Since I recently sold the last of my DMR gear, I have been off V/U digital modes. However, Jim KB2UDD told me about this crazy DroidStar App for Android.
Although I have no interest it getting back on the digital modes, I thought I’d take the challenge and see if I could get the app working on my very old Android 6 Nexus 7 tablet.
Once installed, I loaded my call and dmr id in the settings panel. There are multiple protocols to choose from but initially I just wanted to see how DMR would respond. I set the mode to DMR and selected BM-3101 from the list of available servers. However, I kept getting a popup message stating that I needed a valid Call and DMR ID. Huh?
My OpenSpot 2 was sold some time ago. Since then, BrandMeister has added an additional layer of security for hotspots attaching to their networks. If you have an account on the BrandMeister network you will find a hotspot password slot in the Self-Care section of their web site. For detailed instructions on setting up that special hotspot password, look here.
After setting up the HotSpot Self Care password and entering that same password into the settings panel of the DroidStar app I was able to connect to 3101 and listen to TG 91.
At first the RX audio quality was mixed. I’d rate it from fair to good. Now the age of my tablet and lack of CPU cycles may have much to do with the audio quality. Obviously I have not tried transmitting with the app yet.
Speaking of transmitting with a new gadget, BrandMeister has TG 98 set up for testing without interrupting QSO’s. Read about it here.
Taking the XYL to appointments this week gave me time to sit in the car and connect up to open WIFI networks in the surrounding local establishments. After making quite a few contacts on DMR and YSF (Yaesu Fusion). I was pretty impressed with overall RX audio quality and my TX audio reports.
YSF is a new mode for me and I found it to be a clean alternative to DMR. The America Link was a busy room (Not sure if that’s the proper term for YSF mode). Outside of the usual talk groups on DMR I also connected to the East Coast Reflector. THE ECR was of particular interest to me because the local WR2UHF repeater is connected to the ECR. That connection give me a chance to chat with friends on their analog HT’s while I am RADIO_FREE!
In summary, DroidStar is a fun, free and easy way to experiment with the digital modes. If you have an Android device and have an interest in poking around the digital modes, why spin up your own copy of DroidStar.