Openspot2 - Mistake for SharkRf???

K9IUQ
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Openspot2 - Mistake for SharkRf???

Post by K9IUQ » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:39 pm

I have been following the "Dealer" thread here with interest and decided to put up my 2 Cents. Full Disclosure: I have owned an Openspot for 1 1/2 years and have been very satisfied with it.

However, I truly believe SharkRf has made a huge mistake with dropping the original Openspot and only selling the Openspot 2.

The Openspot 2 is a step down from the original Openspot and smart hams are avoiding the Openspot 2. Don't believe me? Check out the Brandmeister Dashboard and look at the pie chart showing hotspot usage. Compared to a year ago, Openspot usage has dropped way down. MMDVM hotspots have taken over the market on Brandmeister. Openspot 2 usage hovers around 2%, Openspot (1) is around 19%. MVDVM is around 57%.

Percentage wise, Openspot usage continues to drop. Why is this happening? Many reasons I think.

Openspot 2 is no longer sold by USA dealers. Many USA hams will NOT buy from a foreign entity. OS2 does NOT have an Ethernet jack. OS2 does not have those very useful lights on the front like the original Openspot. OS2 does not have an external antenna, making useless for anyone that would want to extend the RF coverage of the unit with a better antenna. And be honest. The OS2 looks like a toy instead of a real hamradio device.

SharkRF should have improved the Original Openspot instead of the complete OS2 redesign that appeals to newbies. SharkRF should have added wireless and an OLED readout (think Zumspot/MMDVM) to the original Openspot and kept selling it thru HRO. SharkRF "could" have owned the hotspot market, they had a huge start with the OS which had great style and wonderful programming. Instead they are losing market share to others.

I realize my opinion will be offensive to many and SharkRF may even moderate me or censor this post. However MANY other USA hams are thinking just like me.

KD9NOV
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Re: Openspot2 - Mistake for SharkRf???

Post by KD9NOV » Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:48 pm

I have been struggling to love this device. I instantly ordered one when it became available without hesitation. I have now realized how much of a mistake it was. The range, both wifi & RF is awful, I cant move my OS2 away from my wifi connection (say, in another room) as it wont connect. I do like the size and outline, fits in my pocket - sadly thats about the only thing I like about it. I have resorted to using it in my vehicle for DMR which works rather well. Now If I were to grab a bit to eat with my OS2 in the truck and in line of sight (say 20ft) no signal on my HT.

I have now purchased 2 zumspots - they are work horses

Help me to love my OS again

K9IUQ
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Re: Openspot2 - Mistake for SharkRf???

Post by K9IUQ » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:22 pm

My original post was not to bash the Openspot2. I merely wanted SharkRf to realize that with the OS2 they are missing a huge marketplace segment of the ham world.

I have been extremely pleased with my Openspot which I have had for some time. I replaced the original stubby duck with the long duck supplied with a MD-380. This allows me to walk my dog about a half mile from my house and still maintain RF coverage between my HT and Openspot. Very useful. I also have a TP nanospot wireless router which was very cheap and paired it with my Openspot. Very simple and it provides a very small package tied together. I get WF-FI coverage with the TP nano thru out my house.

My original post was conceived because I am in the market for a second hotspot. I researched the OS2 and found that it would NOT satisfy my needs. I needed/wanted extended RF coverage and knew a hidden non replaceable RF antenna in the OS2 was not going to work for me. Also the lack of an Ethernet jack was a non-starter for me. I wanted both a Ethernet jack and Wireless access in my next hotspot.

So, RFShark lost a customer - ME, who was perfectly happy with the OS which is no longer available except on the used market. I believe SharkRF products has superior software, making them much easier to use VS the Pi-star software. Also the OS/OS2 boot MUCH faster than Pi-star based hotspots.

However my present choices for a new hotspot are a MMDVM or a used OS. I am leaning towards a MMDVM hotspot with a nice OLED screen.

cyberjew
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Re: Openspot2 - Mistake for SharkRf???

Post by cyberjew » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:17 am

I agree with just about everything each of you said.

The day that the OS2 preview video hit the Interwebs I wrote a post about how the lack of a display was a huge mistake. I stand by that point to this day.

