Which Pi ?


Don Ritchie
 

We are looking for the correct "answer" to a question that someone on
this should be able to answer ...

What is the best device to use as a TNC that will no resetting ?

Something that can be "deployed" at a remote location as a digipeater,
with a good commercial radio

that could be a "set and forget" device ?

Thanks

Don K8ZGW


Jim Higgins
 

Received from Don Ritchie at 6/18/2021 18:33 UTC:

What is the best device to use as a TNC that will no resetting ?

Something that can be "deployed" at a remote location as a digipeater, with a good commercial radio that could be a "set and forget" device ?

Thanks

Don K8ZGW

For a REMOTE location where "set and forget" is the goal... I'd be inclined to go with almost any of the hardware TNCs that were popular in the 80s. There should be a number of them sitting unused in the closets of fellow hams who were active on packet back then. You could ask on the local repeater. If you go this route, I'd suggest replacing any electrolytic capacitors since they'll be 30+ years old. They're also available new... at a surprisingly high price.

73 de Jim, KB3PU


 

I’ve been using a NinoTNC with a Raspberry pI at a remote site.  It’s accessible but only with phone call and a decently long drive and has no Internet at the site.  Packet only.  I had to assure a robust power supply for the Raspberry PI.  I use a gel-cel floated from a DC power supply and then run through a DROK variable-output USB supply running at 5.2V DC.  Schematic is here:
http://tarpn.net/t/builder/builders_robust_power_for_raspberry_pi.html

The NinoTNC is a very capable KISS over USB 1200 AX.25 TNC through-hole build-from-PCB that costs about $40 delivered, including the parts order from Digikey.  The TNC also can do 2400, 4800, 9600 (G3RUH) and has an optional F.E.C. mode.  

I run G8BPQ LINBPQ with his LINCHAT and LINBBS on the Raspberry PI under Raspbian Buster OS.  

The software and TNC seem stable as a rock.  The Raspberry PI doesn’t die on its own.  It’s robust.  What usually kills these is power glitches, and memory card abuse caused by continuous file-system writes.  A packet system doesn’t need to write that much to the file system.  I guess it depends on what your applications do.  The power fluctuations are another matter.  The Raspberry PI is really sensitive to voltage going down to even 5V and SDcard writes during low voltage seems to be a killer.  Also cutting power while files are open for write is rumored to be a big problem.  So don’t let the voltage go low.   

The site has been active for 7 years.   I’ve had a total of 3 visits forced by equipment failure in 7 years. The only failures at the site were in the battery backup in concert with shor AC power drop-outs.  None were long enough to run the battery below it’s safety level.  I have theories, but no proof, as to why the battery didn’t hold up.  I forgot that a diode drop between 13.8 and the battery would not give the battery enough charge voltage.  Also, the building it is in gets up to higher than ambient temperature in North Carolina summers as well as near ambient in the winter, so 30F to 110F with many days > 85F.   I’m not sure if either of those could kill a Gel Cel but that’s all I’ve got.  I have the DC supply set to 14.2v now.  We’re going on about 9 months since this version of the node equipment was installed.  The shed is open to birds and bugs and whatnot so it isn’t the nicest environment, but if I replace the Raspberry PI and battery every couple of PI releases (2 years or so), I think I’ll keep ahead of it.  

    Tadd - KA2DEW  http://qrz.com/db/ka2dew 

On Jun 18, 2021, at 3:27 PM, Jim Higgins <HigginsJ@...> wrote:

Received from Don Ritchie at 6/18/2021 18:33 UTC:

What is the best device to use as a TNC that will no resetting ?

Something that can be "deployed" at a remote location as a digipeater, with a good commercial radio that could be a "set and forget" device ?

Thanks

Don K8ZGW


For a REMOTE location where "set and forget" is the goal... I'd be inclined to go with almost any of the hardware TNCs that were popular in the 80s. There should be a number of them sitting unused in the closets of fellow hams who were active on packet back then. You could ask on the local repeater. If you go this route, I'd suggest replacing any electrolytic capacitors since they'll be 30+ years old. They're also available new... at a surprisingly high price.

