Langstone - Portsdown Convergence

Forum for discussion about the Langstone Microwave Transceiver that shares some features with the Portsdown. Wiki: https://wiki.microwavers.org.uk/Langstone_Project
G8GKQ
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Langstone - Portsdown Convergence

Post by G8GKQ » Wed May 13, 2020 7:49 pm

I have been working on a version of the Portsdown Software that will work alongside the Langstone software. In fact I have taken Colin's graphics routines and adapted them for the Portsdown (thanks Colin!). The Raspberry Pi 4 does not support the original Portsdown graphics.

My first objective is to get the (LongMynd) receive side of the software working, and I have made significant progress.

To aid people with their hardware planning here are some details:
  • This build of Portsdown on the RPi 4 will ONLY work with the official Raspberry Pi screen. I do not plan to support any other displays.
  • The default audio device will be the Langstone's USB audio dongle
  • From Portsdown, you will be able to start-up the Langstone, and hopefully eventually vice-versa.
  • The Touchscreens (with buttons and text) won't look as good as the Portsdown 2020 as I am spending the time getting the video functionality working rather than chasing pixels in fonts and buttons.
  • The first capability to be released will be LongMynd receive capability, so make sure that you have the capability to plug a MiniTiouner into a USB port
  • I have not made any final decisions about the DATV transmit capability yet (Lime/Pluto/DATV Express) - if it even works! I do know that I will not be supporting the old Filter-Modulator board in combination with the RPi 4.
  • I hope to put a development release on GitHub within the next few weeks, which will load on top of an existing Langstone installation and preserve the Langstone capability while adding DATV Receive capability.
A few taster pictures below.

Dave, G8GKQ
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G8GKQ
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Re: Langstone - Portsdown Convergence

Post by G8GKQ » Wed May 20, 2020 11:57 am

As promised above, I have been working on a Portsdown "add-on" for the Langstone, and have now issued the first release.

This release is the "Portsdown A27" version, so called because the A27 is the main road between Portsdown Hill and Langstone (and Hayling - but that's another story).

I must stress that this is a very early release and there will be glitches. Please report your problems here and I will attempt to cure them. The graphics and text are not up to the standard of the previous Portsdown releases, as I have had to rewrite them all from scratch.

You MUST remember these guidelines:
  • Start with building Colin's latest Langstone release. Make sure it is at least his release from 19 May - anything earlier will not work.
  • Once you are happy that Langstone works properly, follow the installation instructions for Portsdown A27 here: https://github.com/BritishAmateurTelevi ... tsdown-a27
  • This build of Portsdown on the RPi 4 will ONLY work with the official Raspberry Pi screen. I do not plan to support any other displays.
  • The default audio device will be the Langstone's USB audio dongle. Use the dongle described on the Wiki; this is the only one supported.
  • You must use an RPi 4 - the RPi 3 is not good enough. LimeSDR is NOT supported in this build.
The only capabilities that work are:
  • The LongMynd Receiver. Plug in a MiniTiouner, use the VLC player and you will find that it plays very nearly all transmissions that you can find on QO-100 and terrestrial DATV (except the QO-100 beacon). There is a new player, MPlayer, that provides a few seconds of video from the beacon, but it crashes after that because it is not really good enough.
  • I have tried to ensure that all the LongMynd capabilities are supported, but it is not possible to simultaneously display signal parameters and picture, and the large size beacon MER display is not yet functional.
  • On Menu 2, there are 3 players that will show video input from an EasyCap, a Pi Camera or a C920. No audio.
  • The "check for update" functionality works
  • There is a facility to tell the Portsdown about a non-standard Pluto IP (which is required to be known to ensure smooth switching between Portsdown and Langstone), and to update the Langstone from the "Langstone Config" menu on Menu 3.
  • By default the unit starts up as a Langstone. If you exit from Langstone, it will start up the Portsdown, you can then shutdown from Menu 2, or go back to Langstone. You can change the boot behaviour (to start up as a Portsdown) from Menu 3, System Config.
This is just a start - now that I have a stable platform I can start working on all the other features. Thanks to Colin for all his help.

Dave, G8GKQ

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Re: Langstone - Portsdown Convergence

Post by G8GKQ » Wed May 20, 2020 10:03 pm

I have just published an update (202005311) that fixes a bug with the omxplayer receiver, the BATC stream player and screen capture. You should be able to update in the usual way. It may then need a reboot to get omxplayer working again.

Dave, G8GKQ

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G1LPS Terry
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Re: Langstone - Portsdown Convergence

Post by G1LPS Terry » Thu May 21, 2020 10:43 am

Hi Dave updated as above from the Portsdown.
Fails to start afterwards.
If I try to start Langstone from putty I get Pluto failed to respond at pluto local check connection to power.

Theres no problem with the hardware I checked this with a spare sd card I had made prior to update and it worked ok on the second card?
any pointers or should I try a new build?

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Re: Langstone - Portsdown Convergence

Post by G8GKQ » Thu May 21, 2020 11:16 am

Hi Terry

Please try turning the power off and on again.

Then, if that doesn't work, try "ping 192.168.2.1" (or whatever your Pluto address is - that's the default) and see if the Pluto responds. Ctrl-c to stop.

If that works, try "ping pluto.local".

Then we can try to work out the problem.

Dave

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Re: Langstone - Portsdown Convergence

Post by G8GKQ » Thu May 21, 2020 11:48 am

I have just published another minor update (202005312) that sends the audio from the stream viewer (and the IPTS monitor) to the audio output selected for the LongMynd receiver - the USB audio dongle by default.

So you can now watch and listen to BATC streams (such as G4KLB's SQ net, or the QO-100 net) on your Langstone. If you are not interested in watching the streams then there is no need to update.

Dave, G8GKQ

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G1LPS Terry
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Re: Langstone - Portsdown Convergence

Post by G1LPS Terry » Thu May 21, 2020 11:55 am

Hi Dave
Made a new card that works and pings on the default IP

Tried the failed card again the pluto doesnt ping.
So I tried to update the second backup card I made from the original version and it too failed in the same way. ?


Any way the new build card from latest version is working nicely.
I'm up and running again

Regards
Terry

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Re: Langstone - Portsdown Convergence

Post by G8GKQ » Thu May 21, 2020 12:02 pm

Hi Terry

Pleased that you are up and running again, but worried that we have an unexplained issue! Much still to learn about the new system...

Dave

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Re: Langstone - Portsdown Convergence

Post by G8GKQ » Thu May 21, 2020 1:42 pm

Initial testing seems to show that if a LimeSDR Mini is connected to the Portsdown A27 (Langstone) it does generate DVB-S/S2 signals. EasyCap, Pi Cam test card or C920 sources, H264 with audio at 333 kS YMMV.

Dave, G8GKQ

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Re: Langstone - Portsdown Convergence

Post by g8gtz » Thu May 21, 2020 6:37 pm

Upgrade now done successfully.

However, I only get a blank screen using any player on LongMynd or the beacon MER screen.

I'll show it on the QO100 net.

Noel

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