& BLOG ROLl
We are pleased to announce that GB7GB in North Birmingham has now joined the Salop Cluster via Brandmeister!
As of Tuesday 4th September 2018, we are pleased to announce that GB7GT is back ...
Many thanks to all those involved in repairing the power cable to the site. Without your help and support this would not have been possible.
The central Brandmeister team have decided that they no longer support cluster configurations on talkgroups above 90 ... which means that TG 950 no longer works.
We have decided to use this as an opportunity to reconfigure our network and move the Salop Cluster to SLOT 1 / TG 75 linked to 23575.
The convention used across all repeaters in the Cluster is:
Repeater timeout is still set to 180 seconds and reflectors / dynamic talkgroups on Slot 2 drop out after 15 minutes.
THIS CONFIGURATION IS NOW LIVE
We found that Slot 1 was very under used, so moving the Cluster to Slot 1 will help share the load between people wanting local / mobile access and those wanting to work further afield and rare digital DX(!).
The Clee Hill / Ludlow repeater, GB7GT, is current off-air due to a major power problem at the transmission site.
It is being investigated by the keeper.
External access to the Cluster is now possible using the Brandmeister Talkgroup 23575 ...
This can be used for linking hot-spots and remote access via other Brandmeister repeaters.
* THIS HAS NOW BEEN TRANSFERRED TO THE FAQ DOCUMENT ON THE MAIN PAGE *
As people get to grips with the changes to the cluster now that we have access to the Brandmeister network, we get asked a number of similar questions:
Why aren't there any static talkgroups?
We decided that we didn't want to clog-up the network with 'out of area' activity, our priority was to ensure that the Cluster on Slot 2 / TG 950 was available for local traffic as much as possible.
Should I use reflectors or talkgroups?
We believe the best way to enjoy Brandmeister is to use the reflectors on Slot 2 / TG9; these affect one repeater at a time, are only connected when needed, and time-out after 15 minutes of local inactivity. When it's quiet the repeater can be used for Cluster Traffic.
It is possible to use the dynamic talk groups on Slot 2, like 91 or 2350, but consider that the majority of people will only have Slot 2 / TG 9 or 950 in their radios; so they will see the repeater is busy but won't be able to hear it. Quite frustrating and anti-social, so please stick to reflectors!
I can only hear one side of a conversation?
This took a lot of head scratching, discussions between the greatest minds this side of Netherton and several pints of Enville Ginger … but this is what we think is going on.
Consider two stations:
G9XXX makes a call and, because TG9 is in the receive list for M8ABC he hears him. If he replies before the repeater drops out they continue to talk, ‘cus that’s the way things work.
All good until someone leaves a long gap.
M8ABC replies after a pause but on TG950, not TG9. However, because TG950 is in the receive list for G9ABC he hears him. They carry on as if nothing had happened. But they have changed talk groups.
If they both leave long breaks then the contact is moving between TG9 and 950 at the end of each over.
Confusing for any other stations listening. Moral – be careful of the talkgroups in the receive list. Safer now to just have one!
If I change a reflector using a private call is it only me that can hear it?
No, once you change a reflector on S2 / TG9 everyone on the repeater can hear it. The private call is just used to connect the reflector.
Can I now connect to the Salop Cluster using my 'hot-spot'?
Well, sort of; whilst it is possible to do this we have found that it doesn't work as expected. At the moment this only works properly for repeaters. So, if you still feel the need to talk to us here just try using the West Midlands reflector on 4418 as its connected to the cluster (and a few more) by default.
June 1st 2018 ...
All repeaters in the Salop Cluster have joined the Brandmeister network to provide a wider range of features and services, including world-wide access and hot-spots ... enjoy!
Remember you can can still use the Salop Cluster as before - so no need to reprogram your radios, however adding Slot 2 / Talkgroup 9 and a few private calls opens up a whole new world of DMR via the user activated reflectors.
GB7BJ in Malvern has joined WD on Brandmeister - exactly the same configuration as below ...
Default reflector is 4418 (West Midlands) on Slot 2 / TG9, allowing QSO's across WD, WF and BJ.
Slot 1 / TG9 is local
Slot 2 / TG950 is the Brandmeister 'Salop' cluster
First of all, you can still use the Salop ‘channels’ on GB7WD; Slot 1 / TG9 is still local and Slot 2 / TG950 is the new ‘pseudo’ Salop cluster on Brandmeister – unfortunately WD is the only repeater connected so far, so it won’t get you very far.
There are no fixed or ‘static’ talkgroups configured, all access to the wider Brandmeister network is via user activated ‘reflectors’ which are set up by placing private calls to specific addresses on either Slot 1 or Slot 2.
So, at the very least, all you need to do is add another channel to your radio which is Slot 2 / TG9.
The West Midlands reflector (4418) is connected by default to Slot 2 / TG9 so any traffic on this talkgroup this will come through automatically. As far as I know, this is also permanently connected to our friends at GB7WF in Bewdley.
Useful reflectors are:
4400 – UK wide
4407 – Wales
4418 – West Midlands
4419 – East Midlands
4420 – WiresX
4426 – AllStar
This is not the complete list, all the Brandmeister reflectors should work, you just need to activate them by placing a private call.
Once you have successfully made a private call, there is a voice announcement and then just use TG9 as normal.
If there is no RF access to the repeater for 300 seconds (5 mins) the reflector is automatically disconnected.
To test your radio, use the parrot reflector … simply make a private call to 9990 on either slot 1 or 2 and it will record and play back your transmission.
Sadly, due to the increase in site rent and the lack of support for the repeater, GB7BX will closedown on or shortly before Friday 18th May.
A new location has been proposed by the repeater keeper but this will require site clearance by the RSGB and Ofcom before it can return.