Sunday, November 15, 2015

WiFi for the pi

I have been interested in the Raspberry Pi for some time and have two of these great little single board computers. I have the latest version 2 board  operating as a media center/ HTPC. This replaced the older version of the Pi that I am now using to have a play with in recognition of the new world in which our learners live. One where they can develop and explore electronics and making like never before.  I want to be able to talk with and relate to this group of learners.

And So ...

To keep learning I have decided to try and build a photobooth similar to the one created by drumminhands .

One of the first things I felt need was to get the raspberry pi working with a Nano Wireless card so that I could connect to it remotely using ssh and/or VNC.

Working Wifi Cards

There are two cards that I would recommend and one I would not

Recommend using the EDIMAX EW-7811Un adapter or One of the cards Identified by Element14

This Edimax Card I got from PBtech worked for me out of the box.

The card I would not Recommend is the TP-link

TL-WN725N while earlier versions of this card worked with the Pi the later ones do not

Getting it going 
Note this assumes a working Rasperry Pi with Raspberian OS installed

What I did was start the Pi with a network cable attached. Identify the ip address of the Pi using the device list table from out router and then SSH into from the terminal on my mac. You can use the SSH client for Chrome referenced below.

Then I set up a VNC


Log in to your Pi and install the Tight VNC Package
$ sudo apt-get install tightvncserver
Next Run TightVNC Server which will prompt you to enter a Password and an optional View Only Password
$ tightvncserver
Once that is done you can start a VNC server from the shell prompt. This example starts a session on VNC display zero (:1) with full HD resolution:
$ vncserver :1 -geometry 1920x1080 -depth 24
(If fonts appear the wrong size, add '-dpi 96' to the end.) Or you could create a script to save typing in the whole thing.
$ nano (call the file whatever you like)

When logging on to the pi VNC server we need to add the right port number to our request to get a working connection

I used VNC viewer for chrome as wanting to develop understanding as to how learners with chromebooks could work with this

To set this to autostart


Display zero ( :0 ) is port 5900, display one is port 5901

Because I initiated using vncserver :1 my connection address was

Once logged in we have a graphical user desktop and can add the wifi connection.

With the details saved I was able to reboot the Rasberrry pi without the network cable and connect to it using SSH and VNC 

Stage 1 is Complete 

Here are the two chrome apps that might help those working with Chromebooks