Raspberry Pi Zero 2W

Yesterday the new Raspberry Pi Zero 2W was announced (New product: Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W on sale now at $15 - Raspberry Pi).
It has specs almost equal to the original Pi3, so i thought it is worth checking to see if it is able to run SatNOGS. It seems yes !

Fortunately I managed to order one (limited to 1 per order for now) yesterday and received it today.

Flashed the current release of SatNOGS raspberry image, booted it, quickly configured it and connected an rtl-sdr that was lying around, no antenna yet and scheduled an obs.
Everything went smooth and it ended up uploading a waterfall to the network !

During the acquisition (2.048MSPS, FM demodulator) CPU load was always around 90-110%. That is the CPU load of a single core, but the new Zero is a quad-core (original Zero is single-core).
After the acquisition the satnogs-client continued to run at ~100% for a little time, probably to process the waterfall, before the load dropped.
It seems the new Zero 2W is perfectly capable of running a SatNOGS station ! Some more testing will be done on other demods to check the load.

One potential downside is its unique USB port. So it will need WiFi for network connection, unless an USB switch is used to have an Ethernet dongle in addition to the SDR. But for portable use that won’t be a huge issue if you can use your phone as a hotspot.

But initial testing looks very promising ! A SatNOGS station as a keyring !


Thanks for the initial report @hb9fxx !
Link to your station?

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I repurposed my ‘station in a docker on my laptop’ station for this: SatNOGS Network - Ground Station HB9FXX Experimental
Currently unplugged… will plug it again in tonight at home.

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Pi Zero 2W is now running with a little antenna on SatNOGS Network - Ground Station HB9FXX - Experimental - Raspberry Pi Zero 2W

Just had a little VHF/UHF vertical (Diamond MR-77) around that is on it now, so don’t expect much birds to be caught. Also as LNA it is a Nooelec Sawbird+ NOAA so frequency range is limited to ~137MHz.

After quite a few obs i see one problem. There are regularly obs where audio data is there but the waterfall is missing. Sometimes both are missing.
To be investigated. Could also be just networking issues as the wifi might not be that good. I’ll check the logs some more.

But most of the time it works well. Should give it a better antenna for more tests.