So many Pi’s 2

Whoa what a boom this was… Since my last post I now have two more Raspberry Pies (A+ and 2-B), some very nice cases, wifi dongles… let’s have a pie party!

One of my main issues with the Raspberry Pi B was that it only had two USB ports, plus there was some sort of max power issue that kept turning my hard drive on and off. To solve this I bought this Hackable “Naked” 7 Port USB Hub from Mod My Pi. The downside was it needed to be connected to power but it solved my problem, I could now watch an entire movie from the external drive without it getting disconnected.

My next problem was with WiFi; it doesn’t matter if you have a super fast WiFi if your WiFi adapter only support speeds from pre-history… So I went on Ebay and got a WiFi dongle with a 150M Antenna for about 7€ (~ $8). It still can’t get amazing speeds, but also it is a bit far from the router.

This meant I could watch Full HD movies from the internet without much lagging!

Last year, I was very happy to have won the ShiftAppens Hackathlon. We were the only team comprised of Multimedia Designers, and we were able to win an Hackathlon full of Software Engineers. One of the prizes was WEAREREDLIGHT’S HAPPY DEVELOPER KIT, this was an amazing opportunity for me to get loads of stuff for my projects. I got my first wire-stripper, a couple Arduinos, and a Raspberry Pi model 2 B! Yes, the Quad-core model with 1GB of RAM, all inside the same form-factor.

I had to replace my previous installation with this model. After getting the new OpenElec onto an SD card it was up-and-running in less than half an hour. The new usb dongle made a huge difference, installing add-ons was much faster and the new processor also helped.

Do you think I own the energy company?
– My dad always says…

At our home, we are always very concerned about energy usage; we always turn the lights off when we leave a room, we never leave the TV in standby mode, we don’t leave our computers sleeping, we even turn off the router+ont at night. So even with it’s low energy consumption we couldn’t leave the Raspberry Pi always on… Thankfully, OpenElec has a feature called shutdown timer; it lets you set a timeout so that if it’s not being used the Pi would shut itself off. This was great, but once it turns off there is no POWER ON button… Here comes the internet, I found many great tutorials on how to make a reset button; this basically resets the Pi which causes it to boot again (great to turn it on when it is shutdown, but also to force a reset when it hangs…).

In around November 2015, XBMC changed it’s name to Kodi; with that change I decided it was time to change the default confluence theme to a different one. I found Conq a very minimalist and clean theme that allowed a great deal of customisation. I had to change a file or two to allow the Poster layout on every page (google it if you’re interested, it is really easy to do). So now I have a pretty decent and reliable Media Center that I use everyday, and it’s still going!

Apparently, if you have a good power supply (2A up) you can set max_usb_current=1 in config.txt file which makes the current available on USB port increase to 1.2A! This way there is no need for a powered usb hub.