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WPSD Software Project FAQs and FMS

Many repeated questions and statements have surfaced as WPSD grows in world-wide usage, so the following is a compiled list of the FAQs and FMS we have gathered over time…

“Is there a user manual?”

Yes there is, and you can view the WPSD User Manual online. (Note: this is new’ish and is a work-in-progress. Contributors welcome!)

“Do you have disk images for hardware/plaftorms other than what’s listed on the website?”

If it’s not listed on the website, there is no disk image for it.

When I and the few volunteer developers have access to and time to work on other platforms and architectures, we plan on supporting and providing disk images for those platforms. You can help too.

“I have an Orange Pi Zero 2. Will the WPSD Orange Pi Zero disk image work with this?”

No. See FAQ entry immediately above this one. It’s a completely different board/architecture. We hope to release a disk image for the OPi Zero 2 in the future, however.

“Does WPSD work on the new RaspberryPi 5?!”

Not quite yet. It’s a completely different architecture, and it requires a newer/different operating system. However…
We do have a closed beta test for a new Bookworm-based universal RPi disk image currently in progress, which works on the RPi-5. Once we feel it’s stable enough, it will be released and available.

“Help!!! It doesn’t work!!!”

Read this immediately.

“Do I have to use DMRGateway for various DMR Networks? I used to be able to select a single DMR master from a huge drop-down list!”

You don’t have to, but it’s the only supported method; as DMR “direct mode” in MMDVMHost is the “old”, legacy way. You can always manually enter the information in your MMDVMHost config file yourself. DMRGateway is the preferred, supported method.

It is strongly suggested that you thoroughly read my DMR Operation & Functionality with WPSD document.

“The dashboard is so slow! And my CPU utilization is very high on my Pi Zero!”

As I’ve written in many other places, WPSD was never written for single-core, low-powered/weak hardware. You need a modern Raspberry Pi (or equivalent clone) with 4 cores; such as a Pi Zero 2, Pi 2, 3, 4, etc. to enjoy its full benefits. The dashboard itself will run on an older single-core Pi Zero, just very slowly. Caveat emptor.

Full details on this can be found in a dedicated document.

“Can I access the dashboard from a display connected to the hotspot HDMI port?”

Not out-of-the box; that is not what WPSD ws designed to do. The dashboard is accessed via a web browser. Many browsers can “cast” to other displays (that’s what I do). Think of WPSD on a hotspot as an “appliance”; like your WiFi router/access point.
Please don’t ask how to make the dashboard on HDMI work.

“Can I listen to QSO’s with WPSD, but without a ham radio?”

No. You need a ham radio. Unless, if you have a DVMega CAST device; these are unique IP “radios”, and work out-of-the box with no rig required. The CAST is the rig.

“I downloaded the RPi image, and when I go to the dashboard, I get a 502 Gateway Error”

This is a known issue with the very-dated, 1st gen. Raspberry Pi Zero-W with a single-core CPU. After booting, simply wait about 30 minutes to access your dashboard for the first time. Otherwise, SSH into your hotpot with an SSH client, and run…

sudo wpsd-update

…then simply refresh your dashboard.

Full details on this can be found in a dedicated document.

Note: If you insist on a Pi Zero form factor, it is recommended that you swap it for a Pi Zero-2. I have many, and they are both great performers, and are low-cost.

“I use DMR, and I want to enable Timeslot 1/ use two Timeslots. How can I do that?”

Only duplex modems support two timesots (1 & 2).

Simplex modems (which are most modems) only support one timeslot; which is timeslot 2.

If you switch to a duplex modem, you will need to choose the correct duplex modem from the list in the WPSD configuration page, and it will automatically enable timeslot 1 and timeslot 2.

“I really want to use M17. How do I update my modem firmware to add M17 supprt???”

See the page, How to Update the MMDVM_HS & Other Hotspot Modem Firmware in WPSD for details.

“Can I change the colors, etc. of the Live Caller Screen?”

There is no user interface facility that supports this.

“Why do I get ‘Update Available’ notifications? I thought WPSD updates itself?”

WPSD updates itself automatically between the hours of 0100 and 0359 Local Time (times are randomized daily). And we recommend that you always leave your hotspot powered-on to take advantage of these frequent updates.

