Assembly complete -- how to power on?


#1

Everything is complete, speaker, screen and RasPI are plugged into power pack, but we can’t get the screen to come on. The power pack sort of blinks blue lights across the two outputs and then turns off. We also got a bright white LED to come on on the power pack (seems like double-tap to turn on / off). As far as I can tell the power pack is juiced up (3 / 4 bars full). Any thoughts? How to troubleshoot?
Thanks,
Tim


#2

Make sure the screen cable is plugged in all the way. I have seen a lot of comments about making sure it is fully connected. Also do you have lights on the Rasberry Pi (box everything plugs into)? It has lights as well.

Our flashlight on the power pack was on. It toggles on / off with the power button. Press once or twice.


#3

Only 2 things should be directly plugged into the battery pack. Following the diagram engraved into the bottom of the box, the left jack on the battery goes to the Pi using a big USB to little USB. The right jack on the battery pack goes to the display using a big USB to 4 pin special plug that fits the back of the display.

The third, small USB on the battery pack is for charging only, we use our Kindle Fire charger as it puts out over 2 amps. The battery pack is rated at 6600 mAh which means it will take a higher current charge than say a small MP3 player.

The speaker has it’s own, internal battery and only connects to the Piper with it’s headphone jack. Use the black USB cable that came with the Piper to charge it. You could charge it from the battery pack but I just plugged it into a computer since it’s battery is fairly small.

The battery pack buttons works as follows.
From off, a single press turns it on. The LEDs cycle from right to left then show charge level.
While on, a double tap turns on the flashlight, another double tap turns it off.
While on, a single press turns it off again.

Michael


#4

Thanks. We have two things plugged in. The RasPi and the screen. When we press the button on the pack, it cycles through the 4 lights one by one then flashes all of them 3-4 times. Then it repeats the cycle once and then all the lights go off. No LEDs on the RasPi ever light up. The USB cables were difficult to get seated properly into the battery pack, but I am sure they are now seated.

Should any of the lights on the RasPi remain on in normal operation or is it expected that they shut off?

During troubleshooting we unplugged the speaker to eliminate it as a factor. I also checked that the WiFi dongle is seated snugly.


#5

It sounds like your battery is depleted. Have you tried charging the battery?


#6

I too think the battery pack is discharged too far to start up.

If you have a powered USB hub or another battery pack with 2 outputs, you could use it to power the Piper. I don’t know off hand how much power the Pi and display need but don’t think you will get away with plugging both into a non powered hub or into a PC.

Michael


#7

Thanks everybody - got it all working now. Battery pack needed to be charged.


#8

Michael,

I had recharged out Pipe battery pack last night with what we use to recharge our phones. Is this not enough power? Just now, our Piper seemed to be working fine, but the screen blacked out and now will not come one. The speaker works fine, but we can’t see anything on the screen. When we try jiggling on the control wires yesterday, it make the screen clearer, but today, it doesn’t really do anything. The lights seem to be on the Piper battery charger, so I’m not sure if we need a stronger battery charger. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Camicazi


#9

@Camicazi try these 2 things:

  • power everything off, and plug in the screen first, and power on the battery pack, and only then plug in the raspberry pi
  • try plugging the screen into a different USB port on the battery. again make sure it gets power first, before the raspberry pi

#10

Camicazi,
Your phone charger should work just fine. The bigger a battery is, the more power it will take to reach full charge. Altho it’s not technically correct, you can think of a small battery as a soup can sized, er ,can. You can fill it pretty quickly with a big spoon but filling a one gallon paint can with a spoon would take much longer. The higher the amperage rating a charger has, the bigger the spoon it is. My what a twisted analogy! Anyhow, you can charge it with just about any charger, some will take longer to get the 4th light on solid than others.

I plugged our Piper into our 65" DLP TV with a spare HDMI cable and it worked fine. The game isn’t full screen that way since it’s meant for a smaller display but it was still many times the size of the LCD in the Piper. You could try the same thing to pinpoint which component is the issue. If you don’t have an HDMI cable laying around or your TV’s ports are all full, you can unplug the Blu-Ray player (or any other HDMI device you have) and plug the cable into the Pi.

