I have several MMDVM boards. Several Jumbo Spot (China) boards in simplex and duplex configuration.
I tried the LS board to see if it was really better. Keep in mind I did not use any lab equipment for testing...just the Pi-Star dashboard and the same radio when comparing performance.
The LS is definitely a higher quality board. It is thicker and heavier with better components. As far as performance, it is about the same as a few of the JumboSpot MMDVMs. There was no offset required with the LS board but I do have a few JumboSpots that also do not require offsets...some do, some don't. BER is about the same as well between the LS and JumboSpot.
What I do prefer about the LS board is the quality on-board antenna as I have dedicated the LS as my mobile/go with me everywhere board. I use it daily in the car and sometimes at work. Lastly, the LS board required modifications to the C4 Labs case...I recall the regulator hitting. Not a big issue as it was easily fixed with a dremmel tool. While there I also added room for a slightly modified 1.3 OLED...had to sand the OLED board a little to get it to fit in the C4 Labs case. To recap, I did not notice any performance differences between the LS and a few of the China boards I tried. However, I use the LS in my vehicle, harsher environment, and love the fact that I can't accidentally break the antenna.
After purchasing the Dual MMDVM Board and having excellent results using it both as a dual band repeater on 2M and 70CM I turned my attention to the New N5BOC MMDVM Simplex board which came with the Ceramic Antenna fitted. nicely built board with gold plated through holes... Had it up and running within 10 Minutes using Pi-Star Software V3.4.17 ; First thing I noted was that I didn't have to make any adjustments for the Modem RX/TX; settings were left set at zero:(I always had to configure the modem RX/TX on the Chinese boards to make them work). On Air tests using Yaesu F2Dr on C4FM for both RX and TX were excellent. The Ceramic antenna worked well and I could access the board from 10M using 100MW.... (this was its maximum range) has option to fit external antenna. Whilst listening to the Zombie Alert I was able to hear 2 stations from the US working cross mode; one was on "D" star the other was running NXDN....The "D" Star signal sounded harsh but the NXDN sounded excellent, the Audio was very clear. The purpose of buying this unit was so that I had slim profile unit that can fit in my pocket with a small LIPO Battery and WIFI Dongle. This unit fits the bill and is a third of the cost of the Open Spot 2.......a compact solid little performer worth the price...... Pete VK5JP
I saw this unit on FACEBOOK and the response by the community told me that this was a winner. Boy was I right! Quick confirmation of order and shipping was the next day via USPS, I'm in SC and from TX was only a few days. I powered it up on a Pi zero and it's been working ever since no adjustments needed. I highly recommend this seller and product made in the USA!! ps I get .25 mile solid coverage of my home with the ceramic antenna. Satisfied Yep!!! May consider a dual one for DMR use exclusively.. KO4L
Response from N5BOC Store (469-378-5600) | April 14, 2019
Thanks so very much for the nice review. 0.25 mile coverage is quite impressive. It must have something to do with that great SC air. :-) I personally really like the ceramic antenna. It makes for quite a clean looking install and as you state the performance is quite satisfactory.
Works as advertised. the best feature that i find useful is the full duplex. personally, i use it with P25. I always get a good signal report. more importantly... the product is compatible with the current pi-star image. doesn't require any special programming outside of the pi-star environment, requires no special licensing, requires no special initialization and no soldering (unless the Pi doesn't come with a header already soldered). Plug and Play on the Raspberry Pi Zero W with the Pi-Star image running.
The first hurdle was to make the purchase within about 15 minutes of getting the availability notice - these sell out really fast! The board was as advertised - follow the directions about being careful attaching the antennas. I was careful and I didn't break anything!! I did have to do some Googling to come up with the information to download the correct image (links on the web site would help). Once imaged I did have to hook up a monitor (needs mini-HDMI adapter) and a keyboard because it didn't connect to my wifi automatically. That was corrected quickly and then it was just down to software configuration.
Once done, it's working great. I'm not seeing any issues with it.
Your wait list process is really just an invitation to try and purchase a limited availability item. In order to be successful you’d need to monitor your email 24/7 and who has time for that? I’d much rather pay for an item that I know I’m going to buy anyway and get on a waiting list to receive the item. It’s further frustration when you missed the item and then have to re-enroll on the wait list. I didn’t do that and the only reason I got my order completed was a friend texted me and told me item was available. There has to be a better way than what you’re doing. It’s not a true waitlist since you truly are not in line for anything but a notice that item is available and good luck with that!!!!!!
Response from N5BOC Store (469-378-5600) | May 22, 2018
First I want to say Thanks for your Order. I understand your frustration with the wait list. Please understand this is put in place and managed by Tindie. This is not something put in place or managed by me. I've contacted Tindie and notified them that that most people take the term "wait list" as they are in line to receive the product. It should be re-labeled to "notify me when back in stock". Sorry this was a point of frustration for you.