RadioReference on Facebook   RadioReference on Twitter   RadioReference Blog
 

Go Back   The RadioReference.com Forums > Amateur Radio > Digital Voice for Amateur Use


Digital Voice for Amateur Use - Discuss use of digital voice technologies on the amateur radio bands. This is to include technologies such as VoIP, P25, DMR/TRBO, NXDN, D-STAR, etc.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2017, 12:07 PM
W9BU's Avatar
Lead Wiki Manager
  RadioReference Database Admininstrator
Database Admin
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brownsburg, Indiana
Posts: 5,331
Default Open spot choices

I'm considering buying a DMR/D-STAR/Fusion hot spot. I currently own D-STAR and Fusion radios, though I might consider buying an inexpensive DMR radio in the future.

The SharkRF openSPOT has gotten good reviews and I've watched a few YouTube videos that cast it in a positive light. It seems simple to set up, can operate all three of the mentioned modes, and can do some cross-mode operations. I don't mind that it doesn't have internal Wi-Fi because I will primarily being using it at home where I have a wired network. The only down side I see is that it uses a web interface which means you need a web browser to access it.

What's out there that has the features of the SharkRF openSPOT that I like (multiple modes, cross-mode operation, self-contained package), but also has a built-in user interface? In other words, is there a clean, self-contained open spot that has a built-in touch screen LCD user interface?

Thank you.
__________________
Lead Wiki Manager and Forum Moderator.

"The whole world's living in a digital dream. It's not really there, it's all on the screen." -- WB6ACU
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2017, 12:22 PM
W9BU's Avatar
Lead Wiki Manager
  RadioReference Database Admininstrator
Database Admin
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brownsburg, Indiana
Posts: 5,331
Default

I found a nice summary here:
http://arrl-ohio.org/digital/Amateur...Comparison.pdf

But, it's just over a year old. I'm sure the landscape has changed since then.
__________________
Lead Wiki Manager and Forum Moderator.

"The whole world's living in a digital dream. It's not really there, it's all on the screen." -- WB6ACU
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2017, 1:11 PM
K5MPH's Avatar
Member
  Shack Photos
Shack photos
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Brownsville Texas,On The Border By The Sea.
Posts: 1,182
Default

Robert have you took a look at a Dv4Mini it has a pretty good GUI,and you also can telnet(SSH) in to it with Pi-Star.....
__________________
http://www.qrz.com/db/kg5euu
Brownsville Digital Group A.R.C.
WORKING THE WORLD WITH 5 WATTS AND A RUBBER DUCK.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2017, 10:38 PM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ely, NV
Posts: 39
Default

DV4Mini is terrible. Like a boat, the two best days I had with my DV4Mini were the day I got it and the day I sold it. Software was not very intuitive, firmware updates often bricked the unit requiring jumpering the unit to reload firmware, and I never got it to work worth a damn on anything but P25. Of course, this was using Windows. By the time I got a Raspberry Pi 3 I was so sick of the damn thing I didnt bother trying to set it up in Linux. The ZumSpot has been getting really good reviews but they havent been able to keep up with demand and are not currently taking orders. The whole kit, including the Raspberri Pi Zero W costs $110, about half of what a OpenSpot costs, and you can add a screen to control configuration. Also does P25, which the OpenSpot currently doesn't. In all honesty, the OpenSpot is a cinch to configure and you can have it up and running in minutes. I only use mine for DMR, but you can to DMR to Fusion (and vice versa), and it will also do D-Star.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 12-27-2017, 10:43 PM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ely, NV
Posts: 39
Default

Just remembered that Micro Node just released a digital mode hotspot, looks to be based off of the MMDVM board (another option, but certainly not plug and play). Looks to be Raspberry Pi based and has a touchscreen for configuration. Costs $269, but has wifi built in, so if you were looking to eventually go wireless, would be roughly the same cost as a OpenSpot and a wifi bridge. Micro-Node Nano-DV

edit: Thats for the NanoDV, which costs a bit more. This is the NanoSpot: http://micro-node.com/store/#!/NanoS...011/category=0
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2017, 7:07 AM
N2AL's Avatar
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 381
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by W9BU View Post
I don't mind that it doesn't have internal Wi-Fi because I will primarily being using it at home where I have a wired network. The only down side I see is that it uses a web interface which means you need a web browser to access it.

