Richard Bucker

Pi Now Pt2

Posted at — Oct 4, 2020

In part 1 of this series I covered the preparation of the access point. The purpose of the access point is to act as a control hub for all of the cameras. It’ll create a network for the cameras and for the user console to connect (hoping I can create a producers console for a tablet).

In this post I’m creating the camera in a headless mode so that I can automate the setup. At this point I’m ignoring the checklist that I posted at the end of part 1 and going for it.

On the one hand it would be interesting to host a small http API service to respond to camera on/off commands… http is responsive and I should also be able to stream… and it could be self contained. For the moment the first iteration is that the commands from the AP will be SSH-based.

As I’ve probably mentioned before I’m using an ASUS ChromeBox as my dev machine. I was able to create the camera’s OS with the ChromeOS recovery app. I put the latest raspbianpi OS buster on the card easy-peasy. After the installation the SD automounts back into the environment.

While my ChromeBox is running Linux I have not mounted the USB drive to the linux session. It’s not necessary anyway. The following activities are all config files. Think clout-init.


woops… I started the first step only to fail. I was supposed create a file named ssh. But no matter what I did I was bumping against a READ-ONLY flag. Only to realize I was trying to edit the partition table. The micro SD has two partitions… root and boot. I had to put on my reading classes to see the fine print in the filemanager image… create an empty ssh file in the boot partition. Since the ChromeOS filemanager does not have a facility to create files… I used the TXT editor to create an empty file and SAVE-AS.

woops… and it seems that the wpa_supplicant.conf needs to be created but I cannot determine where it goes yet…. I edited in the same partition. DUNNO… There were a few other config options like direct connect and so on… so I’ve tried that.

I ejected the SD card, inserted it into the pi-z and am booting. The green light is solid and now I need to determine what I have… I plugged the USB, not the power port, into the USB on my ChromeOS box. ChromeOS is trying to connect but it kinda frustrated and I think I know why. The networks havea few circular references so as soon as I can I’ll remove or reconsider that. Also, if there was a virtual USB net connection it was not extended to the linux machine so that was not helpful.

Looking at the raspap I see that the camera has connected. hassah

Now during the first boot…

NOTE It would be interesting if I install this project on Pi 4’s instead of Zero’s so that I could attach small monitors too. ALSO I need to consider wide angle stitching of all 3 images with one shutter.

The pre-first boot systems images have been created on the micro SDs… but not ready for a first boot. I’m still thinking about the configuration in the field. I currently have 4x 500GB SSDs but I started to reconsider because of the battery limits I might need and on the otherhand one needs to consider r/w speeds.