New releases

General support for the Pi-Star System
n3gwg
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Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA

New releases

Post by n3gwg »

Andy, et alia:

Recently (circa November/December of 2023) I found out about WPSD and had tried to use it to replace Pi-Star given the long intercession since any updates that were forthcoming for Pi-Star. Unfortunately, I found myself incompatible with the WPSD project manager's (Chip's) abrasiveness and I stopped participating in his discord channel notwithstanding my noticing several bugs and issues with WPSD. I think their team lacks any regression testing though he seems to be doing some interesting work.

I have never had any issues with Pi-Star though I realize now it has recently been updated after some several years succeeding it last update a few years back. I am glad to see the project invigorated again and plan to switch back to it tomorrow from WPSD.

One question I do have is: will the soon be released Pi-Star version (based on Bookworm) still run okay on the original Raspberry Pi Zero V1 or will it require the Raspberry Pi Zero V2? WPSD had a poor GUI experience on the older Pi Zero V1 but that was not as much a problem on the Pi Zero V2. Do you think the Bookworm version of Pi-Star might suffer from the same concern?

Thank you for all your hard work and I look forward using the Bookworm release once it is stable.

73,
Stuart, N3GWG
Last edited by n3gwg on Sun Feb 18, 2024 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DW7GDL
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Re: New releases

Post by DW7GDL »

My own experience with the 4.3.0 Pi-Star beta (Bookworm version) is that it runs at adequate speed on a Pi Zero W v1 hotspot, though I've had an issue with it not applying configuration changes, though others with Pi Zero W hotspots aren't having that issue. Meanwhile, the recently released Pi-Star 4.2.0 (now 4.2.1) version based on Bullseye which will be supported by Debian until mid-2026 works perfectly. I'm sure that the issues I'm having with the Bookworm version of Pi-Star will be sorted before then.

I too briefly tested WPSD on my Zero W hotspot and found it extremely slow. I read in the WPSD FAQ that it requires a Pi Zero 2 W at minimum as it needs a mult-core processor to run well. This was when the latest version of Pi-Star was still 4.1.8 (Debian Buster) though so things may have changed since then. But as Pi-Star is still under active development I haven't checked further on WPSD's latest version or status. However, I doubt if the Pi Zero (not Pi Zero 2) will ever be supported by WSPD.

Bear in mind that the Bookworm version of Pi-Star is still in beta so it's early days yet. It's your choice whether to try it on your own hotspot or use the latest released 4.2.0 version.

HTH.
73 de Jay DW7GDL
n3gwg
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2023 3:12 am
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA

Re: New releases

Post by n3gwg »

Jay,

First of all my recent (yesterday night) decision to eschew WPSD is based on some several instigates.

1) WPSD has bugs which Chip is not addressing and he deleted my bug report for some reason I failed to comprehend.

2) It is slow on the Pi Zero W V1 and also has some stability issues as well (even on the Pi Zero W V2 I obtained to use with
WPSD it needed reboots and such sometimes).

3) I find Chip to be a arrogant and hot-headed and simply choose not to spend my free time volunteering to deal with a person that is verbally abusive to me. I suppose one could articulate the issue as "Chip having a chip on his shoulder". Moreover, succeeding my heated interaction with him several people privately messaged me and said I just needed to get used to how Chip deals with people. I refuse to acquiesce to arrogance and withdrew from participation on his discord server, reporting bugs, or trying to submit code fixes I got working.

4) I certainly do not fault Andy or anyone else for not having the time or motivation to continue working on releases of Pi-Star (I did not dedicate time to such an endeavor either), however, this lack was the initial impelling factor as to why I considered trying WPSD in the first place.

The foregoing notwithstanding, I am happy (and appreciative) to take notice of the fact that there now apparently new updates to Pi-Star and it would appear more are forthcoming as well. I care about security and running an old OS and kernel is just a huge security risk that impelled me to use WPSD in the absence of Pi-Star updates, now I shall migrate back to the Pi-Star distribution given its maturity and recent OS upgrade path.

I do hope that there is or can be added an option to effect a different colorization choice for the GUI, as I find WPSD's blue menus to be more pleasing to my eyes then the red used in Pi-Star. However, I would like more of a configuration mechanism that would allow people to select whatever color they liked for the menus to appear in.

I am planning to build another ZumSpot hotspot to use for traveling, mobile use, etc... The one I use everyday I want to just keep at my home unchanged. The second ZumSpot could be used for testing too of say beta versions of Pi-Star

Thanks for you thoughts and reply to my concerns.

