Raspberry Pi2 up and running; DUMP1090, Piaware, GPredict as well as browsing the web

The Raspberry Pi2 was delivered very quickly - thank you CPC! However, owing to a bit of silliness on my part I didn't get it running until today. I'd assumed - always a dangerous thing - that the Pi2 used an SD card for its storage, like the Pi. Oh no it doesn't! It uses a micro SD card. I didn't discover this until I went to plug the SD card in!

Ah well. A quick Amazon order later and a micro SD card and an adapter was on the way. Those arrived here this morning, so I quickly prepared the micro SD card.

I had a bit of fun getting decent video on my rather old monitor in the shack and was starting to think I wasn't going to find something better than VGA! However, a setting of hdmi_group=2 and hdmi_mode=16 gave me a reasonable compromise between getting a decent amount on the screen and being able to read it without green and yellow flashing in the background.!

The first bit of software I installed was the Gpredict satellite prediction program. It's nice to have the map running in the shack. That went well and only seemed to be taking a very small percentage of CPU.

Then I installed RTLSDR and tested it, without any problems. I installed DUMP1090 - the ADS-B decoder as well as the Piaware software which uploads the ADS-B spots to Flightaware. Those programs run quite happily at the same time as Gpredict and use around 7% of CPU.

I fired up the Epiphany web browser and went to Twitter - again, the CPU was quite happy.

This looks very useful. I think I'd better order it a case!
Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

4 Responses to “Raspberry Pi2 up and running; DUMP1090, Piaware, GPredict as well as browsing the web”

  • Steve (G1KQH):

    I will be happier when its running Windows 10, not Geekware you sometimes have headaches coaxing it into action.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    With the ARM processor being the core, Windoz 7,8, 10 etc would be a really good trick. I have a RPi for my Panadpator for the KX3 (also a real one called a PX3). I need to see if this new board will be compatible. I suspect it will be, but after almost 40 yrs in the field I don’t assume much any more. Too many …but it should.. and it didn’t. Thanks for sharing..

    73 Harry K7ZOV

  • Tom KC9JZF:

    Actually, Microsoft has said that Windows 10 will support the Raspberry Pi. They don’t specify which version but I would imagine it will be the newest release, The Raspberry Pi 2. This has a multi-core processor and other improvements that are worth checking out.

  • Dave G0WBX:

    Remember, the Pi’s use an ARM CPU, not an Intel/AMD x86 compatible device!

    It may run a version of Windows 10, when MS release that, but you will -Not- be able to run native x86 Windows app’s on it, because the Pi2 (like the earlier ones) uses an ARM processor, not an x86 Intel or clone. Totally different CPU architecture and instruction set.

    If, you (or someone else) can recompile/rebuild from source the application you want to run on the Pi, you might be lucky, but don’t expect stuff like UiView etc to ever run on a Pi, unless you can get a virtual machine running, and then again because of the CPU differences (multi core or not) the VM will have to emulate an x86 processor to run x86 code, AND you’ll need to install Windows into it. As a result, that will not be quick.

    Again, because of the CPU architecture differences, I doubt Wine will ever be viable on a Pi either.

    If you can compile from source, you might as well embrace Linux (the lighter weight versions anyway to start with) and run with it. It’s not anyway as near phreaky and unstable as it was even 5 years ago. (And in all honesty, it was pretty good then too.) For Ham use, it really is a viable option these days. Plus, the price is right.

    However, like other OS’s, keep it up to date, it’s only a matter of time before the nasty brigade realize that there is enough installed Linux machines to make it worthwhile targeting and hacking, in a bad way.

    Again, for Ham use, Linux is probably the way to go these days, especially as MS are getting more and more protective of their code, making it difficult (not impossible, just difficult) to create needed hardware drivers for the newer versions of their OS. Needing digital signatures etc, if you need to deploy to a wider audience, without needing them to force a machine into developer mode.

    There is some stunningly good software out there now for Amateur Radio use on Linux. The obvious choices are the Fl suite of programs, GPredict (as above) the ‘JT’ collection of narrowband tools, and many other well known open source programs and tools.

    If the sources are available, it can probably be made to build and run on a Pi these days. (Yes, you do need external sound -input- hardware, but that’s about the only extra -needed- hardware, well, maybe a USBSerial port for rig control, but, you’ll need those too for a modern Windows box anyway.)

    If you want to run Windows, buy a Windows PC, or install disk and load it onto a x86 type PC of your choice, or one of the newer Intel Atom based tablets.

    As for “you sometimes have headaches coaxing it into action.” And that -doesn’t- happen with Windows???

    73.

    Dave G0WBX.

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