I've used Pi-star now for around a year and a half. The first screen I used with the Zumspot was a 0.96" OLED screen (I thought it was awesome!) but after a while I started seeing other amateur radio guys were using the Nextion screen/s These are an amazing piece of equipment they run on 5v and have many uses, the main one I'll be using is the NX4832K035_011 this is the advance type. Basically the only difference between the two (normal & advanced) is the on board memory, RTC and GPIO available for use with external items (not used for MMDVM)
As you can see above there are six screens! I used a sheet of 400x400x8mm polycarbonate (plexiglass) and cut it down to make it match the border (25mm) There is still enough space to get access to the micro SD card for updating the screen code.
Here's the finished product in place, I'll need to do a bit of cable management as it's bit untidy but overall I'm happy with the end result.
New radio day (well two days ago) I've been lucky enough to have been bought (birthday) the Yaesu FTM-7250D to replace the Yaesu FT-90R that has been in the car for almost as long as I've owned it! So far I'm impressed with the radio and its operation is almost identical to the Yaesu FT-70D hand-held.
System Fusion-II Compatible
Operates Advanced C4FM Digital and Conventional FM modes
AMS (Automatic Mode Select) function automatically recognizes the signal as C4FM digital or conventional FM
Sophisticated Digital-Group-ID (DG-ID) Operation
Digital-Group-ID (DG-ID) Memory Feature : Up to 10 DG-ID pairs with alpha-numeric tags
True 50 Watts (VHF and UHF) Stable High-Power Transmitter with FACC
AMS with Multi-colored large LED Mode-Indicator Effortless FM and C4FM Operation – 225 Memory Channels with Alpha-numeric tags (maximum 8 characters)
Wideband Receive for 108MHz – 579.995MHz (108 – 137MHz: Airband)
Weather Broadcast Reception
Severe Weather Alert Feature
Easily connect with the WIRES-X linking system (Not support operation of WIRES-X Node Station)
Keyboard entry of operating frequencies from the microphone – CTCSS and DCS Encode/Decode, with split Tone – Versatile Scan features : VFO scan, Preferential Memory scan, Programmable memory scan and Dual watch
It's early days, but would I recommend this radio? Yes I would, because for the price ($399AUD) you're getting a dual band & dual mode (FM & C4FM) radio.
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.
I got a phone call at around 17:45 to ask me what I had planned for the evening! I was just a little non committal at first, but after I phoned the contact from the IMT the picture was looking pretty grim so I put aside my reluctance and headed to Cambridge.