Posts tagged g1hsm

Leon G1HSM gives talk on Raspberry Pi


Leon G1HSM gave an educational and insightful talk on the infamous Raspberry Pi to a well attended club room.

Leon gave a great talk at the Taplin Centre on Wednesday 24th of June, and made quite an impression with his insightful and education talk on the Raspberry Pi. Here is Leon’s report for his presentation.

Concept developed by Eben Upton of Broadcom, a large fabless chip supplier, in 2009. First boards were released in 2012. It’s a tiny credit-card sized computer originally based on the Broadcom BCM2835 SoC – a dual-core 700 MHz ARM processor with 256 Mb of RAM, piggy-backed together, and 26 I/O pins. It was later (2015) updated to a quad-core 1000 MHz processor with 512 Mb of RAM and 40 I/O pins. OS and program storage on flash memory card (Micro SD on the latest models). It was primarily intended to teach kids about computing for a small outlay (under £20) – requires a power supply, TV, keyboard and mouse. However, it has proved of more general interest. Over five million have been sold. Outside China, they are available from primary distributors Farnell and RS, as well as many secondary sellers.
Current models are the original Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+, the Pi 2 Model B, and the Pi 1 Model A+. The first two have four USB ports, Ethernet, HDMI, composite video, and camera and display connectors.

leon-raspberry-piThe Pi 1 Model A+ is a stripped down version with only one USB port. Both have 40 I/O pins. They can be used for video processing. The models I have are the Pi 2 Model B and the Pi 1 Model A+. One of the Pi 2s has a PiFace I/O card. I use them with a wireless keyboard and mouse and HDMI monitor. I use a 5 V battery power pack instead of a mains PS. Although it uses a USB cable for power, it draws too much power for connection to a PC USB port. Can also be controlled via the Internet using SSH (Secure Shell) in text mode – no keyboard, mouse or display needed. I can’t get SSH to work, though,  with my laptop.

Several OSs are available – Raspbian, based on Debian Linux is by far the most popular. Also: various other flavours of Linux and RISC OS (Archimedes), MS will be supplying Windows 10 for it. Easiest way to get going with a new RasPi is to download NOOBS from the web site, format an SD card (8 Gb +) in your PC and write NOOBS to it. When the RasPi boots from it, Raspbian is configured and you then have a bootable card. Need for shutdown before disconnecting power. It boots up into standard text-based Linux, and the xwindows GUI is run in the usual way with startx.

It’s quite easy to connect the Pi to the Internet, via a direct Ethernet connection or WiFi. Hardware is quite easy to interface via the 40-way connector, which has many of the ARM I/Os. Signals must be 3.3 V, anything more risks damage to the chip, and they are not protected from ESD. Best to buffer them with suitable interface chips as is done on the PiFace.

Lots of programming languages are available. Python is probably the most popular, and is very easy to learn. Python programs are easily entered and run from xwindows. C is also easy to use. There isn’t much of a market for software, because of the open source nature of the system. Only way to make money from it is probably by designing hardware.
There is lots of information and help available via the Internet – an official web site and 70 page monthly magazine called MagPi (PDF) – as well as meetings organised by enthusiasts and presence at Maker Faires etc. There is also a very active forum. No meetings around Hastings, AFAIK. Perhaps someone should organise something.

There is lots of amateur radio stuff for the RasPI – just typing “Raspberry Pi amateur radio” into Google brings up a vast number of hits. G0HWC has some interesting links, for instance.

Leon G1HSM


Amateur Radio Demo – Taplin Centre 27th May 2015

A relatively fine evening it was, weather wise, as the doors to the Taplin opened at 7.30pm to members who were first greeted with the sight of Jakey G3JKY setting up his TenTec Corsair and, PSU and Tuner ready for CW work.


Jakey G3JKY in Rx, copying CW from a foreign contact.


The attendance on the evening was good, though unfortunately this time around we did not see any members from the general public but this did not stop a very enjoyable evening from taking place, as members talked to each other on a variety of AR subjects including Morse code where Mike Hedges G0JHK an experienced signalman who served in WW2, and Richard G0ILN a long-standing FISTS member, explained various aspects of CW with the gusto and enthusiasm that surprises even me.

Leon arrived with his Yaesu 817ND and handheld and didn’t take much time for him to run an end-fed wire along the garden-side edge of the Taplin club room’s wall and was tuning over HF and VHF in short order. Shortly afterwards Gordon M3YXH set up his new Toshiba laptop and was hopeful of gaining an Internet connection via a local BT Wifi spot just a few hundred yards away so that he could configure his machine to work with Echolink and provide a demonstration. Early in the evening, we found that it was difficult to make a connection from inside the Taplin, and as such at that time it appeared that an Internet hook-up would be unavailable. Fortunately though as the evening went on and the night began to roll in, a connection was made with barely a single bar of signal strength being displayed on the network connection icon. Presumably this was due to slightly lower local network activity as the local neighbours were settling down to watch their favourite TV programs.


Gordon M3YXH and Leon G1HSM discussing the finer points of Internet connections and single-chip hand-held radios.