Since I am in USA Central Time (-6 UTC), I sometimes release updates during the day in my local time, and those updates have not been “queued” for the automatic nightly updates yet for your local time; hence the “Update Available” notifications. In these cases you have some options:

  • Click the Update button
  • Ignore the Update Available notification; and it will auto-update in the middle of the night if left powered-on.

You can also disable update notifications in the configuration page, if you wish. Updates will still occur if left powered-on all night, regardless of this setting.

Note: We recommend that you leave your hotspots powered-on 24/7 to take advantage of the frequent nightly updates!

“The Caller Details (and other) functions are disabled and grayed out!!! Help!!!”

Your hardware is too weak to support these (resource intensive) features. It clearly says this when you hover over the (disabled) option.

“Do I need to use the 4/5/6/7/8/9/etc. DMR talkgroup prefixes for network X/Y/Z/etc?”

You don’t have to, and you can manually change these prefixes (or remove them) in the DMRGateway config file, but you will likely lose the TG name lookup functionality if you enabled it.

“The original Pi-Star software did/has/can do X/Y/Z, but this software doesn’t!!!???!”

You absolutely need to understand, that this software is very different. Please read the documentation; specifically the section entitled “Features, Enhancements and Omissions”. Comparing WPSD to “the other software” is largely invalid.

“I have my DMR codeplugs setup for no prefixes/prefix “N” and I don’t wanna change them! But I still want to use DMRGateway!!”

Don’t be a lazy ham. Either change your codeplugs, or hand-edit the DMRGateway config for your desired prefix (or no prefix).

“What is the “Node Type Public/Private” option?”

If you must ask, you should leave it set to private.

“I run a repeater/‘public hotspot’, and I’m trying to set it up for fully-open, public usage; but I can’t make it public unless I enter/whitelist every single DMR/CCS7 ID/Callsign?!?!”

Not true; If you are a true repeater keeper/sysop/owner, you should be aware, or become aware of MMDVMHost’s configuration file options to make it wide-open and fully-public. I will not cover them here. You will note, that this software is mainly geared toward personal hotspot management vs. public repeater/“public hotspot” management. (Hint: SelfOnly=0)

“What’s the “DMR Roaming Beacon” option?”

It’s for actual repeater (not hotspot) usage. And if you run a DMR repeater, and still don’t know what a DMR Roaming beacon is, you should probably leave it alone.

“How can I reset my installation?!?! I broke stuff!”

Simply go to the Configuration page, then click the “Factory Reset” button in the top navigation menu. This will reset your installation and allow you to reconfigure it from a fresh start.

“I want feature X/Y/Z!!!”

Then roll up your sleeves and contribute the feature/code. See next FAQ…

“Hey can you do X/Y/Z for me?! / Can you add X feature???”

No. We don’t accept feature requests (rather, we accept and embrace code contributions). The WPSD team is very small (me and a few developers). We can’t possibly field feature requests for thousands of users.

“How to I modify WPSD to do X/Y/Z?”

WPSD is offered as-is. You would be on your own with code modifications, and we will not guide/support/help you. Here’s all the source code. Please do not ask us how to modify the code - we are not your instructors.

“I have made my own code modifications to WPSD, and they keep getting over-written! How can I prevent that!?”

Since WPSD is production-quality software installed on thousands of hotspots (and repeaters) around the globe, we have to support them and keep them up-to-date.

If and when you make your own local code changes, those changes will be blown away and reset to our production software. This is by design.

We don’t support modified WPSD installations/instances, and we also don’t provide support for avoiding your own code changes from being overwritten.

The WPSD project is open source, and you can do all this yourself and you’re on your own; so please don’t ask about supporting or retaining your own local code changes.

“Hey I have this idea for WPSD / Hey I got WPSD to do X/Y/Z!!!”

Cool. So go to submit code for everyone’s’ benefit. We embrace contributions/results.

“Will EchoLink/SvxLink/AllStarLink Be Integrated Into WPSD?”

The current team has no plans for this. If someone ever contributes very compelling code for this integration, we would consider it.

(We’ve seen some very hacky and poor-quality implementations of this by a few others out there in the wild, which is likely why they haven’t contributed these changes back upstream to our official project [we would reject the code in their current states].)

“I am attempting to update/flash my MMDVM modem firmware, and it fails with a “Failed to Init Device” error message!”

