Ham Radio Hotspots have gotten extremely popular. These hotspots allow an operator to connect to DMR, Yaesu Fusion, and D-Star digital networks without a local repeater nearby. Many operators build their own hotspot with a Raspberry Pi, though, recently, I obtained a Sainsmart Hotspot to try out these digital modes.
The manual is hard to find. The key information found within the manual are:
- Simplex repeater
- Setting up the wifi
- The radio hardware:
STM32-DVM/MMDVM_HS-Raspberry Pi Hat (GPIO).
- The LED setup info:
OLED Type 3/
pistar-findmodem is extremely important to figure out which modem is on your hotspot. Flashing the wrong firmware will leave the modem in a bad state, though reflashing the correct firmware appears to work.
# sudo pistar-findmodem
Detected MMDVM_HS (GPIO): /dev/ttyAMA0 (MMDVM_HS_Hat-v1.5.2 20201108 14.7456MHz ADF7021 FW by CA6JAU GitID #89daa20FF37066A3432434257012227)
My hotspot has the MMDVM_HS_Hat v1.5.2 14.7456 modem and firmware. MMDVM_HS_Hat comes in at least two versions: 14.7456 MHz or 12.288 MHz. Make sure to note which frequency is yours!
If you have an older version of the firmware it can be upgraded with:
# sudo pistar-mmdvmhshatflash hs_hat
Pi-Star allows for multiple digital modes to be enabled. This is a great feature since it allows us to leverage the different modes. On a simplex hotspot only one mode can be transmitting or receiving at a time.
Most Yaesu radios have built in Fusion or Wires-X buttons. The hotspot might not register the Wires-X button press, since it polls the modem for which mode (DMR, D-Star, or Fusion) it should be in.
I have found that keying up for around 1.5 seconds will set the YSF mode, and then pressing the Wires-X button will work. The RF Hangtime defaults to 20 seconds, and bumping this up to 60 seconds might be beneficial to some.
There is still an issue with joining a room. My FT-3D radio shows an FCS room when joining a YSF room. I opened a Github Issue to track it.