How To Take Your SharkRF OpenSpot Portable!

Take Your Openspot Portable

Take Your Openspot Portable

I recently grabbed a SharkRF OpenSpot from Grapevine Amateur Radio. As of this post, Jason KC5HWB sells the units shipped for $215. What’s better than buying Ham Gear from a Ham! Jason does a video series on “What’s New In Ham Radio”. Be sure to check out his HamRadio 2.0 site for the latest and greatest goodies!

Since I already have a DVMega / Bluespot for the Ham Shack my plan was to set up the OpenSpot for portable operation.

Installed my Gatcepot 24000mAh 5.5A Universal 3-Port Ultra-High Capacity Power Bank , TPLink Nano Router and the SharkRF OpenSpot into the Pelican 1150 case and now go 100% portable by tethering the router to my iPhone 7.

With inspiration from Rob AK7RM’s how to (thanks Rob), I threw my How To version together with some extra info to help with the setup process. I also wanted to specifically cover the problem that hung me up for a bit. Check the note about the SSID value.

This how to is written specifically for use with the the TPLink Nano Router and an iPhone7 in Hotspot mode. However you can probably adapt it to any similar setup.

Get your copy of my OpenSpot Portable Ops document.

Enjoy! Hope To Catch you on DMR 73 – Gary KE2YK

DMR – Growing In Leaps and Bounds!

Note: Had a quick chat with Bob W2CYK the developer of RFINDER last night at the Peconic Radio Club monthly meeting and he mentioned that he’s got some new stuff peculating in his secret RFINDER lab.

I think we will all be pleasantly surprised and amazed at his next venture! Bob is an amazing guy with an array of software and hardware that brings the World of Repeater Directory Information directly to your fingertips. RFINDER is partnered with companies like RT Systems and other organizations around the globe.

Getting back to DMR or Digital Mobile Radio, during the short time that I have been involved with DMR, I wrote some code which I run on a Linux server where I track and reference the DMR database information.

When I began experimenting with DMR, the number of registered DMR Id’s maintained by the Motorola Amateur Radio Club was around 14k. At last count my database has around 55k entries in it!

Wow what an explosion! In just over a year, the number of worldwide id’s has skyrocketed.

As an Extra with HF privileges, I never thought much about DMR as a means of reaching beyond local repeaters. But as one Tech Ham friend of mine said, DMR provides a convenient way for him to communicate across the country and to places around the world for those with only 28 and 50 MHz at their disposal. DMR has provided a way to step out under the dismal HF band conditions of recent years.

If a digital repeater is unavailable, a Hotspot can provide a method of communicating with Ham’s around the world with DMR+ and BrandMaster networks right from the armchair in your home.

Depending on the radio(s) you have, it is also possible to reach out to other Hams using DSTAR, Fusion and P25 with one of these multi-mode Hotspots.  The Shark RF Openspot  is one of the most popular Hotspot devices around today.

Perhaps you will poke around the Web and explore the World of DMR.  73, Gary KE2YK

How To Update DVMega / BlueStack HotSpot Firmware

As with any firmware update, you are proceeding at your OWN RISK!

Visit http://www.dvmega.auria.nl/Downloads.html

At the time this document was created, the latest firmware was 3.14.

Download the Firmware and X-Loader (you won’t need the manual):

DVMega Firmware and X-Loader Download Link

Unzip the Firmware and X-Loader software.

Power off the DVMega and place the switch into the IN position.

Connect the DVMEGA to the windows PC with supplied USB cable.

Run Windows Device Manager on your PC to determine which com port the DVMega is using.

Star the X-Loader and configure it look like this:

(your hex file location and com port will vary)

DVMega Firmware X-Loader

Hit upload and the bottom status window will display: uploading.

When complete the status will display: the number of bytes uploaded.

Unplug the DVMega and place switch into the OUT position (for Android console).

Select the INFO button on the BlueDV console display the firmware version.