[aprssig] Raspberry Pi (was:Where to buy new digipeater?)

Ken Koster n7ipb at wetnet.net
Wed Sep 19 14:33:38 EDT 2018

On Wednesday, September 19, 2018 9:35:10 AM PDT Jason KG4WSV wrote:
> Wow, that was almost as good as yelling "powerpole" in here.

Fun stuff :-)
> I'm running raspbian.  My mistake on ubuntu; they're both derived from
> debian, which led me to make an invalid assumption (I thought raspbian
> was yet another ubuntu derivation).

I think there is an Ubuntu distro for the pi but I've never tried it or anything other than 

> I'm using a recommended power supply that's plugged in to a UPS and
> not some random wall wart with the right connector, so power should be
> good (but I haven't measured it).
> The SD card is a sandisk, so that should be of reasonable quality as
> well (although it came from scamazon, so I guess there's a slim chance
> it's a counterfeit).

Same here,  from same source.  So far no problems.

> SD cards are not design for a large number of write cycles.  A class
> experiment involving some disk IO benchmarks on a raspberry pi damaged
> the (sandisk IIRC) SD cards.  If I wanted longevity and maximum
> reliability, I'd probably configure the thing to be a read-only
> filesystem, although that's a pain in the neck to deal with when
> software update time rolls around (about every 10 minutes for linux).

I generally make a few of the filesystems into ram disks and I don't worry about the logs 
getting wiped on a reboot.   One of my friends, Curt WE7U, made up a pi for APRS use and 
went to the extreme of finding everything that did a write and either eliminated them or 
pointed them at a ram disk.  To extreme for me.

> I have not swapped out the hardware.
> I have a hard time recommending a board that requires me to buy a
> power supply board that costs as much as the original board in order
> to make it reliable.

I can understand that but that extra hardware (seem my last post about the UPS) gives me a 
ton of features I make use of.  

> The pi's top 3 design priorities are:
> 1 - make it cheap
> 2 - make it cheap
> 3 - make it cheap
> Because of this the pi lacks a reliable power supply.  In contrast
> I've got a beaglebone black that runs 24x7 without trouble; it only
> gets rebooted when it gets a major update.  The odroid XU4 we've been
> using seems pretty solid as well, although the nature of the work does
> not tell us anything about the uptime.  The XU4 also has an eMMC
> module option, which is more expensive than uSD but faster and (so
> far) more reliable.

They're all good too,  I have at least one of each.

> I've handled a few hundred pis in the past few years, although that's
> in a educational environment and this is the only unit I've put in a
> situation where I expect 24x7x365 reliability.
> As far as the millions of pis in use, well, there are many millions of
> windows computers in use, and windows fails to meet my reliability
> standards too.  

Lets not even go there,  I never voluntarily used it,  never will.

> Maybe I have a hardware problem, maybe I did something
> wrong, but maybe I just expect more than the typical pi user?
The biggest thing I see is users not properly shutting down the pi or expecting cheap small 
SD cards to work well.   I don't think you're one of those.

> Could be a software issue, too.

That's always a concern.
> -Jason
> kg4wsv

Ken - N7IPB
Email: n7ipb at wetnet.net
JID: n7ipb at jabber.wetnet.net
SvxLink Repeaters: http://pnw220.wetnet.net
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