Setting Up The Raspberry Pi

As with any project using a Raspberry Pi, the first step is to get it set up. To do this, you'll need:

  • A Raspberry Pi 3
  • A micro SD Card (8gb or greater)
  • HDMI or composite monitor and cable
  • Keyboard and Mouse
  • Power supply

With the hardware set, we next need to load the software onto the PI. You can download the latest Raspbian software from here. It's a large file, so it may take a while to download. But once it has, you can burn it to your SD card using the Etcher.io software for Windows, Mac and Linux.

After you've successfully copied the files to the SD card, you can put it in your Raspberry Pi, plug in the monitor, keyboard, mouse and then the power. After a minute or so, it should boot to the Desktop.

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The first thing you want to do is connect to your internet by clicking on the internet icon in the upper right and selecting your wireless network. Then inter your password and click "connect". Next you can right click on that same icon, and select "Wireless and Wired Network Settings". Here, you'll want to make sure wlan0 is selected and then give it a static IP address that matches the IP scheme of your network.

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To finish up, click on the start menu in the upper left go to Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration. On the "Interfaces" tab, select to enable SSH. Then on the "Localisation" tab, set your keyboard language settings to match your country. Then reboot your machine. Now you should be able to log in from a remote computer using SSH. On Linux or Mac machines, you can do this by typing 

ssh [email protected]_static_ip

and on Windows you can download Putty and use it to SSH into your Pi.

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Installing the Camera

The camera I'm using is the Raspberry Pi Camera Module v2. I like it because it's very flat in shape and doesn't take up any USB ports. It has it's own dedicated IO port. So with the Pi off, insert the Camera Module (as seen below). Then power your PI back on.

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Before we can use the camera, we have to enable it. So after the Pi boots back up, you can SSH into it and run

Download: file
sudo raspi-config
#Interfacing Options > Camera > Enable
sudo reboot

Once your Pi boots back up, you should be able to utilize the camera.

Adding A Microphone

Since the Raspberry Pi doesn't have audio input by default, we're gonna have to use a USB based audio input. I just got a cheap mini USB microphone and plugged it in.

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The Pi should automatically detect it and make it useable. I'm going to be using the microphone in conjunction with the Alsa audio library, so we'll need to install that first. Then we can test out the microphone by making a simple 30 second recording (make sure to have some speakers or headphones plugged in in order to hear the playback).

Download: file
sudo apt-get install libasound2-dev
arecord -D plughw:1 --duration=30 -f cd -vv ~/test.wav 
omxplayer -p -o hdmi ~/test.wav  
This guide was first published on Sep 15, 2017. It was last updated on Sep 15, 2017. This page (Setting Up The Raspberry Pi) was last updated on Sep 17, 2019.