Phil G3MGQ and Richard G0ILN spoke at length on the subject of Morse code at Gordon and Leon’s station area and we learned a new thing or two about the Fists CW club, notably the ‘ladder’ system which they offer to encourage members to participate in. This informal system is used by Fists to promote the Code and encourage new members into the hobby. I for one can see its value as it is a semi-competitive and quite relaxed affair as well as bring a great way to help new CW ops into the mode. This provides a useful dose of confidence in an area which would otherwise be quite hard to ‘tap’ into.


Phil G3MGQ and Richard G0ILN having a chat, with Leon G1HSM in the background.

Peter G0FUU the clubs catering manager dispensed the beverages and biscuits, and what a fine job he does, taken for granted perhaps sometimes but the club room is never the same without the cafeteria open at a meet. It is always appreciated, and the tea is remarkably good I have to say!


As the saying goes, you can make a good cup of tea but you can’t fake a good cup of tea. Peter G0FUU doing a grand job and Phil G3MGQ being served at the cafeteria … and an oscilloscope on the end of the kitchen? How did that get there?

Leon G1HSM spoke of PCB construction, and how inexpensive it is to have PCB’s produced these days in low numbers for very little cost, with ten 5 x 5cm printed PCB’s being available from China for under $10 which, all things considered, appears to be a valuable labour and money saving process which requires only a file in Gerber format to produce the boards. It certainly provided some food for thought with the necessary costs involved for acetate, UV lights, printing materials and time spent putting the board together


Mike Wade M0EDU, and Ron G4VBK the clubs treasurer having a chat with Jakey. As requested by Jakey, I will not mention the presence of a microphone on his station desk. Oops, sorry Jakey!

It was nice to see everyone having a good natter at the club last night and all things considered the live demo nights are becoming a bigger success with more resources being made available on the night by members including Gordon. He is keen to demonstrate Echolink, the popular Internet-based amateur radio communication mode. In the near future this will allow the club to demonstrate Echolink consistently to others, and allow fellow club members to have a go if they want to have a QSO with other amateurs all over the World in a matter of seconds while allowing the visiting public to experience another aspect of amateur radio.

The next live demonstration at the club is in September, and we can look forward to another fine evening with a new string or two on the demo-night bow by then.


G3MGQ’s Month on the Air

Prepared by the clubs RSGB trainer, G3MGQ, you will find the latest DX contests including the ones to shoot for as well as ones to give a wide berth. Why not download the latest edition of Month on the Air and enjoy your DX just that little bit more.

Become a member of HERC

Join the Hastings Electronics and Radio Club.

Why not join one of the largest and most established Radio clubs in the South East of England? Very low joining cost, and free for a year to new licencees.

Vital Spark Archive

Vital Spark newsletter articles

Take a look through a large selection of articles written by club members over the years which have been published in the monthly Vital Spark newsletter .

Used Ham Radio Equipment

View HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list..

Every four weeks, HERC's Used Ham Radio Equipment for sale list is updated on the site. Bookmark the gear for sale page to re-visit easily and take advantage of the used equipment on sale through the club.

Club Photographs

HERC Image Galleries.

Here is the official HERC photograph archive which contains multiple image galleries spanning several decades since the club was formed many years ago. Enjoy the images!

UK Amateur Radio Repeaters

UK repeaters

Click button above for full list, or a local repeater callsign below for info.

GB3EB 2m in Uckfield- Active
MB6EB 2m DStar Node in Eastbourne - Active
MB6RY Wires-X DigiGate in Broad Oak - Active
GB3HE 70cm in Hastings - Active
GB7HE 70cm DStar in Hastings - Coming soon
GB3ZX 70cm in Eastbourne - Low Power
GB3JT 23cm ATV in Hastings - NoV cleared
GB7RY 70cm X-Wires Repeater Rye - Active
GB7ES Eastbourne - DSTAR Rpt. - Active
GB3ES 2m in Hastings - Active

For a complete list of repeaters, head over to
the UK Amateur Radio repeaters list.

Popular pages

Get your amateur radio licence - Find out more about amateur radio licence training.
Month on the Air - G3MGQ's popular monthly DX contest/expedition list.
Wilf Gaye Memorial Cup - The clubs annual operating event in the memory of Wilf Gaye M0GYE.
St. Richard's College Buildathon/STEM/ARISS - HERC attends St. Richard's Catholic College for their various events surrounding the Tim Peake ARISS contact.
G3BDQ - John Hey's Rare QSL Cards.
Sussex Electronics Radio Fair - SERF Sussex Electronics Radio Fair 2016.
Vital Spark - A selection of articles re-published from the Vital Spark.
RSGB News - Find out how to get RSGB news on your mobile or PC.
Experimenters Corner - A selection of Proteus projects by Bob Gornal (G7DME)
BBADL - Bath Based Distance Learning Course.
Conquest Hospital Radio - Presented by HERC member Antony (G4CUS).
Radio Rallies 2016 - An up to date list of radio rallies scheduled for 2016.
Club QSL Cards - A selection of QSL cards the club has received over the years.
Other Newsletters - Excellent newsletters and magazines from other clubs.
TX Factor episodes - Take a look at the TX Factors YouTube videos.
John Taplin - A bio of the late John Taplin.

Amateur Radio Resources

Other Radio Clubs & RAYNET

BSARS - Brede Steam Amateur Radio Society

RAYNET - The Hastings and Rother RAYNET Group.

HERC members sites

Sigord - Gordon Sweet
Hastings Radio Comms - Andrew Haas-Campbell
Hoofbags - Liz Costa