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The Portable D-Star HotSpot is ready for action!

This project took around two months from concept to reality.

It looks amazingly similar to what I saw in my mind when I thought that I should build the DVAP Dongle and Raspberry Pi into a portable system.  Some ideas did change during the layout and construction phase. Originally I was going to put the DVAP/s in the lid of the Pelican case.  It turned out that the cable management system needed to keep everything connected, safe and secure was going to be too messy. I also wanted to keep the number of holes drilled in the Pelican case to a minimum.

As it happened, with careful planning, every component fitted in the base of the Pelican case with room to spare.  I have a location ready for a 70cm DVAP Dongle and even some space left over for fitting a small Li-Ion battery pack in the future with the move of the USB hub from the base plate to under the mount for the DVAP Dongles.

The picture below shows everything in place with support power supply and DC cables packed as well. The Diamond SRH36 antenna simply rotates down on the SMA elbow adapter and is flexible enough to fold around inside the case.

The powder coated aluminium base plate that everything is mounted on can be removed very easily. Most of the cabling can be accessed with the base plate installed in the Pelican case.

The G4KLX ircDDB Gateway and Repeater software running on the Raspberry Pi is fantastic!  I was worried that it (and/or the Linux operating system) would not survive being turned off by "pulling the plug".   The software has proven itself to be most robust in this regard.

The Routerboard RB751U router runs Mikrotik RouterOS.  This combined with my Huawei 3G USB stick gives me internet access wherever I have 3G cellphone coverage.  My ISP uses the Optus 3G network and there is very good coverage in my area.

When I am at home I plug the Raspberry Pi directly into my home network rather than use the 3G connection.   When I am out and about other devices can use the 3G internet connection... either by plugging an Ethernet cable into the RB751U or by using it's built in WiFi access point.  The Raspberry Pi uses DHCP to get it's IP address so I don't need to change any of the network config when swapping between internet connections.

The small Cosel switch-mode 5V 1600mA regulator has been fitted with extra LC filtering and the DC wires go through ferrite cores.  Power input is via an Anderson PowerPole connector.



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Reader Comments (1)

Great video! Very interesting.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEd Sadler

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