On this page

Setting up the RemotePi Board

jeroen2 30 January 2021 pCP 7.0.0 Projects

The RemotePi boards offers a shutdown button and infrared for connecting a remote (when running pCP as an LMS server, doing a proper shutdown is recommended). The shutdown button is also operated by the remote so you can turn the RPi on either with the button or using the remote.

To install on pCP requires some custom scripts to be installed. Please note that to install on top of a DAC you might need to change the pin for the remote. (This can be done on the board or in the wiring when you connect the board - I did the latter using jumper wires).

RemotePi Board

  Info
  • As a starting point for this guide I assume you have pCP running and know how to access it through ssh—see Access piCoreplayer via ssh.
  • I also recommend installing Nano as an editor. (You can remove it again once everything works).
Step 1a - Installing Nano
  • Go to piCorePlayer [Main Page] and click on [Extensions].
  • If all checks are green, click on the [Available] tab.
  • From available extensions, select “nano.tcz” and click [Load].
Step 1b - Add the following code to disable line wrap and autoindent, which is easier when copy/pasting code
  • Log in with ssh and type nano .nanorc

unset autoindent
set nowrap

  • Exit nano (ctrl-x) and save the file.
Step 2 - Programme your Remote on the board for power on and off
  • Press the on/off button on the RemotePi board for 10 seconds until you see the green light flashing.
  • Press the power key on the remote once to learn power on, and a second time to learn power off.
  Info
This step is also described as step 3 in the guide here.
Step 3 - Create the shutdown monitoring and shutdown script
  • Log in with ssh and type sudo nano /opt/shutdown.sh (the code can be inserted under ‘user shutdown commands’, but should also work fine just replacing what’s there)

    
    #!/bin/sh
    
    #send shutdown sequence to PiRemote powerboard
    echo "15" > /sys/class/gpio/export
    echo "out" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio15/direction
    echo "1" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio15/value
    sleep 0.125
    echo "0" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio15/value
    sleep 0.2
    echo "1" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio15/value
    sleep 0.4
    echo "0" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio15/value
    echo "14" > /sys/class/gpio/export
    echo "out" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio14/direction
    echo "1" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio14/value
    sleep 6
    
    

  • Exit nano (ctrl-x) and save the file.

  • Make the file executable: sudo chmod +x /opt/shutdown.sh

Step 4 - Create the monitoring script
  • Log in with ssh and type nano startup.sh (this creates a file in the default location (/home/tc)

#!/bin/sh

#(optional) start irexec - only if you use the ir remote and want to use a custom lircrc file
#/usr/local/bin/irexec /home/tc/.lircrc &

# this is the GPIO pin receiving the shut-down signal
echo "14" > /sys/class/gpio/export
echo "in" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio14/direction

# going into a loop until shutdown
while true; do
  sleep 1
  power=$(cat /sys/class/gpio/gpio14/value)
  if [ $power != 0 ]; then
    sleep 2
    echo "out" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio14/direction
    echo "1" > /sys/class/gpio/gpio14/value
    sleep 3
    exitcheck.sh shutdown
  fi
done

  • Exit nano (ctrl-x) and save the file.
  • Make the file executable: sudo chmod +x startup.sh

At this point you’re done installing scripts. Since you’re not doing this in the pCP web interface you need to backup your changes manually.

  • Log in with ssh and type pcp bu
Step 5 - Install lirc and upload a .lircd file
  • Go to the pCP web interface and click on the [Tweaks] tab.
  • Go to the [IR page] and click on [Install].
  • Under device settings, choose IR GPIO: 18, and IR Device: lirc0 then click [Save].
  Warning
If you changed it in the wiring, this is GPIO 17.

You probably also need to upload a lircd.conf file. It depends on your remote what you need to upload here. If you bought a remote together with your RemotePi board, the contents of the contents of lircd.conf file can be found here. (look for contents of lircd.conf under Volumio or OpenElec until 7.0.3)

  Danger
Please note that in every configuration file you should remove the line that defines the power key, since this is processed at the RemotePi board, so pCP doesn’t have to do anything with this.
  Info
You can review the various buttons on the remote and figure out what you want to use. In principle pCP has enabled a default remote key mapping for most functions on Squeezelite (pause/play/volume,etc..) so that should work out of the box, but if you want to use additional keys you also need to upload a .lircrc file. (I did this to use the number keys for presets.) If you want to have pCP control the volume directly on Squeezelite, the up and down keys should be renamed to KEY_VOLUMEUP and KEY_VOLUMEDOWN.
Step 6 - Run the startup script that monitors the RemotePi button
  • Go to the pCP web interface and click on the [Tweaks] tab.
  • Scroll down and under “User Commands” enter: /home/tc/startup.sh

This will make the startup script, which monitors the power button, run by default when you start pCP. You can later check the log files under [Diagnostics] to see if it does.

Step 7 - Shutdown and restart

You’re now all set.

  • Go to the [Main Page] and choose [Backup] and [Shutdown] to turn off your RPi.
  • Unplug the power and plug it back in.

When you plug back in the RemotePi switch lights up red. You can now use the remote to turn on the RPi. During startup the green LED will flash for 75 seconds. During this time your RPi is starting up (with pCP it usually takes about 30 seconds) but the green light will continue flashing regardless.

  Info
You can change the time it flashes green following the instructions on the RemotePi website.

When you shutdown the RPi using the remote or the button on the RemotePi, the red light will flash until the RPi has fully shutdown and then switch off the power.

If it doesn’t shutdown properly the RemotePi will continue flashing red for 4 minutes before doing a hard shutdown. If all works well though the red LED will flash for about 30 seconds until your RPi is shutdown. The RemotePi board then cuts the power and the red light inside the power button turns back on.

Step 8 - [Bonus] - Reduce the power on time and the LED brightness
  • You can use the instructions on the RemotePi website to reduce the green blinking time at startup (I set mine to 25 seconds, which is more then enough) and reduce the brightness of the power button and the LED.

More information #

The Software is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including without limitation any implied warranties of condition, uninterrupted use, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement.
Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.