Friday, April 28, 2023

Wires-X on the N5RCA repeater

I've had an HRI-200 for a few years now, but for most of that time, its sat silent in my GoBox. I mounted it there along with a FTM-400DX to use when I deployed the box. Typically, the box sits on my desk in my home QTH and I use it and the FT-991 (also in the box) as secondary base rigs.

Since the club swapped out our repeater controller for a (newer) DR-1 Fusion machine, I decided I would try to setup the HRI-200 as a remote Gateway. We don't have internet access (or even easy physical access) to the repeater site, so having a remote Gateway is the only way we can do it. 

The whole process was rather easy. I installed the Wires-X software on my PC and connected the radio and HRI-200. Now, anyone with a Wires-X capable rig, can connect to the Wires-X network, choose a room and talk with other distant stations. Try it if you get the chance!

General Instructions (refer to your radio manual for exact instructions):

  • You must use a Fusion capable radio (FT-991(a), FTM-100DR/200D/300D/400D/500D, FT-1/2/3/5-D). You may need to adjust the "Wires-X" settings in your configuration menu. Again, refer to your manual for details. Currently, the DG-ID is "00" or "Auto."
  • Tune your radio to the N5RCA repeater (146.78-PL131.8) or set the frequency in the Wires-X settings in your radio. 
  • Activate the "Wires-X" feature. Each radio is a little different. For example, on the FTM-400, push and hold the red "D/X" on the left side of the radio. The radio will transmit through the repeater to the W5CWT Wires-X gateway. You should be greeted with a screen showing the gateway name. 
  • Once connected, to the Gateway, you can connect to a specific "Room" where you can talk to other stations in those rooms. The default room is "W5CWT-RCARC." When selecting a room, the of often a number beside it, indicating how many stations are in the room. 

NOTE: Since local repeater users are all accessing the room through the repeater, the repeater is considered only one user. Therefore, even if there are 10 users on the repeater using the Wires-X node to talk in the W5CWT-RCARC room, it will always show only one "user" (i.e. the repeater). If someone access the room via the Wires-X network (for example through an internet-connected radio) they would show up a "second" user. Additionally, they could talk over the local N5RCA repeater from anywhere in the world that they happened to be!

  • You can search for additional rooms or browse a list of rooms by using the search or browse feature. On the FTM-400, browse by pressing the large "Down-Arrow" above the room name and then "ALL." Some active rooms include America Link (VERY active), TexasNexus, and ALLJA-CQ-ROOM-D (very busy but mostly Japanese!).