I had a recent email from John, WB2OSZ regarding using the raspberry pi for APRS and he has developed an application that looks like a very slim APRS beacon and digipeater for aprs called Dire Wolf . I have yet to investigate it further but for all those with an interest head over to Johns website and take a look. Here is the address.
From what i can see the application acts as a soundcard modem and tnc for programs like Xastir and APRSIS32. I think this needs some further investigation
Martin Harrison, G3USF has sent me the June short form report from the 6 and 10 club. It is available at the usual place, here. I trust you find it useful.
Personally I have barely touched the rig over the last couple of weeks. What with a broken PSU and a phenomenally expensive replacement switch that cost me more to put it in the post than the switch itself. The cheeky monkeys also sent it second class post so they made a tidy profit on sending it as well as on the switch. Hmmmmm.
Once I’ve got the PSU fixed, hopefully this weekend then I’ll be back up and running fully, just in time for the poor band conditions I’m reading about.
On another note I’ve had a wrestle with the Raspberry Pi as have a few other hams and its been tough going. Being a computer half wit I can’t really programme so I’m attempting to convert the little knowledge I have into making applications like Xastir run on the RPi. I’ve managed that but can I get the maps to work. Well simply, no I can’t. Still as a digipeater it has the potential but it needs a bit of extra hardware to accept audio in. Currently the board does audio out but not in. I expect that as time does on the platform will get developed further and bits and pieces will be produced in a similar fashion to the Arduino. At the moment its a bit like the wild west.
I should really spend the time fixing the PSU rather than playing with the RPi. That reminds me I need to fix the bike as well.
The Raspberry Pi may well be in the public domain and a few of us who have got the boards are busily scratching our heads trying it to get it to do ‘stuff’. There are far brighter people than me who’ve managed to get ‘stuff’ done on this low cost machines and they’re shouting about it in a digital magazine called MagPi, which is available here.
Like many others my little Pi turned up on the doorstep in a little cardboard box. As expected there wasn’t much in the box apart from a sort of ‘Welcome Note’ and directions for downloading the OS. Needless to say it took longer to download the OS than it did to write it to the SD card. So all connected up to the keyboard, mouse, screen and ethernet and away we go. Power on.
The first boot took a little while longer than expected but I expect it was creating bits and bobs all over the place. This was confirmed as subsequent boots to the command line, or rather to the login part of the command line took considerably less time. Login details are simple enough with the user name as Pi and the password as Raspberry. Something that you may want to change later on.
Once you’re into the command line it could seem a little confusing as to what to do next. Especially if you are used to a nice looking GUI with a mouse etc. Have no fear as a simple “startx” without the quotes fires up the window manager (LXDE – Lightweight desktop environment).
One thing I like to do is to run “sudo apt-get update” from the LX terminal just to make sure everything is up to date before we get started. The other thing that may be useful is to install synaptic package manager with “sudo apt-get install synaptic”. Again from the terminal window.
Time was running out for me at this point so I thought I’d have a quick look at Xastir (APRS application) to see if it would work. After a bit of a turned up face at the look of the interface I confirmed that it works as easily as it would on any platform. A bit of configuring and you’re away. I didn’t connect up the radio then as it’ll need a sound modem like the AGWPE for windows. That’ll be the next step.
One thing I hadn’t noticed is that there is no on board clock and the Pi get the time either by you setting it in the command line or through the ethernet. This could mean that if applications like WSPR can run on it then an external clock is going to be needed or a permanent connection to the ethernet.
So first impressions are done with and I have to say that it does struggle a bit if you ask it to do too much at once but that’s more to do with managing your own expectations but this is going to be a very interesting little gizmo to keep an eye on for ham radio
I’d almost forgot that I had an order in for one of these. But my royal weekend was topped off nicely a royal (mail) delivery of 1 Raspberry Pi.
I had a few plans for one of these when I first heard about it but first off I’ll spend a bit of time getting to know the linux distro and I’ll assume there is a way of running something like WSPR without too much trouble as it has a native Debian (.deb) version. First off though will be trying to get a video signal out to my rather old monitor that doesn’t have a HDMI input.
In the mean time I think I’ll have a google about to see what anyone else has done. Always a good start to learn from others.