Updates from QA Training

The Raspberry PI – adventures of a non techie – episode 5 – the portable pi

A problem with the PI is that it relies on a tv screen, and so isn’t for portable...or is it?

Michael Wood | 11 April 2013

A problem with the PI is that it relies on a tv screen, and so isn’t for portable...or is it?

Apologies for my lag of blogging recently, I've been travelling a lot lately, such is the exciting life of a trainer here at QA. One of the best things about working here over the years is some of the amazing places I've been to.. perhaps that is another blog...note to self...

ANYWAY - the point of this blog is to discuss how to make the pi portable. Hooking it up to your TV is great, and you've got a mouse and keyboard hooked on there, but from what I can gather this results in people being propped up on cushions or bean bags with a keyboard on their lap, 20 inches away from their plasma TV trying to code in 10 inch high letters.

One way to get round this would be to compact the pi peripherals, now, as I always say at this point, the Raspberry PI is a small piece of precision machinery, and so you must be very careful about what you plug into it, so please take my observations here for what they are; my personal adventures with my PI...or put another way, don't come suing me if this stuff blows up your PI!

The PI itself is, of course tiny, and USB hubs can be very small these days, so we'll assume that they, along with your wifi dongle, are already portable. This brings us to the big problems, the mouse, the keyboard, and the screen.

Mouse and Keyboard- get ready to drool over this - it's a mini usb keyboard and touchpad, it's about the same size as if you put both your hands flat out side by side. Fit that onto your pi and with no drivers or messing (at least not for me) you are off and running, simples!

The screen- a bit of lateral thinking brings us this - it's a TFT LCD screen designed for car reversing camera systems, but it has a composite connection, which of course the PI has already fitted. You may need to fiddle with the set up to get your output to composite, this article is great for this .

This set up will need two plugs, one for the USB hub that also powers the pi and one for the screen. You could even go so far as to glue the whole thing to a tea tray or some fibre board.

But then there is this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E89s2h9swIc - I haven't got my head around this personally yet but...amazing, this video turns the PI into what is essentially a portable game system.

Have fun!


QA Training | Michael Wood

Michael Wood

Learning Programme Director

Michael has been teaching at QA for 12 years and is the lead trainer for MSP, managing successful programmes. Before this he worked with the public sector to implement initiatives such as the egovernment agenda. Michael has also project and programme managed many large scale implementations in the construction industry and in web technologies and ecommerce, as well as enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for some well know utility and communications organisations. Michael believes in teaching in a down-to-earth style, using everyday real examples and injecting a bit of humour!
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