Radioberry pitop board for the raspberry 4

VP9KS

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For all you hams out there with a pi 4, there is a new pi top board called the radioberry. It has a software defined radio onboard. Check out this video for the introduction.

This is very exciting.

Happy Trails,
Paul
 


VP9KS

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Here is another good one. It shows how to install FLDIGI on your raspberry Pi.
Again, Happy Trails
Paul
 

VP9KS

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Ok, it is installed, and I am mucking about trying to get it running. I have used this program in both Slackware and Mint cinnamon, so I'm familiar with it, but on that computer (the lab) I have a sound card. I found that to get audio out of the pi (pI4 4gb) I need to set the audio playback to bcm2835 HDMI1. I am using dual vga monitors with hdmi to vga adapters. Both adapters have audio outputs, and both are shown in the pull down menu for playback, so I should be able to use either output. I will attempt to use the other one later, now it is time for some shut-eye! 73!

P.S. The audio output from the hdmi to vga adapter is very loud, and I have not been able to turn it down using the software volume control! Take heed, lest you deafen yourself!

Happy Trails,
Paul
 
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xXNORDXx

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Raspberrypi is great in all its evolution thanks to Linux.
 

xXNORDXx

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I was at work and we had an "I T" guy there to setup the printer. lol!
I asked him about Linux and he froze for a second and said Linux doesn't run everything windows does.
I laughed at him and said there are two sides to a command line Sudo and cmd .
we talked about cmd and sudo and he was like that stuff is so difficult.
I was like so you would rather wait for windows to upload a web site then click a bunch of buttons in windows .
Or just type sudo apt upgrade? lol some IT guy.lol

anyways aside from my rant glad to see more pie users.
 

xXNORDXx

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The hat takes away all your power source for cooling fans and things it looks like anyways...
 

VP9KS

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The hat takes away all your power source for cooling fans and things it looks like anyways...
Yeah, and I was thinking how well it might work on a case which acts as a heat sink for the cpu, but that would not work either, since the pi top board blocks access to the cpu.:oops: HMMMM, it would seem that some experimentation is in order!:D
 

VP9KS

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I was picturing in my mind, just how I would implement this, and provide good cooling for both the pi and the SDr. Then I decided to check availability. The hat is just a bit pricey:rolleyes: as this link shows.


The Engineer in me is screaming to go ahead, and it would certainly be a fun project, but considering the price, I may need to wait a while to implement this one.:( That is unless I could get one sent to me free. Fat chance of that one, mate!;)
 
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dcbrown73

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I was picturing in my mind, just how I would implement this, and provide good cooling for both the pi and the SDr. Then I decided to check availability. The hat is just a bit pricey:rolleyes: as this link shows.


The Engineer in me is screaming to go ahead, and it would certainly be a fun project, but considering the price, I may need to wait a while to implement this one.:( That is unless I could get one sent to me free. Fat chance of that one, mate!;)
Careful, it gets shotty reviews. Shotty reviews + high price is a double whammy. The video also says the radioberry software is unstable.

It's output is in the milliwatts which makes sense given the power the pi can provide. That is mostly useless at that power out. Well, unless you want to get an amplifier that can operate on milliwatt source. Amps of any sort are usually a healthy investment too.

I have an SDRPlay2 (though I haven't used it in a few years) At least this has transmit, though it's just like my pi-star hotspot which is fine at milliwatts output since it just needs to reach my HT.

Seems like a bit too much with little return for me other than the DIY "fun" part of it. I have enough expensive hobbies to invest in this one though.

If you do go for it. Keep us updated, I would love to see how it turns out.
73' ~ Dave ~ K1SZO
 

VP9KS

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The video also says the radioberry software is unstable.
I assume you are talking about the FLDIGI implementation for the Pi. I was playing with it using the output of my Drake R4B, and I notice that when I dropped the curser on a signal, it would drift down from the one I selected, and eventually to the bottom of the range. This, with the AFC enabled. It also did not decode the 60WPM cw signal, so I tried 21WPM, Nothing decoded! Rats, just when I discover a new toy to play with, it doesn't work. Unfortunately, I have not had another chance to play with it yet, but it has aroused my curiosity. Perhaps I should work on this problem before going any further. What do you think? This combination would be great in a go box for disaster traffic, if we can get it to work.

As far as the power output being 100MW, you may be surprised what that will do. I have always bragged that a CW signal could get through when phone is not even heard, but I have to tell ya, I am impressed with the newer digital modes. I have had solid printout from a PSK31 signal that did not move the s meter, and I could not hear even with my headphones. That was using FLDIGI in Slackware. I could see it on the waterfall, dropped the curser on it, and BANG there it was. Amazing!
73
Paul
VP9KS / WA1WJB
 
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dcbrown73

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As for the stability, I was referring to the video's assesment.

The 100mw output. Well, I have a key and have practiced, but for whatever reason I could never focus enough to actually use it like a keyboard. Sadly, I do not practice enough to be active on CW.

As for other digital modes. I actually used to use them all the time as I'm more introverted and most ragchewers are extroverted so it worked for me.

These days, I actually prefer SSB over digital modes, just not ragchewing. Most of my contacts happen during contests even though I don't actually participate as a contestant.

I'm more a fan of the physics of electromagnetics than I am someone who just wants to chat over HF/UHF/VHF.
 

VP9KS

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:)
As for the stability, I was referring to the video's assesment.

The 100mw output. Well, I have a key and have practiced, but for whatever reason I could never focus enough to actually use it like a keyboard. Sadly, I do not practice enough to be active on CW.

