Tag Archives: Raspberry Pi

Radio Waves: The Barbed Wire Comms Line, FCC Denies AM Appeal, Raspberry Pi Radio Astronomy, and Interview with Dick Smith

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Paul, Dennis Dura, Dan Van Hoy, Alokesh Gupta,  and the Southgate ARC for the following tips:


Atrocious but efficient: How ranchers used barbed wire to make phone calls (Texas Standard)

A barbed wire telephone call didn’t sound great but could quickly warn others about something such as a wildfire.

Historian J. Evetts Haley wrote that, in its time, the old XIT Ranch up in the Texas Panhandle was “probably the largest fenced range in the world.” He recalled that its barbed wire enclosed over 3 million acres of land. At the north end alone, the fence ran for 162 miles. The unique enclosure helped keep in enormous cattle herds, keep out rustlers, and also gave rise to the creative use of a new technology: the telephone.

I’ll come back to the XIT in a moment, but first, consider these smattering of reports from that era. In 1897, The Electrical Review, reported that “on a ranch in California, telephone communication had been established between the various camps . . . by means of barbed wire fences.” The article says the novel use of the phone was a great success and was being used in Texas as well. That same year, the New England Journal of Agriculture was impressed that two Kansas farmers, living a mile apart, had attached fine telephone instruments to the barbed wire fence that connects their places and established easy communication. From the Butte Intermountain in 1902 we see this notice: “Fort Benton’s latest development is a barbed wire telephone communication.” The article points out that people of the range were not all that happy with barbed wire, which they thought was an “evil” that had arrived with the railroad, but they had decided to look at the practical side of its existence and use it to create a telephone exchange that would connect all the ranches to Fort Benton. [Continue reading…]

FCC Says No to Appeal for a New AM in L.A. (Radio World)

Schwab Multimedia has lost an appeal to the Federal Communications Commission in a case involving a planned AM station near Los Angeles for which it had a construction permit.

This is a “tolling” case, one that involves the FCC construction clock. The history is complex — the FCC’s summary is 2,500 words long, not counting many extended footnotes — but the upshot is that KWIF in Culver City was never built and, barring further developments, apparently will not be. Its call sign has now been deleted.

Levine/Schwab Partnership, which does business as Schwab Multimedia, had applied in 2004 to build a new AM station in the Los Angeles area. It eventually secured a CP in 2016 for the station at 1500 kHz. [Continue reading at Radio World…]

Radio Astronomy with Raspberry Operating System (Glen Langston)

Check out this fascinating radio astronomy project by Glen Langston that is not only affordable, but quite accessible. Thank you for the tip, Paul!

This article is in PDF form and can be downloaded from with this link.

Dick Smith Live: Adventuring, Electronics & Amateur Radio (Ham Radio DX on YouTube)

Dick Smith, VK2DIK has lived an adventurous and extraordinary life. He is a proud Australian, businessman, adventurer, entrepreneur and he single handedly changed electronics and CB/Amateur Radio in Australia.

Dick has recently released his autobiography titled, Dick Smith: My Adventurous Life and tonight we’re privileged to sit down live with Dick, speaking to him about his adventures, including the first solo helicopter flight around the world, his business ventures and being a pioneer for Amateur and CB radio.


Do you enjoy the SWLing Post?

Please consider supporting us via Patreon or our Coffee Fund!

Your support makes articles like this one possible. Thank you!

Spread the radio love

Radio Waves: Eiffel Tower Radio 100 Years Ago, Raspberry Pi Radio Time Machine, Barrie ARC Thrives in Pandemic, and The Voice of Ganymede via JUNO

Radio Waves:  Stories Making Waves in the World of Radio

Because I keep my ear to the waves, as well as receive many tips from others who do the same, I find myself privy to radio-related stories that might interest SWLing Post readers.  To that end: Welcome to the SWLing Post’s Radio Waves, a collection of links to interesting stories making waves in the world of radio. Enjoy!

