Topics

DRAWS Questions #draws #smartipi


WA7SKG <wa7skg@...>
 

(Not sure whether DRAWS questions are going to the main or udrc group. Forgive me for sending to both.)

Sorry, I've been kind of slow keeping up with the DRAWS thing. From a quick scan, I see that it interfaces with two radios, has built in GPS and can do digital with any Linux software that will run on a RaspberryPi. So, I am guessing that includes fldigi for MT63/PSK31/etc. and Xastir for APRS and, hopefully something for SSTV.

My plan is to use this mobile on my RPi 3 B+ which is on a standard Pi Touch 7" touch screen. Right now, I have a TNC-Pi connected and a Y-cable that powers the RPi and the touchscreen. The RPi powers the TNC-Pi through the header. It looks like the DRAWS has a 12V input that powers the RPi. Will this also power the touchscreen? How precise must the 12V input be? Can it handle the variations of vehicle voltage, which could swing from 10-14 volts?

My mobile radios are an Icom IC-7100 and a Yaesu FT-8900. It looks like I should simply be able to plug generic 6-pin DIN cables between the DRAWS and the data ports on the radios.

Looking on the NW Digital web page, it looks like they are taking orders for the next run of DRAWS. I'd like to get a warm fuzzy my plans are viable so I can go ahead and place an order.

tnx es 73,
Michael WA7SKG


 

See in-line

On Sat, Dec 8, 2018 at 10:43 AM WA7SKG via Groups.Io <wa7skg=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
(Not sure whether DRAWS questions are going to the main or udrc group. 
Forgive me for sending to both.)
DRAWS™ hardware discussions belong in the UDRC subgroup. 

Sorry, I've been kind of slow keeping up with the DRAWS thing. From a 
quick scan, I see that it interfaces with two radios, has built in GPS 
and can do digital with any Linux software that will run on a 
RaspberryPi. So, I am guessing that includes fldigi for MT63/PSK31/etc. 
and Xastir for APRS and, hopefully something for SSTV.
 
Correct.  A few caveats:
  • Any program for the Raspberry Pi should run, however some programs do not fit well on the 7" display.  It would be advisable for developers to create a version that fits the resolution of the screen.
  • 2 Radios are supported, each with its own PTT, Squelch Detect, etc. however, the CODEC is a single hardware device using left channel for one radio and the right channel for the other.  If the program can work with virtual sound cards in ALSA, then the left and right channels can operate somewhat independently.  We are working on configurations that make virtual sound cards work better. For Direwolf, this is not a problem as it can run two independent channels through a single CODEC.  Also, the Direwolf 1.5 dev branch has new code to handle virtual sound cards better.  We have at least one other program working toward better support of virtual sound cards.
  • I have tested for basic operation such programs as fldigi, Direwolf, wsjt-x, sp8call, YAAC, and Xastir.  Including remote access to Direwolf from Windows for programs like PinPoint APRS (September QST)
  • Many of these programs have hamlib/flrig control which works, except in the case where CAT PTT isn't supported by the radio, in which case PTT via the GPIO must be supported, it would be good to contact the authors of your favorite programs to make sure such support is included.  A lot could be handled by flrig if it had GPIO support for radios.

My plan is to use this mobile on my RPi 3 B+ which is on a standard Pi 
Touch 7" touch screen. Right now, I have a TNC-Pi connected and a 
Y-cable that powers the RPi and the touchscreen. The RPi powers the 
TNC-Pi through the header. It looks like the DRAWS has a 12V input that 
powers the RPi. Will this also power the touchscreen?
 
Yes, I have a SmartiPi with the Y cable connected between the Pi and Screen, and remove the microUSB power.  The Hat powers the Pi and 5V is injected back through the Y cable to the touchscreen.  It works well, with no low power lightening bolt.
 
How precise must 
the 12V input be? Can it handle the variations of vehicle voltage, which 
could swing from 10-14 volts?
 
Yes, it designed for a nominal 9-15 VDC input (with a little slop at each end).
 

My mobile radios are an Icom IC-7100 and a Yaesu FT-8900. It looks like 
I should simply be able to plug generic 6-pin DIN cables between the 
DRAWS and the data ports on the radios.
 
Yes, with the above caveats and USB -> CI-V cables if you want CAT control.  Though Yaesu and newer Icom radios seem to have better CAT control.  I don't have those 2 radios to test, so no guarantee, but they should work.  Perhaps others can confirm if they have tested those models.

