New Raspberry Pi--What do I do next?

(Jeff DeWolfe) #1

Hello All- I’m completed new to Raspberry Pi and looking at picking one up next week to mess around with. I was also hoping to get it working with SmartThings. What would you guys suggest I buy to do so and where would I get it from? Also, any pointers to a complete noob with the Pi would be awesome! I appreciate it!!

(Im Brian) #2

You can have your Pi interface with SmartThings without the shield. The shield is used to communicate with the ST cloud - but the Pi can already do this via it’s ethernet port.

I’ve got my Pi set up with Raspbian - it’s very easy to set up. Get at least an 8gb SD card, write the Raspbian image to it and you can immediately boot off it. On your first startup, be sure to run these commands to get it up to date:

  1. sudo rpi-update This updates the firmware of the Raspberry Pi
  2. sudo raspi-config This will allow you to allocate disc space (as, by default, the image assumes you have a 4gb card) as well as allocate video memory, etc. If you're using it headless as I am, you can configure it as such here to preserve that memory.
  3. sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get clean all This will get you the most current packages.

I use node.js to do most everything on my Pi. To get anything current, you’ll need to compile it yourself (which takes quite a while):

tar -zxf node-v0.11.9.tar.gz
cd node-v0.11.9
sudo make install

My main interest is in using my Pi to control my media devices (TV, Roku, PS3). If interested in that, I can link to source as well.

(Jeff DeWolfe) #3

Yes, please do. I would love to get it talking with my new Smart TV, PS3, receiver, etc. The more info the better! Thank you!!

(Im Brian) #4

My work on the remote is probably best categorized as a “proof of concept” for now. It works - actually quite well, if you have a limited group of hardware and are OK jumping through some hoops to configure it. I’m actively working on it, though - so feel free to provide feedback or pull requests.

Here’s a video of it being used. The bugs you see with the PS3 control have been fixed and it now works near perfectly:

(Jeff DeWolfe) #5

So, I’m still trying to decide on if I should get one and where from. Would you suggest getting anything else with it besides at least an 8gb SD card? I’m thinking about buying from Amazon and getting the free Prime shipping.

(Im Brian) #6

I got mine from amazon for the free and fast shipping:
I also bought a cheap case:
And, if you’re interested in getting your Pi talking to your PS3 (or PS4), you’ll want a bluetooth adapter that allows you to manually set the Mac address. This is the one I got and it works perfectly:

(Jeff DeWolfe) #7

Just got my hands on this from a guy at work:

I ordered an SD card from Amazon, should be here by Thursday hopefully and I’ll start tinkering. Thanks for all of the links so far! I’m sure I’ll be posting back with questions.

(Jeff DeWolfe) #8

I’ve got the node.js stuff compiling now. Any other write ups on how to get it connected to SmartThings? Thanks again for your help!

(Im Brian) #9

Having the remote talk to smart things is not super valuable. Some TVs (which I don’t yet support) can send status info “this is the volume, this is the channel”, but that’s not super useful. However, having ST talk to the remote to issue commands is potentially useful.

Right now, the remote is mostly a stand-alone deal. I’m planning to add more to integrate with ST. The big stumbling block now is getting local IP access. If you want to open a port in your firewall to the node server, you can have ST send simple curl calls to the remote links and execute commands. This can easily be done with the standard smart app platform. I don’t really want to open ports, so I’ve waited on any major integration.

In the end, I’d like to have inter-device macros, so I can simply click “watch a movie” in ST and have it shut off lights, close the blinds, start the ps3, turn on the tv, turn on the stereo, select source, set volume, start movie.