You will need to research and determine how to unlock/flash/manage your modem, as there are myriad types/variants, etc. We do not develop modems nor their firmware - we simply provide the scripts to easily upgrade/flash them for you. Ergo, we do not offer modem nor firmware support, as they are not a part of WPSD software.

“I installed WPSD on my TGIFspot with a Nextion display. Now the display isn’t working like it used to!”

This means that you neglected to read about the known issues and incompatibilites.

Are WPSD the disk images/software that ZUMradio / DVMEGA / BridgeComm use on their products, the same as on the WPSD website?

Yes they are! 😄 These vendors use the exact same custom disk images on their devices.
We created them to their exacting standards/requirements, and per our policy and open source license, we release and make them available as free and open source software for everyone.

I have DVMEGA hardware. Is WPSD compatible for it?

Yes. We currently have official custom disk images for the DVMEGA EuroNode hotspot, as well as the DVMega Cast Device; and you can get them from the WPSD homepage.

[Note about DVMEGA: There seem to be two DVMEGA companies which confuses folks. There’s the original DVMEGA group at https://www.dvmega.nl/ who sells through authorized resellers. We work directly with these guys; and they produce top-quality products.

And then there’s “DvMega LTD” from the UK https://www.dvmega.co.uk/ who produces products such as “GENESIS Nodes”, etc. and sells direct. I/we know absolutely nothing about the “DvMega LTD/Limited” products, so you’d be on your own if you decide to try WPSD on them. From the looks of it; their hardware is basic, commodity internal hardware like any home-brew or common online store hotspot. (I.e. Raspberry Pi’s with clone MMDVM_HS_Hat boards.)]

“Does WPSD support or work on X/Y/Z brand hotspots?”

Currently, we work directly with the following, most-prominent commercial hotspot vendors/manufacturers:

  • DVMega (the original/official DVMega from The Netherlands)
  • ZUMradio (USA)
  • BridgeCom (USA)

These are the commercial hotspot vendors/manufacturers for which we build specific and custom WPSD disk images to their specifications.

If you have a different brand, etc., and it has a host computer board-type that matches any of our available disk images, it will likely work. This also applies to home-brew hotspots. The WPSD community is helpful in providing support for home-brew/home-built hotspots (see FAQ below regarding decent-quality modems you can acquire if you’d like to build your own).

“Why don’t you have disk images for X/Y/Z brand hotspots?”

At this time, we tend (and prefer) to work directly only with commercial and well-established hotspot manufacturers/vendors; and there are few really decent ones. This is because we find that their hardware and components are of high-quality and are superior to most other junk that crosses our benches & labs (as well as users’ shacks); so this provides an overall better user experience from both a software and hardware perspective.

Additionally, these commercial vendors are also the only vendors that “give back” to the WPSD and MMDVM and related projects, which helps make them better projects for everyone (“giving back” can include sponsoring, code contributions, hardware, etc.).

Other “brands” really aren’t brands/vendors at all; they’re simply pre-assembled in tiny quantities using commodity components; and use cloned/stolen modem designs (“JumboSpot” and its many copied derivatives; bad copies of DB9MAT/DF2ET/D07EN boards; bad copies of ZUM boards, etc.), which are of poorer quality and poorer reliability. Curiously, these are the “vendors/brands” who don’t proactively reach out to us, unsolicited, and work directly with us like the others have done/do. Hmmmm… I wonder why? 🤔 😉

“I want to assemble my own hotspot; Does WPSD recommend any types of modems/HATs/modem boards?”

As mentioned in a previous FAQ above, we encourage users who would like to build/assemble their own hotspots to do so! Modem boards by:

  • DVMEGA (Netherlands)
  • ZUMradio (USA)
  • LoneStar (by N5B0C, USA)
  • BI7JTA boards (China)

…are the best-quality boards that we know of, and use ourselves as developers.

“What are “official” disk images for Zum, BridgeCom, DVMega, etc.?”

These are disk images, sanctioned by the vendors/manufacturers, as the official software for their devices. We work directly with them, and create these custom disk images to their specifications. The disk images are the exact ones they use to install and ship WPSD on their devices. The disk images are made publicly available here, because they are Free and Open Source.
Be aware that users installing these official disk images may not be covered under the vendor / manufacturer warranty.

Document Version: 013f348 -- Last Revision: 2/29/2024
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