In late 2012 I built my first receive only APRS iGate from a Raspberry Pi (rPi) and a Argent Data Tracker T2-301. This has faithfully sat in a corner of my garage forwarding APRS packets to the internet all this time. Drawing just shy of 1 watt in power, it doesn’t add any significant costs the household power bill. I’ve been surprised just how reliable this setup has been and from time to time I even remember to login and check for security updates.
Since I built that first machine there’s been some nice developments in the world of rPi’s and AX25, so I thought I’d share the details of my latest APRS iGate project.
While searching for rPi power supplies I came across the BitScope Blade Uno which can power and hold a Model-B rPi and a HAT. I was pondering one of these when it hit me that if you take this board, add a rPi and a Coastal ChipWorks TNCPi then I’d have a rather nice hardware platform on which to build a new APRS iGate Even better is I can stuff it in a small 19″ rack mount case instead of sitting it on a shelf in the garage !.
So I just had to order the bits and wait the for the shipping. Below is the hardware assembled, total cost just shy of A$150
I ordered the TNCPi as a kit and soldered it together in an hour or so, John W2FS’s kit is easy to build and the instructions are great. I’ve also decided to use a Raspberry Pi 3 which includes on-board WiFi and Bluetooth. With the hardware assembled then all we’ve got to do is configure it, which I’ll continue in Part 2.