Category Archives: Support

Expedition-43-iss-above

With #1YearInSpace crew launch – updates to ISS-Above

Expedition-43-iss-above
With the launch earlier today I’ve updated the Expedition Info Panel for ISS-Above to now show the full Expedition 43 Crew – with a special reference to the #YearInSpace crew members Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko.

Message to all ISS-Above HD customers – be sure to update your system to get the new info panel.

http://issabove.local/check-version*

*replace issabove.local with the ip address for your device if you this link does not work.

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Connect your ISS-Above to WiFi – using SSH (advanced)

note:  This is the old instructions to configure your wifi settings using SSH.  Please check out the somewhat easier method here.

Yes – the ISS-Above can connect to your home WiFi network – here is how you can do that.

You have probably seen the two USB ports on the device near to the ethernet port.   You can purchase a pretty inexpensive WiFi “dongle” that can plug in to one of the USB ports.

BEWARE – not every WiFi Adaptor is compatible with the Raspberry Pi (the computer inside the ISS-Above).   If you google search “Wifi Adaptors compatible with Raspberry Pi” you will find some…. or you can just buy this one from Amazon.

The setup is not quite as simple as it would be on your PC or Mac – as to complete the setup you have to manually change a configuration file on the Raspberry Pi (on the SD card).   It’s an “operating system” file – so it can only be changed by connecting to the computer using either a hdmi monitor/usb keyboard or via a “Terminal program” on your computer.   I prefer making all such changes using a Terminal program.

Of course to make these settings for the WiFi adaptor you must FIRST connect your ISS-Above to your home router via a wired ethernet connection (which you have done already right?)

If you have a PC/Windows computer I recommend you download and install a free terminal program called MobaXterm Personal Edition.

If you have a Mac – you can use the built-in terminal program instead.

Instructions for Windows users:

Launch MobaXTerm.

Select Session / New Session / SSH enter the ip address of your ISS-Above, optionally specify the username (pi).  Then click OK.  (The username/password is the default for every Raspberry Pi – pi/raspberry)

For the Mac launch the in-built terminal program and type

ssh pi@your-issabove-ip-address

You’ll be prompted for the password – raspberry (the default for all Raspberry Pi’s)

At the command prompt type

sudo nano /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf

This will load a basic text editor with the wifi configuration file.

I have helpfully left lots of examples with all the WiFi settings I use (feel free to camp out on my wifi if you ever drive by my house).

You will just need to add a new “section” to the file for your network.

e.g.  Say that your SSID  is “myhomelan” and it uses WPA2 security with a wifi password of “5a9x2334b”   you would add the following lines

network ={
ssid="myhomelan"
psk="5a9x2334b"
key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
proto=RSN
pairwise=CCMP TKIP
group=CCMP TKIP
auth_alg=OPEN
}

To save this press <Ctrl> X  then press Y and finally press <ENTER>.

At this point if you reboot your device it should then connect to your WiFi.

type

sudo reboot

Now remove the Ethernet Cable.

During boot up you should see the WiFi dongle’s activity light start blinking (rapidly) to indicate it has established a connection to your wifi.

You’ll then need to find out what IP address has been assigned to the WiFi connection as you previously did in order to find out what the wired ethernet connection was (it won’t be the same number). Then remember to use THAT new IP address whenever you want to access the built-in web site for your ISS-Above device.

If you’ve got this far and you’ve never done anything like this before – give yourself a pat on the back for being a bad-ass linux hacker. Welcome to the club!

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So what are all those blinking lights doing?

As the ISS-Above’s are coming online I am getting a few questions about what all the blinking lights mean.  Just in case you missed the email attachment or the printed document (in the Complete ISS-Above) here is the information about all that.

If you have an ISS-Above with a PiGlow / Ledborg / Blinkstick or Blink(1) they indicate an approximate time until the next pass of the ISS by flashing either red (more than an hour) green (less than one hour) and blue (less than 10 minutes).

ISS-Above-HOW-to-use-PiGlow

 

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So you want to connect your ISS-Above to Wifi?

Yes – the ISS-Above can connect to your home WiFi network – here is how you can do that.

You have probably seen the two or four USB ports on the device near to the ethernet port.   You can purchase a pretty inexpensive WiFi “dongle” that can plug in to one of the USB ports.

