberry Pi. You’ll need them because this case doesn’t have much vent holes. There are just a few slots on top which I found don’t dissipate the heat very well. If you are using this to emulate some NES or Sega games then the processors won’t be getting super hot to begin with. There is some clearance in the case if you would like to install a small fan inside.

Overall the case fits well with an emulation build and you will definitely get some nice compliments. The ports are all easily accessible besides the GPIO pins, which you will need to open the case to get to. The micro-SD slot is easily accessible and you can remove the card with no issues. Again, I would highly recommend using WiFi with this case as to not run cables through the front lid when its open. It will also fit the older Raspberry Pi 2 and B+ with no issues.

Click here for more information about the NES Raspberry Pi Case

4. Makerfire Raspberry Pi Case with Fan

Makerfire Raspberry Pi Case with Fan

Here’s a Raspberry Pi case that will address your over heating needs. This case comes with a fan which you can use to pull cool air into the case or to pull the hot air out depending on how you face the fan. The fan directly plugs into the GPIO power pins and turns on when you plug the power in. The case itself is not the best quality and simply snaps together with 2 pieces but overall is a great cheap budget case. Doing some comparison testing will show that this case will run the core temp of the main processor 10°C cooler. The case also includes 2 heat-sinks which seems to be a standard with many cheap cases.

As mentioned before the case is a little cheaply made and just snaps together. The Raspberry Pi also just snaps into place and isn’t the tightest fit. The case does offer easy access to all the ports around the Pi with no issues accessing the HDMI / USB / micro-SD ports. The case really is a great budget case which offers a fan on the cheap. There’s nothing special about it and it wont be a conversation starter but if you are running the Raspberry Pi in a closet or running the processors hot doing lots of computing this case will cool down the Pi and extend its life.

Overall I recommend this case if you have overheating issues or don’t like running your Raspberry Pi hot. It will cool down your Pi by over 10°C with no issues and the fan does run fairly quiet which is nice. The fan doesn’t secure with any screws, it just snaps in to the top of the case which causes it to vibrate a bit which is something I wish was addressed, but again this is a case that comes with a fan and heat-sinks for under $15 so you can’t complain too much.

Click here for more information about the Makerfire Raspberry Pi Case with Fan

5. Raspberry Pi Lego Case

Raspberry Pi Lego Case

The Raspberry Pi Lego case is one of the most popular cases around. Now, its not actually made of Lego’s unlike the original Lego case, but it is made of 2 pieces of plastic which snap together. The top and bottom can have actual Lego pieces attached to them as you can see in the image above, so you can build a small house on top of your case or make a watch tower to have a Lego figurine watching over your case. Another great feature is that the case is stackable, If you have multiple Raspberry Pi’s you can put them in this case and stack them on top of each other since the top of the case can connect to the bottom of another case. You can try building a small pyramid with the cases.

The case doesn’t have much ventilation so it can get warm inside the case. It doesn’t come with any heat-sinks so you may want to pickup 2 small heat-sinks for the processors. There are 2 small slots in the top part of the case if you need to connect the camera ribbon cable or any other cables for the GPIO pins. The Raspberry Pi snaps inside the case and I found that it does sit fairly tight inside the case with no shifting around inside the case. I would prefer screwing the Raspberry Pi down but the snap in’s work with no issues. The case overall is durable and made of high quality plastic and does snap together fairly easy.

Overall the case is decent and a great conversation starter. The top and bottom of the case are made so that you can attach actual Lego pieces and build things on top of the case which is fun. You can have Darth Vader guarding your Raspberry Pi like in the photo above or somehow incorporate the Raspberry Pi in a Lego project. For the price I definitely recommend this case if you like Lego’s.

Click here for more information about the Raspberry Pi Lego Case

6. PiBow Raspberry Pi Case

PiBow Raspberry Pi Case

This is a fun Raspberry Pi case which is made from 7 colorful pieces of high quality acrylic. The top and bottom of the case are transparent and held together with a nylon bolts. The case itself is very sturdy even though its held together with nylon bolts and is a bunch of acrylic pieces. All the ports on the Raspberry Pi are easily accessible and there is a slit in the top of the case for the camera ribbon cable to feed thru. The case has some small holes drilled into top which features the Raspberry Pi logo.

The case itself is very easy to put together and requires no tools. It really stands out in the crowd with its bright colors. The heating inside of the case is not too bad even though the case does not come with any heat-sinks. I would definitely pick up some heat-sinks if you can for this case.

Overall I think this is a fun case that pops out and stands out in the crowd. It is very colorful and is full of character. It’s a fun case to put together and you can mix and match the colors so each PiBow case will look different and the combinations are endless.

Click here for more information about the PiBow Raspberry Pi Case

Conclusion

These are just 6 of my favorite cases. There are hundreds of cases out there and these are just a few of my favorite cheap Raspberry Pi cases. Each one has it’s own character and is fun to put together. A good case puts some fun to your Raspberry Pi and makes each Pi unique. Definitely check out some of these cases and find your own case for your project that represents a little bit of you and suits your project. If you have some cool cases that you found post a link to them in the comments below.