Monthly Archives: September 2018

Raspberry Pi Pin Layout

There I was, messing about with GPIO pins on my Raspberry Pi 3 B+ recently and as usual could not remember the pin numbers. I stumbled on this image below - thanks to @pinout for this handy Raspberry Pi connector layout (see link to Raspberry Pi site further down) and to readers for links for prototyping boards. Indeed this started as a simple entry and is rapidly filling up with REALLY useful content and comments.

tmp7E79

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The Script

If you are running a Raspberry PI and the script gives problems with Node-Red, note that 22/09/2018 I've updated script to use Node6.x and not Node 8.x as that currently causes issues, even the IBM script uses Node 6.x

Regular reader will know about the script that Aidan Ruff and I originally developed to put Node-Red and several other packages onto the Raspberry Pi for our own home control purposes. This has been developed with help from several people and in particular my friend Antonio.

The Script, ESP-GO and Nano Peripheral

WELL – here is the script which is intended to help set up certain Raspbian, Debian or similarly-based SBCs which now includes logging and handling Raspbian Stretch (tested on Raspberry Pi  2 and 3, 3B+). As well as it's original purpose of setting up a Raspberry Pi, the script also runs well with several other boards.  See right hand side of the above image for what the script does, given a basic operating system install. Read on…

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Web servers and SQLITE Editors Rethink

ApacheFor some considerable time now I’ve been using Apache (web server) on my various SBCs to present a basic web page, run PHPLITEADMIN (local  SLQLite Database Manager and do other menial jobs. A LONG time ago I got rid of MySQL (which I had used on and off along with MS SQL on larger machines for a long time)  despite it’s undoubted qualities as MySQL tends to be not ideal for the likes of little Raspberry Pis with their limited resources and limited life SDs. Well, that was a start but now it is possibly time to move on from Apache to something a little lighter on it’s feet as well.

NGINXAntonio is busy having another so at setting up Caddy as an alternative web server, but he’s having a busy week and I could not help but give Nginx a go – I WILL play  with both that and Caddy in the very bear future and the winner will no doubt get into “the script”. Any web server for me has to run PHP, preferably v7 as I like to be up to date – warning - I’ve only tested this  on a Raspberry Pi 3 (2 will work) but as there was nothing specifically Raspbian-ish in the setup I’ve no doubt this would work elsewhere.

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Easy Backup 2

Having satisfied myself that RPI-CLONE does a good job of creating backups of Raspberry Pi (no guarantees you won’t lose data but it hasn’t happened to me yet) I started the search for a solution for other boards. I find the Orange Pi +2E to be a particularly nice piece of hardware, but useless without an easy backup.  armbian-config will let you copy from SD to EMMC but not the other way around – so no backup capability for eMMC users. So I've been working on this...

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Easy Backups and Webmin

This article started off as two separate subjects - and has now gone SO much further - you really need to read this one...

So I’m messing here with a NanoPi NEO PLUS2  (though this applies to other board too) – and I’ve had all sorts of issues getting SSD1306 drivers working on them – well, not so much getting them to work – that’s easy – more stopping this infernal “segmentation error”. I needed a backup solution. Well, I found more than one !

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Xiaomi Roidmi 3S Bluetooth Music Car Charger

This Xiaomi Roidmi 3S cigarette-lighter-sized Bluetooth transmitter and car charger has two USB outputs totalling 2.4 amps output AND is able to talk via Bluetooth to your mobile phone so that those without Bluetooth on the car radio can tune into a special low power FM transmission and play their phone music via the car stereo. Not only that but it is inexpensive! The unit came from GearBest – here’s the link…

Xiaomi ROIDMI 3S Bluetooth Music Car Charger: https://goo.gl/uzmHh6

Roidme 3S

Thr Roidmi website is out of date, featuring models 2 and 2s whereas the unit I have is model 3S. Operation requires little explanation so really the GearBest link above is good enough. Once the unit is paired to your phone by Bluetooth, all sound output from your phone or tablet will go to the unit and be retransmitted by radio (FM) to the car radio. The unit also of course has 2 USB charging outputs which can be used for example to charge your device or devices - always handy in the car.

Roidmi 3S

The Roidmi 3S is solid enough, if you are unfortunate enough not to have Bluetooth on your car stereo, it could prove useful. The brief instructions (which I didn’t need) were in English. It has now been in use for weeks in our little Spanish car and operates flawlessly.

I must admit to being sceptical at first, I’ve seen similar units over the years promising to send music over FM and usually ending up with disastrous sound. This unit on the other hand has true, clear stereo and sounds GREAT with no interference from other stations, at least, not here in the Granada region of Southern Spain. My UK car has full Bluetooth but our little Spanish run-around has no Bluetooth and as the radio stations are Spanish, has, up to now been essentially useless.

Now, we can stream my wife's favourite American Rock station from her Smartphone  to the radio andeven  keep the phone charged at the same time – marvellous.

Highly recommended.

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Xiaomi Mi Band 3 Smart Bracelet

Last month, the mailbag brought a number of goodies including a new smart wrist band for Maureen, the Xiaomi MI Band  3, supplied by GearBest. Several weeks later, this little fitness band is in full time use, as Maureen absolutely loves it. The battery lasts a week or more between charges, which is far more than can be said for some other bands out there including pretty colour bands that are essentially useless because of short battery life - no such problems here.

Xiaomi MI

Here’s the link:

Xiaomi Mi Band 3 Smart Bracelet: https://goo.gl/hKj4PN

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SD CARD Backup

Update September 2018

I read about the most convoluted ways to back up SBC systems…. some back up only data, some use arcane commands to do the job – few if any are a single click job for a complete backup that can even handle larger or smaller SDs. That is except for RPI-Clone.

Below “Original article” was written back in 2016 – things have changed a little since then. Bill Wilson has revamped his rpi-clone project and the current version of this superb command-line tool for the Raspberry Pi is here.. https://github.com/billw2/rpi-clone

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Orange Pi Plus 2E revisited

Update September 2018: Despite my earlier enthusiasm below, it seems things have changed. The Stretch version of Armbian for this board which I grabbed today has a broken armbian-config and the excellent rpi-clone program produces a read-only version of the operating system. The "bionic" version of Armbian for the board kills "the script" very early on.  I gave up after several attempts with both versions. As there seem to be no realistic alternatives to Armbian for the board, I guess it is back to the cupboard for the Plus 2E.

Original July update: I’ll not review this as I’ve already reviewed the Plus 2E.. but I recently ordered another one as my enthusiasm for the Plus2E, despite my overall dim view of Orange Pi, is a smashing board – everything  just works.

Orange Pi Plus 2E

The Orange Pi Plus2E (in brief) has 16GB eMMc, 2GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet and WIFI, IR sensor, microphone and lots more. It is an H3-based board so not state of the art but very powerful and easy to use. I tested multiple serial ports and multiple I2c channels and they just work. See my original review for more.

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