I use an OpenSPOT connected to a Raspberry Pi. I forwarded the LAN to the OpenSPOT and the Pi receives its internet via the WAN. It sets on a small computer fan powered by my DC power supply, and I can take it on the go as it automatically connects to my iPadís WiFi internet connection and reconnects to my home WiFi internet connection when I get back to the house.

BUT the one great thing about using the Pi is that it uses VNC Server, which means that I can be anywhere in the world, and login with my iPhone, iPad, or computer using VNC Viewer, and make changes to the OpenSPOT via its web interface. It was simple to setup and it stands alone and works like beast!

Side note, while in The Bahamas I logged into the Pi and my OpenSPOT as always, was working like a charm!
__________________
Andrew | N2AL
http://n2al.us
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2017, 9:34 AM
popnokick's Avatar
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Northeast PA
Posts: 1,825
Default

I spent a year with the DV4Mini and just got an openSPOT about 2 weeks ago. The DV4Mini was OK, but still prone to unexpected disconnects from the host computer (Windows and RasPi) or other anomalies causing disconnects. One thing the openSPOT made me realize: I was spending a lot of time "babysitting" my DV4.. monitoring it, twiddling, and having to sign in to see "what happened this time when it dropped", then manually reconnecting it. No such problem with the openSPOT. As a matter of fact, the openSPOT AUTOMATICALLY reconnects if any hiccup occurs that causes a disconnect from the network or servers. Much more reliable and the main reason I log into its web server pages now is simply to monitor all the useful info presented in the Status display (callsigns, TGs, IDs, time heard, etc.).

And a couple of other advantages of the openSPOT - The DV4Mini requires that you learn to use and enable "Extended Routing" in order to get onto some talkgroups, which are not available otherwise elsewhere. That may be your favorite TAC TG, special interest, or even state TG. So you enable Extended Routing on your DV4 per the instructions on the Brandmeister pages, test it, and all works! Then you come back anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours... and Extended Routing has quit on you. And you don't know if the root cause was the DV4, the network, or something with the BM servers. NO SUCH PROBLEM with openSPOT.... whatever TG you want you just key it up in your radio. No fussing with Extended Routing.
Other advantage is the openSPOT recognizes and uses Brandmeister Hotspot Security... the DV4 does not. This feature is described on the BM webpages and control panel... you can decide whether it's important for your setup.

Last edited by popnokick; 12-28-2017 at 9:46 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2017, 12:22 PM
W9BU's Avatar
Lead Wiki Manager
  RadioReference Database Admininstrator
Database Admin
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brownsburg, Indiana
Posts: 5,331
Default

I looked at the Micro-Node NanoSpot. I downloaded the manual and I'm troubled that it primarily focuses on interacting with the unit via the web interface (Pi-Star). What's the point of having the OLED display if they aren't going to use it for anything? Maybe the built-in display does have some uses, but I sure couldn't tell it from the manual.
__________________
Lead Wiki Manager and Forum Moderator.

"The whole world's living in a digital dream. It's not really there, it's all on the screen." -- WB6ACU
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2017, 12:39 PM
W9BU's Avatar
Lead Wiki Manager
  RadioReference Database Admininstrator
Database Admin
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Brownsburg, Indiana
Posts: 5,331
Default

FWIW, Ham Radio Outlet has the SharkRF openSPOT on sale for $35 off and free shipping until the end of the year. I ordered one.
__________________
Lead Wiki Manager and Forum Moderator.

"The whole world's living in a digital dream. It's not really there, it's all on the screen." -- WB6ACU
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2017, 3:16 PM
w1haf's Avatar
Member
  Shack Photos
Shack photos
Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Waterford, CT.
Posts: 121
Default

Buy the Openspot you wonít be disappointed. The configuration is much easier. I use my iPhone to change the settings. I have all three modes and the Openspot is the most versatile and stable device. I also have a Wires X HRI200. I like the Openspot better.
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2017, 5:39 PM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ely, NV
Posts: 39
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by W9BU View Post
I looked at the Micro-Node NanoSpot. I downloaded the manual and I'm troubled that it primarily focuses on interacting with the unit via the web interface (Pi-Star). What's the point of having the OLED display if they aren't going to use it for anything? Maybe the built-in display does have some uses, but I sure couldn't tell it from the manual.
I think the display just shows what talkgroup/room/reflector you are connected to. The OpenSpot uses a web browser interface for configuration as well. I've had no problem using it on either a computer or mobile device. The more expensive nano DV has a touchscreen to configure it, but I dont know if thats worth 2x the cost. From what I understand, the nano DV is a Raspberry Pi 3, a DVMini, and a off the shelf RPi touchscreen in a custom made case. The cost of $500 doesnt seem justified for that, you could roll your own with that configuration for about $250 or possibly less, minus the custom case of course. The NanoSpot doesnt have much in the way of reviews that Ive seen so far, but once again, it appears it may be a Zumspot, a RPi Zero W, and a mini screen in a custom enclosure, which you can do on your own for $150 or less if the Zumspot ever comes back in stock.

