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New MFJ TNC-PI (maybe) ALTERNATIVE at Less Cost.


Larry Macionski
 

I have been using a HAM RADIO PROJECTS DINAH to access ALLSTAR on a Raspberry PI. Excellent product, Excellent cottage industry out of Michigan.

Just today on www.groups.io --DINAH blog, -Mike KJ7OWD indicated that the DINAH works perfect with DIREWOLF as a APRS I-GATE...
https://groups.io/g/DINAH/topics
This was just posted TODAY and CAVEAT -all of it's capabilities have not been uncovered or documented. 

I have run the TNC-PI with XASTIR years ago, but understand DIREWOLF is more robust.

The DINAH is available as a kit ($35+$8 ship), or assembled ($45+$8ship) and comes with a 6pin to 6 pin DIN cable that plugs into many 2-way ham radio data ports, such as my Yaesu FT-817 or Kenwood TM-V7A.  Preliminary as it is, it is less expensive that the MFJ.
Info on the DINAH
https://hamprojects.info/dinah/

They also make a SHARI - same idea except it comes with a 300-500MW VHF or UHF transceiver for local operation.

So let the experimenting begin.....

Larry W8LM


Martin Cooper
 

DINAH has been around for a while, as have its relatives, BRIAN and SHARI. If you've seen any of the numerous posts around the web about how to modify a USB sound fob for Allstar, that's essentially what DINAH is, except that they've designed their own USB sound PCB with those mods built in, and packaged it with a 6-pin mini-DIN socket for convenience.

BRIAN is effectively DINAH packaged together with the innards of a Baofeng BF-888S radio. SHARI is the same thing, but using a NiceRF SA818 instead of the Baofeng.

Martin.
KD6YAM

On Wed, Oct 21, 2020 at 12:18 PM Lawrence Macionski via groups.io <am_fm_radio=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
I have been using a HAM RADIO PROJECTS DINAH to access ALLSTAR on a Raspberry PI. Excellent product, Excellent cottage industry out of Michigan.

Just today on www.groups.io --DINAH blog, -Mike KJ7OWD indicated that the DINAH works perfect with DIREWOLF as a APRS I-GATE...
https://groups.io/g/DINAH/topics
This was just posted TODAY and CAVEAT -all of it's capabilities have not been uncovered or documented. 

I have run the TNC-PI with XASTIR years ago, but understand DIREWOLF is more robust.

The DINAH is available as a kit ($35+$8 ship), or assembled ($45+$8ship) and comes with a 6pin to 6 pin DIN cable that plugs into many 2-way ham radio data ports, such as my Yaesu FT-817 or Kenwood TM-V7A.  Preliminary as it is, it is less expensive that the MFJ.
Info on the DINAH
https://hamprojects.info/dinah/

They also make a SHARI - same idea except it comes with a 300-500MW VHF or UHF transceiver for local operation.

So let the experimenting begin.....

Larry W8LM


Larry Macionski
 
Edited

The point I was making is DINAH can be used with / for DIREWOLF. It's just been done and reported elsewhere. DINAH cost as a kit or Assembled is far less than a MFJ TNC-PI. https://Hamprojects.info introduced a PI HAT SHARI the last few days. So interesting things are taking place.


Martin Cooper
 

And the point I was making is that DINAH is basically just a USB sound fob, so of course it can be used with Direwolf, just as almost all sound cards can. As for cost, I personally feel that $35+ for a USB sound fob kit is rather a lot when I can buy one that works well for a couple of dollars on eBay and modify it for a dollar or two in parts. However, I do realise that many will appreciate the prebuilt and pretested nature of DINAH, especially if they want an Allstar interface.

I do agree that interesting things are happening, and that the PiHat is one of those interesting things.

Martin.
KD6YAM

On Thu, Oct 22, 2020 at 6:52 AM Lawrence Macionski via groups.io <am_fm_radio=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:

[Edited Message Follows]

The point I was making is DINAH can be used with / for DIREWOLF. It's just been done and reported elsewhere. DINAH cost as a kit or Assembled is far less than a MFJ TNC-PI. https://Hamprojects.info introduced a PI HAT SHARI the last few days. So interesting things are taking place.


