Hardware Questions

So I have dabbled with ezwifiBC and OpenHD in the past and have had to put it on the back burner for various reasons.

Recently I have dug out my gear and would like to give it another go.

I have a couple of Pi 0 w’s on hand for the airside. And a pi 3b+ for ground. I’ve had that (video) working on the ground in the past. But not quite ready to attempt RC yet. The nature of this project really intrigues me but to put it bluntly, what may seem simple to many of you is very foreign to me and difficult to absorb. But I will keep trying.

So as I get ready to jump into this again it looks as though the preferred hardware is now the Pi 4 B

So are the Pi zeros ok for airside if not being used for RC as well? I believe I read somewhere that support for the Pi Zeros may be phased out?

What I’m thinking now moving forward is utilizing the 3B+ for the airside and picking up a Pi 4 B fo the ground side. seems pretty straight forward. The question I have regarding the Pi 4 B is how much RAM is optimal? I’ll be taking a trip to the city and can pick up the 1 or 2 GB for $29 so obviously in this case would go for the 2GB. But also available is the 4GB for $49 and 8GB for $75 as of this posting.

The adaptors I have on hand are 3 x TL-WN722N v1.0’s, 2 x Ubiquiti WiFiStation (have not done the modification), and 1x Ubiquiti WiFi Station EXT. I check for these on eBay from time to time and grab them when they come up and the price is right!

Did I read somewhere that you can now use up to four adapters on the Ground PI 4 B? If so what would be required to power all that? And would it be that advantageous? Or just unnecessary?

Thanks, guys, any insight would be appreciated!


They’ll be supported for a long time, likely right up to the point an upgraded version with a faster processor is released, and at that point we probably will start suggesting people use the faster version because the pi zero has trouble handling a lot of things.

At the moment the ideal air side is the pi3a+ due to the balance of size, weight and performance, but any of them work.

2GB is plenty, the only advantage of more at the moment is increased capacity for ground side recording, but on the pi4 you might be able to use sdcard recording anyway (the other pi models have trouble with it, partly due to the slow sdcard controller).

You can. On the older Pi models, the USB controller is really, really bad, it has serious trouble even handling one USB device let alone several. On the Pi4 the USB controller is entirely different and works properly, so none of those things are an issue anymore.

For that many cards you would need to wire power to them all separately.

People do use 2x or 3x adapters on the ground side, as it does improve video reception (whichever card shows the best signal is used, and that happens in realtime). When we added Pi4 support there was a lot of discussion about the newer USB controller being far more stable, so people immediately wanted to try things they couldn’t do before.

4x ground cards might help in some cases, perhaps if you had 2x omnidirectional antennas and 2x directional antennas on an antenna tracker, you’d have diversity on both.


Thank you for the detailed reply.

Glad to hear the Pi 3A + is supported. I believe at the time I picked one up it wasn’t yet supported. I have one set up now as an octopi/octoprint server for my 3D printer. However, your insight as to it being an ideal balance of size, weight, and performance makes perfect sense and is just the type of information I was looking for.

I’ll likely put the Pi3B+ back on printer duty, use the Pi3A+ for airside and pick up the Pi4B 2GB for the ground unit to keep the project cost down.

Here is the next question:

If I understand you correctly regarding powering the adapters separately would you suggest the item you referenced in another post? The 5V USB Head Switchboard This seems like a relatively straight forward solution. As my eyes and fat fingers are not well suited to the tiny soldering jobs. I prefer to keep soldering to a minimum unless absolutely necessary as well as not have to modify adapters either.

I’m hoping to pick up the Pi4B in the next couple of days then retrace my steps and see how much I can remember and reacquaint myself with what I had learned in the past regarding the setup.

My aim is to get a functional video platform set up for a fixed-wing then graduate towards experimenting with RC control as well.

Again, I appreciate the insight. Reading as much as I can in an attempt to resolve answers; however, sometimes it is difficult to sort through all the information and decipher what is current, relevant, current best practices or outdated and obsolete.