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Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:46 pm
by jamesh
`Although we already have a FAQ, its a bit general and doesn't answer some of the frequent technical questions that come up.

So thinking of adding a technical faq to the root of the docs tree.

Questions so far:
  • What differences are there in the GPU between different models
  • Why does my Pi run at a slower clock speed that advertised?
  • My Pi is HOT!
  • keep getting a lightning bolt symbol and messages about power
  • What manufacturing standards etc does the Pi comply with?
  • I don't seem to get full speed gigabit networking on my Pi3B+
  • The processors on the latest Pi models are 64bit, but I cannot find a official 64bit OS
Can anyone think of any common tech questions that come up that I should add?

Ta!

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:58 pm
by epoch1970
Where is the serial number? How to add my own ID? Re: (confused) customer OTP
Can I customize MAC addresses at boot-time?

HTH

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:07 pm
by rpdom
Can I use $random display panel with my Pi?

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:28 pm
by piglet
Which FAQ area are you thinking about adding to?

The only obvious one is the main site "help" area https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/

or, possibly if you get as far as here the forum FAQ one: app.php/help/faq

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:45 pm
by Z80 Refugee
There's gotta be something about not just connecting the GPIO to a mains bulb!

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:07 pm
by jamesh
piglet wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:28 pm
Which FAQ area are you thinking about adding to?

The only obvious one is the main site "help" area https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/

or, possibly if you get as far as here the forum FAQ one: app.php/help/faq
A new technical faq at the root of the docs tree.

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:08 pm
by jamesh
Z80 Refugee wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:45 pm
There's gotta be something about not just connecting the GPIO to a mains bulb!
Maybe not exactly that, but 3.3v Vs 5v would be useful.

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:13 pm
by Z80 Refugee
Obviously I was being deliberately dramatic! However, the unsuitability of shields (and other boards such as relays) designed for Arduino should be in big letters.

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:22 pm
by hippy
Not sure if these would all be considered 'tech questions' but are some of the things which seem to come up time after time, in no particular order ...

Which Pi variant should I buy ?
When is the next version of a Pi arriving; wait or buy now ?
Can I use my Pi as a desktop replacement ?
Is this Pi a fake or a clone ?
How do I set a static IP address ?
Why isn't WiFi working / No Interfaces Found / No wlan0 ?
How do I create an AP / hotspot / captive portal ?
My Pi cannot access the internet.
Why has my screen gone black ?
Is the Pi suitable for Industrial use ?
Can I use the Pi in a commercial product ?
How do I add an on/off button or switch ?
Can I just pull the power ?
How can I power my Pi from batteries ?
How do I put a Pi in my vehicle ?
How do I power multiple Pi boards ?
How do I suspend the Pi to achieve minimal power use ?
My SD Card has become corrupted.
My SD Card has become Write Protected.
Why are my edits not there after rebooting ?
How do I create a read-only SD Card setup ?
How to boot from USB / HDD ?
How to use a Pi 3B SD Card on a Pi 3B+ ?
Windows is only showing a few MB on my SD Card.
How do I get Video and Audio input ?
How to run a program / python script at start up ?
Crontab isn't working.
Why does Python script run in IDLE but not as a command ?
Do I need heatsinks ?
How do I connect a fan ?
How do I share my Pi with Windows ?
How do I see Windows from my Pi ?
How do I change the hostname ?
How much current can I draw out the 5V and 3V3 GPIO pins ?
Have I fried my Pi ?
How do I control a relay / read a button ?
How do I run my .exe program ?

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:19 pm
by bensimmo
I don't remember reading an FAQ or doc specifically on the gpio pins themselves.

I know own everyone is guided to what they are in tutorials, but one thing you may want to do eventually is a bit on the pins themselves.

What is serial (laymen's faq style and setup for says GPS over UART) not the quite technical one there currently is.
What is I2C (which pins and how you would find the address and then advice to search for code)
What is SPI ....
What is 1-wire (and how to change the pin or use more than one).
What do I do either the audio/video out connector which ring does what.

Perhaps thats better for the webteam and education section. But targeting higher level education.
Though brief faq's and pointing to pinout.xyz ? Especially for the uart one.

