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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Raspberry Pi Part 2

The Digi Corner Vol 1, Chapter 2, 15 April 2014, Bootjack CA

Well I see you have made it back.  Lets look at some of the projects we will be looking  to accomplish using the Raspberry PI in our radio shack.

Setting up the Raspberry Pi to  ...

use a TNC (KPC3+, MFJ 1278, TNC-X, TNC-PI...)

use a USB sound card.

use a Rascal PSK31 modem with either a serial or USB interface.

be a rig controller (ICOM, Kenwood, Yaesu ...) directly connected.

a station computer network, that will allow us to access the internet,  allow us to remotely control our rigs and to share devices on our network with other devices (such as printers).

program hand held radios.

be a DSP front end to our rigs

be a SDR (Software Defined Radio) receiver.

be a PC based ocilliscope

So before we go jumping into our project lists lets talk about just what a Pi can or cannot do.

The Pi is a General Purpose computer just like our Laptop and Desktop computers.  There is a caveat though it can at the most do only one thing at a time and at times it will do it slowly, in other words if it is surfing the net it cannot be supporting a printer.  For $35 what should you expect, but if you want to throw money at it you can expand it up to be a "full blown" desktop using a package from Geekroo called the Fairywren and that would take a fair amount of work to accomplish.  What I am forewarning about is that like Tribbles they soon start popping up all over the place.

Right now Mike KE7NVX is kindly assembling the TNC-Pi and I hope he is taking notes as he does the assembly that we can share with you all.

As we work through on these projects I will start off like we had not done anything at all to the setup of the computer or it's software. 

Installing the FLDigi package to use with with RASCAL sound card modem

OK, first we need to do a basic setup of the PI and for starters we will configure an SD card

for this recipe you will need:

  • 1 Raspberry Pi either a model A or B (I will be working with a B.
  • 1 16GB SD card of high quality.
  • 1 5v 1.5 amp or greater power supply with micro USB connector.
  • 1 USB wired or wireless keyboard and mouse.
  • 1 USB Hub with a 2 amp or greater power supply
  • 1 HDMI monitor w/cable (you can use an old TV for this with a composite connection) and remember size does matter in this case you have to be able to read the screen.
  • 1 PC or Laptop running Win XP service pac 3, Win 7, Win 8, or 8.1 and it must have a USB port available. (you can use a Mac if you must but I don't have one so I can't help you with this process).
  •  SD Formatter a software package that you can download from here.
  • Win32 Disk Imager another software package, download it here.
  • a disk image of the Raspbian Wheezy OS (as soon as I can figure how to let you download it from this site it will be a custom image developed for MAARO/Mariposa County ARES will be available here but for now you need to download the "rocky road" version from here make sure you get the full blown Raspbian Wheezy release in zip format.
  • zip opening tool (only if you Desktop or Laptop PC OS wont open it and in that case get WinZip from here).
  • an SD card reader/writer can be a multi card or a single card the choice is yours.
  • Pen and paper cause if you are like me I tend to forget thing. My short-term memory is shot. (now where is the enter key,) 
 Setup:

  1. Download and install the SD Association's Formatting tool from here
  2. Open the Application you have just installed
  3. Set "FORMAT SIZE ADJUSTMENT" to ON in the Options menu.  DO NOT USE QUICK FORMAT even if you SD card is new you must format it with this tool.
  4. Make sure you have selected the Drive your SD Card is inserted in
  5. Click "Format" This takes a while go get a cup of coffee, now where did I leave my cup ?

Using the Win32DiskImager program:

    File:Win32DiskImager.png
  1. Download the Wheezy disk image from the Raspberry Pi or from a mirror or torrent. Make sure the distribution is for the Raspberry Pi, as others will not work. Usually these are zipped (compressed) files ending in .zip or .gz (something like "distribution-name.zip"). 
  2. Extract the image file from the downloaded .zip file, so you now have "distribution-name.img".
  3. Insert the SD card into your SD card reader and check what drive letter it was assigned. You can easily see the drive letter (for example G:) by looking in the left column of Windows Explorer. You can use the SD Card slot (if you have one) or a cheap Adapter in a USB slot.
  4. Download the Win32DiskImager utility (it is also a zip file). You can run this from a USB drive.Extract the executable from the zip file and run the Win32DiskImager utility; you may need to run the utility as Administrator! Right-click on the file, and select 'Run as Administrator'
  5. Extract the executable from the zip file and run the Win32DiskImager utility; you may need to run the utility as Administrator! Right-click on the file, and select 'Run as Administrator'
  6. Select the image file you extracted above.
  7. Select the drive letter of the SD card in the device box. Be careful to select the correct drive; if you get the wrong one you can destroy your data on the computer's hard disk! If you are using an SD Card slot in your computer (if you have one) and can't see the drive in the Win32DiskImager window, try using a cheap Adapter in a USB slot.
  8. Click Write and wait for the write to complete.
  9. Exit the imager and eject the SD card.
  10. You are now ready to plug the card into your Raspberry Pi.
    In Windows, the SD card will appear only to have a fairly small size once written - about 55 to 75 MB. This is because most of the card has a partition that is formatted for the Linux operating system that the Raspberry Pi uses which is not visible in Windows. If you don't see this small directory with files such as kernel.img then the copy may not have worked correctly.

    Using flashnul (if Win32DiskImager isn't successful)


    1. You may not be able to choose the device in Win32DiskImager on some notebooks so this is a different way to achieve the same thing on a Windows machine. Download the distribution from the | raspberrypi.org downloads page or from a mirror or torrent. Make sure the distribution is for the Raspberry Pi, as others will not work. 
    2. Usually these are zipped (compressed) files ending in .zip or .gz (something like "distribution-name.zip").
    3. Extract the image file from the downloaded .zip file, so you now have "distribution-name.img".
    4. Insert the SD card into your SD card reader and check what drive letter it was assigned. You can easily see the drive letter (for example G:) by looking in the left column of Windows Explorer. You can use an SD Card slot in your computer (if you have one) or a cheap Adapter in a USB slot.
    5. Download the flashnul software from http://shounen.ru/soft/flashnul/index.html ; here is the English Translated version with a link to instructions (also translated)
    6. Download the latest version. At the time of writing it was flashnul-1rc1.
    7. Extract the application from the archive.
    8. Click Start button > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt, right click on it and Run as Administrator.
    9. Run flashnul with argument "-p":
C:/flashnul/flashnul.exe -p
  • Flashnul will tell you something like this (it should be different, as it depends on the drives on your machine):
Available physical drives:
0       size = 250059350016 (232 Gb)
1       size = 1990197248 (1898 Mb)

Available logical disks:
C:\
D:\
E:\
F:\

Press ENTER to exit.
  • Use the Load option of flashnul to put the image file on the SD Card. Make sure that you use the correct drive letter for the SD Card as that drive will be overwritten!
C:/flashnul/flashnul.exe E: -L C:/temp/distribution-name.img
Where C:/flashnul/flashnul.exe is the location of the flashnul program; E: is the drive you want to overwrite, and C:/temp/distribution-name.img is the location of the .img file.
  • Flashnul will give you a device summary and a caution message. Check the information to make sure you have selected the correct device, then type yes and press enter.
  • If you get an access denied error, make sure to close all explorer windows or folders open for the device, then try re-plugging the SD card.
Well I guess that is enough for today.  You now have an SD card configured for you PI and you can play with it if you want or wait untill tommorw when I will show you how to setup the OS on you PI.

And remember no PIs have been injured or damaged using these steps, well maybe a SD card has been bricked.

73s

--Ross
AC7KH/ON9CKH


 






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