Updating Raspbian to Make HubPiWi Blue work

November 28th, 2016

At the time of writing the native support for HUbPiWi Blue it is not included in Raspbian. We expect that it should become a part of the raspbian in near future, but we are not sure when. We highly recommend that you post this requirement to the SW group of the raspberry Pi foundation and into the Pi Zero forum which will hopefully speed up the process of native support in Raspbian.

In the meantime you will have to update the raspbian to make the HubPiWi Blue work.

You need a network access to be able to do that. You can possibly hook a USB Wifi dongle to the existing HubPiWi Blue to create Wifi Connectivity temporarily.

We understand that this is not a clean solution. We will propose some better solution, including a pre modified binary or a Pre Programmed SD Card on sale. But for now the tweak to the raspbian to make HubPiWi Blue work.

You will first need to update the current software

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo reboot

HubPiWi Blue uses Realtek 8723BU chipset and the following set of commands are specific to it.

cd ~/
git clone https://github.com/Diagonactic/rtl8723bu.git
sudo apt-get install raspberrypi-kernel-headers
cd ~/rtl8723bu
make
sudo make install
sudo insmod 8723bu.ko

If you now run the commans

ifconfig

You should be able to find Wifi. Now remove the Wifi Dongle and reboot the Pi Zer and you should be able to see that the Wifi Work.

Bluetooth Support

You need to follow the following steps for bluetooth support.

cd ~/
git clone https://github.com/lwfinger/rtl8723au_bt.git –b kernel
cd rtl8723au_bt.git
make
sudo make install
sudo insmod btrtl.ko
sudo insmod btintel.ko
sudo insmod btbcm.ko
sudo insmod btusb.ko

Acknowledgement

Many thanks to Matthew Dippel for providing support for HubPiWi Blue. The Steps in this blog has been taken directly from his detailed blog here.

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HubPiWi Blue kickstarter shipping update

November 24th, 2016

We have great news today! We received our first batch of 200 HubPiWi Blue on 11/23/2016 and we tested and found it to be as expected. There was minor things during manufacturing as the Bill of Materials incorrectly mentioned the size of one of the components as 0201 size in place of 0603. We will not go into the details of these - the good news is that it is all working and that is all we care now.

Usually we would have been enjoying the Thanksgiving vacation, we kept ourselve busy, packing the HubPiWi Blue for Friday 11/25/2016 shipping. We have packaged all the Early Backer rewards and they will ship tomorrow. The US shipments should start arriving early next week. The European backer will need a wait a bit longer.

Right after the early backer, the next lot will be shipped out on Saturday. This will cover first 200 backers.

We have also ordered the build of the next batch of 1300 HubPiWi blue. These will ship from our manufacturer's site by Dec 5, 2016. We expect to ship every one in US by 2nd week of December. International backer should expect 1 to 2 weeks more.

We will also be writing another blog about the Software update required to make the HubPiWi Blue working. Stay tuned. In the meantime here is the timeline

11/25/16 Tuesday – Ship for Early Bird

11/26/16 – Ship and Package as many rewards to US Backers as possible

11/25/16 Wednesday – Order 1200 HubPiWi Blue

12/5/16 Monday – Receive 12000 HubPiWi Blue

12/8/16 Thursday – Ship all rewards for 1x HubPiWi and 2x HubPiWi backers

12/12/16 Monday – Complete orders for 5x HubPiWi Blue

Everyone should receive their reward(s) before Christmas

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HubPiWi Blue update 11/06/2016 - Bluetooth Working

November 6th, 2016

In the November 2nd Update it was indicated that the bluetooth verification was the only thing holding us from releasing the production of the HubPiWi Blue.

Today I have good news to report to the backers and supporters of HubPiWi Blue. Matthew Dippel reported that the Bluetooth is working with HubPiWi Blue !!!

Many thanks to Matt for taking the time out of his busy schedule to get the thing working !!!

We are releasing the design for manufacturing. We will be building 1000 units but it will happen in two steps. In first step we will build 200 boards - just to make sure our manufacturing process does not has any issue. We should get the first 200 lot as early as in 15 days. The early kickstarter backer should expect these in their hands before the end of this month. As soon as the first board of the 200 lot is verified, we will give go ahead to build the remaining 800 and we should expect these in one month from now.

