DVMEGA hits the (DMR hot-)spot.

Since moving to a new home QTH with restrictive covenants regarding antennas last summer, keeping on the air has been problematic to say the least!  Most of my operation is currently accomplished using means that would make a radio purist cringe – internet linked repeaters I can access with a handheld transceiver.

I have excellent line-of-sight with both the Lincoln 2m and 70cm analogue voice repeaters GB3LM and GB3LS a spitting distance away, on top of Lincoln Cathedral, the latter being internet linked.

I can also at a push access both the GB7LN and GB7RR DMR repeaters, the only trouble being ‘RR is 29 miles away and ‘LN, although only 5 miles away, is screened by Lincoln itself – both are ropey signals, and I have to be standing in the right place upstairs.

Rhetorical question time – how do you go about solving that problem without high gain external antennas?  The answer is a hotspot!

The only offering so far has been the DV4Mini, however it didn’t tickle my fancy – initial reports are that it didn’t fair so well with the network side of things resulting in audio dropouts and loss.

Before I lost interest in DMR, I’d been watching the development of the DVMEGA products that Guus, PE1PLM has developed with some anticipation, but it seemed that things weren’t going to go the way I required.

Until yesterday …

BlueSpotTweet

OK, that got my interest!  A quick bit of reading and I’d been (re)sold on the DVMEGA.  I quickly ordered a single band RPi shield from Karl, M0KSP (I already own a RPi) and downloaded the BlueSpot app to my phone.  It was child’s play to re-configure the Rpi (following the instructions on the DVMEGA website) and David, PA7LIM‘s BlueSpot was also a doddle to configure.  It all connects to the Brandmeister network OK …

BMDongles

That’s not all – today this appeared on my Twitter timeline …

MMDVMTweet

OK, Guus, now you’re just showing off!

I had also been following MMDVM as a potential solution – overkill, but had potential.  Jon, G4KLX‘s  MMDVMHost software has now been downloaded and compiled on the RPi, but I can’t test any further until I have the DVMEGA to attach to the RPi.

C’mon Mr Postman, hurry along now …

UPDATE: Understandably, there has been some interest in setting up the DVMega with MMDVMHost on the Raspberry Pi. In the absence of a pre-configired SD card image I’ve created a HOW-TO talking you through the steps to build and configure your own MMDVMHost installation from source code. It is available here.

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5 thoughts on “DVMEGA hits the (DMR hot-)spot.

  1. Hi,
    My Call is VE3CCD … name is Curtis I am a complete newbie to DMR and Dstar and digital modes on a hold.
    I just got a Zestone d900 dmr Hand held … I am looking to setup a hotspot for Dmr and maybe dstar or fusion use in the near future … love the dv mega Idea
    what all would I need to get started …

    Like

  2. I’m running the DVMega on the Bluestack and it was easy to get on the air. I am using a much underutilized Android tablet i had laying around with the DVBlue app I downloaded for free in the app store. The DVMega appealled to me because I have heard people have issues with the DV4 and I have heard some of these on the wire with not-so-good audio. The OpenSpot didn’t appeal to me because of the hard-wire ethernet connection. The DVMega and Bluestack link via bluetooth to your Android phone, tablet and even a windows laptop to your internet connection. It sounds great and works great. The hardest part for me was waiting for the Bluestack board to ship from the Netherlands to the US (about two-weeks). Firmware upgrades require you to solder a wire jumper across two points of the DVMega when attached to the Bluestack board. Not a difficult task as the points are pretty easy to solder too. The links to purchase are right above me on G0WFV’s post. You won’t be sorry.

    Like

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