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HamClock Build


Mike - AD0WB
(@mike)
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Joined: 3 years ago
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A few years ago, QST published an article written by Elwood – WB0OEW (QST, Oct 2017) about a cool little device built on an Arduino. A HamClock. This thing looked so cool, I just never got around to building one.

What is it you ask? What does it do? Wow, it does all kinds of neat things for hams. HamClock is a clock specifically for amateur radio operators. It shows Zulu time, your local time, your grid square, and a really nice graphical display of the earth showing current grey line. It shows current solar activity. It can show amateur satellite orbit information. You can even click on the map and it will provide propagation prediction from your location to a DX location, along with short path and long path distance and azimuth. I’m sure I missed some of what it can do. But it is super cool!

There are plenty of options should you choose to build one for yourself. I chose to build one using a Raspberry Pi. I ~think~ just about any Pi could work, however I used a new Pi4 for mine. You can set them up to display on an old monitor you have, or you can set it up for a small dedicated display. I chose a 7” Raspberry Pi Touchscreen as I have very limited desk space.

Raspberry Pi’s run Raspbian for their operating system – which I guess is a version of Linux. I followed the instructions at www.raspberrypi.org/downloads to put the OS on a MicroSD card. Popped it in the Pi, fired it up and followed the prompts to get it on my network, and onto the Internet. Depending on which Pi version you have, accessing your network may vary (ie WiFi, Ethernet).

Once there, I navigated to www.clearskyinstitute.com/ham/HamClock where I obtained the program itself. For a Raspberry Pi version, look for the ‘Desktop’ tab. It may look a little daunting at first, but don’t worry. It really is easy. All of the commands are written there for you. All you need to do is open a terminal and copy/paste the commands provided. Just follow the prompts and you should be in business.

I’ll be the first to admit I am not very knowledgeable about Linux. But it was ~really~ easy to get it up and running. I run it in a window, and just drag the menu bar up off the screen, so it looks like a full screen application. Oh, I did add xScreensaver to control the screensaver on the Pi (actually, I shut it off).

Special thanks to Elwood – WB0OEW for providing us with this great program!

I’m sure, like anything computer related, there are probably several ways to run a HamClock. This is how I did it. If you feel adventurous, give it a whirl! If you have a Pi lying around gathering dust, and an unused monitor, you’re all set! Even if you go out and buy the hardware, you’ll probably be able to pull it off for a hundred bucks or so. Go for it!

73, and keep the squelch loose.

Mike – AD0WB

PiHamClock1

 

PiHamClock2
This topic was modified 1 year ago by Mike - AD0WB

N0AD, Scott AK6Q, AE2L and 1 people liked
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ac0f
 ac0f
(@w0aeb)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 14
 

I put this on a new Raspberry Pi I purchased, and it is awesome.  More information than I know what to do with, but I am sure I will learn more as I use it more.

Thanks Mike for posting this.

73, ac0f

Alan


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Mike - AD0WB
(@mike)
Active Member Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

@w0aeb

 

That's great Alan! 

 

Yeah, it's quite the cool little doodad. 😎 And a fun project as well.

 

What kind of display did you put it on? Pics, man!

 

73, and keep the squelch loose.

 

Mike - AD0WB

 

 


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Sasquatch
(@sasquatch)
Eminent Member Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 25
 

Looks awesome and that it would be a fun project!  Is a kit available or parts list and explanation of build?

 

73 N0RDE

Jon


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Mike - AD0WB
(@mike)
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 15
Topic starter  

@sasquatch

 

Jon,

 

I am not aware of any kits currently available. There was a pre-built unit some time ago, but it was stupid expensive.

 

As for a parts list, if building a Pi version I'd say plan on a Raspberry Pi, a way to power it, maybe a case if you'd like, and some sort of a display.

 

I used a spare keyboard and wireless mouse for setup. My build doesn't require a mouse for regular operation, as I went with a touchscreen display. But it's nice to have. YMMV.

 

Also plan for connecting the Pi to the Internet. The newer Pi's have WiFi hardware built in, so that might make connectivity easier.

 

I hope that helps point you in the right direction.

 

Good luck with it!

 

73, and keep the squelch loose.

 

Mike - AD0WB

 

 


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Scott AK6Q
(@ak6q)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 45
 

This project is just what I have been idealizing about for a few years now.  It is on my short list of to-do projects.   Thanks fellas for discussing it and putting it on the forum!

