In February 2012 The Raspberry Pi foundation released the first Raspberry Pi (a) a credit card board powered by a broadcom chip. Instead of a hard disk the disk of choice is a SD card. These where aimed squarely at the education market as the boards are very cheap. With whole kits selling for £30 including case and power supply. The distribution (distros) of the operating systems are all free and the most used is a version of Debian called Raspberian (some jokes last longer than others)
Programming the Pi isn’t actually that hard if you know Perl, Python or C but there are many more languages that can be used. One thing to point out, this runs lynux and whilst it does so well, its not powerful enough to run Windows. For more information on the specifications have a look at the website above.
As you can imagine it didn’t take the amateur radio community long to realise that this piece of hardware had a lot that was useful to hack together in the shack. Before long we started seeing Weather station software, APRS hardware, and later today I found DSTAR boards by DVMega.
Whilst the APRS boards are relatively cheap the Dstar boards are more expensive due to the chip needed. Some may ask why I mention the DStar route, well interestingly enough there are already DMR and Yaesu Fusion betas out for DStar so it might be worth the look.
I personally have two of the second generation boards one running the weather station, the other currently running RIG control and logging software, which is eventually going to also include the above APRS board for the car.
As my Projects develop I will create a directory listing of articles here.