Ripley: The Evolution of a PiBot – A Short Interlude

One of the problems I’ve been having, (well, annoyances really), is that my current set up requires that the Pi be situated across the other side of the room from my main machine to be physically connected to the router. This means that I have to build a part of Ripley, connect it to the Pi on the other side of the room, back to my machine and activate the program and then go back to Ripley to check that its working. In the case of sensors, I have to move everything around so that I can see the screen and test the sensors at the same time. I’m not a naturally lazy person but this method of working was getting a little inconvenient.

The reason for all this is that the wireless on the Pi would not associate with my wireless network, no matter what I tried: different OS’s, updating drivers and firmware, changing configurations including static IP’s, DHCP, updating the router with the Pi’s wireless MAC address and static IPs etc. After some further investigation it turned out that the router I have does have problems with Broadcom wireless hardware (it’s a Virgin superhub). So, I decided to ressurect my Cisco Meraki MR18 to see if that would connect. It didn’t, so the whole process started again. I rebuilt the Pi with a fresh install of Raspian Jesse (a Debian based Linux OS) and then began the reconfig process.

Ran atp-get update then apt-get dist-update followed by apt-get upgrade to make sure everything was up to date.

Checked available Broadcom firmware: apt-cache search firmware | grep Broadcom

#apt-cache search firmware |grep Broadcom
 firmware-bnx2 – Binary firmware for Broadcom NetXtremeII
 firmware-bnx2x – Binary firmware for Broadcom NetXtreme II 10Gb
 firmware-brcm80211 – Binary firmware for Broadcom 802.11 wireless cards
 #

This shows the latest firmware for the BCM43143 wireless card (firmware-brcm80211). Running apt-get install firmware-brcm80211 shows that this is already installed.

Running apt-get install wireless-tools wpasupplicant shows that both are also installed and up to date.

I then decided to reboot to make sure everything had taken and that all updates were applied (not totally necessary but, hey, every little helps).

Once back in, I then edited the /etc/network/interfaces file to read as the following:

allow-hotplug wlan0
auto wlan0
 iface wlan0 inet dhcp
     wpa-ssid "wireless-SSID"
     wpa-psk "wireless-PSK"

I then dropped the wlan0 interface with ifdown wlan0 and then brought it back up with the following results:

# ifup wlan0
   :
   :
   :
 DHCPREQUEST on wlan0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67
 DHCPREQUEST on wlan0 to 255.255.255.255 port 67
 DHCPACK from 192.168.0.1
 bound to 192.168.0.14 — renewal in 1674 seconds.
 #

I then disconnected my SSH session, disconnected eth0 and then reconnected via 192.168.0.14, the newly assigned IP address. Yay! Everything worked for the first time in months (in fact, since I’d bought the Pi!).

With thanks to @mike632t : http://wp.me/p36zcb-11U

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