Looking on the NW Digital web page, it looks like they are taking orders 
for the next run of DRAWS. I'd like to get a warm fuzzy my plans are 
viable so I can go ahead and place an order.
 
Yes orders are open for the next batch, which will be available right after the first of the year.
 
 
 
 
ReplyForward
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


WA7SKG <wa7skg@...>
 

Thank you for these answers. They are very helpful. I'm not sure I fully understand the single codec splitting right and left channels thing, though. Is the DRAWS capable of supporting two operations on two radios? For example, could I run fldigi and PSK31 on HF on the 7100 and simultaneously run Xastir and APRS on VHF on the Yaesu? Or may I only use one radio at a time?

I'm not sure I understand about PTT. The DIN connector to the radio provides PTT. I think you are saying that the DRAWS activates PTT via a GPIO from the RPi? So, whatever program I am running must be capable of triggering a GPIO to key the radio via the DIN connector? Otherwise, I must run USB to the radio from the RPi and key via CAT? That might work for the Icom, but the Yaesu has no CAT and can only be keyed via the data port. To me, the whole idea of using the DRAWS is to avoid the need of the USB cable to the radio. In the case of the Icom, I could use the USB cable and there would be no need for the DRAWS. In the case of the Yaesu, the software would need to key via GPIO. I don't know that fldigi or Xastir has that option. Further investigation is needed.

The power supply answers are promising, that I can run everything via 12V through the DRAWS. Having to use the Y-cable to power the touchscreen seems a bit kludgey, but acceptable.

So far, I guess the jury is still out for the DRAWS for my use.

Thanks for your time,
Michael WA7SKG



John D Hays - K7VE wrote on 12/9/18 14:10:

See in-line
On Sat, Dec 8, 2018 at 10:43 AM WA7SKG via Groups.Io <wa7skg=yahoo.com@groups.io <mailto:yahoo.com@groups.io>> wrote:
(Not sure whether DRAWS questions are going to the main or udrc group.
Forgive me for sending to both.)
DRAWS™ hardware discussions belong in the UDRC subgroup.
Sorry, I've been kind of slow keeping up with the DRAWS thing. From a
quick scan, I see that it interfaces with two radios, has built in GPS
and can do digital with any Linux software that will run on a
RaspberryPi. So, I am guessing that includes fldigi for MT63/PSK31/etc.
and Xastir for APRS and, hopefully something for SSTV.
Correct.  A few caveats:
* Any program for the Raspberry Pi should run, however some programs
do not fit well on the 7" display.  It would be advisable for
developers to create a version that fits the resolution of the screen.
* 2 Radios are supported, each with its own PTT, Squelch Detect, etc.
however, the CODEC is a single hardware device using left channel
for one radio and the right channel for the other.  If the program
can work with virtual sound cards in ALSA, then the left and right
channels can operate somewhat independently.  We are working on
configurations that make virtual sound cards work better. For
Direwolf, this is not a problem as it can run two independent
channels through a single CODEC.  Also, the Direwolf 1.5 dev branch
has new code to handle virtual sound cards better.  We have at least
one other program working toward better support of virtual sound cards.
* I have tested for basic operation such programs as fldigi, Direwolf,
wsjt-x, sp8call, YAAC, and Xastir.  Including remote access to
Direwolf from Windows for programs like PinPoint APRS (September QST)
* Many of these programs have hamlib/flrig control which works, except
in the case where CAT PTT isn't supported by the radio, in which
case PTT via the GPIO must be supported, it would be good to contact
the authors of your favorite programs to make sure such support is
included.  A lot could be handled by flrig if it had GPIO support
for radios.
My plan is to use this mobile on my RPi 3 B+ which is on a standard Pi
Touch 7" touch screen. Right now, I have a TNC-Pi connected and a
Y-cable that powers the RPi and the touchscreen. The RPi powers the
TNC-Pi through the header. It looks like the DRAWS has a 12V input that
powers the RPi. Will this also power the touchscreen?
Yes, I have a SmartiPi with the Y cable connected between the Pi and Screen, and remove the microUSB power.  The Hat powers the Pi and 5V is injected back through the Y cable to the touchscreen.  It works well, with no low power lightening bolt.
How precise must
the 12V input be? Can it handle the variations of vehicle voltage,
which
could swing from 10-14 volts?
Yes, it designed for a nominal 9-15 VDC input (with a little slop at each end).
My mobile radios are an Icom IC-7100 and a Yaesu FT-8900. It looks like
I should simply be able to plug generic 6-pin DIN cables between the
DRAWS and the data ports on the radios.
Yes, with the above caveats and USB -> CI-V cables if you want CAT control.  Though Yaesu and newer Icom radios seem to have better CAT control.  I don't have those 2 radios to test, so no guarantee, but they should work.  Perhaps others can confirm if they have tested those models.
Looking on the NW Digital web page, it looks like they are taking
orders
for the next run of DRAWS. I'd like to get a warm fuzzy my plans are
viable so I can go ahead and place an order.
Yes orders are open for the next batch, which will be available right after the first of the year.


