Jumbospots are self-contained digital hotspots that work with all the major digital voice modes in amateur radio: Yaesu System Fusion, DMR, D-Star, P25 and NXDN. In essence, what they do is act like a mini repeater: they listen for your radio capable of digital voice communications, then transport that audio across the internet to other hotspots and repeaters. This allows someone to use a radio that may only be capable of transmitting 10-20 miles normally to instead talk around the world with that same radio.

Some people consider Chinese made jumbospots to be counterfeits or ripoffs of decent, hard-working open source developers. Now, I’m not a lawyer and can’t give legal advice, but I can give my perspective as someone who has used and contributed to open source software for over 20 years. I have done so in the subsection called “Counterfeits?”

In the last two sections, I will walk you through building and configuring your hotspot. I will go through hardware considerations, potential pitfalls, and do my best to help you get your hotspot up and running.