Raspberry Pi SID testing using LAN->Laptop cable

Today I took my 6 Pi into one of my schools and connected them up to the school Win7 Pro laptops using a direct CAT5 cable and powered them from USB charger batteries.

They all performed fine technically and it was a great success (if I say so myself) 🙂

[I could only get 5 to work in the lesson as the last SD card imaging took over and hour instead of the usual 15 mins but that’s a separate issue ]

By connecting them direct to laptops via cat5 cable means they didn’t need WiFi adaptors and therefore no configuring of the laptop was needed.

This is because I used this post to set up the Pi to automatically try and use an IP addressing the same range that Windows machines default to ( to

The reason for doing it this way is that I only have 1 school left with pupil desktop machines – all the rest use laptops/net-books/IPads so there is no chance of plugin any Pi into any monitors/main network ports.

The Pi are also set up to be SIDs  and therefore for the pupils to get controlling the addon boards plugged into them (mixture of PiDie,Pibrella,PiStep and Ladderboards) all they had to do was run the Handshake.py program (which I’ve wrapped up into a windows .exe file), saved it to a network folder and stuck a shortcut toit on the desktop.

Once they’d handshaked with SID running on their Pi, They simply loaded their normal Windows Scratch 1.4 and loaded in a basic script to switch all the LEDs off and On to test that everythgin was working.

From the start of a 1 hours lesson (and considering this was the first time we’d done it) 3 out of the 5 groups (only a 15 intake class luckily) had got a full Traffic Light –  Green/Amber/Red/Red and Amber/Green sequence going.

Lessons Learnt

All the AddOns responded to LED1..n On/Off commands except for the PiStep (as its normally used as a stepper) and that group needed to use Pin11,12 and 13 and it meant separate instructions for them so better to make sure all boards can respond to same commands of make sure individual help-sheets for each board are printed out.

Once group didn’t push their CAT5 cable in until it clicked (obviously as a tech I knew this and didn’t bother telling them – so I’ll make sure that’s in the instructions next time)

Also, I’m going to make a tick sheet of plug in sequence just to make sure its all done in a good order.

Laptop on and logged in, cat 4 plugged into laptop,cat 5 into Pi, power lead into Pi (this is the fiddly bit they found) and then power lead into battery supply.


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4 Responses

  1. Hi, glad it worked well. Hope the kids had a lot of fun !
    For the net wrok, I use a script I have found on this website : http://lcdev.dk/2012/11/18/raspberry-pi-tutorial-connect-to-wifi-or-create-an-encrypted-dhcp-enabled-ad-hoc-network-as-fallback/
    Everything works fine, each Raspberry is its own ad-hoc server and so you decide which RPi a laptop can use by connecting to it.

    It’s the simplest way I could find.

    • cymplecy says:

      yep – that would work – for one user 🙂
      Not going to work in a class with 15 Pi all broadcasting their own Hotspot 🙂

      I just need mine for Scratch so can go with simple solution 🙂


  2. mrteach says:

    Hello, I am a long time follower of your blog (when it was in Version 1), lost interest in the Pi and have come back. I have 2 questions. One is how do I get SID to work. I went through your tutorial.

    wget http://bit.ly/1zjCxwA -O isid7.sh

    then just type (or copy and paste as before)

    sudo bash isid7.sh

    then reboot the pi

    Start the handler program (using the windows version) enter my 4 letter/numbers

    clicked connect… it stops at step 3 and “finished” if I open scratch first and enable remote sensors it goes to step 10.

    However nothing works.. I did try blink11.py just to test and that worked.

    I am using Raspberry Pi B and a wifi dongle

    2nd question. I’m not sure if you still use that ‘China’ Stepper motor the 28Y….something. I was just wondering is there a lot of torque? I’m wondering if it can carry some ‘weight’ because my hand stops it really easily with a light grip.

  3. mrteach says:

    I found the other post and tried running sid.sh and that made it work

    Problem now is stepper seems to be running really really slow

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