Support for RemotePi Board for Pi 3 B+, Pi 3, Pi 2 and Pi 1 B+ , RemotePi Board for Pi 1 Model B


Installation

The installation of the RemotePi Board consists of the hardware installation (i.e. mounting the RemotePi Board on the Raspberry Pi) and software (configuring scripts on the Raspberry Pi OS). Both software and hardware installation steps are described in detail below.

(1) Install the RemotePi Board hardware on the Raspberry Pi

  • Power down and disconnect the power plug from the Raspberry Pi.

  • Mount the supplied screw on the RPi’s existing mounting hole near the front right.

  • Mount the RemotePi Board on the GPIO header, make sure and double check, that the GPIO connectors line up towards the front of the Raspberry Pi.

  • Adjust the nut under the RemotePi Board until the board is leveled.

  • Secure the RemotePi Board with another nut from the top.


  • Connect power to the RemotePi Board’s Micro USB socket, do not use the Raspberry Pi micro USB power socket.
    Please ensure that the micro USB connector is oriented as shown in the picture below, i.e. with the narrower side of the trapezoidal plug up.


  • If you connect the power by accident to the Raspberry Pi micro USB socket with the RemotePi Board mounted on the Pi, you will not damage anything, but the power control function of the RemotePi will not work.

  • When connecting the power, you will see a short red/green blink of the RemotePi’s LED to indicate the board is working.

  • If you would like to use your existing RPi case, you will need to modify it, so that the micro USB power connector and the button on top of the RemotePi are accessible, and the LED and infrared receiver are visible from outside.

(2) Install the shutdown scripts 

The RemotePi Board needs to communicate with the installed OS to send and receive power-off requests. Push the button on the RemotePi Board to power on your Raspberry Pi, then proceed to install the required scripts, please choose the OS you are using from the options below and follow the step-by-step instructions.

To connect to the Raspberry Pi for the steps below you need to use SSH to create a remote session. You can use PuTTY under Windows (here some instructions on how to connect to the Pi using PuTTY) or, if you use an Apple Mac, the built-in Terminal program. 

  • RasPlex
    • RaspPlex 0.6.0 and newer include support for the RemotePi Board and our remote out-of-the-box, no need to install any scripts manually.
    • To activate support for the RemotePi Board go to menu System Settings, Services, scroll down and select 'Enable RemotePi Board Support'. In the menu entry below select version 2015, which is the correct setting for all current RemotePi Boards.
  • Recalbox
    • Recalbox already comes with the RemotePi Board shutdown script built-in, it just needs to be enabled by editing the Recalbox configuration file.
    • Default user name is root, password recalboxroot
    • Key in :
    • nano /recalbox/share/system/recalbox.conf
    • remove the leading ; in the line ';system.power.switch=REMOTEPIBOARD_2005 ...'
    • Press ctrl+x to exit, y to confirm, enter to save the file
    • After reboot you can use the RemotePi Board to power cycle Recalbox

  • RetroPie

  • RuneAudio

  • Ubuntu Mate

  • Volumio

  • XBian
Here is how you know that the shutdown scripts are working correctly : When you switch off the power of the RPI using either the hardware button on top of the RemotePi Board or the remote, you will see your OS shutting down on the monitor or TV within a few seconds. Then the power is cut a few seconds later. If the OS does not shut down first before the power is cut, and the shutdown takes a long time (about 4 minutes), then you need to double check your script installation.

(3) Configure the RemotePi Board to power on and off using your remote

This step is optional. If you do not want to use any remote to power your Raspberry Pi on and off, and only want to use the pushbutton on the RemotePi Board, then you do not need these steps.

  • Choose the button(s) on the remote you want to use to switch your RPi on and off in the future, then press the pushbutton on top of the RemotePi Board for about 10 seconds until you see the LED blinking green and red.

  • Now you have about 20 seconds time to aim the remote towards the RemotePi Board’s infrared receiver and press the button on the remote you want to use for powering on your RPi. You will see the green LED flashing once when the button was learned. If no infrared command is received within 20 seconds you see the red LED flash and the learning mode is exited without changing the current configuration.

