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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Using a JumboSPOT via bridged Wi-Fi

On a recent business trip, I left my trusty GL i.Net GL-AR150 at home by accident and could not use my new JumboSPOT unless I used my mobile hot spot feature on my mobile phone to give it the internet access it needs.

JumboSPOT running Pi-Star in DMR only mode

The GL-AR150 is a travel Wi-Fi router which I have plugged in to the ethernet port on my laptop to share its internet connection and create a wi-fi hotspot. This setup essentially lets me take hotel wi-fi and then rebroadcast it so that other devices could use the internet. The laptop essentially acts as a router of sorts in this configuration taking wireless hotel internet, translating it to wired internet and then turning it back into wireless internet.  Make sense?
GL-AR150 multi purpose travel router

Since its always annoying to keep my mobile phone charged up while traveling, I figured it would be a good experiment to see what range too expect from a 10mW DMR hotspot from the 39th  floor of the hotel and out into the city of  Atlanta.  Not having the AR150 with me prevented me from trying this, so I had to find another solution instead of setting up my mobile phone hotspot function, which worked great to make a contact via TG 31368 the previous evening.

Connectify to the rescue!

I found this application named Connectify to do what the hardware I left behind but via software and it works great! It took the hotel Wi-Fi SSID and creates a new access point using the laptop wi-fi to then rebroadcast to the SSID I set up and had in place on the JumboSPOT.

I would highly recommend the Connectify application to be used in a  travel situation much like I describe above in order to get on DMR with a JumboSPOT.   This is slightly more elegant than the DV4MINI I have used before with my laptop or the GL-AR150 and OpenSPOT combination when traveling. 

Connectify is currently running a 70% coupon on top of it, so get it while you can. You will need the MAX version, not the LITE one. This application will find many more uses aside from just using it to connect the JumboSPOT, which is now my go to device for travel along with the MD-380 for DMR operation. This trip proved a benefit that came out of an annoyance afterall.

An optional, but recommended addition is to also use the "Speedify" VPN application to provide a secure connection and the ability to monitor latency and loss in addition to the upload and download speed reported in the "Connectify" application. Speedify is free for up to 1GB of data transfer a month which seems more than enough if only using this for use with the JumboSPOT.

After about an hour of listening in to a few talk groups with active discussion, only used 3MB of download and all traffic was less than 30ms latency.

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