Archive | July, 2013

Trifecta: Locked out, Smoke and Crack

14 Jul

Hello and thanks for stopping in for most likely the first time…. at least that is what my server logs say about my visitors. LOL

Any how, you know the saying always keep the smoke inside your electronics. Well playing around at midnight I accidently  plugged a 12v connection into my Parrallax 2×16 LCD screen. It requires 5v. Yes I am trying to place some form of display on my Flight computer. I gotta say, I was kinda surprised to see my wires melt down and turn orange as smoke was created by the Parrallax LCD display and wires. 

Now today as Murphy’s luck would have it.

While trying to disconnect the GPIO ribbon cable to the PI Cobbler that I am using. I accidentally pushed down on the SD Card and now my SD card no longer sits in my RPI. Needless to say this is where redundancy comes in. Also super glue for later on since the RPI is still useable.

Finally, also yesterday I managed to lock my self out of my RPI by disabling all getty references. All I can say yesterday was thank god for my back up that day. There was no way of logging into the RPI. So sad.

However out of the last tragedy came out something very good for you all.  I have now started to compile the exact steps to replicate my findings over here. I will post them up shortly in a different post.

RPIv1 R.I.P.

On a side note, I am really happy because I am about 80% done on my flight computer. Currently, I able to a) automatically capture images and b) GPS data c) convert data images/data to voice prompts and d) take all these voice messages and transmit. Today I will be building a dipole antenna from Steel Music wire


SSTV and its a Go for Transmition

7 Jul

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OK well I guess I was getting a little impatient and instead opted to visit HRO in Burbank to get some advice and get an HT.  While I wasn’t planning on getting an HT I opted to purchase a Wouxun KG-UV3D along with an external mic / speaker.

I feel sorta bad for the external mic it survived about 4 hours before I started to taking it apart. While its original plan of existence was changed. I have to now say I do have a voice activated transmission (VOX) happening now. While it is still not perfect it beats having to buy more gear and most importantly I have my Raspberry PI broadcasting over HAM RADIO waves. 

Overall I have to say the cheapest thing in this project so far is the Raspberry PI everything else costs so much more. 

Oh BTW the image was my first Radio to PC microphone…. next step is to get my FT-817 and Signal link and go from Raspberry PI+radio to Radio+MAC. Lastly I have also made a battery based power pack for the RPi. While it si giving out 12 volt at the moment I know I have to step it down.

SSTV Raspberry PI Parts List

4 Jul

Since I am learning as I go I thought to start listing what I am using:

SSTV, High Altitude Ballon’s and Raspberry PI

3 Jul


So begins my effort to getting my RPI to work with SSTV. The image above was a proof of concept to see if I could get my Raspberry PI to transmit a SSTV still image using the martin 1 protocol. Since you are seeing the image it was a success. The next few steps in the project is to mount a weather station board onto the RPI via its interface and most likely use a Baofeng hand held to transmit the images. Currently my main concern is only having 5 watts of power on the hand held. I wish I could have 10 watts. 

Also more importantly credit goes to ZS1JPM a ham from South Africa who developed the SSTV conversion program. 

Ideas that I will be toying with are:

  • Having dual RPI’s connected via a cross connect. One takes images and jpg to wav and the other creates wav files for inflight status which are transmitted
  • Asterisks PBX on one of the RPI’s 
  • Integrated GPS receiver so that the RPI’s can read the exact location of ballon.