As you may know, hotspots connecting to a BrandMeister master server using homebrew or MMDVM protocol require a password to connect. Currently most of you use the “master server password” which is typically published on the corresponding country’s BrandMeister wiki page. Some software packages include those default passwords, relieving the users from needing to research and input this password.
It is also possible, and now strongly recommended for each user to setup their own personalized password from within the BrandMeister Selfcare.
Why setting up a personalized hotspot password for your own callsign ?
If you did not setup a personalized password for your hotspot, anyone can configure their hotspot with your personal DMR ID and connect with the master’s publicly documented default password, and start using the hotspot with your callsign !
Unfortunately this is happening more and more, thus our recommendation for everyone to setup a personalized password. By creating your own password, you ensure that you are the only one able to use your DMR ID to setup a hotspot.
Also setting up your own password will prevent your hotspot connection to stop working when the password is changed on the master you are connecting to.
How to proceed ?
First, create a personalized password in your BrandMeister selfcare.
Three years ago, after eleven months of intense tests and development, a new software emerged in the amateur radio DMR realm with features never seen before. New master servers appeared quickly in many countries, thus creating the BrandMeister DMR Network. Sysops connected their repeaters to the network to enjoy the features, and digital ham operators over the world quickly adopted the new platform for their DMR transmissions.
BrandMeister quickly included inter-connectivity allowing international operators using mixed digital and analog technologies to have QSOs together (D-STAR, C4FM, NXDN, Analog).
Today, as we are celebrating BrandMeister DMR’s 3rd birthday: the network is counting 44 master servers installed across the world, 2600 repeaters and 7800 hotspots are connected and an average of 30 concurrent calls are taking place at all times !
This birthday is an opportunity to acknowledge all the volunteers who contributed in the success of BrandMeister by spending countless hours in programming, setting up servers and hosting platforms, testing, translating, documenting, and providing users and sysops support. BrandMeister also received donations which contributed to the implementation of new features and new hardware support on the servers. Thank you to everyone for your contribution !
In just one year of time, several major features have been added to BrandMeister, such as:
A couple of months ago Artem/Brandmeister and Kurt/IPSC2 have worked together to create a new protocol to interconnect BrandMeister Master Servers and IPSC2 servers, for the purpose of exchanging TalkGoup traffic: OpenBridge.
Since version 20180610, BrandMeister master servers can be interconnected with IPSC2 servers to exchange talkgroup content. Talkgroup numbers are configured on both sides, and traffic goes both ways with the ability to have traffic on multiple TalkGroups at the same time.
While you can check for the presence of an OpenBridge connection on a BrandMeister master’s status page, the protocol does not include any connection-establishment, nor keep-alive.
If you have an IPSC2 server and would like to interconnect it with the BrandMeister network, please contact the BrandMeister Master Server of your country (or the closest one if there are none in your country) to request the connection.
The BrandMeister database back-end for the last-heard application has been completely redesigned, bringing more speed and storage. You can now enjoy a much more responsive last-heard with 30 rows history, and a near-instant call statistics and contact export !
This new Hytera radio combines a conventional Analog FM radio, a DMR Tier I+II+III radio, and a cell phone !
The PDC-760 can connect to the BrandMeister DMR network over the air (repeater or hotspot) and over an IP network (WiFi , cellular 3G and LTE ).
This IP67 dust and waterproof radio is running an android operating system, a color 800×480 gloves-compatible touch screen with shatter-resistant Gorilla® Glass 3, and features a 128×96 top LCD display for easy reading from above.
You can configure Talkgroups from the front screen or the codeplug.
When using an IP network, you can connect to the BrandMeister DMR network and use Talkgroups, Private call, and Private messages as you would normally over the air or with a hotspot. Two BM modes are available:
Automatic: incoming traffic for talkgroups, private calls and sms messages.
Exclusive: once you select a private or group contact and push PTT, you will be placed in an exclusive mode where no one else can disturb you. You can press the hang up button to exit. It’s like having a private half-duplex phone call !
This new radio includes Hytera’s latest smart battery fast charge technology, 3 times faster than regular batteries allowing an 80% charge within 30 minutes. Full charges can be achieved in 1 hour !
The BrandMeister master servers running version 20180601 and above support this device. Below is a video clip of the device connected to a BrandMeister network over IP:
Notes: BrandMeister does not support video calls nor phone calls (PSTN). The switch between over-the-air and over-ip is done manually by the user.
