Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Quick note: Raspberry Pi WiFI client configuration (tested with ralink RT5370)

I recently purchased a WiFi dongle as the new addition for my Raspberry Pi, this cheap and amazing piece of work from ebay is a 150M USB WiFi Wireless Adapter LAN, with a 2dBi de-attachable Antenna and the well-known ralink rt5370 Chip, for only 3€ (at the purchase time) what else could you ask for?

OK, it took a while to arrive to Spain as it was sent from China, but the product was worth the wait!

Not only worked flawlessly with the Raspberry Pi (mine is mounted on the wall next to my desk, sometimes I put it behind my monitor as the enclosure is VESA-compatible, see previous post), but also worked out-of-the-box for my LG 47LA640S Smart TV, saving me from having to buy an "official" overpriced WiFI USB dongle (30€, 6 times the value!) or adding yet-another wireless router to connect my TV over ethernet.

To enable the Raspberry Pi to connect to an AP with a static IP address, just add this to your /etc/network/interface file:

allow-hotplug wlan0

auto wlan0

iface wlan0 inet static


wpa-ssid "SSID-example-replace-yours-here"

wpa-psk "replace-your-WPA-password"

This will work as long as your AP has WPA/WPA2 security and is not hidden.

A 3D printed Raspberry Pi VESA mount

The Barcelona Activa folks at the Parc Tecnològic Barcelona Nord has opened a 3D printing space, available for the lucky people working in its facilities, featuring the amazingly cheap and cool BCN3D+ printer and the well-known MakerBot.

After a quick lessonand browsing through Thingiverse, I quickly found that the Raspberry Pi was a hot item with plenty of designs available to further enhance the Rpi experience,so I took this thing (a VESA-mount enclosure for the Raspberry Pi) and did a quick test ride.

There are plenty of tutorials and available free available software on 3D printing, so I'm going to skip this and leave a 3D printing walkthrough for a future post.

I ran the .STL file over the GCode Analyzer to see how my case was to be printedand how much time will it take to print (about 2 hours, just the case without the top-lid), and then copy the GCODE into a SD card, put it in the BCN3D+, calibrate (grumble, grumble), and the result is shown below.

The Raspberry Pi fits quite nice in the enclosure, I only had to remove a loose thread or two to connect the HDMI connector, I have not printed the top-cover as I intend to connect many things to the device, so I'm not sure yet what space should I leave for the cabling and maybe use the cover as a base mount for a sensor, etc.

I'm planning on sticking the Rpi behind my monitor and avoid seeing all the cables on top of my desk, also it serves OK to hang on a wall... good thing is that the Raspberry fits in the enclosure, but with little effort it can be pulled off, allowing a quick swap.