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Install and Configure ConDV on a Pi

ConDV is free Hotspot software from DUTCH*Star, maker of DV Modems, the DUTCH*Star firmware that runs them, and many free software programs.  It was written by Fred van Kempen, KA4YBR. It's easy to install and has wide-ranging functionality, including linking support for DPlus (REF) reflectors, DExtra (XRF) reflectors and DCS reflectors.  It allows you to configure an ircDDB gateway, supports DTMF commands, provides optional audio announcements, and has an easy to use command line user interface.  It runs under Linux on ARM processors like the Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black.  There is also a version for Windows.  This page is about the Pi version.

To speed the installation process, this page assumes your Pi will use the excellent "westerndstar" image produced by Brian GW6WTK.  It is easy to download this image file and write it to your Pi's SD card, then boot up and configure your own callsign, etc. 

The westerndstar image actually has ConDV already installed on it, though the Pi boots up running Brian's very nice "WesternDStar Widget".  The Widget is aimed at managing the G4KLX programs, which ConDV does not need, but you will be able to switch easily between G4KLX or ConDV.

LCD Support (Optional, if you have one)
ConDV makes nice use of an LCD if you have one for your Pi, showing the callsign and user text of the person you are listening to.  However, an LCD is not needed to be able to use ConDV on a Pi.  ConDV can be configured to work with various LCDs, but to get started, it's recommended to get one of the following:

Adafruit Blue&White 16x2 LCD+Keypad Kit for Raspberry Pi
      From MCM Electronics
      From Adafruit
Adafruit RGB Negative 16x2 LCD+Keypad Kit for Raspberry Pi
      From Adafruit
Built LCD, monochrome screen with RGB status LED
      From MoenComm

Load image file
Click here for how to download the westerndstar image created by Brian, GW6WTK.

That page will also have you install several very useful tools to make configuration and operation easier:

Configure ConDV

Create Launch script and configure

Ongoing Operations -- Boot Pi to launch G4KLX, or boot to launch ConDV

To boot to G4KLX
• Log on using your VNC client like TightVNC
• Bring up WD’s Widget
• Make sure the Startup Options for both Modem 1 and Gateway are set to GUI

To boot to ConDV
• Log on using VNC Client
• Bring up WD’s Widget
• On Startup Options for both Modem 1 and Gateway, set both to None

Using ConDV (first make above Widget change and restart Pi)

• You can control linking normally from your radio, e.g. use a memory with URCall=REF001CL
• You can issue the I (Info) command, and the status will be in the text message of the reply transmission. ConDV does not support voice announcements.
• For an Echo test, just link to the E module of any REF reflector and that will provide an excellent Echo facility for testing
• If you want to control ConDV from your PC, then just log onto the Desktop using your VNC Client. You will see a terminal window already open, and ConDV will be running in it.
• To get help with supported commands, press ? key

The following commands are supported:

ESC abort
? help
B send APRS beacon
C list connection(s)
f find callsign
I send RF beacon message
L link to (new) gateway
R re-connect to gateway
U unlink from gateway
Z unlink client conn

To quit the program, just hit the Escape key.

Linking by using RF commands from your D-Star radio

More Features

We've covered the most important features, but as you get familiar with ConDV, you may want to explore other useful features:

That's it!  Enjoy your ConDV hotspot on your Raspberry Pi.

D-Starฎ is a registered trademark used for communication equipment (repeaters and transceivers) for amateur radio communications, and owned by Icom Incorporated.

Copyright ฉ 2009-2016 James M. Moen. All rights reserved.
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