Raspberry Pi Access Point

Introduction

A Headless Raspberry Pi or Raspberry Pi Access Point is one that does not require a monitor or a keyboard to interact with it. The device needs to be connected to the infrastructure wifi or a cloud account to be of any use. We provide a pre-programmed Debian Jessie image that lets you configure a Raspberry Pi to connect to local wifi or hotspot so that they can be accessed over the internet or via cloud account. Note that Raspberry Pi should have a wifi dongle or on-board wifi chip.

Prerequisite

Buy the Raspberry Pi Access Point Image. Copy it to a mico sd-card, there are many ways to do it, but this is the recommended way to do it. Boot any of your favourite Raspberry Pi model with this image. The image will automatically occupy all of the sd-card space on first boot. When the Raspberry Pi is booted, it will present itself as a Hotspot, and it will present itself as HL-<deviceid> or CCam-<deviceid>. You will be able to connect to these Hotspots using a smart phone or a laptop. Once connected, you will be presented with a setup html page (if not then you can browse to http://192.168.97.1 to get to the setup page).

Following are the steps to configure the Raspberry Pi:

Step 1: Ad-hoc Mode

When you switch on your Headless Raspberry Pi for the first time, you will see it advertise a hotspot by the name that starts with ‘HL-‘  (or ‘CCam-‘) and is followed by an id. (In the example that it is a8da850b).
Connect to this hotspot using your mobile phone or laptop. The HL-<id> or CCam-<id> is an insecure hotspot, and you do not need to provide any password to connect to it. Also, note that the blue
light of the wifi adapter will be blinking. This light will blink only in the hotspot mode.

hotspot mode
Figure 1: Wifi selection as seen on iPhone 6s Plus

 

Step 2: Connect using mobile phone or laptop

Once you are connected to the hotspot, you will see the device screen that is popped open on your mobile (Android or iOS) phone automatically. It should look like Figure 2.

hotspot mode
Figure 2: Popup screen when connected to the hotspot

In case your device does not open the default device screen you need to navigate to http://192.168.97.1 using any of the supported browsers. * Navigate to Wifi Setup from the top menu.
To be able to access your account online you will be setting up the device to connect to your home wifi. This is the home wifi network that you use to connect your laptop and smartphones. You need to have the following information handy to complete the setup.

  1. Wifi credentials: This includes the wifi network name, also called SSID and password. This is the information that you usually give to your mobile phone for it to connect to the home wifi.
  2. Ip Information: Most of the user need not worry about this. They can select the Auto option, ips are assigned in the background (like they are assigned to your mobile phone when you connect to wifi). For
    advanced users who familiar with their wifi setup, they can provide the static IP, gateway, and netmask.

 

Step 3: Provide wifi details

Now provide wifi credentials on the wifi setup screen.

wifi setup screen

Figure 3: Wifi credentials screen

For most of the user, the wifi name also called SSID, and wifi password is enough, and they can press the configure button to configure the wifi connectivity. An advanced user familiar with their network can further provide static IP to their device if they want.

Wifi credentials screen
Figure 5. Ip setup screen.

Step 4: Connect to a headless device

Setup and validation will take only a minute once the device is configured. If all is well then all the indication LEDs should be turned off. Now if you have selected DHCP you will have to login into your router’s admin console to find out the IP that was assigned to the device, the device id should appear as the device name in the router’s listing.
Consult your router’s manual to get help on it. If you provided a static IP, then you already know it. Use this IP that is assigned to your device to check if the device is configured and available. You can use this IP to ssh into your device and have fun!

 

Infrastructure Mode
Figure 6. The device with wifi configured.

*Supported browsers are any latest versions of IE, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. On any of the computers, tablets or mobile devices.

Planning to get a headless image for your raspberry pi, contact here

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