Like many of you, I’ve always wanted a world clock of some sort to be constantly displayed around the shack. I read an article about building one with a Raspberry Pi and the “Ham Clock” software and started down that path. Great info: https://clearskyinstitute.com/ham/HamClock/
By the time I had ordered and received the RPi, I saw mention on one of the ham radio FaceBook pages about a mini PC that comes loaded with the hamclock software. The Quadra, from Inovato, (https://inovato.com) has a tiny footprint and offers a variety of applications from web browsing to FLDigi. I’ve chosen to use mine only as a dedicated clock – but at the under $50 price range I’m already thinking about what I “need” another one for. (Photo A shows my Quadra near my Heil Pro7 for size comparison)
Setup was quick and easy, just attach a USB mouse and keyboard, and of course a monitor. I had a couple sitting around and chose a 20” model (see Photo B) that is actually on a wall mount. Be warned – you will immediately want a larger screen than whatever size you pick!!! There is a Wifi option, but my Quadra is situated close enough to my router that I chose an Ethernet connection. You won’t need the mouse and keyboard again until you choose to make changes to the configuration or reboot the unit. In most cases I can accomplish the changes needed with only the mouse.
When the operating system loads, you get a generic desktop and simply right click to get a window where you can select first “ham software” then “hamclock.” You are prompted to enter setup mode, and can then work your way through 9 or 10 screens with a lot of options. Getting a basic clock up and running is pretty simple. In time, you will want to review the hamclock instructions and fine tune things for your viewing pleasure. One feature I want to look into is a dx spot listing. But of course spot collector is already running on DXlabs so I have that information handy.
Don’t worry though – I have a use in mind for the RPi that I bought and didn’t use – I am eyeing the “CaribouLite” SDR that comes as a HAT for the RPi. I’m thinking it will make a great IF for VHF+ transverters. Stay tuned!