 

Have they been tested at 9600 baud packet?  It appears there are caps in the audio paths so that may limit the bandwidth needed.

Thanks,
Bill

On Thu, Oct 22, 2020, 6:51 AM Lawrence Macionski via groups.io <am_fm_radio=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
The point I was making is DINAH can be used with / for DIREWOLF. It's been done and reported elsewhere. DINAH cost as a kit or Assembled is far less than a MFJ TNC-PI. https://Hamprojects.info introduced a PI HAT SHARI the last few days. So interesting things are taking place.


Larry Macionski
 

Martin...
Additionally the DINAH comes with a 6pin mini DIN to 6 pin mini DIN cable to plug directly into about 25 radio's without modification. I have built a number of USB sound FOB's and I find that ,"dead bug" soldering things like PTT transistors and then encapsulating the project to insure good mechanic-ability.The DINA offers a PC board that all radio connections leaving the board go through a 6pin DIN socket to a pre-made cable. I bet you solder the cable to "dead bug" points and solder pads of removed audio jacks. I've seen those solder pads lift.
Look at it this way. For a few dollars more-
You get a known good sound chip, not some unknown "fake" chip knockoff. It plugs into the RPI.. It has a socket for the cable and so does your radio. Do you don't have to make a cable.  When it come to trouble shooting,  You can by substitution quickly determine where the problem lies. After all the SD card is socketed. So you can try an other SD card, another RPI, another USB port, another DINAH, another Cable, another radio... 
You never know what is in the $3 USB sound FOB, and the minute it's cracked open it's yours.
Finally, Given my introduction into ALLSTAR was with locals using DMK URIx's at $85 a copy.. A DINAH at $35 seems like a bargain and do it your self EBAY special my not be worth the time.  Plus your supporting a Michigan cottage entrepreneur.


KP3FT
 

It's true the same thing can be fabricated cheaper, which is what I do here, but for $35 the DINAH is actually a good deal.  A big plus with the DINAH is that the onboard GPIO pin on the CM108/119 chip which can be used for PTT by Direwolf, SoundModem, and others, is already set up for PTT.  It's extremely difficult to solder to that pin when home-brewing... and the pin isn't soldered to the board itself on the Ebay sound cards (at least the ones I've worked on), so it breaks off very easily if the wire isn't secured first.

One trick when homebrewing with the Ebay cards is to not remove the IN/OUT jacks and instead loop the wires through them for strain-relief, and solder to the pads on top of the jacks.


Martin Cooper
 

See the 2nd photo here for what the HamProjects folks did with their BRIAN product.


That's essentially the same path that I've followed.

Good question about 9600 baud packet. The DINAH page talks about selecting between 1200 and 9600, and the PCB has a jumper on the bottom for it, so one could assume that it's been tested.

Martin.
KD6YAM

On Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 9:26 AM Lawrence Macionski via groups.io <am_fm_radio=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Martin...
Additionally the DINAH comes with a 6pin mini DIN to 6 pin mini DIN cable to plug directly into about 25 radio's without modification. I have built a number of USB sound FOB's and I find that ,"dead bug" soldering things like PTT transistors and then encapsulating the project to insure good mechanic-ability.The DINA offers a PC board that all radio connections leaving the board go through a 6pin DIN socket to a pre-made cable. I bet you solder the cable to "dead bug" points and solder pads of removed audio jacks. I've seen those solder pads lift.
Look at it this way. For a few dollars more-
You get a known good sound chip, not some unknown "fake" chip knockoff. It plugs into the RPI.. It has a socket for the cable and so does your radio. Do you don't have to make a cable.  When it come to trouble shooting,  You can by substitution quickly determine where the problem lies. After all the SD card is socketed. So you can try an other SD card, another RPI, another USB port, another DINAH, another Cable, another radio... 
You never know what is in the $3 USB sound FOB, and the minute it's cracked open it's yours.
Finally, Given my introduction into ALLSTAR was with locals using DMK URIx's at $85 a copy.. A DINAH at $35 seems like a bargain and do it your self EBAY special my not be worth the time.  Plus your supporting a Michigan cottage entrepreneur.