How To Build a Code Plug for BrandMeister MMDVM Repeaters and Duplex Hotspots.

Read also my other article on creating a code plug in BrandMeister.

The CPS.

Firstly I must check that my personal settings are correct in the CPS and my DMR ID is in place otherwise my next QSO will be a non-starter.

Talk Groups and Reflectors


No matter what Code Plug Software I use, the principles are the same, I cannot build a code plug without talkgroups, so if I have not already done so, then I compile the list that I think I may need, then I add them ALL anyway for future expansion. I add also TG 4000, as this will be invaluable. Once I have all the talkgroups as Group Calls then I add any remaining reflectors as Private Calls, but quite frankly, if I have all the talkgroups I will not need reflectors, as they are really referenced to the relevant talkgroups. However Private Calls 4000 & 5000 might be a good idea. Finally I add any DMR ID’s I know such as friends and colleagues, and any repeater DMR ID’s that I will use. I will explain further on down. I try and get them in numerical order if I can, but if needs be, later on, I can use N0GSG’s DMR Manager to re-sequence all the information.

Frequencies

Now it really is down to me to research the repeaters or hot spots that I may use. I have to ensure the transmit and receive frequencies in my radio are the correct way round, the colour code is correct, and the timeout is set to a reasonable time – anything greater than 180 secs is unreasonable in my book (wafflers to note!).

Most local repeater keepers will have given some basic information on their repeater, and some of them are Reflector Based, that is to say TG9 on slot 2 may have Reflector 4400 active and fixed. Some however may have fixed TG 2350, but either way the result is the same, everyone will be on TG 2350 none the less. But for the moment let’s look at GB7SO.

GB7SO

This repeater in the South of England has only 1 Fixed Talkgroup 2350 on Slot 2, and 1 Fixed Talkgroup 235186 on Slot 1. TG 2350 is the centre of activity for the most of England, and TG 235186 is the ID Talkgroup of the repeater. Alongside these other talkgroups TG 9 on either slot are still available as dynamic (user activated) as are ALL talkgroups.

Fixed talkgroups (shown as Static) cannot be overridden or disconnected. Any other talkgroups are Dynamic that is to say are activated at the local repeater that remain available for a time usually 10 minutes after activation despite no longer being used. Fixed talkgroups become dynamic when are activated at the repeater as well, which might seem a little confusing. Read on.

Let’s for example have a QSO on GB7SO with a user on TG 2350 who is elsewhere in the country and is for argument’s sake is on Reflector 4400, and we elect to QSY to TG 2352 for a longer chat.

In my code plug I have conveniently programmed TG 2352 so for me it’s a quick two clicks from TG 2350 on the zone channel changer and I’m there. For my correspondent he has to private-call his reflector based repeater or hotspot with 4402 and wait for the acknowledgement, before we can continue out chat that we successfully conclude.

Now it has to be remembered that for the duration of our chat, that GB7SO has been unavailable for use on Slot 2 because I was operating on TG 2352, and the correspondents hot spot or repeater has likewise been unavailable to other traffic. This is quite normal and to be expected. The rest of the network has been unhindered by our QSO as we have activated a dynamic path between us.

The proper thing to do after our QSO is for the correspondent to make a private call to reflector 4000 to return his system to standby and perhaps automatic reset to 4400 if that has been set up, and for me to turn my zone channel change knob to a TG 4000 channel on GB7SO and press PTT. The network via repeater automatically responds by “Not Linked”, and the repeater becomes available again on slot 2 for all traffic. TG 4000 works only on slot 2, and not on dynamic talkgroups on slot 1. A private call to Reflector 4000 is not the same as a group call to TG4000.

Let’s add a second scenario where I am out of the area of GB7SO but I make contact with someone local on the repeater, and together we elect to move to TG 235186, where we can chat until the cows come home. See the Repeater ID talkgroups below.

Zones


To explain the above scenario, it is a good idea to be aware that a zone has 16 channels each of which can have a different frequency and or talk group allocated. I can program more than one zone to cover one repeater, for example one zone can have GB7SO with all the Slot 1 talkgroups, like 9, 80,81,90,91,113,235 etc and another zone can contain all the GB7SO talkgroups normally found on slot 2 like 9,2350,2351,2352,2353,2354,2355 (if I want to talk to Scotland HI), and so on. I can also program a zone for tcnravelling so that all the Repeaters from the South to the North of England on TG 2350 (TG9 Reflector 4400) are in one zone, making it simple to change channel as I move through the country.

