[Dprglist] another wireless networking issue - headless Raspberry Pi

James LeRoy james at getsurreal.com
Tue May 15 11:07:09 PDT 2018

I think your own 5Ghz Access Point network is the best way to go. It 
keeps the Pi and your laptop in a simpler configuration.  Some access 
points, I believe, can then be a client of another wireless network to 
get you internet access.

The physical cable should work with static IPs and just a hub.  A router 
would not be required unless you wanted to use it to handle DHCP instead 
of static addresses.

On 5/14/18 6:13 PM, Clayton Timmons via DPRGlist wrote:
> RoboRama was great!   So much fun talking with fellow robot 
> enthusiasts and seeing cool robots in action.
> I cobbled together my Raspberry Eye robot right before the contest and 
> ran into a wireless networking issue.    My robot uses a Raspberry Pi 
> however it is "headless"  with no onboard keyboard, screen, or buttons 
> of any type.    It was pre-programmed to connect to my home WiFi and 
> then I would use a laptop also connected to my home WiFi to sever as 
> the interface to the robot.   I connect via VNC.
> The setup worked great at my house but when I brought the robot to the 
> Makerspace the problem was obvious.   My robot would try to connect to 
> my home WiFi which is not available at the Makerspace and being 
> totally headless there is no easy way to re-program it to do anything 
> different.
> I had anticipated this problem and tried one solution but it was not 
> reliable.   I spoke with Ron Grant and he said - just bring your own 
> access point.   Thankfully Ron let me use his access point and I was 
> able to get things running.
> I'm seeking the wisdom of the club for solutions to this problem.    
> Here are some ideas I have.
> 1)  Setup Raspberry Pi as an access point -  Then anyone can login to 
> my robot with correct password.  I saw this as an option but it looked 
> tricky to setup.
> 2) Setup Laptop as access point -  I tried this and it worked, sort 
> of.   Windows 10 was easy to setup as an access point.   It worked but 
> for some reason was flakey.   Really hard to debug why robot would 
> connect sometimes and not others to the laptop but reliable connect to 
> my home WiFi.
> 3) Use Ethernet cable.    I tried to run a cable from robot to hub and 
> another from laptop to hub.   Hoping I could VNC directly to static IP 
> address of robot.   This did not work.  I suspect it would work if I 
> plugged both into a router (not just a hub).   This would give me 
> temporary remote access via cable rather than wireless.  With cabled 
> remote access I could re-program the robot to use any available WiFi.  
>  Adafruit sells a USB to serial interface that is supposed to provide 
> a back door to SSH into the Raspberry Pi - will have to try that also.
> 4) add keyboard / screen to robot -   The headless robot is really not 
> a robust setup since robot is pretty much dead in the water if you 
> can't connect to it.
> 5)  Pull microSD card and re-program it.  -   This is what I ended up 
> doing.   I plugged the microSD card from the robot into a backup 
> Raspberry Pi with screen and keyboard.   Then I switched the WiFi 
> network name from my home WiFi to one that was available (Ron's access 
> point).
> Any ideas / comments on a solution?
> Thanks,
> -Clay Timmons-
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