W3DJS Ham Pi Project Review

I have been experimenting with Raspberry Pi’s for a number of years. As the hardware evolved, I began using the hardware for various Ham Radio projects.

 SVXlink was one of my first Pi 3 Mod B projects. SVXlink is a Linux based repeater controller and echolink server. I did the project for the Brookhaven National Lab Radio club (BNLARC). At the time of this post, the server is offline due to repeater work.

The SharkRF IPConnector is another project I did on a Pi 3 Mod B. A local group, all running OpenSpot hardware used my IPConnector as a private DMR network. The daemon was very stable and the dashboard allowed me to keep an eye on activity. After getting over some of the configuration hurdles, IPConnector was a fun and useful project.

FT8 Off The Grid Setup

My next project was to create an off the grid FT8 system to take portable for Parks on the Air activations. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I leveraged some of KM4ACK’s scripts for time management.

As anyone who has run FT8 knows the protocol requires an accurate system clock.

Installing a hardware real time clock and an inexpensive GPS unit along with KM4ACK’s software tools insured accurate time.    

I have recently moved onto the Raspberry PI 4 Mod B with 8gb ram. Why? The only real reason I can come up with is; why stop now! The operating system for the Raspberry Pi is now officially called the Raspberry Pi Operating System. The Pi 4 Mod B hardware really is another leap forward for an intro $35 computer. Take a spin over to raspberrypi.org for all the cool tech specs. I see no point in regurgitating them here.

Ham Pi, written by Dave Slotter, W3DJS caught my attention because Dave has dedicated an incredible amount of time to this project. Dave has compiled over 100 ham radio apps in various categories and… get ready for it… it’s documented! Not only is it documented but each app in the document has a link to the app’s home page. Way to go Dave!

Dave has broken down his list of applications into 8 categories: General Ham Radio (41) Antenna Tools (5) Digital Software (including the full suite of FLDigi apps) (11) Software Defined Radio (25) APRS (5) Logging (10) Winlink (6) and Morse Code (12).

Got a Raspberry Pi 3 Mod B or new Pi 4? Why not give Dave’s project a spin? Use the comment section for help or questions?

73 de KE2YK
Best Ham Radio Apps

My Favorite IOS Ham Radio Apps

Ham radio apps are where old analog and new digital worlds collide!

I use a bunch of IOS ham radio apps on my iPhone. The list of apps below are those I use most frequently. The links will take you to the Apple pages that better describes their features. Perhaps some of these apps may be useful to you.

Some of the apps have overlapping tools. DXToolBox and HamLog have a lot of similarites. HamLog beats DXToolBox for a bunch of reasons in my opinion.

Echolink: A free app that provides access to the EchoLink network. Use the app to connect to the EchoLink system from just about anywhere on an IOS device.

HamAntCalc: A $1.69 app that calculates the length of dipoles, inverted vee’s, verticals and more.

ISS Spottter: A free app (with optional in app purchases) that makes it easy to locate the International Space Station (ISS). You can also forecast future low passes for your area, set an alarm of the pass you want to view.

Resistor Code Calculator: A free app that’s a big help for these tired old eyes. The app calculates resistor colors and translates them into corresponding values. A useful app for anyone building kits or test circuits.

Ham Morse: A $4.99 app and worth every penny! Ham Morse is a comprehensive learning tool with different methods sending code, It will definitely help to improve your skill level. As a CW op for over 30 years, I fall back to it for a quick ‘head tune up’ from time to time.

Callbook: A free app which is handy for looking up detailed info about the call while working field operations such as Parks on the Air.

Hamclock: A 99 cents app which is a handy quick reference tool for field ops. Hamclock displays local and UTC time as well as your current grid square info.


HamLog: A 99 cents app that has an amazing array of ham radio tools for field operations. Hamlog’s features go way beyond simple logging. Visit N3WS’s Pignology site and check out his complete line of hardware interfaces and other ham radio software.

Which ham radio apps do you use on IOS or Android?

73 de KE2YK
Anytone AT-778UV

Quick Review of the Anytone AT-778UV

 My Anytone AT-778UV arrived in mid August. 

This is not going to be a review of the transceiver operation because there are plenty of those posts and YouTube videos elsewhere. This post is going to be about my first impressions of the Anytone radio.

Pros:

  • Bright display with good color selection for mobile use
  • A good part of radio body designed as a heat a sink
  • Back lit buttons on the radio and mic keypad are perfect for night driving
  • Hand mic is of very good quality material and button layout is good
  • Fused power cable is decent quality unlike those of other Chinese radios
  • Version 1.19 of the Anytone AT-778UV software download is easy to use

Cons:

  • Changing AF Gain (volume for newbies) requires pressing P6 and then turning knob
  • Dual receive yes but not a true dual band radio 
  • B band is limited to the single channel and is RX only   
  • Radio body gets lukewarm (not hot) when transmitting on high power for long periods
  • Dashboard hook for hand mic not included
  • The mobile mounting bracket is sturdy but undersized

Summary: 

Overall, I think the radio and programming cable are a good buy for around $140 on Amazon. If you are looking for an fairly inexpensive, decent quality mobile radio with an excellent display and back lit keys for mobile use, I’d recommend the Anytone AT-778UV. 

For more information about the Anytone AT-778UV visit the anytone.net Web site.

Amazon: Anytone AT-778UV

73 de KE2YK