..
Quick faq's
I cannot get 5GHz WiFi (a recent surge of them)
... Only Pi3B+, or adding usb.
...Need 802.11a or 5GHz 802.11ac router/ap
...Router may also have band steering enabled and only show as one WiFi but chooses for you.
...out of range
(Methods to check ..)


HAT stacking
..generally not, but of course some can.
Pinout.xyz link?
Hard one that.
Maybe a link to long extending pins for SenseHAT mounted types (PoE hat if that is similar)
Same link as use for the B+ spec page?

What the leds on the pi mean etc at startup (common ones)
Noobs and pi updating to a new Pi.


It might get less FAQ at this rate and more HowTo

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:55 pm
by jamesh
hippy wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:22 pm
Not sure if these would all be considered 'tech questions' but are some of the things which seem to come up time after time, in no particular order ...

Which Pi variant should I buy ?
When is the next version of a Pi arriving; wait or buy now ?
Can I use my Pi as a desktop replacement ?
Is this Pi a fake or a clone ?
How do I set a static IP address ?
Why isn't WiFi working / No Interfaces Found / No wlan0 ?
How do I create an AP / hotspot / captive portal ?
My Pi cannot access the internet.
Why has my screen gone black ?
Is the Pi suitable for Industrial use ?
Can I use the Pi in a commercial product ?
How do I add an on/off button or switch ?
Can I just pull the power ?
How can I power my Pi from batteries ?
How do I put a Pi in my vehicle ?
How do I power multiple Pi boards ?
How do I suspend the Pi to achieve minimal power use ?
My SD Card has become corrupted.
My SD Card has become Write Protected.
Why are my edits not there after rebooting ?
How do I create a read-only SD Card setup ?
How to boot from USB / HDD ?
How to use a Pi 3B SD Card on a Pi 3B+ ?
Windows is only showing a few MB on my SD Card.
How do I get Video and Audio input ?
How to run a program / python script at start up ?
Crontab isn't working.
Why does Python script run in IDLE but not as a command ?
Do I need heatsinks ?
How do I connect a fan ?
How do I share my Pi with Windows ?
How do I see Windows from my Pi ?
How do I change the hostname ?
How much current can I draw out the 5V and 3V3 GPIO pins ?
Have I fried my Pi ?
How do I control a relay / read a button ?
How do I run my .exe program ?
Good list, I'll work through and see what I can magic up.

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:02 pm
by jamesh
bensimmo wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:19 pm
I don't remember reading an FAQ or doc specifically on the gpio pins themselves.

I know own everyone is guided to what they are in tutorials, but one thing you may want to do eventually is a bit on the pins themselves.

What is serial (laymen's faq style and setup for says GPS over UART) not the quite technical one there currently is.
What is I2C (which pins and how you would find the address and then advice to search for code)
What is SPI ....
What is 1-wire (and how to change the pin or use more than one).
What do I do either the audio/video out connector which ring does what.

Perhaps thats better for the webteam and education section. But targeting higher level education.
Though brief faq's and pointing to pinout.xyz ? Especially for the uart one.

..
Quick faq's
I cannot get 5GHz WiFi (a recent surge of them)
... Only Pi3B+, or adding usb.
...Need 802.11a or 5GHz 802.11ac router/ap
...Router may also have band steering enabled and only show as one WiFi but chooses for you.
...out of range
(Methods to check ..)


HAT stacking
..generally not, but of course some can.
Pinout.xyz link?
Hard one that.
Maybe a link to long extending pins for SenseHAT mounted types (PoE hat if that is similar)
Same link as use for the B+ spec page?

What the leds on the pi mean etc at startup (common ones)
Noobs and pi updating to a new Pi.


It might get less FAQ at this rate and more HowTo
Current General FAQ is about to be moved to the docs github, see here...https://github.com/raspberrypi/document ... qs/faqs.md

GPIO docs are here https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... /README.md

I'l also working on a glossary here https://github.com/raspberrypi/document ... lossary.md



I want this new Tech FAQ page to specifically be FAQ's , a page for people to use as a link for repeated questions of the forum, and not a HowTo - that's what the rest of the docs are for. They can be linked form the FAQ page.

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:36 pm
by wolf.z
hippy wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:22 pm
Not sure if these would all be considered 'tech questions' but are some of the things which seem to come up time after time, in no particular order ...

