Edimax EW-7811Un Wifi Adapter on FreeBSD Server

Servers are awesome. They’re like huge hunks of metal and machinery that can perform duties like the big supercomputers they are.

I acquired a massive, old, and clunky Dell server from one of the UTW dudes, of which I have now named Big Bertha. She’s a feisty one, I tell ya.

Because I want to have her running 24/7 in my garage or closet, I had to get a WiFi adapter working so she could run without ethernet.

Through a post on the FreeBSD forums, I determined the driver that worked alongside the Edimax 7811Un adapter was urtwn0. I believe you can also run these in the terminal if you’re still not sure, and it’ll return a driver:
For FreeBSD 10 and under:
ifconfig | grep -B3 -i wireless

For FreeBSD 11 and higher:
sysctl net.wlan.devices

Once determined, it was a matter of putting some lines in config files.

In /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf, put in:


Where myssid is the name of your network, and mypsk is the password.

In /etc/rc.conf, put:

ifconfig_wlan0="WPA SYNCDHCP"

Where urtwn0 is the replaced by the driver that works with your server.

Finally, put the code below in /boot/loader.conf:


And because I knew the edimax adapter used a Realtek chip, I added this to the same loader file:


After that, reboot your server OR run service netif restart.
If everything works correctly, you should be able to ping google.com or ping and get responses back.


p.s. I apologize for the lack of code blocks, I'm looking into plugins to get that working.


4x4x4 Rainbow LED Cube – Final product!

After connecting all the pins from the board into my Uno, all I had to do was plug in the power.

I preloaded a program onto the Uno off of the tutorial: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-make-a-pulsating-arduino-led-cube-that-looks-like-it-came-from-the-future/

And this was the result!

I can adjust the speed if I so wish.
I’m hoping to see if I can hook this up to music and get it to dance to the sine waves like the laminar fountain, but we’ll see.


Arkenpi – 3D Printed Case

Aaaand here she is!


Left to right, top to bottom: Keyboard bevel, Touchscreen bevel, case base, case top


Front closed ^


Back closed ^
Final product:


Credit to Gector for making the original design on fusion 360, and Jarin Alvarez for finishing the final design and printing it for me!

You can find the STL files on my github.

At the moment, the case is in my garage drying, I spray painted it! img_5188.jpg

The last thing I have to do once it’s dry is assemble it all together. Almost to the finish line!

ArkenpiTFT …The Redo

I was fiddling around with calibrating the PiTFT plus last night, and unfortunately, the Pi started booting to the HDMI instead of the TFT again. Needless to say, I was very grumpy.

Since I knew that the latest forms of Raspbian already supported the PiTFT and you don’t have to install the adafruit kernel: I said, “Screw this, I’m starting all over again.”

I wiped my SD card.

fdisk -l
fdisk /dev/sdx
d #delete partition
n #new partition
t #type
b #W95 FAT32
w #write
mkfs.vfat /dev/sdx1

I rewrote the latest Raspbian Stretch with the Desktop (2017-09-07).

dd bs=512k if=/home/thallia/2017-09-07-raspbian-jessie.img of=/dev/sdx

Once successfully booted into Raspbian Stretch on the HDMI output, I only cloned the Adafruit PiTFT Helper.

sudo apt-get update
git clone https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit-PiTFT-Helper.git

Next I made the adafruit helper executable.

cd Adafruit-PiTFT-Helper
chmod +x adafruit-pitft-helper2.sh
I ran the install.

sudo ./adafruit-pitft-helper2.sh

In the middle of the install, it opened the options to configure the Pi for the TFT. It listed the types of screens in numbers from 1-5, in which I chose #4 (35r).
I chose “y”, and then magic! It rebooted onto the PiTFT.

It booted to the console, but changing the raspi-config settings to Desktop only booted the desktop to the HDMI.

I fixed this by following the answer on this forum.

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-fbdev

Next I made a file with the directory /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/99-fbdev.conf, ( sudo nano /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/99-fdbev.conf and pasted this stuff in there:
Section "Device"
Identifier "myfb"
Driver "fbdev"
Option "fbdev" "/dev/fb1"

After a reboot, my Pi was working a lot faster and it successfully booted the Desktop GUI onto the TFT.

I also changed my pi’s desktop photo to Marvel, because it looks freaking awesome.

ArkenPi – install & config

Today has been a historic day. I’ve never attempted SSH before, but I tried to SSH into my printer instead of my raspberry pi.

Then I wget-ed the HTML of a webpage instead of the actual file.

It’s been quite the day.

I bought a new microSD card since my other one was being ridiculously finnicky, and things are working much much better! I decided to try writing to the SD card a different way, where I unzipped the .zip file onto the SD instead of onto my desktop, then writing the image to the card.

Surprisingly, the OS that worked for me was the latest NOOBS distribution. When I attempted to write straight Raspbian Stretch, I got errors about some of the files in the .zip being damaged, so I installed Raspbian from NOOBS, which installed everything perfectly. The version I have is still stretch, but a seemingly healthier version.

Next, I installed Adafruit’s Occidentalis, which is a collection of packages useful for the raspberry pi. I did that by running:

sudo -s
echo "deb http://apt.adafruit.com/raspbian wheezy main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list

Then I ran curl -SLs https://apt.adafruit.com/install | sudo bash, which installed a bunch of packages. There was the occasional error, but it installed what was needed.

The raspberrypi-bootloader and raspberrypi-kernel were already installed, so all I had to do next was sudo apt-get install adafruit-pitft-helper. I don’t understand why, but authentication and unverified repositories came up. I installed the packages anyway.

There is an error after you type ‘y’, which is error: /etc/kbd/config: no such file or directory. All you do to fix it is cd into /etc and mkdir kbd, then sudo nano /etc/kbd/config and save the file with Ctrl+O. Then head back to your home directory and it should work. 🙂

And yet, with all that done, the PiTFT still didn’t work. I was at a loss.

Then I found this forum: https://forums.adafruit.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=91209&p=465452#p465452

And my life was saved. If you download the .txt file, there’s a good set of instructions that take you step by step through how to set up the PiTFT.
I’ll update when I figure out whether or not it works, but if you attempt that way of doing things, just know that the old repos:

wget https://github.com/notro/fbtft_tools/raw/master/rpi_power_switch/rpi_power_switch.c
wget https://github.com/notro/fbtft_tools/raw/master/rpi_power_switch/Makefile

are gone, and you have to have to git clone the whole adafruit repository here:

Once I get this all done, I’ll put up a tutorial and show you what things should look like!

Until then…