Sherwood and Shinall UHF DMR switch

The Shinall K5NSX and Sherwood AC5XV UHF DMR repeaters have been switched. This switch might be temporary or it might be permanent…that is yet to be determined. For now, we are testing to see if there are issues with the hardware on the K5NSX repeater. If you notice differences in coverage between now and before the switch, please let us know.

The repeaters page has been updated to reflect the change.

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:

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.


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)


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!