Technologies used within Brandmeister DMR

Did you know there are 20+ technologies that make the BM magic possible?

Brandmeister’s developers chose the best and most bleeding-edge technologies available to create the most efficient and featureful Amateur Radio DMR Network ever conceived.

To give you an idea of the technologies symbiosis beauty happening within Brandmeister, here is a list of the main ones we use:

Databases

Languages

  • C & C++ for a most optimized core of Brandmeister DMR
  • LUA for ultra-fast calls processing on masters
  • NodeJS for back-end processing
  • Javascript for the dashboard
  • PHP for web functions on master servers
  • HTML for the dashboard and master web pages
  • Python for scripts on master and back-end servers
  • Bash for scripts on masters and back-end servers

Data Transfer

  • REST APIs for front-end to back-end communications
  • Fast-Forward a network protocol created by Brandmeister to transfer communications between masters at very high speed
  • Mosquitto for master-network data transfer
  • D-Bus for message bus system

Operating Systems

Applications

If you have expertise in programming with these technologies and can volunteer several hours per week, contact us to see if your skills are needed!

New “TextCapture” feature, the SMS Store-And-Forward service you can now enable in your Self-Care!

If you found it inconvenient that you can only receive SMS when your DMR radio is turned on, within repeater/hotspot coverage, and not busy … Brandmeister has a solution!

Thanks to the hard work of Artem and the Brandmeister beta testing team, you now have the ability to turn on “Text Capture” in your self-care, a feature that will store text messages sent to you if your radio is not reachable at the time of sending, and delay delivery until your RadioID becomes active on the Brandmeister DMR network.

Important Requirement

In order for this feature to work, you need to ensure that your radio sends an acknowledgment of SMS reception back to the BrandMeister network. Otherwise, BrandMeister will keep sending the messages, and you will be spammed!

So before turning on this feature, make sure your radio manufacturer has implemented SMS acknowledgment, and that you have enabled this feature in your codeplug. (We will provide a web-based tool to assist in checking if your radio acknowledges properly. Stay tuned!)

How does it work?

Illustration of a DMR Radio sending an SMS to another radio over the Brandmeister Network

By default, Text Capture is turned off. When someone sends an SMS to your RadioID, if the sender and the recipient are not on the same frequency and timeslot, the message is routed to the Brandmeister master server where your radioID was last seen and sent over the same repeater/hotspot you were using. If your radio gets it, great. If not, it’s lost and it won’t be re-delivered.

Brandmeister SMS routing when Text Capture is turned off

Once you turn on the Text Capture feature in your self-care, any data call sent to your radioID (including SMS, IRS, etc.) will be handled by BrandMeister. When an SMS is sent to your RadioID, Brandmeister will capture the message, send an acknowledgment to the sender, attempt delivery to your radio, and wait for it to acknowledge receipt of the SMS. If no acknowledgment is received, Brandmeister will keep sending the message on a regular basis until an acknowledgment is received, for a maximum duration of 7 days. After that, the message will be purged and there is no way to recover it.

Brandmeister SMS routing when Text Capture is turned on

Again, it’s important you keep in mind that once the feature is turned on, your radio will only receive data calls initiated by Brandmeister.

Exceptions

The store-and-forward feature only works with Brandmeister subscribers.

  • SMS from external services (such as automated SMS services, DAPNET messages, etc.) are sent directly to the recipient.
  • SMS cannot pass through gateways with other DMR networks.

Turning Text Capture on and off

  • Toggle the “Text Capture” option ON or OFF:

Hotspots and Repeaters Passwords – Important change on October 1st 2021

Over the past few months, the default password “passw0rd” used for MMDVM, Homebrew, and Kairos connections has been progressively removed from BrandMeister DMR Master Servers. This process will be completed by October 1st 2021.

Below are the details of which devices will be affected with this change, and how to address it.

MMDVM, Homebrew Hotspot users (which includes OpenSpot, Pi-Star, BlueDV, ZumSpot, etc.)

If you have not yet specified a hotspot password in your BrandMeister Selfcare, please do so by following the steps in this article. You will also find explanations on configuring your personalized password for the Openspot, Pi-Star and BlueDV.

MMDVM, Homebrew Repeaters Owners

If you are running a repeater using a 6-digit DMR ID and connected to a BrandMeister Master, and you have not set a password yet, please login to your repeater page and scroll to the bottom of the screen where you will find the “Device Password” field:

Once saved, configure your repeater to use this password when connecting to any BrandMeister Master server.

