NW Digital Radio Blog

Sample Cases Have Arrived for DRAWS™ Workstation

The DRAWS™ Workstation Case

We are excited to give you a preview of the new DRAWS™ Workstation with it’s beautiful red and black anodized aluminum case.  We have received our first manufacturing samples, and they look great.

As with any new design, there are some minor adjustments that need to be made before production. We are in the process of generating those change orders and they will  be in the hands of our OEM shortly.  This whole process, from change orders, to manufacturing, to delivery, will take approximately 6 weeks.  Look for cases in March.  We will open orders for the case once the production run is initiated.

The MSRP for the case will be $24.95.  As a thank you to our early adopters, we will offer the case for $19.95 for a limited time. (Standard shipping, plus sales taxes for Washington residents will apply.)

We will also announce pricing for the kit and fully assembled versions of the DRAWS™ Workstation in the coming weeks.  Details to follow.

Power Solution:

After much research, we have settled on a 5.5/2.1 mm Barrel Connector. This is the same connector used by the KPC3+, Elecraft KX3, and other consumer electronics. There are many 12VDC power supplies available with this barrel connector pre-installed. (You may even find a few in your junk box!)

The cases will ship with the panel mount socket which is soldered to the pigtail supplied with the DRAWS™ board. The first run, early adopters will need to modify the connector on the board slightly to fit in the case; we’ll supply an app note. The next, and future, runs will not require any changes.

Powerwerx offers a standard cable to Anderson Powerpoles: DC21ST $7.99

 

 

DRAWS™ Shipping Update

We are still short some components, and have been delayed due to Chinese New Year. ASSY is now scheduled for late February.

Come see us at Hamcation in Orlando FL, Feb 8-10th! We will be showing our new configuration application and aluminum cases!

DRAWS™ Digital Radio Amateur Workstation – Available for Pre-Order

The next batch is in process and we anticipate shipping End of January. There is a $10 pre-order discount and the GPS/LNA Antenna is still only $9.95.

Thank You Early Adopters

As of today all Early Adopters have been shipped 1 unit. For those of you that ordered more than one unit, the balance will ship Monday.

The next build is being planned, and we will accept orders beginning Thursday December 6th.

Happy Holidays!

DRAWS Unwrapped!

Thanks to David Capello, KG5EIU, for posting this unwrapping of one of the first shipments of DRAWS plus GPS/LNA Antenna.

DRAWS Unwrapped!

The remainder of the backlog is being filled this week.

DRAWS Unwrapped!

DRAWS Unwrapped!

DRAWS Early Adopter Program Sells Out

Thanks to all of our early adopters! The response to DRAWS has been overwhelming.

The first units have shipped, but it will take a couple more days to work thru the backlog. You will receive an email when your order ships along with the tracking number.

We have initiated the next build and will open up ordering again, once we have a target date to ship.

Follow this blog to be kept up to date!

Thanks for your patience.

What is DRAWS

A few questions have come up about DRAWS.

WHAT IS DRAWS

Digital Radio Amateur WorkStation Board

 

 DRAWS is a platform with multiple components.

First, it is a Raspberry Pi HAT.  This is a purely hardware solution that puts several components that are useful for amateur radio projects on a single board; namely a high-performance sound chip (CODEC), a GPS with pulse per second (PPS) that includes an embedded battery backed real-time clock (RTC), and a 12VDC power circuit to power the onboard devices and the Raspberry Pi from a single power supply.  It has two mini DIN-6 audio sockets that match the ‘TNC’ specification found on many radios designed for amateur radio, an SMA connector for a powered GPS LNA antenna, power connection socket, and a small GPIO array for additional I/O.

Secondly, the DRAWS Workstation, which is the HAT plus an SD Card, Raspberry Pi, and an optional metal case, which creates a self-contained unit.  The Raspberry Pi provides the computing power for the workstation to run the drivers for the HAT components and applications to provide various functions.  Those functions are mostly in the realm of packet radio (Direwolf modem, AX.25, APRS, etc.), other digital modes (fldigi, WSJT-X, etc.), and digital voice (D-STAR, etc.), and ancillary utilities and applications such as a Stratum 1 timeserver, GPS location, and so forth.

Is there a prebuilt image for DRAWS?

The short answer is Yes.  Get the beta at http://images.nwdigitalradio.com/downloads (current_beta.zip)

Starting with delivery of the DRAWS HAT, a downloadable image will be available to run the DRAWS workstation.  It will contain the current version of Raspbian (Stretch) including preloaded DRAWS HAT driver and a selection of applications that have been compiled for and tested on the DRAWS platform.

The image is known as Compass Linux, however, except for the driver, application selection, and some configuration parameters, it is plain old Raspbian.  After booting the image, Raspbian repositories are used for updates of the operating system.

What technical support is provided for DRAWS?

