- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Interfaces, Radio to computer, amp, rotor, coax switch, internet | Zumspot RPi Help

Reviews Summary for Zumspot RPi
Zumspot RPi Reviews: 10 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $$110 USD
Description: A very sleek DMR, D-Star, P25, System Fusion interface designed to mate with the Raspberry Pi.
Product is in production.
More info:
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Zumspot RPi.

K7XRT Rating: 5/5 Sep 2, 2019 23:49 Send this review to a friend
OLED display..Easy to assemble..Works great on 2.4 Ghz wireless  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Purchased from HRO -Phoenix August 2019.
Purchased the C4 clear case, which requires simple assembly with via the well detailed illustrated instruction sheet and a small Phillips screwdriver.
Treat the radio tophat with care, as you DON'T want to press on the OLED screen. A sticker is in place to remind you. The top of the case completely covers the OLED display.
Apply power to the RIGHT HAND micro USB port. Log on to the Pi-Star panel via your web browser.
Carefully read the thru the instructions! Input your info, make sure you hit APPLY CHANGES. You MAY have to do this a few times. Also hit and let it APPLY UPGRADES! REBOOT will be required... Just a warning IT IS SLOW!!! The OLED display will give you info. There are a row of micro LEDS on the board to indicate POWER ON, MODE,and PTT. Set your radio to the suggested freq on your radio. When all is said and done you'll suddenly hear America Link on your radio, The OLED display will display the type of system you'll be receiving along with call sign and any other info transmitted.
I had mine assembled and fully operational in less then 1 hour.
Mine sits on a shelf constantly connected to my wireless network and purrs away. Only works with 2.4 Ghz wireless systems.
A well designed package, small, very light weight.
It WORKS, well!
ZL1GI Rating: 5/5 Sep 13, 2018 03:43 Send this review to a friend
Great  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought the Zumspot kit with the Pi Zero from HRO. It came with Pi-Star preloaded on the micro SD card.
The Pi-Star software is so easy to setup and configure and the Zumspot worked straight out of the box.
The unit is very neat and small.
Strongly recommend buying the acrylic case at the same time.
N3GBJ Rating: 5/5 Sep 1, 2018 23:41 Send this review to a friend
You won't be disappointed  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I purchased my Zumspot and case from HRO since I don't live that far from the Delaware store. I was having difficulty with my old DVAP for D-Star that I was running with an old Raspberry Pi. The Zumspot takes up about one quarter the space of the old DVAP and Pi combo.

I would be sure to get a case for it to protect it and keep everything nicely together. It's small enough to fit in your pocket. The Zumspot is essentially a shield board that plugs into a Raspberry Pi with a long row of header pins and the case ensures that the pins stay in place and protected. HRO sells the whole package.

I had no trouble preparing the SD card and was on the air relatively quickly.

You may or may not receive an older version of Pi-Star. Be sure to upgrade to the latest version because you will get more crossover modes. Upgrading is done through the pi-star linux shell and is easy to do. The Pi-Star forum has information on this. Later versions of Pi-Star have a "upgrade" menu option to automate the process. This is not the same as "updating" which does not upgrade to a newer version.

As of this review the latest pi-star version is 3.4.16. I think mine came with 3.4.10 or something like that.

With 3.4.16 you can now do NXDN from a DMR or YSF radio. I've also used my TYT MD-380 to talk on D-Star through a cross-mode X-reflector, NXDN, and System Fusion. You can do various other modes as well if you have a System Fusion radio. Pi-Star is upgraded periodically with new features and fixes.

Pi-Star has a good user forum. Also, a fellow with the callsign W1MSG has some excellent Youtube videos on how to do basic setup and maintenance of your Zumspot and pi-star. He even shows you how to update the firmware on your Zumspot using Pi-Star with a single command.
W4NNF Rating: 5/5 Jul 17, 2018 20:19 Send this review to a friend
Amazing!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Well, I decided to get on D-Star. Had a lot of fun for about a month. Then, the (only) D-Star repeater in the area went down following a fierce thunderstorm. Our club has plans to put it back on the air, but it hasn't happened yet a couple of months down the line.

So, I had a new Icom radio I could only use to chat on the analog repeaters. Might just as well have bought a Baofeng. I decided I'd try a Hotspot. My first choice was the Shark RF, which was recommended to me. Just as I was getting ready to order from HRO, I found out it had been discontinued. What to do? they had another hotspot with built in Wi-Fi for less that half the cost of the Shark. Set up looked a lot more complicated, but I decided to give it a try.

The short and sweet? Works perfectly, and the configuration was a lot easier to manage than I feared.

Anyway, the Zumspot arrived from the HRO Atlanta store in just a day. I also ordered a case, and when it arrived, I set about installing the Zumspot. It consists of two boards, one is the actual hotspot board running the Pi-Star software that allows it to do its thing. It is plugged into a Raspberry Pi (tiny) single board computer. All I had to do was plug the Zumspot "hat" into the Raspberry Pi, install the two in the little plastic case, and screw the small antenna onto the Zumspot (it operates on the 440 UHF band).

The Zumspot from HRO comes with the Pi-Star firmware already loaded onto the included Micro SD card, so you don't have to worry about downloading it with a PC, installing it on an SD card etc. All you have to do is configure it. Before you can begin setting up the software, however, you'll have to get the Zumspot connected to your Wi-Fi network.

The recent versions of the Pi-Star firmware, versions 3.4.11 and later, make that very easy. Let the Zumspot boot, connect to it via Wi-Fi with your PC (it will show up in available networks), have it look for and connect to your home network (or whatever) and you are done.

