ebaierl
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RV Integration

Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:07 am

So I've gone through several iterations of this project. Basically, my wife and I are moving into an RV full time in July. Right now our home system is setup so we have a Mac mini with our video/music library on it and stream that through an Apple TV to the TV. That has to change though as the power demands of a Mac mini are just too high. So after some discussion with other computer geeks, they told me to try a Raspberry Pi. I had previously setup a Pi3 so that I could play old school games on it, so I have a Pi already, just need to instal Raspbian instead of RetroPie on a different SD card to make sure I can get it working before I move it over to the RV.

Here's what I want to be able to do with it, and I did find some resources, but I figured I'd post here with updates and questions to see if any of you can offer experience and input.

I want it to be a media hub. I have all my files on a Windows exFAT formatted drive. Some of them will have to be converted out of the AAC format, but I think most of it is mp4 and m4a. Hopefully that works. I want the Pi to be able to display movies on a TV that will be about 10 feet away, so running an HDMI cable shouldn't be a problem. The Pi itself will be in the dash in a small opening that used to hold an old tube TV.

Second, I want to back up important files from our Mac laptops. I need the Pi to somehow be able to mount a network drive on macOS. I haven't figured out how to do this yet. I have it on the RetroPie setup, so it should be pretty easy.

I want to add a dash cam I can get files off of. I've read about the official raspberry camera, so I'm thinking this is my best bet. If I can set up several cameras, that would be great, but I don't know if Raspbian allows this. Ideally, I'd like to have several video feeds going at once since we will be making videos for others to watch. I'll be editing them on my MacBook Pro with Premiere, so I don't need the Pi to handle that part.

And finally, I'm not sure how to control all this. If I can have a second monitor attached, I'll get a small 7 or 9 inch screen to mount in front of the Pi in the aforementioned TV slot, touchscreen would be great. If I can dual monitor a Pi with two screens, one the mini control box screen and one the TV for watching movies, that would be awesome.

Oh yeah, it will be connected to the network via ethernet, so wifi isn't a problem, but if I can share a iPhone LTE connection, that would be great. That was what I originally bought the Pi3 for, but I couldn't seem to get it to share with iOS 10 and Raspbian. I did a lot of research and work, and everything said it should work, but it just didn't. If I can plug a iPhone in via USB and share the wifi with the rest of the RV, it would be perfect.

So yeah, that's the project. Any hints or ideas on how I can get this to work?

ebaierl
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Re: RV Integration

Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:41 am

Am I correct in assuming I can connect a 7" TFT and a HDMI display and show different parts of the screen on each? That's the big problem so far, so if I can have the touchscreen for the dashboard and control the Pi there, then I can run an HDMI cable to the TV and display video through that. I've looked up some info on it, but I'm not sure I can do both at the same time. I don't care if its difficult, I can handle that, but I want to know if its possible at all.

ghans
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Re: RV Integration

Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:41 am

The only apps which support dual display with DSI are Kodi , omxplayer ,
Kivy and perhaps Qt5-based stuff. Extended desktop and GLX-based
apps do not work (yet ?!).

ghans
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ebaierl
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Re: RV Integration

Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:32 pm

Kodi dual monitor is fine. I just wasn't sure if it was even possible with two screens since I thought there was only able to connect one screen through HDMI. How do I connect the TFT then? I don't have one yet, so I can't mess with it, but I thought it connected through HDMI for visual and USB for the touchscreen part.

ghans
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Re: RV Integration

Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:14 pm

If you want to unofficial screens , insist on instructions for Raspbian / device tree / fbtft instead
of precompiled "images" , better yet only use ones connected solely via HDMI and USB.

Unofficial images allow extended desktop with HDMI , but will have problems
with fluid video. The official screen has the opposite problem.

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ebaierl
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Re: RV Integration

Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:54 am

I'm fine with it working in Kodi, that's really all I need it to work with anyway. I'm just curious about how to physically connect two screens. Right now I have it plugged into my TV while I get everything set up. If I VNC into the Pi from my mac, it shows the desktop on my laptop. If I run Kodi, it shows up fine on the TV. That's all well and good, but I was under the impression that the TFT connected through USB for touch and HDMI for video. So I'm wondering, how do I connect both screens? Am I correct in assuming the TFT connects through HDMI or is it some other way since there is only one HDMI port on the Pi3?

peterlite
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Re: RV Integration

Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:08 am

I use an Android hotspot with several connections. Does the iPhone have a limit on the connections?

A USB 3 external disk would be a faster way of backing up your non Pi computers. I use rsync to backup my little notebook. The first backup, the whole terabyte, is too slow for the USB 2 on the Pi. After the first sync, the remaining sync's could be through a Pi. The external disk also has the advantage that I have several and can rotate them for added safety.

peterlite
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Re: RV Integration

Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:12 am

For several cameras using the Raspberry Pi camera, consider a Pi Zero W at each camera location with one camera on each Pi Zero. Each Zero can Wifi back to your central Pi 3. Each Pi Zero can selectively transmit. If there is no motion, do not transmit. You store less data that way.

ghans
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Re: RV Integration

Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:01 am

There are touchscreens which use neither HDMI nor USB to connect to the Pi. Insist on instructions on how to get them
running on Raspbian via device tree/fbft , do not use precompiled images.

