Custom Designed Premium DMR Hotspots

Common Solutions

I am setting up my own hotspot. What settings do I need to know?
If you are providing your own uSD card and programming, you will need these settings to tell Pi-Star about your MMDVM board. The settings below are user provided on the Pi-Star Configuration page.

First, you will need to tell Pi-Star about your display. Under the MMDVMHost Configuration area, you will need to configure the following values:

  • MMDVM Display Type: OLED
  • Port: /dev/tty/AMA0
  • Nextion Layout: G4KLX

Stacks Image 173

Click
Apply Changes.

Then, under General Configuration section, you need to tell Pi-Star the type of modem you are using. Select the following value:

  • Radio/Modem Type: STM32-DVM / MMDVM_HS - Raspberry Pi Hat (GPIO)

Stacks Image 181

This gets you started, and you can continue adding your callsign, DMR ID, frequency and other user specific settings.
How do I log into my DMRspot?
All hotspots running Pi-Star use the same procedure for logging in.

Using your browser, access http://pi-star.local

To access the Admin or Configuration screens, a users name and password is required. Those are:

User name: pi-star

Password: raspberry
What timeslot does my DMRspot use?
Simplex DMRspots all use timeslot 2. When programming your radio, be sure to configure channels you create for use with your DMRspot to use time slot 2.

The duplex version uses both timeslot 1 and timeslot 2. You program your radio exactly how you would for a dual timeslot repeater.
Which port do I use to plug in the power cable?
You will notice that you have two micro USB ports on your DMRspot. Always use the one closest to the corner of the device. The second one is rarely used, but could be used tor something like a micro USB ethernet adapter.
There is a WiFi definition in the configuration I don't recognize.
That's one of ours. We need access when we configure your DMRspot of course, so what you are seeing is one of our access points. We have two here that we use exclusively for customer configuration that are isolated from our regular network. You can safely delete it.
How can I tell if I am connected to WiFi?
Take a close look at the white light pipe in the upper left corner of the face of your DMRspot when you first apply power. There is a red LED inside that blinks slowly. When it connects to WiFi successfully, it will blink faster.

Also, the display will not show anything unless it has a WiFi connection. So if your display is blank, you are not connected.
It doesn't connect to my WiFi. What should I do?
It is possible that the WiFi credentials are not correct. When set these up, we use the information you provide us. In fact, we copy and paste it in from your information to avoid typos on our end. Of course, it is possible that you made an error sending us the information. This does happen and when it does, it can prevent your DMRspot from connecting to your WiFi. Generally, the most common problem we see is incorrect capitalization for the SSID or password.

All is not lost. There are a couple of ways to work around this.

1) This article on the Pi-Star site explains how to create a file with your WiFi credentials to copy to your micro-SD card.

https://www.pistar.uk/wifi_builder.php

2) Here is an excellent step by step explanation from amateurradionotes.com on how to connect your DMRspot if it does not connect to the pre-configured WiFi you provided to us. Note: This is also helpful if you take your DMRspot somewhere else and need to change your WiFi settings.

https://amateurradionotes.com/pi-star.htm#bootingpistar
How do I upgrade my MMDVM firmware?
The firmware that runs the MMDVM modem board can be updated so you can always be up to date. It is import ant to update your firmware periodically to get the latest features and bug fixes. If you are familiar with using a terminal program or something like putty, then you will already know how you connect to the command line interface of your DMRspot.

For users that have never done this before, Pi-Star provides a simple way to do this. Here is the procedure, step by step.

1) Connect to your DMRspot by typing this in your browser address bar.

From a Windows computer type:

http://pi-star/

From a Mac computer or an iPhone or iPad type:

http://pi-star.local/


2) On the top menu, click on Configuration.

Stacks Image 122
3) On the Configuration page, Click on Expert. It will ask you if you are sure you want to use Expert mode, and just answer Yes.
Stacks Image 126
4) On the Expert page, Click on SSH Access. There is a lot to choose from in the menu, so look in the lower right of that group.
Stacks Image 134
5) After clicking on SSH Access, you will see a black window open up where you can type your commands. This allows you low level access to the Raspberry Pi Zero so you can update your firmware.
Stacks Image 136
6) Login to the SSH terminal. We named the hostname on ours dmrspot. In our example images, the prompt will say dmrspot login. Yours will say pi-star login.

Your login name is pi-star, and the password is raspberry. You will see the screen below.
Stacks Image 140
7) You're in! Good job! Okay, the next step is to put pi-star in a read-wrote mode. You do that by typing rpi-rw and hitting return.

rpi-rw

8) Almost there. The next step is to type or paste in one of the following commands and hit return.

For the Standard or Premium Simplex board use this command:

sudo pistar-mmdvmhshatflash hs_hat

For the Duplex board, use this command:

sudo pistar-mmdvmhshatflash hs_dual_hat

9) Just let it do its thing for a couple of minutes. When it's done, it will tell you to press any key to reboot. Go ahead and hit and wait for it to reboot.

You're done!
How do I update my Pi-Star software.
There are two parts of the Pi-Star software you can, and should update from time to time.

1) The first part is the Pi-Star dashboard. This is easy. There is a menu item for this on the Admin page. Just click it and it will update the dashboard files.
Stacks Image 159
2) To update all the core Pi-star files, follow the same instructions as we provide for updating your firmware until you get to step 8. Instead of typing in the command we give you in step 8, type this one instead:

sudo pistar-update

Note: If you are a few versions behind, you will need to repeat this a few times to being your DMRspot up to the current version. That's because the pistar-update command will only update one version at a time.