The Headless Pi continues…

So the saga of running my Raspberry Pi computers in my classroom, without monitors, carries on.  In this post I will explain how I set up the 4tronix LED dongle to show the IP address of my Pi.


The first thing to note is that there are 6 male pins on this board and that the most Pi computers have male headers on them.  Alongside this plug-in, 4tronix sell a I2C board which has not only a 6-socket female connector, but also a header of male pins to allow other devices to piggy-back on top.

4tronix IP Display

So the board on the left of this picture plugs into the I2C board on the right side.  I did wonder about the routing of the connections, as I have seen these boards used in a slightly different way before, however a quick ‘Tweet’ to 4tronix got confirmation back that I plugged the IP Display straight into the I2C board, with nothing overlapping.  This assembly is then pushed onto the complete header on a Pi B, or Pi A.  If using a Pi 2, A+ or B+, as with any older HAT, the first pins only are used, leaving some male header pins with nothing attached.

The software set-up was really straightforward, with the detail given on the 4tronix blog, just here.

The coding instructions are listed below, as they appear on the 4tronix website:

Open LXterminal

$ cd ~    (back to home directory)
$ cd .config
$ mkdir autostart   (not required if it already exists)
$ cd autostart
$ sudo nano ipd.desktop

…and enter the following lines. Note that the Exec line needs to have the correct location for where you have put the program.

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=sudo python /home/pi/ipd/

Exit (ctrl-x) and save (y) then reboot. The IPDisplay will show the IP address of the Pi.

I am pleased to report that this really was it.  Having shut down the Pi and installed the hardware onto the Pi board, it started first time.  This is what it looked like…

< Youtube video >

As for getting the Pi to speak to me after boot-up and tell me what IP address it possessed, that is another story.



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