Musings on a Raspberry Pi

Well after ordering one back in April it finally arrived on Saturday. After waiting 10 weeks I’d nearly forgotten why I’d wanted one in the first place! However, my enthusiasm to play with it hadn’t waned and with much gusto I set about connecting my collection on accessories I’d amassed over my wait for its arrival.

Having faced compatibility issues with random devices at work over the years, I decided to buy from the list of compatible peripherals to avoid any potential issues. Here’s my list:

  • Logitech MK260 Keyboard
  • Duronic 1000mA USB Adapter
  • Micro USB Cable
  • 8GB SDHC Card
  • HDMI Cable
  • Tenda Wireless-N150 USB Adapter
  • New Link 4 Port USB Powered Hub
  • Case from ModMyPi

I’d already written Debian (debian6-19-04-2012) to the SD card in anticipation of the R-Pi arriving, so I was all set to power the beast up.

Things to note:

  1. The USB Hub will back feed the R-Pi – This probably isn’t a good thing so I power the board first then connect the hub.
  2. The Tenda USB wireless adapter needs:
    • apt-get install firmware-ralink
  3. After starting X the display started to randomly blank. Starting scratch caused it to blank totally! This may have been caused by the length (2m) of my HDMI cable. Adding the following to /boot/config.txt seemed to fix the problem
    • config_hdmi_boost = 2
  4. By default sound is disabled as the drivers are still experimental:
    • apt-get install alsa-utils
    • modprobe snd_bcm2835
    • Add snd_bcm2835 to /etc/modules to load the module on boot
  5. I get random key repeats or missing characters sometimes. This maybe due to
    1. Not enough power to the USB receiver, although from the powered hub should be ok.
    2. Interference between wireless and keyboard adapter.

Need to do further experimentation with the keyboard issue, unfortunately I don’t have a wired USB keyboard to try, but comments by various people on forums seems to indicated that the wired keyboard will most likely work fine.