4 October 2017

More station integration

A while back, here and here, I discussed the idea of the integrated controller and mused that the single board computer therein could take on all applications associated with station operation.

Well, it's taken a while but I've finally achieved that objective. Yesterday I prised my logging program out of the venerable laptop it has run on for several years and transplanted it into the Udoo X86 Ultra that is built into the Maxi-controller. This was not without its problems, in particular, the need to support a USB to RS232 interface which wouldn't work under Windows 10 (eventually fixed).

The application line up on the Maxi-controller PC is thus:
  • SmartSDR
  • My FlexRadio Host controller
  • DX Atlas
  • IonoProbe
  • StarLog
Of these, SmartSDR is by far the most CPU intensive, requiring around 25% of available processing power. The host controller is next up but only around 3% and the others are <3% most of the time.

There is still a little work to do. At the moment my antenna switching control is via a Velleman P8055 USB to parallel interface. This works OK but is an external unit that is now unnecessary. My plan is to use the Arduino functionality of the Udoo X.86 SBC to take over this function. That requires new code in StarLog and, of course, code for the Arduino. I'll also need to make a "shield" to fit onto the Arduino headers to hold the line driver IC that sends the switching signals out to the antenna switch at the base of the tower. Coming soon(ish).

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