BEWARE – not every WiFi Adaptor is compatible with the Raspberry Pi (the computer inside the ISS-Above).   If you google search “Wifi Adaptors compatible with Raspberry Pi” you will find some…. or you can just buy this one from Amazon.

Of course to make these settings for the WiFi adaptor you must FIRST connect your ISS-Above to your home router via a wired ethernet connection (which you have done already right?)

Access the wifi setup file via the ISS-Above’s in-built web admin system by clicking on:

http://issabove.local/wifi and log in with the default web username of admin and password nasa

(note: that issabove.local link only works on some networks – if that doesn’t work you will need to locate the actual IP address of your device.  As long as you have a recent version of ISS-Above this will be displayed on the lower left corner of your TV screen).

Just configure the ssid and pwd in the file shown and click Save Settings.

Now remove the Ethernet Cable.

reboot the device from this page

http://issabove.local/off

During boot up you should see the WiFi dongle’s activity light start blinking (rapidly) to indicate it has established a connection to your wifi.

Note the IP address will have changed when you switch to using the WiFi.   If for any reason the connection is not successful please re-connect the wired ethernet cable and check your settings again.

 

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You need to backup your ISS-Above SD Card as SOON as you can.

No Poweroff Button

As you will have already found out the Raspberry Pi (the computer at the heart of the ISS-Above) does not come with an on-off switch.

Just like any computer – they don’t like it when the power is just pulled from them without doing an orderly shutdown.

If the power is lost suddenly this can (sometimes) corrupt the SD card containing the ISS-Above code).

The best solution is to clone / backup the SD card to your computer.  This will allow you to quickly restore the setup to your SD Card if it ever gets corrupted.  This will only take 10 minutes and is HIGHLY recommended (otherwise tears and upset might be in your future).

You will need 8GB of space for the backup (the size of the SD card)
- although you can Zip (compress) the backup file for safekeeping and the file will be about 800Mb in size).

If you have a windows based computer follow these instructions.

If you have a Mac use these instructions.

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How to backup your ISS-Above SD card (Mac)

iss-above-on-SD-cardBacking up your SD card image is the SMARTEST thing you can ever do.

This will allow you to quickly restore the setup to your SD Card if it ever gets corrupted.  This will only take about 10 minutes and is HIGHLY recommended (otherwise tears and upset might be in your future).

You will need 8GB of space for the backup – although you can Zip (compress) the backup file for safekeeping and the file will be about 800Mb in size).

I am not a Mac user – so I have no personal experience of the following … but hopefully this will make sense to you.

I have heard of two approaches.

The first approach uses  “command line” tools you enter in the “Terminal” window of the Mac.  The other approach uses a free tool called Pi Copier and to backup the card and Pi Filler to write the saved image back to your SD Card.  You can download both utilities here.

This is what you do with the command line to clone your SD card

On Mac, you can also use the standard dd tool with a slightly different syntax:

dd if=/dev/rdiskx of=/path/to/image bs=1m

Where /dev/rdiskx is your SD card.

(using rdisk is preferable as its the raw device – quicker)

To find out which disk your device is type diskutil list at a command prompt – also, you may need to be root – to do this type sudo -s and enter your password when prompted.

(note:  these instructions modified from this original article)

This is a quick “how to” on restoring a backed up image to your SD Card

Plug the SD Card into your MAC

Go to Spotlight (the little magnifying glass on the top right of your MAC), type Terminal, and press Enter

Now the rest of the commands are done in the Terminal

Type:
sudo bash and press enter

Type in your password to get the # prompt

Type:
cd /raspberry-pi/backups and press enter (or wherever you placed the backup img file)

Type
df -h and look for your SD Card. My card is listed as /dev/disk1s1. Once you know which card is your SD Card type

diskutil unmount /dev/disk1s1 (or whatever your SD Card is listed as)

note:  I am not a Mac user but I note the commands below reference /dev/rdisk1 – I am not sure if that is the correct name for the SD card (it might be… but it seems a little odd based upon the instructions in the line above this)

dd bs=1m if=/raspberry-pi/backups/issbove.img of=/dev/rdisk1 and press enter

your SD Card will now be restore the backup

Once the backup is complete type:
diskutil eject /dev/rdisk1 (change rdisk1 to whatever is appropriate for your SD card)

This part of the instructions taken from this original article.