Kendall Amateur Radio Society

KB5TX


An Introduction to Wires-X

What is Wires-X.  WIRES (Wide-coverage Internet Repeater Enhancement System) is an Internet communication system which expands the range of amateur radio communication. For WIRES-X, an amateur node station connecting to the Internet is used as the access point and connects the wireless communication to the Internet. Users' stations can communicate with other amateur stations all over the world using a node within the radio wave range. 

Wires-X Terminology (as defined by Yaesu).   There a few terms that must be clarified to order to understand WIRES X.

         Node - Radio repeater connected to the Internet via a PC, which repeats communications of a conventional amateur radio as an access point.  An example would be the KARS 444.900 repeater which is connected to Wires-X

         Local Node - This is a Node within the radio communication range of a conventional amateur radio station.  An example would be a radio that can reach our 444.900 repeater.

         Analog Node - A Node that is a transceiver or repeater using a conventional FM format and can only repeat DTMF (Dual Tone Multi Frequencies) codes and analog audio transmission/receptions.  

         Digital Node - This is a Node which is a transceiver of repeater compatible with digital communications in C4FM (Continuous 4 Level FM) format. With this type of Node you can not only relay voice communications, but also text and image data transmissions. One can also repeat DMTF codes and audio transmissions/Receptions.

         Convention Amateur Station - This is a normal Amateur Radio station either an individual on a hand held radio, a mobile radio and a base station.

         Room - This is a WIRES X Network community space to which multiple Nodes can connect simultaneously, like the conference call. This is a place where all amateur station can link to each other via local Node and communicate with each other. In addition to voice communication, one can chat with text messages on the PC use for the local Node.

         WIRES X user ID (node) - YAESU provide identification name with the WIRES X node. Each node is assigned a DTMP ID (5-digit number, e.g. 11916) and user ID (alphanumeric e.g. WB7OEV) up to 10 digits in length provided.  Wires-X user ids are assigned by Yaesu when you register equipment to run a Wires-X node.

         ID List - Nodes and room which currently operating WIRES are listed and published on the Yaesu website  (https://www.yaesu.com/jp/en/wires-x/id/id_usa.php).  Scott Simpson (KE5EO) has a nicer interface at http://fusion.ke5eo.com/  Both websites shows information such as IDs, the call sign and the operating frequency of the node.

Enough already how do I connect! 

Most repeaters have a default room.  The default room of the KARS 444.900 repeater, is the San Antonio Digital Radio Club (SADRC).  Check them out at http://www.sadrc.net/   Connecting is a simple as switching to C4FM mode (AMS off) and contacting the 444.900 repeater using our current settings:  UHF: 444.9 (+) pl tone of  88.5  If you donít hear anything, give your call sign.  While someone from anywhere in the world might respond, youíll normally get a call back from someone between Corpus and Dallas.  If you hear people you know, give your call sign, and theyíll let you in.  While it appears you are speaking to someone in Texas, be aware that people around the world could be listening.  As always, FCC rules apply!

And thatís all there is to a simple QSO.

Of course if you want to complicate things, we can do that as well.  Since I donít have every Yaesu radio capable of C4FM (but Iím working on it!), I canít give details on every radio.  Not to worry though, Yaesu has documentation specifically on Wires-X operation for every specific radio on their web site.

Go to the Yeaseu digital products web site http://www.yaesu.com/?cmd=DisplayProducts&DivisionID=65&ProdCatID=249 Select your radio from the product pictures, and then click on the Files Tab.  For example, the FTM-100 page looks like this.

The first entry is:     FTM-100DR/DE WIRES-X Node Operation Instruction Sheet (12/21/17)

(453.17 KB).  Click/Download the documentation for the exact steps to find rooms and switch to them.  Some radios will allow you to save a favorites list.  As you start to build up a set of favorite rooms, note their Room ID.  You can also go directly to a room by entering it into your radio.  The process varies, so check the documentation.  You can all check YouTube for a number of tutorials on Wires-X with different radios.

Things to remember.

         Due to the internet latency of Voice Over IP (VOIP), key down for half a second before you start talking, and keep the key down for a half second after you stop talking.  This keeps you message from getting cut at the start or end.

         Also due to latency, itís a good idea to wait 3-4 seconds between transmissions.

         Above all, have fun.

         You canít screw anything up.  You canít break Wires-X (although I did manage to block the Texas-Nexus room when I was setting up.  My squelch setting was too low and I was constantly breaking in!).    

One last thing.  Nets on Wires-X are amazing.  Rather than a local net, you will find heavy participation.  The SADRC net (Wednesday @ 7pm CST), had over thirty check ins, including people from all over the US and Trinidad.  The Zombie Alert Net room, also has lively discussion.  The Zombie Alert net is carried on SADRC Thursday nights at 6pm CST.  On Monday night, there is a very good technical net.  MNWis Tech  Net 7:30 PM on Wires-X room #21493

See you on the nets,

73,

Don  KI5AIU

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