Raspberry Pi Field Computer & Off Grid Communications

Hello Operators.

A new video will premier on my YT channel Monday Dec 9. It’s presented as a Raspberry Pi field computer test in Lapland. It is that, and very much more! The video starts off with an overview of my raspberry pi field computer, the QRP GoKit used in the field test, and some of the reaities of field communications when off grid. The video then moves on to discuss the reality of off grid field communications, and why we need to be smarter operators, with smarter yet easy to maintain gear.

The video also discusses the unrealistic concepts many of us have, about off grid field communications. This past trip to 66° North, taught me a valuable lesson. There is no such thing as “just being the radio operator”, when its -13C/8F in a cabin or camp lacking light, heat, power, …

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What I mean to say is, we rarely talk about the things which actually make our stations go in the field. Things like shelter, heat, food, collecting fuel, creating clean drinking water, generating power, getting sleep,  and doing all those things, while also maintaining effective communications.

This video also discusses why I choose narrow bandwidth data modes and mesh networking over HF, for off grid & grid down communications. Compared to many other “logbook” modes, JS8Calls weak signal capabilities, its ability to store and forward messages, and its interface with APRSIS, make it a better choice than CW, SSB, or other data modes which lack these capabilities. In the real world grid down or off grid scenario, it is impossible for a single radio operator to sit at the radio 100% of the time. Incoming traffic arriving when your are sleeping, is the same as not having arrived at all. From this perspective, a smarter mode, running on a lightweight energy efficient computer, may very well make the difference between getting that message in or out of our stations. You can’t chop firewood, collect water, or make a meal while being tethered to your radio,

For those of you wanting more information about my raspberry pi videos, here the entire YouTube Playlist. There are also links to the raspberry pi pages, shelter systems used in this video and other excursions, all on this website.

OH8STN Raspberry Pi Pages

OH8STN Shelter systems:

AmRRon Setup Scripts for Raspberry Pi

Ultimately the video creates bridges between every aspect of off grid or grid down communications from the persoective of personal preparedness and emergency communications. The video is rather abstract in that way, but valid nonetheless.


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