Dear users of our Digital-Voice-Networks!
We have to close down services which are based on xreflector.net at the end of this year.
We regret this step, but the time has come, given facts force us to do so.
The development of xreflector.net started about 10 years ago with the activities around DSTAR. With the given hard- and software and the AMBE codec, closed, commercial, expensive, people claimed that this is the end of homebrew hard- and software development in Amateur Radio. But it took only a short time until the alternative X-trust-System was developed, which was the first DSTAR network system created by ham-radio amateurs in competition to the commercial software and the network from Icom.
Also the xreflector (XRF) was developed, which still today gives the network backbone it’s name. XRF was the first open-source reflector software.
Based on it, the CCS/DCS reflector system was developed and afterwards many others. It is a connected system of different reflectors around the globe, reporting back to one central system, which allows DTMF-based direct calls via all connected repeaters worldwide.
Different hardware developments followed, which could be easily connected to the CCS/DCS network, DV2, DV3, DV4mini etc..
When DMR became common for Amateur Radio, members of the developer team started to work on it. It was at a time, where nearly no information was available, top-secret, protected by patents, analysis forbidden …
Again many people claimed that these activities are all illegal, DMR is a commercial system, which leaves no room for homebrew hard- and software developments.
We started with reporting systems for Motorola networks to make the network activities visible, developed a master server for the new upcoming Hytera network, the first bridges between Motorola and Hytera networks, the first dongles for DMR, the first bridges from DSTAR to DMR and many new ideas were realized over years in cooperation with several other developers and supporters. We came together from different groups and we called the network “DMR+”.
Over the last few years other groups came up with new ideas and new systems. A big step for DSTAR, DMR and other digital voice modes was the MMDVM protocol standard which was developed with our involvement. It was similar to the development of ircDDB and ircDDBGateway in early DSTAR times. With MMDVM it became easy and cheap to set up repeaters without commercial hardware. The worldwide Amateur Radio DMR network exploded.
Based on the experiences with the DSTAR and DMR, other reflector systems for several other Digital Voice modes were implemented, Netfusion, APCO25, dPMR, NXDN. We could write long stories, many different more or less good things were developed around digital voice in Amateur Radio in the last years.
The main driver of xreflector.net and owner of most servers and the domain is Torsten DG1HT. He will leave Germany and has to give up the systems. This basic network of servers is used by different software and the firmware of some hardware for reporting and getting basic data, like for CCS, DCS, IRC, PCS, FCS, LCS, Web, DNS, sMaster, bMaster, Databases…
For DSTAR gateways and dongles the DCS reflectors will no longer be available. As an alternative you may use XLX reflectors, which talk the same protocol. There are different people who will work on this and will set up new servers in the next few weeks.
The reflectors for Fusion (FCS), dPMR (LCS), APCO25 (PCS) will no longer be available, but there are also similar alternatives available.
There will also be some influence on the DMR+network. Some basic systems like DNS, IRC, Databases, sMaster and bMaster run on the same servers and use the same network. Therefor we also have to do some changes on the DMR+software.
The DMR+ developer team will update the IPSC2 server to run only with the new bMaster+, no need for other supporting systems. Several IPSC2 already switched to this new backbone server and no longer use the old sMaster/bMaster structure. That server will be modified and move to a different location with a different IP. All IPSC2 admins will be forced to update to the new version and switch to the new bMaster+, the old IPSC2 will stop working when the xreflector.net based systems will be shut down.
After the current IPSC2 server provides all features also for dongles and hotspots, we decided to no longer support DMR+Master. This old software is based on a very early structure, requires IRC, sMaster and bMaster and it is hard to maintain. The software is still based on parts of the old DMR-reporting clients, DMR-bridges, xreflector software and libraries from early days which we have got under NDA. It is very hard and time consuming to maintain it. IPSC2 provides the same features now, and many more, and it is widely cleaned up, easier to maintain and improve.
Thank you for using xreflector.net sercices over a long time.
The usual usual culture of feedback – “no feedback is good feedback” and the high number of active repeaters and users lets us assume that the xreflector.net services were not too bad.
A very special thanks to all the people around the world who actively supported us with running systems and providing local support to sysops and users.
Have fun with Digital Voice!