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Raspberry pi 2 – Model B – 1GB – adventure in tiny box

Curiosity is the key to learn new things and it always results in discovering new things. Things which enable you and the entities associated with you, to stand apart from the crowd and showcase the unique talent. While one side of my brain is fascinated with learning new tools/frameworks/libraries etc, the other side always looks for adventures in electronics, embedded stuffs. Up until now, I was little restricted to just building my own PC (another article about my PC – WorkHorse) and never ventured into breadboard or PCB, my surge to Raspberry Pi pushed me to go for one.

When I heard the news about Raspberry pi 2 – Model B, my other side of the brain just pushed me to go for one and explore the other horizon. I immediately placed order for

1. Raspberry PI (2 – Model B)
2. Samsung EVO 16 GB
3. Pi Case
4. HDMI to VGA converter

PI 2 - Model B
PI 2 – Model B

While the entire bunch got shipped within a week’s time, I started exploring various tutorials about getting started. PI has been so popular these days, that there are numerous sites filled with lot of useful content.

But before we delve into the tutorial links, I would like to point at the hardware I bought. The PI board looks very solid and in fact for first few days, I used it without any case. The case for PI arrived after few days. But till that time I had no problem using the PI.

 

PI 2 - Model B Case
PI 2 – Model B Case

But I wasn’t quite sure as how long, I can use PI without case and hence I ordered one on Amazon again. When it arrived, as expected it looked reliable and also came with screws required to fix the PI properly inside the case. I pulled out the case out of the packet and started fitting the PI inside it. Believe me without any hassles, PI was placed nicely inside the case and it looked really good.

 

 

 

PI 2 - Model B Case
PI 2 – Model B Case

The case has enough placeholders for USB, LAN, HDMI, audio, USB port and Memory card. The only problem with the case is, it lacks option for GPIO.

 

PI 2 - Model B Configuration
PI 2 – Model B Configuration

Have a look at the configuration of PI.
1. It has 4 USB ports – useful to attach too many devices than the earlier model. I have a wireless mouse and USB keyboard and hence it occupies 2 USB ports. In addition to that, I used another USB port for adding Wireless card. This still leaves another USB port.
2. Mini USB port for charging.
3. Ethernet Port for network connectivity.
4. HDMI Port for display
5. Stereo output
6. Camera port
7. 40 pin GPIO
8. And most important QUAD Core CPU with 1GB RAM
(All this configuration looks great than what we get in high end phones 😛)

 

PI 2 vs Nokia 520
PI 2 vs Nokia 520

For a board which is less than a size of Nokia 520 model, the configuration looks great.

I was more interested in exploring options other than just booting up the PI (more like creating WIFI access points). Here goes the list of sites, I used

1. maketecheasier
2. Raspberry pi HQ
3. The Mag PI

While following the steps mentioned in the above articles, I experienced my OS was getting crashed frequently. It was almost 10-15 times, I ended up reinstalling everything and following all the steps. While the WiFi AP functionality worked pretty well, the problem of frequent crashes, left me annoyed. But the curiosity never let me settle down and I once again started exploring what can be done to solve this? After all there are so many enthusiast, who would have tried this and there should be an option available. Well after few hours of reading through blogs and posts, I came to know that the problem occurs due to the storage media used for booting up and storing PI installation.

Fundamentally, memory cards are good for storing data which doesn’t change frequently like images, mp3, documents etc. In case of Raspberry PI, the OS swap files was getting stored in same memory card. Hence while shutting down the OS, the memory card was not able to update the swap files completely and it led to the problem of OS crash. This led to another search excercise and I came across raspberrypimaker, which helped me to set up USB as swap storage. After following the tutorial, I installed Raspberry PI again and booted it. Hurrayy… the steps worked like charm and up until now, I didn’t face the OS crash.

By Carbon Rider

Hi this is Yogesh, welcome to my world. Being passionate about learning new technologies and building frameworks, I end up spending most of my time in front of computer. But over last few months, I realised apart from being good coder and designer (Yes I am) I have something hidden in me. And thats called ART.

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