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Reviews For: SharkRF OpenSpot IV pro

Category: Interfaces, Radio to computer, amp, rotor, coax switch, internet

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Review Summary For : SharkRF OpenSpot IV pro
Reviews: 10MSRP: $319 + shipping
Multimode transcoding hotspot
Product is in production
More Info:
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WD1V Rating: 2023-09-17
XMIT with No Radio Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
SharkRF OpenSpot IV pro lets you use your computer, tablet, or phone for Voice over IP to enable DMR, D-Star, Fusion, etc. with no radio. Check their web page to download free app.
NJ2VT Rating: 2023-09-16
Fantastic Hotspot! Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I am a digital mode enthusiast with over 7 years experience programming and operating the various digital modes available on VHF/UHF.

The openSPOT4 PRO's features are great, and having (10) configuration memories is superb. I like that the user can actually use the unit as a receiver, or using the openSPOT app, a transceiver.

Initially I had issues with the unit dropping packets on all DMR networks except for Brandmeister, and I thought there might be an issue with the OS4PRO, but the problem was actually traced to my Xfinity router. A swap-out to another router cured the issue for me.

The unit is very compact. Because of the internal antenna, be advised that useable range on this hotspot is limited, and is nowhere near the range of the original openSPOT. The takeaway from this is that hotspot location is key; as long as you get a strong RF signal to the unit, and your WiFi is good, you'll be fine.

All in all, the unit makes a great addition to the shack, but it really shines if you want to do digital modes in your mobile. The OS4PRO is battery powered, and if you use your phone as a WiFi hotspot, you're good to go. The user interface is top-notch, and with all those configuration memories, changing networks is a snap. I highly recommend this unit.
AB9PM Rating: 2023-08-07
Great item Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have the Open Spot 4, not the Pro version. Out of the box I found it very easy to use, and program. It is a common sense menu for whatever reflector you wish to join. I use the YSF reflectors.

My main purpose was to use this in the car with my phone, so that when repeaters went quiet I had another option to listen to, and make contacts. It covers all areas of my 1.2 acres with full quieting sitting on my desk, and in the car it is great, no connection issues. I like using the Open Spot so much, I pulled my Wires-X cable out of the radio, and use nothing but the Open Spot.

The only issue I had was handing off the home WIFI and going to the cell phone WIFI. After watching a You Tube video, they suggested using the same name and password as your home WIFI on the phone, and it then works seamlessly. Another person suggested resetting the Open Spot after leaving home, but I am traveling in the car and don't like to fiddle with some device while I am already on a state Hi-way.

Having it switch seamlessly is just the greatest thing. I can have the menu for the Open Spot sitting on my phone's internet page quite easily.

I now have two sitting on my desk, one on one frequency for YSF reflectors, and one on Brandmeister DMR on another frequency. I have my radios programmed to scan between them looking for the next contact. I have them set to transmit at 5 milliwatts, as it was covering my entire village, and the cow pastures around it for quite a distance.

Great device, will there be another openspot 4 in my future?????
K4GTE Rating: 2023-04-03
Outstanding Hotspot Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
Outstanding unit, easy to configure. As others have stated, if you're having issues with it, it's most likely your wifi/internet connection.
WM4RB Rating: 2023-04-03
Love mine Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
No problems at all. Easy setup.
KO4XJ Rating: 2022-11-29
Works GREAT! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
After using a few Zumspot for several years I decided to purchase the OS4 PRO and while it's cost is an investment, so is most ham gear, I've decided it was well worth the investment. My use is different than maybe others. I work nights and carry my HT (ID51+2) and it's nice to carry the OS4 without even noticing the weight. As far as setting up, it's a breeze and after learning the setup, changing reflectors and profiles is a snap. Speaking of speed, it boots up and connects before you know it. All the cross mode audio reports have been very good. If I wanted to criticize something, I would like a better dashboard, more towards the pi-star layout. Buy the SHARKRF dashboard works like it's suppose too. Great product.
KQ4EGC Rating: 2022-11-28
Easy to use, hassle free, great compatibility Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I was able to setup the device in minutes super easily and jump onto Yaesu YSF Reflectors with ease on both my ICOM ID-52A and my Yaesu FT5D. Both the iPhone app, SharkRF Link, and web interface both worked well and look great. The interfaces offer loads of options and configurations for fine tuning your experience while also keeping things super simple to just plug in with power, set up, select a digital room, and go. I am super pleased with my purchase and would definitely recommend these devices.
W9AC Rating: 2022-11-14
Upgraded From SharkRF OpenSpot 2 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Having owned an OpenSPOT 2, network setup was very easy. Audio quality is much improved with the OpenSPOT 4 Pro. That in and of itself was worth the upgrade price.
W4HTP Rating: 2022-11-13
Pro 4 works good, but support lacking Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have owned an OpenSpot since 2016. It still works just fine. I was interested in updating because of the OpenSpot Pro 4 Wifi, internal battery and cross-mode with several DV modes inc. D-Star. I just felt like my OS from 2016 was a bit dated. The OpenSpot 4 Pro was on sale, so I jumped on it. The delivery was amazing - ordered on Sunday, it shipped from Estonia on Monday and I had it by 4 PM on Tuesday - yes, the next day!

