The Raspberry Pi at the heart of your Piper Computer Kit has an exposed circuit board and other components that can be fragile. Follow a few simple best practices and you should have no problems!
Always shutdown the Raspberry Pi when finished with it
Improper shutdown - powering off or unplugging the battery while the Pi is running - can cause the data on the SD card to become corrupted. This is particularly important while updating, but it’s important to always fully shutdown the Pi by doing the following:
- If you’re in the Piper software, click on the power icon at the top of the main menu. If you’re on the desktop, click on the Menu bar (raspberry icon)
- Click on Shutdown
- Wait for the Raspberry Pi to completely shutdown. You’ll know it’s shutdown when the green LED on the Pi stops flashing (the red LED will stay lit)
- Power off the battery
Make sure the Pi stays protected
The components on the circuit board can be damaged if they are in direct contact with hard or abrasive surfaces. It’s important to make sure that the Pi remains elevated. That’s why your Raspberry Pi comes attached to a pre-assembled bracket (the Pi Case). If your mount breaks, you can get a replacement from our parts shop here.
Be careful when storing or transporting the Pi
Similarly, take extra care when storing the Raspberry Pi within the Piper case. Make sure that the Pi Case is fitted into the grooves in the bottom of the case to prevent the Pi from sliding around. You also want to avoid putting anything on top of the Pi. If you are planning to transport the Piper Computer Kit, you should either add additional padding inside the case to avoid damage to the Pi, or remove it from the case entirely and wrap it carefully in non-conductive packing material.
Make sure the Raspberry Pi Case is fitted into the grooves in the wood case
Be gentle with the ports and GPIO pins
You should not have to apply much force to connect the HDMI cable or USB cables. If something is not fitting easily, check to make sure that you are connecting to the right port (the shapes should match up). The GPIO pins are more sensitive and require little to no force when connecting wires; the wires should slide easily onto the pins. Extra pressure can bend or damage these pins.
Avoid excess loose wires
Make sure to store any wires or other accessories in the storage chest when they are not in use. Besides the fact that loose accessories can move around and damage the Pi or be damaged themselves when the kit is stored, loose wires can “jump” across the GPIO pins (see pic) when the Piper Kit is in use which can cause unexpected results including shutdown or restart.
Loose wires can short the GPIO pins causing unexpected behavior