Raspberry Pi & Ham Radio

So I’ve played around a bit with the Raspberry Pi embedded computer and a USB sound card (Soundblaster) in an attempt to use the soundmodem software TNC for APRS tracking. My initial impressions are that my current implementation (Raspbian “wheezy”) is not entirely up to the task. It appears that soundmodem is not able to reliably demodulate incoming AFSK data – perhaps due to an overloaded processor.

I’m working to optimize the current distribution I am using in the hopes that I can trim as much fat as possible – freeing up precious clock cycles for software decoding. In reality, this software solution should work without a hitch as the Raspberry Pi has more than enough processing power to FFT the audio and decode it that way. The reality is mostly missed frames at this point.

I have no doubt that the Raspberry Pi is a fantastic platform using an external stand-alone TNC, acting as an iGate or digipeater. My hope is to have a purely software implementation (aside from the sound card for audio input). I will keep plugging away at the kernel and peripheral modules – there has got to be a way to reliably decode packets in software!

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6 Responses to Raspberry Pi & Ham Radio

  1. Håken says:

    There are a discussion here that should be interesting:

  2. Libor OK2ZO says:


    I’m also working on it and found, that cheap cards are unusable..
    Another project is here: http://www.ultratechie.com/2012/10/pigate/
    Will try buy another SB card, hope it will help..

    73 Libor

  3. VR2XKP says:

    Hi VE3BUX

    I worked a similiar project with you. Feel free visit my blog


  4. Bob VA3QV says:

    Well we do need a APRS digi/IGATE in the south… so from your balcony perhaps…. Let me know if you need anything to go along with the project. I’ve got a spare handheld I can donate to the cause


    • James says:

      Hi Bob!

      I’d be happy to help re-purpose that HT you’ve got sitting idle. I’m going to take another stab at the Raspberry Pi thing over the next few days & once I have it working satisfactorily, I’ll fire off an email or give you a call so we can hash out the rest.


  5. Bob VE3MPG says:

    I’m sure you’ll get it working eventually.
    Here’s something I ran across tonight – might keep you busy if you ever do this hack:

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