NW Digital Radio supports the DRAWS HAT hardware and its driver software.  All other applications are provided on an ‘as is’ basis, with support for configuration and operation of those applications provided by the authors and user community for those applications.  NW Digital Radio’s DRAWS HAT driver and configuration is Open Source Software and is free for amateur radio use.

Can I just use Raspbian or another distribution?

Yes. However, you will need to add the Compass Linux repository to install the DRAWS HAT driver and to access pre-built applications for the DRAWS Workstation.

Creating your own image using Raspbian or other components assumes that you are familiar with the creation and administration of such a system. NW Digital Radio cannot provide support or technical assistance for images created independently of the Compass Linux distribution.

Can I use another single board computer in place of the Raspberry Pi?

NW Digital Radio will provide schematics and pin out information for the DRAWS HAT and the driver is open source software.  Experimenters are free to use this documentation to try other platforms but do so at their own risk and NW Digital Radio is under no obligation to provide advice or engineering support.

We like experimentation, and wish to encourage amateurs to ‘put the amateur back in amateur radio’, however we do have limited resources and must focus them on our supported configurations.

Why is there a distinction between the DRAWS HAT and DRAWS Workstation?

In the design phase of the DRAWS platform we recognized we have two primary communities we need to offer products to:

First the DYI community.  They like to get under the hood and understand the various parts of a solution. They like building/assembling projects, experimenting, and sometimes save a little on the upfront cost.  These are candidates for the DRAWS HAT.  They can purchase other components as needed.

Secondly, there are those who want to buy a pre-assembled solution, connect it to their radio(s), power up, configure, and operate.  These are candidates for the DRAWS Workstation.

In either case, their solution may be dedicated to one configuration or they may want to explore additional modes and configurations using a single piece of hardware.

Is my application or mode supported by DRAWS?

We get the question “Does DRAWS do ‘XYZ’?”  The answer to that is, “Is there and application that does ‘XYZ’” already ported to the Raspberry Pi which uses a soundcard and configurable GPIO, USB, or network (Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth) for control and access.  If the answer is yes, then it should work with the DRAWS platform.

A list of pre-installed applications will be included with the release of the image, and more will be added over time.  Some early known applications include: Direwolf, AX.25 tools, Fldigi, dstarrepeater/ircddbgateway, WSJT-X, and more.

I have an application that I would like to add to the DRAWS platform, how do I get it added?

If you are the author of an application or a builder/integrator of an open source project, then contact support@nwdigitalradio.com and we will discuss access to engineering and other resources to get your project on DRAWS.

Software projects work best if the source tree includes all of the resources to build a Debian package.

Who do I contact about orders, delivery, and warranty issues?

All standard ordering should be done at the website at https://nwdigitalradio.com/shop/

Once your order is shipped, you will receive a tracking number for the shipment.  Use it to follow your package’s progress to its destination. NW Digital Radio does not have any additional information than what is presented by the tracking service.

If you wish to enquire about large quantity orders, need a formal quote for a special purchase, warranty follow-up, etc. contact sales@nwdigitalradio.com

Where is the best place to discuss questions and ideas for the DRAWS platform?

 Join the forum at https://nw-digital-radio.groups.io/g/udrc

DRAWS™ Digital Radio Amateur Workstation Early Adopter Sale

We are Now Shipping Orders for DRAWS™ !

Early adopters can purchase the DRAWS board for $129.95, a $20 discount, along with the companion GPS/LNA Antenna for $9.95, a $5 discount.

Here’s the Brochure:

DRAWSBrochure

Digital Radio Amateur WorkStation

What is DRAWS

XC-3006 Full Build

The production run arrives this week as well as cases and power connectors. We will ship next week once the units have passed test.

You will need to provide a 12V nominal PS (9-15V will work).

The cases will require modification to access the power and USB.

After shipping existing orders we will have a few additional units for sale.

This is a custom build for the XLX team, using their design found at https://github.com/LX3JL/usb-3006 and we will warrant the hardware from defects for 90 days.

All software and configuration support is from the XLX team at https://github.com/LX3JL/xlxd and community at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/xlxd-star/info

G4KLX creates new FM Repeater Controller software with UDRC Support

From the repository at https://github.com/g4klx/FMRepeater

“These are the source files for building the FMRepeater. This is a simplified version of the old Analogue Repeater that has existed on the OpenDV GitHub repository for many years. It has the following features:

  • Seperate id and beacon texts.
  • Timeout can be one of three styles, or no timeout.
  • Optional callsign at repeater open or close, or both.
  • Id may be suppressed if too close in time to a previous id.
  • Optional kerchunk timer.
  • Selectable acknowledgement style.
  • All ids and acknowledgements have selectable frequency and speed.
  • Minimum talk time before an acknowledgement is sent.
  • Built-in string audio bandpass filter.
  • Repeater control via an Arduino or a UDRC.
  • Audio I/O via any supported sound system, including the UDRC.

It builds on 32-bit and 64-bit Linux as well as on Windows using Visual Studio 2017 on x86 and x64.page on the LCDproc website for more info.”