Pi-Star 3.4.3...Again

The Pi-Star team created a new version of 3.4.3...I think it was supposed to be 3.4.4, as there is a new image with this version number and nothing in the changelog.

Regardless, here are the updates from August 18, 2017.

Dashboard config hardening - there have been reports of issues with the configuration page on the dash failing when submitting any characters that are not alphanumeric. The code has now been hardened to take care of those edge cases and just clean up when you do enter characters that it cannot cope with.P25 SelfOnly - P25 is getting the same Public / Private protection mode as D-Star and DMR. All credit to Jonathan (G4KLX), although there are some Pi-Star patches for it with a pull request submitted upstream. Dashboard fixes - various small fixes to the dashboard to help reduce the errors logged in the webserver log.Testing USB Max Current - Pi-Star never had this option set, I suspect this may be the cause of some of the issues with some USB modems.Modem support impr…

What's New with Pi-Star 3.4.3?

I've been using the Pi-Star image for my hotspots. I like this setup. It uses the same MMDVM and related software as most of the other images. The difference is how they package it and the tools provided for setup and operation.

In their latest release (3.4.3 released on 09-Aug-2017) you will find some nice updates:

This one is a game changer, not only does it have the new, on-board information from BrandMeister, able to show you what TalkGroups / Reflectors you have connected by getting the information directly from the BM network, but also...From this version forwards, *FULL* updates are available. This means that from here on, there should be further reduction in the number of times you ever need to write an image. This is going to be a manual process for the remains of the 3.4.x train, with plans for full automatic coming later!
This may not seem like much, but it's big. In previous versions, the automated update process would update everything except the dashboard. To upda…

Thinking about Hytera

In the beginning A Hytera PD782G was my first DMR radio. It was nice, but everyone I new at the time was getting Motorola radios. I gave mine to my son. He hasn't been using it so I took it back.

When I heard about Talker Alias coming to BrandMeister I wanted to try it. But, it was only supported on Hytera radios and repeaters. So, I didn't get it more thought.

New Excitement Talker Alias is now supported on MMDVMHost-based repeaters and hotspots as well as the OpenSpot. Now, I'm more interested.

I updated the PD782G firmware and setup some channels for the hotspot.

End result, I'm now able to receive Talker Alias on the Hytera radio when it's connected to my hotspot. I'm very excited.

Discoveries Another interesting thing happened along the way. Even though the PD782G is very close to the same size as my XPR7550 I find the PD782G a lot easier to hold in my hand.

There are some other things I like as well. The tuning knob is more responsive, the display has mo…

DMR Nets on BrandMeister

The list of DMR nets has been moved to a permanent page.

You can find it at or using the navigation bar at the top of the page.

Find Out Which Talkgroups are Active on a Repeater

BrandMeister recently added a new feature. This feature allows you to send a text message and get a response.

Here are the details:

Start a messageThe body of the message should be "RPT".Send the message to 262994. This needs to be entered as a private call.

The server will send back a message that looks something like the following:

Hi Michael, WA6LIF PAPA has the following static TGs:


and the following dynamic TGs:

I have had some issues with this, it's not 100% yet. Sometimes it won't let me send the message, other times I get no response.

#OptOutside - Getting Sun On My Radio

I decided to avoid Black Friday and get away from stores, but not site at home watching TV either.

I packed up my Elecraft KX3 and headed for a local park.

The plastic box is for my wire antenna. It has way more stuff than I needed and I think it weighs more than the I may abandon it for future trips. I also brought my 20AH LiFePo3 battery. The voltage didn't drop at all during the entire 3 hours. I'm going to bring a smaller battery next time.

I setup an end-fed wire antenna and operated for about 3 hours. I only made five contacts, but it was still fun. The noise level was much lower than at home.

I need to figure out how to log an NPOTA (National Parks On The Air) contact as I connected to a station in Washington that was calling from a National Park.
The bag is great for the KX3, it is a +Maxpedition Incognito Quad. The inside is just the right size for the KX3, PX3, and my battery. I couldn't have asked for a better fit. There are large and small compartments …

Regional Talkgroups for BrandMester

The BrandMeister team has introduced a set of regional talkgroups. This are similar to the ones we had on C-Bridge.

BrandMeister has added the following US Regional Talk Groups:

Midwest Region TG3169Mountain Region TG3177Mid-Atlantic Region TG3173Northeast Region TG3172Southern Plains Region TG3175Southeast Region TG3174Southwest Region TG3176

Add these to your code plugs as you see fit.