Support for NXDN (NX-REF and NXCORE) has been added in the latest version of BrandMeister DMR Master Server. Master server administrators can assist you in setting up a gateway.
Here are important considerations to know about the NXDN implementation.
Keep in mind that unlike DMR, the ID numbers on NXDN are limited to a 16-bit value. Everything above 65519 will not be recognized.
BrandMeister does not do any ID translation between DMR<->NXDN :
* When you receive NXDN traffic on BrandMeister, the original NXDN IDs will be showing up as the source and the talkgroup.
* When you transmit on a BrandMeister talkgroup that is bridged with NXDN, only the last 16-bits of your DMR ID will be kept and used as a the source on the NXDN network.
There is also no translation between the two systems Talkgroup IDs. Only Talkgroup numbers between 91 and 65519 are supported.
BrandMeister currently only supports the ICOM implementation of NXDN.
BrandMeister has implemented private calling support for NXDN, but at this point neither NX-REF or NXCORE have implemented this feature on their end.
NXCORE only supports 1 concurrent call (half duplex). This means that if several people are transmitting on a talkgroup connected to an NXcore, only one transmission will go through, and all others will be discarded until the gateway path becomes available.
You will not be able to setup multiple NXCORE on the same server to the same BrandMeister master server (by using different port numbers for example). NXCORE recognizes a BrandMeister master server as a repeater; and NXCORE identify repeaters by IP only (not by ID, not by IP/PORT).
BrandMeister is proud to introduce Users API keys !
What are users API keys for ?
A BrandMeister user API key allows a third-party applications to interact with its owner’s SelfCare information and functionalites. For example, a BrandMeister user can provide his API key to a mobile application in order to review and make change to its BrandMeister personal Self-Care and its repeaters. There is no need to provide the username (callsign) and password to your account.
How does an API key look like ?
An API key is a 128-character string. For example:
Using an API key allows you to keep your SelfCare username and password confidential and to keep granular control over each key you provide to others.
The API key is completely unrelated to your SelfCare password. If you change your SelfCare password, the keys you have generated are still valid.
At anytime you can Revoke a key, and any person or application with this key will no longer be able to access the information and features of your personal SelfCare account.
How to generate and revoke my user API keys ?
To generate an API key, follow these steps:
Login to your BrandMeister SelfCare account using a web browser, and authenticate using your callsign and password.
Click on your callsign or avatar at the top of the screen, and select “Profile Settings”
Click on the “API Keys” button in the Security Settings section
This is where your existing keys (if any) will be displayed. Click “Add” to create a new key.
Provide a name for your API key.
You can create as many keys as you’d like. It is therefore recommended to generate one key per application you will use, and name the key accordingly. The name has no impact on the key, it is just a label utilized in the SelfCare to help you remember which key is which.
The next screen will display the API key. If you are using a mobile app, chances are that you can just take a photo of the key within the app and you are done. Otherwise you may copy/paste the key into the application directly.
This is the only time the key code and barcode will be visible. Once you click “OK” only the key name will be available in your list. There is no need to keep a copy of your key somewhere, considering that you can always revoke and generate a new key.
BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL OF WHOM YOU GIVE YOUR KEY, AND WHERE YOU SAVE YOUR KEY. THE KEYS ALLOW A COMPLETE AN FULL ACCESS TO ALL THE FEATURES OF YOUR PERSONAL SELFCARE. THIS INCLUDES REPEATER/MASTER SYSOP FUNCTIONS !
After clicking “OK” you will be sent back to the list of API keys, with the ability to revoke a key if needed.
Why not just providing my SelfCare account credentials ?
Your password is confidential and should never be given to others. Providing a separate key to each third-party allow you better control: if you provided your account password, each time you want to change the password you will have to go back to each third party to update it. With the API keys, you can change your SelfCare account password or revoke a key without affecting all other keys you have already provided.
Is there any existing applications using user API keys ?
There are currently three developers we have worked with to develop the first applications leveraging user API keys:
This application for Android devices allows you to manage your hotspot or repeater directly from your mobile device, without having to go through the web-based SelfCare interface. Once you have registered your user API key, no further password will ever be required. And the application will continue to work and properly authenticate with your SelfCare account even if you change your SelfCare password using the web-based interface.
We ran database query over the past 6 months and have seen that more than 54,000 unique DMR IDs have been utilizing the BrandMeister network. That’s more than half the number of IDs assigned by DMR-Marc !