XLX303 New in 2024!

December 31, 2023 – New Years Eve – 12-31-23 (123123)
– by Bucky, W0SUN

A lot of exciting things are happening in 2024!

First, we’ve moved the Digital Learning Net from SKYHUBLINK to COLORADO-HD. This actually makes sense for the main reason that the DLN (Digital Learning Net) group calls Talkgroup 31088 XLX303-D home when we are not doing the Net every Wednesday night. Also, the original Digital Net called “COLORADO HD Net” (Colorado Hotspot Discussion Net) which ran from 2018 to 2022 called this home. That Net was awesome in so many ways and Bud W0RMT did such a fantastic job running that Net. We’re so honored that Bud and the group has recommended DLN to people and even allowed us to call COLORADO-HD home.

Second, the XLX303 Multiprotocol reflector is growing. Not only are more people finding their way to the XLX303. But it is constantly being enhanced and improved. The XLX Multiprotocol reflector is an amazing piece of software that allows us to link our reflector directly into Brandmeister (BM) which is the largest and most popular Digital Communications Network in the world for Ham Radio. We leverage the Brandmeister network further making it a backbone to connect in our Yaesu WiRES-X rooms to a BM Master server. Those BM servers then route to our XLX303 Reflector. As a rule we coded in BM routing on Modules A through H. This allows Modules I,J,K,L,M and beyond to route other places such as other XLX Reflectors such as XLX720 or other networks such as the TGIF DMR Network.

The cool thing is that XLX allows different types of radios with different modulations and different connection protocols to connect and understand each other. This gives so much control to the Ham Radio Operator in using their Digital Radio of choice to navigate through the various modules on the XLX303 Reflector.

So for example, D-Star radios can connect to XLX303D using the radio native connection protocol such as the DCS303DL link command for COLORADO-HD. And then QSY over to Superfreq with the DCS303FL link command. Then a Yaesu radio in turn can connect by default to XLX303 on a hotspot landing on Module D. Module D is our landing place by default taking you to what we call COLORADO-HD. The Yaesu radio operator can then QSY over to Superfreq by changing their, native to Yaesu protocol, DG-ID from the default TX 00 to DG-ID TX 15. With the latest firmware updates your Hotspot detects your Yaesu DG-ID and carries that over to the XLX Reflector which knows exactly what to do and moves you into the corresponding module. To make your way back to XLX303D you could just unplug the power to your hotspot if you get lost and plug back in then auto reconnect back to the default module. But the much better recommended approach would be to change your DG-ID from TX15 to TX13 which would allow you to move back to COLORADO-HD.

Well that’s a lot of “Tech Speak” which basically means your D-Star and Fusion Radios can all get along. Which is what we’re all about in the first place. I haven’t even added the DMR approach. We’ll do a separate post on all this tech navigation later.

So I mentioned the enhancements and changes taking place on the modules. Have you taken a look at the XLX303 Dashboard recently? I don’t know about you but I may be getting one of those super wide monitors or adding a third monitor so I can see the entire dashboard. Yes it’s growing not just vertically with more hotspots connected but it it’s growing horizontally as well with more modules being added.

We’ve added “Special K”. And a bunch of guys are connecting to Module M to coordinate VHF Weak signal communication contacts. “Special K” started out as a project for testing various communication methods linking together. Last time I checked we had Allstar connected to D-Star, Fusion, P-25 and even Hamshack Hotline all through XLX303-K module. We also brought out the Superfreq DMR Talkgroup 420 on TGIF out of retirement and connected it to XLX303-K. But we’re also working on a hardware interface to a WiRES-X room with a Yaesu HRI-200 box which connects via a PI or computer which is communicating to an XLX Module. This would allow us to natively bring in WiRES-X without depending on the Brandmeister Backbone approach to keep our WiRES-X rooms connected. This would allow us to connect in WiRES-X rooms to other places that can’t be leveraged by Brandmeister. So this is what makes “Special K” well, special.

We’ve added more digital repeaters in 2023 and will probably add more in 2024. Check out our Growing Repeater Page.

So thank you everyone for stopping by. Thank you for connecting and linking and learning. And thank you for communicating and having fun. After all that’s what Ham Radio is all about.

Here’s wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year for 2024!

Best 73!
Bucky, W0SUN