73 de Jim, KB3PU








David Ranch
 


Would this be an APRS digipeater or a connected packet digipeater?  I think any Raspberry PI solution could be made bullet proof with a bit of hardening (read only file systems, enable CPU watchdog, etc).   If you want more of a purpose built appliance, consider a Kantronics KPC3+ with a 9.1 firmware with the hardware flowcontrol workaround implemented:

   http://aprs.org/kpc3/kpc3+82WIDEn.txt

--David
KI6ZHD



On 06/18/2021 11:33 AM, Don Ritchie wrote:
We are looking for the correct "answer" to a question that someone on
this should be able to answer ...

What is the best device to use as a TNC that will no resetting ?

Something that can be "deployed" at a remote location as a digipeater,
with a good commercial radio

that could be a "set and forget" device ?

Thanks

Don K8ZGW








Don Ritchie
 

not aprs, but packet on a separate network, on what used to be a navy MARS channel

Will became part of SHARES network.

On 6/18/2021 17:18, David Ranch wrote:

Would this be an APRS digipeater or a connected packet digipeater?  I think any Raspberry PI solution could be made bullet proof with a bit of hardening (read only file systems, enable CPU watchdog, etc).   If you want more of a purpose built appliance, consider a Kantronics KPC3+ with a 9.1 firmware with the hardware flowcontrol workaround implemented:

   http://aprs.org/kpc3/kpc3+82WIDEn.txt

--David
KI6ZHD



On 06/18/2021 11:33 AM, Don Ritchie wrote:
We are looking for the correct "answer" to a question that someone on
this should be able to answer ...

What is the best device to use as a TNC that will no resetting ?

Something that can be "deployed" at a remote location as a digipeater,
with a good commercial radio

that could be a "set and forget" device ?

Thanks

Don K8ZGW








Les Keegan
 

Coasta Chip Works TNC for Pi's work well. Sadly they do not make anymore but maybe someone has one out there that are willing to part with. These TNC's fit right over the GPIO pins and nice neat little package. I use the Icom F-121S commercial radios for my packet digipeaters. Associated Radio made the cables for me.

Les Keegan
N4LPK


On Friday, June 18, 2021, 07:13:44 PM EDT, Don Ritchie <dritchie@...> wrote:


not aprs, but packet on a separate network, on what used to be a navy MARS channel

Will became part of SHARES network.

On 6/18/2021 17:18, David Ranch wrote:

Would this be an APRS digipeater or a connected packet digipeater?  I think any Raspberry PI solution could be made bullet proof with a bit of hardening (read only file systems, enable CPU watchdog, etc).   If you want more of a purpose built appliance, consider a Kantronics KPC3+ with a 9.1 firmware with the hardware flowcontrol workaround implemented:

   http://aprs.org/kpc3/kpc3+82WIDEn.txt

--David
KI6ZHD



On 06/18/2021 11:33 AM, Don Ritchie wrote:
We are looking for the correct "answer" to a question that someone on
this should be able to answer ...

What is the best device to use as a TNC that will no resetting ?

Something that can be "deployed" at a remote location as a digipeater,
with a good commercial radio

that could be a "set and forget" device ?

Thanks

Don K8ZGW








N5XMT
 

There is also the TARPN NinoTNC
Same size as a pi, but it's USB instead of GPIO.  I run one for Mobile APRS, and was running one for an iGate at the QTH.  The have shut down for a month on selling them, but I still have a couple bare boards I'll part with for shipping cost.  They have a full parts list and Mouser BOM on their site with all instructions.  Only thing you'd need to wait for is the programmed processor chip from them.  I think the chip is 9.00 or so, the Mouser parts package is about 24.00.

On Jun 19, 2021, at 07:03, "Les Keegan via groups.io" <yahoo.com@groups.io target=_blank>l_keegan=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Coasta Chip Works TNC for Pi's work well. Sadly they do not make anymore but maybe someone has one out there that are willing to part with. These TNC's fit right over the GPIO pins and nice neat little package. I use the Icom F-121S commercial radios for my packet digipeaters. Associated Radio made the cables for me.

Les Keegan
N4LPK


On Friday, June 18, 2021, 07:13:44 PM EDT, Don Ritchie <dritchie@...> wrote:


not aprs, but packet on a separate network, on what used to be a navy MARS channel

Will became part of SHARES network.

