BigFanch
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:03 pm
Location: Britanny

Pi-Top

Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:16 pm

Hi,

Pi-top is a complete laptop kit enclosing a raspberry pi 2 (www.pi-top.com).

I'm still waiting for mine (after contributing to the funding campaign more than one year ago), but apparently some contributors have already received theirs.

The pi-top team has already launched (and funded !) its second campaign for the pi-top ceed, a low-budget computer combining a screen and a large case for a raspberry pi 2.

Maybe someone would like to share its first experience with the pi-top (outside of pi-top forum...) ? Any tip, recommendation, etc. will be welcome !

Thanks !
When one tries continuously, one ends up succeeding. Thus, the more one fails, the greater the chance that it will work. -- Shadok motto

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JRV
Posts: 270
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:39 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Pi-Top

Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:08 pm

This is the thread that I started complaining about Pi-top.

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=111847&p=766865#p766865

In October I received an E-mail including a link to pay the shipping. They also said they needed my telephone number and a login to join their thing.

I finally received mine in early November. Their website is terrible and they don't answer E-mails in a timely fashion. You have to use the same login you use to get into their thing to log into the Pi-top. I was surprised to find two of the USB ports are used and no access to the GPIO. I am working on a GPIO breakout board for it. I E-mailed them to find out which GPIO pins are available last week and have not received an answer yet.

BigFanch
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:03 pm
Location: Britanny

Re: Pi-Top

Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:56 am

Hi,

A breakout board would be a great idea. This is one of the issues I anticipate : all of the 40 GPIO pins are monopolized by pi-top hub... Not really practical for a kit that pretends to be modular !

One other major issue is the software : you get only one copy of pi-top OS on a micro SD-Card, and if you damage it, you're screwed ! There is no software image you can download from their site...

The documentation of pi-top OS is non-existent ; all you get is the first steps to boot to "dashboard", and that's it !

I am still waiting for mine, almost one month after the shipment announcement, but I'm less in a hurry now... I guess they are too busy with their new campaign to be concerned with their first clients (sorry, contributors !)

What is ironic is that on the newly created pi-top forum, all the posts are complaints... Not a thank...

We'll see...
When one tries continuously, one ends up succeeding. Thus, the more one fails, the greater the chance that it will work. -- Shadok motto

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Stone Man
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:16 pm

Re: Pi-Top

Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:45 pm

Seems a bit outrageously priced, eh?

BigFanch
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 5:03 pm
Location: Britanny

Re: Pi-Top

Sun Nov 15, 2015 5:53 am

When you contribute to a crowd-funded project, you don't really question the price ; you pay 1) to sustain innovative creators and 2) to obtain an innovative product before anyone else... But anyway, it's still a bet.

The problem here, is that the product doesn't meet (at all) expectations : what you get is a crappy laptop, which only interest is it is built around a Raspberry Pi . To transform it into a usable project requires lots of tinkering and divining talent, given the missing documentation...

It seems that the economical model for pi-top is to chain crowd-funded projects, without really selling any product. Their second project is "pi-top ceed", which is simply a big empty case tied to the bottom of a screen. It is cheap and pretty, but seriously, who needs that ? I don't understand why Eben Upton lets them quote him...

Anyway this is purely rhetorical for me for now, as I am still waiting for my pi-top. But I'm so annoyed now I'm not sure I will touch it when (if) I receive it...
When one tries continuously, one ends up succeeding. Thus, the more one fails, the greater the chance that it will work. -- Shadok motto

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JRV
Posts: 270
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:39 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Pi-Top

Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:40 pm

You log in to the Pi-top with the same user name and password you use to log into their site.
It logs you in as user pi. If you log out instead of shutting down you end up at a different login screen which gives you a choice of LXDE, openbox, or pi-top dumbed down Raspbian. At this prompt the only login that will work is username pi and password pi-top. This is also the login you need to use to SSH into it. I have not yet found a way to close X and have it as a text based Linux system.