73 Scott AK6Q

Elecraft KX2 KX3 K3, Icom IC-705 Yaesu FTD3, VX8


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William Eareckson
(@wshj72)
New Member Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 2
 

Just built one of these myself and got it running this weekend.  Used the Raspberry 7" touchscreen with a PI 3 for this build.  Now I need to figure out how to get it to do auto-login and auto-start the Hamclock program. Like for this to be running after plug-in without user intervention.  Nice project just the same!

This post was modified 10 months ago by William Eareckson

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W0BDT
(@w0bdt)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 8
 

There is a very nice Raspberry Pi "image" called "HamPi" with the Raspbian OS and a slew of ham-related apps preinstalled, built by Dave Slotter (W3DJS) which includes HamClock.

Download the image from: https://sourceforge.net/projects/hampi/

More details from: https://github.com/dslotter/HamPi

 

HamPi, formerly known as W3DJS Raspberry Pi for Ham Radio

HamPi, formerly known as W3DJS Raspberry Pi for Ham Radio

 

Documentation

There is a comprehensive Wiki for HamPi, located here: https://github.com/dslotter/HamPi/wiki

 

Past Version

 

Version 2 of Raspberry Pi Ham Radio Image by W3DJS

General Ham Radio Applications

HamLib - Ham Radio Control Libraries

grig - graphical user interface to the Ham Radio Control Libraries

CHIRP - Radio Programming Software

APRS Message App for JS8Call - GUI to send APRS messages via JS8Call

QTel - EchoLink client

QSSTV - Slow Scan TV (e.g. "Fax")

Gpredict - Satellite prediction

FreeDV - Free digital voice vocoder

BlueDV - Client for D-Star and DMR

WsprryPi - WSPR software

ADS-B Flight Tracking Software

Pi3/4 Stats Monitor - by W1HKJ

VOACAP - HF propagation prediction

GPS Support

Auto WiFi Hotspot - Automatically turn your Pi into a WiFi hotspot when in the field!

wxtoimg - NOAA weather imaging software

twHamQTH - an online callsign look up program

twclock - a world clock and automatic ID for amateur radio operators

HamClock - display worldwide propogation etc

acfax - Receive faxes using your radio and sound card

colrconv - convers client with sound and ncurses color support

d-rats - A communication tool for D-STAR

fbb - Packet radio mailbox and utilities

gcb - Utility to calculate long and short path to a location

glfer - Spectrogram display and QRSS keyer

Xdx is a DX-cluster client

DXSpider - DX Cluster Server

fccexam - Study tool for USA FCC commercial radio license exams.

gnuais / gnuaisgui - GNU Automatic Identification System receiver

hamexam - Study guide for USA FCC amateur radio (ham radio) license examinations.

hamfax - Qt based shortwave fax

inspectrum - tool for visualising captured radio signals

predict-gsat - Graphical Predict client

splat - analyze point-to-point terrestrial RF communication links

wwl - Calculates distance and azimuth between two Maidenhead locators

Antenna Ham Radio Applications

antennavis - Antenna Visualization Software

gsmc - A GTK Smith Chart Calculator for RF impedance matching

nec2c - Translation of the NEC2 FORTRAN source code to the C language

xnecview - NEC structure and gain pattern viewer

yagiuda - software to analyse performance of Yagi-Uda antennas

Digital Mode Ham Radio Applications WSJT-X - Weak Signal (FT8, FT4, etc.) by W1JT

GridTracker - Graphical mapping companion program for WSJT-X or JTDX

JTDX - Alternate client for Weak Signal (FT8, FT4, etc.)