  • You can learn-in two different buttons from your remote, one for power on and one for power off. This can be useful, if you are using a Logitech Harmony universal remote, these can be configured to switch on or off all your devices at once. By using two different commands for power on and power off the Logitech Harmony remote can determine the power status of the RemotePi Board. To learn-in two different commands, after pressing the button on the remote you want to use to power on the RPi, press another button on the remote you want to use for power off. You see two short green LED flashes. Of course you can learn in the same remote button for on and off, in case you want to use only one button to toggle power.

  • While powering up, the LED flashes green for about 75s. You cannot use the pushbutton or button on the remote to power down the RPi during this time. This is to prevent cutting the power while the system is still booting up (You can change the default delay by using the configuration tool).

  • While powering down, the LED flashes red until the OS is shut down. Once the OS is properly shut down the RemotePi Board will cut off the power to the RPi. In case the OS hangs and is not shutting down, you can either wait for 4 min, then the RemotePi Board will cut the power regardless of the state of the OS, or you can use a long press of the pushbutton (about 10s) to immediately cut the power. This 'emergency power cut' should only be used in the case the OS does not shut down normally.

(4) Configure your remote to navigate the menus

This step is optional. If you only want to switch the Raspberry Pi on and off with the remote, you do not need this step.

  • If you are using our remote, please follow the instructions here.

  • If you own a Logitech Harmony remote you can use these configuration instructions.
  • If you want to use your own existing remote to control your media center as well, then you will have to enable LIRC and create your own lircd.conf file. (If you use our remote we have already created the file for you and you only need to install it). This file tells the OS how to understand the keys on your remote. You can use the configuration guide on the support page for our remote as a guideline, but you will still need to figure out the lircd.conf contents for your own remote as this file is different for every remote model. There are various tutorials on the web on how to do this, basically you either find a ready-made lircd.conf file or you run a program on the RPi which learns the key functions and creates a lircd.conf file for you. 

    Please Note : If you create your own lircd.conf, please do not include the KEY_POWER key in the list. The power is handled by the RemotePi Board.

    The hardware

    If you would like to use the GPIO for other purposes as well, here a list of GPIO pins used by the RemotePi Board for Pi 3, Pi 2 and B+ and the RemotePi Board for Pi Model B. See this link on how the pins are numbered.
    The remaining pins are not connected :
    Pin 2 and Pin 4 + 5V
    Pin 6 and Pin 9 GND
    Pin 8 GPIO 14 for the shutdown signal and TxD for the serial communication
    Pin 10 GPIO 15 for the shutdown signal and RxD for the serial communication
    Pin 12 GPIO 18 for the IR receiver. This can be changed to GPIO 17, see below

     

    If you do not want to use a power supply with a micro USB connector, for example, if you have a power supply with a different plug, you can instead connect +5V and GND directly to the RemotePi Board by soldering cables to the following two pads :

    RemotePi Board for Pi 3, Pi 2 and B+ 

    RemotePi Board for Pi Model B 

     

    Please make sure not to swap GND and +5V ! 

    We offer an external illuminated pushbutton for the RemotePi Board with ext. IR and LED, but in case you would like to connect your own external button, please refer to the schematics of the two connectors below. The illuminated external button is connected to the socket on the right side. The connectors used are standard JST PH 2.0mm 5pin (for the IR and LED) and 3 pin (for the pushbutton) connectors :

     

    Invoke shutdown from program or script

    You can invoke a power shut-down by the RemotePi Board for Pi 3, Pi 2 and B+ or the RemotePi Board for Pi Model B not only by pressing the pushbutton or using the learned button of the remote, but also directly by a program or script. To avoid accidental power shut-down you need to follow a specific sequence :

    Set GPIO 15 high for 125ms, low for 200ms, high for 400ms, low for at least 200ms

    The following generic script achieves this : 

    #!/bin/bash
    GPIOpin=15
    echo "$GPIOpin" > /sys/class/gpio/export
    # execute shutdown sequence on pin
    echo "out" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio$GPIOpin/direction
    echo "1" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio$GPIOpin/value
    #usleep 125000
    sleep 0.125
    echo "0" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio$GPIOpin/value
    #usleep 200000
    sleep 0.2
    echo "1" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio$GPIOpin/value
    #usleep 400000
    sleep 0.4
    echo "0" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio$GPIOpin/value

    After this script is executed the RemotePi Board will invoke a normal shutdown, i.e. you still need to have one of the above shutdown scripts installed to handle the shutdown of the OS.

