Raspberry Pi 2: We're Giving Away 50 Units!!! - Review

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RoadTest: Raspberry Pi 2: We're Giving Away 50 Units!!!

Author: cledic

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?:

What were the biggest problems encountered?:

Detailed Review:

Raspberry Pi 2 project

 

photoframe "Postcards from the World"

 

My idea is to realize a photo frame, capable to display not only "my images" but capable to bring me to

see many photos from the world. I love to call this project: "Postcards from the World". So I studied how to bring

photo from Picasa, but was not enough, and I take photo from Flicker too, pointing directly to specific group.

 

I started this project many years ago, using micro controller with 3.5inch LCD, and WiFly device to interface to Internet.

Too much complex for me...

But soon I choose to use Embedded Linux board; the first I used had only 64MB of ram and 200MHz clock CPU.

I need to wait few years and more Embedded Linux board appear on the market. More ram, more power but not so easy to configure and use.

After came Raspberry Pi! And they made the difference!

 

Only recently I see the possibility to buy a 10inch LCD display with HDMI interface, at a good price for me.

This LCD, the new Raspberry Pi 2 and an elegant photo frame from Ikea, let me to realize my "Postcards from the World" project.

 

 

This is a very short movie of the photframe "in action".

 

 

Main components

  1. Raspberry Pi 2
  2. 10.1''LCD Display - 1366x768 HDMI  (http://www.exp-tech.de/10-1-lcd-display-1366x768-hdmi-vga-ntsc-pal?___store=en&___from_store=de)
  3. Ikea frame Ribba (http://www.ikea.com/it/it/catalog/products/70153160/)
  4. 50 cm HDMI cable.

 

How to modify the frame

This is a little guide about how to modify the frame to install the LCD. Beleve me: the most difficult thing was to better clean the glass! :-))

  1. Remove the rear of the frame and clean the glass. Cut the passepartout so that the LCD is visible and centered.
  2. Pose the LCD on the passepartout inside the frame, cut to size strips of balsawood to fit the LCD  against the frame.
  3. Take the rear of the frame and cut a piece in correspondence of the LCD connector.
  4. At this point, enter the back of the frame and lock it agains the frame.

 

In this image the phase described:


Connections and consolidation.

Now we need to pose the 50 cm HDMI cable, to connect the LCD board and the Raspberry Pi, and some cabledrop adhesives.

 

Here is visible the cut for the LCD connector

 

 

Software installation

I follow the basic guideline to install my Raspberry Pi 2. After this operation, I change the password of the pi user and begin to install

the needed packages:

sudo apt-get install htop imagemagick fbi wget

sudo apt-get install xmlstarlet

sudo apt-get install sqlite

sudo apt-get install sqlite3

 

Then I follow this link (http://http://www.techjawab.com/2014/08/how-to-setup-owncloud-7-on-raspberry-pi.html) to install

the ownClouds software to share photo with friends and parents. Actually I'm using ownClouds only locally to my home.

A scratcbook of the installation is on the GitHub too.

 

This is a photoframe, so no need to blank the screen!

Next I need to stop the console save screen. To do that I wrote at the end of my /etc/rc.local, before the exit 0 statement, this line:

setterm -blank 0 -powerdown 0 -powersave off

 

The rc.local appear in this way:

 

#!/bin/sh -e

#

# rc.local

#

# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.

# Make sure that the script will "exit 0" on success or any other

# value on error.

#

# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution

# bits.

#

# By default this script does nothing.

 

# Print the IP address

_IP=$(hostname -I) || true

if [ "$_IP" ]; then

  printf "My IP address is %s\n" "$_IP"

fi

 

# Switch off console powersave

setterm -blank 0 -powerdown 0 -powersave off

 

exit 0

 

 

Software structure

 

The script I realize are available under GitHub.

https://github.com/cledic/RasperryPi2_RoadTest/tree/master

You may find some doc files about how I install driver for wifi, USB key ecc.ecc.

 

Basically I use:

1. a script to mount a ram disk under /tmp/images

2. a script to download Flikr images

3. a script to download Picasa images.

4. a script that periodically run the download task and show the photo

The photo are not saved on the board. All the photos are saved on a ram disk, and downloaded every 4 hours.

 

The scripts are under this directory structure:

/home/pi/

        /run_download.sh

        /run_photoframe.sh

        /utility/mk_ramdisk.sh

        /flick_fotos/flickr_tag_readers.pl

        /flick_fotos/compose_postcards.sh

        /picasa_fotos/update_picasa_db.sh

        /picasa_fotos/picasa_reader.pl

 

 

Project development

The software is an "under development" project. Actually the photoframe execute two main job:

  1. download the images
  2. visualize the images

 

What I want to realize is a system driven via a software organized for more action. The idea is to sync specific action at precise time.

Action may be: visualize photo, or clock or movie.

 

Another thing I'm studing is to use voice recognition to stop and play the photoframe.

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