 



On Sun, Dec 9, 2018 at 7:34 PM WA7SKG via Groups.Io <wa7skg=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Thank you for these answers. They are very helpful. I'm not sure I fully
understand the single codec splitting right and left channels thing,
though. Is the DRAWS capable of supporting two operations on two radios?

With some limitations that we are working to overcome.  ALSA has the capability of taking a physical CODEC (the sound chip) and making virtual devices for programs to access.  If a program knows how to use the virtual devices, then the left and right channels on the chip look like 2 mono sound chips and can be used by two different programs.  The problem is that most of the existing programs 'right now' take over the whole physical CODEC (ignoring virtual sound cards), effectively limiting it to one program at a time.  We are working with people to update their code, which will give more flexibility for not only our HAT but other devices that are physically a single stereo CODEC.

 
For example, could I run fldigi and PSK31 on HF on the 7100 and
simultaneously run Xastir and APRS on VHF on the Yaesu? Or may I only
use one radio at a time?
That is the goal. Direwolf (for packet) already can talk to the virtual sound cards, but fldigi needs to be modified to do so.  So today, you cannot run them simultaneously, but we are hoping that we can get there with the help of the authors of the software.

I'm not sure I understand about PTT. The DIN connector to the radio
provides PTT. I think you are saying that the DRAWS activates PTT via a
GPIO from the RPi?
Correct.

 
So, whatever program I am running must be capable of
triggering a GPIO to key the radio via the DIN connector? Otherwise, I
must run USB to the radio from the RPi and key via CAT?
That is the second way to do PTT.

 
That might work
for the Icom, but the Yaesu has no CAT and can only be keyed via the
data port. To me, the whole idea of using the DRAWS is to avoid the need
of the USB cable to the radio. In the case of the Icom, I could use the
USB cable and there would be no need for the DRAWS. In the case of the
Yaesu, the software would need to key via GPIO. I don't know that fldigi
or Xastir has that option. Further investigation is needed.

Xastir talks to Direwolf, and Direwolf can do GPIO keying of the radio. (Takes care of the Yaesu in your scenario.)

The power supply answers are promising, that I can run everything via
12V through the DRAWS. Having to use the Y-cable to power the
touchscreen seems a bit kludgey, but acceptable.
If someone made a M/M micro-USB jumper you could use that, but the Y cable works.  I have not located such a beast.

 

So far, I guess the jury is still out for the DRAWS for my use.

Thanks for your time,
Michael WA7SKG

--


John D. Hays
Director

  


   


Jack Spitznagel
 

John and Michael,

 

This jumper is what you are looking for?

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CKW6RYD?pf_rd_p=c2945051-950f-485c-b4df-15aac5223b10&pf_rd_r=R6J9N2VDNKS4MT8PWK3K&th=1

I’m ordering so I can get away from the RPi wall wart. Cheaper that the solution I had. We still need access to a more robust/longer 12V power pigtail. Would be ideal if they were the length and size of the Elecraft pigtails for the KX series radios. I am looking.

 

Jack – KD4IZ

 

 

From: udrc@nw-digital-radio.groups.io <udrc@nw-digital-radio.groups.io> On Behalf Of John D Hays - K7VE
Sent: Monday, December 10, 2018 02:03
To: udrc@nw-digital-radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [udrc] DRAWS Questions #draws #smartipi

 

 

<snip>

 

The power supply answers are promising, that I can run everything via
12V through the DRAWS. Having to use the Y-cable to power the
touchscreen seems a bit kludgey, but acceptable.

If someone made a M/M micro-USB jumper you could use that, but the Y cable works.  I have not located such a beast.

 

 

 


--
J Spitznagel
Science River LLC
KD4IZ


Robert Sears
 

I noticed you hash-tagged "smartipi" so I am guessing you are hoping to use one of those cases

Well you will find the 6-pin mini-DIN and GPS antenna connector are on the side of the board that makes the bind up in the hinge of the Smarti-Pi case making this case unusable with the DRAWS or the UDRC for that matter. Unless you never plan on closing the hinge.

