Ham Radio & Raspberry PI

Don, N3BMT sent me an email and I thought it would make a good posting for the site since he ask alot of good questions.  So below is what Don sent me and my reply about Raspberry PI micro computer.  How to program it and some software for Ham Radio.


Hi Christine, 
 I have loved playing with “electrical stuff” since I was a kid and still do. As old as I am I still want to learn. Therefore the reason for this email .  I got a Raspberry pi to play with and maybe learn something. I haven’t got into it very much yet but looking on the net it appears it can be programmed in different languages??? 
My questions to you are: 
Which language do you use? 
Is it an easy language to use?

Are there any good web sites that share their programs? 
I have been using Arduino for my stuff – code reader, antenna
switching, frequency generator and freq readout for old Kenwoods. 
I know your busy so I apologize for bothering you with this but you
are the only person I know that uses the pi. 
Thanks in advance for any help. 

Don Link, N3BMT

Hello Don,
Good for you, your never too old to learn at least that is the way I feel. You ask some very good question.  First the Raspberry PI computer is a real computer you can run anything you want on it.  I did a little quick looking around the web and found sites that will tell you how to install Basic, Fortran, and even Cobol on the PI.   But to answer your question the most popular programing language for the PI is Python by far.  You can find a lot of examples on the web for Python usage for the PI.  Most the the PI projects I have done has been written in Python.  Below I have a couple of example on my quick search.
Then second most popular programing language is “C” which you got a good start with the Arduino projects that you have worked on. You cant go wrong with C and since C compiles to machine code it run fast also. But like I said the Raspberry PI is a real computer that you can down load any programing language with.
I have also included some links to Ham radio related software and since the PI was built for hooking things up to it I have also included a link to Adafruit hardware site which does a very good job at creating software that will work with their hardware.  I hope this helps you get started..
The Raspberry PI Foundation: 

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