Greetings from Eric, NØNKI,
I’ve just learned that in Brandmeister’s quest to improve their service, hotspots will now require unique passwords. If you own a hotspot, odds are it’s configured to use the default password of passw0rd. What I heard was that starting next Friday the 3101 server would cut off users, followed by 3102 and then 3103 each of the following weeks. Well that was Thursday night I learned this and I assumed next Friday was December 4th. I went searching the internet for confirmation and read that before December, this would be required. Well forward about 12 hours to today and I’ve now heard that at midnight last night, the requirement was placed in service on 3101 and that about 75% of the hotspots previously connected are still offline! I can confirm seeing nearly 18,000 hotspots online last night and only 12,800 are online now. Considering this change was only in the US, and only one master of the three… That’s >5,000 hostpots offline at the moment!
Here’s what you need to do RIGHT NOW!
Login to Brandmeister at https://brandmeister.network/ The link to login is in the upper right corner. If you don’t have an account, you need to begin the process immediately. It can take 48 hours to validate your request. I’m told it’s still a manual process and you’ll be waiting and watching your email for a reply. If you know you don’t have an account, go directly to this link. https://brandmeister.network/?page=register
Once you are logged in, you need to find “self-care”. You can get there from the menu on the leftside under services, or in the upper right corner, click on your call sign to expose the menu and click self-care.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll find tabs for each dmrid number you have. (If you have more than one).
At the bottom of the page, you’ll see a toggle switch for “Hotspot Security”. Turn that on and then choose a password you will use in your hotspot’s configuration. Keep in mind the default we’ve used for 4 years was simply passw0rd. Use something unique here, but there’s no need to go crazy with a password manager or picking something extremely long/secure. Some poorly designed devices are not great at parsing or processing special characters. I’m a security guy so it feels weird to share this, but the rumor mill says you can enter long passwords or mixed character class passwords into certain products. My password has upper, lower and a couple numbers, but I’ve been told that doesn’t work. I know it does, I’ve done it. You’re going to need this password, so make sure you remember it or know where to look for it. It’s not visible in the dashboard once you save it.
OK, now that you have set a unique password on your account, you’re going to need to change the settings on your hotspot(s). I have 4 of them, plus a couple of other devices like dvswitch mobile.
There’s so many hotspots out there, it would take quite some bit of work to document all of them.
Pi-Star is a popular distribution for MMDVM software that’s become the foundation for >75% of the hotspots out there. (I’m taking a guess here as I can’t find the dashboard that shared the actual counts right now). You’ll need to find the IP address of your hotspot so you can point a web browser at that address. Once you have that and are looking at your Pi-Star dashboard page, click on the “configuration” link in the upper right corner. Once you’ve done that, scroll down the page, just past “general configuration” to “DMR Configuration”. In this section you’ll see a toggle switch to enable hotspot security and then enter the same password you created on your self-care page over at Brandmeister. Save the settings and just to be certain, go ahead and choose reboot under the power menu. After a few minutes, try things out and verify you are connected.
Again, don’t delay. It appears Braindmeister has already begun implementing these changes and you might get disconnected from the network at any moment.
Here’s another link you might find helpful! https://news.brandmeister.network/configure-a-security-password-for-your-hotspots/