OpenELEC-RPi2.arm-6.0.3.img which is the Linux
disk image we need to put on a microSD card
for the RaspPi in the media center.
Both my Mac and Windows 10 computer
have a slot for reading and writing normal SD
memory cards. The microSD card specified in
the Parts List comes with an adapter allowing
the microSD card to be used in a normal SD
card slot. It doesn’t matter how you get the
image file onto the microSD card; it’s only
important that you do.
How one copies a Linux image file to an SD
card also depends on the computer platform
being used. Instructions for OSX (Section 3. 3),
Windows (Section 3. 2), and Linux (Section 4. 4) can be
found at http://elinux.org/RPi_Easy_SD_Card_Setup.
Because the OpenELEC image is so small, writing it to the
microSD card happens quickly — much quicker than when
writing a full-on RaspPi operating system image.
As mentioned, Kore is a remote control application for
the media center that can be downloaded for free from
the Google Play Store for Android devices. On my Nexus
7 tablet, I first click the icon for the Play Store from the
home screen; then in the search bar, type in Kore. You will
see numerous versions of it, but the one I use is called
“Kore, Official Remote for XBMC Foundation” as it seems
to have some kind of official sanction.
Once you have Kore installed, you execute it by
tapping its icon. Kore will immediately try to identify all
OpenELEC installations on the Wi-Fi network to which it is
connected. If it finds your media center, click on it to
indicate it is the one you wish to control. This process
should only need to be done once unless connection
After playing with Kore for a while, its operation
should become second nature as using Kore is a lot like
using a normal TV remote.
I should mention there are many different ways to
control your media center, but Kore for Android is the
method I have chosen. Google “Kodi remote control” if
you would like to see what other options are available.
Before assembling the media center, collect all of the
items in the Parts List and what is shown in Figure 1.
NOTE: Most of the parts specified are non-critical and
other brands can usually be substituted successfully. My
media center worked right out of the box with the parts
listed here. Your mileage may vary if you substitute items.
Almost any USB 2.0 Wi-Fi adapter can be used with
OpenELEC. However, if you want to use the AP or tethered
mode, you must have a Wi-Fi adapter that supports AP
operation; many don’t. The adapter shown in the Parts List
was chosen because it does. From my research, it seems
any Wi-Fi adapter using the Ralink 5370 chipset can
support AP mode. You can use whatever Wi-Fi adapter you
have on hand if AP mode is not important to you.
In the Parts List, I specified that either a RaspPi 2
model B or a 3 model B can be used in the media center.
I initially had a Pi 2 in mine and it worked for the most
part, but every now and then I would experience pauses
in the video that lasted up to about 20 seconds, making
for difficult movie viewing. I have since replaced the Pi 2
with a Pi 3, and the video playback is now flawless. In
researching this issue, I came across many people that
don’t seem to have any troubles with the Pi 2, so it may
have just been something amiss in my original installation.
For now, I’ll leave the Pi 3 in my media center and use the
Pi 2 for some other project.
Assembling the media center could not be easier and
consists of the following steps:
1. Copy the OpenELEC software image onto a 2 GB
or larger microSD card.
2. Insert the microSD card into the RaspPi.
3. If heatsinks are available, pull off the adhesive
backing and press them firmly onto the black chips
on the RaspPi board.
FIGURE 2. Raspberry Pi with heatsinks installed.
Raspberry Pi safe in
its protective case.
October 2016 37