Talkgroups vs reflectors

I’ve been thinking recently about talkgroups and reflectors.

In the beginning, I saw that the UK had chosen reflectors, so I went about trying to build a repeater that only used one talkgroup (TG9 on both slots). I experimented with TalkGroup rewrite to allow access to other talkgroups but still rewrite them to TG9 at the repeater. This was interesting and educational, but it was not perfect.

Later, for technical reasons, the code I had contributed to the MMDVM project to make this happen had to be removed.

Recently, I’ve been pondering this “sitting on the fence” approach of having reflectors and talk-groups. To be honest I think it’s messy to use both and perhaps we should choose one or the other, or at recognise that they have different purposes. In particular, it makes things harder for mobile users as manual-dialing reflectors can be to taxing whilst driving. Also, many radios don’t actually support this functionality, e.g. my MD650 I use in the car does not.

So what do you, as users, think. Should we remove the default connection to 4400 on TG9? Reflectors would still be available on demand but would disconnect after 10 mins or so of inactivity.

This does not mean we have to give up 4400. 4400 is also TG2350 so in place of an always-connected reflector 4400, I can make TG2350 static. This gives an option to use roaming on this TG too.

Note, we are the only country in the world that has this obsession with reflectors. Everywhere else the primary access method is talk-groups, with reflectors available to connect when required. This is sensible because regularly used talk-groups are always there, but if you want to try something new, just connect it as a reflector and try it out.