Category : Information

Setup OTG Networking on a Pi Zero

It is possible to get the micro USB ‘OTG’ port on the Pi Zero configured for networking. After a couple of bits of configuration you can simply plug a cable between your PC / Laptop and the Pi Zero USB data port, it automatically creates a network between them and you can then SSH to your Pi Zero.

To enable this you’ll need the following line added to your /boot/config.txt file:

dtoverlay=dwc2

… and the following text added to your /boot/cmdline.txt (be sure to keep only space between each param and no newlines) after the  rootwait parameter:

modules-load=dwc2,g_ether

That should be it complete. Reboot the Pi Zero and check it out.
NOTE: This will only work on a Pi Zero, none of the other versions support it.

Thanks to Andrew Mulholland for the pointers.

5 Essential Raspberry Pi Accessories To Buy Today

Got yourself a Raspberry Pi ? Here’s our list of the 5 essential Raspberry Pi Accessories you’ll need to make the most of your Pi. This list covers official, cheapest, most useful and some ‘advanced (DIY)’ accessories.

 

Raspberry Pi Accessories : Power To The Pi

The first thing you’ll need is some way of powering it, and the big decision is ‘fixed’ or ‘portable’. If you plan to leave your Pi in one location then you’ll want to go for a plug in charger style. If you think you’ll be moving it around, using it outside, using it for mobile projects then you’ll want some kind of portable supply.

  • The official Raspberry Pi power supply can be found on the element14 website here, and the RS Components website here.
  • Any cheap micro USB charger that supplies 1-2 amps should work fine. You might even get away with plugging it in to your laptop or desktop.
  • I recommend this version from Anker on Amazon – they also provide great customer service and really well made products.
  • For portable power, again any portable battery for charging phones will do (with ‘fast charge’)
  • I recommend, and use this 20000mAh pack, again from Anker. This gives me over 20 hours of continuous use, and I can charge my phone at the same time.
  • On the more costly side, if you want to work through power interruptions there is this add-on board. This acts as an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS).
  • For the more adventurous, there are opportunities to build your own UPS. Adafruit has many parts and batteries available that can be used to build your own.  Check out this video of someone that’s done just that.

Raspberry Pi Accessories : Project Wi-Fi

You might be lucky enough to have your workshop, or home fully wired with Cat5 network sockets in every room. Or plan to just have you Pi in a single location with cabled access, but if not then you’ll probably need Wi-Fi access. Of course, if you have a Pi 3 then you have Wi-Fi built in and your good to go. For those that do need Wi-Fi here’s some options:

Raspberry Pi Accessories : Keyboard (and Mouse) Bashing

If you’re using your Pi as a desktop machine, or you need some initial setup and configuration done manually then you’ll need a Keyboard and Mouse. I have moved completely to wireless keyboard and mouse combos for all my workstations. This has the benefit of only requiring a single USB port (for the dongle). I also find it generally helps not having cables getting tangled everywhere.

Raspberry Pi Accessories : Breadboard

If you’re into more than just software projects on your Pi, then you will want to connect to the ‘physical world’. For that you will likely need a breadboard. This is a board that you can use to prototype electronic circuits without having to solder. A breadboard makes it possible to interface devices and sensors, connect LEDs and the like. Breadboards come in various sizes but are all pretty similar in their function.

Raspberry Pi Accessories : Packing Your Case

Last but not least on our list is a case.  You will want to protect your Pi for short circuits, grubby fingers, and all manner of other dangers. So you will need a decent case. Cardboard, or 3D printing can be used to make cases. You can also cut the plastic box, the Pi is delivered in, into a case. There are lots of tutorials for all of these. Those are great, but I recommend getting a proper case. This is very much a thing of personal preference. Listed below are some cool cases that you might consider.

 

There you go, the 5 essential Raspberry Pi Accessories you need for your Raspberry Pi. Of course there are a lot of other neat add-on items that can improve your experience further, but those are for another post…

 

Did I miss anything ? let me know in the comments below, or feel free to include your favourite ‘must have’ items.

