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Raspberry Pi for Ham Radio FAQ

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, Sep 12, 2018.

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  1. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

  2. KV9M

    KV9M XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Very nice presentation. Good job!
     
    OH8STN likes this.
  3. W1DFC

    W1DFC Ham Member QRZ Page

    W!DFC, Yes ! Informative video. I'm looking at my Pi right now ! LOL
     
    OH8STN likes this.
  4. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Raspi = cool.
     
    OH8STN likes this.
  5. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks. I'm really looking forward to 3D printing the enclosure. That'll set it off.
    73
    Julian oh8stn
     
  6. K6DSA

    K6DSA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for another great video Julian - your videos on FT8Call and your field test inspired me to try and integrate the RPi into my own go box with some great results. I have a lot of buttoning up to do still (both on the Go-Box and the RPi) but it's getting there, I have a writeup on my implementation in case anyone's interested: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1H1rA7XdZRpMmQOb2S71RxAQyZLzMWS9g/view?usp=sharing .

    This is still a draft and needs some work, and was started mostly for my own notes in case I have to do it again; but in case anyone finds it helpful, it's there. My setup is probably a bit on the heavy side for backpacking, but focuses more-so on quick setup and being able to throw in and out of the truck with some degree of reliability. (edit: The main additions are USB port virtualization over IP, allowing native-device use on larger, more powerful desktops, SDR server integration to allow for use of an SDR as secondary receiver (useful for satcom and monitoring), and VPN and SIP servers to permit remote operation over the internet [when connected]).

    I'm not certain if I have the Raspberry Pi 3B at home or the 3B+ - but what do you think of the decode performance on WSJT-X and FT8Call? I find it a bit sluggish when the band gets crowded, functional but it starts to get a bit clumsy to use in real time - is this the case for you as well or do I have a slowdown to hunt?

    Regarding the lack of integration of SBC into commercial radios - it would be great to have a radio that includes something like the RPi, I also feel that such a board should be modularized with a standard form factor and easily upgradeable since we're always riding the curtails of obsolescence when it comes to computers; it would need to accomodate a radio being 10-20 years old yet still being able to run the latest digital modes. The easiest way to do this is with an external box, even though it adds bulk and messiness to the equation, but that's not to say it's impossible to establish an agreed upon form factor with some sort of slide-in card.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  7. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'll have to look at your kit soon, thanks for sharing it.
    Actually I was thinking about doing this with the Yaesu FT-897. That has a place for the battery in a power supply or if I remember correctly, two batteries internally. I was thinking a Raspberry Pi and audio interface would fit neatly in place of one of the batteries. Hell, I would be happy just having an internal Bay where is a single board computer would fit and have dc power available. Another idea is to have a form-fitting Bay underneath the 891, which attaches to the frame of the radio from the mobile mounts on either side. Then that bay could house the Rpi and audio interface internally, with 3 wires routed outside that case for power, cat control, and data. I know I'm obsessing on this whole thing but I'm really kind of pi**ed off at the ham radio manufacturers at the moment my buddies coming over to visit me in a couple of days. He's got a CNC machine and assures me he can make a pretty cool form-fitting enclosure from aluminium. We shall see.

    The processor and 1gb memory on the 3B+ is Epic for ft8 and ft8call. I haven't experienced any sluggishness whatsoever. As you see, I don't run any logging programs, extras or anything other than what's absolutely necessary for digital comms. I would say based on your comment, you probably have the 1.2 gig Raspberry Pi 3 B.
    Anyway good luck on your project then please let us know how it turns out.
    73
    Julian oh8stn
     
  8. K6DSA

    K6DSA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just logged in and checked, it appears you are correct! Good to know; there are a few more services that I have running on the Pi (SoapySDR, Virtualhere, VPN and SIP) but these hardly use any processing power or memory when not connected to - so I don't expect they are causing the problem just yet.
     
  9. SA6CKE

    SA6CKE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Since there is a PoE HAT available for the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ I would like to add this video about the shortcomings of the HAT:


    Just in case you considered doing a PoE fed Raspberry. It's just the HAT that's the problem, not the Raspberry.
     
  10. W6KKO

    W6KKO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you Julian. I typically shell into headless Pi and do what is needed, but I like that VNC client option. It works rather well thus far via a Mac and an iPhone. I'm figuring it will work just as well from my Windows tablet and PC once installed. I did adjust the Pi GPU from 64 to 128 and noticed a visual improvement, without any resource detriment.

    I am curious on your thought of putting a Pi and whatever else into one of the battery areas on the 897D. It would keep things tidy. Well, I was curious enough to give it a go just now. A Pi 3 B+ will fit, but the top part of a standard clear case must be removed. Anything plugged into the GPIO would need to stay below the rim of that case height (max 27mm). While that Pi Juice may not fit, jumpers could be used or just run a USB power wire out of the back. The fans in the 897D are right behind the face and would blow across the heat sinks on the Pi. With the Pi positioned toward the front and against one of the batteries, there is plenty of room toward the back for the USB dongles/devices as well as access to the power and audio jack on the side. Still, a USB GPS may not work at all unless a jumper cable is used to get it outside of the radio case. The hole for the battery port will allow for a USB jumper cable to an external hub, as well as the power cord and whatever else for the Pi.

    While things would fit, I am unsure how well it would properly work inside there. Things may get wonky during TX. I have a very strong suspicion that RF from the radio will negate placing a Pi inside there. Additionally, the Pi may introduce unwanted interference to the radio. Still, until one tests it is an unknown. I hope it works. Time will tell.
     

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