Tag Archives: Raspberry Pi

NW Digital Radio DRAWS in its Correct Case

The K9ZW #1 NW Digital Radio DRAWS is in its correct case.

Started putting my ARRL email on gear in case we get separated.

I’ve started into labeling ports on my equipment in an effort to improve “self-documentation” of gear. Why have to scramble later to online or paper documentation to confirm what voltage and polarity is required? Or whether the Right/Left port naming is by looking “out” from the ports or “looking inwards” at them?

Upper L-R – GPS, Left Radio, Right Radio then the Lower L-R – 5vdc, HDMI 1 & 2, Audio

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NW Digital DRAWS – Build Part 1

Building a Portable Digital HF station for use in various activations I have planned for summer/fall 2021. Hope to have the DRAWS/RADIO set up and running before this summer.  I am NOT going to drag a FlexRadio Flex-6000 to some of the places I hope to operate from.

On the digital side I am using a Raspberry Pi (4B) with a specialized add-on bit of hardware, the North West Digital Radio DRAWS that will add a GPS/on-board clock and the necessary interfaces.

Initial intention is to us a SGC-2020 transceiver, but I may drag a TenTec Jupiter to my activations instead.  I will use a keyboard and mouse to control the actual digital software for the activations, WSJT or perhaps fldigi.

The DRAWS is a neat bit of kit that should streamline my station and reduce the component count. That said it is as best semi-documented and a bit of a work in process intended for those willing to roll their sleeves up to get it configured, wired and going. Not very plug-n-play at all.

Raspberry Pi 4B and NW Digital Radio DRAWS HAT

Some courtesy definitions:

DRAWS = Digital Radio Amateur WorkStation developed by North West Digital Radio http://nwdigitalradio.com/draws/
Raspberry Pi = the series of small single-board computers developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation along with Broadcom. https://www.raspberrypi.org
Raspberry Pi HAT = Raspberry Pi extension board, both because it sits like a “hat” on top of the Raspberry Pi microcomputer and as the original meaning apparently was “Hardware Attached on Top”  https://github.com/raspberrypi/hats/blob/master/README.md

A bit about the DRAWS lifted from the NWDR website:

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The K9ZW Station Notes WordPress Raspberry Pi in place

Following on my post (make sure you read the comments if you want to do a project like this) at: https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2021/03/05/a-shack-resource-dissident-pi-project/ and https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2021/03/13/more-on-the-k9zw-station-notes-raspberry-pi-ssd-vs-sd-card/

Once I’d replaced the boot SD Card with a very inexpensive SSD drive and SATA to USB adapter, my WordPress Raspberry Pi is “in production.”  I repurposed a Raspberry Pi 4B for the project.

As it is running headless (no direct attached display, keyboard or mouse) as a sort of ultra minimalistic server, it would have been wasteful to have used the Raspberry Pi 400 all-but-monitor-in-one Pi I originally purchased for the project.

Here is what the setup looks like:


Raspberry Pi 4 with the external SSD and adapter

The WordPress is available to all the home network as a local resource and renders quite well despite minimal resources.  Here is what the early theme looked like from a couple random devices.

WordPress instance as opened from another Raspberry Pi

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More on the K9ZW Station Notes Raspberry Pi SSD vs SD Card

Following on to my post (make sure you read the comments if you want to do a project like this) at: https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2021/03/05/a-shack-resource-dissident-pi-project/

I’ve replaced the boot SD Card with a very inexpensive SSD drive and SATA to USB adapter.

The storage I/O improvement is stunning.

Winston KC9FVR tested and graphed the improvement. The axis is logarithmic which tends to visually understate the improvement. So yes, the SSD is about 70-times faster than the SD Card.

The running configuration is WorkPi with Dogfish SSD vs the supplied Patriot SD card or in the second graph a Thinkpad we had at hand.  

The Raspberry Pi 400 that just arrived was also tested.  

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A Shack Resource – Dissident Pi project: Configuring a Raspberry Pi as a WordPress Server – by Super_neet

I am going to build have built a internal network resource to help me document my shack’s build, configurations and design.

My design parameters are to be independent both hardware and software from the rest of the shack and home network.

There seems to be two web trends about doing this that are 180 degrees in opposition.

One is to put your sites/projects/data onto hosts or into the cloud, where arguably control is shared. You also need to have external internet access and bluntly avoid getting caught up in any sort of deplatforming campaign. Like where would I be if my underground cable was damaged or if my K9ZW call sign was blacklisted as the net crowd decided “K9” was derogatory to dogs?

The other is to use very inexpensive equipment to roll your own, which the preponderance of control is retained.

Be 100% clear that if you attach things to the world wide web, your control at that point onwards is compromised.
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Non-Radio – Mintbox, Raspberry Pi, and other computer flavors

Linux Mint 20.1 running on a MintBox Mini2

I’ve long had an interest working with different computer operating systems and hardware.  Back at school I worked with several mainframe systems (mostly Harris, DEC, Wang and IBM), CPM/MPM desktops, early Apple and IBM/DOS systems, a peculiar Houston Instruments system and the usual raft of small machines (Commodore, Apricot, BBC, Sinclair/Timex) and I am sure a few I have forgotten about.

Until a few years ago I still had an OS2 Warp machine running 24/7/365 which hadn’t been rebooted other than once a year to do Preventative Maintenance in a decade.

My production machines these days are all Win10Pro and MacOS machines because of needs to tightly interface within my work groups, but my hobby machines continue to range in flavors.

RaspbianOS running on a Raspberry Pi 4b

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