There were two main challenges here: First, it would have to combine the smallest practical combination of solar panel, power supply, and Li-ion cell that could run the Raspberry Pi. Second, we’ll need to remotely activate and access the Pi regardless of where it is, as well as be able to connect it to WiFi without direct physical access. In this article we’ll be dealing with the first set of problems — stay tuned for the rest.
It’s small, it’s solar powered, but other than lounging about in the sun, it doesn’t really do anything yet. Most computing hardware requires software and obviously this is no exception — so how do we make this into a lean, green, Linux machine?
In the next article, we’ll cover how to control this system via MQTT, set up remote configuration (for example if I need to change my WiFi password), and set up a reverse-SSH tunnel so we can connect to the Raspberry Pi without having to reconfigure our network to accommodate it.
The irony that my servers now get more sun than I do is not lost on me. I live near the equator though, and sunbathing for extended periods is an activity reserved for tourists – one that they normally learn to avoid pretty quickly!
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.