They will not be able to profit from hardware acceleration and therefore fluid video playback , but can be used to extend the desktop.

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ebaierl
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Re: RV Integration

Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:44 pm

I know I've got like five things going on in this thread, so I'll try to keep some order.

I hadn't thought about using the PiZero for the cameras, that's a really good idea and I'll look into that. Its probably easier and less full of clutter that way anyway without the thick cables running everywhere.

For the backup, I don't want to back up the entire hard drive, just have a file server for things we need to back up once in awhile. I'm not worried about the speed, I'd be transfering files over wifi anyway so I don't expect it to be fast, I just want to have a place I can put things so I have a second copy without worrying about upload bandwidth to OneDrive or something.

For the screens, I was looking at this: https://www.amazon.com/SunFounder-Monit ... spberry+pi

Now that I go back, I see its through the pins and not the HDMI connection. I had looked at a 7 inch screen, but I think that one was HDMI. I can get away with 5inches, I figure I'll mainly only be using it for controlling the radio while we are driving. I could even go smaller for that purpose, as long as I can figure out some sort of touch GUI that is easy to just tap and not worry about getting into small things or typing.

I cannot for the life of me get the hard drive to work. I'm wondering if its a bad HDD though. I've tried every format, mac, exFAT, FAT32, formatting in Linux, and something always happens that makes me wonder what the hell I'm doing wrong. In exFAT, it wouldn't show the whole available space. In HFS+, I couldn't get it to mount on the Pi properly. With Linux formatting, I forget what its called, it lost most of the storage space. Right now, I ran the HDD through first aid in macOS, and it seems to be okay, but when sharing over netatalk, it only shows it has having 1.6gb free, when it should have nearly 4TB. There is nothing on it at all at the moment.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: RV Integration

Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:13 pm

http://www.neosecsolutions.com//index.p ... 73c37666ff

They offer a range of screens for the RPi ;)
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peterlite
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Re: RV Integration

Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:55 pm

4 TB disk. FAT is limited to 2 TB. ExFAT is proprietary and not in Linux. Ext4 is not in Windows. NTFS handles 4 TB and is supported in Windows, Linux, almost every OS. For 4 TB, NTFS has an overhead of a couple of hundred MB, similar to other file systems. NTFS is more efficient at storing small files compared to Ext4. For a use anywhere 4 TB disk, NTFS is a good choice.

For formatting in Linux, use Gparted. You see exactly what happens.

fruitoftheloom
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Re: RV Integration

Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:04 pm

peterlite wrote:4 TB disk. FAT is limited to 2 TB. ExFAT is proprietary and not in Linux. Ext4 is not in Windows. NTFS handles 4 TB and is supported in Windows, Linux, almost every OS. For 4 TB, NTFS has an overhead of a couple of hundred MB, similar to other file systems. NTFS is more efficient at storing small files compared to Ext4. For a use anywhere 4 TB disk, NTFS is a good choice.

For formatting in Linux, use Gparted. You see exactly what happens.
NTFS is a proprietary Microsoft Format

Though fortunately Linux offers the NTFS-3G package: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS-3G
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peterlite
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Re: RV Integration

Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:10 am

When you project is running, one useful measurement will be the amps used by you Pi systems. There are lots of posts on solar pi. There is almost no info on pi+screen amps or zerow with Wifi and camera running full power. Every little bit of info helps us work out the size for solar pi.

ebaierl
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Re: RV Integration

Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:15 am

I'll definitely post more info as I get data on how much power it draws.

I figured out my HDD was bad. I was checking bad blocks, gave up after five hours and it had already detected 150 bad blocks. So I'm sending it back to Amazon and getting a new one tomorrow. I had file sharing working on the Pi with macOS, so if I can get a good HDD that works, I'll set it up on the Pi, share it to the Mac, then copy the files over ethernet. It might be slow and take awhile, but hopefully it works this time. Then I can just use Kodi to view everything on the TV and SSH or VNC into it from the Mac to work on a GUI if I need to. I'm still planing on adding a touchscreen so I can control it and play music if I need to, but I'm hoping I can do everything on that one through Kodi. That should be good.

I'll probably get a Zero W for games and RetroPie. I had it set up on mine, but took out the SD card in the Pi3 to play with the Kodi box. I'll just put it in a Zero W and make sure everything works, then I have a gaming machine. I love me some retro games.

Now for the video. We want a video channel with a lot of video, so I am looking at the Zero W. I found the package on Adruit that has the zero w, camera, and case for about $45. I might just get one and set it up to make sure it works, then figure out how many I need for the RV. I don't mind having them powered by USB through the house batteries, and with solar power and a big battery bank for the RV, that shouldn't be a problem. I'm not sure how to record video on it though, but I'd like to be able to somehow control them all from the main pi3, turn them on, record for awhile, and have them periodically send the video to the main pi with a HDD attached just for backing up video.