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributors Dan Srebnick, the Southgate ARC and Geneva Witherspoon for the following tips:


Signal of strength: Eiffel Tower celebrates a centenary of radio broadcast (RFI)

A hundred years ago this week, France’s most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, was first used as an antenna for radio programmes. Looming high above the city’s uniform skyline, the tower was an obvious choice to pioneer public radio in France, proving the country’s prowess in broadcast technology.

On 22 December 1921, just three years after the end of WWI, “Radio Tour Eiffel” broadcast its first ever show, a live performance featuring legendary singers.

The trial was the beginning of a long series of broadcasts that continues today, with 45 television stations and 32 FM stations – including RFI – broadcasting from the Eiffel Tower.

According to the Lille-based publication Le Réveil du Nord of 24 December 2021, “a concert by wireless telephony took place at the Lille Theatre”.

Famous artists of that era, the legendary Sacha Guitry, the soprano Jeanne Hatto, the tenor Maurice Dutreix and others sang in a microphone in a room in the Eiffel Tower, from where it was broadcast to a “wireless phone set” in the hall of the Lille theatre.

“A large audience attended this session,” according to the dispatch. [Continue reading…]

Nostalgic Raspberry Pi Radio Tunes to Music From Past Decades (Tom’s Hardware)

The Raspberry Pi makes an excellent gift on its own, but getting one in a custom Time Machine Radio is remarkably fulfilling. This holiday, a maker known as Byte-rider created a custom Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W-powered radio for his father. Continue reading

Spread the radio love

The new Raspberry Pi 400 All-In-One Keyboard PC Released

On Monday, I received the announcement about the new Raspberry Pi 400 via the Pi Hut.

The Pi 400 is essentially a Raspberry Pi 4 built into a keyboard. Wonderful concept that very much takes me back to my first personal computer.

Of course, in the spirit of all things Raspberry, the complete kit price is pretty reasonable at about $100 US. Here are details via Pi Hut:

The Pi400 has all of the great features of a Raspberry Pi 4 wrapped in a convenient and compact keyboard – it’s the ultimate coding machine!

The keyboard is available as a kit with everything you need in one box (minus a monitor), or on its own.

The Pi400 doesn’t compromise on performance either – in fact, the CPU is clocked to a whopping 1.8GHz which is made possible thanks to the large metal heatsink inside the keyboard.

CPU aside, the Pi400 boasts the same great specs and connectivity as a Raspberry Pi 4 – 4GB RAM, dual-band wireless networking, Gigabit Ethernet, dual-display output and 4K video playback.

USB, power, video, Ethernet and SD ports are located at the rear of the keyboard, including the familiar 40-pin GPIO connector.

The Raspberry Pi 400 is also available in a number of different regional variants (some international variants coming soon!).

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who shares the following Pi 400 review from Tom’s Hardware:

The Raspberry Pi Model B has seen the same board layout since the Raspberry Pi B+ arrived in 2014. Sure the Raspberry Pi 4 swapped the Ethernet and USB ports around, but the same basic design has persisted. So when we received a parcel from Raspberry Pi Trading and opened the box to find a keyboard, we were somewhat puzzled as to the contents. Inside this compact and well designed keyboard is a Raspberry Pi 400, a variant of the Raspberry Pi 4 4GB designed specifically for this purpose.

Retailing as a single unit for $70 or as a complete $100 kit with mouse, power supply, cables, micro SD card and a copy of the Raspberry Pi Beginner’s Guide, the Raspberry Pi 400 could be the ideal way to introduce the Raspberry Pi to your home.

[…]Despite the change in form factor, this is still a Raspberry Pi 4 4GB and, as such, it behaves in exactly the same manner, with one exception. The Raspberry Pi 400 lacks the CSI and DSI connectors, used for the Camera and Official Touchscreen. Without these connectors there is no way to use those devices. This loss of the touchscreen connector is not such a big deal, but the camera connector is.

The range of Raspberry Pi cameras are cheap and effective add-ons (see our list of best Raspberry Pi accessories) that provide a fun stream of projects. If you want to create camera projects, then the Raspberry Pi 400 is not for you.[…]

Click here to read the full review.

I normally scoop up new Raspberry Pi products as soon as they’re released, but I’m flush with RPi’s at the moment! I do believe, however, I’ll eventually replace out my daughters’ Pi 4s with these all-in-ones.

Spread the radio love

New Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 8GB of RAM

When the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B was introduced last year, I immediately purchased two of the 4GB models for my daughters. A the time, 4GB was the maximum amount of RAM available.

Both of my daughters have been using their Pi 4’s with a Raspian distribution to learn Python, Linux Command Line and, of course, to cruise the web. They each had a Rasbperry Pi 3B prior to this and found that–especially if loading videos or media-rich web pages–it would often crash the browser. The Pi 4’s, however, have been much more stable.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation launched the 8GB version this morning. The price is $75 US for the board only.

Click here to read the full announcement and click here to find a distributor.

Spread the radio love

New SDRply Raspberry Pi image supports the RSPdx and RDPduo

(Source: SDRplay)

SDRplay has released a new downloadable Raspberry Pi SD card image which adds support for the RSPdx and simultaneous use of both the tuners in the RSPduo.

This V0.7 release is the first build to support the RSPdx and RSPduo in master/slave mode. The image also supports the RSP1, RSP1A,RSP2 and RSP2pro.

The list of software on this image is: SoapySDR/SoapySDRPlay, SoapyRemote, Cubic SDR, ADSB (Dump1090), and the updated RSP TCP Server

The V0.6 download, with some additional third party software,  is still available for the RSP1, RSP1A,RSP2, RSP2pro and RSPduo in single tuner mode.

Full details and links can be found here: https://www.sdrplay.com/raspberry-pi-images/

Spread the radio love

New Raspberry Pi 4: Faster CPU, Dual Monitors, Gigabit Ethernet and up to 4 GB of RAM

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Srebnick, who notes that the Raspberry Pi 4 mini computer was unveiled this morning by the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

This model has a number of upgrades we’ve all been waiting for:

I love the Raspberry Pi and own a number of models that I’ve employed in various projects. For example:

What excites me most about the Raspberry Pi 4 is the improved processor speed and larger allotment of RAM (up to 4 GB). This could make the Pi a more effective stand-alone or portable SDR station. The dual monitor capability could also be a big bonus. And, of course, GigaBit ethernet speeds will help make the Pi a better/faster connected device.

When the Raspberry Pi 3B+ was introduced last year, I hesitated one day and had to wait weeks for the second shipment. Not this time! I purchased two 4GB units (in two different shipments as most suppliers have a maximum of one per customer) and hope to receive them by mid-July.

If you’re interested in pre-ordering the Raspberry Pi 4, check out the Raspberry Pi Foundation website for recommended resellers.

Do you plan to grab a Pi 4? Would you like to share a recent project with us? Please comment!

Spread the radio love

Building a Raspberry Pi magnetometer network

Source: Ciarán D. Beggan and Steve R. Marple

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Ciarán Beggan of the British Geological Survey describes how a network of 9 Raspberry Pi magnetometers were deployed to schools around the UK to measure geomagnetic storms

As computers such as the Raspberry Pi and geophysical sensors have become smaller and cheaper it is now possible to build a reasonably sensitive system which can detect and record the changes of the magnetic field caused by the Northern Lights (aurora).

Though not as accurate as a scientific level instrument, the Raspberry Pi magnetometer costs around 1/100th the price (about £180 at 2019 prices) for around 1/100th the accuracy (~1.5 nanoTesla). However, this is sufficient to make interesting scientific measurements.

During 2017, a network of 9 Raspberry Pi magnetometers were deployed to schools around the UK from Benbecula to Norwich. On September 8, 2017 a large geomagnetic storm was captured by the school magnetometers. Using these data and the array of other magnetometers around the North Sea, we were able to recreate the spatial and temporal changes of the magnetic field during the storm in great detail. The two phases of the storm show the westward (night time) and eastward (daytime) flow of the auroral electrojet currents in the ionosphere.

Source http://www.mist.ac.uk/nuggets

Download the paper Building a Raspberry Pi school magnetometer network in the UK
https://www.geosci-commun.net/1/25/2018/gc-1-25-2018.pdf

Click here to read at the Southgate ARC.

Spread the radio love