The N2CID Digital Amateur Radio Repeater Network has a dedicated XLX Reflector cluster for ham use. The reflector currently has multi-mode trans-coding enabled, meaning it can be accessed via D-Star, DMR and System Fusion (wires-x) where all modes can talk together. The idea of the reflector is to be a single place for all local repeaters, hot-spots and remote users to connect and stay in contact with friends and family no matter the digital mode. Visitors and residents alike are very welcome on the system. Here are the multiple ways to connect remotely:
- DMR: Brandmeister Talk Group 310441
- D-Star: XRF891C, DCS891C, REF891C
- Pi-Star: ‘XLX Master:’ XLX_891 C
- Yeasu Fusion: ysf.cidcomm.com (7 wires-x rooms available currently)
Connecting to our Yeasu Fusion Wires-X Rooms
You will need to add our system to your hosts file in most cases (pi-star: /usr/local/etc/YSFHosts.txt) Your entry should look like this…
78562;N2CID WIRES-X;N2CID WIRES-X;ysf.cidcomm.com;42000;000;http://ysf.cidcomm.com
Once added just refresh your pi-star page and select from the drop downs.
There is no need to register your call-sign on D-Star to use this reflector like you would to access REF reflectors. XLX reflectors work without checking a trust server. So do not worry if you are a D-Star user and have never gone through a call-sign registration process. You can still use this reflector!
The reflector has a real-time web dashboard to see other nodes and users connected and to what modules or rooms they are connected to.
- DO NOT QUICK KEY. Wait about 2 seconds between transmissions when talking between modes.
- Quick keying can lead to your mode not being picked up by the other modes.
- Allow an even longer time during round table discussions when crossing modes.
- Announce what mode you are coming in on.
- For example: “This is N2CID on DMR, monitoring”
- OR “N2CID this is KB2FMD on D-Star”
- Don’t be afraid to say hello to unfamiliar voices/call-signs.
How to connect to the reflector on your D-Star Radio:
Because the advanced XLX protocol is not available in DR mode radios, like REF, you will have to use the “UR” field to link manually. Trans-coding occurs on the C module of the reflector and will need to be connected through a hot-spot or pi-star enabled repeater. Icom based gateways do not support connecting to XLX reflectors. For example: G1, G2, G3
- Kerchunk XRF891CL in the UR field while connected to a hot-spot or repeater.
- Switch to “Use Reflector” in DR mode radio and start talking.
- Optionally you can use the traditional method on the radio and use REF891C
How to connect to the reflector on your DMR Radio using Brandmeister:
On any Brandmeister connected node/repeater simply use Talk Group: 310441
!! There are occasions when Brandmeister is doing maintenance or work on their end, and will drop the peers. Talkgroup 310441 will remain active, but it wont be tied to XLX891 at all. In which case, use “DMR Gateway” method below to bypass BM and connect direct to our system. !!
How to connect to the reflector on your DMR Radio using “DMR Gateway” in Pi-star:
Great video on this – here
DMR Gateway offers the ability to connect to this reflector directly from your repeater or hot-spot as opposed to using Brandmeister. Your connection will be direct to the reflector, bypassing Brandmeister or any other third party all together. If Brandmeister ever has problems, you can still connect via DMR. The dis-advantage is, as you will see, its a little more tricky to connect. You can leave this connection active along side your Brandmeister connection thanks to the MMDVMs ability to connect up to 3 different DMR networks simultaneously.
- Make sure the DMR mode is enabled
- On the configuration page, under “DMR Configuration” change the “DMR Master” to “DMRGateway” and APPLY.
- Back under “DMR Configuration” change “XLX Master” to “XLX_891”. You can opt to disable DMR+ Network to disable the additional voice traffic.
- Choose “C” for the module
- Enable “XLX Master Enable“
- Apply Changes
Manually enable Brandmeister network (This is needed for repeater operators to allow XLX and BM connections at the same time)
For some reason when you enable DMR Gateway, even though you have BM enabled, it doesn’t actually enable it. You need to edit the “DMR GW” config in the expert page:
- Go into the “Expert” page -> DMR Gateway
- Scroll to “DMR Network 1” (Just like the picture above)
- Enabled = 1
- Address = IP ADDRESS OF YOUR PREFERRED BM MASTER
- Name = <Name of your choice>
- Apply Changes
In your DMR codeplug:
- Create 2 new contacts
- Name: “Link to XLX891 A” TG: 64001 (priv call)
- Name: “Link to XLX891 B” TG: 64002 (priv call)
- Name: “Link to XLX891 C” TG: 64003 (priv call)
- Name: “Link to XLX891 D” TG: 64004 (priv call)
- Name: “Link to XLX891 E” TG: 64005 (priv call)
- Name: “Talk on XLX891” TG:6 (group Call)
- Name: “Disconnect XLX” TG: 64000 (priv call)
- Program these into channels for your pi-star device and then the zone of your choice
On your DMR radio:
- Go to the zone/channel where added the 2 new contacts.
- Pi-Star should connect to the “C” module of XLX891 automatically with your pi-star configuration setting. If not, we need to be on the “C” module by Kerchunking your channel “Link to XLX891 C”, then immediately switch to your channel “Talk on XLX891 C”.
- Link announcements and QSOs on the reflector will be done via “Talk on XLX891 C” (TG 6)
- Brandmeister is still connected to your pi-star, so you can still use your radio like normal, but be connected to 2 different DMR networks at the same time. If you did not disable the DMR+ network, you will be connected to 3 different networks at the same time. Neat huh?!
How to connect via DMR directly using the OpenSpot:
You can connect to this reflector directly from the SharkRF OpenSpot as oppose to using Brandmeister. Your connection will be direct to the reflector, bypassing Brandmeister all together. If Brandmeister ever has problems, you can still connect via DMR. The dis-advantage is, as you will see, its a little more tricky to connect.
In the OpenSpot
- Set the Modem to DMR (for crossmode)
- Go to the “Connectors” Tab:
- Edit Connector: “HomeBrew/MMDVM“
- Then under “DMR/HOMEBREW/MMDVM“
- Choose “Protocol“: MMDVM
- Choose “Server“: XLX891
In your DMR Codeplug
You will create at least 3 new contacts and a few channels
- Create the following contacts:
- Name: “TG 9” TG: 9 (Group Call)
- Name: “OPS XLX Disconnect” TG: 4000 (Group Call)
- Name: “OPS XLX C” TG: 4001 (Private call)
- Program these contacts into channels for the OpenSpot. TG 9 is where link announcements are made along with how you TX/RX on the reflector. Create a channel for TG 9, a channel for XLX C, a channel for XLX Disconnect, etc… then add them into a zone.
On Your DMR Radio
- Go to the zone where you programmed the channels for your OpenSpot.
- The C Module is where trans-coding occurs. Kerchunk your channel “OPS XLX C” and immediately switch to “TG 9”. You can create a RX Group for the “OPS XLX C” channel if you want to avoid switching channels rapidly to hear the announcements.
- In order to talk on and listen to the reflector make sure to select your channel “TG 9”.
- To switch modules, you must disconnect first, then link to the module of your choice. Simply switch to “OPS XLX Disconnect” and kerchunk to send a disconnect.