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Why should I want a hotspot?

Discussion in 'RFinderPi - Open Source radio interface based on R' started by K9ASE, Dec 11, 2018.

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  1. KK4PP

    KK4PP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wifi-Hotspot--An electronic device that broadcasts a WiFi network that other WiFi enabled electronic devices can connect to to connect to the Internet

    Amateur Radio Hotspot--Basically, a small low power (~10mW) Internet connected personal repeater used to connect to other Internet connected repeaters worldwide. Using an HT on it's lowest power setting, you can talk on repeaters all over the world. You transmit to your hotspot and the hotspot transmits to the world.

    The feed here is supplied by a $100 hotspot which transmits back and forth with a $50 Chinese DMR HT. A cable connects the HT headphone jack to a Raspberry Pi which uploads the feed to Broadcastify. Many of the folks heard here are using HTs connected to hotspots. (

    You can also connect your hotspot to your cellphone and take it with you mobile. You can have QSOs while driving, or in a hotel room while out of town on vacation, on a cruise ship, etc...

    A few commonly asked questions:

    1. Doesn't using the Internet take all the challenge our of making Dx contacts? Yes! You can have daily QSO's on 6 continents using an HT with no challenge whatsoever.

    2. Since there is no challenge/skill involved in making Dx QSOs, is it still fun? Yes! It is still fun to have conversations with hams all over the world even though you are "cheating" by using the Internet.

    3. What's the point? Since the Internet is involved, why not just pick up my cell phone and make a phone call instead? I would challenge you to pick up your cell phone right now, dial a random number, and have a friendly conversation with a total stranger in China, Indonesia, Japan, etc...

    4. Is is still Amateur Radio if you are talking using the Internet? Please don't ask this question. Even when asked with good intentions, it inevitably devolves into a nasty argument. It's like trying to have a friendly political debate. If you enjoy digital radio then indulge yourself. And if you think it's a tool of Satan himself, then avoid it like the plague. Trying to convince others to change their views on the matter rarely goes well...
    K4DTM, KD2PJK, K4AGO and 5 others like this.
  2. VE3TMT

    VE3TMT XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Previously active on DMR, with Zumspot and GD-77. Nice setup but I grew bored of it quickly. Got to the point I hardly turned the thing on so I sold it. Nice handheld though.
  3. K9ASE

    K9ASE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I bought tone of these MMDVM hotspot on ebay to get started but it doesn't come with a pi board only the OLED board case and antenna what do I need now?
  4. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Kinda reminds me of Echolink. I thought I would download the software and see what it was all about. Made a few "connections" but quickly lost interest. For me, it's not ham radio. Now on the plus side, I could see older hams who might be in a nursing home where they are unable to set up a station and antennas using Echolink or the "hotspots" to still have the ham radio connection. Thank God I'm not there ...yet.
    N8VIL likes this.
  5. WB2LBV

    WB2LBV Subscriber QRZ Page

    You need a Raspberry Pi Zero WH and an SD card. Download the latest Pi-Star image from here-
    then create an image on the SD card, load it in the Pi and you're off.
  6. K9ASE

    K9ASE XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    thanks after was a youtube video I ordered the Pi now I just need the SD card and to download
  7. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ham radio of things?
    M7TRL likes this.
  8. KB0OXD

    KB0OXD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Add Mesh Networking to the mix in an EMCOMM situation & plugan RchoLink RF nodes a Hotspot, you've gota Ham setup that doesn't require big antennas or radio equiment & takes only MINUTES to setup

    Plus, what HF radio can transmite DATA without taken FOREVER & A DAY at a time when TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE ??

    sure there's RTTY but it has it's limitations

    And NOT EVERYONE is prolific in Morse Code communications (And it's gradually being phased as a preferred mode of communication in EMCOMM situations BY EMCOMM officials anyway) in favor of MORE MODERN modes of communication so even CW has it's limitations nowadays

    Does HF still have a place in Ham Radio?? Of course it does. But the fact is THE INTERNET (No matter how you're able to access it) IS THE NEW HF so you'd BETTER get used to it


    Cheers & 73 :)

    Pat, KB0OXD
    KD2PJK likes this.
  9. 4Z1UG

    4Z1UG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I put my Zumspot on a Raspberry Pi 3 so that I could connect it directly to my home network and Internet connection. When there is a lot of WIFI in the air from the neighbors, my hotspot is more reliable.
  10. KB0OXD

    KB0OXD Ham Member QRZ Page

    The notion that Hotspots serve no purpose on radio undoerunaately is both A MISGNOMER & comes from THE SAME people who think ANYTHING tying the Internet & Ham Radio simply "isn't radio" (Which unfortunately consists of the vast majority of people here)

    REALITY is the notion that ANYTHING tying the Internet & Ham Radio simply "isn't radio" simply isn't true

    Hotspots allow you to go MUCH further than repeaters do (This is ESPECIALLY true with DMR)

    Simply the sheer number of [url="[/URL] Brandmeister Talkgroups [/url]illustrates this point

    The fact is because repeaters are at fixed locations high atop mountains & hills & aren't as easy to change as Hotspots are PLUS repeaters don't have have or support code plugs (That's a configurable file you program into your radio), Hotspots are a neccessary part of any Ham station these days if you're going to the Digital Voice modes as a TNC is if you're into Packet Radio (What some of us call RACKET Radio *Devilish Grin*)

    Long & short - Repeaters can only support A VERY SMALL handful of TalkGroups. Some may keep one slot open so users can access any TG on the Brandmeister Network BUT you're STILL limited to what is perhaps THE BIGGEST BUG-A-BOO of all when it comes to using repeaters


    Hotspots (For the most part) ELIMINATE this (I say "for the most part" because there are some TGs that have either timers or other restrictions on them to reduce congestion & the risk of needlessly tying up THOUSANDS of repeaters WORLDWIDE) if a QSO can be isolated to either a national, statewide or even local group of repeaters (If ANY repeaters are needed AT ALL)

    So, as I said - This notion that things that link tie the Internet to Ham Radio together simply "Isn't radio" is a misgnomer which has been LONG AGO DEBUNKED when RF Links on EchoLink & IRLP came along (And quite frankly should be DROPPED IMO but I know THAT happening is only A WISHFUL DREAM on my part)

    Cheers & 73

    Pat, KB0OXD
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
    K9ASE likes this.

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