Thursday, 20 January 2022

HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8 Desktop

 We have a number of HPE blades that have been decommissioned and I was wondering if these could be used for some light R&D without the blade chassis.


Quick answer is yes, looks like it. I do not have the breakout cable to connect a screen and keyboard, however the BIOS post beeps all go through correctly.

Did not know this blade had a speaker! Cannot hear it over the fan noise of the chassis!

A HP DPS-600PB PSU with 3 jumpers connected together provides the power:


When power is connected, you should have 12V on the output terminals:


Change switch 1 and 3 to on on the blade motherboard:


Connect the 12V to the blade (Top - and Bottom + in my case):


And you should be good.

Please Note:
- A multimeter is your friend...
- I took an informed guess on the blade power connector, there is no documentation...
- No cooling over the CPU's so that needs some addressing before you run it like this...
- Double check everything...
- I cannot be held responsible for blue smoke...

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Raspberry Pi 4 CrankShaft (Part 2)

 Today I took this for its 1st test drive, and it works well...


I have the Pi 4 in a Ugreen Car Phone Dashboard Holder connected to a Samsung Galaxy S21 on one of the Pi USB3 ports. The Pi is getting power from the car cigarette socket using a Ugreen 24W Car Charger. The S21 is also connected to the Parrot over Bluetooth.


The only thing I changed from my last post was I disabled the speech and music channels in the CrankShaft Audio channels under settings. This allows my phone to send the audio towards the Parrot which is wired into the original car radio.






Sunday, 9 January 2022

Raspberry Pi 4 CrankShaft (Part 1)



Crankshaft is mentioned as a turnkey solution for the Raspberry Pi on their website and GitHub repo. The software is open sourced and a built image is directly available from https://getcrankshaft.com

This makes it a very quick way to check out the 1st option.

Head over to the GitHub release page and simply download the latest image ZIP file. It should be around 700Mb and about 3Gb unzipped.

Using the Raspberry Pi Imager, select the unzipped IMG file under "Use custom" and your Micro SD card, and write the image to the Micro SD card.


Using the setup from my previous post, pop the Micro SD card into the Pi and give it some power.

1st boot should resize the partition to the full size, and reboot automatically.

2nd boot should build some modules, and reboot again.

3rd boot should be the one that works.



If you are using the 5" screen from my previous post, the layout will be wrong and the touch screen alignment will be challenging, so lets fix that 1st.

Please Note: The CrankShaft Pi4 image mounts the boot and system partitions in read-only mode.

ssh pi@pi4

The default password is "raspberry" and like the suggested, better to change it now.

crankshaft filesystem system unlock
passwd

Now add the 5" screen settings to the boot config file:

crankshaft filesystem boot unlock
sudo bash -c 'cat << EOF >> /boot/config.txt
# 5" HDMI Screen Setup
hdmi_group=2
hdmi_mode=87
hdmi_cvt 800 480 60 6 0 0 0
hdmi_drive=1
hdmi_force_hotplug=1
hdmi_force_edid_audio=1
EOF'
sudo reboot


The screen should be all good now and the buttons should do something.

Please Note: I'm not 100% sure on how to make the build in speaker work, but have found that setting the "Output backend" to "RT audio" and increase the "Playback Volume" slider, the LCD speaker starts working. The only way to make this stick was to issue a "crankshaft settings save" in SSH.


Now connect your Android Auto enabled phone to one of the USB ports on the Pi and you should have Android Auto!



It will probably start directly into Google Maps, however you can access other Android Auto apps from the button left bottom.

Now this is not perfect, but it a very good start.

Enjoy!

Saturday, 8 January 2022

Raspberry Pi Car Head Unit Hardware

 I've recently bought a second hand car, and it came with the original manufacturer radio and a Parrot MKi9200 which works fine, but it is old.

I then started looking around for some Android Head Units, and realized a minefield of failures and challenges. Where a large amount of units are available on AliExpress, it seems the buying experiences for <€300 is just to much much a risk for me.

So I decided the Raspberry Pi route looks a lot more fun in any case.

Here is my bill of materials. Please see this as suggestions with affiliated links for Amazon. This is what I'm using and it is working at the time of writing, no guarantees or further advise.

At a bare minimum:

You will also need a good USB-C power supply and for this I strongly recommend sticking to the official Raspberry Pi 3A power supply.

I also suggest having the Pi connected to your local network using an ethernet cable with a reserved DHCP IP. You can SSH into the Pi to do a number of management tasks.

In the next post I will tackle the 1st option for software.

Thursday, 6 January 2022

The Pinouts Book

"The Pinouts Book is a free digital book created for designers and engineers as a quick reference for remembering the different pinout functions in your electronics projects.

The book covers 130 commonly used components, such as connectors, single board computers, dev boards, memory cards, microcontroller chips, and more.

If you need more technical information, each page has a link at the top (e.g. pinouts.org/XXX), and these redirect to official datasheets / specifications.

We’re going to be updating the book as time goes on, and we hope you find it useful.

Happy building :)

NODE & Baptiste"
I cannot say it any better than the creators themselves, so I just quoted from their website... Sorry guys...

Please head over to https://pinouts.org to download and support this.

HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8 Desktop

 We have a number of HPE blades that have been decommissioned and I was wondering if these could be used for some light R&D without the ...