Friday, July 5, 2013

Raspberry PI APRS using Xastir

I had such great success with my Raspberry PI NAS that I decided to take a stab at running an APRS application with maps on a Raspberry PI. After searching the web I was not surprised to find that others have done something similar. Because I dedicated my original Raspberry PI as a NAS I obtained a second Raspberry PI model B along with some accessories from Adafruit Industries. Adafruit tests the accessories with the Raspberry PI so it eliminates the hunting for compatible accessories.

My intent for the APRS-PI was to read the APRS-IS and display those stations near my location.  My setup is:
Raspberry PI APRS
There are many websites that already exist for setting up a Raspberry PI NAS so I will not duplicate the steps here; however, these are some very helpful links.
The setup is fairly straight forward for Xastir on the Raspberry PI. Depending on what your intent is for using it the filter from the APRS database may need to be updated. I am using a filter of m/25 to retrieve stations within 25 miles of my location.

Xastir via VNC

A monitor could be added to the Raspberry PI via HDMI or the AV video output but while one of the 3.5" or 4.3" displays may sound good the resolution is too low to be able to fully use the Xastir. It can be done and the map with the stations can be viewed but the pop-up boxes for making changes are mostly larger than the small screen's real estate and the dialog boxes will be off the screen.

As always YMMV but for a small, low cost, always on APRS device the Raspberry PI fills the need.

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