Dual time-slot MMDVM devices

If you are running a dual-timeslot MMDVM with a 7-digit DMR ID, please follow the steps described in the hotspot section above.

New Hoseline available with stunning new features!

The BrandMeister DMR development team has been working on a new web-based talkgroups audio streaming platform, known as “Hoseline”. It has been re-programmed from scratch and packs a lot of new jaw-dropping features. See and hear for yourself:

New interface

The Hoseline homepage shows a list of “blocks”. Each block represents a talkgroup, along with the current or last transmission information. New blocks will appear as new traffic comes up. If you want to listen to a talkgroup, simply click on the corresponding block.

To avoid clutter, only talkgroups between 90 and 9999 are showing up. You can listen to talkgroups above this limit by using the “Multiple Talkgroup Listening” option (see below).

Single Talkgroup Listening

When you click on one block from the homepage, you will register to this talkgroup, and any QSO will play on your speakers. If you click on another block, you will be unregistered from the previous talkgroup and registered to listen to the talkgroup matching the new block you clicked on.

Multiple Talkgroup Listening

If you click on the “Player” link at the top right of the page, you will have the ability to select multiple talkgroups (using the drop-down list, or typing the talkgroup number directly). You will see the list of talkgroups showing up in Talkgroup traffic will start playing right away in a list of bubbles. Audio will start playing right away for talkgroups in your list. You can remove a talkgroup by clicking on the “X” after the number.

Solo Mode

When you are in the player, looking at multiple talkgroups you registered to; you may click on a bubble’s talkgroup number to enable Solo Mode. This will mute all other talkgroups while keeping this one active. You can click again this talkgroup number to exit Solo Mode and listen to traffic on all groups listed. Clicking on another bubble number moves the Solo Mode to this new group.

New features

As you use the new Hoseline, you will notice these new awesome features only available on the Brandmeister DMR network:

Improved Audio Quality

BM’s developer’s secret sauce is bringing a stunning and unmatched audio quality. You won’t believe your ears!

Real-Time Vu Meter

A brand new VU-Meter was added inside the player, just below the talkgroup number(s). It measures the audio before AGC. It is done within the BrandMeister platform and reported independently from the supplied audio. The color coding is as follow:
– Yellow: less than -20 dBm
– Green: between -20dBm and -3dBm
– Red: above -3dBm

Multi-browser support

Most modern browsers are compatible. Whether you like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, the new Hoseline will work for you on desktop or mobile devices!

Volume Normalizing

Are you tired of turning the volume up and down because people are coming in louder or quieter than others? So were we, and now the volume on Hoseline is automatically normalized. Everyone’s audio is at the same level!

Auto-Reconnect

Are you having you internet connection hiccups? No problem, Hoseline will seamlessly reconnect you as soon as your internet connection is back.

Instant play on subscribe and unsubscribe

If you click a talkgroup block or add a talkgroup in the player where there is current traffic, the audio will play instantly. You will not need to wait for the next transmission. Likewise, if you are subscribed to several talkgroups and two of them become active around the same time, you will hear audio from the talkgroup that started a transmission first. If you decide to unregister from this talkgroup while its audio is playing, the second talkgroup audio will begin right away without waiting for the next transmission. It’s that fast!

Subscriptions list auto-save

You closed your browser, or Windows restarted your computer without asking? No problem, your talkgroups subscription list is saved and will be in the player when you go back to the new hoseline page. Just click on play and you’re back where you were!

We hope that you will enjoy this new version of Hoseline. While it is currently hosted on a separate URL, it become part of the new version of Brandmeister DMR Dashboard when it is released. If you have questions or comments, contact us on Telegram or drop a note on the support portal

New talkgroup 98 dedicated to tests

There is now a dedicated international talkgroup on BrandMeister for all your tests: TALKGROUP 98.

You can test the audio on your new radio or software as many times as you want, for as long as you want, without worrying to disrupt a QSO.

If you like helping fellow digital ham operators, please stand-by on this talkgroup whenever you can to provide assistance and feedback.

73’s and happy tests on talkgroup 98 !

Hotspot security password now required when connecting to USA BM Masters

Hotspots connecting to a BrandMeister Master Server in the USA will now require their users to set a hotspot security password. The configuration change will happen on the following dates:

Master 3101 : November 27th, 2020

Master 3102: December 4th, 2020

Master 3103: December 11th, 2020

Users who already have a password set don’t need to take any action at this time.

