Software writing, 3D printing, hardware hacking and all-round geekery


  1. matthew

    thanks for the weather station project. Works great. couple of questions:
    Can I set up the weather station via the “F*” command to send updates every few hours?
    I was thinking setting up my kit to just grab NMEA senetences (just the raw code) every so often (controlled by the “F*” command and sending it via the rockblock.

    is there a library for the pi to capture and send that data?



  2. Makersnake

    Sure – you can change the frequency to be whatever value you like. What data are you looking to capture from NMEA feed?

    If you can get something to decode the NMEA stream – it’s just a case of tweaking the sending function to include this data.

    Let me know some more details, I’ll try and assist further ;-)

  3. matthew

    couple of questions:
    Are you using a real time clock on your rpi?
    I know things can get wonky with the rockblock if the rpi reboots back to 1970 and there is no NTP to adjust it .
    Also, I searched github for the weatherstation project, but could not find it. Is it still up somewhere? Looking forward to trying it now that I have got the Rockblock sending and receiving.

    As for the project I am working on:
    I want to be able to hook up an AIS receiver to the rpi ( – and transmit NMEA sentence. The sentences don’t need to be translated, just sent as they are to Rock7 core. The AIS receiver is hooked up to the rpi rx\tx pins and sends the sentences to the rpi at 4800 baud.
    So it would work something like this – The program is triggered “F*” to send a sentence back to core. The rpi grabs the first sentence from the AIS receiver that starts with “!AIVDM…” and sends it off via RB.

    That’s the gist of it.



  4. Makersnake

    I don’t use a real-time clock, you can actually get super-accurate time from the satellite via the RockBLOCK, this can be used constantly sync the clock on the RPi.

    The next release of the pyRockBlock library will include a method to easily obtain this value (watch this space!)

    Your project sounds very interesting – i’ve dabbled with NMEA feeds before so this would be pretty easy to capture the serial stream using pySerial or similar, and stick it into a message to send out via the RockBLOCK.

    PS. Was having problems with my mail server, so hopefully wont be bouncing anymore ;-)

  5. Howard L. McKinney

    I am a summer intern at NASA and we are launching a CubeSat next monday. I need to know if you can assist me the code for Byonics GPS4 to Raspberry Pi and if you can get it on Github. Thank-you very much,

    Howard L. McKinney

  6. Makersnake

    Sounds like a fun project! I am not familiar with that GPS unit; but i’d guess it’ll works the same way others do… once attached to the RPi, it will be accessible via a serial port: e.g. in the same way as the RockBLOCK (i.e. /dev/tty/USB1). GPS units typically stream out “NMEA” sentences (detailing time/Lat/Lng).

    You should be able to find loads of libraries/frameworks to parse/decode these streams – something like this:

    Hope that helps!

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