Stratum 1 microserver HOWTO

Paul Theodoropoulos paul at
Tue Jul 31 18:34:54 UTC 2018

On 7/30/18 20:46, Gary E. Miller via devel wrote:
> We found a lot of people that wanted a cheap stratum 1 had not clue
> how to get a RasPi to work.  Thus the completer instructions.
> Please do.  Especialy with a fresh eye.  We dont know what newbies
> don't know.
> I like to think of that as the engineering and software worlds, but
> some people that need a Stratum-1 are not of our world(s).
So, I've spent a pretty fair bit of time poring over the stratum one 
howto off and on over the last year, have pushed a lot of fixes, 
changes, suggestions to ESR who kindly reviews and publishes as time 

Overall though, the howto is in need of TLC. As it stands, it's in a 
sort of a stream-of-consciousness form - understandably so, writing a 
very thorough howto as you go along the process yourself winds up that 
way, been down that road many times.

As I look at it, I think it needs some bigger changes, that require some 
web development expertise (and I only have the barest of web development 
skills - I edit everything in emacs!).

1. It needs a linked table of contents at the top. It's really easy to 
lose your way, because the content digresses to address many variances 
in the build process. Maybe that's not a 'big' thing, but more of an 
organizational nicenety.

2. I think the whole document needs branching - breaking it into 
multiple sub-pages, with the ability to self-direct to the next 
appropriate section.

For example, I think it should have a specific Hardware page/subpages, 
for each of our 'known' GPS boards, and SBC's. Dealing with pinouts, 
traces, etc etc etc.  Sort out the physical aspects into their own 
'realm'  within the overall schema.

Simplify the micro sd image creation process.  I ran across a lovely 
application - - that makes it drop dead simple to 
create your micro-sd on the linux desktop, windows, macOS. Obviously CLI 
needs its own specific instructions - which belong on a separate page, 
for the more courageous/inquisitive users.

Then separate pages for the software builds - a GPSD page, top to 
bottom, an NTPD page, top to bottom, then both pages dovetailing to the 
pages for the integration process.

Then at the bottom the tweaking/performance tuning/FAQs. For example, 
rather early in the howto is a section 'optimize system performance', 
which is absolutely useful, but doesn't need to be detailed so early in 
the process. Tweak that governor *after* you've got the howto completed. 
Likewise, the 'Adequate power is important' section is near the very end 
- but it really belongs up in the hardware section, so people start out 

As you can see, I'm full of suggestions - that's the easy part! 
Implementation is a whole nuther can of bits, which largely hinges on 
finding the spare time and resources, which are always in high demand 
and short supply. Myself, I'm more of a grammar/syntax/readability 
realm, which is where most of my contributions have been. One thing I am 
always happy to do is act as a proofreader, anyone is welcome to throw 
changes at my inbox for vetting....

Paul Theodoropoulos

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