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

    Right now its via wifi. I'm experimenting with Bluetooth PAN (IP over BT). Tried a couple of dongles I had laying around but no dice...have a Rasparian compatible unit on the way...yes I think the positioning here is mobile. LOL not that it wouldn't work in the shack but the intent is to get ANY pervasive device to talk to it.

    BT Serial does not work for iOS devices. Hence our experimentation with alternatives. I have a BT serial unit on the bench that has a 9pin D Shell...

    Maybe Arduino, but I have been power booting this thing for weeks to test its resiiiance and I have not killed it yet. Hundreds of boots. MySQL was there in case someone wanted to use it...can be removed its not critical. The data would be pretty static on it anyway I imagine.

    I felt that the flexibilty of the Pi was a good platform to prototype this on.

    I don't know a lot about PIC or Arduino...I know I can go get them at the local Radio Shack to play with, but what wireless protocol can they take that is supported on both Android and iPhone.

    Also remember that my thought was to send a generic QSY request from the handheld and let the radio-connected device handle the programming protocol, this way any radio can be added without modifying the handheld application.
     
  2. W2CYK

    W2CYK Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. AD0AC

    AD0AC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great video, makes so much more sense now! Now I have a reason to get the app rather than just using the web finder on my iPhone. The RPi runs a low enough draw you could run it for days in a car without running down the battery.
     
  4. W2CYK

    W2CYK Ham Member QRZ Page

    YESSSSS....THAT IS CORRECT!!!!!! It's probably better off to run it off a hot 12v line. I am preparing the RFinderPi build now...I wanted to wait until I knew the iPhone was working, which was a big PIA. The programmer is 30m away and doesn't have a PI and I had to get my iPhone 5 to shake my X GF's iCloud account before I could do ANYTHING. ARRGH...then installing a dev version of an iPhone app is the next PIA...but finally....IT WORKS!!!!

    Do you have a Pi avaialbe? They sell them in Radio Shaft...but you have to get the wifi dongles elsewhere...$6 on eBay...its configured for the Edimax dongle to make it easier on you ;)

    Surprised you only got the web version...if you buy the iPhone version it comes with your first year...I try to make that clear on the website but people miss that too often...when did you subscribe?

    Bob/W2CYK!
     
  5. AD0AC

    AD0AC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I started to subscribe a little over two years ago because I was using the RT Systems programmer on my FT-7900. It started in May 2012 and then I bought my iPhone the next month. I was going to get the iPhone app the next year, but forgot to do it before my subscription auto-renewed, and then I forgot to do it again this year too. So I'm way behind the curve.

    I have an RPi that I bought a couple months ago from Micro Center. They had the Rev B models on sale for $29. I've been thinking of using it to control an Echolink node, but this would be a good excuse to buy another one. The Rev A version would probably be better for this application because you're using a WiFi dongle for the connection rather than the LAN on the Rev B. If one has a USB charging port in their car, or even a lighter adapter, you could run it indefinitely off that circuit. I've been using an old cellphone charger with the Micro USB connector to power mine in the house.
     
  6. KC9LJK

    KC9LJK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Are there instructions on how to create a script for a particular radio? I have an ICOM 2820 and a Baofeng UV-5RA that I would LOVE to use this for.
     
  7. W2CYK

    W2CYK Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK...first go into PayPal and temporarily turn off your subscription. Then go get the app. When your sub runs out in a couple years renew it on the web to turn it back on. Email me w2cyk@rfinder.net that you did (reference the post here) and I will add another year to your sub.

    A model is no good IMHO! Only one USB and for development purposes there is no Ethernet port! If you wanted to play minimalist you MIGHT be able to get an A model to work with the GPIO serial module (you can get these for a couple bucks on eBay, but they are weird as in I was getting dropped characters, which is probably a flow control issue...That's why I went USB serial). However, these babies are <$40USD so why struggle?

