Since I’m the nerdy type, I’ve been wanting to play with some of these development boards like the RPi and Arduino for quite a while now. I hadn’t bought any single platform but for Christmas this year, I got a Raspberry Pi B+. I bought some accessories for it from Amazon and had them ship post-haste!
I bought a 2A power supply, an Edimax EW-7811Un USB Wireless b/g/n nano adapter, a Cobbler-T breakout panel, and a 32GB µSD card. I am a big Debian fan so when it came to what OS to use, Raspbian was the obvious choice. My problems began here though! I had previously downloaded the 01-07-14 dated Raspbian image on my computer for a friend’s RPi project. He has a Mac and couldn’t get the disk imager to correctly format his SD card, so I did it for him though Linux Mint. Anyway, I imaged my SD card with this image and popped it into the RPi and guess what? No luck. RPi powered up, and the activity (green light) LED went out immediately. No output on the HDMI port or anything. I Tried several different ways to image the SD card, I even went to Windows to do it (crazy right!?).. I downloaded the NOOBS net install and tried it. It booted right up! I really wanted Raspbian all the way though so I pressed on. After an hour or so of reading forums as to why this could happen, I decided to download the latest Raspbian image and try that. The latest image named 2014-12-24-wheezy-raspbian loaded on the SD card just fine, no blips. I powered on my RPi and success!!! I setup the RPi and started to play around with it. It’s awesome FYI!!
I ran into a few technical issues with my setup though, and thought I’d post them here in case someone else runs into these problems.
The OS I was trying to use was outdated. Should have been a no-brainer, but I struggled with it – don’t make this silly mistake, just update the file
The Edimax wireless adapter I am using has power saving features. Sounds nice, but if you’re SSH’d in and you step away from the session for a few minutes, connectivity goes down. The only solution to get it back up is to restart the Pi. The long-term solution to this came from the official RPi forum. Basically you have to turn off the power management feature, which can be accomplished via a file and a few config options.
The root account is funky on the RPi. I couldn’t get root access. The trick, although it seems backwards, is to actually set the root password from the default user account. From the logged in terminal, issue:
sudo passwd root
You’ll be prompted to set the root password. Voila! Root access.
I have some DC motors, motor controllers and other toys on the way, so I hope to post some more about my Raspberry Pi creations!
Thanks for reading!!