Brandmeister Network

What is BrandMeister?

The answer to this is simple and complicated at the same time. Simple, because the Brandmeister Network is extremely user friendly and flexible. Complicated, because the network is very capable and flexible. The following is a reprint from the Brandmeister Wiki:

BrandMaster/BrandMeister is an operating software for master servers participating in a worldwide infrastructure network of amateur radio digital voice systems.

  • If you are an amateur radio operator working in digital voice modes like D-Star, DMR, C4FM, APCO25 or others (not all are supported yet!!). You do not need to know much about BrandMeister, and it’s very easy to operate on its infrastructure.
  • If you are an amateur radio operator that runs a repeater in your local area, you may be interested in learning some more about BrandMeister and how you can take part in it.

A brief overview of BrandMeister core features:

  • Switching system for IP-enabled conventional Tier-2 DMR radio
  • Supports the most known network-access and end-user equipment making it easily expandable
  • Performs switching on the Layer 3 (Call Control) of the DMR stack
  • Has an embedded data stack (Layer 4)
  • Has embedded data and voice applications
  • Flexible routing based on data stored in a global database, local memory cache, and Lua scripts
  • Event notification using messaging queues (calls, connections, alarms, messages, locations and telemetry)
  • Allows one to build their own network based on mesh technology

BrandMeister allows you to connect to MOTOROLA DMR-MARC (depends on the MARC guys) and Hytera DMRplus networks, this means you can operate with other DMR amateur radio operators on both infrastructures the same time.

BrandMeister allows me…

  • To make private QSOs on any time-slot
  • To make world-wide QSOs with any type of amateur DMR network
  • To send my location to APRS
  • To send and receive SMS messages
  • To send and receive SMS messages to or from APRS

Embedded Applications

  • Common-use applications:
    • Interactive voice response for status messages (with support for 5 languages),
    • Signaling expansion (UU-Req/UU-Resp)
    • Automatic registration/roaming (Hytera RRS)
    • Auto-patch call gateway
    • SMS gateway (vendor independent, supporting ETSI/Hytera/Motorola)
    • IP bridge
  • Examples of some Amateur Radio usage applications:
    • D-STAR D-Extra to talking group gateway
    • D-STAR G2 call routing to private call gateway
    • APRS position and telemetry reporting
    • APRS text message gateway
    • AMPR access service
    • Gateway for EchoLink or any other IP-based PTT applications

Architectural principles

The general architecture of BrandMeister consists of three different layers:

  • the first layer provides drivers for frontend/radio interfaces like Hytera Repeaters, Motorola repeaters, UP4DAR, homebrew repeaters
  • the second layer is built by the logical kernel with an implemented routing mechanism
  • the third layer consists of interfaces supporting communication service protocols to the WAN (IPSC, CC-Link, APRS, XRF)

All BrandMeister Master servers communicate with each other through the BrandMeister FastForward (FF) high-speed protocol.

  • BrandMeister is only a front-end application that works in real-time
  • All business logic to distribute routing lists and user profiles implemented outside of BrandMeister like a set of back-end applications and scripts
  • BrandMeister supports multiple sources of routing information: scripts, databases, in-memory cache, configuration files at the same time
  • Web applications and diagnostic tools are also separated out from the main program
  • BrandMeister uses event-driven mechanisms (MQ) to notify backends about events, in-memory data storage and relational database to get location, routing and user profiles

We are in the process of implementing mesh-based distributed network storage which will allow all network servers will be equivalent nodes.
This is a prerequisite to maintain high availability of the network and will help keep the infrastructure more resistant to temporary or permanent loss of single nodes.