Is it possible to have more than on HDD connected to a Pi? I want to have my Media server be my base point for the video recording too, so if I could have one HDD for media and one for recordings, that would be great. I can then use my Mac to connect to the Pi3, download the videos and edit them, and back them up completed to a different hard drive so I can continually erase the source files and keep the disk from filling up. I'm not sure how big the files would be though, some might be an hour long, some only a few minutes, but if I can somehow do this wirelessly and automatically, that would be great.

peterlite
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Re: RV Integration

Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:12 am

You can connect as many disks as fits your powered USB hubs. They can be allocated as /home/me/video, /home/me/recording, etc. You can use a disk ID to give them a permanent connection, making them appear at the same point in the file system every time they mount.

ebaierl
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Re: RV Integration

Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:39 pm

Ok good, that's what I thought. I might have to do a reinstall of Raspbian on the Pi3 hub and start from scratch because I've been trying to do so many things with it that I'm not sure what packages I've all added. I do have it set up with netatalk and TightVNCServer though so I can access it through the Mac. Once the new HDD gets here today, I'll set that up and make sure it works, then I'll start the file transfer and sit and wait for awhile.

ebaierl
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Re: RV Integration

Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:00 pm

Also, if I'm using netatalk to share the HDD from the Pi to the Mac, does it matter what format the HDD is in on the PI? I mean if I can read it through the Pi, then filesharing should allow me to read/write through netatalk as well, right?

peterlite
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Re: RV Integration

Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:10 am

The only time I have problems with a file across file systems is with upper/lower case and characters like the colon, :. One file system will allow the colon in file names and another will reject it. One file system will treat Videos as a separate directory to videos while another file system, a semantic file system, will correctly treat them as having the same name.

OSX is just Unix with a decorative GUI. Unix is just Linux without a choice of nice GUIs. The file systems should work the same. The networking should handle whatever the file system handles. Of course Apple might have added complications. For instance, they might ban any file named google or microsoft. :D

ebaierl
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Re: RV Integration

Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:25 pm

So I decided to start from scratch and reinstall Raspbian, and have the brand new hard drive and go from there. And I'm running into problems. Here's what I've done:

Formatted a new SD card, 8gb, installed Raspbian, everything went fine. I did this with it connected to my TV. Turned on VNC and SSH in the GUI, rebooted. Then from my Mac, I ssh'd into the pi, it connected fine. ran update and upgrade, installed netatalk. Still good.

Then to connect the HDD, I shutdown, plugged in the HDD, and started back up. Still good. I then went to mount the HDD automatically. Used blkid to find out the UUID of the external HDD. Then I editted /etc/fstab with the UUID. Still connected via ssh. Still good.

Then I rebooted, and nothing. Can't ssh into it. I connect to the TV to see whats wrong, and it turns out I forgot to add UUID= to the beginning of the line of text for fstab. So I correct that and reboot. It hangs on reboot without the HDD plugged in, so I reboot again, plugging in the HDD this time, and again it hangs. Gets to teh Welcome to PIXEL, Powered by Raspbian screen, and nothing else. Just a flashing cursor, no command line. I'm not sure what it is trying to do in the background, but it has to have something to do with the fstab edits I made. I might have to go in and find a way to edit them, but again, I don't have a CL to do that by.

Wait, after about five minutes, I have a command line again. So I got in and got rid of the UUID= line completely, and now it boots fine. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong with this.

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DougieLawson
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Re: RV Integration

Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:34 pm

Try using PARTUUID rather than UUID.
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ebaierl
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Re: RV Integration

Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:08 pm

Hrm. Getting frustrated. The HDD is formatted NTFS. It mounts fine in macOS. I don't have a Windows box to test it, but I have not formatted it from the original opening of the package, so I assume it work there as well. However, with dmesg, I get this:

Code: Select all

[   21.180682]  sda: sda1 sda2
[   21.182812] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Very big device. Trying to use READ CAPACITY(16).
[   21.184109] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Attached SCSI disk
[   21.964921] ntfs: driver 2.1.32 [Flags: R/W MODULE].
[   21.979601] ntfs: (device sda2): parse_ntfs_boot_sector(): Volume size (3TiB) is too large for this architecture.  Maximum supported is 2TiB.  Sorry.
[   21.979624] ntfs: (device sda2): ntfs_fill_super(): Unsupported NTFS filesystem.
[  230.340995] ntfs: (device sda2): parse_ntfs_boot_sector(): Volume size (3TiB) is too large for this architecture.  Maximum supported is 2TiB.  Sorry.
[  230.341018] ntfs: (device sda2): ntfs_fill_super(): Unsupported NTFS filesystem.
pi

ebaierl
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Re: RV Integration

Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:10 pm

If I format it to exFAT, will it still be fine and mount in Raspbian and shared to the Mac?

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DougieLawson
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Re: RV Integration

Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:24 pm

To mount ntfs drives you need to install the ntfs-3g driver.
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ebaierl
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Re: RV Integration

Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:48 pm

I did that too, and it says its too big a drive.

I reformatted it as exFAT, and I get the UUID and everything seems fine, just can't get it to mount. I installed the exFAT drivers too, so it sees it as an exFAT drive, it just won't mount it for some reason.

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