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Raspberry Pi Setup

Purchase a Raspberry Pi 4 and get it running

In this note...

  • Assembling the RPi hardware
  • Installing the Raspbian OS
  • Installing TeamViewer
  • Set the Pi to run headless
  • Showing hidden files
  • Preloading a Wi-Fi setting

 

Assemble the RPi hardware

You will temporarily need to connect a HDMI monitor, mouse and keyboard.

1)  Purchase the Pi4 Hardware - Must have at least 4GB RAM,  32GB  micro SD card, and Raspbian OS

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There are many choices. We like this one from Vilros: Vilros Raspberry Pi 4 Complete Starter Kit with Fan-Cooled Heavy-Duty Aluminum Alloy Case (4GB 32GB SD card)

b. Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gv09QbZpVTY

c. Order link: https://www.newegg.com/RaspberryPi4

2) Follow instructions in Vilros Raspberry Pi Quick Start Guide
a. Attach heat sinks
b. Attach fan black wire to pin 14 and attach red wire to pin 1
c. Assemble case
d. Insert 32 GB SD card with Noobs installed

3) Connect a keyboard, mouse and HDMI display (this is only temporary for setup)

4) Turn on power

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Install the Raspbian OS

GBTPi (GBTimelapse for Raspberry Pi) requires the Buster version of Raspbian. At the time of this writing the newer Bullseye version is unstable and is missing critical components. 

For a step-by-step guide to installing the Buster version of Raspbian see this blog post...

Granite Bay Software: installing the Buster version of Raspbian (tlapse.blogspot.com)

 

Setup The Raspbian OS

  • After Raspbian boots, follow instructions to do initial setup
    1. Please set language to US English (GBTPi uses US English OS commands)
    2. Set password
    3. Get rid of black border
    4. Choose wi-fi network
    5. Check for system updates (this can take a long time, be patient)

Install Team Viewer

  • Install TeamViewer Host for RaspberryPi. You can use TeamViewer for free to control your RaspberryPi. Start the Chromium Web Browser from the Raspbian OS menu. The Chromium Web Browser is not Google Chrome – it is an open source browser inspired by Chrome.
    1. Go to https://www.teamviewer.com/en/download/raspberry-pi/
    2. Click on the Raspberry Pi icon on the TeamViewer page
    3. Click “Download Host”
    4. Run the TeamViewer installer
    5. Setup easy connect with fixed password.

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Setup the Pi to run headless

 There is no need to have a monitor and keyboard if you are running remotely. (See https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/edit-boot-config-file-raspberry-pi/)

  1. Open a Terminal window
  2. Type “cd /boot”
  3. Type “sudo nano config.txt”
  4. For a headless 1920 by 1080 display, uncomment the following lines in config.txt and set their values to match

hdmi_force_hotplug=1
hdmi_group=2
hdmi_mode=82

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An alternative way to do this is to remove the SD card, put it in a microSD card adapter and insert it into a card reader on a Windows PC. Then use Windows Notepad to edit the config.txt file on the boot partition (/boot/config.txt).

Reboot the Pi with the SD card and run Raspbian preferences to change the screen resolution to 1920x1080. Click Apply and confirm the screen size.

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(Optional) Use SD Card copier program (in Raspbian accessories) to make a copy of the SD Card so you don’t have to ever do this procedure again. Copy from SC32G (/dv/mmcblk0) to the card in USB (Mass storage device (/dev/sda)).

Run TeamViewer on your main computer and connect to the Pi4. After this you can disconnect the monitor, mouse and keyboard and run the Pi from your main computer through TeamViewer.

Show Hidden Files

Run the Raspbian File Manager, click on the View menu and check the setting for “Show Hidden”.

Preload Remote Wi-Fi Setting

When you install a headless Raspberry Pi  in a remote location, you don’t want have to bring along a mouse, keyboard and monitor just to setup the Wi-Fi. Instead, if you know the Wi-Fi name and password, you can pre-load that info into your Raspberry Pi so it will connect automatically when you power it up at the remote location.

The Wi-Fi connection data is store in a file named wpa_supplicant.conf in the folder /etc/wpa_supplicant/.  Since you have already connected to your office Wi-Fi, that file should already exist in the file directory.

Here’s how to add a remote location’s Wi-Fi info to that file…

  • Open a terminal window in Raspbian.
  • Open the wpa-supplicant.conf configuration file with the nano editor by typing…

            sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

 

It should look something like this…

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Where OfficeWiFi is the name of your Wi-Fi, office_password is the password, and US is the country code where it is located.

  • Go to the bottom of the file and add the following using your remote Wi-Fi name and password:

                          network={

                                            ssid="RemoteWiFi"

                                           psk="remote_password"

                          }

It should now look like this…

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Now save the file by pressing Ctrl+X, then Y, and finally press Enter.

When the Pi is booted at the remote location it will connect to the remote Wi-Fi.

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