Playing with Raspberry Pi

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A howto to setup GrovePi and Rapberry Pi with Alexa, Telegram etc.

Grove pi3.jpg

Helpful facts about Rapberry Pi

What I used:

  • Grove Pi+
  • Several different sensors
  • Raspberry Pi 3

What I tried:

  • GrovePi + Pi 3
  • Using GrovePi sensors/actuators
  • Using microphone
  • Using Alexa
  • Using a bluetooth speaker
  • Media center with Volumio
  • Using Telegram

GrovePi + Pi 3

  • Remote desktop: sudo apt-get install xrdp
  • Used: Advanced: Using a PC and Win32 Disk Imager
  • sudo raspi-config
  • Check the pi password (not the one in the booklet but on a separate website) and change it!


Using GrovePi sensors/actuators

  • sudo python /home/pi/Dexter/GrovePi/Software/Python/

It's going to help us a lot by providing screenshots with what the console outputs.

cd Desktop/GrovePi/Script
sudo bash
sudo reboot

After you reboot, please enter the following commands in the terminal:

cd ~/Desktop/GrovePi/Firmware
sudo bash

Again we would like to see a screenshot for these last 2 commands too.


  • sudo python /home/pi/Desktop/GrovePi/Software/Python/
  • sudo python /home/pi/Desktop/GrovePi/Projects/LED_Fade/
  • sudo python /home/pi/Desktop/GrovePi/Projects/Button_And_Buzzer/ <= Button D3 Buzzer D2
  • sudo python /home/pi/Desktop/GrovePi/Projects/Ultrasonic_And_Relay/ <= Ultra D7, Relay D8
  • sudo python /home/pi/Desktop/GrovePi/Projects/Home_Weather_Display/

Home Weather Display

First did not work.

Had to copy library into folder.

Also, the display would not work, see

I had to change the code accordingly (frequency reduced).

Using microphone

Using Webcam for microphone.



arecord -l

arecord -D plughw:1,0 test.wav

aplay test.wav


Using Alexa

  • Amazon Developer Account
  • Alexa Autostart

Alexa Help

Alexa Medical Skills

  • Medizin-Skills:
    • DocCheck Flexikon
    • mcx:relax - Alexa starte Entspannung
    • mylife - Tipp des Tages
    • Länger Leben - Todesursachen, Tipps
    • Life Companion - Emotionales Vermächtnis, Christliche Redaktion von LifeCompanion
    • mcx:Krankenakte - Was für Termine habe ich?
    • mcx:opCheck - Alexa frage O P Check Bereich Anästhesie (Unterstützung bei Ausführung von Safety Surgical Checklists laut WHO)
    • Patientensicherheit in Kliniken - Fragen Sie Infos über Gesundheitseinrichtung ab.
    • Fitness Fakten

Alexa Commands

  • Alexa Commands:


DocCheck Flexikon 

"Alexa öffne DocCheck Flexikon"
"Alexa, frage DocCheck Flexikon was Insulin ist"
"Erkläre mir Herzinsuffizienz"

"Alexa, starte"

"Alexa suche House Sender"

"Alexa, spiele Radio 105 HITS"

Wiki Deutschland 

"Alexa starte Wiki Deutschland" 


Bluetooth Speaker

Fazit: I did not succeed. I got pretty far, e.g., I was able to play music via bluetooth from the mobile phone. However, the on-board bluetooth chip of pi3 makes a lot of problems.

Some sources I used an how the helped:

To start and use bluetooth I had to:

  • Install bluez, pulseaudio, bluetooth, bluetooth module
  • In "sudo raspi-config" I had to disable "serial" [1]
  • Then, in "/boot/config.txt" I had to comment out:


Then I had to:

sudo systemctl status hciuart.service

sudo systemctl start hciuart.service

sudo systemctl status bluetooth

sudo systemctl start bluetooth

sudo hciconfig

sudo hciconfig hci0 up

rfkill list

rfkill unblock bluetooth

Also possible:

sudo bluetoothctl

power on

agent on 


scan on 

pair XX:XX...

trust XX.XX...

connect XX.XX...

pacmd list-sinks

pacmd set-default-sink bluez_sink.08_EB_ED_36_99_9D

pactl set-default-sink bluez_sink.08_EB_ED_36_99_9D

See [2].

What also possible helped: start-pulseaudio-x11

Increase volume via [3]


alsa store (or similar, to store the changes)

To change sound:

pactl list cards short <= did show the mobile phone

Jabra did not work (as neither did the Anker SoundCore 2):

See aplay -l should show bluetooth [4]

More info about mpd, have switched to pulseaudio:

Worked partly, to play some sound:

aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav

Did not help:

pacmd set-default-sink bluez_sink.08_EB_ED_36_99_9D pactl set-default-sink bluez_sink.08_EB_ED_36_99_9D

pulseaudio --start

Sound volume: alsamixer -Dhw [5]

All about PulseAudio:

pactl only exposes a subset of the available operations. For the full set use the pacmd(1). 

pactl - Control a running PulseAudio sound server 

pacmd - Reconfigure a PulseAudio sound server during runtime 

As said before, HSP profile is supported with PulseAudio 6 and newer."

A2DP, Advanced Audio Distribution Profile, for high audio quality, as normal speakers.
E.g. Music streaming

HSP, Headset Profile, the device exchanges in/out audio and some basic AT commands.
E.g. VoIP call

HFP, Hands-Free Profile, the device acts as a phone, so it exchanges audio in/out and telephony commands.
E.g. Hands-Free mode in car

Phone and Ipad do only work as a source, not a sink. pacmd list-sinks

sudo apt-get purge pulseaudio

Installed newer version of pulseaudio [6]

Finally, the reason for breaking with the on board bluetooth:

Onboard-Bluetooth-Dongle is not working properly (!!):


Media center with Volumio

sudo service apache2 stop

Mount USB drive:

sudo fdsik -l

nano /etc/fstab

/dev/sda1 /mnt/music_usb vfat defaults 0 0 <= FAT32

MPC works:

MPDroid works

Volumio would not work

Volumio with Alexa was then not possible either [7], [8].


Using Telegram

First howto:

Second howto:

Telegram messenger CLI:

Had to comment line 101 according to [9].

Would not accept our landline so I instead I use my mobile phone number on both the mobile phone and the pi, and chat with myself (did not help:

When setting up the "bot" I had to consider not to run into endless loops when sending "Befehl nicht verstanden".