Wifi setup on Portsdown 2019

Discussion about this major DATV Project. See also https://wiki.batc.org.uk/The_Portsdown_Transmitter
G8PEF
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:42 pm

Wifi setup on Portsdown 2019

Post by G8PEF » Sun Oct 06, 2019 1:29 pm

Hi folks

I have just started to put together a(nother) Portsdown - RPi3 B+/7" touchscreen and Lime Mini...
In my excitement at the arrival of the touchscreen, I assembled the Pi to it, and popped in an SD card (version current back in mid-May) and powered on...
Everything boots fine, and I'm presented with the Porsdown Menus (which I can navigate through) but there's no wifi connection listed. I'd like to update to the latest software, so need a connection to the net... Wired isn't particularly easy to get at, So I'd prefer to do this over the wifi, if possible.

Anyway, Looking at the wiki, it appears that the wifi is turned off by default - and there are instructions on how to connect through the wired network in console mode to enable wifi and sett SSIDs etc. These instructions appear to be aimed at Windows users and require both devices to be connected to a switch/router.

So.
Q1: would it be possible to incorporate wifi configuration into the software, so it could be set up from the touchscreen, or at least from a USB keyboard plugged into the Pi?
Q2: in the mean time, is there a way for us to connect to the Pi from platforms other than 'Windows with PuTTY'? Can we just for instance use a terminal and ssh to connect to the IP address of the Pi?
Q3: is it possible to cut out the switch/router altogether and use a direct connection between your laptop (MacBook in my case) or desktop and the Pi using a network cable? If so, how?

I'm particularly interested in Mac-friendly solutions to these questions, as I don't really have a Windows setup here - I usually take stuff into work, to do things, but our IT department has been on a purge, first removing all access to external mass-storage (optical disc, USB, SD cards, etc), and now restricting the installation of software to (off-site) administrators only. I don't really want to have to buy a Windiws machine, particularly now the Minitiouner can be controlled from Portsdown with the LongMynd add-ons...

Oh, and whilst trawling through the wiki, I'm sure that I saw somewhere, something to the effect that the wifi should always be set up properly /before/ booting to the Portsdown menus - am I likely to have messed anything up and be storing trouble up for myself in the near future by having booted to Portsdown before configuring the wifi?

Thanks for any advice you can offer, folks
73
John, G8PEF

DL4OCH
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:20 pm

Re: Wifi setup on Portsdown 2019

Post by DL4OCH » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:16 pm

John,
best way would be a wired LAN connection for the Raspberry.

then make a ssh-connection to the Raspi with ssh pi@xx.xx.xx.xx and password raspberry .
Leave the Portsdown menu and enter "sudo raspi-config" Under 2.Network you can enter your SSID and WiFi-password.

A direct connection MAC-Raspi is not possible yet, as the Raspi doesn't have a fixed IP-Adress.

now the 2nd way:

-switch off the Raspi, remove the SSD-card and put that one in your MacBook.

at the root of the boot-sector create a file called "wpa_supplicant.conf"

Enter there as follows:

network={
ssid="wlan-name"
psk="password"
key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
}

Place the SD-card back to your Raspi and you should have a WiFi-connection.


Best 73,
Wilm

G8GKQ
Site Admin
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Re: Wifi setup on Portsdown 2019

Post by G8GKQ » Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:45 pm

Thanks to Wilm for answering Q1, 2 and 3. I do have plans to enable WiFi setup from the touchscreen, but it hasn't reached high enough up the priority list yet.

As for any problem caused by not setting WiFi up - none whatsever.

Dave

G8PEF
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Wifi setup on Portsdown 2019

Post by G8PEF » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:05 pm

Thanks to both of you, Wilm & Dave...

Good to know I haven't messed anything up in my eagerness to get things powered up, Dave, and I'll get the SD card out and have a go at generating the .conf file later this week. Hopefully, that'll allow me to update to the latest software :)

Ok on touchscreen access not being at the top of the priority list, but glad to hear that it's not just me hats asked for it, HI.

73
John, G8PEF

G8PEF
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Wifi setup on Portsdown 2019

Post by G8PEF » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:58 pm

OK, so now i'm puzzled...

My SD card when plonked into the MAc, isn't readable (as such) since the Mac doesn't support the ext4 format...
I does appear as a disk, but only a small partition called 'boot' - this seems to contain oracle database files, and driver stuff (broadcom, etc.) I can't mount the other (large) partition, so I'm unable to put the .conf file into '/' :(

I think I'm going to have to resort to diving into the black hole and trying to get at a wired ethernet port.

I presume that if I just connect the Pi to the router, then I'll be able to update the software from the touchscreen?

73
John

G8GKQ
Site Admin
Posts: 1288
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:21 pm

Re: Wifi setup on Portsdown 2019

Post by G8GKQ » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:50 pm

Hi John

The .conf file goes into the small boot partition.

And yes, once connected to the internet through a LAN cable, you should be able to update from the touchscreen.

Dave

DL4OCH
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:20 pm

Re: Wifi setup on Portsdown 2019

Post by DL4OCH » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:13 pm

Dave,

even putting the .conf file in the boot-section will force the Raspi onto next reboot to move that file to /etc/wpa_supplicant/ and will enable the Wifi.

Simlpy writing a file with 0 bytes with the name "ssh" would even enable SSH on a virgin system.

Sometimes Raspberrian isn't that bad.


Best 73,
Wilm, DL4OCH

G8PEF
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Wifi setup on Portsdown 2019

Post by G8PEF » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:14 pm

Thanks, Dave - I'll have another go before I dive into the black hole.

73
John

G8PEF
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:42 pm

Re: Wifi setup on Portsdown 2019

Post by G8PEF » Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:16 pm

Thanks also to you, Wilm - you posted just as I was typing my reply to Dave

Interesting to know that the boot process will sort these things out :)

73
John

G8PEF
Posts: 141
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Re: Wifi setup on Portsdown 2019

Post by G8PEF » Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:16 pm

Quick update:

Managed to create the .conf file and copied it to the boot partition, but still no wifi activity - nothing behind the wifi configuration menu of the touchscreen, and asking for software update results in the Portsdown complaining that there's no internet connection...

Wilm: you said, in relation to starting up the ssh service -
DL4OCH wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:13 pm
...Simlpy writing a file with 0 bytes with the name "ssh" would even enable SSH on a virgin system...
Your mention of a 'virgin system' makes me wonder whether the same applies to the .conf file - that is to say it will only copy the file to /etc/.... - as described earlier - if the system has never been booted from that card before. Since I'd already booted the Portsdown from the card, perhaps there's something in the root partition that prevents the .conf file from being copied across?

It looks like I'm definitely going to have to go for the wired connection to sort this out :(
(Unless anyone knows of a /safe/ and reliable method of mounting an ext4 partition for read/write operation, under OSX (version 10.7.5)

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