Jan 312013
 

 

This is actually a quite accurate prediction of what we have now. And all of it is possible with the Raspberry Pi minicomputer! You can have a look at the current news, the weather, your stocks – of course provided by the Internet, and free of charge to you. Printing websites is easy, you just attach a printer …

If you want to see someone while you are talking to them, you can use Skype.

Closed Circuit Television – also possible with webcams. One Pi drives a webcam, and the other can access it over the network. Or even the Internet via IPv6 … truly there are no limits!

The only thing this “office of the future” did not hit spot on: there’s only ONE device to do it all – and it can be small enough to fit into your pocket (smartphone). Yes, the world’s knowledge is at your fingertips!

Jan 292013
 

my.pi3g.com is your platform for easy Raspberry Pi management.

You will find manuals, downloads (software, SDKs, drivers, code samples …) for all our Raspberry Pis and related products on it.

Currently we already have some information about the Gertboard. By the way, we also sell the Gertboard.

In the near future we also plan to introduce management of your Raspberry Pi via web-interface for it – i.e. you will be able to see your Raspberry’s IP adress, CPU / RAM usage, free disk space, etc. Of course after login and as opt-in feature.

We would love to hear your ideas and needs – what information / tools do you need for your Raspberries?

– Max

Jan 262013
 

Seit einiger Zeit gibt es RiscOS für das Raspberry Pi als offizielles Image. Man kann es hier über die Raspberry Pi Foundation herunterladen. Eine sehr fremdartige, aber auch interessante Welt eröffnet sich einem mit diesem OS. Viele Benutzerparadigmen scheinen anders zu sein.

Doch wie schaltet man RiscOS nach einigem Experimentieren wieder aus?

Man drückt: Strg + Shift + F12

Oder klickt mit der mittleren Maustaste auf das Switcher Icon (Zahnrad) unten rechts und wählt “Shutdown” aus. Wenn der unten abgebildete Dialog erscheint, kann man einfach den Stromstecker aus dem Pi ziehen.

How do you shut down RiscOS on the Raspberry Pi?

Hit Ctrl + Shift + F12 on your keyboard, or click with the middle mouse button (the scrollwheel in some mice) on the Switcher icon (looks like a gear) in the bottom right corner, select “Shutdown” from the menu which opens.

Once the following dialogue appears, just pull the power plug.

risc-os-on-the-raspberry-pi-shutdown-howto

Quelle / Source: Riscository

Jan 232013
 

Ab sofort ist das Gertboard, vormontiert in unserem Shop verfügbar!

2013-01-Gertboard

Wozu dient das Gertboard?

Das Gertboard ist perfekt für den Einstieg in die Elektronik mit dem Raspberry Pi. Es wird einfach auf den GPIO Header des Pis gesteckt, und erweitert diesen um viele Möglichkeiten, bspw. einen Motorentreiber, A/D und D/A Wandler. Und natürlich vieles mehr … !

Auf dem Gertboard befindet sich ein Arduino kompatibler Atmel Mikrocontroller, der vom Raspberry Pi aus über die Arduino IDE (bitte Paket installieren) angesteuert werden kann.

Wir sind schon gespannt auf die Projekte die Ihr mit dem Gertboard und dem Raspberry PI umsetzen werdet. Wahrlich, die Möglichkeiten sind unbegrenzt und sie wachsen von Tag zu Tag!

Weiterführende Links

Jan 212013
 

If you, like me, end up having a lot of SDHC test cards (before releasing them to our RPI shop we have to test them!) you may end up wondering whether there is still something important on them, or if you can re-flash them with the newest and greatest Raspbian, XBian or whatever.

the-magician-shows-two-sdhcs-trickUse Raspberry Pi itself

Well – one way is to use the Raspberry Pi itself with another SDHC card which boots, to look at the contents. Raspbian can look at a broad array of different filesystems. Another advantage: you will be able to write to these SDHC cards, too. For instance, you could fix a broken boot sequence or wrong config.txt parameters which prevent you from using the Raspberry Pi.

Read SDHC cards on Windows

But there’s also an option to do this on Windows. If your Windows box happen to be on, or you have only one SDHC and it’s “bricked”, you may want to recover some data from it before reflashing.

We recommend you to get the Diskinternals Freeware Linux-Reader – it will show you a list of partitions, and even has a file preview box where you can see the file’s contents.

Jan 142013
 

… which are not encoded. That (sadly) rules out commercial discs … at the moment – a solution should be available soon. But – the power to play BluRay is there. Read on for a how-to and for a test ISO you can test your Pi with.

Blu-ray_disc_(BD-RE)

How-To

  • We used our BluRay burner to burn a BluRay ISO with unencoded content (see below for more information about it)
  • To play the disc we used (the newest) BerryBoot with OpenELEC. Other distributions, like Raspbmc may also work – we’re interested in your feedback!
  • And an external powered USB Hub (important!) to provide sufficient power to the BluRay burner
  • Of course we use only 512 MB Raspberry Pi’s for our tests. The same ones you can buy from our shop.
  • BluRay decoding needs VC-1 and MPEG-2 codecs (both are in the standard). You can buy a codec package for the Raspberry Pi from our store. Please note, that the disc we have tested with could work without the codecs, as it is being encoded to MPEG-4 (which is available in hardware by default).
  • For good performance it is important to give the GPU more RAM. Else you may see buffer underruns and sluggish playback. We saw good results with a memory split of 256 MB / 256 MB:

Add to your config.txt:

gpu_mem=256

  • The title content may playback when you press the “Play Disc” menu entry
  • OpenELEC does not support the BluRay menus on the Raspberry Pi (yet). Thus, you will need to play the other titles on the disc manually.
    • Enter the Videos -> Files menu, select the BluRay (i.e. “x264 Demo Blu-Ray”),
    • Select the “BDMV” folder
    • Select “STREAM”
    • Here are the BluRay’s Video Streams. Open and play by doubleclicking.

