[aprssig] Quick APRS hardware survey (APRS Hotspot)

Greg Trasuk trasukg at trasuk.com
Thu Jun 22 14:36:01 CDT 2017

Comments and questions intertwined…

> On Jun 22, 2017, at 3:14 PM, Jason KG4WSV <kg4wsv at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 12:41 PM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:
>> Does this already exist?
>> A Raspberry Pi WiFi
> I like Pis well enough, but there's no comparison to the reliability
> of a well done purpose-built system.
> I've installed one to monitor a UPS in a closet (enterprise
> environment, not at home) not only because I need to monitor the UPS,
> but because I want to see if the pi is enterprise-useful, and a pi
> would save me several hundred $$ getting this UPS on ethernet.
> Due to the SD card, if you want an install-and-forget system the first
> thing you have to do is make a read-only system out of it.

Could you expand on this?  I did the calculations, and a reasonable SD card should have enough write cycles for several years.  Why would the system need to be read-only?

> The pi needs a reliable external power supply.


> The pi's wifi is not as reliable as it could be (this may well be a
> linux problem more than a pi problem).  If wifi is a hard requirement,
> it isn't enterprise-ready.

I haven’t tried out a Pi 3 with the built-in WiFi, but with an external dongle I haven’t seen any issues.  Probably varies with the interface that you use.  Arguably, for “enterprise" use, you’d want a hard-wired ethernet cable anyway.

> If we're talking about something to go on a mountain top digi or a
> repeater rack or even an inconveniently located igate in the attic
> i'll skip the pi-kludge, please pass the OpenTracker4.

FWIW, at Burlington Amateur Radio Club, we’ve had a couple of Pis at our remote location (one for APRS, one for D-Star) for about a year now, with few actual Pi-related problems.  We did have to replace a cheap SD card with a name-brand card, and we’re currently having trouble with a cheap Chinese USB-Serial interface.  In general, though, the Pi’s have been pretty solid.

> -Jason
> kg4wsv
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Greg Trasuk, VA3TSK

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