Raspberry Pi 2: Logging on to the 2nd generation

The Raspberry Pi has been a huge success in both the home-brew development scene and in educating young minds about how computers work. Its tiny form-factor and incredible price make it irresistible to anyone who’s interested in understanding how computers work, or those who want something small, powerful and flexible to tinker with. Now the Raspberry Pi 2 has released, it packs a lot of power into the same small frame that the Raspberry Pi always had. Ahead of our Raspberry Pi 2 log on steps, here below we list down its specs, features and also we compare the latest member of the Pi family with the previous bastion of cost-effective micro-computing.

Why Raspberry Pi 2

The demands in the electronic innovations paved the path for the evolution of  Raspberry Pi to its second generation which comprises 90% features of a desktop computer with an upgraded ARMv7 multicore processor, and a one Gigabyte of RAM. As the version is being upgraded the unique features of the Raspberry Pi 2 will rectify the limitations of the older versions. The module finds its own applications in video, image and in audio processing. High end processing features can be applied on this pocket computer and with such an added compatibility feature the Raspberry Pi will create a new era.

Raspberry Pi 2 Features:

Raspberry Pi 2 has a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU with 1GB RAM. The basic module features (listed below) are pretty much similar to that of Raspberry Pi Model B+.

  • 4 USB ports
  • 40 GPIO pins
  • Full HDMI port
  • Ethernet port
  • Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
  • Camera interface (CSI)
  • Display interface (DSI)
  • Micro SD card slot
  • VideoCore IV 3D graphics core

As it has an ARMv7 processor, it can run the full range of ARM GNU/Linux distributions, including Snappy Ubuntu Core, as well as Microsoft Windows 10. In case of higher end applications we would need probably more USB ports, so that we can make use of a USB hub which is compatible with this module. Many monitors do not have HDMI port as well, so a HDMI to VGA converter is required. Also we advice to use  a Pi cam or an ‘i ball’ webcam to perform the image and video processing applications.

Click here to buy the HDMI to VGA Adapter Dongle for Raspberry Pi from RhydoLABZ
Click here to buy the Raspberry Pi Camera Module for Raspberry Pi from RhydoLABZ

Since the module does not have an inbuilt recording device, the microphone inside an ‘I ball’ webcam is preferred so that it could be suitable for both video and audio processing techniques. Other interfaces like keyboard and mouse could be connected directly to the available USB ports.

Specifications:

  • Broadcom BCM  2836 Arm7 Quad Core Processor powered Single Board Computer running at 900MHz.
  • It is provided with 1GB RAM for the compact running of bigger and more powerful applications.
  • 3rd party add-on boards designed for the Model B+ will be fully compatible.
  • Fully HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) compatible.
  • 40pin extended GPIO to enhance your “real world” projects. GPIO is 100% compatible with the Model B+ and A+ boards. First 26 pins are identical to the Model A and Model B boards to provide full backward compatibility across all boards.
  • Connect a Raspberry Pi camera and touch screen display (each sold separately)
  • Stream and watch Hi-definition video output at 1080P
  • Micro SD slot for storing information and loading your operating systems.
  • Advanced power management:
  • You can now provide up to 1.2 AMP to the USB port – enabling you to connect more power hungry USB devices directly to the Raspberry PI. (This feature requires a 2Amp micro USB Power Supply)
  • 10/100 Ethernet Port to quickly connect the Raspberry Pi to the Internet
  • Combined 4-pole jack for connecting your stereo audio out and composite video out.

Compared to the Raspberry Pi Model B+ the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B is:

  • 6 x faster!- That’s faster gaming, faster computing, and faster programming.
  • It features a new generation ARMv7 quad core processor.
  • It has more memory- 1 GB RAM vs 512 MB (it has doubled!)- This means that you can run more applications simultaneously without compromising processing speed!
  • Has the same form fit as the Raspberry Pi Model B+ which means all of the accessories for the B+ are compatible with the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B!

