Playing with Pi-Star: Revisions

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Jun 13, 2019

Revised 1b) Some good resources for learning about Pi-Star

[XLX reflector changed from module E to L.]

Jun 5, 2019

Revised 5b) MMDVMHost Configuration

Revised MMDVM Display Type > Type of display:

Revised MMDVM Display Type > Port you're using:

Jun 4, 2019

Revised section 1b) Some good resources for learning about Pi-Star:

Jun 3, 2019

Revised section 1b) Some good resources for learning about Pi-Star:

May 30, 2019

Revised the Controller Software option:

May 27, 2019

Revised DMR Configuration

Revised the DMR ESSID option:

May 24, 2019

Revised DMR Configuration section

Revised the BM Hotspot Security option:

May 21, 2019

Revised DMR Configuration section

Per another change in the Pi-Star Dashboard Configuration page, revised the DMR ESSID option:

May 20, 2019

Revised DMR Configuration section

Per a change in the Pi-Star Dashboard Configuration page, revised the DMR ESSID option:

May 19, 2019

Revised General Configuration section

Updated screen image.

Per a change in the Pi-Star Dashboard Configuration page, added the APRS Host option (from the D-Star Configuration section) to the General Configuration section:

Revised D-Star Configuration section

Updated screen image.

Per a change in the Pi-Star Dashboard Configuration page, deleted the APRS Host option from the D-Star Configuration section (moved to the General Configuration section):

Revised DMR Configuration section

Revised opening paragraph:
How you configure DMR depends on the DMR Master you select. All of the Master choices include four basic DMR options—ESSID, Color Code, EmbeddedLCOnly, and Dump TAData—displayed below the selected DMR Master:

Updated all four Pi-Star images.

Per a change in the Pi-Star Dashboard Configuration page, added the DMR ESSID option:

Revised DMR cross-mode configuration section

Added a new introductory paragraph:
Pi-Star supports the capability to run DMR2YSF and DMR2NXDN cross modes. For more info, see Pi-Star cross modes.

Moved remainder of DMR cross-mode configuration section to a new page. See: Pi-Star cross modes

Revised Yaesu configuration section

Per a change in the Pi-Star Dashboard Configuration page, deleted the APRS Host option from the Yaesu Configuration section:

Revised YSF cross-mode configuration section

Added a new introductory paragraph:
Pi-Star supports the capability to run YSF2DMR, YSF2NXDN, and YSF2P25 cross modes. For more info, see Pi-Star cross modes.

Moved remainder of YSF cross-mode configuration section to a new page. See: Pi-Star cross modes

Added links to Pi-Star cross modes page

Added links in the opening TOC and the closing Quick links sections.

May 12, 2019

Revised D-STAR Configuration > Default Reflector option

Revised General Configuration > Radio Frequency > Band plan and POCSAG Configuration > Radio Frequency POCSAG > Band Plan

April 29, 2019

Revised DMR EmbeddedLCOnly option

April 28, 2019

Revised DMR EmbeddedLCOnly option

Revised DMR DumpTAData option

Revised section 5d) DMR Configuration

Revisions reflect changes introduced in Pi-Star Dashboard v20190428, including the addition of an BrandMeister Hotspot Security option, and a change to the DMR+ Master list:

How you configure DMR depends on the DMR Master you select. All of the Master choices include three basic options—DMR Color Code, DMR EmbeddedLCOnly, and DMR Dump TAData—displayed below the selected DMR Master:

Digital mode configuration settings - Basic options for all DMR Masters

If you choose a BrandMeister Master, you'll also see the BM Hotspot Security password option, as well as links to BrandMeister Repeater Info and SelfCare:

Digital mode configuration settings - DMR

If you choose a DMR+ Master, you'll also see a field for DMR+ Network Options:

Digital mode configuration settings - DMR+

If you choose the DMRGateway Master, you'll see options for three networks—BrandMeister, DMR+, and XLX—in addition to the basic options:

Digital mode configuration settings - DMRGateway

Revised YSF2DMR cross-mode configuration section

April 26, 2019

Revised section 10) Expert Editor

Added new option and rearranged options to match the UI:

The Expert Editor provides access to:

April 22, 2019

Revised General Configuration > Node Type

Node Type – Determines whether radios with callsigns (D-STAR, YSF), CCS7 IDs (DMR, P25), or NXDN IDs other than what is entered in the Pi-Star General Configuration Node Callsign, CCS7/DMR ID, and NXDN ID can access the hotspot. When selecting this, keep in mind the regulations in your country pertaining to the control operator function. For a personal hotspot in the U.S., you can set this to Public, but unless you actually intend to allow radios with other callsigns, CCS7 IDs, or NXDN IDs to access the hotspot, it may be best to leave it set to Private. See also Hotspot best practices.
Note: Controls each mode's SelfOnly setting in Expert Editor > MMDVMHost.

April 20, 2019

Revised General Configuration > Node Type

Node Type – Determines whether radios with callsigns (D-STAR) or CCS7 IDs (DMR) other than the Pi-Star General Configuration Node Callsign or CCS7/DMR ID can access the hotspot. When selecting this, keep in mind the regulations in your country pertaining to the control operator function. For a personal hotspot in the U.S., you can set this to Public, but unless you actually intend to allow radios with other callsigns or CCS7 IDs to access the hotspot, it's may be best to leave it set to Private.

