Accessing XLX Cross Mode Reflectors - not working

Help with D-Star related issues
G0KDT
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Joined: Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:22 pm

Accessing XLX Cross Mode Reflectors - not working

Post by G0KDT » Thu Nov 12, 2020 9:27 pm

I have looked a few posts here regarding XLX reflectors and there are mixed messages to gained from that.

Some seem to say that we can simply connect to an XLX reflector by entering the necessary detail and yet others seem to need 'Host files' to be edited... it all means not much here.

Using the 9700 connected to the MMDVM Pi-Star hotspot I can auto link to REF001C on boot up, and using the IC9700 touch screen I can also switch reflectors by linking to say REF030C or whatever. Then change back to 'Use Reflector' and QSO using the 9700 through the hotspot.

Now if I go to Link to reflector using 'Direct Input' and choose XLX922E which according to webpages I have read should cross link to WIresX CQUK I can do this on the 9700 and the Pi-Star dashboard shows that it got the request but it simply does not seem to connect.

I have also tried using the Pi-star dashboard to and TEXT Entry to link to XLX 922 E but that doesn't work either.

All in all I am finding using digital modes a complete conundrum and worthless if all I can do is link to the standard Dstar REF reflectors, as having gone through a few its mostly limited to 001C and 030C.

So is there a guide on how to setup to hook to other reflectors, like XLX or cross mode, or route to a specific repeater on dstar and widen the horizons a bit?

Hopefully somebody can help. 73 Phil

AF6VN
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Re: Accessing XLX Cross Mode Reflectors - not working

Post by AF6VN » Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:58 pm

Step 1: do NOT specify "XLX..." in the link command... Either XRF or DCS!
cf: https://www.f4fxl.org/ref-xrf-dcs-xlx-w ... ifference/
Let’s assume you want to connect to XLX208C. According to the previous examples with REF, XRF and DCS you would expect to have to issue the command XLX208CL from your radio. Unfortunately, this will lead you nowhere. You’ll need to issue either XRF208CL or DCS208CL. Both commands will connect your repeater to XLX208 module C the first one using the Dextra protocol, the other using the DCS protocol. If two repeaters connect to the same reflector module using different protocols the reflector software will convert protocols back and forth i.e. a repeater connected using DExtra will be get the transmissions from the one connected through DCS and vice versa.

--
AF6VN
Dennis L Bieber

G0KDT
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Re: Accessing XLX Cross Mode Reflectors - not working

Post by G0KDT » Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:09 am

Thank you. It seems to link but to what and where and how from there to any repeaters etc (wherever) is a complete unknown.

Is there a place I can go to read and understand this properly? People talk about XLX, DCS, XRF and REF reflectors but to say you don't connect to one by using its XLX nnn CL is just illogical inserted into what should be a logical environment.

It more than kills making much use of digital when you can't find readable explanations that don't go rambling off about irc gateways and other mumbo jumbo....

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G8SEZ
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Re: Accessing XLX Cross Mode Reflectors - not working

Post by G8SEZ » Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:37 pm

This might help:

https://www.f4fxl.org/ref-xrf-dcs-xlx-w ... ifference/

however note that a lot of these different systems are developed by a small number of people and they are not well documented, there is also a resistance to releasing information in some of them. Speed of development also means that a lot of what you find is outdated.

Good luck!
--

Brian G8SEZ

G0KDT
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Re: Accessing XLX Cross Mode Reflectors - not working

Post by G0KDT » Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:59 am

Thank you Brian,

I have read that link and its info in the past trying to get things to work. The only alternate route seems possibly to be to use an OpenSpot 3 with built in transcode capability. That, simply isn't going to happen here as if the info for use is as bad as it is for using dstar alone then there is no value in it.

It seems however that you are correct and that there seems to be a reluctance to document, possibly its just lack of time vs development time that some of the few developers have. Either way it is driven by the lack of consistency by the transceiver manufacturers to combine formats. A possible reason for OpenSpot3 subject to comment above. Without something better then there will be a heck of a lot of radios that were it not for normal FM or other modes would or will be doing nothing at this rate. The widespread use of straight computer access using dongles or whatever seems to indicate that this is already happening.

The IC9700 came with dstar, it wasn't a reason to buy the transceiver, that was more for its duplex operational capability, but if you have something you give it a try, hence I have. The manual (albeit extensive) is far from helpful for the dstar side of the radio. Confusing and often, it seems, conflicting info available simply doesn't help the digital radio cause.

I'm smiling at your 'Good Luck' and thank you again.

Kind regards
Phil G0KDT

M1DNS
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Re: Accessing XLX Cross Mode Reflectors - not working

Post by M1DNS » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:02 am

Time to write manuals is better spent on project development as is often the case with small volenteer projects. You seldom see manuals with these type of projects.

That said, this is a good starter.
Its the 'unofficial" pistar manual, agn provided by an individual volunteering his own time.

https://amateurradionotes.com/pi-star.htm

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk


Andrew M1DNS.
Pi-star Admin Team.

G0KDT
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Re: Accessing XLX Cross Mode Reflectors - not working

Post by G0KDT » Tue Nov 17, 2020 10:01 pm

Hi Andrew,

Well thanks for the comment and the link, which I have previously read over the last 10 months since having a transceiver with digital (dstar) as part of trying to work out how things work.

I am pretty much restricted to having to use a pi-star hotspot as the nearest dstar repeater is as near to you as it is to me, is on 70cms, and so BER not so good for me. So as far as I can tell I'm stuck with a list of reflectors the most of which are pretty silent. I haven't found a way to route from the hotspot to anything else albeit the colerado multi dv format reflector which isn't that intuitive when relaying signals and callsign data etc.

More development is ok but if we want digital to do better than be a cleek club for a few at the center then better documentation is needed and better integration. I can't see that happening and it seems to have gone to some sort of free for all of modes. Pi-star is a great combination for getting people involved but the radio manufactures and transcoding differences are a killer as far as I can see.

I note from your callsign you aren't geographically that far away, as I used to manage a regional team a number of which were/are still based in your locale one of whom was a great software chap who took over from me as I moved into management. I retired 4 yrs ago as the company went down the MS azure route... big mistake I think... now it costs them 4 times as much, they are increasing dependant on contractors and have had a lot of problems as result.
73 Phil.

G0KDT
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Re: Accessing XLX Cross Mode Reflectors - not working

Post by G0KDT » Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:05 pm

Hmm.

No reply but then when somebody trys to explain adding things to config settings for using XLX as an alternate way its closed....

Sad to say but even when thats done with smilies it is not very nice.

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G8SEZ
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Re: Accessing XLX Cross Mode Reflectors - not working

Post by G8SEZ » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:33 pm

I think that the point is that XLX servers don't have their own protocol but instead can cope with all of the previous protocols.

This is potentially confusing, but given that the whole arrangement is because of the variety of implementations being less than compatible it's what we have.

I note that the suggestion has not been removed, so you are free to try it out if you want to.
--

Brian G8SEZ

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VK7HSE
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Re: Accessing XLX Cross Mode Reflectors - not working

Post by VK7HSE » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:44 pm

XLX reflectors use the DCS protocol but an alias of XLX is in place to address them as if they were using their own method of connection.

So if you manually enter say XLX505DL this would connect you to my XLX505 reflector on module D you then switch back to CQCQCQ to converse through it. The problem you might encounter is that not all XLX reflectors have transcoding available to cross mode.

Please correct me if I've diverted from the original post!

Cheers

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