There are further regional talkgroups, and language talkgroups and national talkgroups, equally available to me via GB7SO, but I have to be sensitive to the local needs so I shall be prudent with my talkgroups selection. TG 9 slot 1 and TG 9 slot 2 are necessary, and if possible TG 99. TG 99 has additional properties in that it is network accessible. I will include TG235 on slot 1 as that gives me a national reach, and I could include TG 91 on slot 1 as well as the the DMR ID TG 235186. On slot 2, I program TG2350, TG2351, TG2352, TG2353, TG2354 as I might need to QSY. As a mobile it is not so easy for me to call reflectors as I’m driving, so I’m hoping other repeaters are as amenable. But in any case it would be a good idea for me to program TG 4000 in one channel so that I can kill the dynamic channels if necessary once I have finished with them.

DMR ID Repeater Talkgroups.

GB7SO has available on slot 1 talkgroup 235186, so that any user of the repeater can talk to an affiliate of the repeater as if they on a local talkgroup. It leaves slot 2 free for TG 2350 traffic as normal. I was pleased to see this has now been adopted by a repeater in the US whose page I encountered this morning.

TG 208688 is available for F5ZLW, TG 208687 on F5ZLR and TG 208987 on F1ZKD all by prior arrangement of course. GB7CO in Fareham has TG235272 on slot 1 and TG23527 UK Military and Veterans on slot 2.

In Summing up


So I have all the talkgroups I need, I have programmed all my frequencies and necessary talkgroups attached, and I have created the several zones that I may need. All I have to remember is that if I call up a dynamic talkgroup on a repeater or duplex hotspot, I tune my channel to TG 4000 after my qso to kill the dynamic talkgroup. It will necessarily kill a fixed talkgroup if it has become dynamic through use, but it will not disconnect it from its status as permanently available. 

Foot Note.This is an update of an earlier article that is still relevant.

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Aujourd’hui sur DMR…. F5ZLR Limoges

Tableau de bord – vu sur http://f5zgm.f8kfz.org:19389

Toute information sur :

https://brandmeister.network/?page=repeater&id=208687 concernant les fréquences etc.

TS1 – 9, 208 Fixés – 91, 937 et tous internationaux disponibles comme dynamiques

TS2 – 9, 2084, 2085 fixés – 2080-2089, 20887, 20819, 20823, 20883, 20866 et tous locaux/regionaux comme dynamiques

Répéteur UHF – comprise de deux Motorola GM350-4, Arduino Dué, Raspberry Pi 2b, avec Raspbian Jessie, et Pi-Star Ver. 3.4.17

Today on DMR…. Code Plug for MD9600 or similar – updated

The Tytera MD9600 is not an easy beast, but when you get your head round it, it does what is expected of it.

The latest Client Software Package that I have is Version 1.26.

I shall go through the CPS stage by stage in the most simple of terms. If you want to play with bells and whistles, that is your own affair.

The first stage: Setting your Identification and master settings.

Main Settings

Verify that you have the settings as above. To avoid you transmitting on the wrong deck if a signal pops up on B when you want to transmit on A, it is important to note the setting highlighted.

The Second Stage: Call Identifications

Absolutely essential before entering any frequencies is the installation of any and every Contact Group imaginable for future expansion, even though you do not believe you will use it directly. Important is the installation of 4000 as a group call to program the buttons later. There is no need to duplicate Call Identities for use across different network.

Stage 3: The Frequencies

The Chosen Frequency

Here is an example of a single channel with settings for a single talk group on a single slot. What settings are important are the colour code, the admit criteria, and in call criteria and of course the time-out. In this case Time Out is set to 180 seconds, quite adequate for a brief over in a QSO, some would say too long. Check all the drop boxes are correct for your situation. GB7XX has no reflectors set, so you can see alongside a number of similarly programmed channels labelled with the talk group applied. Using the menu on the left you can highlight the current channel, right click the mouse for copy, create new frequency for the next channel, highlight the new entry on the left menu, and click paste. then all you need to do it label the channel and adjust the talk group and/or slot.

Stage 4: Creating a Zone.

Here’s one I did earlier

The creation of the zone is quite simple, and requires you to select the required pre-programmed channels for use in the two decks available. In this case you can see I have duplicated some of the channels and have included some VHF Simplex channels too, either as DMR or Analogue on the A Deck. By duplicating the channels on the B Deck I can switch between two different channels by using the switch on the microphone or on the front panel. The settings on the First Screen allow me to select a different zone for the B Deck from the menu, so I can set two regions for on route journeys as an example. For scanning make your own scanning lists as required. I’m not going there, I’m keeping my eyes on the road.

Final Stage: Setting the panel buttons.

Look very carefully at the button settings. There is a difference between a short press and a long-held press that selects a different function.

