Keeping Raspberry Pi Alive

Raspberry Pi
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As I mentioned previously, having a ton of fun with home automation and Raspberry Pi. So far I have Nest cameras, August locks, Kiwi, Amazon Echo, Smartthings, Zwave switches and outlets rocking back and forth.

Amazon Echo has a fantastic and very wife/kid friendly interface to all the home automation, Wikipedia, music requests and more. But it has nothing allowing it to receive notifications and alert them to you. This is where Raspberry Pi comes in – it can both listen to you and talk to you notifying you of all the awesome things happening in your house and beyond. 


I have added a touchscreen to my Raspberry Pi devices just to make all the changes and on-demand management faster. Adafruit sells one for $100 that is seemingly always out of stock, so I ended up ordering a “Made in China” one for $26. I’m sorry Donald Trump. You can get it here.

At this point things get kind of ridiculous because now you need a second power injector and an HDMI cable and/or Raspberry case. But for the sake of the argument let’s just assume this will be one of those “in the wall” things eventually. Or at least that’s the lie I tell my wife.

The problem with it is that rpi doesn’t detect the correct resolution and here is how that’s fixed by editing /boot/config.txt and adding the following:

# Force 800×480 res and output via HDMI
hdmi_cvt=800 480 60 6 0 0 0

Raspberry Wireless constantly going offline

I use wireless on all of my rpi’s and they constantly power down. Even when the power management stuff is disabled (and iwconfig shows that the power management functionality is Off). On Debian Jessie you have to create the following file and put the following text in it:

sudo nano /etc/modprobe.d/8192cu.conf

options 8192cu rtw_power_mgnt=0 rtw_enusbss=0

That’s it. Haven’t lost connectivity to it once. AirPlay never misses a beat.


I’m currently working/fighting with Google text to speech (and otherwise) services to replace espeak which is frankly terrible. Voice alerts, music, wikipedia, birthdays, schedules and so on.

I’ve also ordered an IR receiver/blaster so I can make RPI control the TV, DVR, Xbox and a million other devices and remotes we are constantly losing or that our dog mistakes for a chew toy.