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Loading the westerndstar GW6WTK Pi image D-Star Compatible Hotspot using GMSK Node Adapter setup guide by K6JM

Raspberry Pi models B, B+, version 2 and later

Users of the Raspberry Pi have discovered image files that make setup fast and easy.  One of the best is the popular westerndstar.co.uk Pi image file created and maintained by Brian GW6WTK.  The fastest way to get up and running is to grab the image file from the internet and burn that to your Pi's SD card.  Linux is already configured, and various applications are already installed.  Note: Brian leverages work done by Hans DL5DI, who compiles G4KLX source with each new release and prepares Linux installation libraries. 

The following assumes your main PC runs Windows.  You can also accomplish all of the following using different commands and programs from a Linux PC or a Mac, but this page focuses on using Windows.

Getting Ready

Download Image File and write it to SD Card
To get the image file, go to westerndstar.co.uk/html/downloads.htmlBrian continues to bring out new and improved images, so pick the best current image that fits your needs.  For example, you may consider the image called "Jessie-based D-Star Widget image Version B,V2 and V3 Compatible".

Unzip and burn the image to your SD card.  Use Win32diskimager to burn the image to the SD card -- sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/.   Win32DiskImager tips:

Log onto the Pi over your internal network using TightVNC
Plug in the network cable to the RPi and plug in the power.  After a few moments, it will boot up and connect to your internal network.  Check your router for the internal IP address assigned to this new device on your LAN.  Start up the TIghtVNC Viewer (tvnviewer.exe).  It will ask for the IP address of the Linux system you want to log on to.  Use the Pi's IP address and add port 0.

    <internal-IP>:0 – example might be  Password is raspberry.

The Pi’s desktop should then display.  You will see that both DStarRepeater and ircDDBGateway programs are already running.  Close both programs.

Change root password, configure WinSCP
Professional Linux & Unix Administrators avoid logging on as root (superuser) -- a small mistake can kill the system.  They log on as a normal user and use su or prefix commands with sudo when they need elevated provileges.  However, some people do like to log onto personal Linux systems as root.  It makes it easier to use WinSCP to navigate and change any file.  But if you are not comfortable logging on as root, just skip this section and do everything using TightVNC.

Bring up LX Terminal (click on the terminal icon on the top line that starts with a Menu button).  Type:

   sudo passwd root

Give new root password twice.

For Pi's running Raspbian version 8 (Jessie) - enable root logon
If you are running the latest version of Raspbian, the new default is to not allow root logins, even if you know the password.  You may easily change this, however:

Configure WinSCP
Bring up WinSCP and set up a connection to your Pi. See notes, below, but here are the basics --  You will need your Pi's internal IP address.  Use root as the username, and supply the password from above.  Open the connection.  You will see traditional folder navigation windows.  The left is your PC; the right is your Pi.  This is useful to learn about your Pi, to upload files if needed, and to edit text files directly.  Since WinSCP is logged on as root, be careful.  It is a good idea to make a copy of a file before changing it if you are not certain.

This is a good time to set up an SSH connection using PuTTY, using root and the above password.   See this page.

At this point, you have three ways to browse, change and control your Pi.  Mostly you will use TightVNC logged on to the graphical desktop as user Pi.  Sometimes you may use WinSCP to navigate through directories, upload files or edit files.  Sometimes you may SSH logon using PuTTY, to issue command line Linux commands.  WinSCP and PuTTY logons will be as the root user. 

For Pi's running Raspbian version 8 (Jessie) with an LCD plate (i2C interface)
If you plan to use an Adafruit LCD plate or the LCD sold by MoenComm, and are getting i2C errors, you will need to enable the i2C interface:

If you can't see all of the program windows because of overscanning, use WinSCP to navigate to the /boot directory and alternate-click on file config.txt, then select Edit.  Uncomment the two lines starting with "framebuffer".  Exit WinSCP and save, then reboot the Pi by going to the TightVNC window, go to Menu > Shutdown, select Reboot and click OK.

You now have the image loaded onto your Pi and have access to various help programs.  You will next want to configure the programs you will be using (G4KLX, ConDV, StarDV, etc).

Other details

Backup your SD card

WinSCP - A useful tool:  A recommended tool is WinSCP.  This graphical program allows you to logon to another Linux system like the Raspberry Pi and navigate through its directories, inspect files, and download or upload files between the Pi and your PC.

D-Star® is a registered trademark used for communication equipment (repeaters and transceivers) for amateur radio communications, and owned by Icom Incorporated.

Copyright © 2009-2017 James M. Moen. All rights reserved.