Basic modules needed:

  • A micro SD card. We recommend a minimum 8GB class 4 SD card.
  • USB Keyboard.
  • USB Mouse.
  • Monitor.
  • HDMI Cable and HDMI to VGA converter (if needed).
  • Ethernet Cable (If needed).
  • A 5V and 1A (Minimum) USB adaptor.

Powering Raspberry Pi 2:

Since the module consists of a Quad-core ARMv7 processor it performs high current draw. In its idle state i.e. without any peripherals it draws 200mA of current. So it is recommended to use a 5V 1A adapter to power the module. It can be also given from a 5V DC power supply. Extracting the power from a PC or Laptop via USB is not preferred. If the required power is not obtained then the module will restart continuously without booting. By setting a suitable power from a dc source and connect it to the two input wires at the back-end of the micro USB slot, the module can be powered. But it is to be done with proper soldering techniques and in a proper way without any short.

Warnings:

  • It is more preferred to use an  external power supply rated at 5V dc, and a minimum current of 600-1800mA.
  • This product should be operated in a well ventilated environment and, if used inside a case, the case should not be covered.
  • As the module persist in a PCB manner it should be placed on a stable, flat, non-conductive surface in use and should not be contacted by conductive items.
  • Collision with high intensity light should be avoided.
  • The connection of incompatible devices to the GPIO connector may affect compliance or result in damage to the unit and invalidate the warranty.
  • The connected peripherals should be provided with proper insulation.

To avoid malfunction or damage to your Raspberry Pi please observe the following:

  • Do not expose it to water, moisture or place on a conductive surface at its on condition.
  • As it is designed to work on normal room temperature, do not expose it to any heat source.
  • Handle with care to avoid mechanical or electrical damage to the printed circuit board and connectors.
  • Avoid handling the printed circuit board while it is powered. Only handle by the edges to minimize the risk of electrostatic discharge damage.
  • The Raspberry Pi is not designed to be powered from a USB port on other connected equipment, if this is attempted it may malfunction.

Lets log on to Raspberry Pi 2

NOOBS Setup:

To get started with Raspberry Pi you need an operating system. NOOBS (New Out Of the Box Software) is an easy operating system install manager for the Raspberry Pi. If you have an SD card (8GB recommended), then you can download NOOBS for free and install it on your card.

Download

  1. Using a computer with an SD card reader, visit the Downloads page.
  2. Click on the Download ZIP button under ‘NOOBS (offline and network install)’, and select a folder to save it to.
  3. Extract the files from the zip.

Format your SD card

We recommend a minimum 8GB class 4 SD card. It is best to format your SD card before copying the NOOBS files onto it. To do this:

  1. Visit the SD Association’s website and download SD Formatter 4.0 for either Windows or Mac.
  2. Follow the instructions to install the software.
  3. Insert your SD card into the computer or laptop’s SD card reader and make a note of the drive letter allocated to it, e.g. F:/
  4. In SD Formatter, select the drive letter for your SD card and format it.

Drag and drop NOOBS files

  1. Once your SD card has been formatted, drag all the files in the extracted NOOBS folder and drop them onto the SD card drive.
  2. The necessary files will then be transferred to your SD card.
  3. When this process has finished, safely remove the SD card and insert it into your Raspberry Pi.

First Boot

  1. Plug in your keyboard, mouse and monitor cables.
  2. Now plug in the USB power cable to your Pi so a red led will glow which indicates the power.
  3. Your Raspberry Pi will boot, and a window will appear with a list of different operating systems that you can install.
  4. Raspbian is an Debian based operating system created for Raspberry Pi hardware. Raspbian is a user friendly OS, it comes with over 35,000 packages, pre-compiled and arranged in a suitable manner for easy installation on your Raspberry Pi. So we recommend that you use Raspbian – tick the box next to Raspbian and click on install.
  5.  Raspbian will then run through its installation process. Note this can take a while.
  6. When the install process has completed, the Raspberry Pi configuration menu (raspi-config) will load. Here you can set the time and date for your region and enable the Raspberry Pi camera board or even create users. To exit the menu use the ‘Tab’ button on your keyboard and move to Finish.

