This article describes how to connect a laptop directly to a Ready Set STEM CREATOR Kit using an Ethernet cable.
See also the overview page: How to connect to the Ready Set STEM CREATOR Kit using a laptop.
The Ready Set STEM Development Environment (RDE) runs in the Chrome browser. If the Ready Set STEM CREATOR Kit is physically connected to a laptop via an Ethernet cable, then the laptop can connect to the Ready Set STEM CREATOR Kit and use the RDE.
A direct connection requires:
- A laptop with the Chrome browser installed and a wired Ethernet jack
- An Ethernet cable
- A Ready Set STEM CREATOR Kit
The direct connection diagram:
In this case, the laptop is physically connected to the CREATOR Kit. Optionally, the laptop can use an existing wireless connection, if available, to connect to the Internet.
To use a direct connection, you must configure the IP address of the Ready Set STEM CREATOR Kit and the laptop, as discussed in the following sections.
Configure your CREATOR Kit IP address
The IP address on the CREATOR Kit can be set by modifying a file (cmdline.txt) on the CREATOR Kit’s microSD card. The modification can generally be done from any laptop/desktop (Windows/Mac/Linux).
The first step is to download a new cmdline.txt file:
- From a browser on your laptop/desktop machine, go to: http://www.readysetstem.com/pub/cmdline.txt
- From the browser, save the file locally to your laptop (for example, in Chrome, select File -> Save Page As…) with the name “cmdline.txt”.
Then, copy the file to the microSD card:
- First, power off the CREATOR Kit (if it is powered on)
- Eject the microSD card from the CREATOR Kit
- With a microSD card reader (not included with the Ready Set STEM CREATOR Kit), plug the microSD card into the card reader, and the card reader into your laptop. Some laptops come with a SD or microSD card reader built-in.
- Your laptop should recognize a partition on the microSD card named “boot”. Copy the file “cmdline.txt” (downloaded earlier) into the “boot” folder. You may be asked for confirmation to overwrite the existing file – you should overwrite it.
- Safely eject the microSD card from the laptop/desktop.
Finally, you’ll need to boot the device with the new IP address:
- Reinsert the microSD card into the CREATOR Kit.
- Connect an Ethernet cable (CAT-5 or better) from the Raspberry Pi’s Ethernet jack to the Ethernet jack on your laptop.
- Power on the CREATOR Kit
The CREATOR Kit will now be configured with an IP address of 169.254.0.1.
Configure your laptop IP address
In Windows, the IP Address will be automatically configured. No additional steps are necessary.
Configuring the IP address on OS X (Mac) works, but we do not currently have any instructions to do this.
On Chromebooks, the IP address must be manually configured:
- In the system tray (bottom right corner) click on the WiFi icon (), and then select Settings.
- In Settings, under “Internet connection”, there should be an entry for Ethernet. This entry is only available if the Ethernet cable is plugged in to both the Ready Set STEM CREATOR Kit and the laptop. Click on the Ethernet entry.
- An Ethernet dialog should appear. Uncheck “Configure automatically” and set the IP address (169.254.0.2) and Subnet mask (255.255.255.0) as shown below:
- Click Close (do not click Configure).
- Your IP address is now set.
Open the RDE
You will now be able to connect the the RDE on the Ready Set STEM CREATOR Kit:
- Open the Chrome browser on your laptop (currently only Chrome is supported – you can download Chrome for free from Google’s website).
- In the address bar, enter: 169.254.0.1, and hit enter.
- The RDE should be displayed. Follow the instructions in the RDE to continue.
Internet Connection Sharing
For Windows and OS X, Internet Connection Sharing allows the CREATOR Kit to connect to the Internet. This allows software updates to work, and additional can allow programs to use services and APIs available on the web.
Further instructions are TBD.
If you cannot open the RDE:
- Verify that you have a “link”:
- The Ethernet jack on the Raspberry Pi should have a green and yellow light turned on. The lights may flash.
- The Ethernet jack on your laptop generally has one or more lights as well (but not always).
- If no lights are on, you may have a bad ethernet cable, or the Raspberry Pi may not be booted up (not powered on, SD card not inserted, etc).
- Verify that you can ping:
- Open up a command prompt.
- In Windows, you can do this from the Start Menu.
- On the Chromebook, you can open the “crosh” command prompt by entering CTRL-ALT-T.
- From the command prompt, run:
- The command should immediately return lines, approximately once a second, that look similar to:
PING 169.254.0.1 (169.254.0.1): 56 data bytes 64 bytes from 169.254.0.1: icmp_seq=0 ttl=64 time=3.777 ms 64 bytes from 169.254.0.1: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=3.786 ms
- Open up a command prompt.
Page Last Updated: 10/28/2015