My Hot Spots for DMR and D-Star Fun
How D. A few years back I decided to get into D-Star and see what it was like. Ham Radio, the gateway drug it is, then lead me to DMR as well. So now after a few years of using D-STAR and DMR on different equipment, I get a lot of questions, especially about my Hot Spots. So I decided to do a quick post on the Hot Spots I am using.
May favorite one is this little Nano Hot Spot. It is a 2″ cube that runs off of any 2 amp USB connection. I love how small it is. I put that and it’s USB cable in a small bag and it goes everywhere with me. If I don’t have a wall plug to put a 2 amp USB charger into, I switch to a battery pack that I also use to charge my phone. I can run almost all day on this 6000mAh battery pack. (Make sure your battery pack has a 2 amp connection. Both of the ones I own have 2.1 amp and 1.1 amp ports.)
The Nano Hot Spot has a lot crammed into it’s small package. UHF Transceiver and antenna, USB with USB Wifi adaptor, Ethernet port, mini display and cooling fan. All in a 2″ cube. Another reason I like this model is that it does have an Ethernet Port. When wifi doesn’t want to connect, I can plug it in to trouble shoot.
The display is small, obviously, but it shows what I really need and that is the IP address of the device. When I am using it I usually bring up the web interface on my cell phone, tablet or PC. Which brings us to the interface. It runs Pi-Star, which I am already familiar with. Another reason I like it.
The Ham that makes these units lives in China and goes by the name Winters. He has always responded, in less than 24 hrs, to any of my questions and seems like a nice guy. I will put links to his web page and Facebook site at the bottom if your interested.
After I had my Nano for a while I decided to take a Raspberry Pi 3 I had on the shelf and turn it into a Hot Spot for the Shack. I bought an MMDVM board and a 3.2″ Nextion display from Winters, mounted it on the Pi 3, loaded Pi-Star on an Micro SD card and had a nice Hot Spot for the Shack. Later I found this little treasure chest box at the hobby supply store and crammed it in there, just for presentation. A pretty fun project.
There are quite a few Hot Spots out there and for the most part, people seem to have good results with these products. Find a Hot Spot that works for you, in the price range that fits and explore these digital voice modes. It’s a lot of fun.
Winters has a number of Hot Spots, boards and even repeaters on his site.
- Winters store – Amateur Radio Toys
- Winters Blog – BI7JTA Blog for MMDVM
- The Nano Spot Blue Box Facebook page
73, JohnnyF, WJ0NF