Talkgroups and reflectors

Hi everyone.

I want to re-visit the TG vs Reflectors discussion again.

Recently, BM 4400 has been pretty dead. I’ve actually seen much more traffic on DMR+ (Phoenix) of late. In fact, I was operating Phoenix on a long drive recently and I was struck by how much easier it is to operate with TGs when mobile. I am also beginning to find 4400 rather boring and tend to listen more to 4426 (BM Allstar Hubnet link).

Now, on BM it’s getting frustrating. The only TGs I can get via reflectors are UK local ones. Most of the international ones are TG only. It’s annoying having to maintain two systems, especially when the BM devs are pretty vocal about their dislike for reflectors. I am told that their days are numbered. I have noticed a big increase in UK stations that are using TGs in preference to reflectors.

For the record, I think there are problems with the TG method that don’t have any sensible solution.  I also have less control over things like UA group timeouts. It’s harder for the casual listener to hear what’s going on. However, I feel like we are getting sidelined more and more in the UK because of the reflector thing.

So, is it time to switch to TGs on FR? This would make for a much more consistent experience, especially when running two networks on the the repeater.

If I made the switch it would look something like this (subject to change or suggestions).

235 Phoenix UK wide calling channel – slot 2

80, 81, 82, 83 – Phoenix UA chat TGs – slot 1

92 – BM Europe – slot1

6 – XLX reflectors – slot 1

2350 – BM UK wide – slot 2 (Although I am tempted to drop this, possibly in favour of Hubnet)

23510 – BM SE – slot 1

Private calls, all UA on BM slot 1 and 2

Thoughts?

Desense?

It wasn’t until I put a scope on the ADC pin on the Due that I noticed there was a bit of low-level desense showing up on the the repeater. The TX and RX radios were sitting one on top of the other. I have separated them by a few cm and the desense appears to have gone. I wonder if this will make the repeater perform a bit better with weak signals….

Listening watch

In the event of weather causing a localised or more widespread communications loss locally (mobile, internet etc), I will keep a listening watch on TG23510 (South East) on S1 of the repeater and I would ask other users to consider doing the same. You never know when someone might need it.

If you’re venturing out in this weather, grab your radio on the way out; it can’t hurt!

Changes to XLX reflectors

It is now possible to connect to all of the modules on all of teh XLX reflectors listed here.

This works as follows:

To change XLX reflector – prefix with 68 – e.g. to connect to XLX235, you send a private call to 68235.

To change XLX module, it’s the same as before, e.g. 64001 connects to module A, 64002 to module B etc.

You should hear voice prompts when you do this.

Many of these reflectors have a D-Star <->DMR transcoder, so you can talk to D-Star users.

 

Saving up for new antenna.

I’ve been thinking about the antenna for FR. I have decided to seek to fund a new antenna with greatly increased gain. It will be big, apparently a full 17ft tall, but this will also provide an advantage. It has about 12dbd gain. Also, it has more gain at the horizon than the current antenna and a narrow vertical beam width which, considering that FR is not sited at a high point, will likely provide better coverage.