Our test BluRay

A developer working on x264 (a free encoder to encode content into MPEG-4 AVC), has released a BluRay image containing open material (Big Buck Bunny, Elephants Dream, and live action footage by Microsoft). This image is a bit over 2 GB in size, and can also be burned to a blank DVD disc. If burned to DVD, most BluRay players should still recognize it as BluRay (because of the special format). We have used a blanc BluRay to burn to, and test with.

Click here for the full article.

Download ~ 2 GB (Torrent – you need a Torrent client to download this!)

Q&A

Is USB 2.0 fast enough for BluRay playback?

USB 2.0 has a data rate of 480 MBit/s. The content stream of a BluRay, including all camera perspectives and audio tracks is limited to a data rate of 54 Mbit/s, or “1,6 x speed” – which has to be supported by all BluRay video playback hardware.

“1 x speed” equals a data rate of 36 Mbit/s. 6 x speed (the max. speed our BluRay writer can read) equals 216 Mbit/s. Thus USB 2.0 has more than ample resources to handle BluRay playback and burning, even if you consider protocol overhead and other devices on the same bus (i.e. the LAN of the Raspberry Pi).

Will I be able to play my commercially bought BluRay movies on the Raspberry Pi?

Not directly. The movies are encoded, and the keys are available to certified software / hardware vendors only. Even if the keys were known (some of them are), the ARM processor of the Raspberry would need to decode the stream. I am currently not sure, whether it is “fast enough” to do it. (the video is decoded in hardware, but maybe the Broadcom SoC also has some BluRay decoding capabilities?)

There are reports of software which allows you to back up your BluRay Discs. These backed up files should play on the Pi, although we have not tested that yet. Have a look at this guide.

Does OpenELEC support the BluRay audio formats?

We have the following codecs working:

  • DTS  HD Master Audio
  • Dolby Digital

which is used on over 50 % of BluRays, according to Wikipedia. We still have to test the other codecs.

Jan 102013
 

As we all know, it is now possible and allowed to overclock the Raspberry Pi. It even helps to overclock the GPU, as RAM is accessed through it.

Increase your Pi’s Power limit

In our quest for more power we should not forget that the Firmware of the Pi limits the maximum temperature of the SoC which contains the CPU and the GPU. This is a good thing – it literally protects your Pi from melting down.

One of the huge advantages of a fan-less low-power system like the Pi is it’s totally noiseless. (Good for concentration and stress levels!)

Although a fan could be used to disperse the heat, we prefer a passive cooling solution.

Enter the TEKO cooling kit:

Our partner TEKO has created a kit consisting of three heatsinks with cooling fins, and a high quality heat conductive double faced adhesive tape.

You can buy the cooling kit for the Raspberry Pi through our online store.

raspberry-pi-heatsink-pi3g

 

Some measurements

These are some measurements we have taken with our case (also produced by TEKO) and cooling kit, using OpenELEC and playing back DVDs. In this measurement we have used only one heatsink of the kit, on the SoC / RAM. Later on, we will also test the system’s performance with the other heatsinks added.

The temperature values were taken from the OpenELEC system information menu after letting the DVD play for some minutes for each measurement, allowing the system to cool down / heat up. The processor usage displayed by OpenELEC oscillated between 93 – 96 % in each case.

without heatsink:

  • case closed, DVD playing: 147° F – 151° F = 64° C – 66° C
  • case open, DVD playing: 126° F – 135 ° F = 52 ° C – 57° C

with heatsink

  • case open, idling: 102° F = 39 ° C
  • case open, DVD playing, menu closed: 120° F -127° F =  49° C – 53° C
  • case open, DVD playing, menu opened: 129° F – 131° F = 54° C – 55° C
  • case closed, DVD playing, menu closed: 129° F – 131° F = 54° C – 55° C
  • case closed, DVD playing, menu opened: 133° F – 142° F = 56° C – 61° C

As you can see, the Raspberry Pi is running a bit hotter inside the case (about 10 degrees hotter), while the heatsink allows the Pi to operate at about 15° cooler temperature. For optimum performance and heat dissipation, leave off the case lid and add the heatsink.

Also another effect: as the overlaying of menus (done very smoothly in the newest OpenELEC release) consumes additional general purpose processing power, the Pi is running hotter when the menu (in our case the system information menu) is open!

We will be investigating some more into this, also into alternative cooling solutions.

Infrared fotos

TEKO has gratiously provided some more results, measured professionally with a infrared camera:

Before cooling kit was mounted:

WO_HS

After cooling kit was mounted:

W_HS

Please note the different measurement scales on the right! While the SoC appears to be only a bit cooler, it is in fact 10 ° cooler, which confirms our findings.

Also note, how the heat dissipation area has increased.

Tips for cool Raspberrys

  • place your case (i.e. TEK-BERRY) on a flat, solid surface, to allow for good circulation
  • use heatsinks
  • open your case to allow for better circulation if feasible / desirable
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