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

Ft8 portable blues part 3

Well I finally got the raspberry pie mounted on the battery box.

Ran the raspberry pi from the battery box today during today’s testing of the FT8 system.

Also used the qrpguys 20 30 40 vertical kit that I built sometime ago and worked a few nvis ft8 stations with it during testing.

Next step is to power the kx3 from the battery box and take the whole shebang portable down to the beach.

Stay tuned de KE2YK

FT8 Portable Blues Continues

Yet another quirk. This one doesn’t affect operating portable. Just weird… ios no longer connects to pi access point.

Got the proverbial “No route to host message”. Googled it.

Seems like a known ios quirk.

Some say to enable and disable airplane mode. NFG!

HA. My guess, it’s bitchin because there’s no internet connection which apparently the modified kindle/android os doesn’t care about. Luckily for ft8 portable and us.

Made about a dozen contacts off the kindle this morning. Of course the big gun stations tromp over my penut whistle 7 watts. No point in calling cq!

So now the only diff will be antenna and battery power when portable.

72 de KE2YK – Stay tuned for the continuing saga of FT8 portable blues!