For general step by step instructions, you may refer to this post. The link can also be found in the FAQ section of the USA Wiki Page under the Hotspot Configurations section.

UK Master Server 2341 IP change

The UK BrandMeister DMR master has been moved to a new IP address: 51.68.220.36. This is due to unforeseen circumstances that unfortunately did not allow us to provide early notice.

Repeater owners currently pointing to the UK Master 2341 “old IP address” will have to change their repeater configuration. The old IP address might respond to MMDVM protocol but is disconnected from any BrandMeister traffic.

Gateway administrators (OpenBridge, YSF, XLX, WiresX, etc.) need to contact BrandMeister support via the Support Portal or Telegram BM UK Group to re-configure their connection.

Hotspot users please refresh your masters list to ensure the UK Master 2341 is updated with the new IP address 51.68.220.36. The old IP address might respond to MMDVM protocol but is disconnected from any BrandMeister traffic.

Stay safe, and happy QSO !

How to select a BrandMeister Master Server?

One of the main distinguishing feature of BrandMeister DMR is that the network is accessible from any master. Therefore you have a choice of 40+ master servers to connect your repeater or hotspot. How to choose?

The best performance will not always be with the master server that is closest to you geographically. Rather, it depends on your internet service provider’s capacity/peerings and the one of the master server.

The key factors for best DMR performance are jitter, then latency. Below is the most simple method to find the best master for you, without any special software.

Step 1: Go to the Brandmeister DMR Master Servers list, and select which master(s) you want to consider. Click on the “Status” button and grab the IP address for the master in your browser’s address bar.

Step 2: From the same network as your repeater or hotspot, run a “ping” command for 1 to 2 minutes to each master you are considering. Perform this test during the time of the day where your typically have the most traffic.

Step 3: Check that the round-trip delay provided by each ping (called latency) stays consistent, without any major variations (called jitter). See the examples below:

Good (No Jitter):

~ ping -t 74.91.118.251

Pinging 74.91.118.251 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=71ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=73ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=69ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=68ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=71ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=74ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=69ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=69ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=68ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=69ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=69ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=72ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=54

You can see that there are no major latency variations.

Bad (Jitter):

~ ping -t 74.91.118.251

Pinging 74.91.118.251 with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=71ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=73ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=354ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=366ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=219ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=72ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=70ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=77ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=983ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=875ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=917ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=75ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=72ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=819ms TTL=54
Reply from 74.91.118.251: bytes=32 time=668ms TTL=54

You can observe here the big variances in latency, indicating jitter. Symptoms of jitter include choppy/garbled audio and delayed/dropped transmissions.

Step 4:

Once you have found some masters with no jitter, pick the one offering the lowest latency (smallest ping time).

For any further question, please refer to the BrandMeister Support Portal.

Using DMR IDs on BrandMeister

The support team noticed a lot of questions are being sent regarding the use of IDs in radios, hotspots and repeater. Here is how BrandMeister recommends to use DMR IDs based on the different use case.

Accessing BrandMeister DMR with your radio and a public repeater or hotspot

All you have to worry about is the codeplug of your radio. In the configuration, you will use the 7-digit DMR ID your call-sign has been assigned (for example: 2060945) and the proper TX/RX frequencies.

Accessing BrandMeister DMR using your radio and personal hotspot

In your radio’s codeplug, configure your 7-digit personal DMR ID as assigned by HamDigital or RadioID. (For example: 2060945).

In your hotspot configuration, use your 7-digit personal DMR ID followed by “01”, for a total of 9-digits. (For example: 206094501). If you have more than one hotspot, use the suffix 02, 03, etc. Always make sure that all your hotspots are using different frequencies.

Do not add only “1”, “2”, etc. for a total of 8 digits, as this won’t work.

You do not need to request a 6-digit repeater ID for a hotspot, even if more than one person is using it, and even if it is dual-timeslot. The 6-digit repeater IDs are designed for large-coverage repeaters.

Providing a BrandMeister DMR repeater for the general public

If you would like to setup a repeater to allow a larger audience to access the BrandMeister DMR network, you will have to apply for a repeater ID with HamDigital.org or RadioID.net depending on your geographical location. Use this ID as-is in your repeater codeplug configuration and you are done.

If you are planning to deploy more than one repeater you will need to request a new 6-digit repeater ID for each repeater. Do not add “01”, “02” suffixes in each repeater configuration.