Data Challenges

Started doing some thinking about the data challenge. For the day job I end up lugging around a couple of Windows laptops, and the thought of dragging them to the top of a hill does not fill me with much enthisiam, and I have a sneaky suspicion my employer might not see the funny side…
All of the older devices have naff batteries, and would probably need reimaging to run anything. So I was thinking of using a Raspberry Pi and a cheap Audui to USB adapter attached via the data cable on the 817. As for getting to see what was happening ( I know FT8 is automated but it would be nice to see what QSO’s I was having on the summit ) I was wondering about a remote desktop connection to my phone. That involves adding a simpe wireless network… Am I barking up the wrong tree? Do I need to lubricate my thinking with a malt? And finally with the digital voice modes is there a relativly cheap way of doing it? The home QTH is worse than hopeless for VHF so it would just be for SOTA…

Very doable, and has been done: (probably elsewhere too)

Note you may find a VNC connection on your phone a little small and fidgety; the tablet approach certainly gives you more real estate to poke at.

1 Like

Not sooooo simple. I have wrote how I did it:

Since then I removed the powerbank and put in a DC/DC 12V–>5V 3A converter to power the pi with my LiPo 3S which I use for the 817, too. Furthermore I will not take that bulky z817 to a summit again. I rather work (almost) resonant.

Also not sure if you already saw the other topic where I posted screenshots of my mobile phone: FT8 SOTA Day - Sunday 5th January 2020 - #39 by DK9JC

1 Like


( My phone is huge so hopefully with a separate keyboard it might work!!)

All sounds complicated. I just use a 10” Windows 10 Acer tablet. Cheap, robust, light, reliable. No need for a keyboard as the tablet’s virtual keyboard is perfectly sufficient for updating the callsign and locator fields, and editing the macros.

Do you watch this video ?

73 Éric

For SOTA I wouldn’t say it was completely automated, you do need to interact with your screen to send the summit reference for each QSO etc. I picked up a Linx 8" Windows 8 tablet for £43 on Ebay that I have been using. I find the screen size just about manageable. I also just bought a Microsoft Surface 2 10" tablet for £60 on Ebay so will give that try when I get chance.



SOTA FT8 operation is not completely automated. That’s a myth. There are operator interactions in each QSO just as there are with traditional modes. It’s certainly different - but it still requires a human to operate it and make it work (and comply with SOTA rules).

… Sorry a bit tongue in cheek! I can imagine that the first time I set it up it will be anything but automatic!!!
( PS Thaks for the QSO from Kinder - I managed to install the software and connect up between your spot and our QSO…)

Thanks for all the tips!


1 Like