Third is a charm.
Why I bought my third portable MMDVM hotspot
After I bought my first hotspot, I have enjoyed talking to my Ham friends all over the world either through DMR or Fusion. This have been my bridge to being connected with them 24/7. The only time I cannot connect with them was when I go on mobile. This led me to purchase another MMDVM hotspot which I have installed in my car together with the Kydera CDR-300UV.
These hotspots have helped me be in contact with my Ham friends 24/7 despite the COVID-19 border closures. I thought that was it, nothing can stop me now from getting connected with them. Well, after a few months, I found myself disconnected each time I go around the shops/ malls every weekend and bringing my Pi-Zero hotspot was a bit difficult since this will require me to bring a battery power bank and a bag that is small enough to fit a hotspot that has a small antenna sticking out.
Again, I started to look for other hotspot options. I searched eBay, Amazon and even other overseas suppliers. I did find some options like the SharkRF open spot 3 but later found out they where out of stock and a bit pricey. On Amazon, I found an MMDVM hotspot with built-in battery but would take almost a month and a half to get shipped here in Australia. Found it a bit pricey too @ $321.00.
I was about to give up when just from curiosity, I tried to browse one of my favorite local ham on-line shop called QSL Communications. Wow! My eyes grew big as I saw the same MMDVM portable hotspot being sold and was much cheaper @ $98.00 AUD.
I finally received this hotspot a few days ago and had a bit of play trying to configure the settings. After almost an hour, I was getting frustrated which led me to ask friends from my club in the Philippines (DX1ARM). Roy (4I1AYZ) and Angelo (4I1RAC) helped me to figure out how to make it work as the included manual did not explain everything.
To make a long story short, I needed to change a lot of default settings not mentioned on the manual which was a one-page paper. (Actually, it was half page). It was challenging since I have been using the Pi-Star format but after some help….success!
Now, I can be anywhere (Shops, Work, Car, Home) and capable of being connected with my friends 24/7. Whenever and wherever I want.
Here’s a video of me testing the new MMDVM portable hotspot.
Here’s where you can purchase this
Portable simplex hotspot with Wifi: