Jump start – get your Pi-Car going with the Pi Store and Scratch

  • Set-up

This Jump start assumes that you have a Raspberry Pi up and running and you are able to able to access the screen with the big Raspberry Pi showing on it and importantly it also has the Pi Store icon available on it as shown below:

Raspberry Pi starting screen

Screenshot of how the Raspberry Pi should look once you have logged in

If you have this skip down to the ‘Connect your Pi-Car up’ section. If not don’t worry there is loads of help you can start with our guide to getting up and running by clicking here.

If you do not really understand what a Pi-Car is then click here.

If you have the screen above showing but do not have the Pi Store logo showing on it, it is probably because you have a slightly older Operating System. To correct this double click on the LX Terminal icon and type in the following commands and press enter:

sudo apt-get update

This will get your Operating System up to date. This could take a few minutes and sometimes not much is printed to the screen but just wait for it. You now need to install the Pi Store on it:

sudo apt-get install pistore

Type in ‘Y’ when it asks you – it is telling you it is going to need some space to install the Pi-Store.

If you don’t want to use the Pi-Store you can try the Jump Start guide with four lines of Python.

  • Connect your Pi-Car up

Connect cable to radio controller – make sure that it is pushed in securely.

Connect cable to Raspberry Pi – make sure it is the right way round. On one side of the long black connector is a raised square this should be on the side facing the rest of the Raspberry Pi.

  • Get what you need from the Pi Store

Next we need to use the Pi-Store which will download the Scratch and Python software needed to interact with the Pi-Car. Scratch is a tool that comes installed on the Raspberry Pi. It is a great way of learning programming without having to write lines of code as it is all done graphically.**

Double click on the Pi Store icon to bring up the Pi Store. This should show a screen like below:

Pi Store

Screenshot of the Pi Store running on the Raspberry Pi

Now you need to get hold of the Pi-Cars software. To do this type Pi-Cars in the search box at the top which should give you a Screen showing the Pi-Cars Software Tool Box like below.

Pi-Cars Software Tool Box

Pi Store showing the Pi-Cars Software Tool Box which should be clicked on.

Click on this and then click on the Free Download box as highlighted below:

Free Download link

Click on the Free Download link to download the Software Tool Box

You do need to have an account to download the application. If you already have a username and password for the Pi Store enter them here. If not don’t worry it is free to sign up – you do this by filling out a simple form.

You can either click on the register link on the Pi Store on the Raspberry Pi or sign up to the Pi-Store on your PC, phone or tablet if you find it easier as you it will send you an email that you have to confirm before your account is enabled.

Once you have signed in you can click on the Install link as highlighted in the screenshot below:

Install from Pi Store

Click on the Install link to download the Software Tool Box.

The Pi-Cars Software Tool Box should now download giving you a screen like below:

Pi Store installing software

Software Tool Box installing – you may have to click OK on a warning box before this.

There may be a warning box that appears before this which you can click OK on. After the install you should have a screen like below:

Launch button

Pi Store with the launch button highlighted.

If you click on Launch it will open up a document called a READ ME which explains what the Software Tool Box is. You can read this if you like, or ignore it as most people do and then come back to it later when you want to know more. Click on the cross at the top right to close the READ ME.

  • Using the Scratchet to control your Pi-Car from Scratch

You should now see two new icons on the desktop:

Scrachet icon

Double click on the Scratchet icon highlighted above.

Double click on the icon highlighted in the screen above which should launch Scratch and open up a file with some Scratch commands in it as shown in the screen below:

Scratch with file loaded.

Double clicking on the icon should open up Scratch with a file loaded that will control your Pi-Car.

You should now be able to move your Pi-Car around by clicking on the arrow keys on your keyboard – space will stop the car moving. As you press the keys you will also see the numbers in the top right screen change from ‘0’ to ‘1’ as you press different arrows. All of them go to ‘0’ as you press space. You should also see the blocks highlight as you press the arrow keys.

Scratch moving Pi-Car.

When you press the arrow keys the Pi-Car should move and the values in the top right box should change.

If you don’t understand what any of this means at the moment don’t worry you can start the Scratch Driving Lessons which will take you through what all the different steps mean.

Note that the Pi Store installs files into the following location: /usr/local/bin/indiecity/InstalledApps

Ed’s post note – when you shut down Scratch you will notice lots of text being printed out in a terminal window you can just shut this down.

PDF Version

PDF version of this article – Jump start – get your Pi-Car going with the Pi Store and Scratch _ Pi-Cars

**Scratch makes it easy to program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations on the web. As you create and share projects with Scratch, you learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. It is available for free download from http://scratch.mit.edu

About Barnaby Kent

This entry was posted in Blog, Under the bonnet and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Jump start – get your Pi-Car going with the Pi Store and Scratch

  1. Pingback: Pi-Cars Software Tool Box – what is it? | Pi-Cars

  2. Pingback: Pi-Cars and Python – Driving Lesson #1 | Pi-Cars

  3. Pingback: Pi-Cars Factory – Beginners Tool Kit | Pi-Cars

  4. Pingback: Pi-Cars python GPIO handler for Scratch configuration | Pi-Cars

  5. Pingback: Pi-Cars and Scratch – Driving Lesson #1 | Pi-Cars

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s