Raspberry Pi Versions

To date (July 2016), there have been 8 versions of the Raspberry Pi. Below is an outline of each.

Raspberry Pi Model A

pi_a

The Model A sported the ARMv6 architecture (700MHz, single core ARM11) with a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC. It had 256MB of RAM and a 26 pin version of the header. Power was provided by the micro USB connector, video by the HDMI connector (supporting HDMI v1.3), a single USB port, composite video out RCA jack and a 3.5mm audio out connector. There is also a slot for a camera module and on board storage was via a slot for a full size SD Card. There was no Ethernet (RJ45) port on this model.

 

 

 

Raspberry Pi Model B

pi_b

The Model B also used the same ARMv6 architecture (700MHz, single core ARM11) with a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC as the Model A. It had increased memory to 512MB of RAM. The header is the same 26 pins as the Model A, but it had an additional 4 GPIO pins available via the P5 header (if you user was willing to solder the pins). HDMI, composite video, audio and SD card slot all remain the same, but the USB ports are increased to 2 and there is now a Ethernet (RJ45) connector on-board also.

 

 

 

Raspberry Pi Compute Module

pi_compute

The Compute Module is a full system on a device with only a 200 pin DDR2 SO-DIMM. This uses the same ARMv6 architecture (700MHz, single core ARM11) with a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC as the Model A and B, has 512MB RAM on-board as well as an on-board 4GB eMMC flash chip for storage. There are no on-board ports, but all the usual inputs and outputs (and more) are exposed as pins on the 200 SO-DIMM connector.

 

 

 

pi_b_plus

The Model B+ sported the same ARMv6 architecture (700MHz, single core ARM11) with a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC as the Model A and B. It had the increased memory of 512MB of RAM same as the Model B. Now has a 40 pin version of the header which exposed 9 more GPIO pins and support for the HAT ID bus. It now has 4 on-board USB ports, and the composite video out (RCA) plug had been removed and the composite video combined with the audio out in the 3.5 jack . There is also a slot for a camera module and on board storage was via a smaller slot for a micro size SD Card. There was an on-board Ethernet (RJ45) port on this model. Power consumption has been improved as has audio quality.

 

 

 

Raspberry Pi Model A+

pi_a_plus

The Model A+ sported the same ARMv6 architecture (700MHz, single core ARM11) with a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC as the Model A and B. It had the increased memory of 512MB of RAM same as the Model B, the same 40 pin version of the header as the Model B (exposing 9 more GPIO pins and support for the HAT ID bus). It retains the single USB port of the Model A, and the composite video out (RCA) plug had been removed and the composite video combined with the audio out in the 3.5 jack . There is also a slot for a camera module and on board storage was via a smaller slot for a micro size SD Card. There was no still Ethernet (RJ45) port on this model. Power consumption has been improved as has audio quality.

 

 

 

Raspberry Pi 2 (Model B)

pi_2

The second generation of the Model B moves to the ARMv7 architecture, using a quad core, 900MHz Cortex-A7 CPU and the Broadcom BCM2836 SoC. The memory is increased to 1GB, but all other hardware remains the same as the Model B+.

 

 

 

Raspberry Pi Zero

pi_z

The Raspberry Pi Zero,  which has a smaller footprint and less connectivity, is based on ARMv6 architecture for the original Model A and Model B, using 1GHz single core ARM11 device and the original Broadcom 2835 SoC. It had only 1 micro USB port (OTG mode) and a mini HDMI connector for video and audio. Additional (composite) video and audio are available via GPIO pins. A micro SD card slot is available for storage and by default the GPIO 40 pin connector is unpopulated.

 

 

 

Raspberry Pi 3 (Model B)

pi_2

The third generation of the Model B sees a move to the ARMv8 architecture, using a quad core, 1.2GHz 64 bit Cortex-A53 CPU and the Broadcom BCM2837 SoC. The memory stays at 1GB, and all other connectors and ports remains the same as the Pi 2 and Model B+. In addition, wireless networking (802.11n) and Bluetooth (4.1, BLE) are added.