On 6/18/2021 17:18, David Ranch wrote:

Would this be an APRS digipeater or a connected packet digipeater?  I think any Raspberry PI solution could be made bullet proof with a bit of hardening (read only file systems, enable CPU watchdog, etc).   If you want more of a purpose built appliance, consider a Kantronics KPC3+ with a 9.1 firmware with the hardware flowcontrol workaround implemented:

   http://aprs.org/kpc3/kpc3+82WIDEn.txt

--David
KI6ZHD



On 06/18/2021 11:33 AM, Don Ritchie wrote:
We are looking for the correct "answer" to a question that someone on
this should be able to answer ...

What is the best device to use as a TNC that will no resetting ?

Something that can be "deployed" at a remote location as a digipeater,
with a good commercial radio

that could be a "set and forget" device ?

Thanks

Don K8ZGW








Brian Clark
 

Also, MFJ is selling the newer Coastal Chipworks board fully assembled, no kit option:

On Jun 19, 2021, at 8:06 AM, N5XMT <dacooley@...> wrote:


There is also the TARPN NinoTNC
Same size as a pi, but it's USB instead of GPIO.  I run one for Mobile APRS, and was running one for an iGate at the QTH.  The have shut down for a month on selling them, but I still have a couple bare boards I'll part with for shipping cost.  They have a full parts list and Mouser BOM on their site with all instructions.  Only thing you'd need to wait for is the programmed processor chip from them.  I think the chip is 9.00 or so, the Mouser parts package is about 24.00.

On Jun 19, 2021, at 07:03, "Les Keegan via groups.io" <yahoo.com@groups.io target=_blank>l_keegan=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Coasta Chip Works TNC for Pi's work well. Sadly they do not make anymore but maybe someone has one out there that are willing to part with. These TNC's fit right over the GPIO pins and nice neat little package. I use the Icom F-121S commercial radios for my packet digipeaters. Associated Radio made the cables for me.

Les Keegan
N4LPK


On Friday, June 18, 2021, 07:13:44 PM EDT, Don Ritchie <dritchie@...> wrote:


not aprs, but packet on a separate network, on what used to be a navy MARS channel

Will became part of SHARES network.

On 6/18/2021 17:18, David Ranch wrote:

Would this be an APRS digipeater or a connected packet digipeater?  I think any Raspberry PI solution could be made bullet proof with a bit of hardening (read only file systems, enable CPU watchdog, etc).   If you want more of a purpose built appliance, consider a Kantronics KPC3+ with a 9.1 firmware with the hardware flowcontrol workaround implemented:

   http://aprs.org/kpc3/kpc3+82WIDEn.txt

--David
KI6ZHD



On 06/18/2021 11:33 AM, Don Ritchie wrote:
We are looking for the correct "answer" to a question that someone on
this should be able to answer ...

What is the best device to use as a TNC that will no resetting ?

Something that can be "deployed" at a remote location as a digipeater,
with a good commercial radio

that could be a "set and forget" device ?

Thanks

Don K8ZGW








Mark Griffith
 

WVCARC is selling the TNC-Pi9k6 in either kit form or assembled.  It is 1200/9600 baud capable.  I have one running on an RMS station for more than a year with no issues.


Mark
KD0QYN


On Saturday, June 19, 2021, 10:11:31 AM CDT, Brian Clark <decompudoc@...> wrote:


Also, MFJ is selling the newer Coastal Chipworks board fully assembled, no kit option:

https://mfjenterprises.com/products/mfj-1270pi-pitnc-board?_pos=1&_sid=b7e16117c&_ss=r

73’s KF6FES

Brian

On Jun 19, 2021, at 8:06 AM, N5XMT <dacooley@...> wrote:


There is also the TARPN NinoTNC
Same size as a pi, but it's USB instead of GPIO.  I run one for Mobile APRS, and was running one for an iGate at the QTH.  The have shut down for a month on selling them, but I still have a couple bare boards I'll part with for shipping cost.  They have a full parts list and Mouser BOM on their site with all instructions.  Only thing you'd need to wait for is the programmed processor chip from them.  I think the chip is 9.00 or so, the Mouser parts package is about 24.00.

On Jun 19, 2021, at 07:03, "Les Keegan via groups.io" <yahoo.com@groups.io target=_blank>l_keegan=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Coasta Chip Works TNC for Pi's work well. Sadly they do not make anymore but maybe someone has one out there that are willing to part with. These TNC's fit right over the GPIO pins and nice neat little package. I use the Icom F-121S commercial radios for my packet digipeaters. Associated Radio made the cables for me.

