2014-12-13
RaspberryPi B+ and Accessories (Early Draft)

I recently was given some new toys to play with… A RaspberryPi B+ and an Adafruit 2.8” LCD touchscreen. Over the last few weeks I’ve gotten a chance to install and reinstall various software and eventually started over from scratch. This page describes the steps I took to get Raspbian, NodeJS, and other tools installed in a predictable repeatable way. Most of the information is better described on other, more helpful, websites and blogs, which I will try to cite properly.

My Development Environment

I’m using a MacBook Pro that’s a few years old; it has a built-in SD card reader, which is handy. It also has a Thunderbolt port as the means for hooking up Ethernet, so that is what I’ll describe here. I’m running OSX Yosemite with Homebrew, and I use Sublime as my code editor.

For convenience in managing cables, I purchased a short (2ft) flat ribbon Ethernet cable and am using a USB cable (stolen from my Kindle Nook) to power the RaspberryPi from my Mac. I’d like a cable-free device, but power is necessary. But if I can get wireless working, I can put the Pi in a corner and not have it tied to my Mac.

Target Hardware

I’m using a RaspberryPi B+, to which I’ve attached a 2.8” (240x320) Adafruit TFT LCD display.

I have a Targus Bluetooth 4.0 Dual-Mode Adaptor ($30 at OfficeMax, but half that if you mail order a cheaper alternative) for use with my Wireless Apple Keyboard and for use with Beacon experiments. (Later I’ll mention that you want to use BlueZ 5.26++ to get the BT4.0 full capability).

I have a WiFi adaptor that is based on the RealTek (RTl8192/8188CUS) chip, similar to that offered at Adafruit WiFi Adaptor. It works, but is slow in some environments and I’m still debugging why.