Pacific Northwest DMR

Adding a MotoTRBO Repeater to PNW or DCI c-Bridges

OVERVIEW:  If after reading the BYOB for Repeaters page, you still are interested, then this page should help you get a repeater onto one of the PNW c-Bridge managers using standard MotoTRBO IPSC settings.  It is generally simple and straightforward where you only need 3 pieces of information from PNW to get your repeater onboard.  We will provide you with the Master repeater IP (or DNS), the Master repeater's UDP port and the Authentication key.  Your peer USP port will be a combination of your repeater's radio ID.

Most any minimal IP connection will work.  You only need a very minimal bandwidth, 40K or so.  Latency and jitter are more critical than bandwidth.  So any ole consumer grade connection, even dial-up could work as long as the connection stays up 7/24.  So the slowest DSL of 1.5 downlink and 750KB uplink are fine in almost all cases.  Dynamic IP's are OK to use so there is no need to pay for a Static IP.  Some are using HughNet with success even with the higher latency.

That is the simple minimum required information. But there is a bit more and it is assumed that you have a working knowledge of basic consumer router and IP device set-up.  If you don't know what LAN settings or  Port Forwarding is, then enlist the help of someone who does.  This is not something to wing while up on a mountain-top site where you have no access to a router or other Internet delivery hardware.  If make the trip without the proper preparation, you are likely to drive off the hill with a standalone repeater.

So besides the above, you need to select your peer repeaters UDP port.  The port is going to be between 54xxx and 61xxx.  The xxx will be the same digits as the last 3 digits of your repeaters audio ID number as assigned to you by RadioID or Ham-Digital.

You will also need to decide if your repeater is going to use DHCP or a Static IP.  Either is fine though a Static IP is generally preferred and simplifies the Port Forwarding that may be required, but a Static IP is optional.

Now depending on your Internet connection particulars, you have a few more choices.  If you have a publically facing static IP, then your repeater may be able to be a master repeater and that provides some advantages.

There is sometimes a need for router management to be implemented so that a UDP can be forwarded to your repeater.  This is known typically as NAT, Port Forwarding, Pin-holing etc.  This can be the biggest network gotcha in the way of successful IPSC networking.  The other gotcha is if you are using a cellular network Internet connection.  It can work much of the time but can be quite problematic.  Satellite Internet is another lesser issue.  It generally works and while the latency can be significant, it can still be successful.

Lastly, we strongly encourage you get your repeater on the IPSC network, test it, burn it in...therefore when you do transport it to the hilltop, you have some expectation that the IPSC side of the networking has been set-up correctly.  Also, if you don't have an IP AC Power Switch (see bottom of this page) at your remote site, get one of those cheap $15 electronic wall timers and set it for a 1 minute off cycle at 0300 nightly.


NUTS N BOLTS:  So this is a sample of what we will send to you:

Sample Master Repeater DNS or IP: or

Sample Master UDP Port: 53789 

Sample Authentication Key:  187a5150b484cde647f

Suggested Peer Repeater UDP Port:  55xxx

  • Based on the last 3 digits of your assigned Repeater Radio ID
    • Example, your Radio ID is: 315361, then your suggested peer repeater UDP Port could be 55361, 56361, 57361 etc.

There are other settings that must be entered into CPS besides the information that we have mentioned above.  This is particular to your installation and based upon what is available to your repeater from the router or Internet connection.

So if you are joining an existing IPSC network, the Port Forwarding must be set-up correctly and you won't be able to get by with the simple minimum.  Be prepared to have access to the router (or contact with the router administrator) as well as the c-Bridge admin to assist you during the installation.  It is always worthwhile to put your repeater on the IPSC while the repeater is on the bench and burn in some network time.  Then you know that the ISPC networking is solid and not an issue when you hit the mountaintop.


PROGRAMMING YOUR REPEATER:  All our networks use the same repeater and subscriber radio settings, only the talkgroups vary from network manager to network manager.  These settings provide guidance primarily to Generation 1 TRBO radios.  Gen 2 and other manufacturers may not support some features or may have implemented them differently.  The TXI and various audio settings are a perfect example of the major differences across the model and manufacturer lines. 

Shown below is everything you need to get your repeater programmed (less the authorization info and your LAN specifics).  Please follow all these settings, especially the text in red as these are non-default mandatory parameters.  PNW and DCI  have done much experimentation over the years to come up with our settings to closely support our c-Bridges.  Some of it may be counter to what Motorola recommends in their system planner and IPSC system set-up documents but it works well for PNW, DCI and TRBO c-Bridges while some of the default Motorola information...not so much.

REPEATER  GENERAL  SETTINGS  (was current firmware is R02.20.12)
Radio Name: repeater call sign no "/R" needed, this is for network observation use only
Radio ID: xxxxyy Required; xxxx = your state code, yy = id sequence in your state; assigned by DMR-MARC
SIT: 7000  
Group Call Hang Time: 1000 ms 3000-4000 is standard but this shorter time helps when having multiple Talkgroups active on the same Timeslots
Private Call Hang Time: 4000 Your choice on time as it suits your use
Emergency Call Hang Time 5500 Your choice on time as it suits your use
CWID TX Interval: 59 Case could be made that TRBO ID's in the stream ala D-STAR; but you may use Interval 9 & Timer 10 if you wish but your repeater will lose digital traffic more often when it ID's in Analog
CWID Mixed Mode Timer: 65


Link Type: Peer  Generally, but could be Master in some cases
Authentication Key: xxxxxxxx Sent to you when joining one of the networks
Master IP: 55xxx Sent to you when joining one of the networks
Master UDP Port: 5xxxx Sent to you when joining one of the networks
UDP Port (peer): 5Xxxx Match the last 3 digits to your Repeater ID Please
CHANNELS; Zone; Mode
IP Site Connect: Slot 1 and/or 2 Your choice, add 15 repeater channels & remote switch as desired
Messaging Delay High Required
RSSI Threshold -40 v8.xx firmware and up, use -40.  This is important due to FCC Level 1 monitoring requirements in Part 90 that do not normally concern Ham repeater implementations.  Trust us on this.

VPN Router:  MikroTik RB-951:  This inexpensive router works well with HamWAN and 44 net IP's, have 4 Ethernet ports and supports LTE USB Data Modems for cellular data Internet connections if site Internet is not available.

IP POWER SWITCH:  We encourage the use of an IP Power Switch ($90 plus; inexpensive to pricey examples: IP9258, Web PS 7NP-05, ICT-180S-121 etc.) and that one be deployed with your repeater especially if your repeater will be located a significant distance away from physical control.  This will enable easy power cycling that may be needed from time to time but also and more importantly, it enables powering your repeater off so that network diagnostics can be run when we experience network issues.  Taking a repeater off an Ethernet connection remotely vastly simplifies locating a problematic repeater, router or Internet connection on a larger manager.  RDAC will not accomplish this task.  This approach is also useful as a router failsafe as well as remote control of other AC devices.  Always reboot your repeater after any router re-start and wait 1-2 minutes before powering up the repeater.

RPi:  Raspberry Pi B+:  Runs Raspberian and software for remote USB hardware for remote programming of the MotoTRBO repeaters.  We suggest a robust metal case.

We are not asking for control of your switch but only that one be available to help you and us when things go wrong. Alternatively, a cheap electronic timer set for 1 minute off cycles daily at 0300 will suffice.  It could save you a hill trip for nothing more than a power cycle!

 Revised: 08/21/2019 09:36


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