How to Connect Raspberry Pi to the Cloud Using Node.js

About: IoT Maker, co-founder of asksensors.com

This tutorial is useful for anyone looking to connect a Raspberry Pi to the cloud, especially to the AskSensors IoT platform, using Node.js.

Don't have a Raspberry Pi?

If you don’t currently own a Raspberry Pi, I will recommend you to get a Raspberry Pi 3, because it's fast and you will not need to buy a separate USB Wi-Fi adapter. In addition, we will need to install node.js on the Raspberry Pi and many Node.js script sources require a Raspberry Pi based on the ARMv7+ architecture such as the Pi 3 or Pi 2 and will not work with the Raspberry Pi 1 Model B/B+ or the Raspberry Pi Zero.

But don't worry, it's pretty straight forward, just follow the steps!

Familiar with Node.js ?

You may need to do a first test of node.js with AskSensors from your computer (Windows/Linux/MacOs), my previous instructable demonstrates a step by step guide for automated data Sending to AskSensors using node.js.

Step 1: Materials You Need

Here is the required materials:

  1. Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ or Model B (your can also use a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B)
  2. USB micro cable to power up your Pi.
  3. MicroSD card, I recommend a class 10 card that is 16 GB or higher.
  4. MicroSD to SD memory card adapter, you will need to use the SD card reader on your laptop/desktop to write to the microSD card.

Step 2: Set Up Your Raspberry Pi

Running a basic setup of Raspbian on Raspberry Pi become easy and clearly explained in this Getting Started Guide. Here are the main steps:

  1. Download NOOBS,
  2. Extract it on your SD
  3. Plug it in and turn on the Raspberry Pi.
  4. When prompted, choose to install Raspbian and let it run.

That's it, Now we have an amazing Raspberry Pi system that can be used for a variety of tasks!

Step 3: Install Node Js

Here we go in the node.js installation, Installing an ARM-version of Node become very easy!

  1. Make sure you are connected to internet
  2. Open the terminal on the Raspberry Pi. Type these commands:
wget <a href="http://node-arm.herokuapp.com/node_latest_armhf.deb" rel="nofollow"> http://node-arm.herokuapp.com/node_latest_armhf.d...</a>
sudo dpkg -i node_latest_armhf.deb

Basically. It shouldn't take too long to download and install.

You have also the option to specify the link address of the version you need:

Go to node.js download page and copy the link address of the version of ARM that you need. For example:

wget <a href="https://nodejs.org/dist/v8.11.4/node-v8.11.4-linux-armv7l.tar.xz" rel="nofollow"> https://nodejs.org/dist/v8.11.4/node-v8.11.4-linu...</a>

Step 4: Test Your Node

To make sure that node.js runs correctly, Type the commands below. It should return the current version of node and npm installed.

node -v
npm -v

Make sure it doesn't give any error.

If everything is ok, we can move to the next step!

Step 5: Sign Up for Asksensors

Signing up for AskSensors account is easy and free, if you still not have an account yet, create a new one at https://asksensors.com.

Create a new Sensor with at least one module, Save it, and show the module 1 graph.

A unique Api Key In will be provided, we will use it in the next step.

Need more details ?

Here, I will not go through the details of creating an AskSensors account, This has been detailed in many instructables, videos, and tutorials.

Step 6: Run the Node.js Script

The node.js demo we are suggesting sends a dummy data to AskSensors over HTTPS GET Requests, every 20 seconds (20 seconds was set as an example, you can set different time interval).

Download the .js file from github, It requires the installation of the https npm package.

You will need to set your Api Key In in order to send data to the sensor module you have created as shown in the previous step.

Now your are ready to run the final script :

node https_GET.js

That's it! Enjoy watching your data stream plotted in graph (figure above shows the example of scatter graph).

Step 7: Done!

Thank you for reading. feel free to comment!

We are going to publish many useful instructables in the future, follow us!

Hope to see you then :)

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