RFinder PI Introduction

Discussion in 'RFinderPi - Open Source radio interface based on R' started by W2CYK, Jul 8, 2014.

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  1. W2CYK

    W2CYK Ham Member QRZ Page

    We have created a build of Raspberry Pi that is a realtime programmer, so it will work with FT-8x7, TS-2000, IC7100.7200, etc. Pretty much any radio that will work with Ham Radio Deluxe that has VHF/UHF capability.

    Android version already has a button to send the QSY messages to the PI and we are waiting on Apple to release the iOS version. We had it working in a test last week on the Yaesu. Pretty cool. WILL work with iPhone also since we are not using Bluetooth serial, which won't work on iOS. Right on the hairy edge!

    I should have a build up for Raspberry later this week. You will need:
    a 512mb Mode l B PI
    an 8GB SD Card
    a nano wifi dongle (its pre-configured for the Edimax EW-7811Un since that is the toughest one to make work, but you can easily configure for others)
    a USB Serial cable (I used the RT Systems model 63 unit since it has a 9 pin serial, but any of there's should be fine or any 9 pin USB serial USB should work also...tried the gigaware and it works great)

    Once you have the unit booting you can turn on vncserver and access the gui, hit the web configurator we created (the ip is hard coded for which must not change or the app won't find it) or use ssh.

    We added a button to RFinder repeater detail screen to send the details to the radio. There are some php examples in /var/www the one that works is for the FT-857 but anyone can write a script that knows PHP or can muddle through our example...

    We should have an SD card 8GB image ready tonight...I imagine we can make an apt-get at some point!

    More later...

    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  2. N0NB

    N0NB Ham Member QRZ Page

    URL, introductory text of wotizit? Yeah, I'll do some searching.

    Hmmm, from what I found I'm not sure how the Pi figures into this. More info would be quite helpful.
  3. W2CYK

    W2CYK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes...getting there...
    The Raspberry Pi is a tiny form factor computer that is capable of running Linux...which means you can make it do nearly anything imagineable (within reason).
    We loaded it with Apache (a web server) PHP (a programming script language) and MySQL (a database accessible from PHP). The "disk" is an 8GB SD Card.
    So by connecting a USB serial cable (ie a RT Systems programming cable) and connecting a radio you can write php scripts to program the radio in realtime. This works on radios that are usable with Ham Radio Deluxe that have VHF.UHF capablility, for instance...
    You can call a URL on the box, for instance in order to tell the PI to change the frequency on the radio. We wrote a management web page that can be used from a phone to change the attached radio...
    Screenshot 2014-07-09 22.30.44.png ...and do some other managment on the box.

    In RFinder we added a button (not on Play yet LOL) that will call the above URL with whatever repeater details you have onscreen...

    So hopefully you get the idea...we are close to releasing the beta version...
    If you want to get ready, get a Raspberry Pi B model 512MB, an 8GB compatible SD Card, a wifi dongle, and a USB serial cable...

    We beleive this will work both on Android and iPhone...testing iPhone in the next day or so!


    Attached Files:

  4. AD0AC

    AD0AC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Soooo...what is this used for? Is it to control a radio via a web page?
  5. K5UNX

    K5UNX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You are leaving out some details or maybe a high level description of what this actually is and be used for? After some searching it has something to do with RFinder.net I assume?

    Maybe I get it . . . . Using your RFinder app, it will program the radio to that repeater freq/cctss? etc?
  6. W2CYK

    W2CYK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well you can do that but its more for enabling apps to be able to send a qsy request to a realtime programmable radio.

    I was toying with Bluetooth but it doesn't work with iPhone (google iOS SPP profile) so I started looking for something that'd work with iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, etc. but in a way that to add radios you don't need to modify the app. The app sends a generic qsy request to the Pi via a web call. You could create a web app that sends the request also...or any program really...
  7. W2CYK

    W2CYK Ham Member QRZ Page

    We are putting a "Send to Radio" button in both Android and iPhone versions of RFinder so you can program "Realtime Programmable" radios in realtime. However, we wanted to make it open so ANY software can do it. We wanted to make it so you could add radios without modifying the calling software ;) and we felt that using a Pi would allow hams to have an interesting platform for creating new innovations....btw Radio Shack has Pi's on the shelf....
  8. K5UNX

    K5UNX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ok so what would this be used for in someone's station? If I have a laptop running HRD, an FT-857 . . . What would I do with this on a daily basis?
  9. W2CYK

    W2CYK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I imagine this is very usable in a vehicle. Some may use it in the qth. It's really targeted at vhf and above,. I think. We have been asked by many users of RFinder to program radios in real-time. As I said before Bluetooth doesn't work on iOS devices...so I was looking for a solution to support any pervasive platform.

    However, as an experiment in the application of tiny form factor computers I think its an interesting concept regardless.
  10. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's still not clear what the purpose is. What would somebody do with this? You might want to make it a little clearer with a use case - show how someone would use this. Mobile? Base?

    I *THINK* you're using a Raspberry Pi to program a VHF/UHF radio (say, a mobile radio in a car) from information looked up on RFinder. Sounds like you're doing this via WiFI. I can see a use case for mobile radios, but how do you handle running a Pi in a car? Being Linux (with MySQL!) it wouldn't take kindly to having it's power removed. You wouldn't attached this to an HT while walking around, that seems impractical... And base stations aren't really the target for RFinder, right? More for traveling/mobile.

    Wouldn't a bluetooth dongle for programming a radio be a better choice? A PIC or Arduino or similar? No state, software, etc., to worry about?

    But I may be missing the point. :rolleyes:

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