Set up your Raspberry Pi

If you already have a Raspberry Pi that you can turn on and is connected to the Internet there is nothing to see here! If you want to setup remote access to your Raspberry Pi and a static IP address click here. Alternatively Click here to go back to the under the bonnet section.

Don’t have a Raspberry Pi?

In order to use your Pi-Car you will need a Raspberry Pi up and running and ready for use. If you are new to computing (and even if you are not(!)) this is something you can get stuck on easily but don’t panic! There are loads of good tools around to help you.

Firstly if you don’t have a Raspberry Pi itself you will need to buy one. The Raspberry Pi website links to three distributors from which you can buy one – you will also be able to buy useful starter kits from them as well:

RS Components

Farnell Element 14

Allied Electronics

What else do I need apart from a Raspberry Pi?

To make the Raspberry Pi work you will need some additional items. Click here for a good diagram of the extra things that you can buy and how they plug into your Raspberry Pi. When you buy a Raspberry Pi you will probably also be offered some or all of these items:

  • Power supply – essential – you have to have a micro USB power supply to turn your Raspberry Pi on and you do need to make sure you get the right one. You may well have one already that you use for your mobile phone and everyone who supplies a Raspberry Pi and many others will also supply them – click here for a link to one of these suppliers.
  • SD card – essential – to make your Raspberry Pi work you must have one of these. It will contain the Operating System that makes your Raspberry Pi work. As with the power supply you may already have one at home – but make sure you don’t mind losing everything that is currently saved on it. If not you can buy either a blank one or a pre-loaded one. The pre-loaded ones are a bit more expensive but will mean you can just put it into your Raspberry Pi and it will work you will also not need a SD card reader. Click here for a link to somewhere you can buy a pre-loaded SD card from. If you want to save a couple of pounds you can buy a blank SD card from lots of different places, click here for one of them. If you get a blank SD card you will need to download the Operating System and put it onto your Raspberry Pi. Click here for instructions on how to do this. More detailed instructions can be found by clicking here. You will also need an SD card reader to do this – lots of laptops and computers will have one of these built in but yours may not. Click here for where you can buy one.
  • Keyboard and mouse – Most people will use a separate keyboard and mouse plugged into the Raspberry Pi. To do this you need a keyboard and mouse with a USB cable. Again if you don’t have one of these you can buy them from many different places – click here for a keyboard and here for a mouse. It is possible to not have a separate keyboard and mouse but connect to your Raspberry Pi from a remote laptop or computer. Here are some instructions to do this but probably not for the beginner. It also assumes that you know how to get remote access to the command line on Raspberry Pi – click here for details on that – it uses something called SSH.
  • TV or Monitor – You can plug your Raspberry Pi into a modern TV (like one of the flatscreen TV’s) with an HDMI cable this will also work with a monitor with an HDMI connector. You can get an HDMI cable here. If you have an older TV without an HDMI connection You can also plug your Raspberry Pi into one of the older style TV’s with a one of the composite cables that you can get from here.
  • Internet connection – the easiest way of getting the most out of your Raspberry Pi and using Pi-Cars is to connect it to the internet. The Operating System comes setup so that you should be able to plug what is called a LAN cable from your Raspberry Pi into one of the ports on your Internet router, even if you have a wireless router they will generally be set up so you can also plug in one of these cables. Click here for one place you can buy one of these LAN cables from.

A number of starter kits also exist for the Raspberry Pi – Maplin are selling one.

How do I turn it on and start it up?

  1. Connect your keyboard and mouse to the USB ports on the Raspberry Pi
  2. Connect your monitor to the HDMI port on your Raspberry Pi and the connection on your TV
  3. Check your TV is switched to the HDMI input (you may have to press AV and select the HDMI connection option on your remote control)
  4. Check that your SD card is pushed in correctly (and tightly it can sometimes come loose.) Remember you have to have an Operating System loaded onto your SD card – click here for instructions on how to do that (sorry for the sound).
  5. Connect your power supply and check that the lights show up correctly.
  6. Wait for the prompt to show.
  7. Type in pi as the username.
  8. Type in raspberry as the password.
  9. Type startx to load up the screen with the big raspberry on it that you can use your mouse on to click on things. It should look like this

If you want to have a crack at setting up remote access so you do not need a TV, keyboard and mouse connected click here.

PDF version

PDF version of this article – Set up your Raspberry Pi _ Pi-Cars

About Barnaby Kent
This entry was posted in Under the bonnet and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Set up your Raspberry Pi

  1. Pingback: Jump start – get your Pi-Car going as quick as you can | Pi-Cars

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  3. Barnaby Kent says:

    Clive at Raspberry Pi has just updated the getting started guide, it’s really good – check it out if you’re stuck –

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