NI4CE Network expands into Charlotte County, FL

On December 8, the West Central Florida Group added a new NXDN repeater in southern Charlotte County. This expands the NXDN footprint further south on I-75, providing service as far south as Fort Myers. On interstate 75 alone, this provides over 150 miles of continuous coverage, from Brooksville to Fort Myers.

This repeater is open to all NXDN users on 442.0625MHz, RAN code 1, positive offset.

Talkgroup 1200 is available as a static group, along with the newly-created Talkgroup 1220 for local Charlotte County communications. All other NXCore talkgroups are available on a dynamic basis.

We look forward to even more growth in our network throughout 2022. If you are an owner of an Icom NXDN repeater, anywhere in the world, contact us for information on how to connect your repeater to our network.

Welcome, Pennsylvania! Two New Talkgroups added to NXCore

Effective immediately, two new talkgroups have been added to all connected repeaters on a dynamic basis, connecting two new talkgroups in Pennsylvania:

TG 3142 is a statewide group, offering access to NXDN users only.
TG 31425 is a multi-mode group, connecting NXDN to all digital modes.

Please add these talkgroups to your radios, so you can take advantage of them. They have been added to the talkgroup matrix found on this site, along with their net schedules.

NXDN and Hotspots/Apps

If you’re in the market for a hotspot to use on NXDN, consider your choices carefully, as not all of them are fully compatible with NXCore.

NXDN users should consider one of the Pi-Star/MMDVM-based models. These devices are fully compatible with NXCore, and you will be heard both by other hotspots, and by repeaters connected to NXCore. Just be sure your hotspot hardware supports the NXDN mode, and that your radio and hotspot are configured for RAN code 1. While most newer devices support NXDN, there is some older hardware that doesn’t recognize the mode.

The use of OpenSpot devices is not recommended. The designers of the OpenSpot have not configured their software to interact with the NXCore server, and they have not expressed any interest in doing so. As a result, OpenSpot users will be heard by other hotspots, but not by connected NXDN repeaters. This causes repeater users to only hear half a conversation, or nothing at all. For this reason, we ask OpenSpot users to refrain from using any repeater-connected talkgroups, such as 1200, 65000, 505, and others.

We have also seen an increase in the number of users of smartphone apps, such as DroidStar. Although they have the potential to be convenient as a last resort, they tend to cause disruption on the network, either through users not properly unkeying at the end of a transmission, or transmitting with poor sound quality. Further, the app developers have not provided a space for a user to enter a valid NXDN ID number, so all users display an incorrect ID when transmitting. Again, the burden is on the app developers to make their products work more harmoniously with established repeater linking networks.

For these reasons, we also discourage the use of cell phone apps for interacting with NXCore. We encourage all users to access our network through NXDN repeaters where they exist, or through a compatible hotspot where they don’t. Either way, you’ll be using amateur radio spectrum to use NXCore, and its network of connected repeaters and reflectors.

Kenwood Server Offline

With the shutdown of our old server hardware, the Kenwood NXCore server is offline for the time being. With the lack of activity on that server, there are no immediate plans to rebuild the server on the new hardware. We only fed Talkgroup 1200 to a small handful of users, but that group itself is inactive on the Kenwood side.

Users connected to that server may contact another NXCore server operator to reconnect to 1200, if desired. Our server will return, once the bridge between Kenwood and Icom is solved. That has, however, proved to be more challenging than anyone expected. Still, we persist.

This has no effect on Icom repeaters or hotspot reflectors, which operate on a separate system.

Watch here for future updates.

Upcoming Maintenance

Some time in the next few days, the virtual servers that host the Icom and Kenwood servers, will be taken offline for a required system upgrade. During this time, linking between repeaters, as well as between repeaters and hotspots, will be unavailable. (Hotspot-to-hotspot communication doesn’t require Core, and will be unaffected).

Once the work begins, we don’t anticipate a long outage, but it may be a few hours. If work takes longer than expected, we’ll contact repeater operators to discuss temporary linking options.

More information will be posted here when available.

