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What is Raspberry Pi? A Beginners Guide on Raspberry Pi

Here in this article, I will tell you what a raspberry pi is, what it can do and how to set it up in an easily understandable way. I have included maximum details as I could so that beginners can follow up very easily.

What is Raspberry Pi?  Raspberry Pi Explained

Raspberry Pi Introduction

Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized single board computer which can do everything a normal PC can do.

Raspberry Pi Model B+

It is a low cost CPU which can be used as a general purpose PC for web surfing, video streaming etc.

Due to its small size, it can be carried anywhere and can be powered using a mobile phone power bank.

Raspberry pi has Several GPIO pins which will enable us to interact with outside world using various sensors which can be plugged into it.

Raspberry Pi Slide Show

Want a raspberry pi slides to create a presentation? Well, here you have it. Check out the below slide; you will find everything you need to know about raspberry pi in the form of a slide.

Raspberry Pi Family

This is the family photo of Raspberry Pi.

Mainly we have Raspberry Pi 1 which is the first version. Then we have the newer versions Pi 2 and 3. There are so many subcategories.

Somewhere in between the release of 2 and 3, they released a small version of Pi called Pi Zero which is almost half the size of Pi 2 but lacked so many features such as WiFi Bluetooth and had only 2 micro USB port.

But in the later version of Pi Zero – The Pi zero W, they added wireless chipset.

Most of these models are not currently available. Old versions are replaced by new versions.

Image result for raspberry pi b 3 A+
Raspberry Pi 3 Model A +

Most commonly used Pis are 3B and 3B+

Then there is one more member in the Pi family –  Raspberry Pi 3 A+ – One with dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2. This one lack the ethernet port and have only 1 USB port.

Raspberry Pi 3 B+

Now we will focus on Raspberry Pi 3 B+, which is the most commonly used Raspberry Pi.

Specifications

  • BCM2837 SOC  @ 1.4GHz
  • 1GB SDRAM
  • Dual Band WiFi
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • POE Support

It is powered by a Broadcom BCM2837 SOC clocked at 1.4 GHz.

It have 1 GB SDRAM. SOC means System On Chip – means all the necessary components are packed in a single chip

Dual Band WiFi chipset which means it can support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHZ WiFi networks.

Bluetooth 4.2 and it supports POE or Power Over Ethernet which can be used to power up the pi using the ethernet cable itself.

Parts

Even though Raspberry pi is so small, it contains all the components that is necessary to operate like a desktop PC.

We will start from the right.

On the right side we have 4 USB 2 ports where we can connect our mouse, keyboard, pendrive, external hard disk and other USB devices.

Then we have ethernet port where we can connect ethernet cable for network access.

A 3.5 mm jack from where we get the audio output and composite video output, a HDMI port where we can connect the monitor or projector and take sessions and a micro USB port where we supply the input power.

The whole pi is powered by this broadcom SOC running at 1.4GHz with 1GB RAM and then we have the GPIO pins which can be used to take input from the sensors and give ouput. I will talk about that in a minute.

A POE connector This is where we connect the POE hat for powering it up with ethernet cable.

Raspberry Pi and GPIO Pin

Introduction of GPIO pin was something that changed the way we look into these Single Board Computers.

GPIO stands for General Purpose Input Output

These pins allows us to interact with outside world by connecting sensors to take inputs such as temperature, pressure, orientation.

Using these pins we can control DC motors, Servo motors, LEDS and create fully automated or remote controlled robots, home automation and all kind of stuffs.

Behaviour of these pins – Whether it is input or output pin, can be controlled programmatically using python.

There are some pins which can be used for special purposes like giving out PWM signals to control servo motors or act as I2C interface etc.

Raspberry Pi GPIO Pinout

Setting Up Raspberry Pi

Getting Started

Now we will start setting up the Pi

Connecting Raspberry Pi

To get started, we will need

  • Raspberry Pi
  • OS
  • Micro SD card
  • Mouse & Keyboard
  • Monitor
  • Power Supply

Raspberry Pi OS

There are so many different types of OS available for Raspberry Pi. These are some of them

Raspberry Pi OS

Raspbian is the official operating system which is the most commonly used one.

NOOBS is a much more user friendly OS for beginners built on top of Raspbian.