I will only discuss P4 short press and long press for the moment. When using a dynamic talk group on a repeater, it is only polite when finished, to disconnect it from the network, so a short press or a long press on P4 followed by a brief press on the PTT will disconnect the last talk group or reflector. A short press will only disconnect a reflector, whereas a long press will do both. How you program the buttons is entirely your choice. Private call 5000 + PTT will verify a current connection.

If you radio has a GPS module, create Private Call identities on 234999, 208999, 206999 or 310999, so that when you set your radio to a repeater in range with Auto-Location on, you transmit on those Identifiers and not the current Talk Group in your screen.

You noted that the heading said Or Similar. These principals can be applied to any code plug design, especially the Tytera or Retevis family, but others as well.

If you import the completed code plug into N0GSGs code plug editor you can sort the tables into order and make changes ad hoc, including importing data, however you will need to verify the programmed buttons and GPS settings, as they tend to get changed using this software.

Any further questions will be accepted either here or on the facebook page.

Aujourd’hui on DMR… Today on DMR…. A mon avis.

There seems to be the continuous and perennial argument whether to use reflectors or fixed talk-groups on BrandMeister.

I have yet to see a convincing argument that supports the use of reflectors, when they are merely path extensions preventing the user from evaluating and enhancing his own code plug to better access those parts of the network that he wishes to visit outside the local repeater.

By applying a policy of Reflectors-Only on slot 2, the local user can only access reflectors that have corresponding talk-groups. This is a restrictive practice, and forces all the local users to adopt TG9 TS2 as their only option. The only positive point is that everyone listening to this one function knows exactly what is going on. However as we all know if the slot is busy, it is busy!

On the other hand but making Reflectors redundant, a user can program his radio with the range of talk-groups on both slots according to the general protocol local/regional on TS2 and National/International on TS1 and use the repeater accordingly with dynamic or fixed talk-groups.

OK, there is the disadvantage that it requires more technical expertise to program a code plug this way, and to know what is going on on a time slot, by listening across a range of talk-groups or to watch the dash board should the sysop deign to publish it. But it does open a repeater to better use. There are talk-groups that are not served by Reflectors of course. Remember if the slot is busy, it’s busy, no matter how it is used, so in my view the argument for reflectors is negated either way.

I accept that I have an opinion and others have theirs. Having control of two un-adjacent repeaters, I have been able to see the interaction of the traffic between them and across the network, and have formed this opinion over many, many months of observation. The amount of traffic does not merit the over-reaction produced, that it will never work.

This was originally a professional mode adapted for amateur use, and I have never seen such a falling out between a group of people as there has been over DMR in general. This is a pastime, not a job!

So I finish this to say this, each to his own opinion. I’m not forcing anyone to do anything, but examine all the evidence before you, and not just that you wish to believe.

Maintenant en français assisté par Google Translate.

Il semble y avoir un débat permanent et perpétuel sur l’utilisation de réflecteurs ou de talk-groups fixes sur BrandMeister.
Je n’ai pas encore vu d’argument convaincant en faveur de l’utilisation de réflecteurs, qui sont simplement des extensions de voie empêchant l’utilisateur d’évaluer et d’améliorer son propre code plug afin d’améliorer l’accès aux parties du réseau qu’il souhaite visiter en dehors du répéteur local.

En appliquant une stratégie Reflectors-Only au TS 2, l’utilisateur local ne peut accéder qu’aux réflecteurs possédant les talk-groups correspondants. Cette pratique est restrictive et oblige tous les utilisateurs locaux à adopter TG9 TS2 comme seule option. Le seul point positif est que tous ceux qui écoutent cette fonction savent exactement ce qui se passe. Cependant, comme nous savons tous si le TS2 est occupé, il est occupé – Point.

D’autre part, mais si on rend redondant les Reflectors, un utilisateur peut programmer sa radio avec la gamme de talk-groups comme il veut sur les deux TS conformément au protocole général local / régional sur TS2 et National / International sur TS1 et utiliser le répéteur en conséquence sur des talk-groups dynamiques ou fixés.

OK, il y a l’inconvénient qu’il faut plus de connaissances techniques pour programmer un code plug dans cette manière et pour savoir ce qui se passe dans un slot, en écoutant plusieurs talk-groups ou en regardant le tableau de bord si le sysop se démarque pour le publier. Mais cela ouvre le répéteur pour mieux l’utiliser. Certains talk-groups ne sont bien sûr pas desservis par les Reflectors. Rappelez-vous que si le slot est occupé, il est occupé, quelle que soit la façon dont il est utilisé, donc, à mon avis, l’argument pour les réflecteurs est inversé.

