Raspberry Pi and Wifi

16 Feb

The doorbell rang and I ran to open it.  I peeked through the window and saw a small box.  It said Adafruit on it so I knew my items had arrived!  My mom ordered for me a wifi dongle and an analog to digital converter.  While waiting for the converter, I realized that it’s too complicated for my skill level right now so I decided to work with the wifi first.  Since I got my Raspberry Pi, I’ve had to choose between connecting it to the internet or connecting it to the TV because they’re too far apart for the cables to reach.

So, I plugged in the wifi and turned on the Pi.  I realized that the version of Linux that’s on one of my memory cards doesn’t have the wifi config program on the desktop and I searched everywhere for it and couldn’t find it.  So, I googled how to set it up.  The first instructions had me go into a file and add my wireless username and password and the use ifconfig to see if it was connected.  It wasn’t.  So, I put in another memory card that has a different version of Linux on it.  It has the wifi config on it.  I followed the steps on the Adafruit website EXACTLY and . . . it didn’t work.  Everything worked until the very last step and when I clicked the “connect” button, it just said “scanning” for about an hour.

Next, I called my dad in to try things.  The only setting that we really had any control over was the type of wifi security.  So, we went through each one and none of them worked.  In reading, we found out that the type of security our wireless was using wasn’t the best anyhow.  So, we changed it from WEP to WPA2.  I don’t know what that means, but we read that it’s better.

It worked!  I was connected and I could get on the internet on my RPi while connected to the big TV in the livingroom.  I was disappointed to find out that I can’t watch youtube videos, that’s one of my favorite websites for crafts, music, bloopers, and how to fix stuff.  I read that openelec can connect to youtube and I have that on a different memory card.  So, I put that one in and after quite some time trying different things, I came across a website that had simple instructions that actually worked even though I read about a lot of people who couldn’t get it to work.  Here’s the website that I found useful, http://mymediaexperience.com/openelec-with-wifi-on-raspberry-pi/  I still don’t know how to do anything with wireless on openelec.  Now that it’s online, I see “add-ons” but none of them will install when I click the install button.

The best thing about my new setup is that I can now be online while connected to the TV with an HD cable.  I don’t get the buzzing sound anymore like when I was connected with the red/white/yellow cable.

Then came that horrible call of my mom saying, “Bedtime, turn the TV off!”  So, I had to go to bed.  I’ll play with it some more later and let you know how it turns out.  But for now, I’ve connected Wheezy and openelec through my wireless connector.

This is hard work.  I was hoping to be building 3-D printers run by my RPi by now.  I guess I set my goals too high.  But if anybody has a 3-D printer that they’re not using anymore, I’d be happy to figure out how to make it work 😉

Here’s a video with instructions on setting up wifi.  This didn’t work for me, but maybe it’ll work for you.




7 Responses to “Raspberry Pi and Wifi”

  1. bowlernona March 3, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    Very interesting site! Its good to see that kids are able to take an interest in building things! If you have any questions or need any assistance feel free to send me an email (you and your dad). Haha as far as WEP and WPA2 go, WEP is a security joke. Anyone with an Atheros wireless card thqt knows how to type can crack that level of encryption. Its very good that you guys updated to WPA2. As far as 3D printers go, I remember reading about someone making one out of an old inkjet printer (this was years ago, so I cannot recall the website, but it was open source so the directions were available for free).
    Im trying ro get the Raspberry Pi to work with an old iMac G4 right now. Its been an adventure converting the LVDS connection on the mac to DVI (then getting the ‘Pi to play nice with a DVI adapter)
    Anyway, keep up the good work!

    • krystal92586 March 3, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

      Thanks! I don’t know anything about Mac, but I don’t know why you’d have to connect them. I connected mine through the internet, so there are no wires between the Pi and the PC. I use a program called Putty to ssh to the Pi. I’ll see if I can find the 3-d printer instructions you mentioned.

  2. Alan March 9, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    As you did, I found out that Adafruit’s Occidentalis version of Linux doesn’t seem to have the wifi config program. However, I was able to find it and downloaded it – the package is called “wpa_gui”. I suspect you can get it using apt_get, but I use the gui-based package manager called synaptic.

  3. Anonymous user March 10, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    All you need to know is that WEP encryption is incredibly pathetic, and WPA2 is the best available (besides some crazy enterprise stuff).

  4. Andy April 15, 2013 at 11:34 pm #

    Keep up the good work! I wish the raspberry were invented when i was 11 😀


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