Having to keep another device connected to the OS2 just to keep an eye on what it’s doing is just not a workable strategy when you’re always on the go.

It was definitely a tremendous mistake to stop selling the OS1 if they weren’t going to add an Ethernet port to the OS2. Either make both connectivity methods available on one device or offer both devices. Don’t make people have to choose one over the other.

My OS1 stays connected to my Ethernet network at home 100% of the time. The OS2 has become my “every once in a while” hotspot because the Zumspot totally outperforms it in just about every way.

The fact that the OS2 boots insanely fast is wonderful! But the slow writes to storage (during database updates and firmware downloads) is inexcusable. It shouldn’t take 10 minutes (or more!) on a fast wireless connection to download a 5 MB file.

Lack of an external antenna...big downfall for the OS2. Just watch this video! The whole thing!!!

https://youtu.be/ukE7U6ZaRj4

The price point might be an even bigger reason why they aren’t getting the same kind of market share as they had when they first started. The OS2 is just too expensive for a lot of people.

Both the OS1 and OS2 are clear winners over the Pi-Star based hotspots in a few areas:

1. The built in calibration utility is AMAZING!!! So many people don’t bother calibrating. It’s a pain in the you know what to do with Pi-Star in comparison. The results from a peppery calibrated hotspot are incredible.

2. The OS1 and OS2 are very reliable in terms of being able to suffer a power loss and don’t ever need to be shut down gracefully. They are pretty much bullet proof. Pi-Star, until recently, had a terrible bug where the file system would get stuck in read/write mode. If you don’t have the latest update or aren’t very careful, you can easily corrupt the SD card on Pi-Star based hotspots. That’s true with any SD card based system. SD cards are terrible when it comes to corruption.

3. OS1 and OS2 are so easy to use! They just work. They’re kind of boring in a way. Pi-Star is great if you’re into tinkering. But if you’re just getting started in digital and want something quick and easy, then OS is the place to be.

I sincerely hope that SharkRF reaches out to people for input when developing the OS3. A lot of really bad things happen in most cases when you develop a product in a vacuum. It happens more often than not. Had they reached out to some advanced users in the early stages and gotten a lot of reliable feedback, it’s possible they would have been able to resolve some of these things early on. But it’s also difficult to work with people outside the organization when you’re trying to develop something in secrecy. I guess there are trade offs.

That’s all! I think I wore my thumbs out! :-)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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HA2NON
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Re: Openspot2 - Mistake for SharkRf???

Post by HA2NON » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:08 am

The openSPOT2 is designed to be small carry-around device. You can always use your phone's display to look at the web interface, and you also have a display on your radio (if it has one of course). Downloads are slow because you can continue using the device while they are ongoing, and the device still consumes little power.
Norbert "Nonoo" Varga, HA2NON
SharkRF Team

K9IUQ
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Re: Openspot2 - Mistake for SharkRf???

Post by K9IUQ » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:56 pm

Sad to say that a nice display on the hotspot is NOT the same as looking at the unit via an iphone or browser in a computer.

Yes the OS2 is small and portable, has no external RF antenna capabilities, poor wifi range AND looks like my grandson's Toy. This not a hotspot that many hams are looking for. Especially if one has owned a OS and wants to "upgrade" or needs a second hotspot. The OS2 lacks in too many areas to be a competitor to say a Zumspot with a OLED screen.

Hopefully SharkRF will be around long enough to remedy their mistake with the OS2.

Everyone agrees that the SharkRF software is far superior and easier to use than the Pi-star software. Now SharkRf needs to develop the OS3 with a "macho ham look" and that has an external RF antenna, full house Wi-Fi capabilities, wifi AND Ethernet jack AND an OLED screen. Make the price just a little more than an assembled Zumspot. You would sell thousands of them. Oh yeah, continue to sell the OS2 alongside the OS3 giving the Ham Op a choice of what kind of hotspot they want.

OZ9KL
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Re: Openspot2 - Mistake for SharkRf???

Post by OZ9KL » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:23 pm

Hi al.
I totally disagree. You need to take into consideration, what the purpose is of the OS2.
As I understand is is meant for mobile use. A little device with low power consumption, and easy to use.
I have both the OS1 and the OS2. The OS1 stays at home, and the OS2 is only used in my car, connected wireless to my iPhone. Both devices fully suit my needs.

