When I started looking at working digital voice I wanted to avoid a lot of wires, a partially disassembled Baofeng and a configuration I would probably forget because I didn't write a manual. I also saw that a lot of people had already done a lot of work in this area. I had the SharkRF OpenSpot first, which worked quite well and was reliable. But turning it into something mobile was going to require hardwire ethernet... so I put in an order for a Micro-Node Nano-Spot which runs pi-star (and why I'm here now) and have these four components:
* Micro-Node Nano-Spot
* Netgear AirCard 770S AT&T 4G LTE for wifi
* Yaesu FT1XD
* 10k mAh solar battery
It works pretty well. I mostly use it in YSF2DMR bridge mode. I've run the whole setup for over 13 hours monitoring the busy DMR TG 310. The Netgear has its own battery and gets plugged in to the solar battery about 6 hours but it gets charged up. Relying on the commercial cellular network is probably the only thing I'd want to change.. using HamWan would be great, though then I'd have a dish and that wouldn't be quite mobile. I'm sure somewhere down the line DV is going to be using commercial cellular/internet anyway and in an emergency I'd likely be operating simplex FM. Another issue is controlling the Pi-Star, so I may just replace the Netgear with a smart phone .. however, I'd *really* like to be able to control which YSF Startup Host I'm on and what DMR TG I'm on using DTMF from my radio. I hope that will be possible some day!
I do like the Pi-Star software over SharkRF but will say that the SharkRF seems to transition TG changes more smoothly in its YSF2DMR cross mode but it does not support Wires-X (or aprs?) SharkRF was easier to configure and use, but once I understood what the Pi-Star was (and that it is NOT Micro-Node's software) I appreciated it more. Also, KE0FHS (Toshen) has an excellent write up on pi-star at http://ke0fhs.com
Post information / pictures of your gear here!
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