New Icom Repeaters and Talkgroup Coming to Sarasota County

Coming soon (perhaps by the end of this week, if all goes to plan), two new VHF repeaters will join the Icom NXCore network in Sarasota County. These repeaters will be the first VHF NXDN sites in the West Central Florida section. So that you can start programming your radios now, the locations/frequencies will be as follows:

146.730 (input 146.130) NXDN RAN 1 and analog PL 100.0 Located along Fruitville Road in Sarasota

145.130 (input 144.530) NXDN RAN 1 and analog PL 100.0 Located in the Laurel area of Venice.

Please note, these repeaters will operate as mixed-mode repeaters. This means they will support both analog and digital communications. However, they will not communicate across modes. In other words, analog in, analog out; or digital in, digital out. If you’re operating an analog radio, and do not wish to hear the data bursts when operating in digital, be sure to set your tone squelch (PL decode) to 100.0 Hz.

Most NXDN radios can be set to operate in mixed-mode. “Mixed Analog” mode sets your radio to analog as the primary mode, but will switch to digital when digital traffic is detected. Conversely, “Mixed Digital” makes NXDN the primary mode, but will switch to analog when analog traffic is heard. Your radio’s Talkback setting determines the number of seconds within which your radio will transmit in this “opposite” mode, before switching back to the channel’s default mode.

When operating digital, these repeaters will be linked to the NXCore server. In addition to the standard talkgroup package, we are adding a new Sarasota County local talkgroup, 1220. This group will be static on Sarasota, Venice, and Verna, and dynamic on all other repeaters in the WCF section. As this talkgroup is intended to be for local repeater use only, no reflector access will be available.

We are happy to welcome these repeaters to the NXDN family, and look forward to even more growth throughout 2021.

Updates to Last Heard Page

On Friday, November 6, the ID/callsign database was updated on the Icom Last Heard page. The previous database dated back to early 2018, making it rather obsolete. You will see more callsigns/names appear now, as opposed to just ID numbers.

You will still see some ID numbers without callsign or name. In most cases, these are gateway users from other modes, or NXDN users whose ID isn’t registered at the page, which is the source of the data I loaded, with minor local modifications.

The Kenwood server will be updated soon. Since there’s less traffic on our local Kenwood server (and no Kenwood repeater within my range), I’m unable to test changes to that server as quickly.

The Icom Last Heard page is at
The Kenwood Last Heard page is at

Icom Users: SDM Messaging Now Available

Great news! The Icom NXCore server is now updated to support Short Digital Messaging (SDM). This works over all repeaters connected to the Florida NXCore server, AND it works over the hotspot reflectors, too!

At the present time, there’s a slight incompatibility between radio manufacturers. For now, most Icom radios will receive messages sent by other Icom radios, and Kenwood radios will receive messages sent by Kenwood radios, as well as the Icom 4300/6300 series, which was built as part of a partnership with Kenwood. As this technology is new to NXCore, there may be some future enhancements to allow for greater compatibility between the brands.

Messages are sent to talkgroups, rather than to individuals, when sending between repeaters on the NXCore network. In order to send only to a single individual, the recipient and sender must be on the same repeater, where linking is not needed.

In order to receive SDM, your radio’s configuration may need to be updated. If you need help, leave a comment below, including your radio’s model number, and we’ll provide the steps for your particular radio.

With the arrival of this technology, users of Talkgroup 1200 will soon receive severe weather alerts throughout the NWS Tampa Bay region.

We hope you enjoy this new enhancement to NXCore, thanks to the hard work of Bob Thoelen, N1XDN, the author of the NXCore software.

Kenwood Users: Short Digital Messaging (SDM) Update

An updated version of NXCore has been installed on the Kenwood server, which should enable Short Digital Messaging (text messages) from your radio, to other radios on a talkgroup (not individual) basis.

All repeaters connected to the Florida Kenwood NXCore server, have had this feature enabled, but we need your help to test it. Please attempt to send text messages across a talkgroup, with the recipient on another connected repeater. Let us know your results.

Some limitations: Initially, we are testing repeater-to-repeater on the same server only. We have not yet enabled the passing of messages between other Core servers in the network. If it works locally, we’ll try to broaden the scope. Also, as with voice mode, the messages will not go between Kenwood and Icom/hotspots at this time (rest assured, we’re still working on that part).

For users on the Icom network, we have a little more debugging left to do, but we plan to roll out a similar test on the Icom side very soon.

Many thanks to Robert Thoelen for his continued work on NXCore, without whom none of this would be possible.