Visit to Kent for new Club Night

August 16, 2018 3 By Andrew

So this evening I ventured a little further a field to Cray Valley Radio Society, based near Eltham , South East London.

One of my good Amateur radio Buddies, Pete (M0PSX) was doing a talk on Raspberry Pi's so went to enjoy the evening and support him with a friendly face. On the way down put a call out on 2M to hear M0LMR who was also on their way down to the club, so I wasn't the only Essex Ham'er who ventured over the bridge to support Pete.



Cray Valley Radio Society, located in the local Scouts Hall, had an impressive Shack set up. But more than this a very impressive HF Antenna set up! Antenna Envy all round from the Essex Crew...

Once the compulsory cups of tea had been procured we took our seats and Pete started to tell everyone about the Raspberry Pi. There was a mix of experience in the audience from people who had just heard of a Rpi. To people, like me, who have several of them and use them for multiple things. So a good spread and Pete balanced the level of information to ensure everyone took something away. 

There was a good turn out of about 20 people and everyone was fully engaged with asking questions about all aspects of the Pi. What Pete did that impressed a few people was ran his presentation (only 3 or 4 power point slides, so no death by powerpoint) on the projector using a Raspberry Pi. Of Course he didn't disclose this until the end.

Next Pete set up a new Rpi from scratch using a new Rpi image on a fresh SD card. in no time at all we had a working desktop environment. Next he installed SDR software using the guide which is published on the excellent EssexHam website. and whilst answering questions the Rpi did its thing to install the software and SDR drivers live from the internet hotspot Pete had brought with him. In a matter of 10-15 mins we had gone from a fresh image to a working SDR radio receiver listening to beacons and FM stations. 


Next Pete went all Blue Peter "here's one I prepared earlier" and showed some other types of Amateur radio related software.  Including an APRS IGate using direwolf, and ADBS using program called dump1090. 

This was really impressive and reminded me, it was this piece of software that 7 months ago got me started on the route to Amateur radio. 

Also how a simple Rpi can be used as a field computer to show video's and slide shows at field days and other events to help promote the hobby to members of the public.

Link to the software here: 



After lots more questions and answers, and me chipping in, as usual, to talk a little about SSTV and the importance of Backing up your SD cards!

More tea was on order before the compulsory raffle (wouldn't be a club night without one!!)

It was also great to have someone say they were a visitor of my website and how they enjoyed reading. It's the odd comment that encourages me to keep writing and sharing the knowledge I gained from other in the hobby.

Really glad I made the effort to go to meet new people and a new club, have to thank everyone who were very welcoming to us new Visitors and hope to see you all again.