    In the car, I have a #10 12V directly from the battery to the radio mounting area (LOL yea fused on both ends). I have a rigrunner 4004 that provides 12v power breakout and a pair of USB ports. Grumpyshop has one with more powerpoles and only one USB...but that would work fine too. I have been running a RFinderPi in there for the past week plugged into the USB port on the rigrunner and its just been working and never shuts off...at half a watt it could probably run for a month...your mileage may vary. LOL.

    hmmm lets see...assuming a 50AH battery. 12V*50AH=600 watt hours (I think). They say a Raspberry Pi draws 2 watts idle. Did I get that right 300 hours? How many Ah is an average car battery?
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  8. W2CYK

    W2CYK Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you look at the radio_FT857.php script we documented it pretty well, but we are going to do a video walk thhrough on that script later today I hope...trying to get ready for ARRL 100 leaving at the crack of dawn tomorrow....unfortunately ferries don't run all night LOL...

    However, the radios you mentioned won't do realtime. However, I have been toying with the idea of programming a single memory location, say 88 (hugs and kisses in Morse LOL) but before you sent the entry you would have to put the radio in programming mode I think. If you look at the .py scripts in CHIRP they should give you a hint on how to speak your radio's dialect! Then just port the algorithm to PHP. It may‚Äč be doable! But that's the point of this...find out if it is! BTW, CHRIP works on the Pi...
     
  9. NR2C

    NR2C Ham Member QRZ Page

    Could you please leave in USB support for those of us with Android? A Bluetooth dongle on my FT-857D needs no external power source (gets it from the radio), no programming, has enough range for a trunk mounted radio and dash mounted phone, no battery drain when the radio is off, and can be built cheaper than a pi project. I understand that Iphone doesn't support it but many of us use less restrictive Android phones. You said you have been experimenting with it. You will already have the basic (QSY, PL tone) commands included in your software to send the data via WIFI so how about just including a Bluetooth setting along with the Pi software? I think many of us would really appreciate it. Being able to use your RFinder software while traveling and touch that programming button to instantly set the radio for a repeater as we drive through a new area will be a dream come true! Thank you.
     
  10. W2CYK

    W2CYK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Firstly thanks Bob for your interest...We are considering that, however, it's not as simple as you think. "No Programming" is a bit misleading. It's actually A LOT of programming.

    One of the reasons we put this on the PI was to enable new radio development openly without messing with the app. The app sends a simple QSY request currently via a script that is radio specific. It's very difficult to test from the development environment a BT attached device; you have to build the app and put it on a device, test it, modify it in the Android Development Environment, build it, put it on the device again and test ad infinitum (well, at least until it works LOL). By us putting it on the PI it was easy to modify the script for the radio.

    Literally 2 hours to create the FT8x7 trilogy and no modification to the apps on either platform!

    Additionally, configuration page would be needed to select BT/PI the radio attached, Show connection status, connect, communications options and a function to set the parms on the BT device also. In reality I would have to dictate the BT device as each has their own command structure and programming procedure.

    Today I am playing with BT PAN (ip over BT) on the PI also...its an interesting prospect...and would allow the phone to be an internet gateway for the PI which would open up all kinds of opportunities for development and multiple use for the same PI!

    I figured Hams would have fun with a new project too...These babies are a BLAST to mess with and I hope many more Hams take on new projects like this. Anyone at the Pi Forum yesterday at ARRL Centennial would see how many are considering it or are at least curious. They had to move the room because there were twice as many in attendance as there were seats!

    I am open to exploring this further though. What radio do you have in mind? In fact everyone who reads this please respond with any realtime radios you have so we can gauge which we should look at first.

    Re power: There are a variety of USB power options if you use Anderson's:
    http://grumpyshop.net/power-distribution-panel/impp-7-oldu-overvolt-low-batt-dmm-usb/
    http://www.westmountainradio.com/product_info.php?products_id=rr_4004_c
    http://www.powerwerx.com/batteries-chargers/usbbuddy-powerpole-12v-usb-5v-device-charger.html (one port for $20 hardwired!...cut the Anderson off if you need to LOL btw 10-32v input 3A output so put a passive hub on it for more ports!) I have one on our Dive boat with a passive hub for a charge station!

    Bob/W2CYK
     
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