Les Keegan
N4LPK


On Friday, June 18, 2021, 07:13:44 PM EDT, Don Ritchie <dritchie@...> wrote:


not aprs, but packet on a separate network, on what used to be a navy MARS channel

Will became part of SHARES network.

On 6/18/2021 17:18, David Ranch wrote:

Would this be an APRS digipeater or a connected packet digipeater?  I think any Raspberry PI solution could be made bullet proof with a bit of hardening (read only file systems, enable CPU watchdog, etc).   If you want more of a purpose built appliance, consider a Kantronics KPC3+ with a 9.1 firmware with the hardware flowcontrol workaround implemented:

   http://aprs.org/kpc3/kpc3+82WIDEn.txt

--David
KI6ZHD



On 06/18/2021 11:33 AM, Don Ritchie wrote:
We are looking for the correct "answer" to a question that someone on
this should be able to answer ...

What is the best device to use as a TNC that will no resetting ?

Something that can be "deployed" at a remote location as a digipeater,
with a good commercial radio

that could be a "set and forget" device ?

Thanks

Don K8ZGW








 

https://nwdigitalradio.com/products/draws%E2%84%A2


N5XMT
 

Also, in typical MFJ style, price gouging for it

On Jun 19, 2021, at 08:11, Brian Clark <decompudoc@...> wrote:
Also, MFJ is selling the newer Coastal Chipworks board fully assembled, no kit option:

https://mfjenterprises.com/products/mfj-1270pi-pitnc-board?_pos=1&_sid=b7e16117c&_ss=r

73’s KF6FES

Brian

On Jun 19, 2021, at 8:06 AM, N5XMT <dacooley@...> wrote:


There is also the TARPN NinoTNC
Same size as a pi, but it's USB instead of GPIO.  I run one for Mobile APRS, and was running one for an iGate at the QTH.  The have shut down for a month on selling them, but I still have a couple bare boards I'll part with for shipping cost.  They have a full parts list and Mouser BOM on their site with all instructions.  Only thing you'd need to wait for is the programmed processor chip from them.  I think the chip is 9.00 or so, the Mouser parts package is about 24.00.


Dave R
 

On Sat, Jun 19, 2021, 09:35 N5XMT <dacooley@...> wrote:
Also, in typical MFJ style, price gouging for it
On Jun 19, 2021, at 08:11, Brian Clark <decompudoc@...> wrote:
Also, MFJ is selling the newer Coastal Chipworks board fully assembled, no kit option:

https://mfjenterprises.com/products/mfj-1270pi-pitnc-board?_pos=1&_sid=b7e16117c&_ss=r

73’s KF6FES

Brian

On Jun 19, 2021, at 8:06 AM, N5XMT <dacooley@...> wrote:


There is also the TARPN NinoTNC
Same size as a pi, but it's USB instead of GPIO.  I run one for Mobile APRS, and was running one for an iGate at the QTH.  The have shut down for a month on selling them, but I still have a couple bare boards I'll part with for shipping cost.  They have a full parts list and Mouser BOM on their site with all instructions.  Only thing you'd need to wait for is the programmed processor chip from them.  I think the chip is 9.00 or so, the Mouser parts package is about 24.00.


Larry Macionski
 

To answer the question "Which PI?"

Assuming you are speaking of a Packet TNC 1200 baud.. any Raspberry pi has plenty of Horse power. A RPI4 is actually overkill...

I use and have used for at least 8-10 years a RPI2 with a Coastal Chipsworks TNC-PI kit, that I have had no problems using for APRS and Packet. It just keeps playing...

You can find RPI2's and 3's for less than $35 retail price. Ebay is a source.  I bought a few RPI3B+ for $27 at Microcenter about January.
I also recommend VILROS.COM for a mail order source. I have used them 4-5 times. They are in NJ and sometimes have free shipping options. NJ to KS where I am located has been 2 says all 4-5 times.. So people on the east coast can probably get 1 day service. Standard shipping is USPS.

Larry W8LM


Mark VE3JMR
 

Microsat WX3in1 Plus 2.0 This solution is not plug-n-play and it's not a Pi, however, I know of many that have used them for years and at very remote sites. One ham I know has three of these on mountain tops where winter conditions are extreme and they just keep working. The beauty of this unit is that it is all contained in one package that you connect to the radio.