Q. which Raspberry Pi model can I use for running the TB4KServer (and later on the TinyBoxServer) software ?
A. We tested the software on a rPi 1 Model B, rPi 2, rPi 3, and rPi Zero W. All models can run the same operating system, so we just installed the software on 1 unit and then used the same SDCard on the other units without problem.
Q. Which of those models do you recommend ?
A. We definitely recommend using the rPi 3, although we didn't notice any performance issue with even the slowest rPi 1. It's just that the rPi 3 has plenty of connections, so it is most easy to set up: you can plug in a keyboard, mouse and display, connect through Ethernet or built-in WIFI, and get started really easy. The tiny and super cheap rPi Zero W might look tempting, but in our experience it's not that straightforward to get it through its initial configuration with just 1 USB connector and no Ethernet. You need to have the built-in WIFI configured properly before you can do anything with it remotely through SSH. Also you will probably need to buy the necessary adapter plugs to go from mini-HDMI to regular HDMI and from micro-USB to regular USB, so there will not be much of a price advantage left.
Q. Which Operating System do I need to install ?
A. Use the latest Raspbian release, based on Debian Stretch. It is available for download on www.raspberrypi.org
. Just follow one of the tutorials to get up and running. No extra packages need to be installed for running the TinyBox server software. Our user manual describes the few steps to follow in order to unpack the TinyBox software and have it started automatically on boot.
Q. How can I connect my iPad to the Raspberry Pi?
A. There are 2 ways :
1. turn your Raspberry Pi into a WIFI hotspot, then connect your iPad to that hotspot
2. connect your Raspberry Pi to an external WIFI router (through Ethernet or through built-in WIFI), then connect your iPad to that WIFI router.
Q. Which of those 2 connection methods do you recommend ?
A. Without doubt: option 2! The reasons :
- you will find plenty of tutorials on how to configure your Raspberry as a WIFI access point. However it not very straightforward, because network configuration seems to have changed substantially over the recent Debian versions, and much of the info you will find will be outdated and contradictory. To be honest I personally never got this working reliably.
- you shouldn't expect high reliability and good range from a WIFI interface built into a 10 USD device, definitely not without connecting an external WIFI antenna (which then needs to be configured correctly too).
- you can buy a reliable WIFI router/accesspoint with wide range for as low as 20 USD approximately. Check Ebay!
- such setup with external WIFI interface might become very handy for your Profiler rig in the future. The Profiler itself has a network connection too, you know. Today it serves the connection with the Remote only, but in the future it may serve other things too. Just a wild guess, but who knows!
Q. How do I install the server software on the Raspberry Pi ?
A. Download the server software installer to any folder, for instance /home/pi/Downloads
Uncompress it with "tar -xzvf TB4KServer_1_0.zip"
(although it has extension .zip, it actually is a .tar.gz file. Our webshop just doesn't support downloading files with that extension)
Q. How do I auto-start the server software when the Raspberry Pi boots ?
A.Edit config file /home/pi/.config/lxsession/LXDE-pi/autostart
Add following line at the end (referring to the correct location of the server software) :
Q. Can I just unplug the power of the Raspberry Pi at the end of the gig ?
A. No! By doing so there is a small risk of corrupting the SDCard, which might result in the Raspberry Pi not starting up the next time you need it. Always shutdown the Raspberry Pi by clicking the "Power off" button in the TinyBox webpage. In any case it's a good idea to carry a spare Raspberry Pi or at least a spare SDCard with the software installed. This can avoid unpleasant surprises.