What is BrandMeister?

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, APCO P25 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)
  • Implements mesh-topology for inter-node communications

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

BrandMeister allows me…

  • To roam automatically from repeater to repeater
  • 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
  • To control some electrical apparatus using my DMR radio as a remote control device

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.