Last edited by uli2000; 12-28-2017 at 5:44 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 12-28-2017, 5:51 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Callaway VA.
Posts: 9
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by W9BU View Post
I'm considering buying a DMR/D-STAR/Fusion hot spot. I currently own D-STAR and Fusion radios, though I might consider buying an inexpensive DMR radio in the future.

The SharkRF openSPOT has gotten good reviews and I've watched a few YouTube videos that cast it in a positive light. It seems simple to set up, can operate all three of the mentioned modes, and can do some cross-mode operations. I don't mind that it doesn't have internal Wi-Fi because I will primarily being using it at home where I have a wired network. The only down side I see is that it uses a web interface which means you need a web browser to access it.

What's out there that has the features of the SharkRF openSPOT that I like (multiple modes, cross-mode operation, self-contained package), but also has a built-in user interface? In other words, is there a clean, self-contained open spot that has a built-in touch screen LCD user interface?

Thank you.
I have the open spot and it works quit well. I suggest you look at the Nano-Node by Mark. There is a you tube video for it. Sold me, I ordered one. A whole lot easier to set up and run mobile than the open spot. It only cost about 20 bucks more than open spot. I suggest you look at it. I have DMR and DSTAR no Fusion. We have two DMR reperators in my area. A good choice for your first DMR is the TYT MD380. A lot of hams use them and they are cheap. 73.AI4LL

Sent from my SM-S920L using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2018, 12:08 PM
EdmontonFireRadio's Avatar
Member
  Shack Photos
Shack photos
Audio Feed Provider
Audio Feed Provider
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 565
Default

The nanospot has a couple of advantages over the openspot. First, it can be used via WiFi. The advantage here is that it is much easier to setup as a mobile hotspot. The second advantage of the nanospot is that it is compatible with the new STARnet groups and can also do traditional call sign routing and zone routing. STARnet is gaining in popularity and can give you some flexibility that traditional reflector linking does not.
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2018, 10:08 AM
Member
   
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 826
Default

The SharkRF OpenSpot will work with commands from the radio, DStar, Fusion or DMR. The web interface is great, use my iPhone for that, but you are defiantly not limited to just a web browser to operate.
In fact, with DStar you have one less command when changing reflectors. No need to ďunlinkĒ, just link to reflector you want and your good to go. Enjoy!
BG..
__________________
ButchGone
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2018, 10:51 AM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,571
Default DVMega

I have been using a DVMega Pi version with the Bluestack board for a couple of months and am very happy with it. I also saw a Pi version with a display running directly from the Pi, making it self contained.
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2018, 1:19 AM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: FM19xr
Posts: 900
Default

I have an OpenSpot, and have zero complaints. 99 times out of 100 the complaints I see from people are user-related errors. There's also a pretty active group on forum.sharkrf.com and one of the devs is on there constantly answering questions.

Only limitations of it from a YSF standpoint are it will not connect to Wires-X nodes and if the other users of the node you are on aren't in digital narrow mode you will not hear them.

DStar does not cross with DMR or YSF radios which shouldn't be an issue since you have a DStar radio, but just know you can't use your Yaesu for DStar.

