XLX reflector direct connection

Icom ID51 XLX Direct connectionAs i mentionned in this earlier post, with the XLX reflectors came some confusion for the users. A few months (almost 18 months ago actually) I modded ircDDBGateway so that it’ll be able to connect using commands like XLXxxxyL. Jonathan G4KLX accepted the modification and it is now part of the official code tree. The idea behind was to clear up the “is XRFxxx the same as DCSxxx ?”.   Now that the latest firmware for the Kenwood THD74 directly accepts XLX selection right from the reflector menu this is going to get really more interesting.


As always, you do all this at your own risks. If you break something, harm yourself or someone it is your fault, not mine.

How to activate it ?

For this to work the repeater or hotspot must run the latest version of the G4KLX ircDDBGateway software. This won’t work on a stock Icom repeater nor outdated ircDDBGateway repeater.

Pi-Star users

First you will have to follow this instructions to upgrade ircDDBGateway into your Pi-Star isntall. Once you have make sure all is working found you can carry on.

Now make sure you have wget installed.

sudo apt install wget

Next step is to go to the expert page on your Pi-Star and locate the xlxEnabled line and set it to 1.

Click apply, done.

Other users

You’ll have to compile ircDDBGateway according to your needs and adjust the same line as above.

How to use it ?

Conventional linking

Pretty easy, lets have a practical example: to connect to XLX208 module C you’ll issue XLX208CL in the UR field of your radio. How you achieve this depends on your actual radio.

For example on the ID51, when in DR mode you would follow those steps:

  1. Select the TO field
  2. Press the Blue Diamond key
  3. Navigate to “Direct Entry”
  4. Press the Blue Diamond key
  5. Type in XLX208CL
  6. Press the Blue Diamond key
  7. Press the PTT
  8. Wait for the hotspot/repeater feedback
  9. Switch back to CQCQCQ

For the TDH74, just link as you would link a XRF or DCS.

DTMF Linking

As for other reflectors, you can link use DTMF to directly link an XLX Reflector. Simply use the pattern Axxxyy.

For example to connect XLX208 module C you would send A20803 as DTMF tones. The 03 at the end means C, as C is the third letter of the alphabet. A208C as DTMF will also work.

If you want to know more about DTMF commands, VK4TUX has a pretty good guide on DTMF linking on his website.

Under the hood

For the tech-savvy here is a quick explanation about how this works.

  • ircddbgateway does not speak the native XLX protocol, this protocol is used for reflector interconnection.
  • Under the hood the DCS protocol is used
  • When receiving the connection command to XLXxxx it is mapped to DCS but reported to the outside world as as XLX



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