Stuart
M1DNS
Pi-Star Team
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Re: New releases

Post by M1DNS »

n3gwg wrote: I do hope that there is or can be added an option to effect a different colorization choice for the GUI, as I find WPSD's blue menus to be more pleasing to my eyes then the red used in Pi-Star. However, I would like more of a configuration mechanism that would allow people to select whatever color they liked for the menus to appear in.

Thanks for you thoughts and reply to my concerns.

Stuart


If your looking to change ur dashboard colours have a look at the CSS Tool located on the expert pages.

Sent via smoke signals using my SM-G935F





Andrew M1DNS.
Pi-star Admin Team.
n3gwg
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Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA

Re: New releases

Post by n3gwg »

Andrew, et alia:

Thank you for your replies.

One quick question, I have an old backup image of version 4.1.15 from before I migrated to WPSD; if I dd that old image onto my MicroSD can that older image then be upgraded to the latest 4.2.1 (via the command line or GUI) or must I dd a new 4.2.1 image onto the MicroSD and use a configuration restore to upgrade it?

I am planning to eschew WPSD and kept my last image from circa October of last year before trying WPSD. The quirkiness of WPSD and the quirkiness of Chip the developer coupled with updates of Pi-Star has impelled me to make my return to leveraging Pi-Star in the future!

My board says:
ZUM Radio
ZUMspot-RPi v0.6

What Radio/Modem Type do I select in the software?
What MMDVM Display Type do I select (I do have a 1.3" screen I believe)?
Any special changes required for it work on a Pi Zero WH V2?

73,
Stuart, N3GWG

I presume you mean "expert pages" not "expect pages" from your previous message. :)
Be careful when using smoke signals I suppose.
M1DNS
Pi-Star Team
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Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:30 am

Re: New releases

Post by M1DNS »

No. The newer 4.2.1 and 4.3 releases are only available as a download and sd card burn. They both run newer pi OS so cant be upgraded from the older vers.

You should be able to get to the 4.1.7 and 4.1.8 which still run the older pi OS using update & upgrade providing ur already running a 4.** release.

3.4.** vers. No. The 3.4 series are depreciated.


... and yes, expert pages (also corrected in reply above)



Sent via smoke signals using my SM-G935F




Andrew M1DNS.
Pi-star Admin Team.
n3gwg
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Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2023 3:12 am
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA

Re: New releases

Post by n3gwg »

Andrew,

I attempted the 4.2.1 release by placing an image of it on my MicroSD card and it booted up but I was never able to connect to the WiFi AP it created. Is there a way I can easily configure it (on my PC) for my WiFi network before I boot it up on the Pi?

I seem to remember something about WiFi Supplicant having a file but I haven't looked at it yet. If you can tell me how to modify the image so I can give it an SSID of say "test" and password of "test123" that would perhaps help me get the new version up and running.

Stuart
M1DNS
Pi-Star Team
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Re: New releases

Post by M1DNS »

You can use the supplicant generator tool found on the pistar website. Add ur details there save the file then drag/ drop
it onto the sd card.

Sent via smoke signals using my SM-G935F

Andrew M1DNS.
Pi-star Admin Team.
n3gwg
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2023 3:12 am
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA

Re: New releases

Post by n3gwg »

Andrew, et alia:

Let me first state that I very much appreciate the hard work that you (Andrew) and everyone else has put into making Pi-Star what it is and that is by no means lost on me at all. That said, I do hope that my confusion, questions, and suggestions work to improve Pi-Star for everyone as well.

In November of 2023 I wanted to fire up my old ZUMspot hot-spot with Pi-Star on it. Once I realized no updates had been published for several years I saw that as a security risk and migrated to WPSD. WPSD was mega slow and Chip said I had to get a more modern board and use a Pi Zero WH v2 (instead of the Pi Zero WH v1 I had been using with Pi-Star). Due to Chip's "chip on his shoulder/sandpaper personality" coupled with a number of bugs he ignored due to his not being able to even spell regression testing, I gave up on WPSD and decided to switch back to Pi-Star since it now has updates to a modern kernel as of this year. I look forward to eventually using the forthcoming Bookworm version of Pi-Star once it is in a stable state.

I decided that downloading the v4.2.1 of Pi-Star and putting a new image on my MicorSD card was the best way ahead so I had a base image that was fresh as a starting point. I resolved that after getting the new image onto my network and gaining access to its configuration menus I would just go and step by step reconfigure all the functionality I had using the older version of Pi-Star that I had been using before.