It's a solid little hotspot and I really enjoy it.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2018, 8:08 PM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Hammond, IN
Posts: 1,643
Default

A friend of mine just posted this a few days ago. He commented:
Quote:
I'm impressed with it. I like that the OLED is mounted directly to the Pi hat through the GPIO pins, I like the multi-color LED's, I like that it has a built in antenna. Functionally works the same as Bruce's product, but I didn't have to be put on some ridiculous wait list.
Currently it is selling for US $131.75
MMDVM hotspot Support P25 DMR YSF + raspberry pi +OLED +Antenna + Case
Features:

∑ High performance 32-bit ARM processor
∑ Fully tested
∑ Supports DMR, P-25, D-Star and System Fusion
∑ Onboard LEDs to show status (Tx, Rx, PTT, Mode)
∑ Up to 10mW RF power


Test ID 460xxxx, test frequency 439.600MHZ, test mode DMR, test WIFI: TZB/13902982913

Package:
1. OLED display x1
2. raspberry pi zero x1
3. MMDVM hotspot board x1
4. 4G TFT card x1
5. case x1
6. 433Mhz antenna x1









https://www.ebay.com/itm/MMDVM-hotsp...MAAOSwPIhaQLgw
__________________
Bill
N4GIX - Ham / WQWU626 - GMRS
TK-840(N), TK-880-1, 2xTYT-7800, 2xUV5R v2+, HP1, BCD436HP, TMV7A, 2xRitron RRX-450 Repeater, MD-380, XPR7550, 2xCS800, BCR-40U Repeater, IC-7300, G5RV-JR
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2018, 10:15 PM
Member
   
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 115
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by N4GIX View Post
A friend of mine just posted this a few days ago. He commented:
Currently it is selling for US $131.75
MMDVM hotspot Support P25 DMR YSF + raspberry pi +OLED +Antenna + Case
Features:

∑ High performance 32-bit ARM processor
∑ Fully tested
∑ Supports DMR, P-25, D-Star and System Fusion
∑ Onboard LEDs to show status (Tx, Rx, PTT, Mode)
∑ Up to 10mW RF power


Test ID 460xxxx, test frequency 439.600MHZ, test mode DMR, test WIFI: TZB/13902982913

Package:
1. OLED display x1
2. raspberry pi zero x1
3. MMDVM hotspot board x1
4. 4G TFT card x1
5. case x1
6. 433Mhz antenna x1









https://www.ebay.com/itm/MMDVM-hotsp...MAAOSwPIhaQLgw
Classic example of underestimating demand.

While I feel for the MMDVM group because not everyone has the necessary amount of money to finance the massive amounts of startup inventory needed, I also have to shake my head and have to wonder if they realized this would happen. It's an open source project. The Chinese manufactures are VERY good at recognizing gaps in the market and filling them with their crude but serviceable products. Yes, I'll buy an official one when they're available but I also have an order for (2) of the Chinese boards on the way. Not every amateur out there is hip to ordering products from China or they have some sense of commitment to the MMDVM group (I guess that's me) but there's no point in waiting if you're willing to put up with the quirks that come from buying and using stuff from China. At these prices, you'd be silly to not try out the various digital modes.

By the way, skip Ebay and just go directly to the source. Why would you pay a mark up for a product that is freely available? Maybe if you can't solder the OLED but that's a hell of a premium to pay.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/UHF-...ceBeautifyAB=0
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/UHF-...ceBeautifyAB=0

Last edited by kinglou0; 01-06-2018 at 10:22 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2018, 7:02 AM
w1haf's Avatar
Member
  Shack Photos
Shack photos
Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Waterford, CT.
Posts: 121
Default

This is a very interesting package. It is not plug and play ready though. It does not come with a Raspberry Pi unit. You have to supply your own. You also will have to find the mmdvm software image and do the programming in Linux to get it setup and working. This is good for those who donít mind doing all of this.
If you want a unit that works out of the box with minimal setup I would still go with an Openspot or Nano spot.
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 01-07-2018, 9:19 AM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Hammond, IN
Posts: 1,643
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by w1haf View Post
This is a very interesting package. It is not plug and play ready though. It does not come with a Raspberry Pi unit.
You're reply is evidently directed towards the AliExpress offering, which indeed does not come assembled, nor does it include the Raspberry Pi Zero or firmware/software.
__________________
Bill
N4GIX - Ham / WQWU626 - GMRS
TK-840(N), TK-880-1, 2xTYT-7800, 2xUV5R v2+, HP1, BCD436HP, TMV7A, 2xRitron RRX-450 Repeater, MD-380, XPR7550, 2xCS800, BCR-40U Repeater, IC-7300, G5RV-JR

Last edited by N4GIX; 01-07-2018 at 9:28 AM..
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 5:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All information here is Copyright 2012 by RadioReference.com LLC and Lindsay C. Blanton III.Ad Management by RedTyger
Copyright 2015 by RadioReference.com LLC Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions