Portsdown upgrade

I’ve upgraded my Portsdown setup to Portsdown 4. Setup is used in as loose as possible a way here as it’s basically still a box of bits. This needs a Raspberry Pi 4 which arrived today, freeing up the current Pi 3B for use elsewhere. The docs suggest a 2Gb version but I got the 4Gb one. One slight hiccup is that the Pi 4 uses a USB-C for power so I borrowed a phone charger lead temporarily.

I must say that the upgrade was very easy. Well, ok, the actual upgrade was attaching the Pi 4 to the back of the screen and downloading and installing the software on a freshly cut SD card, not upgrading the existing software. But, easy – ssh into the Pi and run 3 commands pasted in from the software page. Or simply buy a pre-cut SD card from the BATC shop.

I also had a Pluto lying about (there, loose terms again in action, it was actually aimed to be the RF part of a Satsagen spectrum analyser setup, but hey). One thing I had not realised is you can run both the Pluto and the Lime Mini together, just not at the same time, so no wastage of the Lime. It also connects to the Minitiouner (V2 only which mine is).

But the icing on this particular cake is that with the Pluto one can use the Langstone microwave transceiver  which is, in this case anyway basically an add-on package that is installed from an option in Portsdown via the touch screen. With the addition of a USB audio sound card dongle, which I had, plus my Heil headset it turns it into a transceiver able to work multimode across the amateur bands from 4m to 6cm with further plans in the pipeline.

And, like the Portsdown installation itself, setting up the Langstone was equally easy. Hats off to all those who made this excellent product so easy to set up.

More info at https://wiki.batc.org.uk/Portsdown_4 and https://wiki.microwavers.org.uk/Langstone_Project

One thing to note is that the Pluto output is very rich in harmonics so filtering is a must. Not got that far yet! I need a box first.



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