raspberry pi

raspberry pi

Now that the 1st Raspberry Pi Project has been up and running for a good and solid two months with the Starlight Cascade Gardens and Observatories Weather Station, it is time to move onto the next project.

The first weatherpi project replaced an old pentium class computer running windows XP and using maybe 100 watts of power 24/365. We calculated out our average time of use cost over one week at $0.20/kwh. The old system was taking approx 2.4 kwh/day or about $0.50/day or about $175/year.
Maybe a little less for lower prices during statutory holidays.. so call it $150 optimistically.
The new Pi takes less than 3 watts or 3/100*150 or $5/year.
That’s good incentive to replace another computer!

This time we will look at the old pentium class computer running Windows 10 that acts as the media source for the television. It has 4GB, a 120GB SSD and a GPU card addon to drive the television HDMI input for video files off drives and internet streaming such as netflix, etc.
There is also a large external USB drive attached to it acting as a library.
We found that playback from the external USB drive is problematic, so we often use the SSD drive to host the file while viewing, then move it off to the external library drive.

The weatherpi was a Raspberry Pi Model B (2xUSB2, 512MB, 700MHz ARMv6 single core, 100Mbps ethernet) while the new tvpi is a Model 2B (4xUSB2, 1GB, 900MHz ARMv7 quad core, 100Mbps ethernet). We plan on installing Raspbian Kodi and attaching external USB drives to it (our existing libraries).

The power saving will be a little less. This new model Pi takes a little more power, but the external USB drives do go to sleep when not in use.. that will help a lot.
So let us assume about 50watts 24/365 giving a cost of about $75/year for the old system and that should come down to $5-10/year for the pi.

The next few entries will walk through the step by step process we followed, getting the new media system up and running.

One of the references will be: http://mymediaexperience.com/raspberry-pi-xbmc-with-raspbmc/

I fired up the existing libreElec system and again found it very slow, unresponsive and prone to freezing for several seconds at a time. That combined with what seems to be a very high CPU temperature of 113C (even with heatsinks!), I decided to wipe that 4GB microSD card and start fresh with the recommendations from the above website.

Step 1 download the appropriate osmc installer (3MB) from the website above and put a 4GB microSD card into the desktop computer and run the program. When complete, move the microSD card into the Raspberry Pi 2B, attached keyboard, mouse, HDMI video and power and watch while the software: a) formats the card (< 1 minute), b) installs the software (5-10 minutes), then starts up into the program. At this point I chose to power it down through the onscreen choices as the Pi was not hooked into the network. Will follow up on that later this evening to see what else needs to be done and to try it out. **Update 2* This project failed. The Raspberry Pi 2B with both openelec and osmc is slow, unresponsive at times, and never could seem to easily find network resources across windows file shares or nfs shares.