Video Conference Meeting, still going

Since COVID hit us back in early 2020, the Minnesota DMR community pivoted from in person breakfast to online meetings each Saturday morning. While it might not be on Saturdays only, a dedicated group have keep the conference bridge alive for more than 3 years now.

You can connect at any time, give a yell and you might find several people run to their PC’s or cell phones and join you for a video call. This is a great resource if you need assistance configuring your radio or any other Amateur radio elmer’ing. Or simply to hang out.

Another network split

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.

Brandmeister breaks Minnesota statewide link, wants 10 minute limits on our talk-group

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…

Hotspot owners, do this immediately (new security requirements)

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 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.

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!


WAØCGQ Hotspots for sale

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

Video Conferencing

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:

If also dialing-in through a room phone, join without connecting to audio:

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