As for other digital modes. I actually used to use them all the time as I'm more introverted and most ragchewers are extroverted so it worked for me.

These days, I actually prefer SSB over digital modes, just not ragchewing. Most of my contacts happen during contests even though I don't actually participate as a contestant.

I'm more a fan of the physics of electromagnetics than I am someone who just wants to chat over HF/UHF/VHF.
Yeah, I just watched the video again, and now I understand your comment. It was a quick mention, and I missed it the first time. It must have been my excitement over a Pi hat for hf use. :oops:

As for rag chewers, I remember a qsl that I received from a stateside station. He wrote on the card that he was amazed that a dx station would continue a 20m cw contact for over an hour. I use an old straight key that I purchased in the 60's. I mounted it on a 3/4 inch thick block of plexiglass and glued felt to the bottom. It stays put nicely, and as my wrist loosens up, my speed just keeps increasing. I used to like to go down to the novice bands and have fun with it. I can get it up to about 21wpm but still got my ears burned a few times (a few?). It was all good clean fun.

I remember working Bermuda field day with a Navy radioman. Jim Brooks was his name, but I don't remember his call, it was a w4. He used a bug, and he took the weight off it. All I heard was a buzz, and was amazed that there were many stations answering him. I had to ask him what was said so that I could log it. I have no idea how fast it was, but I think that it was over 60wpm. I was humbled!! I don't normally get into contests, but I have been on the receiving end of a few pileups.

I still type with 2 fingers, so I would need to have a buffer to fill, to used the digital modes well. The best use for them would be to can message traffic, and send it in burst mode. I think that flarq would work well for that. Well, I think I need to get some sleep.

73
Paul
 

KGIII

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I'm more a fan of the physics of electromagnetics than I am someone who just wants to chat over HF/UHF/VHF.
This thread reminds me...

I have an 80' mast on which one would put an antenna at the top. It's in my barn, stored for a buddy of mine. I keep threatening to get my license and steal his antenna. He got it because he works on them and it was replaced and the owner didn't want the old one. It's missing the guy-wires but is otherwise complete - or so I'm told. I'd have no idea if anything else was missing.

I figure I'll have to figure it out if the zombie apocalypse happens. (I don't actually have any other equipment, except a nice mobile scanner.)
 

dcbrown73

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This thread reminds me...

I have an 80' mast on which one would put an antenna at the top. It's in my barn, stored for a buddy of mine. I keep threatening to get my license and steal his antenna. He got it because he works on them and it was replaced and the owner didn't want the old one. It's missing the guy-wires but is otherwise complete - or so I'm told. I'd have no idea if anything else was missing.

I figure I'll have to figure it out if the zombie apocalypse happens. (I don't actually have any other equipment, except a nice mobile scanner.)
You can grab some replacement guy kits at DX Engineering and raise the mast. Then attach an antenna to it and connect it to your scanner. :)

The first two licenses (tech and general) for ham radio (You are US-based correct?) are actually pretty easy if you have a basic understanding of physics. I spent a day taking practice tests for the tech license and ended up taking the general after that and passed both. (didn't even try to study for the general) That said, the Extra license has a bit more math and more required understanding of the rules regarding ham radio.

You should go take the class and get a license. They are good for 10 years and if you don't use it. Still doesn't hurt. One big benefit of it is I can shout and call you names over HF from my house! lol
 

KGIII

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The first two licenses (tech and general) for ham radio (You are US-based correct?) are actually pretty easy if you have a basic understanding of physics.
LOL I've forgotten a bit, but my first four years of school were actually as a math minor and EE major. I've done the practice tests. It wasn't until after those years that I decided to apply for grad school with an Applied Mathematics major. I've done the practice tests and they're not too hard. I have come close to getting my license before, but it'd just be an unused hobby. I live in a really remote area of Maine, the zombies won't make it here.
 

VP9KS

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LOL I've forgotten a bit, but my first four years of school were actually as a math minor and EE major. I've done the practice tests. It wasn't until after those years that I decided to apply for grad school with an Applied Mathematics major. I've done the practice tests and they're not too hard. I have come close to getting my license before, but it'd just be an unused hobby. I live in a really remote area of Maine, the zombies won't make it here.
If you are out in the boonies, that is all the more reason to get on the air. More room to farm antennas!!
 

KGIII

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If you are out in the boonies, that is all the more reason to get on the air.
LOL I am outside of Rangeley, Maine. That's where I'm referring to when I say I'm going into the village. I'm pretty remote, by choice.
 

dcbrown73

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DUDE! You're in Maine. Stephen King country. There are DEFINITELY ZOMBIES (or something nefarious) IN MAINE! lol

Besides, I'm in Connecticut. Hell, at low power I can scream obscenities' (that are legal for SSB) at you!
 

KGIII

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There are DEFINITELY ZOMBIES (or something nefarious) IN MAINE! lol
They'll wear out before they get to me and they'll freeze in the winter. I'm pretty much zombie proof!
 

VP9KS

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I looked at the video for the 5 watt amp for this module, and found that the designer only made a few of them, then stopped. He did, however, publish all the design information for both boards on github. The amp requires 12 volts DC. I am assuming, although I have not checked the specs, that it has an output impedance of 50 ohms.

One problem I find with the SDR module is, it uses separate connectors for transmit and receive. Who does that anymore? I would redesign it to make both boards into one, and add solid state t/r switching. I would also put the board and the pi inside a common metal case, with the top as a large heatsink to eliminate all the fans.

I am also not fond of SMC connectors, although it would seem most of the SDR modules use them. They just seem so fragile! I prefer something more substantial, like the venerable BNC.

Just a few thoughts.

73
Paul
 
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