Adventures at the speed of light™

Pi-Star DVMega Hotspot

Some of my HAM friends urged me to get into DMR and C4FM since most of them are not on the Allstar system. The good thing is I can build a Pi-Star node for use with multiple digital protocols (like D-Star, Yeasu System Fusion, P25, NXDN) and they are fairly easy to build just like the Allstar node without a lot of soldering. Another good thing is I all ready have a several extra Raspberry PI Bs that I can use.

The plan

Tuesday - August 20, 2019

Need to get the parts, the software, put it together and program the radios. Here were the parts I needed to make this.


The assembly

Saturday - August 24, 2019

I started by downloading the newest Pi-Star zipped image from their website and flashing it onto the MicroSD card using Etcher on my Mac. I put the card aside and started to put together the DVMega board onto the Raspberry Pi, then the case around the board. It's been easy so far, and I think the hardest part was removing the protective paper from the case pieces :D

Here's a video of Jeff from Gigaparts, illustrating the case assembly:

After the assembly of the case with the Raspberry Pi and the DVMega in it, I screwed the antenna on and plugged in the the power supply. Plugged in the network cable, I slid the MicroSD card into the memory slot and turned on the power. I don't have a monitor plugged into the PI so I assumed that it booted up. I then accessed it over the network by going to the url that is http://pi-star.local and went through the set up to get it working with my Yaesu System Fusion capable FT-70D.

Played around a bit and made QSOs on YSF and FSR rooms by giving DTMF commands through my FT-70D! Awesome!


Overall experience:
The assembly is pretty easy and the software configuration is too—I think it was harder to program the FT-70D and the FT-2DR. :D Definitely easier than putting together an Allstar node where you had to modify radios to act as the node transceiver and dig into a little bit of code to configure the software. I also think the voice quality is subpar compared to the Allstar systems.