Who is behind Pi-Star?

To understand where Pi-Star is today, it's important to understand where it came from, and why...

In 2014 Andy (MW0MWZ) bought a DV-Mega board from Guus (PE1PLM), at about the same time he downloaded a ready to run image for the Raspberry Pi that had all the software pre-loaded. Andy has been a systems admin for a long time, and while the image worked, Andy felt the need to pull it apart and find out exactly what was going on under the hood.

Soon after, frustration set in, what better way to learn than to make your own... and so the Pi-Star project born, the first major goal was to slim down the image as much as possible, nothing else was even concidered at this point. Raspbian went on a strict diet and everything non-essential was out, the GUI and VNC were both on-board in the initial release, and there was no dashboard at this point. Andy showed his work to some local hams, but there really was not much interest, at this point Pi-Star did not offer any complelling reason to use it over any other image available.

Pi-Star Version 2 saw a full rebuild with the new Jessie version of Raspbian, the GUI was gone, the dashboard by Hans (DL5DI) was included, and the basics of the config page was included. The image was now a very small 400MB or so, now that was in order the focus shifted to making the config page as simple as was possible. After some testing with local hams the config page had the bare minimum of options to make a working D-Star hotspot.

For a while, there were only minor changes to Pi-Star, until early in 2016, Andy heard that DMR was now available using the DV-Mega board, some investigation lead Andy to MMDVMHost, and that meant lots of changes to Pi-Star. At the time, every change to the image meant a new image, develpment moved at a slow pace, but changes were quite large, the dashboard could only change the config files based on line numbers and this made for some real pain when new features made it into MMDVMHost.

Adrian (M0GLJ) found Pi-Star in early 2017, he asked Andy to formally release Pi-Star, until this time Pi-Star was avalable on Andys website, but only a handfull of people knew it existed, for a few weeks some large changes were pushed into Pi-Star and for a while a number of images per week were released while the new look of the dashboard was created, the dashboard was updated to stop the dependancy on line numbers and some of the long-standing issues that until this point nobody had cared about, were fixed up.

2017 has been a big year, the Pi-Star team grew to three core members, Andy (MW0MWZ), Adrian (M0GLJ) and Craig (W1MSG) - updates became automated and FREQUENT as new features have been added and existing ones updated. Through 2017 the number of people using Pi-Star grew from somwhere around 20 to somwhere around 3000, this explososive increase in users has not been without its challenges, but the project has been great fun so far and shows little signs of slowing down.

And now you understand where Pi-Star came from, why, and who did it. Thank you for reading, and enjoy Pi-Star, there is alot of the whole team in the software, we all hope you enjoy it!

Good luck, the Pi-Star Team