All US backers should expect the boards by mid of Novembers. The shipping time is a bit longer for backers out of the USA ,but they should still get the boards before the Christmas Holidays kick in.

This will keep up busy through the year. If you are wondering what else will be doing before the end of the year, we would like to point you to another project - that will extend serial port console in in Raspberry Pi Zero. Stay tuned for more information. In the meantime if you have not yet ordered, wish you may like to order it here.

Thank Mattew Dippel again for the support with the kernel - You can access the details here.

We will place a binary of the updated Raspbian with support for HubPiWi Blue. Though we would like to see that this gets native support in the next update of Raspbian.

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HubPiWi Blue update

November 2nd, 2016

With 556 backers pledging $15,354 the HubPiWi Blue is one of the most successful projects funded at kickstarter. The pre order keeps pouring in and we are overwhelmed by the kind of the response received from the backers.

We did not post any update since the start of the project. But we have kept working on it and are on track to start shipping by this month end. The Hardware design is finalized and is ready to be released for the production. It will usually take 15 days for production once the order is placed ( add another three days for shipping).

Stock Software will not work

As of now, the Raspbian stock software will not work primarily because the driver support is not integrated. We will try to keep communicating with the persons handling the software so that its support could be included in the next update. But we can not say when that will happen.

Wifi Verified to Work

The good news is that with little change the Wifi will be supported to work. We have outlined the details in this blog here. One obvious drawback in following these steps is that you need some king of internet connection to be able to do that. But hey, your wifi is still not working !!! - the chicken egg issue. To overcome this we plan to upload a pre modified binary that you can just download and expect it to work once you burn you SD Card.

Bluetooth Still Not verified

We still have not verified the working of Bluetooth. It is something related to software and Matthew Dippel has promised to work on it. He is the person who gave me the steps to make Wifi working. I expect the solution very soon - may be by this weekend. This is what is holding us from releasing for manufacturing. It is not something related to hardware but I just wanted to be sure that the bluetooth does work.

Stay tuned and will will update you as soon as the bluetooth gets verified.

The one thing that I wanted to say is that this Wifi Connection with the module used in HubPiWi Blue is much more stable that the one used in HubPiWi.

Those who wish to pre order can continue to do so with confidence.

Stay tuned for more information.

Lenovo Notebook that you may like to take a look .

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Pre Order HubPiWi Blue

October 3rd, 2016

If you missed pledging on HubPiWi Blue on kickstarter, here is your chance to Pre Order. The HubPiWi Blue is likely to start shipping in November 2016.

We are now shipping it only for newer version of Raspberry Pi 1.3 - that has camera connector. If you have purchased your raspberry Pi Zero 1.3 after May 31, you are more likely having Raspberry Pi 1.3.

Choice 1

US Buyers for Pi Zero 1.3

HubPiWi Blue 1.3 - Hub with WIfi BT
Hub Wifi BT for Pi Zero 1.3 US Buyers
$14.00

Choice 2

Buyers Outside US for Pi Zero 1.3

HubPiWi Blue 1.3 - Hub with WIfi BT
Hub Wifi BT for Pi Zero 1.3 Buyers Outside US
$14.00

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HubPiWi Blue driver working

September 26th, 2016

It has been a while since our flagship HubPiWi blue has been running successfully at kickstarter. For that last one month we did not post any update on it, and the main reason for this has to do with the driver for the rtl8723bu chipset that is not natively built in the current kernel of raspbiab and therefore does not work out of box.

I had been in touch with Matthew Dipple who had originally integrated the rtl8723bu driver on an earlier version of Raspberry Pi Zero. So I requested him to take a look at the HubPiWi Blue and see if he could get it working with the current version of the raspbian.

After initial hiccups with his hardware setups, yesterday ( 9/26/2016), he reported that he was finally able to get the driver working on the HubPiWi Blue !!! Matt took the pain of writing down all the details and I will direct you to his blog with details of the steps involved in his blog - HubPiWi Blue Drivers on Raspbian Jessie

In next few days we will be testing my HubPiWi blue for stability with these new drivers. If everything goes well, the orders for the manufacturing of about 1000 HubPiWI blue will be placed ( by Oct 1st week). The requirement from the Kickstarter itself is for about 700 units. We expect the preorders for the HubPiWi Blue to be of the order 300 after the end at kickstarter and start of shipping. If you miss pledge at kickstarter, you will have the opportunity to order it at Reference Designer website.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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