Which Pi variant should I buy ?
...
How do I run my .exe program ?
Great collection! Applause.

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:40 pm
by bensimmo
jamesh wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:02 pm
bensimmo wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:19 pm
I don't remember reading an FAQ or doc specifically on the gpio pins themselves.

I know own everyone is guided to what they are in tutorials, but one thing you may want to do eventually is a bit on the pins themselves.

What is serial (laymen's faq style and setup for says GPS over UART) not the quite technical one there currently is.
What is I2C (which pins and how you would find the address and then advice to search for code)
What is SPI ....
What is 1-wire (and how to change the pin or use more than one).
What do I do either the audio/video out connector which ring does what.

Perhaps thats better for the webteam and education section. But targeting higher level education.
Though brief faq's and pointing to pinout.xyz ? Especially for the uart one.

..
Quick faq's
I cannot get 5GHz WiFi (a recent surge of them)
... Only Pi3B+, or adding usb.
...Need 802.11a or 5GHz 802.11ac router/ap
...Router may also have band steering enabled and only show as one WiFi but chooses for you.
...out of range
(Methods to check ..)


HAT stacking
..generally not, but of course some can.
Pinout.xyz link?
Hard one that.
Maybe a link to long extending pins for SenseHAT mounted types (PoE hat if that is similar)
Same link as use for the B+ spec page?

What the leds on the pi mean etc at startup (common ones)
Noobs and pi updating to a new Pi.


It might get less FAQ at this rate and more HowTo
Current General FAQ is about to be moved to the docs github, see here...https://github.com/raspberrypi/document ... qs/faqs.md

GPIO docs are here https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... /README.md

I'l also working on a glossary here https://github.com/raspberrypi/document ... lossary.md



I want this new Tech FAQ page to specifically be FAQ's , a page for people to use as a link for repeated questions of the forum, and not a HowTo - that's what the rest of the docs are for. They can be linked form the FAQ page.
The HowTo was more if the Education side went for indepth versions and to stay away from that in the FAQ (which you are doing).



The FAQ should just be
Serial on UART.
(And the raspi-config and desktop method, console off, port on, and the two physical pins, then with a point to your in-depth UART article)

I2C just a quick, enable in raspi/desktop config which physical pins and link to something more in depth
Same with the others.

A bit like the camera faq.

That gpio document is way over a normal users head :-)

Is an excellent move to do this :-)

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:59 pm
by bensimmo
James, I just had a look at
https://github.com/raspberrypi/document ... qs/faqs.md

There are errors in the heading titles (spelling normally or just the phrase) and I think that is breaking the internal linking?
It's a bit hard on the mobile to show which ones.
Also 'cases' which I just read actually has no sub-forum.

I posted on the pull request (I think).

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:59 pm
by B.Goode
piglet wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:28 pm
Which FAQ area are you thinking about adding to?

The only obvious one is the main site "help" area https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/

or, possibly if you get as far as here the forum FAQ one: app.php/help/faq


Every non-forum page of the Raspberry Pi Foundation website has a FAQs link at the bottom, under the heading Support. It links to this - https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/faqs/

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:39 pm
by jamesh
B.Goode wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:59 pm
piglet wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:28 pm
Which FAQ area are you thinking about adding to?

The only obvious one is the main site "help" area https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/

or, possibly if you get as far as here the forum FAQ one: app.php/help/faq


Every non-forum page of the Raspberry Pi Foundation website has a FAQs link at the bottom, under the heading Support. It links to this - https://www.raspberrypi.org/help/faqs/
Correct. That is a general FAQ which covers many non-technical issues. It's also moving to github soon although content will remain the same or similar.

I'm talking about adding a completely new Technical FAQ in the documentation section of the website in which I intend to answer technical questions that only require up to 5 lines or so of explanation - so no long HowTo's. I will link for deeper explanations though, where they exist..

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:40 pm
by jamesh
bensimmo wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:59 pm
James, I just had a look at
https://github.com/raspberrypi/document ... qs/faqs.md

There are errors in the heading titles (spelling normally or just the phrase) and I think that is breaking the internal linking?
It's a bit hard on the mobile to show which ones.
Also 'cases' which I just read actually has no sub-forum.

