Lightweight Rpi interface?

General discussion and support for the Peaberry SDR V2.

Lightweight Rpi interface?

Postby N4WGY » Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:42 pm

I am not a software person, perhaps one of you might be able to school me on the feasibility of the following:
Currently there are no applications (that I know of) that will operate the Peaberry SDR V2 from a stand alone Raspberry Pi or Beaglebone platform in a receive and transmit phone mode.
Would it be possible to write a very pared down application that would function on those low power platforms? Thinking an extremely simple GUI that looks almost like an old fashioned radio, a tune dial, Rx/Tx mode indicator/switch, USB/SSB/AM mode selection, on/off and band select. Sans any bells & whistles like spectrum scope, waterfall, filters. A maximum receive bandwidth of 10KHz. Would the Rpi or Beaglebone have the resource to run with such a pared down app? Have also heard the the Rpi GPU is now open source, perhaps the GPU could be harnessed for the extra needed horsepower to run a simplified SDR utility?
Would be awesome to be able to package a "Peaberry Pi" in a box with a small display, a 20w linear and jacks for mouse, mic, speaker, pwr and antenna.
Would like to hear any readers thoughts.

-Rob
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Re: Lightweight Rpi interface?

Postby kz1x » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:01 am

What you describe is most assuredly possible.

In fact, all the 'low level' work has already been done.

However ... it's a programming effort.

To have it even all thought out, let alone work well, the programmer would also have to be a radio aficionado.
So, that fact greatly limits the available pool of talent right there. Not many people like that.

Then, the sort of talented person who can do this work is likely already employed doing similar work for pay.
Hams would expect this software to be free / open source. So, not much incentive to do the work.

Then there's the support needed. It's a Linux application ... only a tiny fraction of hams able to use it.

The author's e-mail box would fill up in seconds, with every imaginable request (and some unimaginable) from around the world.
Everybody wanting either installation help, operating help, or asking for "just one new feature" to be added.

Lastly, the cost for doing all this would end up being more than one might spend of a ready-built radio that did more.

Not trying to rain on the idea. Just setting some expectations.
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Re: Lightweight Rpi interface?

Postby AE9RB » Sat Mar 15, 2014 1:18 am

ARM 7+ chips have enough power to do SDR. No need to simplify things or use GPU. I'm writing a new type of SDR application which can run on ARM but don't expect to see anything anytime soon.
73 David AE9RB
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Re: Lightweight Rpi interface?

Postby N4WGY » Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:10 pm

Thank you for the rapid and articulate replies gentlemen.

-Rob
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Re: Lightweight Rpi interface?

Postby W4MMP » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:38 pm

AE9RB wrote:ARM 7+ chips have enough power to do SDR. No need to simplify things or use GPU. I'm writing a new type of SDR application which can run on ARM but don't expect to see anything anytime soon.


David, Will it be open source?
73
Ron / W4MMP
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Re: Lightweight Rpi interface?

Postby AE9RB » Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:18 pm

W4MMP wrote:David, Will it be open source?

I don't know. I have no answers for anything about it right now.
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Re: Lightweight Rpi interface?

Postby AB1RW » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:15 am

Good software design is actually more important than "lightweight" which often somehow turns into tightly-coupled, platform-dependent and impossible to maintain.

Alot of the hard stuff has already been done for you ; read up on the GNU Radio Project - which will do most of the DSP required, and is portable, modular, etc.

What you want is an HTML5 RESTful driven User Interface to drive the signal chain. NOT KDE or GNOME or Java Swing, and certainly not .NET / VB.
HTML5 means that you can can control the radio platform from a Web Browser on a netbook, a tablet, or a phone. It would also allow you to control the Radio from a place other than where it runs.
HTML5 Canvas, plus the Server-Side Event API and use of RESTful integration should give you want you need to make something that is platform independent.

That said, your project now reduces to building an integration to GNURadio that involves a number of RESTful services, an HTML5 UI design and a server.. I'm a Java guy, and I'd probably tackle this with JNI Integration to GNURadio, and Jetty - after all, a JVM is pretty much available on many platforms of interest. However, there is also a Python approach available for people so inclined.

I'm an Enterprise Architect (software) by Day. By Weekend, I hang wires up in the trees and talk to the other crazy people.

-- Jim (AB1RW)
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