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open plotter, Rpi, and me
#1
I am almost worn out! Been trying for 2 weeks off and on to get my new Rpi4B 8g ram fully functional. No joy, only frustration. I have followed many different youtube videos, online instructions, and openplotter directions. I started out wanting to have a media center for stored music and movies on board my 30ft sailboat. I managed to get the pi running Raspbian and connect to home wifi, surf the web but had difficulty copying music from my windows desktop to the pi via VLC. I am now trying to download the opencpn using the "headless" install on openplotter II web info page. THe directions are not very well laid out and explained in a step by step manner. I have managed to load the micro sd card with the software, load into the pi, and access it as a wifi connection, then what? After I have connected my laptop to the pi I can't go search the web for more hints on what to do next because the pi doesn't have an internet connection! I get no prompts from the pi on my windows pc either. THe info on openplotter II page doesn't give any help for next step either. I was able to previously get the pi to boot from USB though following another inf how to page. I think part of the problem is that pi4B 8gb is fairly new? The latest Rpi version is new/different from the older tutorials? And, I am not a programmer! So, I have spent over $200 on something that just infuriates me! LOL. I bought a 2 Tera bite hard drive to store music and movies, 2 120gb usb sticks, sd cards, cables, etc. Can anyone point me in the right direction, or give useful advice? I am not an idiot, just not intuitive with regard to command line, computer jargon, etc. 
What I am looking to do is use opencpn as a backup or primary chart plotter and play my cd's and dvd's from a low power consuming digital source. I have laptop computers but was wanting something less power hungry. Is this doable? I would also like AIS receive and some of the other wizbang the pi is supposed to be capable of but hell, I can't get it to do much of anything so far. thanks from the new pi guy Oh, I also bought a newberry digi + dac hat for quality music when and if I can get it to work. at first I as using an old monitor, mouse and keyboard at home but would rather just use a laptop or tablet for control/access on board the boat.
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#2
Did this a similar install about a month ago. As packaged, the headless install gave me the same issue which you are describing - loss of internet.  It only wants to talk to nav system  I wanted to be able to access both the remote device (in my case a recycled iPad mini at the helm) and also be able to download charts through a hotspot.  

Here's my simple approach.  Don't install headless, and use a cheap hotspot box (or a router) as your hub.  In my case I have a tmobile hotspot which I have both the Pi4 *and* the iPad attach to (this runs on battery but also charges off a 12v socket...just pulls about 1 amp).  Now you have remote control from the both your Pi4 keyboardand the iPad, plus you have internet through the hot spot (note this hotspot keeps devices communicating even if you sail off and have no cell service...slick!).  Setting up without using the headless package allows you to switch to another wifi (like marina service when you're stationary and not running the helm as well).  To make things sweeter, I have the Pi4 running off my 12 volt socket along with the iPad (using an Anker socket which powers TWO usbs, one C type for the Pi4 and another standard for the iPad).  No need for inverters.  I also have an Anker battery that will power the Pi4 about 4-5 hours.  And on top of that I still have HDMI output for my 32" display in the saloon.  I am essentially able to run perpetually with this setup (sans the BIG screen) off off my 12v...and have backup battery power for all devices.

This took a little tinkering, mostly in getting my large HDMI display and the iPad set the same (1650 x 1050 resolution seemed ideal).  I use VNC as my comm link.  Seems to work reliably, but best not to set charts at the very highest detail if you pan around a lot).  Hey, I'm only going 7 knots so kinda irrelevant though.  I have a gps interfaced and anticipate hooking in a new radar and my old autopilot this summer....still have some tinkering to do, but thus far, I'm very satisfied. Have about $200+ in it including the GPS (a $30 hockey puck sort that grabs 7-9 satellites from INSIDE the cabin of my Bristol).

There are a few weird tricks and settings (start up config lines and graphic settings), and setting up a VNC account and downloading the app to a tablet, but I've written a page of config instructions so I can replicate and fix things.  I can share.

You can do this!  

Helpful?
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#3
Hi Will, and thanks for the vote of confidence. I was already thinking of the usb hub powering the pi, and the hat. Wasn't sure how but it is supposed to be able to power a laptop. The pi uses 5V and 3A so just barely with usb power and connect to 12V batt? Not sure what you are talking about with the cheap hotspot box? I like tech stuff but I am afraid I am late to the party. A part number or a link would be most kind/helpful. You have created what I am hoping to achieve, but alas, I hear that it was a bit more tricky than I think my skills are up to? I am a windows dummy, use GUI for my stuff, just click the right box and it is done. So, I will require line by line tutorial, do this, then get that, then do this..... thanks so mush for the reply. Gotta get back to work now.
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