Using Pi with Ham Radio

I’m a new HAM operator. Just got my technician license a couple months ago. Only have an HT radio so far but I built a J-pole antenna to put in the attic and have no problem connecting to several local repeaters with it.

Tell me more about using a pi for amateur radio.

Sorry, not sorry for the thread hijack. :slight_smile:

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Hi Dad —

The Raspberry Pi as you might have guessed already is a full computer on a tiny board, with USB ports, an ethernet connection, a built in wifi radio and hardware access ports as well. Many experimenters use them for various things. They run a version of linux as well.

My current use for one is as a Radio Packet Node. There are several pieces of software that run nodes, and we are sing G8BPQ software to run ours.

A NODE is a visible digital connection via a radio frequency, allowing others to connect to the node. In general a node can do at least the following: Hear and read back the stations it hears, pass message traffic from node to node, either keyboard-to-keyboard, or through the use of “mail boxes” or “BBSes”.

I am running a BBS, or bulletin board service, that connects to about 8 other stations world wide, through HF radio, VHF radio and the Internet. We pass regular bulletins for Ham Radio operations, message traffic and personal email from Ham to Ham.

My system consists of an ICOM IC735 HF radio on 14.105 Mhz (we call that the 105Net) using packet radio signals at 300 baud. The VHF side is 145.010 Mhz, running at 1200 baud. I have several antennas at the house and this network is up 24/7. (We are still wrking on emergency power requirements, and will install a UPS system to keep wifi and radios up during power outages, charged with solar we hope, this year).

There are literally a couple of hundred Ham programs you could use under Linux. Some work well, some are fidgety, but there are even a couple of distros designed specifically for linux use and could be placed on Pi computers. In the end, Amateur Radio is all about experimenting!

Hope this answers some of your question.

Rick, N0NJY

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If I understand correctly, the Pi is acting as a modem to tx/rx data over radio through the audio in/out of your ham radio. Totally nerdy and cool! Thanks.

Aaron, KJ7ZTD

Hi, sorry for the delay in response.

No. The Pi is acting as a computer, controling the data, holding, storing and running the Node.

The “modem” is actually something called a Terminal Node Controller, made by Kantronics, model KAM+

It takes the data from the computer, converting it to the proper sounds and sends it to the transmit port (or received data coming over the air from the audio ports). Information coming from the receive side is converted to data and sent on a serial (USB) cable to the Pi.

The pi runs a program called BPQ and handles Node Broadcasts, and connection requests from hams. The Node keeps information about other nodes and allows one to connect from one node to the next and eventually find the station you’re looking for to communicate with…