Then we have raspberry pi version of Ubuntu for common use, Kali Linux, Arch Linux etc.

Then you can burn the image on to the SD Card using Softwares like Etcher.

All you have to do is

  • Connect a micro SD card to your computer
  • Start the software
  • Choose the OS image
  • Select the drive and click on flash

It will take around 10 minutes to burn the image.

Powering Up the Pi

  • Insert Card into Pi
  • Connect Hardware
  • Connect Accessories
  • Power Up

First Boot

  • Login/Auto Login – We will have a default username and password for logging in. In most OS the default username will be pi and the password depends on that OS. In some cases, auto login will be enabled. In that cases, you will not have to login manually, it will automatically take you to the home screen.
  • Change the password – For security reason, first thing to do is changing the default password.
  • Connect to WiFi – Then you can scan and connect to your wifi network just like we connect a laptop. Or you can use terminal and nmcli command to connect it to the wifi network. Make sure you are getting an IP Address using the command ifconfig.

Remote Access

  • SSH – SSH or Secure Shell or Secure Socket Shell, is a network protocol that provides us a secure way to connect a computer over network and access its terminal or command line.
  • VNC – You can also set up VNC to connect to the pi remotely. The advantage is that, it will give you the complete GUI of the pi to your phone or PC.

RaspiConfig

Now there is a tool called Raspi-Config that will do all these things for you. This was build for beginners who are getting started with the pi. We just have to select what all things to enable or disable and this tool will edit the linux configuration files for you. Its a really handy tool.

Pi and Python

As you know python is one of the most popular programming languages in the world.  

The latest version of the Raspbian OS comes python 2 and 3. Python 3 is the latest version of the Python and is recommended by Raspberry Pi Foundation.

With python support you can do almost anything a linux PC can do – it can act as a web server, game server, remote IP Camera, twitterbot or even a network monitoring tool.. Possibilities are endless

Many python packages are already available in Raspbian archives and can be installed using apt-get and others can be installed using PIP.

Python and GPIO Pins

As mentioned earlier there are 40 GPIO pins which can be programmatically controlled using python.

To program the GPIO pins, we have a python library available which can be installed using apt-get or pip.

The name of python library is – RPi.GPIO

Once it is installed, we can control the pi using simple lines of python.

Raspberry Pi Robot with Gesture Control for Wireless Surveillance

Check out the video below. It is a gesture controlled robot using Raspberry Pi.

Interested in Full Video Tutorial? Check this out..

Gesture Controlled Robot Complete Tutorial

Want to build one yourself? In this Tutorial Post, we have explained everything about this robot, controlling it with the hand gesture and will show you how to make one yourself.

Applications

Kodi Media Center

Kodi is a media center software. That allows you to access and play all kinds of content, including videos and music.

Kodi comes with a nice user interface and works with both local and network storage devices you’re already using.

You can easily set this up in your raspberry pi, connect an external hard disk or pendrive in the pi and connect the pi to your tv and start playing it.

Transmission Torrent Client

Torrent – There is a software called torrent client which will allow you to add and download torrents from the net remotely.

It has a web interface, like a dashboard which will enable you to add, remove, download torrent from a web browser itself.

Raspberry Pi Robotics

Using the GPIO pins, we can easily integrate various components and build different types of Robots and Home Automation systems.

Raspberry Pi for Robotics : https://rootsaid.com/category/raspberry-pi/

Here is a list of Cool Raspberry Pi projects you can do.

Interested in more Awesome electronics Projects? Join our Family and be a part of Great innovative ideas and designs.

RootSaid – Raspberry Pi and Arduino Projects and Tutorials

Click the YouTube Button Below to join our community.

Subscribe our Youtube Channel @ RootSaid for Awesome Tutorials and Project Ideas

War Driving Using Raspberry Pi

War driving or access point mapping means locating and if possible exploiting vulnerable wifi routers while driving around the neighbourhood.

To do this, all we need is a vehicle, a raspberry pi loaded with kali linux, a gps receiver and a wifi adapter. We can drive around and have fun

Advantages

  • Light Weight
  • Small Size
  • Less power Consumption
  • Low Price
  • Clustering

Disadvantages

  • Less Processing Capabilities
  • No Fuse Protection
  • No builtin ADC

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