Quick Start

This section goes through the steps to create a ParaDrop account, activate a ParaDrop router, and install a hello-world chute on the router.

If you have received a device with ParaDrop already installed, you can start here. If you do not have a ParaDrop-enabled device, please visit the Hardware Support section to learn about supported hardware or download an virtual machine image.

Create a ParaDrop account

With a ParaDrop account, users can manage the resources of ParaDrop through a web frontend.

  1. Signup at https://paradrop.org/signup. You will receive a confirmation email from paradrop.org after you finish the signup.
  2. Confirm your registration in the email.

Boot the router

Note: some of these steps are specific to the PC Engines APU/APU2 hardware.

  1. Using an Ethernet cable, connect the WAN port of the ParaDrop router to a modem, switch, or other device with access to the Internet.
  2. Connect the power supply. To avoid malfunctioning due to arcing, it is recommended to connect the barrel connector to DC jack on the back of the router first and connect the adapter to a power outlet second.
  3. Allow the router 1-2 minutes to start up, especially on the first boot.
  4. Connect a device (laptop, phone, etc.) either to one of the LAN ports on the back of the router or to its WiFi network. Typically, the router will be preconfigured with an open ESSID called “ParaDrop”. If the WiFi network has a password, that information will be provided separately.

Activate a ParaDrop router

Activation associates the router with your account on paradrop.org so that you can manage the router and chutes through the cloud controller.

  1. Login to paradrop.org.
  2. Navigate to the Routers List page. If your router came with a Claim Token, enter that here and skip steps 3-5. Otherwise if you do not have a Claim Token, click Create Router. Give your router a unique name and an optional location and description to help you remember it and click Submit.
  3. On the router page, find the “Router ID” and “Password” fields. You will need to copy this information to the router so that it can connect to the controller.
  4. Open the router portal at http://<router_ip_address> (or http://paradrop.io if you are connected to the LAN port of the router or its WiFi network). You may be prompted for a username and password. The default login is “paradrop” with an empty password. If the password is set, you will have received information about that with the router.
  5. Click the “Activate the router with a ParaDrop Router ID” button and enter the information from the paradrop.org router page. If the activation was successful, you should see checkmarks appear on the “WAMP Router” and “ParaDrop Server” lines. You may need to refresh the page to see the update.
  6. After you activate your router, you will see the router status is online at https://paradrop.org/routers.

Install a hello-world chute

  1. Make sure you have an activated, online router.
  2. Go to the Chute Store page on paradrop.org. There you will find some public chutes such as the hello-world chute. You can also create your own chutes here.
  3. Click on the hello-world chute, click Install, click your router’s name to select it, and finally, click Install.
  4. That will take you to the router page again where you can click the update item to monitor its progress. When the installation is complete, an entry will appear under the Chutes list.
  5. The hello-world chute starts a webserver, which is accessible at http://<router-ip-address>/chutes/hello-world. Once the installation is complete, test it in a web browser.