The DVMini was my original point of entry into the world of DMR over three years ago and then was a new “dongle” with some issues not the least its accompanying software/firmware, but it worked for me.
Originally I had it installed on a need-to-use basis on my PC which was just a little inconvenient. But when I attached it to a Raspberry Pi 3B it became a permanent addition to the station, probably to the annoyance of a lot of people as it has the tendency to “beacon” to the network every so often. I’ve never bothered to time it.
The penultimate addition was the image made by K2DLS, which was sublime, and when activated with Real VNC it was simple enough to change talk groups with a touch of a button through my Samsung Tab A Tablet.
I have to explain here for those who don’t know, that originally the DV4Mini ran with Reflectors, so that the reflector was set up on the DV4Mini, and the radio terminal set with TG9 slot 2. So it was necessary to private call the desired reflector to which to change.
The K2DLS software allowed the DV4Mini to remain on reflector 4999, and the software would direct the call to the desired talk group anywhere on the network, a real step in the right direction as Reflectors alone were limiting.
The users in the US were very upset when the BM server admins there decided to eradicate Reflectors from their servers, which meant that the DV4Mini was relegated to servers outside the US to be consistent. This was due to a lack of understanding by certain people who selfishly condemned the device as unworkable.
In the meantime my DV4Mini was operating 24/7 with the K2DLS image and the Raspberry Pi 3B, albeit with the Samsung tablet doing the talk group changing.
I have now charged the Raspberry Pi 3B with a new image although Beta, seems to do what has been described as an MMDVM function. The source of this image is found on Xreflector.net. Whilst I disagree with the terminology, it does exactly that, with some reservations that I will go into shortly.
MMDVM is the technology developed by G4KLX, and as I see it, is in no way connected to the DV4Mini. But I understand the workflow as it is intended by the developers of the DV4Mini software, to resemble the way it now works.
Their first efforts were aimed at the PC user, so the users had to plug in their dongle to the PC, and use it as if it was an MMDVM device, with a full code plug of assorted talk groups common to their environment. It didn’t work for me, as my DV4Mini was permanently attached to the Raspberry Pi, and a network connection was not working.
The new Raspberry Pi image allows me to connect to a BrandMeister server, and with a full zone of talk groups, I can now use the DV4Mini as a real effective hotspot, simply switching it across the zone. No reflectors, no button pushing, but including a talk group 4000 to disconnect my last used talk group as it becomes auto-fixed if I don’t.
The good news for the US users that it works there too. I have successfully connected to some of the US servers.
Because it works as a simplex hot spot, you are on slot 2, but it doesn’t matter that you use a TG normally used on slot 1, as the network routes the call correctly. Anyway this way you can kill it after use with a call to TG4000.
It is equally at home on DMR+, where I connect to the IPSC2-F server.
So my assessment is that it does what it is supposed to – well done guys!
Late news. Check part 3 of this series.