I want to try a standard Raspian image and see how/if it runs.
I am going to DD an image of the card before I experiment with it any more. They don't even provide a image of the card on their website.

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neuralassembly
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:23 am

Re: Pi-Top

Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:53 pm

I investigated the pin assignment of Pi-Top hub, and found that SPI pins seem to be already used.
However, the other pins can be used for, e.g., LED blinking.
Attachments
LEDblinking.jpg
LEDblinking.jpg (50.6 KiB) Viewed 11535 times
PiTopPinAssignmentExp.jpg
PiTopPinAssignmentExp.jpg (51.25 KiB) Viewed 11535 times
PiTopPinAssignment.jpg
PiTopPinAssignment.jpg (58.25 KiB) Viewed 11535 times

ianken51
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:33 am

Re: Pi-Top

Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:33 am

I'm sort of perplexed that anyone who bought a Pi-Top via crowd funding didn't understand that they were funding/buying a prototype system based on the Raspberry Pi 2 (RPi2B). Therefore, Pi-Top couldn't be more than the sum of its parts.

As a portable laptop version of a RPi2B from a bunch of Uni graduates with a start-up initiative I think the Pi-Top is a great 1st effort. Sure the keyboard is pretty ordinary (it seems to be quite a frequent complaint) but I've found that I can adapt to it. I bought a Logitech WiFi keyboard for faster typing and it works fine - although it severely compromised portability.

My battery has worked perfectly so far (this seems to be another issue) and gives from 8-10 hours with moderate use. This is pretty exceptional for a laptop. My Samsung laptop never gave more than 2-3 hours. For me my Pi-Top lasts several days playing around.

My Pi-Top has been quite expensive at around $400 AUD (Australian Dollars) delivered minus RPi2. The AUD vs USD exchange rate is worse now so today the Pi-Top would be much more expensive. However, if I'd wanted a mainstream laptop I'd have bought an entry-level Windows laptop for around the same price. My purchase was based on curiosity and a desire to broaden my computing hobby.

I think the purchase of a Pi-Top should only be contemplated after due investigation and a realistic assessment of the limitations of the RPi2B. Given that my expectations were very realistic I have been quite satisfied with my Pi-Top - since named Kermit - he's quite a bright green.

lcww1
Posts: 31
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:40 pm

Re: Pi-Top

Sat Jan 23, 2016 3:32 pm

Just to say thanks to neuralassembly for posting the pi-top ( pitop ) Hub pinout - I eventually found this on the forum by using a google site: search - no trace of pi-top on the pi forum when just using the forum's built-in search tool for some reason - searching on "pitop" works, but misses posts containing "pi-top".

I backed the pi-top project and received my laptop in November. I think the product is fantastic - it's a really neat solution and makes the Pi truly portable. The pi-top keyboard isn't the best, but it's perfectly serviceable, and doesn't detract from the intended and likely uses of a pi-top in my opinion.

Unfortunately, after 2 months of use, my pi-top has stopped charging, meaning that it can only be used when powered directly from the mains. This seems to be a common problem with the pi-top, and has been reported by multiple users on the pi-top support forum - http://support.pi-top.com/support/discu ... 6000021786 - so far there is no official response to this problem from the pi-top team that I have seen, and no reply to the support requests that I have sent. I daresay that this is just teething trouble with v1.0 pi-top units, but I'd caution against spending money on pi-top kit until there's some evidence of this charging issue being resolved.

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JRV
Posts: 270
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Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Pi-Top

Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:02 pm

I disconnected the the cable from the GPIO on mine and installed Ubuntu Mate. The screen brightness and volume control keys don't work and the shutdown becomes a two step process. To shut it down you need to run the "shutdown -h now" command, wait until it shuts down, then hold down the start buttons until the red LED goes out. In my opinion a small price to pay to regain access to the GPIO.

plugwash
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Re: Pi-Top

Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:26 pm

Just got my hands on one of these, my comments.

It took a while to work out how to get "|" and "\" out of the keyboard (the answer is to use the alt-gr key)

I can't seem to find any documentation on how to install support for their power control board if I don't want to take their whole software package.

creampie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:43 am

Re: Pi-Top

Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:38 pm

BigFanch wrote:Hi,

A breakout board would be a great idea. This is one of the issues I anticipate : all of the 40 GPIO pins are monopolized by pi-top hub... Not really practical for a kit that pretends to be modular !

One other major issue is the software : you get only one copy of pi-top OS on a micro SD-Card, and if you damage it, you're screwed ! There is no software image you can download from their site...
Actually, you can just remove the connector from the GPIO ports; you lose battery information, and won't be able to adjust screen brightness; however, the trade-off is you'll be able to attach goodies to your GPIO ports. It's a fair trade-off for me, especially with the long life of the battery.

There is a download link somewhere (contact pi-top support) for the downloadable version of the Pi-Top OS.

Optionally, just install ANY Raspberry Pi based distro and boot. It will work fine, but again you won't get battery or screen brightness adjustments.

creampie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:43 am

Re: Pi-Top

Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:00 pm

JRV wrote:I disconnected the the cable from the GPIO on mine and installed Ubuntu Mate. The screen brightness and volume control keys don't work and the shutdown becomes a two step process. To shut it down you need to run the "shutdown -h now" command, wait until it shuts down, then hold down the start buttons until the red LED goes out. In my opinion a small price to pay to regain access to the GPIO.
Oops... What JRV said. Apologies for not reading that far re: my last post! Agreed on all points, it's a minimal trade-off for access to all the GPIO ports.

I run standard Raspbian on one of my SD cards, have to admit I've got 100%+ out of my pi-top since I received it just before Christmas. Can't wait for the CEED to turn up...

creampie
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:43 am

Re: Pi-Top

Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:02 pm

lcww1 wrote:
<snip>

Unfortunately, after 2 months of use, my pi-top has stopped charging, meaning that it can only be used when powered directly from the mains. This seems to be a common problem with the pi-top, and has been reported by multiple users on the pi-top support forum - http://support.pi-top.com/support/discu ... 6000021786 - so far there is no official response to this problem from the pi-top team that I have seen, and no reply to the support requests that I have sent. I daresay that this is just teething trouble with v1.0 pi-top units, but I'd caution against spending money on pi-top kit until there's some evidence of this charging issue being resolved.
Had this issue too - I took mine apart, re-assembled it in case there were connector issues, and it worked again. It might work for you too. Hope you resolved it, either way.

luemmel76
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:14 am

Pi-Top: battery problem solved

Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:24 pm

Hi,

i have solved the battery problem :-)

I have resoldered booth, the hub connetor and the battery compartment connector.
After this, the battery is charging and the pi-top is powered from the battery.
This is the bad side of the RoHS conformity (Pb free soldering).

DANGER! don't do this if you not an electronics! You have to unmount the battery compartment pcb, be carefully to not short the battery connectors.

Greets
Thilo

ianken51
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:33 am

Re: Pi-Top

Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:54 am

Regards Battery Issues:

Check out Rene Richarz comments on Pi-Top Forums under battery charging. Got to page 15 (bottom of page 1) and read through his posts. I'm not technically adept but it seems Rene has pretty much nutted the situation out. He has also posted solutions on his github blog.

So far I've been very lucky and had no battery issues. It does seem from Rene's writings that allowing the battery to discharge too low causes problems. He has some software solutions which may help.

ianken51
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:33 am

Re: Pi-Top

Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:22 am

New Pi-Top additions and CEED.

With the introduction of the Pi-Top CEED we now have a $99 US solution for the Raspberry Pi. The CEED provides a slightly bigger screen than the Pi-Top laptop and a similar Raspberry Pi mounting system and power supply, but no battery or portability. However, it is a significant cost saving and seems to be a nice solution. It certainly solves the Keyboard and battery issues that seem to frequent many Pi-Top adopters.

It seems however, that the Hub, Raspberry Pi, PT-Speakers and PT-Proto Board are held on magnetically; not screwed on as per the Pi-Top. Swings and roundabouts I guess.

Anyway I bought two PT-Speakers and a PT-Proto board for my Kermit (lurid green Pi-Top) only to find that I can't fit all 3 in the enclosure space simultaneously. So I can have stereo speakers and no board or 1 speaker and the board. The biggest problem is that the USB-Keyboard cable binds against the base housing. Frustratingly, if you juggle the cable among the other USB sockets there is almost enough room, but then the micro SC card gets in the way.

Short of cutting the right hand side of the case I can't see any simple solution. Also, because the modules in the Pi-Top are screwed in you need to loosen the screws and risk loosing them in the carpet (well that's my excuse).

For me this is not a real issue as I have a 2nd Raspberry Pi 3 and Arduino Uno for messing about with projects. If I'd known this before I'd have not bought the 2nd speaker.

rfv-370
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:58 pm

Re: Pi-Top

Sun Dec 11, 2016 5:01 pm

Hi,
for battery issues you can have a look at :
https://github.com/rricharz/pi-top-batt ... roblems.md

rricharz provide a good troubleshooting guide.

I am in the situation where the pi-top stop chaging at all and must be on power at all time and none of rricharz guidance help unfortunately. Battery is just unusable. This is sad.
Probably a connector problems as mentionned above.
I would wish Pi-top would provide battery pack exchange....We will see.
I like the Pi-top though....
cheers

Sten Dec
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:13 pm

Re: Pi-Top

Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:44 pm

Hi, anyone running into communication problems with a piface digital 2 on proto board?

In fact, the piface digital 2 (pd2) works nicely on the RPI 3 but shows no sign of life when mounted on the proto and connected to the pi-topCEED hub mk1.

The guys at pi-top said that "the communication between the pi and the hub are interfering with the operation of your hat, this is being looked into for the next release of pi-top os."

Would love to get my project going. Anyone a workaround or idea how to fix it?

BTW: Thanks to Rene Richarz comprehensive cookbook, I got the speaker working. See here for more info: https://github.com/rricharz/pi-top-inst ... peaker.txt

arclite
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:14 am

Re: Pi-Top

Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:28 pm

Firstly, the battery issues have been ironed out with much work and contributions from forum members. By going to the forum "Battery charging" topic, page 18 you will quickly find the pointers, updated guide to resolving the battery charging procedure and a full explanation in regard to the original cause(s) - if you like to point fingers - not that it does any good after the issue has been fixed! Full honours to the technical solutions and programming solutions, but the latest OS update to POLARIS has improved the Pi-Top to battery communications and the original supply issue and installation of battery packs with incorrect configuration data has all but been removed. Everything looks rosy 'green'!

Yes you can fit both stereo speakers, Pi-Top PROTO board together if you move the keyboard USB (right-angled connector) to the lower left USB port looking at the RPi-3 from above with the GPIO pins to your left and moving everything else to the far left of the Pi-TOP case and by loosening the RPi to Pi-Top board fixings to arrange until you are satisfied. Fortunately the RPi3 does not need any other USB connections because both WiFi and Bluetooth are already on board. The stereo split and image is just acceptable. You could say it is a tight squeeze but interest is growing for an open source case development according to recent discussion on the forum! I bought these speakers to watch YouTube guides and tutorials around the house now that the battery pack is giving around 10 hours to do so. Cooking, car repairs, setting up my sewing machine, installing the Arduino IDE, how to take 3D photos. It is a great heavyweight, lightweight machine, a real winner in my book, oh yes, that's another project!

Think, but not too long The Pi-Top is a great open-source, social development, mentally encouraging and useful project. That is my experience of it so far.

arclite
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:14 am

Re: Pi-Top

Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:32 pm

By Forum I mean the Pi-Top forum, where you sign in with the same ID you register your Pi-Top with.

Sorry about that!

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