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Old 06-01-2017, 08:12 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Basic raspberry pi media center for a skoolie.

I was looking for a "car" radio alternative for my music with no commercials while I work and am on the road.



This is a basic raspberry pi OSMC media center setup to use inside of a “skoolie” school bus conversion.
If available, I’ll post links to further simplify complex steps. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel here just compiling information for a common result. This is a great skoolie family project for all ages, and an excellent way to get your little ones into technology. Projects can range from this simple intro to led light controllers, bus monitor, weather station, drones and more. Please ask questions if things get too technical.



Q&A:


Q: What is a raspberry pi?
A.
It is a ($35) single board computer the size of a deck of cards that can do techie things for your skoolie. https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/videos/

Q: What will this how to accomplish?
A.
It will show you how to setup the basic raspberry pi with a 7“ touch screen and audio output to speakers to serve as a media center.

Q: That alone is not amazing, what else can it do?
A.
Some folks are just happy having a little computer that you can check email, skype, watch youtube and listen to music on. Your capability is the limit after you set up the basic platform where you go is up to you.

Q: Are you going to make more how to for raspberry pi skoolie stuff?
A.
I will make more but hopefully others will too. Things like connecting your pi to monitor power systems, control lights, motion sensors, hatch open sensors, engine monitor, water tank levels...

Q: Why are you posting this on skoolie forums?
A. I plan to use mine for numerous projects and wanted to provide a starting point for those wanting to do this.

Q: Why not just use an old cell phone?
A.
May not have one laying around.

Q: Why are you making this how to so basic?
A.
There are enough technical publications on how to create a raspberry pi control unit to monitor bus systems. This skoolie focused how to is to introduce the idea of using a raspberry pi to make life on a skoolie more tech.

Things you’ll need and links (for reference only prices may be lower elsewhere):
  • Wifi or wired internet connection for initial setup
  • Headphones or Bluetooth speakers
  • Optional: portable power bank as a battery

Step 1. Load the programming onto the chip. Follow these instructions by cord cutter and surfer dude Peter Carcione to install OSMC on the MicroSD

Step 2. Assemble the smartipi case if you have not already and put the pi inside. The supplied Y connector for powering both pi and screen is worthless you’ll want to have direct power to both because if you add more usb devices you will be under powered. (here is a video to help )

Step 3. Power on your pi after everything is connected. Make sure your power cables are in snug you don’t want one slipping out. (*optional: switched plug so you don’t wear out the connections)

Step 4. Get used to the controls and on screen menus. Use the usb to connect media, or if you have wifi you can listen to and watch content online.

This concludes the basic setup with no sensors or I.O.T. (internet of things) connections.

If you want a bigger screen hook it up to your tv but you’ll need a different case and a different write up.
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:16 PM   #2
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Cool idea
I have a few of the Raspberry pi 3
I have android marshmallow on them.

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Old 06-01-2017, 08:20 PM   #3
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Cool idea
I have a few of the Raspberry pi 3
I have android marshmallow on them.

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Thank you!! Looking forward to dropping more.
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Old 06-03-2017, 10:06 PM   #4
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I know nothing about the pi, but was refered to it from my tech savy brother who thinks it would be a good base to play old school video games off the grid. (on battery power, say on a rainy day in the woods.)
thanks. I'm looking forward to more posts
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Old 06-04-2017, 12:49 AM   #5
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I know nothing about the pi, but was refered to it from my tech savy brother who thinks it would be a good base to play old school video games off the grid. (on battery power, say on a rainy day in the woods.)
thanks. I'm looking forward to more posts
Yeah!! I love the emulators!! but that's not all they can do, they're quite powerful.

Since you mentioned it, here is a quick video by Rerez on how to make one. (** Note **: this part is not part of the basic pi media center)

Open to more requests... (I'm currently working on one for info center with multi city weather, email, news, clock and more... I'll post it sometime next week)
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Old 06-04-2017, 08:54 AM   #6
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I totally DIG this thread.. im into this as well.. i use a few Pi's and my own boards in my home automation and am working on several projects for them on the bus as well..

one of my projects is making my switch panel "glass" using a couple PI's and QT as the GUI for the switches. I havent tried running Android on one yet.. I'd Like to use one as a GPS, have you guys gotten a USB GPS sensor to sense into android to use something like WAZE or Google Maps?

-Christopher
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Old 06-05-2017, 03:45 PM   #7
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Don't forget about retro pi. I love Nintendo.
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Old 06-05-2017, 05:46 PM   #8
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Instead of GPS on a pi I just use a Samsung tab 4. Download the maps and the GPS works great also gives me use of HUD (heads up display)

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Old 06-06-2017, 07:18 AM   #9
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I use an iPad now with copilot as my gps, I was thinking of ways to combine function, but yeah I could use an android tab if anything is made new with gps and newer specs than my old Samsung tab. I don't like android on sub par hardware.

How do you do hud on it? True bud projector or an app?

As for gaming I am a mame kinda guy, my early 80s arcade all in my hands
Christopher
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Old 06-06-2017, 10:03 AM   #10
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How do you do hud on it? True bud projector or an app?

I use an app for HUD reflected into the windshield.

