Those of you that have habitually used BrandMeister as the preferred network, should consider creating an account in order to monitor the traffic that you perform via the various repeaters, hotspots etc.
The BrandMeister Dashboard is a veritable mine of useful information
It is particularly important as in probably several instances, folk have found themselves apparently blocked from the network and have blamed the network, where in fact a setting in self-care has been set accidentally.
Self-care is a necessity for the hotspot or repeater sysop to verify that their settings are indeed correct. In that way you can check that your PiStar has done what it supposedly has said it did.
Activation of your self -care account takes up to 48 hours, but once set it remains for you to add your own parameters. To add your repeaters is an additional request, but your hotspots add themselves according to your own ID.
An important function of the self-care is the profile administration, where you can add a BM-API key made there, to the Configuration/expert/BM-API menu on the PiStar. Thus giving you complete control over your talkgroups or reflector as you need.
The second useful function is to create a bit of security for you ID and your hot spot.
When you open your self care for your personal ID you will notice to small slider tabs on the left. Air security and Hot Spot security.
Turning on Air Security presents you with a Q Code. I have yet to find a useful way where this can be used effectively. Scanning it to a smart phone seems logical, but where you go from here is a mystery. I have no use of it in its present form.
Turning on Hot Spot Security is more useful, where you are present with a box in which to type a password. Having confirmed the password, this can now be used in place of the BrandMeister default password in Pi-Star.
As for the rest of the information, it is makes for easy administration of any repeater of which you are sysop, and any hotspot. In my case I have four repeaters, and a hotspot.
Finally whilst I cannot at this time be certain, the text placed into APRS Text may be useful in other ways. I believe that this information is used by Talker Alias to display other text if you do not see other information where your callsign and name may otherwise be displayed. I learned this whilst in the UK recently, where although I was using my G4NAB call, I entered F5VMR on Holiday in this area, and was informed several times that this information was being seen as I used the BrandMeister Network.
Not part of self-care per se is Last Heard, and access to all the BrandMeister functionality, searching for repeaters, hotspots, servers and the like. Last Heard is valuable for many reasons including confirmation that your connections are reaching their destination.
You can’t break it so play with it until you become comfortable. Make use of the search box by insert part-callsigns, part-DMR ID’s, repeaters etc. Then you might begin to understand more about DMR.
I’m not going to go into detail on the how’s and why’s or wherefore’s, as that is the domain of “Self Training” that is the basis of Amateur Radio. But if you have any questions about this subject or any other, then please ask.