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Raspberry Pi


I like Raspberry Pi.  Right now I’m not talking about the Linzer Torte variety, but the single, credit card sized computer running a version of Linux.

Why Pi?

My interest was piqued by an article in the  American Radio Relay League’s QST— the magazine for amateur radio enthusiasts.  I’ve been suffering from poor hearing for several years now, so my ability to copy Morse Code is severely impaired.  Our location in downtown Chicago and no place to erect an antenna limits what I can do with a radio.  As a result I’m pretty much limited by either operating portable in a park or using a number of digital technologies that are only possible with computer control.

Raspberry Pi is a Real Computer

This credit card sized computer is the brainchild of The Raspberry Pi Organization in the United Kingdom.  It runs the Linux operating system, which means plenty of options and programming resources are available.

Board for the Raspberry Pi computer, Model 2.
Board for the Raspberry Pi computer, Model 2.

Notice 4 USB ports, Ethernet, HDMI, and interface options.  I won’t bore you with the details but only say this is one “fun” device for a technology hobbyist like myself.  I’m looking forward to learning about the Raspberry Pi this Winter.

National Parks on the Air – NPOTA

I’ve been a licensed amateur radio operator (KB9CZ) for many years, but for the last 20 years have been inactive except for a few occasional times using a small hand held radio for local contacts.  I’d like to get back in the hobby but the interference at our condo pretty much eliminates that option.  The solution may be a portable location, i.e. operating at a temporary site where conditions are more favorable.  I did it once at my son’s home in Douglasville, GA.

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national trade association for hams like myself.  They sponsor a number of contests where operators try to make contacts under certain controlled conditions such as a particular time period, frequency of transmission, location, etc.  Beginning January 1, 2016 there is a one-year contest to celebrate the National Park Service.  Operators will set up at one or more designated National Park locations and other hams will try to contact as many locations possible.

I think I’ve now got the incentive to construct a portable station that can be set up in a park or forest preserve.  One of the National Parks locations is the Marquette and Joliet portage park just west of theCity — a location I’ve been to many times in my I&M Canal explorations.

More to follow …

The Prairie Duneland Trail Ride

Nothing like the promise of a beautiful October Fall day to prompt a ride.  Although it started out a bit chilly and breezy, the sun was out in full force and the leaves were beginning to peak in color.  It was a perfect day for a ride through the woods.

Prairie Duneland Trail

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It's a flat former rail line that runs through the woods between the prairie and the dunes.

Fall on the Riverwalk

Several new blocks have been added to the Riverwalk, and with it a lot more traffic and commercial attractions — primarily food and beer.  It was the weekend of the BOA Marathon and the weather was nice, so I took the small camera along to record a few scenes.

Meter Enforced: 24 x 7

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There's limited parking so get your yacht tied up and enjoy a beer or wine at this block on the path.