Guide to…Ways to connect to a Raspberry Pi

Introduction

This guide will focus on exploring the many ways in which the Raspberry Pi can be used.

The Raspberry Pi computer is around the size of a pack of cards and weight of 45g (1.6 oz), and when combined with a suitable case*, it becomes very easy to put in your pocket/bag and take it with you.  However, when you consider that a typical setup will also require a screen, keyboard, mouse and power…its size and weight advantage is soon overcome.

I will show you that this need not be the case, with some neat tricks you can keep your Raspberry Pi available to you wherever you go.

Way2Connect

*A suitable case is recommended since an exposed Raspberry Pi board has lots of pins and some components which could be easily broken if unprotected.  When selecting a case for portability ensure you select one which doesn’t leave the SD-Card unsupported since a common failure is damage to the SD-Card slot.  Also consider if you intend to make use of the GPIO pins and/or use add-on boards in which case you will want one which allows easy access to the P1 header/option to fit a ribbon cable and has space above it for stacking boards.

Index

First we will cover the basic  methods of connecting to and using the Raspberry Pi, but I will keep adding guides which cover the more unusual but also exceptionally useful ways in which you can use your Raspberry Pi.

  1. HDMI to TV

  2. HDMI to DVI/VGA to PC Monitor/TV

  3. Analogue to TV
  4. Use a network cable to router/network – By using the methods shown in the Guide to…Remote Connections, you can use X-Forwarding and file sharing to control your Raspberry Pi with another computer.
  5. Use a network cable to directly connect to PC/laptop – This allows you to use X-Forwarding and file sharing to control your Raspberry Pi as if it was connected to a normal network.
  6. USB Wifi Dongle to Router (standard Wifi network)
  7. USB Wifi Dongle to Phone (Phone acting as an access point)
  8. Serial Console Cable (see the guide on using remote terminal connections)
  9. Serial Bluetooth Connection
  10. Texy’s LCD Screen or similar (see this review)
  11. Remote connection through the internet
  12. Automatically running scripts on power up

The idea for this guide occurred to me when I forgot to bring a network cable with me, and I had to look through my “bag of goodies” to determine how else I could connect and make use of the Raspberry Pi.  At the time I counted 6 other ways I could have used it.

I now have 12 ways planned (the 1st 5 are the most obvious ones), but I expect there will be more by the time I have written all the guides.

Comments
  1. Huidong Tian says:

    Is it possible to access RPi using a smartphone without internet connection, e.g. through a USB wifi dongle? If so, then we can conduct some project in field.

  2. Huidong Tian says:

    I figured it out based on your idea:
    1. open the hotpot of your smartphone,
    2. edit the /etc/network/interface, set wlan0 as dhcp, give it the name and password of the hotpot, and restart the network.
    3. check the IP of the connected RPi, and use SSH software to access.

    That’s all.

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