- 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 | Jumbo Spot RTQ Help

Reviews Summary for Jumbo Spot RTQ
Jumbo Spot RTQ Reviews: 5 Average rating: 3.8/5 MSRP: $$125
Description: Multi-Mode hotspot using a Pi Zero W + MMDVM_HS hat + OLED
display + case + antenna with Pi-Star loaded and ready to run
on a 8GB MicroSD card. "RTQ" stand for Ready to QSO.
Product is in production.
More info: http://
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Jumbo Spot RTQ.

N3IG Rating: 2/5 Apr 5, 2019 10:01 Send this review to a friend
Quality Control Issues  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought mine from California seller on EBay about 2 months ago.
All was fine for the first month then the screen started going out. Is acting like a cold solder joint.
Still trying to dial in the offset for 0 BER, box stated -200 but I am much closer at -525.
Works ok at connecting to modes but next time I will spend a little more on a better model.
G4AON Rating: 2/5 Feb 7, 2019 22:57 Send this review to a friend
No factory QA  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Mine is a Chinese one from eBay. There are lots advertised, every one that purported to be shipped from a UK address had a legal address in China and the seller listed everything from toilet brushes to garden chairs... buyer beware!

On the face of it, mine appeared to work OK. However, upon checking the RF output level with a spectrum analyser it was only -35 dBm at maximum (should reach +10dBm). Others have reported the same problem, which turns out to be incorrect, or faulty, components in the filter between the SMA socket and the ADF7021 I/C. Its not easy to remove the OLED display (if fitted) and equally difficult to bypass the filter as the SMD parts are tiny and the tracks are thin.

Ignoring the poor RF performance of some of these, the other problem is the generic 500 offset sticker on most of them (mine included). The real offset turned out to be -10, not the value on the sticker...

The firmware version was quite old, fortunately the built in Pi-Star upgrade facility worked 1st time to upgrade the board.

Having fixed the low RF problem and worked out the correct offset, the board works fine and the OLED display is good too.
KD8DVR Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2019 21:39 Send this review to a friend
Great hotspot  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
The MMDVM or "Hot Spot" allows the user to operate their amateur radio equipment on one or more of several digital modes without the use of a repeater. The MMDVM for all practical purposes becomes your private repeater.

I found configuring the hotspot to be easy. I got mine off Ebay. I actually have two. They do require computer literacy and some moderate technical aptitude. Instructions provided may vary from seller to seller. I found on both my purchases the instructions to be useless. I did, however do my homework once purchased. There are numerous tutorials online and i suggest you read/view them BEFORE purchase. There are system tweaks that require adjustment to use the device to its full potential.

The hotspots, once configured, are a "set them and forget them" type deal, unless you like to play around and use different servers and modes from time to time.

Their range with the provided antenna is sufficient to cover most standard properties, and certainly any house. I took a VX-7R antenna and now get a quarter mile range or more. I can make it from my apartment to the swimming pool easily.

Hotspot firmware updates are easy; but it is recommended you know what you are doing. Updates to the operating system, pi-star are even easier. If you don't want to update the operating system yourself, don't worry. Every night the hotspot "phones home" and downloads the latest version and/or support files.*

* NOTE: As of this writing, pi-star is at version 4, which requires a manual install of the operating system to the SD card of the hotspot. Once manually installed, future updates will be handled automatically.

The hotspot also includes a CW ID, which identifys after a set period of time. This makes the device compliant with amateur radio regulations. (I've heard some models don't have this capability, but mine do). It is required, if you have the capability, to enable the CWID. It is NOT enabled by default.

Audio quality is dependent on your internet quality and other factors. It passes the datastream to and from the internet.

I love mine and being an apartment dweller, consider them to be a Godsend. Highly recommended.
W2RDK Rating: 5/5 Apr 7, 2018 06:20 Send this review to a friend
Other models available  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Agree with K9OJ's review. I also got mine from AliExpress. Took about 6 weeks from order to arrival. Mine needed to have the antenna connector, header pins and OLED soldered to the board. Easy with the right tools. Added it to my RPiZeroW, configured Pi-Star and we were off and running on DMR. Have since ordered another board less the case and OLED for another project. Now that the ZumSpots are no longer available, this is a cost effective alternative. RX & TX offsets are now labeled on the boards for easier configuration on Pi-Star. Set mine as labeled and worked fine. For the cost, these can't be beat!
K9OJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 6, 2018 06:53 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic Value in Multi-Mode Hotspot  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The Jumbo Spot RTQ comes ready to run with Pi-Star preloaded on an 8GB MicroSD card. I added the wifi file to the SD card and the Jumbo Spot fired up and joined my wifi network.

The Jumbo Spot can do Yaesu System Fusion (YSF), YSF-to-DMR, DMR, D-STAR, P25 and NXDN. it came with MMDVM version 1.3.3 and Linux kernel 4.9.35+ installed.

I'm using the Jumbo Spot for D-STAR and DMR. It uses the very easy to use but powerful Pi-Star software for configuration and control. I got the Jumbo Sport RTQ from for $115 but it took about three weeks for delivery. Although it runs off a Pi Zero W it performs just as well as my $299 Nano-Spot with its more powerful four core processor. The Nano-Spot comes in a nice case and has an external WiFi antenna but the two hotspots are functionally almost identical.

I found my Jumbo Spot likes an RXOffset and TXOffset of 400.

I'm very happy with this little hotspot. 73 de K9OJ

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