A raspberry pi can do so much, but it takes programming to get the best results. I use to program in assembler on 8088, 286, 386, 486. Linux is new to me. I'm thinking maybe use a pi to control cameras around the bus.

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Old 06-06-2017, 11:58 PM   #11
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Can you tell us more about the bus monitor features?
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Old 06-07-2017, 12:25 AM   #12
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Timely thread, building a Pi media center strictly to run off the DC, so I can watch movies or Netflix all night off batteries - my stuff should be here this weekend!!
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Old 06-07-2017, 01:16 AM   #13
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Can you tell us more about the bus monitor features?
Sure but the pi does not have bus specific features out of the box. There are several types of monitoring that can be incorporated into a pi setup.

Basics first. The pi runs linux operating system. You can run monitoring software in conjunction with IOT sensors...

Here is a great graphic from Postscapes.com on types of I.O.T. sensors that are available as of 2017.


The following monitors are ones I can think of off the top of my head:
  • Tank level monitoring for LPG, water, waste, generator fuel, chassis fuel...
  • Power generation, storage and current consumption
  • weather, temperature inside and out, humidity, precipitation, cloud cover, air quality...

Then the fun begins... pi has the ability to record data from the collection of the measurements. You can then analyze consumption, find issues like leaks, get alerts and more. (trying not to sound like a pi salesman.)

Hope I didn't go too far off the question's mark.
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Old 06-07-2017, 01:39 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dredman View Post
Timely thread, building a Pi media center strictly to run off the DC, so I can watch movies or Netflix all night off batteries - my stuff should be here this weekend!!
Thanks Dredman!!

Really enjoy watching all of your videos! please do one on your pi setup.
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:06 AM   #15
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My son made a retro games Raspberry Pi for my daughter. It's amazing!!
I didn't know all it could do. Maybe he can hook me up with something for my bus because I'm clueless.

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Old 06-07-2017, 08:25 AM   #16
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what app do you run for HUD? the screen is bright enough on a tablet or do you focus it down? the HUD projector I took out of a pontiac years ago to play with was pretty bright to be able to see it in anything but the night..

for the PI, you dont have to program it in assembler, there are various high level languages that you can use, as well as link together as well.. a lot of things can be done in Python, C++, PHP etc.. the PI includes the ability to utilize Dallas 1 wire sensors very easily.. that opens up a Whole host of various things from temperatures, moisture sensors, etc that you can use..

QT is a package that integrates very easily with python for creating GUI screens for functionality such as switch panels, digital dash displays, etc...

build an ELM-325 based board and you can read various engine parameters easily as well.. the ELM-325 chip takes care of the heavy hitting required to talk to the Bus's diagnostic connector... if you have a newer Bus you would use an ELM-327 style that can read J1939 from the engine.

I had CAC wire out an OBD-II connector fro mthe TCM on my new transmission so I'll be able to use an app and monitor all aspects of that new trans..

Linux and Zoneminder is a Fantastic combo for cameras, es pif you want to use them for security when you are asleep or arent around your bus..

there are also various android apps out there for things such as forward collision alerts and Lane keep warnings.. Ive not tried them in my bus yet, but the in-dash Android unit in my smart-car works really well with these and a USB dashcam.

-Christopher
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:48 AM   #17
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https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...ndroid.digihud

This is the android app I run. At night the tablet is plenty bright, I never used it during the day. That is when I use the map feature.

Yes I understand not programming in assembler on the pi. I tried "C" but that was just to activate the io pins.

My bus is analog all the way so not sure if I want to tech it out too much.

Love this thread
Gordon

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Old 06-07-2017, 08:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LincolnEcho View Post
Sure but the pi does not have bus specific features out of the box. There are several types of monitoring that can be incorporated into a pi setup.

Basics first. The pi runs linux operating system. You can run monitoring software in conjunction with IOT sensors...

Here is a great graphic from Postscapes.com on types of I.O.T. sensors that are available as of 2017.


The following monitors are ones I can think of off the top of my head:
  • Tank level monitoring for LPG, water, waste, generator fuel, chassis fuel...
  • Power generation, storage and current consumption
  • weather, temperature inside and out, humidity, precipitation, cloud cover, air quality...

Then the fun begins... pi has the ability to record data from the collection of the measurements. You can then analyze consumption, find issues like leaks, get alerts and more. (trying not to sound like a pi salesman.)

Hope I didn't go too far off the question's mark.
I'm redesigning my dash and would love a digital monitor display. I am a newbie to Pi and I.O.T. though. I don't even know how to replace my tach and speedometer. Cadillac, any advice here?
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:18 PM   #19
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theres lots of good info starting up in this thread. for the next little while my head and arms and legs are into the transmission transformation on my bus.. then I'll start in ernest tackling the proof of concept opn my dash
-Christopher
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Old 06-07-2017, 10:02 PM   #20
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theres lots of good info starting up in this thread. for the next little while my head and arms and legs are into the transmission transformation on my bus.. then I'll start in ernest tackling the proof of concept opn my dash
-Christopher
I'd love to pick your brain on upgrading my dash, digital or not. Tackling the project sometime next week. I ordered the NEXIQ USB Link 2 so I can reprogram the computer for certain parameters we previously discussed (top speed), but still pretty clueless on using aftermarket or universal gauges.
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