Michael


#11

Okay, Michael, I will try this. I haven’t disconnected any of the raspberry pi wire since we put them in, but I will try taking them out. I will plug in the screen first, then the battery pack, last the raspberry pi. I will let you know how this works.

Camicazi


#12

Mark,
I took out all the wires. When I put the speaker wire back in, the screen came on with a blue color for about ten seconds or less, then it went black or blank. Do you think I should put the other wires back in, or is there some problem with the speaker wire connection? I will look on the post about the blue to black screen problems that I remember seeing in the topics, to see if there are any suggestions from you or others on that part of the forum. I am about to stop for the evening, since 8:30 is around my daughter’s getting ready for bed time and she’s in her room writing her fantasy novel, since she got discouraged when the screen went off. Thanks for any help about these strange issues that we always seem to have with all technology, it seems like!

Camicazi


#13

@Camicazi - if you have a spare hdmi cable, you could try plugging the PI into your TV or a monitor to see if you get video. It could also be a problem with the SD card. If you just pull the power from the PI, it can cause corruption of the SD card. I’ve already downloaded and made a spare SD card.


#14

Thanks, Paul for the information. A guess the problem is that this is the first time we have really dealt with cables, I have to admit I can’t tell the different cables apart, except that they are different sizes, etc. I will have to look up what an hdmi cable even looks like, so I know which one to try. I was told to pull out all the wires to try again, first putting the screen wire back in first, but the screen still goes from blue to black, then I was told to put in the battery wire, then lastly, the pi wire back in. So I have already took out the Pi wire because I was told to do so, but the power was off, so I’m not sure if the SD card is corrupted or not. I have never really dealt with SD cards or the Raspberry Pi, so that is the problem I’m having-simply confusion as to what to do. We didn’t have this problem at all when we first starting trying it out on Tuesday, other than the screen being fuzzy, we got it clear by jiggling the wires and making sure they were secure, but now nothing appears on the screen, so I don’t know if I should download another SD card information, which I have never done before, or see if the Pi is the issue, but I wouldn’t know where to plug it in into my TV or monitor at all to see if it works, like most of these other folks can seem to do.

Camicazi


#15

lasermike,

It looks like the screen is back to working this morning! I just followed the advice of taking all the main cables out last night, and reattached them one at a time this morning, and the screen came back on! I guess if this happens again, I will try and follow the same procedure. Thanks for the advice!

Camicazi


#16

Paul,

Thanks for the help! The screen appears to be back on this morning. I just reattached the cables one a time, like they told me. I hope that the SD card isn’t corrupted, it seems to be back on the main screen, with great graphic quality for now. thanks for your suggestions, I might have to learn to try them in the future!

Camicazi


#17

Michael,

The screen appears fine this morning, after reattaching the wires one at a time. I will follow these procedures in the future! Thanks so much!

Camicazi


#18

Camicazi,
You are welcome.
I followed the engraved pattern in the bottom of the Piper box. That did mean that as we put the upper part together, we had to do it twice to get the HDMI cable to come out the correct slot.

The HDMI cable has the biggest plugs of all, it’s the one that you may have had to fight with when you plugged it into the back of the screen.

The short green cable that goes between the battery and the Pi has a USB A on the battery end and a micro USB on the Pi end.

We don’t have to disconnect anything or reconnect anything when we power ours up. I just press the power button on the battery once, it flashes it’s lights then stops on whatever the charge level is.

The Pi lights up pretty much right away, the display takes about 5 seconds to come to life then there is a whole bunch of text scrolling by before it plays the intro videos. Finally it stops on the main screen with Story Mode Sandbox Mode and etc. Whole thing takes maybe 45 seconds. Way faster than my laptop!

I do make sure to click the power button in the upper right and shutdown before turning the battery off. Just seems polite.

Michael


#19

All 4 lights illuminated on the battery for the Piper Computer. When I plugged everything in (the RasPi and Screen), it won’t turn on. What do I do?


#20

Do you see a red led light on the pi?