RasPi Series {1} – What is a Raspberry Pi, hardware recommendations and the setup

An introduction to my tutorial series, where it will be about making a Raspberry Pi to your own cloud.

 I have not received any money for this blog post, but everything I write is based on my own experiences! 

I have been running a Raspberry Pi at my home for some time and have not yet managed to fully configure it. There are some projects that I would like to do with the Pi and I will start now.

Already in my first post in 17 January 2019 I have spoken of it , but some fatalities, such as the dying of my grandfather came in between and it hit me harder than expected. Now I’m ready to start work and unpack my Raspberry Pi again.

I’ll take you on a journey and explain to you how i archieved my goals, so you can copy everything and apply these steps to your projects.

The Raspberry Pi

What is a Raspberry Pi?

A Raspberry Pi is a minicomputer that stands out because of its size and efficiency. You can install an operating system of your choice on it and perform certain operations. I have tested already some operating systems, but only had good experience with the native operating system, Raspbian.

The interface of the Raspbian operating system

General purpose input / output (GPIO)

What makes the Raspberry Pi the most important are the so-called GPIO pins. Here you can connect everything possible of sensors and devices. The functionality is very simple. There are pins that provide power and there are pins that measure power.

For example, you can now say that when certain things happen, you want to output power, or you can say that you want to measure power and see if something is turned on or not.

Let’s pretend you have an online shop and every time something was sold, an LED should flash. That would work with it. You could even automate entire packaging lines with it, but that’s a very complicated story.

But you can also connect sensors and measure values. Amongst other things:

  • Temperatures / Humidity
  • Brightness
  • Water consumption
  • Air / Gas / Carbon dioxide
  • Position (Potentiometer)
  • Air pressure
  • Distance
  • etc…
Marked: The GPIO pins

Many more possibilities

There are many more options you can do with a Raspberry Pi. It also has its own camera with an infrared sensor. You can imagine yourself possible with that is.

Raspberry Pi with object recognition (TensorFlow)

What we are going to do

The above examples were of course all projects that can be realized with the Raspberry Pi. Currently I have no use for such applications but have another gap that I would like to close.

I need a cloud of my own, where, at best, all my family members can store their files and the data will not be passed on to third parties.

A separate cloud also offers me the option of functional enhancements, such as the unlimited expansion of memory or the categorization of photos, videos and documents.

Yesterday I decided to completely reinstall my Raspberry Pi and install NextCloud on it. I’d like to give you a guide here on how to configure your Raspberry Pi, and I’d like to explain the steps to you in more detail.

Preparation

Before we start with the installation of the Raspberry Pi, I would like to give you my recommendations for the software and hardware , so you have a smooth process.

The SD card

I’m using a Ultra Series Sandisk memory card. I used it earlier with my reflex camera and never had any problems with it. That’s why I would recommend this to you as well.

The power supply

I have tried many power supplies. These went from 1.000mA over 2.000mA up to 2.500mA. For all PSUs, however, my Pi told me that too little power is delivered. Only at 3,000mA, the Pi was satisfied and has worked flawlessly.

Format the SD card

I myself mainly use a Windows computer and therefore my recommendations will also be for Windows computers.

For formatting the SD card, i’ve used the SD Card Formatter from sdcard.org . This software recognizes your SD card and formats it better than the Windows OS and it is convenient to use.

When formatting, make sure that the correct drive letter is selected and select “Overwrite format” .
With one click on Format the software does the rest by itself.

The difference between Quick format and Overwrite format is, that in Quick format, the current files remain and are simply marked as deleted. In Overwrite Format, however, the entire memory card is set to zero and this can make your Raspberry Pi work faster.

Download SD Card Formatter

SSH client

We will need to generate a personal key (like a fingerprint) that we will later connect to our Raspberry Pi. This is where MobaXterm comes into play.

MobaXterm screenshot

I use MobaXterm on all my Windows machines to connect to SSH accesses. This is very easy to use , has an incredibly wide feature range and has never led to problems for three years now.

At first glance, it may seem complicated, but you will see in our configuration that it is very easy to use.

Download MobaXterm

Let’s begin

Download the operating system

Before we start, you need to download an operating system and extract it to the memory card. As you read through this tutorial, I would recommend you to download NOOBS.

NOOBS is an easy operating system installer which contains Raspbian and LibreELEC. It also provides a selection of alternative operating systems which are then downloaded from the internet and installed.

raspberrypi.org – NOOBS

Download NOOBS

After unzipping the downloaded file to the memory card, you can plug it into the Pi and connect the Pi to the power supply. If you need a connection to the network, you will be asked to connect to your W-LAN or to connect a LAN cable. then you will find yourself in the setup screen.

NOOBS setup screen

There you select the desired Raspbian version. I do not need all the education tools and that’s why I always install Raspbian Lite. Once the installation is complete, you will have to restart your Raspberry Pi and the operating system will be loaded.

After installing the system, you will need to do the last steps of the configuration and restart your Raspberry Pi. Then your Raspberry Pi is ready and can already be used.

Next we will make sure that you can control your Raspberry Pi remotely. This means that you can stake out everything (monitor, keyboard and mouse) and put away your Raspberry Pi.

Topics

Cloud Experience Program Raspberry Pi technology TensorFlow Tips

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