Raspberry Pi GPS tracker – Connecting Without a Network

All articles to date have been about getting the GPS working with the Raspberry Pi and converting the original Python code to PHP. All of this works well (for me) but what if you want to make changes to the settings or download the log file while you are out and about and away from your home network?

Normally what happens is that you configure your device to connect to a known network but as you are going to be using the GPS/Pi combination away from known networks you need a way to access anywhere without having to connect a … Read the rest

Raspberry Pi GPS tracker – Converting Code to PHP – Part 2

In the last post I looked at converting the original Python code to PHP. This all ran without issue but I quickly found that because the Pi wasn’t connected to the internet the date and time of the device never got updated. This meant that the log files always had the wrong timestamp when they were created making it difficult to find the one I needed.

Turns out that there is a simple answer to this problem. As the GPS satellites include the current date and time as part of the detail that is sent along with the location we … Read the rest

Raspberry Pi GPS tracker – Converting Code to PHP – Part 1

Last week I looked at getting the hardware up and running for a Raspberry Pi GPS tracker. However, as I said I was using some Python code and I don’t speak Python so I wanted to convert it to PHP. So this week I am going to look at what I did.

Before I could even begin to look at the converting the code I had to see if it was even possible for PHP to access the serial port. Turns out this is exactly what Direct IO (dio) is for but it isn’t included as standard so you … Read the rest

Raspberry Pi GPS tracker – Getting it Together

Having secured a Pi Zero from the cover of a the magazine MagPi I thought I would start out simple by trying one of the projects shown there. The one that caught my eye and required no soldering was to build a GPS tracker.

Getting hold of a cheap USB unit was pretty easy but make sure it is Linux compatible. I bought this one from eBay.

The first thing I did when I got the unit was to try it out on the Pi and while it was working I could see that it had got a satellite … Read the rest

Roll your own Dropbox with a Raspberry Pi

ownCloud logoFollowing the success of hooking up my Raspberry Pi to my BT Home Hub the next step was to do something useful with it.

I am a very active user of cloud services, particularly Dropbox and Google Drive. Both work well but in order to gain additional space you have to pay but what if you could run your own service and add as much storage as you liked? Enter ownCloud a Dropbox lookalike that you run on your own server.

In my case the server is my Raspberry Pi and a 500gb harddrive attached providing the storage and it … Read the rest

Yum! Raspberry Pi!

Over the weekend my Raspberry Pi arrived and there was much excitement in the Thompson household.

For the uninitiated a Raspberry Pi is a cheap (c. $25) computer designed for schools and hobbyists that is about the size of a credit card. It comes as a bare board with all it needs around the edges, so there is a couple of USB ports, an SD card reader, power input, HDMI output, ethernet etc.

The fact that it is a bare board could be a little daunting given that  over the years you kind of get conditioned that PCs are delicate … Read the rest