I modified a UDRC-2 for this case by removing the connectors and from the PCB placing them on a piece of angle iron allowing me to use a Smarti-Pi case in my truck by hanging it under the dash, I can flip it up out of the way.


Robert/KF7VOP



 

Removing the connectors is unnecessary.  It is a snug fit and you don't get full range of motion but the DIN cables can fit and the coax for the GPS is not a problem. 

There is a 3D print for some extenders between the screen and base which would allow for full range of motion. 

Attached photo shows this.


On Tue, Dec 11, 2018, 06:38 Robert Sears <kf7vop@... wrote:

I noticed you hash-tagged "smartipi" so I am guessing you are hoping to use one of those cases

Well you will find the 6-pin mini-DIN and GPS antenna connector are on the side of the board that makes the bind up in the hinge of the Smarti-Pi case making this case unusable with the DRAWS or the UDRC for that matter. Unless you never plan on closing the hinge.

I modified a UDRC-2 for this case by removing the connectors and from the PCB placing them on a piece of angle iron allowing me to use a Smarti-Pi case in my truck by hanging it under the dash, I can flip it up out of the way.


Robert/KF7VOP



 

BTW - the Pi on this particular photo is a Pi 3A+  -- I am running bluetooth for keyboard and mouse (and will for FT-817 CAT control) and WiFi (5 ghz.) for network. It is now fed with a 12 VDC power to the DRAWS board -- so ultimately this will have just DIN cables to radios and power, with no USB connections required.


--


John D. Hays
Edmonds, WA
K7VE

   


Robert Sears
 
Edited

Sure but if the placement of DIN and I/O connectors were swapped (and there is room) you could mount the Smarti-Pi upside down like under a dash in a vehicle and be able to flip it ip out of the way like my modified DURC-2


 

Hi Robert,

This solution works for you and anyone is free to make their own adaptations.  

My comment is that it is not "required" to remove the connectors to use the DIN ports with SmartiPi (as illustrated).

There is more to selection of parts placement than just physical location, there are often electrical considerations.  

The SmartiPi is only one use case for the HAT, in fact when the case specifically designed for the DRAWS workstation comes out, that will likely be the most common installation.  

We cannot customize the board for every requested configuration (the sales volumes just don't support it).

Enjoy and take pride in your work, it is the beauty and freedom of Amateur Radio.


On Tue, Dec 11, 2018 at 10:19 AM Robert Sears <kf7vop@...> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

Sure but if the placement of DIN and I/O connectors were swapped (and there is room) you could mount the Smarti-Pi upside down like under a dash in a vehicle and be able to flip it ip out of the way like my modified DURC-2

--


John D. Hays
Director


   


Jack Spitznagel
 

I printed and used Herb Weiner's standoffs from Thingiverse on the SmartiPi Touch Stand. Plenty of room, no kinked cables and it will fold for storage and transport. Happened to have a roll of black PLA for the printer. Outcome is not a pretty as it could be, but I have one of the $149 Wanhao i3 mini printers. It is accurate enough that a little work removing the overhang support and smooth with a file works just fine! It don't have to look like it was machined and there is no angle bracket bolted to the back. Here is a picture of one of the standoffs and the unit in operation with Xastir and Direwolf, along with the IC-7000 and FT-817.
--
J Spitznagel
Science River LLC
KD4IZ


WA7SKG <wa7skg@...>
 

Robert Sears wrote on 12/11/18 06:38:
I noticed you hash-tagged "smartipi" so I am guessing you are hoping to use one of those cases
Well you will find the 6-pin mini-DIN and GPS antenna connector are on the side of the board that makes the bind up in the hinge of the Smarti-Pi case making this case unusable with the DRAWS or the UDRC for that matter. Unless you never plan on closing the hinge.
I modified a UDRC-2 for this case by removing the connectors and from the PCB placing them on a piece of angle iron allowing me to use a Smarti-Pi case in my truck by hanging it under the dash, I can flip it up out of the way.
Robert/KF7VOP
Not an issue in my situation as I don't use the hinged stand on the smartipi case. I use the VESA mount instead. Nonetheless, I agree rearranging the connectors might have been nice. Having them on the right side to come out above the Ethernet and USB connectors like the TNC-Pi does would have kept all cabling together. Of course, YMMV.

Michael WA7SKG