There are so many sites with information regarding this small computer that I feel theres no need for me to add  much here

There are quite a few different models out there but if you are thinking of buying one for running  some ham radio applications , you probably will want a raspberry pi 3 or pi 4. These two models are the best because of their performance and both  have built in wi-fi etc 

Bear in mind you will also need a 5 volt 2.5 amp power suppy for the rpi 3 and  a 5.1 volt 3.0 amp  supply for the raspberry rpi 4

A discarded phone charger ( 5 volt  1amp )  may be ok for the zero, but no good for a pi 3 or pi 4. You will also need a keyboard, mouse and a monitor ( thou you can use a TV screen ) also for running ads-b you will require a TV dongle ( more about this later ) plus its a good idea to buy a cheap plastic case for you to put your raspberry pi in.

Going back to the power requirements - if you run your raspberry ' headleass'  without a wi-fi dongle and are  just using  a ethernet cable from your router the power requirements should be less i.e no mouse/keyboard to power..the power needed will still be  less if you rely on the internal wi-fi of the pi3/4 but start adding dongles.usb sound cards etc and it's advisable to use a hub

For some further information on power suppies click here


To run the raspberry pi ' headless ' and activate the wi-fi and allow   'ssh' automatically  is quite easy - first download and write the image to your sd card using something like balenaetcher to write the image, put the sd card in a pc and it will open show the contents of the card

Make a blank text file called 'ssh' ( no extension ) and add it to the other files in the sd card . then make a file called 'wpa_supplicant.conf' and add the below script to that file and also place it with the other files  in the sd card

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev

You need to modify the country line to reflect your country, replace 'yourssid' with your wi-fi network name and replace 'yourpassword' with your password

check this link to see how to do everything using Raspberry pi "Imager"


wget https://github.com/futurejones/balena-etcher-arm/releases/download/v1.5.63/balena-etcher-electron_1.5.63_raspbian_buster_armhf.deb
sudo apt-get install ./balena-etcher-electron_1.5.63_raspbian_buster_armhf.deb

You will need to find your i.p address for the raspberry before you can ssh into it ( you could  of course initially set the raspberry up with a monitor/keyboard/mouse attached ) or use the below program if you have another raspberry pi networked , or go into your router which usually has a i.p address something like, it will most likely ask for a password but you should be able to find the i.p address of your new device there.

 You can install https://snapcraft.io/install/nmap/raspbian which will allow you to see your new pi i.p address and any other computers on your network

You can then install REMMINA which will make things a lot easier

remmina <sudo apt-get install remmina>  

You could also install vnc viewer ( to download vnc viewer click here )

To enable the camera  adjust the gpu memory etc  etc  go into raspberry pi configuration / interfaces




You can use the remote desktop facility on your pc to connect to the raspberry pi - see above two images

 click here to see how to implement  a static i.p address

if you want to connect to your raspberry pi direct using a usb cable click here

A nice android app to control your raspberry pi can be found on this link


 You will need the operating system for the raspberry, which can be downloaded from the raspberry site below

download the os from the official raspberry site here

before you load the os onto the sd card the card needs formating

 so download a utility called sd formatter from here

next copying the os to the card with a utility called win32 disk imager

win32 disk imager can be downloaded here

or download the image from the raspberry site using  'imager'

<sudo apt-get install rpi-imager >

it  maybe easier  to use balena-etcher to write the image - see further up the page for installation

It’s not a difficult task to write your own image, so don't go and buy a pre installed card

Use a good quality SD card 8 g/byte is ok 16/32 g/byte is even better (use a class 10)


The speed/class  should be displayed  in a circle on the SD card

its always a good idea to do have  a backup of your raspberry pi image which you can do with the 'sd card copier' part of the raspberry pi os

you can down load past and current versions of raspbian/ stretch / wheezy etc from here

 64 bit raspberry pi images

for a light weigh os try dietpi

https://www.armbian.com/rpi4b ( this is image is absolutely brilliant, it's packed with pre-installed programs everything you could possibly need )

the above picture shows a raspberry pi 3 with built in wi-fi

the above picture shows a raspberry pi w ( w de-notes its got built in wi-fi


so what  programs can i run ? check the below link

using a raspberry pi as a replacement for a pc   


if you want to run  ads-b / acarsdeco2 etc you will need a tv dongle which with a modified driver will receive signals from about 10 mhz up to 1.8 ghz ( depending on the dongle you buy ) the driver will be installed during the setup procedure -  you will require a program called zadig if using with a windows pc

   go to my ads-b page for more Information

   go to my acars page for more information

  my home made ant for 1090 mhz





 if you want to receive  rtty/psk or navtex and take the audio from  from a ssb receiver as opposed to using a sdr dongle you will need a sound card dongle  the raspberry pi has got no audio input only a audio output  so you will need one of these very cheap sound card dongles

 the programs required for receiving rtty / navtext are linpsk or  fldigi for raspberry pi

to manage the input / output to the sound card dongle use the following program

sudo apt-get install qasmixer

   go to my rtty page to see how to download these programs  onto your raspberry

  if you want a dongle for ads-b i suggest the flightaware pro plus - check for  cheapest site

  buy a raspberry pi from the raspberry site

  home made case for raspberry pi zero 

  using a raspberry pi as a replacement for a pc