Why? Why Use as hotspot?

Post Reply
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2022 1:16 am

Why? Why Use as hotspot?

Post by WRPI448 » Sat Feb 19, 2022 1:30 am

Bear with me, new to all this, and still learning. Why use the GD77 as a hotspot vs a readily available unit from say Amazon? I can come up with one reason, I assume it is because you will have the range of essentially whatever the GD77 can cover vs a wireless hotspot? The cost of this ends up being higher also, correct? Raspberry Pi + GD77 as hotspot ~$240 vs ~$130 ready made hotspot? What else am I missing? is the signal going to be cleaner? Can the GD77 handle playing middle man? The hotspot has me very interested, as I can not hit a DMR repeater from my home location.

User avatar
Posts: 2604
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:42 am
Location: Grenoble, France

Re: Why? Why Use as hotspot?

Post by F1RMB » Sat Feb 19, 2022 5:00 am

Because... reasons ?
  • coverage
  • RF quality (ADF-7021 based modem hat are really crappy in this area)
  • don't even think connecting a good external antenna on such boards
  • many people had one or more GD-77 that were just collecting dust (and the GD-77 was cheaper at that time)
  • fun ?!
  • ...you name it
BTW, 240$, that sounds super expensive ? A RPi Zero W is (was) about 10$.

Posts: 272
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:27 am

Re: Why? Why Use as hotspot?

Post by kt4lh » Sat Feb 19, 2022 2:22 pm

For me, the difference is how far away can I use it. Around the house? The cheap ebay mmdvm works just fine. If I want to use it for a few miles I have to use the GD77 as the mmdvm is pretty deaf and will only receive for a few hundred feet at best. Both on the same external antenna.

And you should be able to get a Pi Zero based simplex mmdvm hotspot for about $40 with the case, oled, and an antenna. Add Pi Zero W, done. Problem right now is finding a Pi Zero W if you don't already have one. Don't pay the insane $75 I've seen them listed for...

Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2022 1:16 am

Re: Why? Why Use as hotspot?

Post by WRPI448 » Wed Feb 23, 2022 11:32 pm

Perfect response. Thank you!
You’re excactly right, the reason the cost is being driven high is, there are no Pi zero’s available. So you end up buying a Pi4.

Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 6:29 am

Re: Why? Why Use as hotspot?

Post by iu2dlc » Thu Feb 24, 2022 10:41 pm

Well anyone has is own experience, mine cover both the situation written on the previously comments.
First of all, all is personal and depending by needs, money and so on.
Then, well i don't neither think about small ebay hotspot just because they with 10mw can cover only my small house. I just have a POC since 2 years and half bought just to try and now fully running with dvswitch server/client. It means that with something i just own i can speak on digital systems all around the world using wifi or mobile carrier...so no need truly an hotspot but....
I had a GD-77 with opengd77. I bought it 3 years ago for a reasonable price close to 80 Euro i used it but i didn't used for more than 1 years and half so i was resting full of dust due i enjoyed the POC. On top of this i also had a Raspberry Pi3 B+ used since 4 years for my website that i moved already on another server + an external mobile antenna V/U i previusly used in analog with repeater...in two words i just had all in the house why do not try?
I add...i bought an Anytone 878UVII Plus why? I simple like it and i wanted then i bought ...this is not directly in connection with the hotspot :-)
Well all is up and running and i was surprised because with only 2W despite i live in a very crowded urban area and the antenna is only at third floor i can cover close to 4 square km i mean all my area and the place i 90% move to...really much better than 10mw of ebay mmdvm hotspot.
Now this for me make sense but i can understand that if i did not had the hw for sure i didn't neither spend a dime for any kind of hotspot.
After this i found few days ago a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W an honest 40 euro price. I know it should costs 15 bucks but with the crisis it is close to impossible to find one and you also have to consider shipping cost.
Well 40 Euro for the PiZero so i can re-use RPI3B+ for much consuming project. Despite the dimension the new PiZero 2 W it much more than enough for a simple Pi-Star installation. It consume close to 5% CPU and 150Mb RAM so that raspberry it's enough. 10 Euro much for a decent 3A power AC adapter with on/off switch, some buck for 2 ferrite in order to avoid rf injection (even if the power is low and antenna 2 mt. away) and 20 Euro for usb-c/ethernet gigabit adapter...i could avoid but i rather prefer wired connections to wifi. Obviusly i could avoid it because even with wifi it was ok.
Let's approach things diffentently. Imagine someoune has nothing well at today: Raspbery=starting from 50? Kinda of, plus power, case (depends what rb you buy) believe we are close to 100 and ...mmdvm on ebay no one costs less than 50 what? Maybe... Ok what i mean is that all around if you are lucky in order to build an hotspot from scratch you for sure cannot spend less than close to 200 euro for have a thing that works only within an house?
Sorry with the same amount of bucks you can buy a POC radio like Inrico or similar and you have a complete solution. DvSwitch client is 4 free, you can ind some guys ho gave you access to dvlink ..or simply spend 1.22 euro for months for a vps 24/7 without buying any other hw. You'll go wherever you want with your server in dstar,dmr,ysf,p25...etc. spending less than building a poor small hotspot.

User avatar
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2021 11:11 pm

Re: Why? Why Use as hotspot?

Post by PU4BLA » Sun Dec 04, 2022 7:08 pm

The Orange PI zero LTS 512 Mb boards are priced much lower than the Raspberry PI-zero. I tested a dual MMDVM hotspot using OragePI zero and it worked great. It is an option to the high prices of Raspberry PI zero 3, 4 or 5 boards.

The Orange PI zero LTS 512 Mb boards have an RJ45 port and can connect the hotspot directly to the router without needing wifi


Posts: 582
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2022 8:50 am
Location: JO99ah, Stockholm, Sweden

Re: Why? Why Use as hotspot?

Post by SA0BUX » Thu Feb 09, 2023 8:20 am

Have used my MD-9600 as hotspot , with a good antenna that one will give you good coverage and it use 12V without the hassle to feed a handheld externally.

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2022 1:11 pm

Re: Why? Why Use as hotspot?

Post by sm3gdt » Thu Feb 09, 2023 2:18 pm

The use of OpenGD77 and MD9600 as hotspots gives outstanding flexibility. You can use them together with the BlueDV app in Windows, Linux
(Raspberry Pi) and Adroid tablet/telephone.I run my MD9600 at home with Pi-Star on a Raspberry pi and mobile OpenGD77 with my Andoid telephone, BlueDV and TCPUART app and a short cable. Thank you dear VK3KYY for this nice private ”Repeater” solution.

Post Reply