Build-a-Pi will allow you to get up and running fast with a Raspberry Pi for ham radio. Rather than downloading a pre-built image where you have no choices in the build, Build-a- Pi gives you complete control over the build. It allows you to choose the applications you want to install and skip the ones you don’t need. This keeps your pi as lean and mean as possible. A list of applications available using Build-a-Pi can be found below on this page. Use it as your base and add additional applications as needed down the road.
Needed info for pi build
During the install you will need a few pieces of information depending on what you choose to install. If installing all apps, you will need:
For Hotspot: Current WiFi SSID & Current WiFi Password
For Pat Winlink: Winlink Password & Grid Square
Use Raspberry Pi Imager to download and flash your micro SD card. Once complete, put the SD card into the pi.
Power up your Raspberry Pi, login, open the terminal, and run the following command.
git clone https://github.com/km4ack/pi-build.git \ $HOME/pi-build && bash $HOME/pi-build/build-a-pi
Additional help can be found in the video below.
Issue Reporting - Feature Requests
Please report issues & feature requests here: https://github.com/km4ack/pi-build/issues
Build-a-Pi has never, and will never, try to force any user to run BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing). Build-a-Pi has always been about giving the end-user a choice in the software they run. It's also the reason Build-a-Pi isn't distrubuted as a pre-built image. You have the final say in what you run on your RPi. Install as little, or as much, as you choose. While it doesn't include as many apps as some of the pre-built images, Build-a-Pi should give you a great base to work with, then you can add additional applications that may be important to you on top. Want to run BOINC? Feel free because freedom is the basis of Build-a-Pi. The power is yours and yours alone.
Available Apps to Install
RTC | Real Time Clock
Software for DS3231 real-time clock (Available through update script after initial install)
Hotspot is used to generate a wifi hotspot that you can connect-to with other wireless devices. This is useful in the field, so you can connect-to and contol the RPi from a wireless device.
If enabled, the hotspot will only activate IF the RPi is not already connected to a wireless network. The hotspot will either activate at bootup, OR a maximum of 5 minutes AFTER you have forcefully disconnected from a wireless network. You can tune that detection delay in the settings. The hotspot default SSID is RpiHotspot and the default IP address of the Pi is 10.10.10.10. (Make sure to enable either VNC or SSH server to remotely connect to your RPi at that address!)
Hotspot tools is a collection of tools designed to make managing the hotspot easier through a GUI interface. https://youtu.be/O_eihSN_ES8
This will install the needed utilities to get a GPS device configured as a time source on the RPi. Helpful when you are not connected to the Internet since the RPi doesn't have a real-time clock (RTC) and therefore will NOT keep accurate time when powered-off. Confirmed to work with this GPS: https://amzn.to/2R9Muup Other GPS units may work, but have not been tested.
Rig contol graphical interface. http://www.w1hkj.com/
Digital Mode Software http://www.w1hkj.com/
Forms manager for FLDIGI http://www.w1hkj.com/
Amateur Multicast Protocol - file transfer program http://www.w1hkj.com/
File encapsulation & compression
Winlink client for Raspberry Pi https://getpat.io/
Menu for configuring Pat. Recommended if installing Pat. https://github.com/km4ack/patmenu
HF modem for Pat. Recommended if installing Pat. https://www.cantab.net/users/john.wiseman/Documents/ARDOPC.html
GUI interface for ARDOPC. Recommended if installing Pat.
Software TNC. In this setup, Direwolf is used for a 2M packet connection with Pat, and can be used for APRS connection with Xastir. Recommended if installing Pat or Xastir. https://github.com/wb2osz/direwolf/tree/master/doc
AX.25 tools for Direwolf & Pat. Recommended if installing Pat.
Rig contol software. https://sourceforge.net/projects/hamlib/
Pulse audio. Provides a way to configure virtual sound cards. REQUIRED for AMRRON ops. (Get involved! https://amrron.com)
JS8Call digital software. https://js8call.com
Tools for working with JS8Call. Recommended if installing JS8Call. https://github.com/m0iax/
FT8 & WISPR software suite. https://sourceforge.net/projects/wsjt/
Software to program radios. https://chirp.danplanet.com
GUI interface useful when configuring APRS nodes. https://sourceforge.net/projects/xastir/
Yet Another APRS Client GUI interface useful when configuring APRS nodes. https://www.ka2ddo.org/ka2ddo/YAAC.html
Logging software. https://github.com/ctjacobs/pyqso
Satellite Tracking. http://gpredict.oz9aec.net/
Logging Software. https://www.cqrlog.com/
Slow-scan TV (SSTV). http://users.telenet.be/on4qz/qsstv/index.html
Propagation Prediction Software. https://www.qsl.net/hz1jw/voacapl/index.html
Emergency Email Server (EES):
My personal EES. Requires hotspot to be installed. https://youtu.be/XC9vdAnolO0
To access the EES, connect to the pi's hotspot, open a web browser, and navigate to email.com
or open a web browser and navigate to the pi's ip adderss on your local network.
Admin credentials are admin/admin by default but can be changed in the file found at
For more configuration options - https://youtu.be/KaEeCq50Mno
Call Sign Lookup
Amateur radio call-sign lookup.
Calculate lengths needed for dipole legs.
Graphic viewer to view/manage log files.