I was familiar, so setup was a breeze. I worked through some of the new features and created 6 profiles that are switchable from the radio. All was well. I was very happy; even though the battery life is nowhere near advertised. You'll get maybe 10% of the advertised battery life if actually in-use. 30 hours - fat chance.

Recently an app was released called SharkRF Link. I installed it on my Android phone and PC. The ability of the app to function as a transceiver was enticing. However, there were connection issues. I wrote support and was told to turn on Beta updates. That fixed the app connection issue, but created a problem with the profiles causing a boot-loop. Pro tip - Always turn on the feature to boot to Profile #1 and keep that profile very clean as a failsafe.

I wrote support again and they couldn't duplicate the boot-loop problem. The correspondences from SharkRF are minimalist - very lacking in detail or even friendliness. They then told me to use the recovery app to get back to the Stable version. Well, that caused a bigger problem in that all the profiles I had backed up would not restore because they were created in the Beta - I had to re-created all my profiles and now the Brandmeister API would not work and still doesn't. Support showed no care for the cascading problems or still unresolved BM API issue.

Ultimately, support wrote to tell me they analyzed my Profiles, found the bug and suggested I install another Beta v30. Really? I want a reliable, stable device. They know in detail the problems and wasted time their v29 Beta caused. They didn't apologize or show any sympathy for the troubles or that the BM API still won't work - they tell me to install Beta v30. Pfft

In conclusion, the OpenSpot 4 Pro works great if there are no issues. If you have issues, don't have high hopes for personable service from SharkRF or that they will resolve ALL the problems caused by their advice. Buy the OpenSpot with your fingers crossed. If all goes well, you will love it. YMMV
K7NG Rating: 2022-09-12
Pricey, but I'm learning it's probably worth it. Time Owned: 3 to 6 months.
I had a very nice hotspot that worked fine except for a few idiot-syncrasies, but it would no longer update Pi-Star (Chinese clone Pi-less-than-Zero inside). I was away from radio & hotspots for about a year and the market had changed... I got an OpenSpot 4 Pro for a variety of reasons.
There is a learning curve to getting an OpenSpot() up and running the first time. However pretty soon the way it worked started making sense and I found it was not only fairly easy to work with but gave me a sense that the designers had thought of almost everything.

I was a little put off by the fact that there is no provision for an external antenna (neither radio nor WiFi) but I can go anywhere in the house with the hotspot tx power turned down to a milliwatt, no trouble. I guess it didn't need that external antenna after all. Same thing with wi-fi, anywhere in the house and the wi-fi throughput stays right up there.

Once I got my mind right as far as the SharkRF software goes, I found (so far) that the OpenSpot is easier to deal with than the PiStar hotspot I'd had before. (That's right folks, this is NOT running on PiStar).

It's designed to run off an internal battery or powered from a supplied USB-C cable. The internal battery lasts a good long while with the tx power at 1 mW and the indicator light down to 1/2 brightness. All interfacing with the unit is via the HTML application for your PC. The application will tell you if a firmware upgrade is lurking.

It does lots of digital modes, more than I have any interest or intent of using.

I got the OpenSpot 4 Pro for a few extra dollars because I have specific needs that are addressed by the Pro version but not by the standard model. Probably most people could go with the standard version.