After that, you set your computer back to its normal network, enter the Zumspot's url in your browser, and start configuring it via the web page that comes up. There is really not much to that, and there are several web sites and YouTube videos that will take you through the process in step by step fashion. It consists of stuff like entering your call, your location, the (simplex) frequency you will use, etc. Only catch is that after you complete each configuration section you need to do a "save."

How about setting up your radio? What's involved in that depends on the radio and on the DV mode you use. For me, using an Icom, there was one small catch. I had to set the Zumspot up as a repeater with an offset of zero. I understand that getting the Kenwood D-74 going with a hotspot is fairly involved. For my ID51A, it was simple. All I had to do was setup the Zumspot as a digital repeater with Icom's cloning software, upload that to the radio, and I was in business.

The biggest complement I can give the Zumspot? Using it is no different than using my local D-Star repeater (when it was on the air)...
N1RVN Rating: 5/5 Jun 27, 2018 01:32 Send this review to a friend
Rock solid  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
In one word: set it and forget it. Preparing the SD card is so simple, my 10-year old computer whiz son KN4DJK prepared it for me. I purchased the board and the case from HRO but the Pi Zero W separately from Adafruit.

Putting it all together took me half an hour. Then I threw it in a corner with an old cell phone power supply and never had to touch it since. It simply works. All software updates and activity monitoring done on my desktop computer. Love it!

Now I can use my handy to call any DMR user anywhere on the planet, I'm no longer limited to the talk groups set by the owner of the local repeater.
KB7BYI Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2018 05:12 Send this review to a friend
LOVE IT!!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Picked up my Zumspot from HRO booth while at Dayton 2018. Very easy to set-up and manage. Would highly recommend this hotspot! The form factor is perfect for multiple uses. It is easy to transport from home to car. You will be glad you pick one up for yourself.
KD4EG Rating: 5/5 Mar 19, 2018 09:31 Send this review to a friend
Awesome !  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I only use it on DMR. It is awesome and supported with Pi-Star users group on Facebook. I have used it mobile using my iPhone for internet connection. As such, it works great for mobile and at home. I connected the ZumSpot to my attic UHF antenna. I can cover about 2 mile radius of my home with the MD 380 portable. With that I can access any of the BandMeister TGs and not be concerned about using the TS on the local repeater. Comes in handy if I am out walking the neighborhood etc.
VK5JKS Rating: 5/5 Mar 12, 2018 23:54 Send this review to a friend
Brilliant!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I just acquired a Zumspot Raspberry Pi Zero W combination (built upon Pi-Star and MMDVM), kindly built for me by VK3CM. This is a UHF hotspot supporting DStar, DMR, Fusion, P25 and NXDN. It is housed in a small metallic box the size of a packet of chewing gum. It works either via wifi or Ethernet to USB adapter. ten milliwatts of power allows me to use DStar for about two hundred meters from my hotspot.
The quality is excellent. Configuration was a bit tricky being totally blind, but most of the web interface was fairly accessible. I am extremely happy with the quality and performance of this gem. Please note, this unit contains an RPi board sourced from Australia rather than china.
Note that this unit supports connecting to reflectors using DTMF keys on your radio, without having to set up multiple channels to link and unlink as required by other DStar repeaters. You merely need to set up one memory using DR mode, and then just press PTT and dial up various combinations to link, unlink, get info, etc from the hotspot. For example, while pressing PTT, 0 gives status, # unlinks, *1c or *23c connects to reflector ref001c or ref023c respectively.
I highly recommend this combination which is much cheaper than a nanospot or openspot.
The trickiest part was editing the repeater list in my radio to add the hotspot. You'd think that with the proliphoration of hotspots, this would be made much easier by radio manufacturers, or, even a dummy entry added to the default repeater list downloadable from Then, all you'd need to do is edit the dummy entry and upload to your radio. I'm using a Kenwood TH-D74A radio with this hotspot, another excellent product for another review.
AL7MH Rating: 5/5 Jan 29, 2018 16:57 Send this review to a friend
Best of whatís out there..  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Iíve used a DVMega for several years. Picked up a Zumspot at HRO the other day to put in our car that does not have a Dstar radio in it. My main concern was soldering the 40-pin GPIO header to the Pi Zero. Took my time, all worked well.

Pi-Star is great software. I didnít configure my Zumspot, I put my DVMega card in it, which had my wifi router in tethered iPhone already configured. It booted and worked fine.

Itís sooooo tiny. Very pleased so far. Competition has made all the products better and cheaper.

VE3TMT Rating: 5/5 Oct 22, 2017 17:21 Send this review to a friend
Very slick!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The wait list is long, but well worth it. This slick little DMR, P25, D-Star, Fusion UHF hotspot board combo is just the ticket for those wanting to try out DMR, or the other modes, but don't have access to a digital repeater. The Zumspot board, when paired with the Raspberry Pi Zero W is a very small portable hotspot that you can take anywhere. The Pi Zero W features built in wi-fi and Bluetooth. I have my entire setup, along with a Nextion 3.5" display, all mounted to an LG PMC-1000, 10,000 mAH portable power pack that will easily power the setup for days. I can recharge it with a standard micro USB phone charger.

My DMR radio is a Radioddity GD-77 and I get good reports on DMR. I can take the setup with me when I travel, and if I don't have wi-fi, I can use my cell phone as a wi-fi hotspot, giving me access anywhere, anytime.

Lots of support groups on Facebook should you need help setting things up.

Get one, you won't regret it!

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.