SOUTH WALES DIGITAL GROUP
What is a XLX Refector?
Since the dawn of D-Star, there have been a few reflectors and networks built to support this digital mode. XLX is the newest edition of reflectors that allows you to spin up your very own D-Star or DMR, or YSF reflector. Reflectors like REF and DCS, already have servers in place that you request access to use as an admin. XLX is a piece of software originally created only for D-Star and DMR that runs on a Linux server that can be linked to from other repeaters and hotspots much like a hub and spoke design. One of the special things about XLX reflectors is they do not require registration on the D-Star trust system to use them. New D-Star users can simply link and start talking. XLX sets itself apart from the other reflectors in the D-Star world because its a ‘multi-mode reflector’ meaning, it has the ability of allowing any of the D-Star linking protocols (DPLUS, DCS, D-Extra, etc) to connect to it. Also as of January 2020, XLX supports System Fusion natively. By adding another piece of software, AMBEd, and hardware vocoder usb-dongles, it can act as a transcoding server allowing other modes to talk together.
Some features include:
- One reflector 3 modes out of the box: D-Star, DMR, and YSF.
- Real Time Dashboard showing last heard and current ongoing QSOs through the reflector.
- Ability to peer with other reflectors, and networks like Brandmeister.
- Cross digital modes using a hardware vocoder; D-Star can talk to DMR or D-Star to analog or Fusion, etc..
- Supports 26 modules/rooms A-Z.
|Name||Linking Protocols||Open Source/Closed Source||Notability||Notes|
|REF||DPLUS||Closed Source||D-Star’s first reflector system that was not originally implemented into D-Star.||Created within the first few years of D-Star’s release as the first “homebrewed” reflector system.|
|DCS||DCS||Closed Source||Built to compete/replace REF with its added functionalities.||Module A on all DCS reflectors are linked together. First to use ircDDB and built in 2012.|
|X-Reflectors (XRF)||D-Extra,DCS, and DPLUS||Open Source||First to be open source. Most are built using the XLX software code.||The original, pre XLX reflectors, X Reflectors.|
|XLX||D-Extra,DCS, and DPLUS||Open Source||The First multi protocol reflector with transcoding ability and giving admins complete control over the reflector.||XLX is a stand-alone system that uses a feature called “Call Home” to build an activity list.|
The following are ports used for XLX. Be sure they are open and accessible depending on the services you need:
- UDP: 10001-10002 — XLXd (peering)
- UDP: 30001 — DExtra Protocol
- UDP: 30051 — DCS Protocol
- UDP: 10100-10199 — AMBE Transcoding
- UDP: 42000 — YSF Protocol
- UDP: 20001 — DPlus Protocol
- UDP: 62030 — DMRM / MDVM (DMR Gateway)
- TCP: 80/443 — Web Dashboard
- TCP: 22 — SSH (or your chosen port)
What is a transcoding server?
A transcoding server is a computer running special software that can input one digital mode and output a different mode. Whether you know it or not, the bain of the digital voice existence today is the fact, digital voice modes can’t communicate with each other. If you have a DMR radio sitting next to a D-Star radio, the two can only communicate via their analog mode, not their respective digital mode. By using simple software like Pi-star, we can configure it to connect to nearly any server, both online and offline, and this includes a transcoding server. A server can be installed in the “Cloud”, where it can be accessed from all around the world allowing hams to easily connect. A server can be installed at a single tower site to bridge a local community of radio operators. For example, DMR on Frequency 1, D-Star on Frequency 2, Yaesu Fusion on Frequency 3, at one or multiple high profile repeater sites. The list of applications go on..