April 9, 2019

Revised section 6 note about regulations and best practices

Important! The regulations and best practices that apply to amateur radio—including use of frequencies, control of our stations, and on-air courtesy—also apply to our use of personal, low-power hotspots. It's our responsibility to understand and adhere to those regulations and best practices. My personal practice is that I power on my personal, low-power hotspots only when I'm monitoring and in control of them, adhere to my local band and frequency use plans, and leave adequate pauses between transmissions. For more about this, see Hotspot best practices.

April 8, 2019

Revised 5d) DMR Configuration > DMR EmbeddedLCOnly

DMR EmbeddedLCOnly – The default is off. Per Andy Taylor in the Pi-Star Users Support Group: "this feature relates to some of the data passed in/out from some radios…. Some radios are affected by this (Connect Systems, for example) and some are not (Motorola). Most of us can take the default [off]."

Note: Apparently, different stations and radios encode and decode Talker Alias data in different ways. One way this variance manifests is that some radios can experience audio drop-outs when receiving from some stations (I've heard of this affecting various models of radios and even one model of Motorola radio). If you are experiencing audio drop-outs from some stations, you might want to try turning this option on.

Revised 5d) DMR Configuration > DMR DumpTAData

DMR DumpTAData – The default is on, which enables "Talker Alias" information to be received by radios that support this feature.

Note: Apparently, this option controls whether Talker Alias data is logged in the /var/log/pi-star/MMDVM-YYYY-MM-DD file. If you're not using Talker Alias, you can turn this option off.

April 5, 2019

Revised 5c General Configuration > Hostname notes

Added a hint to the end of 5k) Wireless Configuration

Hint: If you have one or more WiFi networks set up and choose to use an Ethernet connection instead of WiFi in location where both are available, you can temporarily turn off WiFi if you're running Pi-Star 4.x. Log into Pi-Star via SSH and then run: sudo rfkill block wifi. To re-enable WiFi, simply reboot Pi-Star, or run: sudo rfkill unblock wifi. Thanks to Tom, PA2TSL, for this hint.

Revised 5d) DMR Configuration > DMR DumpTAData

DMR DumpTAData – The default is on, which enables "Talker Alias" information to be received by radios that support this feature.
Note: I've heard that this feature has caused problems with some radios including the AnyTone AT-D878UV and one of the Motorola radios.

April 2, 2019

Revised 5c) General Configuration > Node Type text

Node Type – Determines whether radios with callsigns other than the Pi-Star General Configuration Node Callsign can access the hotspot. When selecting this, keep in mind the regulations in your country pertaining to the control operator function. For a personal hotspot in the U.S., you can set this to Public, but unless you actually intend to allow radios with other callsigns to access the hotspot, it's may be best to leave it set to Private.

Revised section 6 note about regulations and best practices

Important! Be aware that the regulations and best practices that apply to amateur radio—including use of frequencies, control of your station, and on-air etiquette—also apply to your use of a personal, low-power hotspot. It's your responsibility to understand and adhere to those regulations and best practices. My personal practice is that I power on my personal, low-power hotspots only when I'm monitoring and in control of them, adhere to my local band and frequency use plans, and leave adequate pauses between transmissions. For more info, see the regulations governing amateur radio in your country, for example, in the U.S., see CFR Title 47: Part 97 – Amateur Radio Service. See also your country's band plan and your local frequency use plan, for example, in the U.S. State of Colorado: U.S. Band Plan and Colorado Frequency Use Plans.

Added a note to section 6 about the Src (source)

Note 2: For Src (source), you'll see "RF" when you transmit from your radio to the hotspot, which your hotspot will then send out over the internet as data. You'll see "Net" when your hotspot receives a transmission as data from the internet, which it will then retransmit over RF so you can receive it with your radio.

Revised the section 8 Automated overnight updates text

Automated overnight updates – This type of update runs every night as long as your hotspot is on and connected to the internet. It uses standard Raspbian tools to update the radio binaries (MMDVMHost and DStarRepeater), gateways (DMRGateway, ircDDBGateway, etc.), hostfiles, and dashboard. If you are going to leave your hotspot on overnight, remember that you must adhere to the regulations that apply to amateur radio, including control operator rules.

March 24, 2019

Revised disclaimer re: focus on personal, low-power hotspots

Disclaimer:  These are my personal notes based on setting up and using Pi-Star hotspots as a non-technical user figuring things out as I go along, as well as by learning from what others are sharing. These notes are focused on personal, low-power hotspots, not repeaters. I'm not affiliated with the Pi-Star project, except as an enthusiastic user. If anything needs correcting, please let me know.

March 23, 2019

Added note to section 6 about regulations and best practices

Important! Be aware that the regulations and best practices that apply to amateur radio—including use of frequencies, on-air etiquette, and control of your station—also apply to your use of a personal, low-power hotspot. It's your responsibility to understand and adhere to those regulations and best practices. My personal practice is that I power on my personal, low-power hotspots only when I'm using them, adhere to my local band plan, and leave adequate pauses between transmissions. For more info, see the regulations governing amateur radio in your country, for example, in the U.S., see CFR Title 47: Part 97 – Amateur Radio Service. See also your country's band plan and your local frequency use plan, for example, in the U.S. State of Colorado: U.S. Band Plan and Colorado Frequency Use Plans.