During this evenings Minnesota Statewide DMR net, held on Talk-group 3127, Wednesday nights at 7pm Central. Many of us discovered that many repeaters are again split and unable to talk to each other, due to networks disconnecting from each other. Matt, NØYNT shared with us that brandmeister network manager Cory N3FE disconnected the K4USD network from the brandmeisternetwork because K4USD was passing on network connections to downstream networks where as Cory felt those networks should connect directly with his. Anyhow, Minnesota Statewide 3127 was the victim again and depending on where your repeater connected, it might not connect to other users DMR repeaters.
This is crazy guys. But politics and power have interrupted our own statewide talk-group. As many may know, in Minnesota we use our statewide 3127 talk-group to carry on conversations and nets rather than as only a calling channel. Corey N3FE who along with Anthony W7XM operate the US Brandmeister servers has confirmed to me that he personally pulled the plug on the cc link (interconnection between networks) because he states he’s gotten complaints we are not using our talk-group as only a calling channel.
What follows is the conversation I’d had with him regarding this issue. It’s looking like I may need to find another network as when non-Brandmeister repeaters and their users are not following his rules, he’s going to punish myself and other Brandmeister hot-spot users by pulling the network apart.
Hopefully this conversation will speak for itself.
Artem Prilutskii DL5ABM is the lead developer of Brandmeister software…
On Friday afternoon, we were informed the Chaska water tower site is no longer available for us. The network connection was shutdown and the repeater remains on the air but without a network connection. It appears the site will remain operational through the winter, but without a network connection. We’re exploring alternate sites and a temporary network connection.
For those who are on Hamshack Hotline (https://hamshackhotline.com/) there is a weekly Conference Bridge “net” on the Minnesota DMR Bridge line at 9:00 PM Sunday evenings. The bridgeline number is “395” and the pin number is “3127”. If you are on the Twin Cities Hamnet (AREDN) dial a “0” first to access the outside line to Hamshack Hotline.
Dave – KEØNA
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/
Hello to All (From Carl);
Over the past few years I have developed a collection of “hotspots” … and there are just so many that one person can use! I have for sale, the following:
DVMega UHF HotSpot on a Raspberry Pi-3 with a .91” OLED display and Pi-Star Asking $100
MMDVM VHF & UHF Hotspot using a Raspberry Pi-3 with .91” OLED display and Pi-Star Asking $125
Jumbo Spot UHF Hotspot using a Raspberry Pi-0 with .93” OLED display and Pi-Star Asking $95
Nano-Spot Hotspot by Micro-Node International
The NANO-SPOT is a completely self-contained digital hotspot supporting DMR, D-Star, P-25 and System Fusion. All that’s required for operation is a power source and WiFi based internet connection. The Pi-Star digital voice dashboard software is pre-installed and extremely easy to set up right out of the box. The Nano Spot has a built-in OLED status display that indicates the active mode of operation as well as the call sign and talk group of the current user. The Nano-Spot operates on UHF (430-450Mhz) and has a built-in WiFi 802.11bgn network radio that makes connecting with wireless routers, cell phone hotspots or mobile routers easy and seamless. New, this hotspot was $269. Asking $150
Blue DV UHF Hotspot with DV-Mega on BlueStack-micro+ Board Asking $100
Wireless Holding UHF DV4-Mini Hotspot Dongle $85
BlueStack-micro+ Board Only – Asking $25
Call Carl WA0CQG at (952) 835-0056 or email at email@example.com
MinnesotaDMR hams are hosting a ham radio help video conference almost continuously since March, 2020. Join us with questions about DMR or any ham radio subject. Ask about the many fun projects we have worked on:
Join the meeting:
To join by phone instead, call this number: +1.512.402.2718,,4062128618#
Looking for a different dial-in number?
See meeting dial-in numbers: https://meet.jit.si/static/dialInInfo.html?room=MinnesotaDMR
If also dialing-in through a room phone, join without connecting to audio: https://meet.jit.si/MinnesotaDMR#config.startSilent=true
Everyone starts with their line muted. You can unmute yourself when you’d like to talk.
There is a password. Ssshh, for now, it’s ‘breakfast‘
Hello, Let me introduce you to Bill W9YZI.
The Princeton repeater is alive on the Brandmeister network and
will be moving to is now at 442.500 CC3. The repeater is an MTR2000 with modifications to support DMR among other modes. it’s solid Motorola hardware with the MMDVM conversions board from “rptr builders” allowing P25, D-Star, Fusion and of course DMR. It’s currently running at 50 watts and at 442.5 442.5125 but a minor move in frequency is expected. The antenna is 9Dbi and stands at about 55ft.
If you hear Bill W9YZI, be sure to say hello and let everyone know if you have worked his repeater.
73 – NØNKI – Eric
Minnesota’s got another repeater on the air -Check the listing out for Wyoming Minnesota.
It’s been discussed on this evenings net that some services on Brandmeister have been limited because “there’s no free ride”. I’ll disagree that money has anything to do with removing services. This is a hobby for all of us. I have repeaters on the air because I enjoy the technology. It’s unlikely I’d stop doing this with money being the motivator. But in any case, supporting your local repeater and network is a great idea. One issue to understand is we are each operating independently. I have 3 systems on the air and two under construction. Duluth is often delayed because of the shear distance, weather, tower limitations, lack of internet… White Bear Lake Township was delayed for water tower painting and this happened to also include the disposal of about $4500 dollars of hard-line being placed in the trash. Maybe Money is a factor??? Minnetonka and Chaska are my repeaters but the site and Internet are provided by Don Rice. The Bloomington system is hosted by the City of Bloomington on their radio tower. The duplexers are valued at $600. (You can buy cheaper, but there are significant performance differences). The repeaters are $2500 new and I have been buying second hand equipment at about 1k.
I’d like to leave a list of people who support DMR in our area, but I’m sure I’d forget someone. You can paypal myself at firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t have paypal addresses for anyone else. Dave KE0NA supports our Motorola users with his programming software and codeplug assistance. Galen KC0BBK supports the community by buying dozens of china radios and creating codeplugs for the community. Nagi N0AGI has a couple of repeaters? Had a couple? Hennepin Co provides a site and maybe owns that repeater now. Bill KD0YRF owns a repeater or two and provides a CBridge. Adam is administering that Bridge… (Largely I’m guessing here)… Matt N0YNT with a couple partners runs the system at the UofM and maybe one or two additional sites? Terry has two sites, one in St Paul, another North East of there? Maybe another? Don N0BVE has systems at the Airport and Downtown Minneapolis. He’s had a hand in other installations. He provides locations and Internet for two of mine. Carl has a repeater at his home in Bloomington that’s portable and available for disaster support. Dan KC0CAP has Litchfield. there’s plenty of systems outside the metro. There’s on going expenses for activities like the BBQ, the HamFest appearances… There are 3 significant networks involved. Brandmeister, K4USD and MN.DMR(KD0YRF). They each have on going expenses. If you can provide financial support, please contact those who are providing the services you use.