Brandmeister is one of several DMR networks that amateur DMR repeaters connect to. With over 3500 repeaters connected worldwide, and several thousand connected hotspots, it’s easy to see that it is a vast network.
Their website, https://brandmeister.network/ has a plethora of information if you know where to look. You can find details about a repeater, such as geographical location, operating parameters and even the last heard station on it. You can even look at an individual’s hotspot to see details about it as well.
When you first go to their website you will see the following:
Scrolling down the page, you will see various articles posted, as well as statistics about repeaters, hotspots, etc. On the left in the gray column, you will see various links. Clicking on each link will yield different results. Lets take a brief overview of each.
If you click on the “Repeaters” link, you should see a similar screen show up. The listing may be different. This page shows you details about each repeater linked to Brandmeister. if you see in the upper right hand corner of the page, there is a search bar. In this search bar, you can enter the call sign of a repeater, a DMR repeater ID, or even the hardware type such as Hytera or Motorola. As you start entering the search term in the box, you will see the list changing to match the criteria that is being entered. Clicking on the “Name” of that repeater, which is in blue text, will take you to the page for that repeater.
As seen here, I entered AD5T in the search box, then clicked in the “Name” in the results. This brought me to the page about the selected repeater. From this page, I can see the details about the repeater such as frequency, color code, location, and even the last heard station. Take note of the details at the top of the page. Repeater owners may include details of how the repeater should be operated, and announcements about the repeater. Scrolling down on the page would show more details such as a map and time slot/talk group details.
Clicking on the “Hotspots” link will bring a page up that is similar to the Repeaters page. As before, you can type in a user’s DMR ID, call sign, or hardware to see different results. Clicking the “Name” link will bring up a page listing the details about that hotspot.
Similar to the repeater details, the hotspot details will give you info about the hotspot including frequency, color code, and time slot/talk group.
Clicking on the little triangle next to “Data Visualization” will bring up a sub menu of more options. We will not cover all of these, but we will touch on the ones that will be useful to most users
Clicking on the “Talkgroups” link will show you a listing of all named talk groups in use on Brandmeister. This will not show talk groups that are not named such as if you use a local repeater ID for a talkgroup. However, we will show you later how you can still pull that information. In this example, we will select the LH (Last Heard) option on the right for 31285, Northeast MS.
As you can see, when we selected the last heard option on that talk group, it listed the latest information about the usage of that talk group. Details such as the call sign of the last user, the repeater or hotspot they used to get in, the time slot used on that repeater, and even their signal as reported by that device to Brandmeister are all available. This could even be useful if you have an offending station such as a “kerchunker” or looped hot spots.
The Network Map page can be handy if you want to know if there are any Brandmeister linked repeaters in an area. This page can take some time to load, so be patient. As you can see, the further you zoom in, the more detail you can get about that area. Each icon should denote that there is a repeater at that location. There are a couple of caveats though. Some users have a “duplex hotspot” meaning that it is a hotspot that works almost like a repeater. Sometimesthese “duplex hotspots” will show up as a repeater. Many times if you click on the details of that repeater, you may be able to discern whether or not it is an actual repeater. Also, a few repeaters may be online, but not necessarily operational. One example is the AD5HM repeater located in Starkville, MS. At the time this article was published, the repeater is online, but it is still not installed anywhere. Therefore it may just be useful locally or not at all. Blue dots with a number in them denotes that there are X amount of repeaters in that location. Zooming in further may separate those further so that you can get more detail on each one.
The Brandmiester page can be a huge asset to users and repeater owners. Also each user should sign up for a Self Help account on Brandmeister. This can get you flexibility when setting up talk groups on your hotspot or repeater.