    You can use this functionality to shut down your OS, when you select the shutdown button on the screen. This script is already included in the step-by-step script installation instructions above.

    RemotePi Board and HiFiBerry

    The HiFiBerry are sound add-on boards that bring high-quality sound to the Raspberry Pi. To make the RemotePi Board work with the HiFiBerry boards, the default GPIO port for the IR receiver on the RemotePi Board has to be changed. As a default, the RemotePi Board is using GPIO 18 for the infrared signal, which is also the default for LIRC on most media center distributions. But as the HiFiBerry uses GPIO 18 already, the GPIO port for the IR receiver of the RemotePi Board has to be changed to GPIO 17, if both boards are to be used together.

    To connect both the RemotePi Board and the HiFiBerry to the Raspberry Pi, there will also be some adapter required. One option is to use our ribbon cable GPIO adapter, another option would be to solder a 12 pin (or full 40 pin) male GPIO connector on top of the HiFiBerry.

    Changing the GPIO port for the RemotePi Board IR Receiver from 18 to 17

    To do this, a hardware change is necessary, some soldering is required. The procedure is slightly different, depending on the hardware version of the RemotePi Board (The hardware version is printed on the side of the RemotePi Board that houses the components).

    Please note that only the RemotePi Board for Pi 3 and the RemotePi Board for Pi 2 and B+ can be modified in this way.

    For PCB hardware revision 1.4

    In the upper left corner of the RemotePi Board, on the side without the components, the copper trace leading to GPIO 18 needs to be interrupted with a knife or cutter. Then a small cable needs to be soldered on GPIO 17 and the via, for this the green solder mask over the via has to be scratched off. The small cable should be isolated so that it does not have contact with the underlying ground layer. Please refer to the pictures below.

     Before :
    After :

    For PCB hardware revision 1.6 and 1.8

    The newer hardware revision 1.6 of the RemotePi Board makes the process a bit easier. The copper trace leading to GPIO 18 still has to be interrupted. Then the two normally open pads need to be soldered together, this will connect GPIO 17 to the internal components. Please refer to the pictures below.

     Before :
    After:


    If you require this hardware change when you order, please inform us in the order notes, we will then send you a RemotePi Board with this modification already applied.

    After the hardware has been modified, the Raspberry Pi OS need to be configured to use GPIO 17 instead of GPIO 18 for the IR receiver. In most modern OS distributions (tested in OpenElec and Volumio) this should be achieved by editing the config.txt in the root of the SD card and changing the line

    dtoverlay=gpio-ir
    To
    dtoverlay=gpio-ir,gpio_pin=17

    for older OS distros that still use LIRC the change would be:

    dtoverlay=lirc-rpi
    To
    dtoverlay=lirc-rpi,gpio_in_pin=17

     

    Firmware upgrade

    The RemotePi Board for Pi 3, Pi 3 B+, Pi 2 and B+ and the RemotePi Board for Pi Model B support user-upgradable firmware (The firmware is the same for the RemotePi Board for Pi 3, Pi 2 and B+ and the RemotePi Board for Pi Model B). This means that the software running on the microcontroller of the RemotePi Board which is handling the IR signal decoding and controls the power of the Raspberry Pi can be replaced with a (usually) newer version, allowing for new features and bugfixes. To achieve this, the RemotePi Board includes a factory-programmed boot loader which handles the upload of the new firmware. The process principle is similar to the firmware upgrade of a smartphone.

    The firmware is uploaded to the RemotePi Board using a serial link to the Raspberry Pi, an application downloaded to the Raspberry Pi is controlling and verifying the upgrade process.

    The advantage of allowing for firmware upgrades is that you can always enjoy the newest features, protecting your investment in the RemotePi Board.

    Click here to go to the firmware upgrade page

     

    Configuration tool

    The configuration tool is a command-line application provided to configure and customize several aspects of the RemotePi Board. You can, for example, adjust the brightness of the power-on LED or set a power-on timer.

    Click here to go to the configuration tool page

     

    Please let us know about any features you would like to have added, if these are technically possible and useful we will include them in new firmware releases and make them available here for all RemotePi Board users !

      

     

    Back to the product page of RemotePi Board for Pi 2 and Pi 1 B+

    Back to the product page of RemotePi Board forPi 3 and Pi 3 B+

     

    This page was last updated 9-Oct-2018