Okay Okay, so it’s just a dongle but it’s sure packed with features!
The DV4mini is a very small but also very capable USB Stick that can expand any system running Windows or LINUX into a Hotspot for the D-STAR, DMR, C4FM and APCO P25 modes.
The DVmini is a powerful 32 bit micro controller, a complete 70 cm transceiver and a modulator/demodulator for GMSK and 4FSK and a USB interface.
One nice feature of the DV4mini is that it does not require external power. The unit gets powered from the USB interface. For some of us that means less complicated portable use.
Another feature is the included software package which is easy to use and easily links with DSTAR, DMR+, P25 and Fusion reflectors.
There are many Hams who have DV radios but are out of range of the nearest DV repeater. DV4mini to the rescue! The DV4mini creates a hotspot with minimal resources and provides access to many DV networks.
The Code Plug:
Assuming you have your associated Channel and Zone set up in your radio to operate the DV4mini hotspot, you should be ready to go with setting up the DV4mini software.
For DMR+. My Hytera PD-362 DMR HT is set up at 436.000 tx and rx (default for DMR+ in the software), Talk Group 9, low power and TX Admit set to always allow.
Setting Up The Mini:
My Dv4mini was up in running in a matter of minutes. Yes, I did scan through the manual first.
Presently I am only working the DMR+ systems. Some may ask, what is DMR+ as opposed to DMR?Simply put DMR+ is the Hytera network (more widely used in Europe but growing rapidly in the US). DMR is the TRBO-DMR network. To my knowledge the two networks are incompatible for a number of reasons. Hytera DMR+ is more ham radio friendly in that repeaters can directly interconnect without expensive bridging equipment.
Once again, my old Windows 7 Lenovo T60 Laptop came in handy.
The first thing to understand is that the DV4mini software is no longer supported on XP. Since XP is also no longer supported by Microsoft, security vulnerabilities would not be something I’d want in my shack anyway. However, if you insist on using XP it is recommended that you flash your stick with the older version 1.4 firmware. Read the manual to find out how to flash your stick….
As the software download Web page states, the first software package you need to install is VS2013 redistributable package from the Microsoft Web site. This is nothing more than a run time version of Visual C++. The 32 bit version is required even if you are using a 64 bit Windows O/S.
Now download the Windows software and perform a normal windows style install. A desktop icon will be created as part of the install process.
Next, connect the antenna, insert the unit into the USB port and start the software. In the status window you should see that your DV4mini was found.
Configuring The DV4Mini Software:
On the DV CONTROL PANEL, for DMR+ I entered my DMR id, call, grid square and location. DMR+ as my DV option and reflector 4639 USA-Nationwide.
Now to the expert panel where I checked the auto-connect option and set my DMR Master to USA-EAST. Select the DMR Master closest to your QTH.
There are two other settings to pay attention to on the EXPERT PAGE.
QRG which is the offset in HZ between your radio and the DV4mini transceiver. Depending on the radio you use, you may have to adjust the QRG and ask for a few radio checks to insure your packet loss has been minimized.
The transmit buffer size is dependent on your network. I have had success with this set at .25 since I have a high speed network here.
The Dv4mini is an excellent way to get on the DV networks. It is reliable, easy to upgrade and operate. There are a number of additional features that you will discover as you work with the unit. Again, I am only working DMR+ so I am sure you will learn more than I have when you explore the other DV’s.
My experience shows that you need to operate a distance from the DV4mini so that you don’t overdrive it. One ham I spoke to used foil to shield the unit.
Interested in getting one?
In the USA, visit Wireless Hold
Videos about the DV4Mini and links to the manual and software can be obtained at the bottom of the Wireless Hold home page.