Author Topic: Making Pi - low volt, ARM based ships computer  (Read 180 times)

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Offline CapnK

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Making Pi - low volt, ARM based ships computer
« on: December 10, 2020, 09:30:20 AM »
I've played with others Pi a very little - a very, very little - but would like to start working on building a ships system with one as it seems that RISC architecture is coming into it's own, poised to surpass Intel x86/64 (if it has not already). It certainly is a better solution energy-wise for small boats. To that end I think I'll be running Arch Linux for ARM64 on a Pi 4 8GB. I know Joe/Cyric has some experience with them. Has anyone else been hacking one of their own? What should I buy to get started? Looking at the Canakits on Amazon, they seem to be the way to go. What say you? Joe?
http://sailfar.net
Living aboard A-30 #429, currently named "Sundance".

Offline Godot

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Re: Making Pi - low volt, ARM based ships computer
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2020, 08:37:05 PM »
I've got a bunch of Pis that I play with once in awhile. I buy them at Microcenter. I have a Pi3 currently attached to a little touch screen that runs OpenCPN reasonably well. I'm not happy with the touch screen interface to the program; but it does the job. I just use a wireless mouse and a mini-bluetooth keyboard to interface. I may move this to a Pi4 eventually; but it isn't a priority.

I have found some trouble with driving the Pi3 off of a USB port. It always seems to be a little short on power. It works; but it has the lightening bolt in the upper right of the screen. I think the Pi4 needs 3a, and simply wont run for more than a few seconds off of plugging it to the USB ports on my boat. There are DC-DC converters available for low cost that should fix this problem. I just haven't gotten to it yet.

For just navigation, I'm thinking the easiest solution is to just buy a cheap Android tablet (I have a VANKYO MatrixPad S30 which is 10" with integrated GBS that I think cost $125) and run OpenCPN or another nav package on that. If you want to connect other parts of your boat together, then a Pi might make sense.

Or, if you just want a halfway decent, low power PC onboard, you probably can't go wrong with a Pi4. It really is getting to the point of being a decent PC replacement. Much cheaper and lower power draw then most laptops, too. And if it gets dunked you may not cry as hard. Works pretty good as an entertainment system, too.
Adam
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Middle River, Chesapeake Bay

Offline Cyric30

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Re: Making Pi - low volt, ARM based ships computer
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2020, 09:48:10 AM »
Hay CapnK and Godot
Sorry for the slow response, i missed this post, my apologies.
I am in fact working with my Pi navigation computer right now.
I don't believe i an really qualified to help over much, i am simply standing on the shoulders of those who came before me to do this project. but i will give as much info and help as i can.

I am currently working with a Raspberry Pi 4-B (The 4 GB memory one), there is a new 8GB Pi out now thought. I believe i would go for that if i where to purchase one now, i purchased mine off ebay fron BerryKu IIRC, but they ARE OUT NOW.

As to a setup, i am using a
1: Raspberry Pi 4-B,
As i said i got mine off ebay, as a kit that came with a Case, Power Supply, and there options for keyboard and other bits and bobs, just do a search on ebay for "Raspberry Pi 4 Model B DIY Kit"

2: (Waterproof DC-DC Converter 12V Step Down to 5V 2 USBs Power Supply Module 3A 15W) from ebay as well to do the power converting, AND IT HAS 2 USB OUTPUTS.

3:  (7 Port USB 3.0 High Speed HUB Splitter Box With ON/OFF Switch AC Power Adapter) this help with the power problem the Pi has that you where experiencing Godot, I also had a USB to 3.5mm power jack from something else that let me do away with the power adapter, and use the 2nd connector on the 12v splitter

4:  (Moitessier HAT) this is by far the easiest way to build you Pi into a navigation computer, i purchased the very first version, but would like to get another one when they get it squared away. this thing does so much stuff i cant list it all, it basically integrates almost every shipboard system. AIS, GPS, Autopilot,..lost of stuff i dont even understand yet....so Ya, kinda cool

https://www.rooco.eu/products/moitessier-hat-2-raspberry-pi-openplotter-ais-receiver/

Useful links
Open Marine (Integrates Pi and OpenCPN, and alot more, you guys will understand more off it than me. (open source with growing community)
https://openmarine.net/openplotter

Moitessier HAT (HAT for Pi that integrates almost everything you could want into Openplotter and Pi)
https://www.rooco.eu/products/moitessier-hat-2-raspberry-pi-openplotter-ais-receiver/

Bareboat Necessities, another Pi based project
https://bareboat-necessities.github.io/my-bareboat/

Sorry this is kind of disjointed im at work and didnt have alot of time to put things out better, but i felt bad for missing it for so long.