J’accepte que j’ai un avis et que les autres ont les leurs. Ayant le contrôle de deux répéteurs non adjacents, j’ai pu voir l’interaction du trafic entre eux et sur le réseau, et j’ai formé cette opinion après de nombreux mois, mais des années d’observation. La quantité de trafic ne mérite pas la réaction excessive suggérée, à savoir que cela ne fonctionnera jamais.

C’était à l’origine un mode professionnel adapté à un usage amateur, et je n’ai jamais vu un tel conflit se produire entre un groupe de personnes comme il y en a eu sur le DMR en général. C’est un passe-temps, pas un travail!

Je termine donc ceci pour le dire, chacun à son avis. Je ne force personne à faire quoi que ce soit, mais examine toutes les preuves et pas seulement celles que vous souhaitez croire.

Today on DMR…. Naming Talk Groups

Why? They each have an ID! Those who use a specific group know it’s there. Those who don’t are none the wiser. If you need to publish a group for specific use, just use it and declare it.

If it falls within the normal regional structure, then it’s of no consequence to give it a further name. If it doesn’t follow the structure then it may be a problem of being used elsewhere.

Today on DMR…. Talkgroup Lists

The perennial question of where to find the complete list of talk groups. Permutate any from 1-99999. 6 digits are normally repeaters or specialist groups, and 7 digits and above are personal IDs.

Each network has its own list and directions for use thereof. Some are local on one network and universal on others.

Make your own list, you know what you want. Do your own research on BrandMeister, IPSC2, DMR, TGIF, KS-DMR and the affiliates of the c-Bridge infrastructure and any other networks that pop up.

Although I published a list of some groups across various networks in these pages, the groups were never definitive and constantly change, either augmented or reduced.

The furore over TAC-310 in the US, was purely over the oversubscription of one group that should have been used for qsy from BM 3100. The complaint came from the network managing identical groups that became bridged to BrandMeister. Even without those bridges, the talk groups would still work. If there was only one network, it would be easy, but because of lack of consensus there are many, so why go to all the trouble to try to link them all together, when we know full well they don’t get along.

It is natural that if there is a network somewhere, there would or should be a centre of activity to listen or to talk, with a structure of associated talk groups to which to qsy. What is also natural is that there will always a DH to tell you how to do or not to do something. It is also very natural for everyone to want to listen to everything that is going on, frightened that they might miss something.

For Pete’s sake, get a life, it’s an interesting hobby, not a lifestyle!

Today on DMR…. Viewing and protecting your ID.

Particular interest has been stirred in this regard particularly with some unknown miscreant(s) usurping ID numbers of others.

In BrandMeister you can check out your own information on the BrandMeister dashboard in the last heard menu.

In the search bar you will find a “+” on the far right hand side. Click on this to reveal a “Rule box”. Click on “Add rule” to reveal an empty drop menu. (If you are considering a multiple search then click on “Or” otherwise leave it as “And”.

Click on the arrow and select “My ID” and type your ID or any one else’s for that matter, and click “Search”.

After a few seconds, the recent history of your own ID will be presented.

If, for any reason, you see that the information presented is not as you would expect, then you should consider protecting your DMR ID in your self-care area, using your smart phone or some other means.

You can use this method to track friends and miscreant’s alike to see whether the activity is live, or in the latter case, on which repeater the pirate is active, away from the true-user’s base of operations. Check QRZ.com and the ID database.

It is never a good idea to interact with such people, as often there are investigations already active to trace offenders. However if the repeater affected is one you use yourself then drop a line to the repeater sysop for his information with any of the details that you can provide. You can and should do no more, much as it might frustrate you.

DMR… and people skill!


Even if someone is not a complete jerk,
It may be possible that he just hasn’t the sense to move his hand.

It is all very well having a new mode with which to play, but not everyone has the same skill set. I have taken a step back from my basic introductions due to criticism from some quarters that I knew nothing.

Quite frankly nothing can be further from the truth, as I would prefer to keep my light under the bushel to coin a phrase. Some of my writing was created from the point of view of a new discoverer. Nothing is more likely to create an air of confusion by diving straight into an exposé in full technical detail. Any new entrant to the mode would more then likely skip to the end or look elsewhere.

It is clear that some people are new and need to learn, and that is accepted . It is also clear that some people have attitudes that contribute to ill-will and lack of respect.

A lot of the technical explanations around the mode are too technical, and not always sequential, and quite often hidden until extreme in-depth research is made concerning a point.

There is a lot of mis-information too, but out of respect of the contributors, they are entitled to their opinions, even if they are not necessarily always correct.

There are three points that I wish to make here.

1. Never criticise the man, only the act.

2. Choose your sources with care and considered opinion, and never take anything for granted.

3. Assume nothing, as that makes an Ass out of U and Me.