My Super Raspberry Pi 3

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My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby daveesl77 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:23 pm

I finally bit the bullet and bought a RPi 3, my son has been after me for awhile to do so. I think he figured if I got one I'd immediately fiddle around with it and make it do crazy stuff. So I did.

Primarily I wanted it as a portable media center, to be used both at home and in the camper. Didn't like the idea of needing to use an SD card, as the corruption possibility is pretty high on those. Saw how some use the SD to start the process, then use a USB drive (thumb or ssd) for the system. Finally found a way that allowed you to boot directly from a USB without the SD. That looked very promising. The directions I found to accomplish the task, while clear were quite frankly way too involved and I knew there was a better way. In addition, I wanted the system to multi-boot.

I realized that by setting the flag variable that would shift the register to tell the Pi3 (only works on this model) to allow a USB boot. So I first used Berry Boot to do an initial setup strictly to an SD card. Changed the flag variable and fired up the system. So far so good. Then used dd (I use linux as a primary system) on my main computer to clone the 64GB micro SD to a 128 GB thumbdrive to test the concept. Shut everything down, removed the SD, installed the thumbdrive and fired up the Pi. Works great! Presently I have OpenElec, LibreElec, Gnome Mate 16.04 and Raspbian loaded. I tried deleting operating systems and installing others using the standard Berry Boot system and it works great. Only thing is that with Raspbian I have to remap the dev from the SD card to the USB if I do a reinstall. But that can be done with a simple script and only needs to be done once. In addition, Gnome works well, but doesn't shut down fully. The two media centers work fantastic, using auto-switching VPNs for specific programs.

I read that supposedly if you set the flag, then you can no longer boot from the SD slot. In my case that isn't true. Tried it with only the SD, the SD slaved to a USB and then the USB solo. All three modes work.

So now waiting on my new SSD to clone the thumbdrive to. This is so sweet! A fully operational computer that uses 2.5 amp at 5 volts, is a bit bigger than an Altoids tin, has built in wifi and bluetooth. Not shabby for $35.

If anyone is interested in the exact steps I did, I'll post them. If you want a clone of my system you need to send me either a 64 GB+ thumbdrive or SSD. On the clone, I'll have the VPN set up, but will delete my login info, sorry.

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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby Alan Wood » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:42 pm

I bought one myself a couple of weeks ago. $42 with a plastic case. It is interesting and rather underestimated in my opinion. If nit for todays bloated software Iit would be a screamer.

Hm so it can boot from USB drives. That would definately work better for what I have planned. Still need to figure out why no sound through the HDMI cable ad TV though.
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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby daveesl77 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:55 pm

On the sound, depending on the operating system, go into the "control panel" (linux) or the "settings" (kodi) and shift your audio from analog to hdmi. You can also do it by command line, if you don't mind using the terminal or ssh. Here a link to the command line switch

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/configuration/audio-config.md

I was actually pretty surprised at how well Ubuntu Gnome Mate 16.04 runs on it, as that is not a real lightweight operating system. I found Raspbian ok, but I like to mess around with my system and it isn't friendly in that manner. I'm probably going to also load in ArchLinux and Puppy to test those out. Android Kit Kat also works on it, to a point.

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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby Alan Wood » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:11 pm

I currently am running raspian on it and tried to change from auto detect to HDMI sound but that didn't work. A bit of research project on my part now. Next I sill try Slackware as it is my prefered distro.
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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby Alan Wood » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:10 pm

Sound on HDMI is working on mine now. I suspect that it always was... The TV mutest HDMI audio after some unknown number of seconds of silence and takes more than a few of actual sound to unmute. :roll:
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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby mikeschn » Tue Dec 06, 2016 6:57 pm

I picked up a Pi2B. I though I'd print up a clamshell case and make it small enough to fit into my pocket. It wasn't packaging very well. And surfing was too slow.

Many many months later I assembled a newer Pi3 into a SmartiPi Touch case http://smarticase.com/ . It's nice, but doesn't fit in the pocket. :? Surfing is a little better... the Octane 2 benchmark is 2700

Someday I'll have to get an SBC with some real horsepower. http://www.udoo.org/ ???

I'm still debating if I want to do a PC that fits in my pocket...

Dave, I'm still using the micro SD to boot Pixel... maybe eMMC next time?

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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby Alan Wood » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:43 pm

Maybe I'm a little biased from having run linux from back in the 486 dx-2 66 with 8 meg or ram being viable days. But my pi3b seems pretty usable to me in raspbian. Now that sound is sorted to try slackware on it.
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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby daveesl77 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:47 am

My SSD should be in today. In various tests to this point, primarily using OpenElec and doing 1080 video streams with the various storage configurations I have now (SSD isn't included yet). In all cases using wifi network, but not bluetooth feature. Powered with a 2.5a multi-tap power brick with 4 independent 2.5a output USB ports.

1) SD Only...64GB Class 10 Transend only. Everything loaded on the SD. Everything runs fine, no lagging, no lockups, runs for hours.

2) SD with USB Thumbdrive...32GB USB 3.0 Adata thumbdrive as opsys USB drive with 16GB Class 10 PNY holding Berry Boot as the "grub" or menu control system. Plugged directly into the Pi. Runs fine, no lagging, 2 lockups, runs for hours. To be fair, this USB stick went through previous hell with me. The plastic case fell apart a year ago and I first covered the board with electrical tape then coated the board part with epoxy. So, while it doesn't feel hot to the touch and has worked great for normal storage in the past, this is the first time I've put it through a hard test.

