& BLOG ROLl
* 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.