Logging in and accessing the graphical user interface

The default login for Raspbian is done by entering pi as username and raspberry as password. Note you will not see any cursor text when you type the password. This is a security feature in Linux. After that to load the graphical user interface type startx.

A new desktop will be opened with the following parameters as shown in the figure.

LXTerminal

LXTerminal is a software tool that creates a man-machine communication scheme which is done by entering appropriate commands. So it could also be considered as a command line interface system which is parallel to a command prompt in windows. For the software installation or for running suitable programs a user can make use of this LXTerminal by giving suitable commands ie, these commands will tell the raspberry pi what to do. The efficiency of this system is more than the traditional methods, but the user should know the suitable commands for the corresponding operations. The LXTerminal application is there in the desktop with a suitable icon as shown below.By clicking in it the terminal will be opened.

SUDO- Super User Login

Basically all the installations are done by entering the suitable commands in the LX terminal. Many of these operations needs the privilege as a super user as we are logging as normal user. SUDO is a command that should be entered in the LX Terminal which gives the full security privilege for the user. SUDO is the abbreviation of substitute user do ie it gives the access to the root system. SUDO is to be used only for secured operations, as it does nothing to protect against mistakes. For entering in to the root mode a user should enter the command given below.

sudo -i

APT – Advanced Packaging Tool

For install or uninstall additional software’s in a raspberry pi  a user should need a Package Manager. Raspberry Pi comes with a package manager called apt which stands for Advanced Packaging Tool designed for Debian Linux.

Installing an Additional Software using SUDO & APT

Installing an additional software in raspberry pi could be explained with an example. We are now installing a game named FreeCraft in Raspberry Pi. A proper internet connection should be established for this process.

  • First open the LX Terminal and enter the command shown below.

        sudo apt-get install freecraft

  • After entering this command we can see some installation messages and finally it shows that a  suitable amount of disk space will be occupied by the software. Then a question is asked whether to continue the installation. Enter ‘y’ to continue the installation and ‘n’ to discard it.
  • By pressing ‘y’ the installation will be carried out and complete with in few minutes.
  • After the installation we can check it by clicking start menu, Games.
  • For uninstalling the software enter the command shown below and repeat the same steps.

            sudo apt-get remove freecraft

Shop With Us 

Click here to buy Raspberry Pi 2 from RhydoLabz.

Resources

An open source website by Raspberry Pi foundation.

Get interfaced with Raspbian Operating system.

FAQ

What is the SoC used in Raspberry Pi 2 ?

Raspberry Pi 2 has a new new quad-core Broadcom BCM2836 SoC (System on Chip) which is clocked at    900MHz and is equipped with four Cortex-A7 cores, and a RAM of 1GB.

Will Raspberry Pi 2 support other operating systems ?

Yes, the supporting OS are available on the downloads page. But it is recommended to use Raspbian OS which is specially designed for Raspberry Pi. Use of Windows 8 ARM edition and Android are not recommended since the Raspberry Pi is accomplished with a memory which is not enough to substantiate with these OS.

Will it be possible to power a raspberry pi using a DC power supply ?

Yes, a power supply with constant 5v and a 1A current should be produced in a stable manner.

Now Iam using an 8gb card. I want to expand it to 16 gb. Is it possible to copy the contents from my 8gb card to 16gb card using a card reader?

Yes, it is possible. Bu if you connect the sd card on widows system for copying, no files will be displayed as the card depends on raspbian OS. So you have clone the sd card with windows. For more details see http://computers.tutsplus.com/articles/how-to-clone-your-raspberry-pi-sd-cards-with-windows–mac-59294, that explains how cloning is to be done.


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