3) USB Thumbdrive Only...128 GB USB 3.0 Samsung metal thumbdrive as the complete drive system, no sd card. This thing always gets warm, but running it as a non-stop media HD, plugged directly into the Pi, got it super hot. It would cause full system lockup after about 15 minutes. I removed it from the Pi and put it in a separate, powered USB hub, figuring maybe it was just drawing too much power. Made it about 25 minutes before lock up. Really hot to the touch. If not running videos, it worked fine without problems.

So now with the SSD coming, I'll first build it as an SSD only system, like the #3 128 Samsung thumbdrive, using secondary power. I'm hoping the problem with #3 comes from the heat buildup in the thumbdrive. If I still get lockups then I'll shift it to the #2 config, where I use a class 10 SD to hold Berry Boot and the SSD to hold the operating systems and various other stuff. Granted, the SD only option #1 has given me no problems at all, but the SD cards are the most failure prone of the three methods (SD, USB Thumb, SSD/HD) over time. The reasoning behind #2 is that the SD portion is not under a lot of read/write stress, it just tells the system which opsys on the USB drive to go to, thus far less chance of failure than #1. #3 is the most preferred, if it is stable. We shall see, tests continue.

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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby mikeschn » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:26 am

Let me know how things work with the SSD when it arrives. I'd also like to know if you can boot from it.

Are you familiar with the ODroid C2? https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page= ... -arm&num=1 This might be a good option for you too Alan, since you are trying to run Slackware.

Mike...

daveesl77 wrote:My SSD should be in today. In various tests to this point, primarily using OpenElec and doing 1080 video streams with the various storage configurations I have now (SSD isn't included yet). In all cases using wifi network, but not bluetooth feature. Powered with a 2.5a multi-tap power brick with 4 independent 2.5a output USB ports.

1) SD Only...64GB Class 10 Transend only. Everything loaded on the SD. Everything runs fine, no lagging, no lockups, runs for hours.

2) SD with USB Thumbdrive...32GB USB 3.0 Adata thumbdrive as opsys USB drive with 16GB Class 10 PNY holding Berry Boot as the "grub" or menu control system. Plugged directly into the Pi. Runs fine, no lagging, 2 lockups, runs for hours. To be fair, this USB stick went through previous hell with me. The plastic case fell apart a year ago and I first covered the board with electrical tape then coated the board part with epoxy. So, while it doesn't feel hot to the touch and has worked great for normal storage in the past, this is the first time I've put it through a hard test.

3) USB Thumbdrive Only...128 GB USB 3.0 Samsung metal thumbdrive as the complete drive system, no sd card. This thing always gets warm, but running it as a non-stop media HD, plugged directly into the Pi, got it super hot. It would cause full system lockup after about 15 minutes. I removed it from the Pi and put it in a separate, powered USB hub, figuring maybe it was just drawing too much power. Made it about 25 minutes before lock up. Really hot to the touch. If not running videos, it worked fine without problems.

So now with the SSD coming, I'll first build it as an SSD only system, like the #3 128 Samsung thumbdrive, using secondary power. I'm hoping the problem with #3 comes from the heat buildup in the thumbdrive. If I still get lockups then I'll shift it to the #2 config, where I use a class 10 SD to hold Berry Boot and the SSD to hold the operating systems and various other stuff. Granted, the SD only option #1 has given me no problems at all, but the SD cards are the most failure prone of the three methods (SD, USB Thumb, SSD/HD) over time. The reasoning behind #2 is that the SD portion is not under a lot of read/write stress, it just tells the system which opsys on the USB drive to go to, thus far less chance of failure than #1. #3 is the most preferred, if it is stable. We shall see, tests continue.

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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby daveesl77 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:04 pm

Looks like the Odroid doesn't have built in wifi. I have to also agree with some of the comments that until a couple of major distros support it, I'd stick with the Pi. I'm just looking for something that can reliably replace my old laptop for media play. But also it gives me something else to play with, as I don't have enough now, ha ha.

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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby mikeschn » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:10 pm

I didn't realize the Odroid-C2 didn't have wifi. :?

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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby daveesl77 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:45 pm

Mike, I have the same touchpad and absolutely love it. I've had it for a few years now and guess I need to take it apart to replace the battery as it doesn't hold a charge more than a couple of days anymore. Yeah, I could probably just buy a new one for what the battery would cost, but where is the fun in that?

:D
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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby Alan Wood » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:16 pm

If it weren't for wifi that odroid would seem to be the way to go. Mike have you looked into the latest Orange PI offerings? threy now have a system with 2 Gig of ram and a faster processor thab the Raspberry PI3b for a pretty good price from what I've been seeing. The downside is that it's not a Rasberry PI so not nearly as easy for non gerks to set up.
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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby Alan Wood » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:18 pm

Dave I suspect that the crashes with the metal cased thumb drive are due to limitations or defects in it. I look forward to hereing how this turns out.
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Re: My Super Raspberry Pi 3

Postby mikeschn » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:44 pm

Alan,

Image

BTW, this came with my RPi2. Why couldn't one use something like that on an Odroid C2?

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