I was on my way to San Francisco International Airport while involved with Charlie’s (N6JOA) net control on DMR Talk Group: 31068. I was in San Francisco South West part of San Francisco, and I was trying to stay connected with CARLA’s K6LNK DMR repeater, but was not having a good shot at it — moving farther away, in a car, in between buildings, with a hand-held transceiver were contributing factors of RF impediment.
When I got to the airport, I had a clean LOS to CARLA’s K6LNK DMR repeater and had strong RF. After N6JOA’s net control, I migrated over to Talk Group 3100, and I chatted with Ben (KC2RXV), and he introduced me to the Shark RF openSpot.
The Shark RF openSpot is a small transmitter that connects to the ethernet in order to access the wi-fi network. Through the wi-fi network, it access a DMR HAM repeater, and through that DMR HAM repeater, HAM operators are able to access the various DMR Talk Groups; hence, the Shark RF openSpot acts as a repeater; and, it is useful for HAM operators that do not have access to a DMR repeater.
The Shark RF openSpot provides strong RF throughout in a radius of ~200 feet; so, it is more than strong enough to provide strong RF in your home to your hand-held transceiver thus enabling you to access the DMR network and join your favorite Talk Groups.
If you wanted to, you can make the Shark RF openSpot portable by purchasing a portable power pack and a portable wi-fi adapter, such as, TP-Link, which I use, and connect the TP-Link to your iOS or Android mobile phone’s hot-spot.
Another alternative to a portable DMR repeater is the DVMega Bluestack Mini.
The DVMega BlueStack Mini just needs one cable — the power cable. The DVMega BlueStack Mini connects to the bluetooth of your iOS or Android’s mobile phone. You can use it in your house or be mobile with it.
Both devices, the Shark RF openSpot and the DVMega BlueStack Mini use there respective application to set things up. If you use a portable router, like TP-Link, that also uses a web-application to set up.
The DVMega BlueStack Mini’s application is easier to use than the Shark RF openSpot; because, the DVMega BlueStack Mini can be set up by downloading its application to your mobile phone, pairing it up to your mobile phone’s bluetooth, make setting adjustments, and your up and running in less than 15 minutes.
Though the DVMega BlueStack Mini might be easier to set up, I find the Shark RF openSpot to have a stronger RF more reliable and a better quality packet transmission — less dropped packets and less voice pixelation.
My setup is the Shark RF openSpot is my home repeater, and the DVMega BlueStack Mini is my portable mobile repeater.
/s/ Alfonso Faustino (K6ASF)