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Prebuilt Wifibroadcast Raspberry PI FPV images

November 2, 2015

This post gives an update to Wifibroadcast: Prebuilt images.

Since the beginning of Wifibroadcast the only method to try it was to manually install and compile the software. To make it easier for people to try out the system I now created prebuilt images. They can be found here: https://github.com/befinitiv/rpi_wifibroadcast_image_builder/releases

To use them you just have to install the images onto SD cards, prepare two Raspberry PIs with camera+TPLINK TL-WN722 as TX and display+TPLINK TL-WN722 as RX and you are done.

I moved the manual installation procedure from the main Wifibroadcast page to here in case you want to install Wifibroadcast onto an existing Raspberry PI image. Making things by yourself is also a good way to get to know the system better.

The images contain the basic features you would expect. Video capture at TX and video display at RX. Also, automatic video recording onto USB sticks and support for a shutdown button is included. FrSky-OSD software is also installed but disabled by default (since it depends a lot on the hardware available).

Automatic image creation

Since creating these images is quite time consuming (and I am lazy…) I automated the whole process. This also helps me and others to understand afterwards exactly what an image contains. And of course, others can put their tweaks into the build system and benefit as well from all the points above.

The following commands are all you need to do to create the TX and RX images:

hg clone https://bitbucket.org/befi/rpi_wifibroadcast_image_builder
cd rpi_wifibroadcast_image_builder
./build_images.sh

The build_images.sh automatically downloads the needed bits such as basic raspbian images, build tools and kernel. The kernel will be patched, compiled and installed onto the base image. This is followed by chrooting with the help of qemu (because Raspberry PI is an ARM architecture) into the image and (natively) install Wifibroadcast and co. Oh and all the configurations like network card settings, enabling of the camera and HDMI mode are also automatically set.

Future plans

Currently, the image only supports 2.4GHz operation. I would like to extend the images to also support 5GHz Wifi sticks and choose the frequency automatically, depending on which sticks are connected. Unfortunately, I do not have compatible 5GHz Wifi sticks available so it is still unclear if and when this will happen.

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9 Comments
  1. Samuel permalink

    Good job. 5Ghz Support is already there. Tested your images with the CSL 300 (RT5572) and the only thing i had to set was a fixed rate (currently i use 12M until i find the sensitivity values for that chip, then i will use the one with best rx sensitivity that fits the stream) and the iw reg to RU to use the upper 5.8ghz channels. Looks like the RT5572 works very well with wifibroadcast. I have a latency of around 150-160ms with 8/4/1024 48fps 60 keyframes 1280×800. I could not see any lower latency when lowering the resolution. Also 60fps only increased the latency with like 5-10ms. Still need to test in flight though…

  2. I use Ralink RT5572 wing and it works perfectly with your system.
    Just change the following in your scripts

    prepare_nic function {
             echo “updating wifi ($ 1, $ 2)”
             ifconfig $ 1 down
             iw dev $ September 1 otherbss monitor fcsfail
             ifconfig $ 1 down
             iw reg Set is
             iwconfig $ 1 channel $ 2
             iwconfig $ 1 rate 24M

    Thank you very much for all your effort

    • Samuel permalink

      Looks like there is a copy paste error. it should look like this:
      echo “updating wifi ($1, $2)”
      ifconfig $1 down
      iw dev $1 otherbss monitor fcsfail
      ifconfig $1 up
      iw reg set XX # XX stands for your country code, for example US, DE, RU or whatver
      iwconfig $1 channel $2
      iwconfig $1 rate 24M

  3. Donovan Bodishbaugh permalink

    I believe I have the Tx side working correctly, but for some reason, I’m getting a blank screen on the hdmi port on my Rx Pi. It isn’t the card and it isn’t the cable. How can I drop to a command line shell to troubleshoot?

    • Did you use my prebuilt images? If so, it might be related to the fixed HDMI mode of the RX image. You can disable that mode if you plug the SD card into your PC, open the file “config.txt” on the “boot” partition and remove the following lines (at the bottom):

      hdmi_force_hotplug=1
      hdmi_drive=2
      hdmi_group=1
      hdmi_mode=4

      Then your screen should work ok.

  4. Donovan Bodishbaugh permalink

    Thank you very much for the prompt and helpful reply! I have it working now, in both 2.4 GHz and 5.2 GHz (channel 40) using Ralink RT5572 dongles (Alfa and Netis work), For some reason, I need to start the Rx before the Tx to get it to initialize, but it works well. Can start optimizing now.
    Cheers.

  5. Luke permalink

    My first attempt at building the imagesun my Ubuntu 14.04 LTS system had errors for missing shared host library lib32stdc++6. Just sudo apt-get install libstdc++6 then retry and success in buidling images.

  6. Mark Van Haze permalink

    Hi,

    Just wanted to ask what changes are needed for using an Alfa awus036nh? It has an Atheros 9271 chipset and I think thats the same one used by TL-WN722.

  7. Great blog!
    I would like to know if you can still have control of the raspberry GPIO pins while transmitting video.
    Regards,
    Luis

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