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Date: 12/13/16 11:56
Raspberry Pi computers
Author: fbe

Is anyone here doing anything hobby related with these devices? Model Railroading, Railfanning, history?

Date: 12/14/16 11:44
Re: Raspberry Pi computers
Author: MirandaDepot

Many on-line resources for Raspberry Pi computers exist, so you are sure to find something of interest. A major application involves use of an inexpensive software defined radio with a Rasp Pi. A good general starting point is the rtl-sdr web site, although it is not primarily oriented toward Rasp Pi. 

For those interested in aircraft monitoring, the satsignal.eu web site has instructions on monitoring ADS-B data. A more rookie-friendly approach is through flightaware, which also sells reasonably priced antennas, filters, and radios. Also consider NooElec for radios. Prices are roughly around $20 or so for SDR radios. You will want the latest Rasp Pi model, which includes BlueTooth and wi-fi. 

GQRX radio software now supports Rasp Pi, so you can monitor your local railroad road channel. The SDR radios will work above 900 MHZ, so monitoring ATCS signals might be possible, although I have not yet tested that. Feel free to experiment. Of course, ATCS Monitor program only works on Windows. 

Add the Rasp Pi touch screen display and a plastic case, and you will have a fun small computer. 

Be be prepared for complex software installation instructions, with requirements for various libraries, drivers, and prerequisite programs. That's part of the learning process...just try, learn something, and start over if necessary. Right now I have six of the things running, happily shipping data around the house. 


Date: 12/14/16 12:11
Re: Raspberry Pi computers
Author: fbe


Thanks for the feedback. I am far from being a computer geek but when you can buy a fully programmable pocket size computer for less than the price of a non-sound DCC decoder used in model railroading there has got to be some potential. I hear Raspberries are showing up in prototype signal installations since you do not need to rewire a bungalow and install new circuit cards when you can just reprogram the computer.

My nephew is a freshman in college and spent the summer with two of his classmates installing hardware, trouble shooting hardware and connections and keeping neighbors calm. So I bought him a Raspberry Pi 3 for Christmas so I added another to the order for myself. I got power supplies that connect to the rows of pins on the computer and I am thinking I can use old laptop wall charger for power off the wall.

I suspect ATCS might be a first application i try. I guess I need to join that group.


Date: 12/14/16 16:42
Re: Raspberry Pi computers
Author: jridge

If you listen to the podcast "Model Rail Radio",  in the last few years or so they've been talking about these small computers (including the Arduino) on Model Railroads.  Specifically, discussed by Terry Terrance on the podcast.


Date: 12/17/16 10:49
Re: Raspberry Pi computers
Author: fbe

Here's a place I found with a wide inventory of Raspberry Pi items. I have no connection other than I just ordered the 7" touch screen there.

. www.mcmelectronics.com

I was down to Best Buy looking for a power supply and a sales person showed me a tabletop tower display which was powered by two Raspberry computers. He lifted a side panel and there the were running the videos on 4 sides of the tower. I can't even remember what the product was.

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