JS8Call - Messaging built on top of FT8 protocol by KN4CRD

JS8CallTools - Get Grid coordinates using GPS

(FLDigi is in its own section below.)

gnss-sdr - GLONASS satellite system Software Defined Receiver

linpsk - amateur radio PSK31/RTTY program via soundcard

multimon - multimon - program to decode radio transmissions

multimon-ng - digital radio transmission decoder

psk31lx - a terminal based ncurses program for psk31

twpsk - a psk program

Software Defined Radio

CubicSDR - Software Defined Radio receiver

cutesdr - Simple demodulation and spectrum display program

GQRX - Software defined radio receiver

SDRAngel - SDR player

lysdr - Simple software-defined radio

quisk - Software Defined Radio (SDR)

SoapyAudio - Soapy SDR plugin for Audio devices

SoapyHackRF - SoapySDR HackRF module

SoapyMultiSDR - Multi-device support module for SoapySDR

SoapyNetSDR - Soapy SDR module for NetSDR protocol

SoapyRemote - Use any Soapy SDR remotely

SoapyRTLSDR - Soapy SDR module for RTL SDR USB dongle

SoapySDR - Vendor and platform neutral SDR support library

SoapySDRPlay - Soapy SDR module for SDRPlay

Support for RTL-SDR

Support for SDRPlay SDR

Support for HackRF SDR

APRS Applications

Xastir - APRS GUI client / Digipeater / Igate

YAAC - Yet Another APRS Client

DireWolf - Software "soundcard" AX.25 packet modem/TNC and APRS encoder/decoder

aprsdigi - digipeater for APRS

aprx - APRS Digipeater and iGate

soundmodem - Sound Card Amateur Packet Radio Modems

FLDigi Application Suite from W1HKJ flrig - Rig Control program which interfaces with fldigi

fldigi - Digital Modes Communications

flaa - RigExpert Antenna Analyzer Control Program

flamp - File transmissions via Amateur Multicast Protocol

flarq - ARQ data transfer utility for fldigi

flcluster - Telnet client to remote DX Cluster Servers

fllog - Logbook application which can use same data file as fldigi

flmsg - Editor for ICS 213 Forms

flnet - Net Control Assistant for Net Activities (Check-In Application)

flpost - NBEMs post office

flwrap - File encapsulation and compression for transmission over amateur radio

flwkey - Winkeyer (or clone) control program for K1EL Winkeyer series

Logging Applications

TrustedQSL - LotW client

CQRlog - Ham Radio Logging Application

PyQSO - Logging software (written in Python)

klog - The Ham Radio Logging program

tlf - console based ham radio contest logger

tucnak2 - VHF/UHF/SHF Hamradio contest log version 2

twlog - basic logging program for ham radio

wsjtx_to_n3fjp - Logging adapter to allow WSJT-X to log to N3FJP

xlog - GTK+ Logging program for Hamradio Operators

WinLink Applications

Pat WinLink - WinLink for Raspberry Pi (and other platforms)

ARDOP support for Pat WinLink

ARDOP-GUI - Provides graphical representation of ARDOP connections

Find ARDOP - Retrieves local ARDOP sources by KM4ACK

AX25 support for Pat WinLink

PMON - a PACTOR® Monitoring Utility for Linux

Morse Code Applications

aldo - Morse code training program

cw - sound characters as Morse code on the soundcard or console speaker

cwcp - Text based Morse tutor program

xcwcp - Graphical Morse tutor program

cwdaemon - morse daemon for the serial or parallel port

ebook2cw - convert ebooks to Morse MP3s/OGGs

ebook2cwgui - GUI for ebook2cw

morse - training program about morse-code for aspiring radio hams

morse2ascii - tool for decoding the morse codes from a PCM WAV file

morsegen - convert file to ASCII morse code

qrq - High speed Morse telegraphy trainer

twcw - sends morse code via the sound card or serial card (Needs RTC installed)

xdemorse - decode Morse signals to text

rscw - Receive CW through Soundcard

Ham Radio Wallpaper also included in image

 

Brad Tombaugh (W0BDT)
Yaesu FT-60R - AnyTone AT-D878UV Plus - AnyTone AT-D578UVIII Pro - Yaesu FT-991A - Diamond X50A - MFJ-2299 - PreciseRF HG-1 "WR" Magnetic Loop Antenna


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N0AD
 N0AD
(@ke0qha)
Active Member Member
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 7
 

Here is my addition to the Hamclock. Adding a screen dimmer 

You can manually dim the screen with the following command if you want or use the script to automatically do it after you haven't touched it for a set time.

echo 120 > /sys/class/backlight/rpi_backlight/brightness

Here is a script to have the screen dim after X amount of time. 

You will need to install git to set this up. The command to install git is apt install git

https://github.com/eskdale/pi-touchscreen-dimmer

Not sure how long the screens will last at full brightness. 

Any questions feel free to ask.

 

This post was modified 9 months ago by N0AD

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