The AutoVox Dash Cam is my first Dash Cam that I ever purchased and I am very satisfied with it. I knew what I wanted in my dash cam, something I can just stick on the windshield and forget all about it. The AutoVox is exactly that, just insert a microSD card and it’s ready to go. I went with a 16GB microSD card (it can handle up to 32GB) and even when recording at Full HD I get about 2 hours of looped video on my card. You can choose from Full HD 1080p or a lower quality, I decided to go with the lower quality because I wanted to fit more video on my card. Continue Reading
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.
To install the Kodi media center on a Raspberry Pi 3
You will need the following:
- Keyboard / Mouse
- Kodi Remote (You can use your cellphone as a remote)
Watching all the Russian car crash videos and attempted scams got me thinking, I really want a dash cam installed in my car. I travel a lot on the roads and see many different accidents, funny people, and crazy things happening on the streets and wanted to record them for personal pleasure. A dash cam will also help out in case of an accident and help prove my innocence to the insurance company. It’s a small investment, usually around $50, and you’ll have first-hand proof in case of an accident.
Installing your dash cam is fairly easy and the power cable can be easily hidden in the headliner and can be routed down the A-Pillar. The car I am installing the Dash cam in is a 2017 Subaru Outback which also has Subaru’s Eyesight system which is a set of cameras that monitors the road in front of you and can brake the car and avoid obstacles.
The location I picked for the Dash Cam is to the side of the Eyesight cameras and is not interfering with the cameras. I was afraid at first that it would somehow have an affect on the Eyesight cameras but it did not. If you do not have the Eyesight system then you can mount your Dash Cam behind the rear-view mirrors so that it is out of the way.
To install a dash cam in a Subaru Outback which can be followed to install a dash cam in any automobile
- Dash Cam ( I used the Auto-VOX Dash Cam )
- A Car, any car can be used follow the tutorial as it should be similar. I have a 2017 Subaru Outback
Let’s get started by finding a place to attach your Dash Cam to the windshield. You will want to find a location that is in the middle of the windshield but also out of the way as to not obstruct your view. A good starting location is behind the rear-view mirror. If you windshield has vinyl dots around the rear-view mirror then do not attach the Dash Cam to them. The suction cup on your Dash Cam will not adhere to the windshield completly and may fall during driving. I located an area to the right of my rear-view mirror that is also not obstructing the Eyesight cameras.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Security on the Raspberry Pi is often overlooked especially with the rise of IoT (Internet of Things) gadgets and every device being connected to the internet. Today I will show you some easy tips and tricks you can take to improve the security of your Raspberry Pi. I recently wrote an article about 3 steps to take to improve your SSH security on the Raspberry Pi. Today’s focus will be more of the basics and general security tips and tricks that you should be doing on every Pi setup. The following steps should be done by new and experienced Raspberry Pi users and will improve the security of your system ten-fold.
I will discuss how to delete the default Raspberry Pi ‘pi’ user as well as changing the password for any other users you create. This is a good first step because if a hacker identify’s that your system is running the Rasbian distro then one can assume that there is a user called ‘pi’ on the system and can begin trying to crack that users password. Deleting the default ‘pi’ user and creating a new Raspberry Pi username and password will make it much harder to gain access to your system.
I will also be discussing about installing Fail2Ban which will block hackers from brute-forcing your username and password. This is good because it will block the hackers IP Address if they fail to login to your system and they will be unable to perform an unlimited number of username and passwords trying to gain access to your system. Another item that I will be discussing is setting up unique SSH keys, this will allow only clients that have the correct keys that you generated to login to your Raspberry Pi. This is one of the most secure ways of logging into your Raspberry Pi because only computers that you give the generated key file will be able to login and anyone who doesn’t have the key file will be blocked.
The final security tip and trick I will show you will be how to setup automated security updates. This is great if you are using your Raspberry Pi as a server and don’t access it often. All Raspbian security updates will be downloaded and applied in the background so you know you are running the latest and most secure software.
To learn about and perform basic security steps on our Raspberry Pi to improve our overall security on the Raspberry Pi system
You will need the following:
- Raspberry Pi
- 8GB Micro SD Card
- 2.5A Power Supply
- Raspbian OS (I will assume you are running Raspbian although this tutorial will apply to any Debian based Linux distro)
With all the news about privacy concerns and security threats on the internet recently more people are starting to use a VPN on their home networks and phones. A VPN or a Virtual Private Network allows you to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their devices were directly connected to the private network. For example if you are connected to the public WiFi network at the mall, everyone can see your data, if you use a VPN all your data is encrypted through a private tunnel and it looks like you are connected directly to your home network. VPN’s are very popular in the business world and most likely you may be using one for work and not even know why. The main reason is security and access of your local files.
You can use your Raspberry Pi as a VPN server for free or you can use a VPN service which will limit the amount of data you can use monthly as well a paying a monthly fee. With your Raspberry Pi VPN server you will be able to connect to public WiFi networks and have all your data encrypted which will prevent you from man-in-the-middle attacks as well as any one else snooping WiFi data on the network. When you are connected to your own VPN server you will be able to access all of your home files. If you have movies or music you will be able to access them with ease.
To improve our network security by turning our Raspberry Pi into a Home VPN Server using PiVPN
You will need the following:
Installation of PiVPN (The software we will be using as our VPN server) is a breeze. You simply have to run just one command to install PiVPN. I will assume you already have the Raspbian OS up and running. You only need the lite version if you will be running headless, that’s how I am installing it since I will have PiVPN running along side PiHole, my network wide ad blocker.