1694Re: [Raspberry_Pi_4-Ham_RADIO] framework for self-starting ham application images on Raspberry pi
- May 14, 2013Hi John, all,
Thank you all for replying.
I understand your point about the Universal digital radio you are working on.
However, the pi is a bit a different setup. The UDR is a generic radio / computing platform that can do all kind of stuff; so configuring it via a GUI makes sence.
For me, the RPi is ideal as part of a "kit": a hardware kit (pi, radio, interfaces, ...), software and configuration. As the pi boots of a flashcard, you can create dedicated SD cards for one particular purpose.
And, concidering the price of the RPi, it should not be an issue to just keep a pi dedicated for one particular project.
Concidering the low power-consumption, this would make it ideal for emergengy communication project: create a kit for a particular purpose (repeater, linknode, aprs node, ...) beforehand, go onsite, install, boot the devices and start the service.
It would also help people like Kerry to start using the pi as a device without having to know all the insides and outsides of linux.
The only annoying aspect here is "configuration". FInd an easy way to configure such a device, using as few as possible external components as possible. (so no networking, no DHCP servers, no bootp). Keep it simple.
The proposal of putting the configuration on a extra USB stick that Jim proposed is also interesting. (if there is a USB slot available for it). At least, it would provide for a lot more space. This is probably not be necessairy for configuration purposes, but it be usefull to store logfiles.
Now, my proposal was to see if we could not come up with a generic framework.
The goal is to allow a developers who has just created a ham-related application based on the pi, to go to some website and follow a couple of steps and end up with a .iso file of a self-contained system that users can download, reconfigure, boot and start using it.
My idea was a document (a wiki?) with information like:
- a generic description of a self-contained system (where to put the config-files, ...)
- examples of scripts that can be used during startup of a self-contained system + information where to put them in /etc/init.d and /etc/rc2.d to do their work
- information like "ok, I now have a running system on a pi, how do I create a .iso that users can just download"
- (perhaps) ...
So, I do not want to create a complete configuration system for everything. I do not believe in these "one system to rule them all" approach.
The goal is just to provide with the basic information and a couple of basic tools to allow a developer to create a "kit" for one particular purpose; using (in this case) the pi as computing device.
kristoff - ON1ARF
On 14-05-13 00:26, John D. Hays wrote:
Kristoff,It sounds like a pretty good idea. One thing we are doing at NW Digital Radio is implementing command, control, and monitoring using websocket technology, specifically using node.js to provide asynchronous services.Almost every application has configuration and monitoring requirements. The web browser is the universal GUI agent. The problem, in the past, has been having real-time, 2-way interaction with the backend without the submit/refresh paradigm. Websockets provides a way to take advantage of the ubiquity of web browsers to configure, control, and monitor your headless appliance.Seed information in a FAT partition makes sense (e.g. what IP address to come up on, etc.), but more complex configuration and monitoring via the web, would make such appliances much more friendly.
On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 2:54 PM, Kristoff Bonne <kristoff@...> wrote:
I am now working on the "build your own echolink node with a raspberry
The final goal would be to come to a system that is as easy as possible
to use. Something as simple as "insert a SD card in the Raspberry pi,
connect the cables, boot and go".
But, I guess this would not only be usefull for my project. In fact,
this probably applies to all "headless" applications (i.e. applications
that do not need user input/output via keyboard or screen) and quite a
number of the ham-projects are like that: D-STAR repeaters/hotspots,
APRS nodes, WSPR listeners, repeater controllers, APRS weather stations,
c2gmsk modem, etc.
In all these cases, we just need a radio, some butons, (in some cases)
an IP connection (read: ethernet) and ... a configuration file for the
application; but no screen or keyboard.
So, would it not be usefull to create a generic framework for this, or
an overall document that describes how to build such a setup? This could
be usefull for a lot of different projects.
My idea would be this:
- a SD card with three partitions: the two normal partitions (boot +
system) and an additional FAT partition.
- the addition partition would contain the configuration files for the
application involved and (perhaps) some system configurations.
- The diskimage can be directly copied to a SD card (as you would do to
- The user would then just need to modify the files on the extra
partition. As it FAT formatted, it can be read on any computer that has
a SD card reader (even windows. :-) )
- Then, insert the SDcard in the pi and boot it. A startup application
will read and/or copy the configuration files from the FAT partition to
the system disk, do some preconfiguration work and then the pi can start
doing its thing.
I guess this would be a setup that is pretty generic for a lot of
Concerning the preconfiguration scripts, most of them would be pretty
specific for the application, but there are some that might be generic
and reusable. (I'm thinking of scripts to configure a fixed ip-address
on a pi; which is pretty important if you have an application that
depends on portforwarding on the router).
Any ideas of comments? Is there who already has experience with this?
Any pointers to existing documentation on how to do this?
kristoff - ON1ARF
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