I posted on the pull request (I think).
Yes, that one has not been through copy editing yet - still a work in progress. Although it is actually a copy of the existing FAQ, so not sure how mistakes have crept in!

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:42 pm
by jamesh
bensimmo wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:40 pm
jamesh wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:02 pm
bensimmo wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:19 pm
I don't remember reading an FAQ or doc specifically on the gpio pins themselves.

I know own everyone is guided to what they are in tutorials, but one thing you may want to do eventually is a bit on the pins themselves.

What is serial (laymen's faq style and setup for says GPS over UART) not the quite technical one there currently is.
What is I2C (which pins and how you would find the address and then advice to search for code)
What is SPI ....
What is 1-wire (and how to change the pin or use more than one).
What do I do either the audio/video out connector which ring does what.

Perhaps thats better for the webteam and education section. But targeting higher level education.
Though brief faq's and pointing to pinout.xyz ? Especially for the uart one.

..
Quick faq's
I cannot get 5GHz WiFi (a recent surge of them)
... Only Pi3B+, or adding usb.
...Need 802.11a or 5GHz 802.11ac router/ap
...Router may also have band steering enabled and only show as one WiFi but chooses for you.
...out of range
(Methods to check ..)


HAT stacking
..generally not, but of course some can.
Pinout.xyz link?
Hard one that.
Maybe a link to long extending pins for SenseHAT mounted types (PoE hat if that is similar)
Same link as use for the B+ spec page?

What the leds on the pi mean etc at startup (common ones)
Noobs and pi updating to a new Pi.


It might get less FAQ at this rate and more HowTo
Current General FAQ is about to be moved to the docs github, see here...https://github.com/raspberrypi/document ... qs/faqs.md

GPIO docs are here https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentati ... /README.md

I'l also working on a glossary here https://github.com/raspberrypi/document ... lossary.md



I want this new Tech FAQ page to specifically be FAQ's , a page for people to use as a link for repeated questions of the forum, and not a HowTo - that's what the rest of the docs are for. They can be linked form the FAQ page.
The HowTo was more if the Education side went for indepth versions and to stay away from that in the FAQ (which you are doing).



The FAQ should just be
Serial on UART.
(And the raspi-config and desktop method, console off, port on, and the two physical pins, then with a point to your in-depth UART article)

I2C just a quick, enable in raspi/desktop config which physical pins and link to something more in depth
Same with the others.

A bit like the camera faq.

That gpio document is way over a normal users head :-)

Is an excellent move to do this :-)
If it takes more than 4 or 5 lines of explanation, then I don't think is really FAQ material - that's HowTo territory.

I agree about the GPIO stuff, needs to be better explained - there is another page which does a better job somewhere.

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:48 pm
by rpdom
jamesh wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:42 pm
If it takes more than 4 or 5 lines of explanation, then I don't think is really FAQ material - that's HowTo territory.
In that case, put a link to the HowTo (if it exists).

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:59 pm
by thagrol
Another sugestion: Can my Pi work as a USB gadget/which model Pi can work as a USB gadget.

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:15 pm
by davidcoton
Top of the list: Why won't my Pi boot?
Just needs links to the three standard (much linked) resources.

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:23 pm
by W. H. Heydt
Not sure these should go in a *technical* FAQ, but I'll put them out so you can decide...

Can I run Win10 on my Pi?
Can I run <game>, MS Office, <some random x86 program> on my Pi?

Can I power my Pi through the GPIO pins? (And cover the lack of power protection)
Can I power my Pi with <power supply way over 5v>?

Perhaps a small discussion of volts, amps, watts and how they relate to each other. Also, what serial and parallel connections are.

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:27 pm
by ejolson
It might be nice to include a discussion of why a Pi running the default Raspbian operating system should not be power cycled without being shutdown and instructions on how to reconfigure Raspbian with a read-only root filesystem so power cycling is okay.

Note that I started a thread about this a while ago which contains some useful information that needs updating.

Re: Thinking of writing a technical FAQ

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:47 pm
by jamesh
I'd already done some of the suggestions above, so perhaps best if I link to the work in progress so you can see where I am at. Not copy edited yet.

https://github.com/raspberrypi/document ... cal-faq.md