Here is the hardware I am using currently:
"ZUMspot v0.6 1.3-LED" board (at my age it took some squinting and magnification to figure that out!)
The user/hardware guide I think that is related to it is this available at this link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/10DWK0k ... view?pli=1
Pi Zero WH v2 (I also have a Pi Zero WH v1 that I upgraded to the v2 when WPSD ran too slowly to be usable on the v1)

Here are some of the concerns I am facing (though it is running right now and allowing me to access reflectors on D-STAR and such).

1) No video during boot process or after booting up on video display connected to Pi Zero WH v2

I have hooked up a Dell E2011H monitor to the Pi Zero WH v2 (which provided perfectly fine video when I was using WPSD on the Pi Zero WH v2 and I tested that the E2011H works fine with other computers as well) and now I get no video when booting Pi-Star v4.2.1 either during boot up or after booting is completed.

Any suggestions regarding this? Normally I'd have messed with the Linux boot line in the grub configuration file but I see the boot process seems not to use grub, so I am lost as to how to fix this.

2) Pi-Star AP was inaccessible initially

Initially I was unable to connect to the Pi-Star AP but then realized that I had to change the line that says "country=JP" to "country=US" in the wpa_supplicant.conf file on the image I downloaded. Succeeding the aforementioned amendment to the configuration, I was able to connect to the Pi-Star initial AP, scan for a network and subsequently connect to my local WiFi network.

I would suggest adding a feature to Pi-Star so that upon initial boot-up it asks the user what country their WiFi networking hardware is from and thus sets that parameter appropriately in advance of starting the initial Pi-Star AP mode. This change would then enable the user to act in pursuance of effectuating the eventual connection to the user's local WiFi network with much greater ease.

Follows hereupon a definite bug that I had to have Chip fix in WPSD but also appears in Pi-Star as well:

The name of my WiFi network is: "n3gwg-2.4GHz-wlan" and the Pi-Star v4.2.1 definitely connects to it. However, it seems that due to the period in my SSID Pi-Star only displays "n3gwg-2" in the wireless configuration section on right hand side. Can you look into this? WPSD had the same bug and Chip was able to fix it, so you might be able to look at his code to see the solution.

3) Using full capacity of the MicroSD Card

I ran the pistar-expand command such that the root filesystem of Pi-Star would have the full 16GB of space my MicoSD card has available. The initial image was reasonably only 3GB in size when the image applied to the 16GB using Linux dd command.

The foregoing notwithstanding, I would suggest having the startup script of Pi-Star conduct an inspection for available space not used (using say fdisk -l or some other such mechanism) and offering a prompt to the user such as "Pi-Star has noticed you have available space that can be leveraged to increase the size of your root filesystem, shall I run pistar-expand in pursuance of doing so?"

4) I had some trouble getting the ZUMspot to hear my radio.

It ended up that this was due to the wrong firmware having been placed upon my board at some point. I do not know if WPSD did it or Pi-Star did, but when I ran a firmware update from the command line from Pi-Star I was able to fix the issue and have full functionality of the hot-spot.

The ZUMspot documentation referenced herein above states to select a board type of I have selected "ZUMspot – Single Band Raspberry Pi Hat (GPIO)", which I have done. Moreover, regarding the display configuration, I also selected "OLED Type 6" and "G4KLX" as my nextion layout.

Interestingly, under port, it lists "/dev/ttyAMA0" twice. I presume this is a bug that should be looked at in the GUI.

5) Supported boards - Pi Zero WH v1 is 32 bit only though Pi Zero WH v2 is 64 bit

Does Pi-Star v4.2.1 support the Pi Zero WH v1 board?
Does Pi-Star v4.2.1 support the Pi Zero WH v2 board?

6) I recently purchased a DV Mega USB stick, does Pi-Star support that device?

I intend to build another Pi-Star based hot-spot using a duplex board for DMR. Any suggestions on duplex boards I might wish to acquire would be appreciated. I do see I can get a case with a duplex board (absent the Pi Zero WH) for about $40 on Aliexpress as well as a v1.3 board for Raspberry Pi board like the 3B as well for about $30 on eBay.

Thanks in advance for your time and consideration regarding the issues at hand in the instant case.

Very Respectfully,

Stuart, N3GWG
M1DNS
Pi-Star Team
Posts: 1394
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2018 5:30 am

Re: New releases

Post by M1DNS »

Thanks for the thanks Stuart, but its Andy (not me, Andrew) that does 99.9% of the heavy lifting in pistar.
The rest of us at "Team Pistar" do what we can to help and support him in giving you guys this great resource.

Sent via smoke signals using my SM-G935F

Andrew M1DNS.
Pi-star Admin Team.
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