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: What is a raspberry pi?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
May not have one laying around.
Q: Why are you making this how to so basic?
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.