1.8    piWebCAT installation on a micro SD card.

I have three options:

  • Supply a pre-configured 16 Gbyte micro SD card.  This my current option.
  • Supply a zipped SD card image on DVD.   I can do this.
  • Provide a zipped downloadable SD card image. This is over 3 Gbytes and would require
    extension of my web hosting contract. I would do this if demand for SD cards was unmanageable!!!

The SD card  has preinstalled software as follows:

  • The latest Raspberry Pi operating system (February 2021)
  • Apache2 websrver
  • PHP 7 server programming language and PHP database links.
  • MariaDB (MySQL) database system.   Phpmyadmin web browser database tool.
  • Pure-ftpd  FTP server for upload / download of code etc to / from the RPi.
  • Hamlib rigctl / rigctld. This has been developed over 12 years to support 250 radios.
    It allow piWebCAT (and other CAT systems) to use a generic command set which it
    translates into the commands for the selected radio.
  • Mumble-server and Mumble client. This is a free, ready made VOIP (Voice Over IP) system
    which transmits microphone and speaker audio over LAN and so can facilitates remote operation
    using piWebCAT.

Preinstalled data and code

  • The piWebCAT webserver. This includes HTML web page rendering,  javascipt / jQuery web browser
    program code and PHP server code.
  • phpGrid - this is an extensive purchased product from China. It makes use of the open source jqGrid
    system to provide an easy means of coding speadsheet-like grids on a web-browser.
    It is used to generate the editor grids for the configuration database.
    I have a licence for phpGrid which allows OEM distribution.
  • The whole of this website linked to piWebCAT's HELP button.
  • Some SQL scripts which include a script for rig duplication  - section 3.13 MySQL Front 

Building an SD card

This is described in   14.4 Configuring SD card, 14.5 Hamlib installation, 14.6 Mumble installation.

The process includes serial port redirection and database and FTP server setup.
These are somewhat complex and time consuming.
Their full documentation gives a useful insight into the systems and a reference guide for making changes.
It also helped me to rebuild a card for issue .... and thereby validated the instructions that I had recorded!  

Low cost micro SD card duplicator

I found thiis link to be very useful:   https://ccse.kennesaw.edu/outreach/raspberrypi/duplicate_sd-pc.php

I use a Raspberry Pi 400 (keyboard with RPi4 built in),  a 10 port USB3 hub (amazon £30) and ten small
USB3 card readers (£6 each).  The pishrink program reduces the source card image to 8.4Gbyte.
10 copies are produced by the dcfldd application in 18 minutes.
(I use fast class10 cards ... for fast copying and fast piWebCAT)
They auto-expand to fill the 16Gbyte card in a few seconds on first use.