RaspiBrick[BrickPi] Installation


Hardware requirements:

  • Raspberry Pi 2 or 3
  • BrickPi3
  • OLED based on SSD1306 (128x64 pixels) attached to 4 GPIO I2C ports
  • 2 push buttons connected to GPIO pin 16/18 and GND
  • Active buzzer connected to GPIO pin 22 and GND (optional)



Installation of preconfigured SD-card image


Our SD-card installation is called RaspiBrick[BrickPi] Firmware because it contains a few, but important addons to the NOOBS distribution to work with the BrickPi kit and the TigerJython or RaspiRemoteManager remote development system.

At boot time the startup shell script in folder /home/pi/raspibrick is started that runs a small Python monitor program that displays useful information on the OLED display and enables some simple push button operations. At any time you can stop the firmware by killing the Python process, either by calling rkill or sudo pkill python (also available from the TigerJython Tools menu). You can also modify the startup shell script to perform whatever you like.

Download SD-card image for BrickPi3. The size is about 2.4 GB, so be patient.

  • Unpack it in any directory (using an unpacker utility that supports large files, like WinRAR).

  • Insert a micro SD-card of at least 8 GB size (class 10 ultra, recommended).

  • Launch a tool to copy img files to SD-cards. (We recommend USBImageTool under Windows or ddutility under MacOS/Linux.) Be careful to select the SD-card drive, otherwise you may destroy data on a wrong drive .
  • In order to connect the Raspberry Pi to a WLAN router (hotspot), it has to know the SSID and the passphrase (password) of your router. These WLAN log-in information can be entered by starting our configuration tool


    found on the small FAT32 partition of  the SD-card. Because it is a Java program, you need a computer with an installed JRE (Java Runtime Environment).
  • Normally you can double-click RaspiBrickConfig.jar to launch it. If this fails, enter a shell (console) and go to the SD-card drive/folder. Type java -jar RaspiBrickConfig.jar to launch the utility.

  • In the dialog box enter your router SSID and the passphrase.
    Then click Create SSID and Save.

The SD card is now ready to be used.

(To select the SSID/Password you can also attach a monitor/keyboard/mouse and use the WLAN setup in the title bar.)



First-time operation


Insert the SD-card in the card slot. Apply an external power source of 9 - 10 V to the BrickPi power connecter (do not use to the Raspberry Pi power connector). Be very careful with the correct polarity (+ at inner pinion). Activate the power switch.

After one or two minutes, the OLED display should light up and show some information messages, among them the IP address obtained from your WLAN router. (In order to keep the same address and if your router supports IP address binding, you may make a address reservation that binds the MAC address of the Raspberry Pi to a fixed IP address.)

Caution: Mostly the BrickPi3 kit is delivered with an outdated Dexter firmware. You must update it before you run any program. Proceed as follows:

  • Open a Linux console (either with an attached HD monitor, an SSH connection (PuTTY) or VNC)
  • In /home/pi/BrickPi3 you find the BrickPi3 distribution as copied from GitHub. Type
    cd BrickPi3/Firmware
    sudo bash  

There are two demonstration programs ready to be run. P1 turns both motors forward and then backward for 2 seconds. P2 continuously beeps the buzzer until you act the push button.

For first time users we recommend to install TigerJython as explained above and use it as remote development system. Do not forget to enable the robot operation under Preferences | Libraries by choosing "Raspberry Pi" and entering the correct IP address. Open one of the demonstration examples found in the BrickPiLib distribution and download/run it on the BrickPi system by clicking the black/red icon in the tool bar. Check the Tools menu for further operations.

Each time a new program is downloaded, the number of stored programs shown on the OLED display increases until it reaches 9. The current program is always P1.



SSH And VNC Connection


As usual with the Raspberry Pi, a remote client (e.g. PuTTY) connects via SSH using the username pi and the password raspberry. For remote access to the file system the SFTP protocol with standard port 22 is used. (For Windows we recommend WinSCP as FTP client program.)

A VNC server is automatically started using port 5901 with password 123456. Any standard VNC client can be used, e.g. VNC Viewer or TightVNC Viewer.