DStar HotSpot

Last month, I got involved in DSTAR digital voice radio.  Because signals are transferred via the internet, you can talk all over and normally find someone to talk to.  I have been impressed and enjoying it but it is not without some issues.

First are the repeaters, I have 2 sets near me but I cannot hear from the closest and I am on the fringe of the Pembroke one.  I am able to make contacts from Pembroke and participate in Nets.  The other issue is the process to change to various reflectors (like talk channels) on the repeater.    The 1st thing I did was get a DV3K Dongle, plugs into the computer and provides easy access to Reflectors as you are using the Internet Direct and not passing through the repeaters.  It worked well and I could hear and talk to stations all over (Japan, Korea, S Afrika, Europe, UK and more).

Ok, I was hooked on DStar….   the only issue now, I do not usually take my laptop along and do not have a dstar mobile in my truck.  Also, if I did and there was no repeater near by, I was still out of luck.

They make DV Access points (plug in the computer and become a Hotspot) that you can connect to via your radio.  I have the Dstar handheld but still not “portable”.  Enter the Raspberry Pi $35 dollar mini computer board.   With the PI, special Dstar software to run the PI (Free download) and a battery pack, I would be completely portable and self sufficient!  C

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I assembled the prototype and tested it both stationary and in the truck.  It will default to my home wi-fi and if not found, will look for my Verizon phone’s wi-fi hotspot.   I then ordered the battery pack and put the fully portable kit together.  I also configured it to be controlled by an android app in addition to programming my radio to change reflectors etc.

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This battery setup all tested out and lasted 22 hours in testing!   I was very pleased.  Getting some Velcro, I wrapped up the project and also backed up the operating system.

Here is a Video in operation of the FINAL setup…   fellow talking id from the UK!!!

 

 

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