Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
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Re: RPI for professional use

Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:05 am

Yes you can do this, but I'd suggest two modifications to the software to help out (along the lines of what others have suggested)

1) Use a buildroot build system rather than Raspbian (NOOBS uses one of these, you can easily download it and build it yourself). That can be 100 percent reliable with reference to the SD card because it doesn't need to write to the SD card to work. Otherwise split the Raspbian filesystem into a read only and read/write section to avoid corruption.

2) Implement a watchdog. Currently the watchdog isn't implemented because I'm not very happy with the various implementations of it! But it is used in the kernel to do software reset so we know it works fine, it just needs a bit of a longer timeout!

Gordon Hollingworth PhD
Raspberry Pi - Director of Software Engineering

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Re: RPI for professional use

Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:55 am

If it's just a simple vending machine, I'd say Arduino is more suitable. However, if you want to get fancy, say like pool table that accepts bitcoins, then Raspberry Pi would be great.

I don't think you need to worry about SD card failures, unless it's in vibration heavy environment. Then you need to take steps to isolate the mount from vibration. The write failures occurs in thousand of write cycles, and you're not going to be downloading HD images on it. It'll be mostly texts in your logs. Simply stick in a 16 GB SD card on it, and you should be fine during service intervals.

If it's networked connected, you can set up some kind of "dead man's switch" to alert you from non-functioning unit. Otherwise, just hook up some indicators on the device itself (LED is fine) for easy check during routine collection.

You do need to worry about power interruption. Perhaps some kind of UPS system that can power down the Raspberry Pi safely. A read only system will not have that concern and is more robust in that regard.
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Re: RPI for professional use

Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:01 pm

UTSAChris wrote:This is a great discussion! As a freshly minted Automation Engineer, I've noticed that the RPi is generally even less expensive than speccing out and building a purpose-build microcontroller solution, if the controller needs to do anything complicated like communicate using TCP/IP, or run a display.

One question I have is in regards to reliability compared with something like a Freescale processor, like those used in PLC applications. Naturally I wouldn't trust a single RPi, but I'd like to see how two of them networked for redundancy would fare.
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Rp_i Compute board

Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:39 pm

The Compute board or the zero (if you could get hold it) seem to be a good idea at replacing our existing MCU as we have now incorporated an ARM in the ASIC.

I am designing a system such that each plug in board has a Rp_i compute module on it through the SODIMM connector. However, I and not sure why an Ethernet port (just TX/RX) is not provided. I plan to use the Ethernet as a point to point down a backplane with an unmanged Ethernet switch. Is it possible to connect a USB -> Ethernet bridge on our card to perform this function (LAN 9512).which could then connect to one of the USB ports.

If possible I take it that the stack/drivers would not be included.

Thanks and regards,

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