June NSX Meetup 2

June NSX Meetup 2
Thursday, March 23 at 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Roughly, just come when you want)
Whole Hog Cafe
5309 Hwy 5 North, Bryant, Arkansas 72022

Updates will be posted on the Facebook event page here.

No agenda planned, but a few of us have the new TYT MD-2017 dual-band DMR HT to show off and discuss.  We will also talk about some recent developments with MMDVM.

June NSX Meetup

June NSX Meetup
Thursday, June 1 at 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM (Roughly, just come when you want)
Whole Hog Cafe North Little Rock
5107 Warden Rd, North Little Rock, Arkansas 72116

Updates will be posted on the Facebook event page here.

We do have a semi-private room reserved and it would be handy to have a rough idea of who will be there. If you use Facebook, please mark the event as “Going”. If not, a quick contact through the website would be helpful. If you are reading this the day of, come on anyway. We will make room for you!

April NSX Meetup

April NSX Meetup
Thursday, April 20th at 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM (Roughly, just come when you want)
Whole Hog Cafe
12111 W. Markham Street – Rock Creek Plaza
Little Rock, AR

Informal meetup for the Natural State Xperimenters amateur radio group. While we won’t have a formal presentation, we will have some things to discuss regarding some new projects that are underway.

Updates will be posted on the Facebook event page here.

System Connection Status

We’ve had some issues with the internet connection to Shinall Mountain over the past week. Today, we replaced the router and it seems to be stable again.

There’s a new link above available to monitor NSX Status. It has the current status of the Shinall internet connection, K5NSX and AC5XV repeater connections to BrandMeister, and K5NSX D-STAR connection to ircDDB. More items will be added in the future.

Note: While the page refreshes on a 1 minute interval, the actual checks are done on 5 minute intervals.

Here’s the direct link if you want to bookmark it:
https://status.k5nsx.com/

February NSX Dinner Meeting

A few weeks ago, I had a free night and threw out the idea on the NSX Facebook page of getting together for dinner. I was surprised to have around a dozen folks show up. We decided to keep it up monthly for a while. It was and will continue to be a very informal time…basically just visiting over dinner. We would love to have you join us. Here are the details:

February NSX Dinner
Thursday, February 23 at 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM (Roughly, just come when you want)
Whole Hog Cafe North Little Rock
5107 Warden Rd, North Little Rock, Arkansas 72116

Updates will be posted on the Facebook event page here.

We do have a semi-private room reserved and it would be handy to have a rough idea of who will be there. If you use Facebook, please mark the event as “Going”. If not, a quick contact through the website would be helpful. If you are reading this the day of, come on anyway. We will make room for you!

Local Talk Group Changes

With the popularity of the various hot spots, we’ve often had requests for hot spot users to be able to talk to the local talk group. Because BrandMeister basically discards any traffic that it receives tagged with talk group ID 2, this really wasn’t possible.  Effective immediately, we recommend that everyone switches their local talk group from ID 2 to 310501.

Some users have already been using it for a while as an on-demand talk group and had radios programmed with both local talk groups.  There has been some confusion around the naming, so we suggest calling it NSX Local.  The sample codeplugs for the MD380 and CS700 have been updated to have the new talk group with that name.

Both repeaters (K5NSX/Shinall and AC5XV/Sherwood) now have NSX Local and Arkansas talk groups statically assigned on time slot 2.  This means that a remote user can use those talk groups on a remote repeater or on a hot spot and their traffic will pass on both local repeaters even if there hasn’t been recent local repeater activity on the talk group.

The back-end configuration that connects the Shinall and Sherwood repeaters’ old local talk group is still in place but will be removed after the meeting on the 23rd. If you need programming assistance, please come to the meeting with your radio and we will do our best to help. If you have something other than an MD380 and need help, please let us know ahead of time so that we can be sure someone has the proper cable and software with them.

One final thing that this change will do is enable the monitoring of the repeater activity on the BrandMeister Dashboard and audio on Hoseline.  Both are accessible with nothing more than an internet connection and a web browser.

BrandMeister User Guide

Over the past few days I have spent some time working with a few others on developing a “User Guide” for the U.S. BrandMeister server.

It documents what talk groups are available statically on each time
slot, some definitions, and a listing of various other talk groups that
may be of interest.

Our hope is that it will answer many of your questions and increase your understanding and exploration of the system!

 

U.S. BrandMeister User Guide

 

 

Moving to BrandMeister

If you have been keeping tabs on the Facebook group you know that we have been doing testing on an alternative to the cBridge which connects to a new network with some exciting possibilities.

Benefits:

Using Motorola, Hytera, or Homebrew repeaters
The ability to use Dongles to communicate with the network
The ability to communicate with DStar reflectors
Support for location based services for Motorola and Hytera radios with GPS (APRS)

Downside:

Less network activity, meaning less repeaters until people learn of it and test it. I have looked at the statistics and including all 3 repeaters, we use less than 3 minutes of network based talk groups a day, so I don’t consider this a huge loss.

We will still have our local talk group and still have the Arkansas talk group as well, so communication among us will not be disrupted. New sample codeplugs for Motorola, Hytera, Tytera, and CS based radios have been published to ease the transition to the new system.  In addition, I will be providing a list of the most commonly used talk groups and how they are configured on the system.

The Little Rock repeater has already been transitioned to the new system as I have been doing a lot of testing to ensure that it is stable and operates properly.  I have also contacted the other repeater owners in the state about moving to the new system and this should be completed in the next week or so.

Questions or comments, please let us know!