Cyric


P.S. I am also playing with a cheap up-converter for RTL-SDR and associated software to download weather files from SSB radio bands. but thats just a side project, we'll see if it is fruitful

CapnK does this have anything to do with the ARM64? if not the forum might have other threads that might help

Raspios 64 bits Raspian

https://forum.openmarine.net/showthread.php?tid=2611&highlight=ARM64


« Last Edit: December 15, 2020, 12:01:58 PM by Cyric30 »

Offline Godot

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Re: Making Pi - low volt, ARM based ships computer
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2020, 10:58:26 AM »
Cyric, what do you use for a display?
Adam
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Middle River, Chesapeake Bay

Offline Cyric30

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Re: Making Pi - low volt, ARM based ships computer
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2020, 01:02:48 PM »
Hello Godot.

Right Now i am running it on a DC TV in the boat
(RCA 24" 720p HD Home & Travel Portable AC/DC LED TV with HDMI RT2471)
From my experiments so far the TV operates on less than an Amp, which i find a bit amazing in all honesty.

In your other post i seen you had trouble with a touch screen setup.
I would like to also sync it with some sort of tablet with touch screen in the future, But from my rudimentary understanding of the PI IIRC, the Official touch screen that Raspberry sells is the only one that works well with the PI, as it has some kind of proprietary hardware or software for it, but please research that.

Im going to go out and piddle on the boat here in a few and i will try to get a power consumption on the whole setup running. I will edit this msg to give a total with the Pi, USB strip, TV, and SDR-RTL all running together.

Offline Godot

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Re: Making Pi - low volt, ARM based ships computer
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2020, 04:11:47 PM »
The touch screen is OK. Because of a weird manufacturing error, it actually presents upside down. There is a setting to use to fix that; but it is a pain.

My problem with the touch screen is that I don't think openCPN really knows how to work with it. There is no multitouch. I'm not sure if that is a limitation of openCPN or Raspbian. And it just feels really, really clumsy. But I'm not a fan of touchscreen. I use them. Can't avoid them. But don't like them. It does work better under Android.
Adam
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Middle River, Chesapeake Bay

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Making Pi - low volt, ARM based ships computer
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2020, 05:04:00 PM »
ROFL- my computer at home has a touch screen. I  found a major draw back once when I accidentally left it on. Came back to find  about 20 things open on the screen. Seems a rather large beetle type bug had been attracted to the bright screen and crawled all over it- i had about 40 things open!!!!":)
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline Cyric30

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Re: Making Pi - low volt, ARM based ships computer
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2020, 06:15:21 PM »
Hay Again All
im using the Pi to write this as a matter of fact, i am surprised by how well it is runing to tell the truth.

The total power usage on the boat
1.34-1.44 Amps (thats TV, Pi, and powered USB)
1 Amp of this is the Tv

I am having some heat trouble from the Pi, but i knew this was a potential problem as i am not runing a space for the hat and no fan or heat sinks, so that is something to remedy

Offline Godot

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Re: Making Pi - low volt, ARM based ships computer
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2020, 09:58:25 AM »
That is a super low draw for the display.

I have a little fan for my Pi4. Currently it is set up as a media server for Plex. Something strange happened and the Plex interface doesn't start anymore; but the fan definitely had to run while streaming.
Adam
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Offline Cyric30

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Re: Making Pi - low volt, ARM based ships computer
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2020, 11:41:06 AM »
Godot
Yes i was very surprised by the displays power usage, that being said this was run on DC power, the AC power was quite a bit more when i tested it that way.
Im in a bit of a quandary over the fan situation, with the Moitessier HAT, i lose the ability to use my GPIO pins to hook the fan power up that way, so im trying to figure out how to hook a fan up some other way, the only thing i can come up with is hook the fan up through a USB spot, which seems a bit of a waste. any ideas?

That is a super low draw for the display.

I have a little fan for my Pi4. Currently it is set up as a media server for Plex. Something strange happened and the Plex interface doesn't start anymore; but the fan definitely had to run while streaming.