A further update on new functionality

SMS, Parrot etc are now all working as expected.

XLX reflectors have moved to TG6, with a prefix of 6 before the commands – e.g. 64005 to connect reflector E on XLX 950.

I have chosen to use a different TG and prefix for each network, so that contacts for private calls in your radio don’t clash as most radios won’t let you have two different named contacts with the same ID. So:

TG 6 slot1 – XLX sytem – prefix 6 to commands
TG 7 slot1 – as yet unused. Reserved for another XLX connection
TG9 slot1 – linked to PK and BH as before
TG23510 slot1 – SouthEast TG

TG8 slot 2 – DMR+ reflectors. Prefix 8 to commands. Defaults to disconnected.
TG9 slot 2 – BrandMeister – no prefix required.

Private calls, SMS and UA talkgroups on either slot are directed to/from the BrandMeister network.

Multiple networks

All,

I have a new and exciting feature to announce. Jonathan, G4KLX has written a new piece of software that allows the connection of more than one DMR network at once, so as of today, FR is connected to Brandmeister, DMR+ (and by extension Phoenix) and XLX. Note, this is still experimental so some of these options might change. Feedback appreciated.

Talkgroups:

Slot 1

  • TG23510 – South East
  • TG 9 – Regional link – FR, PK, BH
  • TG 8 – XLX reflectors

Slot 2

  • TG 9 – Brandmeister reflectors – default 4400
  • TG 8 – DMR+ reflectors – linked to Phoenix

Using XLX

XLX implements 26 lettered reflectors, A-Z. These can be connected by making a private call to IDs 4001-4026 on slot 1. I am told most DMR activity is on 4005. These reflectors are cross-mode, so you can speak to others on D-Star, YSF etc. To disconnect, use 4000. To get status, use 5000. This is basically the same as BM/DMR+ reflectors.

A list of XLX reflectors is here:

http://xlx950.epf.lu/index.php?show=reflectors

Using BrandMeister reflectors:

This works exactly as before, so you can continue to use the system as you already do.

Using DMR+ reflectors

All DMR+ reflector activity will be transmitted on TG8. To connect, you prefix all commands with an 8. (Similar to using a phone in an office; dial 8 DMR+ “line”!)

So, for example, a private all to 84400 connects you to DMR+ reflector 4400 / Phoenix TG 235 UK Wide.

A list of DMR+ reflectors is here:

http://www.dmr-uk.net/index.php/hotspots/

 

FR back on air.

It is my pleasure to announce that FR has been on-air since this morning.

One of the GM350 units had developed an intermittent fault, believed to be in or around the AF IC, which provides AF processing for both TX and RX audio paths. Fault-finding proved frustrating!

Andy, G3UEQ assisted with the kind offer of a GM900 unit, but I couldn’t get it to programme. Paul G7KBR then kindly posted me a GM350 4ch unit, which I was able to programme and is now acting as the RX for GB7FR.

As always, setting up the TX deviation was a bit of a fiddle as I don’t seem to have any luck with the theoretically correct deviation, as tuned using an RTL SDR. The signal was received fine on my MD380 and PD365 but not on my MD650, which is extremely fussy when it comes to TX deviation. However, a slight tweak allowed the MD650 to receive the repeater and now all seems to be working well.

Reports are welcome, especially from owners of radios from manufacturers other than Hytera and Tytera.

 

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.

Thoughts?

 

 

Talk Group Rewrite disabled.

I have today disabled rewrite on FR because some changes made to support more advanced DMR features (embedded GPS etc) are incompatible with it and I want FR to be fully functional in this respect.

Everything else is as normal.

Please note also, TG23150 (aka reflector 4411) is enabled as a static TG, as a trial, on TS1. This is the South East group and if also enabled on other South East repeaters, will allow true roaming between repeaters in the group.

The link to BH on TG9 TS1 also still exists and can be used for the same purpose between these two boxes.

GB7PK was removed from BrandMeister so we no longer have a link to PK.

Twitter Feed

Something I forgot to mention in my last post:

As well as SMS, the repeater now publishes it’s RF heard contacts via Twitter as the ID @GB7FRfeed. Also, when the system is finished, you will be able to add friends you want to watch and it will notify you via a mention in a twitter post, via email or DMR sms.

November update

I’ve been hard at work behind the scenes recently. Enhancements include:

  • Repeater dashboard (see sidebar link)
  • Talkgroup ReWrite (see user guide)
  • Slot 1 also supporting TG23510, rewritten to TG9 (see user guide)
  • Purchased some RG214 to upgrade the radio <-> duplexer links, to minimise possible de-sense from stray RF.
  • SMS service – repeater is able to send welcome messages, send you your current BER etc. (More on this soon, in the mean time, please see user guide).

I am also interested in getting some feedback on some points of discussion:

  1. Should FR go true multi-mode? Note, I don’t have radios for other modes at present, so this would require input from other stations to monitor the repeater in other modes, either by loan equipment or by users listening and reporting back to me if any issues are seen.
  2. GB7FR social meet – I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, probably at The Henty in Ferring. Are you interested?

Feedback welcome.

 

73 Simon