73 de OZ9KL / Kim

N8PDX
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Re: Openspot2 - Mistake for SharkRf???

Post by N8PDX » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:20 pm

Definitely not a mistake in my opinion. I never owned a legacy openSPOT specifically because I didn't like how big and klunky it looked. I have owned a DVMega for years and didn't see many differences between that and the original openSPOT.

The OS2, however, finally convinced me to jump to SharkRF. Unlike most manufacturers who just copy each others design, SharkRF actually created a new and innovative product. I love how tiny and light weight this thing is. It is by far and away the most travel friendly, simple, and best hostpot I have ever owned.

RF performance and WiFi connectivity have been just fine. No issues throughout my house or hotels.

Lastly, I'll say the screen craze is extremely over rated in my opinion. How many hams actually stare at their small MMDVM screens to get their information? Usually my hotspot is in a glove compartment or on a desk somewhere. If I'm in a position where I could stare at a screen, had it had one, I'd still prefer to use my phone for size and quality.

I think SharkRF hit the ball out of the park on this one. Totally satisfied with my OS2!

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Re: Openspot2 - Mistake for SharkRf???

Post by vocoder » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:01 pm

The Openspot 2 is a step down from the original Openspot and smart hams are avoiding the Openspot 2.
I guess I'm a dumb ham. I think the openSPOT 2 works great for what it was designed for. I like the fact everything is inside the case. No external antenna connector to damage when going mobile. USB-C power connector. The ZUMspot's connection via the RPi's GPIO pins is a weak point.
Openspot usage has dropped way down. MMDVM hotspots have taken over the market on Brandmeister. Openspot 2 usage hovers around 2%, Openspot (1) is around 19%. MVDVM is around 57%.
Dropped? There are more openSPOTs on Brandmeister than ever before. And keep in mind Brandmeister isn't the only network. My openSPOT is rarely connected to Brandmeister. I run my own reflectors.
Openspot 2 is no longer sold by USA dealers. Many USA hams will NOT buy from a foreign entity.
This made me laugh. US hams are not the only hams in the world. Many US hams get their MMDVM boards off eBay from Chinese dealers. Many of these boards are rippoffs of someone else’s design and labor. If cutting out third party suppilers makes the openSPOT 2 more profitible for SharkRF then they can put more capital into developing new features and other products. This is a good thing.
SharkRF should have improved the Original Openspot instead of the complete OS2 redesign that appeals to newbies. SharkRF should have added wireless and an OLED readout (think ZUMspot/MMDVM) to the original Openspot and kept selling it thru HRO.
Again, all just opinion. What's wrong with appealing to "newbies"? We were all newbies once. The openSPOT 2 is a very powerful hotspot with advanced features that are well masked until you're ready to use them. I think the tiny OLED displays on hotspots are pretty worthless. They're more of a novelty thing that just consumes power. I have a MMDVM based hotspot with a display. After a week I never looked at it again. What is the advantage of buying from HRO? I don't think SharkRF could be any more responsive to their customers. You're talking directly with Nonoo on the forum! Try to get that level of support from the manufacturer of your MMDVM board.
I realize my opinion will be offensive to many and SharkRF may even moderate me or censor this post. However MANY other USA hams are thinking just like me.
As a openSPOT fanboy, I don't take your opinion as offensive. Just realize there are MANY other US hams that think just the opposite of you.
Now If I were to grab a bit to eat with my OS2 in the truck and in line of sight (say 20ft) no signal on my HT.
If you can't get 20 feet line-of-sight, then you have something else going on. I believe the openSPOT transmits at 20 mWs, that's twice the power of the ZUMSpot's 10 mWs.

PY4CK
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Re: Openspot2 - Mistake for SharkRf???

Post by PY4CK » Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:22 am

I am TOTALLY satisfied with the OS2 and the product support we get from this forum.

For me, it is worth the money spent. A very reliable piece of equipment which is kept up-to-date.

Rather than a display as I frankly do not need, (I have one on my pi-star that I rarely see) I would like to see a small sleeve type battery that could last for a couple of hours.

Regards,

Eduardo

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