Zumspot Revival (I was wrong!)

Ok so I wrote recently that the ZUMspot Pi boards were no longer available from Bruce and I made the mistake of concluding that meant they were no longer available. Tuns out I was wrong! The ZUMspot Pi boards are available in the USA exclusively from HRO (Ham Radio Outlet)

There’s four listing’s when you do a search on their website for “ZUMspot”

So yup, I was wrong! I’m happy to wrong because it means that you can still get yourself a ZUMspot Pi board!

Death of the ZUMspot

Sadly it’s seems that the Chinese push into the mmdvm hot spot market (aka Jumbospot) has taken its toll on the ZUMspot team and they have ceased operations with a departing notice on mmdvm.blogspot.com stating that they no longer sell the ZUMspot Pi and the MMDVM Pi boards with a further notice advising to visit www.zumspot.com however that domain name no longer resolves!

MMDVM Hotspot with ZUMspot Pi

So I’ve entered the relatively new digital modes (for me anyway) of DMR & YSF. This requires either a digital repeater or personal hotspot to access. The popular way to do this is with a software suite called MMDVM and currently there’s two Raspberry Pi images available that take care of having to build everything yourself. The first is PiStar and the other is by KB5RAB

I’m using the Pi-star image as it’s headless (meaning it doesn’t require a keyboard & monitor to run)and uses a webui to configure and uses a read-only file system once everything is loaded, whereas the KB5RAB is a full Raspbian desktop.  As you can see from the pictures I’m using a Raspberry Pi2 and the ZUMSpot Pi and a dual colour OLED.

When portable I have 10000 (mAh) 5v power pack that is about the same size as the case I’m using for the Pi2, so a few rubber bands double looped holds it all together rather nicely! The ZUMSpot Pi hat is the perfect size for fitting the OLED screen inside the case using some double sided foam tape stuck to the HDMI socket and the very top edge of OLED is resting on the CPU heat sink. Initially I was going to attach the I2C ribbon cable to the bottom of the Raspberry Pi, but if I ever want to swap the ZUMSpot out I’d be without the OLED so instead I attached it to the ZUMSpot hat.

 

Finally links to items…

Pi-Star by Andy Taylor

ZUMSpot Pi by Bruce Given

Generic OLED screen

Generic Nextion screen

 

Cancer Ten Years On

As I’ve mentioned on this blog I had a bit of a run in with Lymphoma back in 2006/2007. Well here we are and ten years have passed so what’s changed in this time? LOTS! But more importantly what has changed within me, the survivor?
Well I’m cancer free, and I have issues related to my treatment that have effected me both physically and mentally. It’s more of the mental health that are my biggest problems.

I have issues with certain parts of the treatment I received, namely Radiotherapy and the high dose of Methotrexate. It was the latter that causes me the most trouble. But why? this is the question that plagues me still. There’s no logic in why I feel the way I do, but if the mind was this simple to question then my issues wouldn’t exist! The issue of Radiotherapy isn’t one of a mental issue but that of a physical. I suffered from burns to my tongue, throat and neck, and the healing of these wounds took longer than it would if my body wasn’t so run down. Today the effects of those burns has affected my taste due to about 2/3rd of my taste buds being removed!

All through this I’d lost my ability to smell, I originally thought it was due to the necrotic tissue that had physically blocked my nose. However several months post radiotherapy and my nose had almost cleared up, but not a hint of my sense of smell was going to return any time soon. 😡

Then finally in 2013 we got around to doing what was planned for 2006! (but only one!)

Arduino Due & Electrosmash pedalSHIELD

I recently purchased an Arduino Due from an $18USD credit from ITEAD. I immediately went searching for something unique to use it for, that’s when I found the ElectroSmash pedalSHEILD and thought that’s the perfect thing.

Above is a picture off Electrosmash’s website showing how it all fits together, below is my finished product. 

It took me about two hours to complete the kit. The instructions were clear and precise and plenty of pictures if you needed to double check something. 

Below is the ITEAD Arduino Due clone that was purchased separately. This is the only board that can be used with the pedalSHIELD Due, however there’s the option for the Arduino Uno called the pedalSHIELD Uno. (not pictured) 

At this stage I’ve tried all the example sketches but haven’t had time yet to try my hand at making something uniquely my own sound.