Colorado Mega Reflector Digital System Changes Scheduled for next week!
The Monday, July 1st digital net will be the last net including the Brandmeister 31082 “Colorado-Link” talk group and its associated Wires-X system. Immediately following the close of the net we will be moving Module D of the PRA Mega Reflector (XLX376 Transcoder) to the new links listed below.
Brandmeister talk group 310759.
Yaesu Wires-X room 40895, named “Colorado Mega”.
YSF Reflector 23160, named “Colorado Mega”.
While there is no impact to any DSTAR users or DMR hotspot users connecting directly to XLX376, Brandmeister DMR and Yaesu C4FM users will need to make some minor changes.
- Brandmeister hotspot and repeater users, change the talk group to 310759 in your code plug for all repeater and hotspot channels you currently have programmed for 31082.
- Wires-X repeater, node and PDN users. Link your device to the Colorado Mega 40895 Wires-X room.
- Yaesu C4FM radio users via a hotspot (Pi-Star, Openspot, etc…), change your YSF Reflector to 23160.
Behind the scene changes that night will include:
- Breaking the link to 31082 which in turn breaks the connection to the Colorado-Link Wires-X system as well.
- Bringing up the XLX376-D to BM 310759 Link.
- Removing talk group 31082 from time slot 1 on the Smoky Hill and Pinery Brandmeister repeaters.
- Adding talk group 310759 to time slot 1 on the Smoky Hill and Pinery brandmeister repeaters.
Tips and tricks when using the system:
- Let the system drop – At any point in time there are no fewer than 10 devices linked together. Some on the internet, some via RF. The latencies amongst all of these links can vary from 10s or 100s of milliseconds and in some cases a full second or two. After hearing a transmission, don’t quick key the system like you would on a single analog FM machine. All of the devices involved need to completely drop. If all the links don’t get a chance to drop, you may only re-key half the system or none of it at all. Be patient and let the system drop for a full 1 to 2 seconds before replying to a QSO or during net check-ins.
- Let the system come up – The opposite is also true. The system needs ample time to key up 3 different digital modes on dozens of machines. After the key-up command makes it to a particular device, the RF transmitter on these machines need a few hundred milliseconds to settle down and make a clean transmission. So when keying up the system, key the mic and count 1-mississippi in your head before actually speaking. This will prevent the 1st part of your transmission from being cut off.
- Use ITU standard phoenitcs during check in – In the event of some packet loss across a link, letters like V T and E will all sound the same. Victor, Tango and Echo will sound much different. Please use standard phonetics when checking into nets on a linked digital system.
Brandmeister – The vast majority of the time, traffic between the Colorado Mega system and Brandmeister will go through Master Server 3102. In order to keep points of failure to a minimum, if coming through Brandmeister connect your hotspot to 3102. There are known performance issues between 3102 and some other BM master servers.
- Link directly to the Mega System – Whenever possible, your best performance will come from linking directly to the Colorado system.
- DSTAR clients capable of DCS should link directly to XLX376-D
- Older DSTAR clients that must use XRF should go through XRF223-B or XRF720-C
- Pi-Star DMR users should use DMRGateway mode and connect to XLX376
- Pi-Star YSF users should use Colorado Mega 23160
Thank you all for your patience while we make these changes. The outcome should be a more stable network with less latency!
The PRA is so fortunate to have a vast pool of knowledge and talent in our organization. The reasons behind the change aren't important; what is important is that the PRA put into practice one of its key sayings, "Keep the Squelch Loose." Great job to all who were involved in this setup, in whatever way, to make this system what it has become. There are not too many other ham radio clubs in the world that have something like this.