Tutorials

Tutorials

WiRES-X SOFTWARE HELP – LOOK HERE FOR SPECIFICS IN SETTING UP YOUR WiRES-X SOFTWARE

WIRES-X TRANSCEIVER SETTINGS:”Frequency, Offset and Reverse”

When making your initial settings in your WiRES-X PC software, you will notice a “FREQUENCY” setting, an “OFFSET” setting and a box labeled “REVERSE”. Understanding these entries will help you get your repeater or transceiver set up properly.

Let’s begin with the FREQUENCY entry: Does that mean transmit frequency or what? I’d say it means something more like ‘starting’ frequency or ‘reference’ frequency. Whatever entries you make in the OFFSET and REVERSE boxes will be referenced to the “FREQUENCY” entry.

The results of your entries will be displayed below as UPLINK and DOWNLINK. These refer to the receive (or uplink) frequency and transmit (or downlink) frequency of the device that software will be controlling. It does not refer to any other radio not physically connected to the computer running the WiRES-X PC software.

To give you a ‘heads-up’ beforehand, there are seven different entries you can make that result in five different outcomes. Thus, there are four entries that result in only two outcomes. In other words, there are a couple of ways to achieve the same results.

Concerning the “REVERSE” box: If checked, whatever you enter in the OFFSET box will affect the UPLINK. If NOT checked, whatever you entered in the OFFSET box will affect the DOWNLINK. While all of this may sound confusing, your goal is to end up with the correct UPLINK and DOWNLINK frequencies.

Here’s an example: Say you have a mobile transceiver and are using it as a WiRES-X node. You want it to access a repeater. Obviously it will need to use the same frequencies as the repeater, but in reverse. That is, the output frequency of the repeater will be the input frequency of your node radio, and vice versa. Use the “FILE” tab on the WiRES-X PC software to click on, then click on “Transceiver”. There you will see a dialogue box that appears with the abovementioned settings boxes. In our example, you will enter the settings necessary to access the same frequencies as the repeater uses, but in the opposite order. Repeater downlink becomes node uplink and so forth. Of course, if your node is to be used in simplex mode, the uplink and downlink will be identical. Be careful so as not to confuse ‘simplex mode’ with the fact that your mobile transceiver used as a WiRES-X node functions as a ‘simplex repeater’.

Be aware that you can enter the OFFSET with or without a plus or minus sign. The bottom line is still this: What does the software show as the resulting UPLINK and DOWNLINK frequencies?

WiRES-X Transceiver Settings: Confidential ID

     The help section says that by checking the “Confidential ID” box, you can temporarily hide node information. That’s not very specific. I believe that if you check that box, you can block the “Comments” made in “Transceiver Settings” from appearing in the “Comments” section of the WiRES-X PC software Active Node list. Also, checking that box will block all node information from appearing in the online Active Node list. Be aware that changes made may take a few to several minutes to be reflected online or on your PC software. 

Microphone Settings:

     There is a difference between microphone settings in the analog mode versus the digital mode. Make sure you understand that difference. Firstly, the extensive audio controls in the WIRES-X PC software is for analog operation. About all you can do in the digital realm is to change the microphone sensitivity.

     Since people’s voices and microphone technique vary widely, the outcome at the other end can vary widely. Also, they way one radio is constructed as opposed to another can introduce some variation as well.  

     Fusion actually does a very good job of controlling the audio in digital modes. Understanding just how it works is important. So, what can you as an individual do? As I mentioned before, short of taking the body of the radio apart or taking the microphone apart, you are limited to adjusting mic sensitivity. The way to do this is to monitor your own self instead of relying on someone else’s opinion. Most radios are set correctly from the factory but they cannot know how you, the individual, will react with the mic. Thus, it may be useful for you to take some time and see what’s what.

     In the digital realm, the only modifications you can make come before the vocoder. A limited amount of bandwidth is allotted to the audio, so use it wisely. It’s very easy to drive the audio closer to distortion, thinking you are making yourself louder on the other end.

     There is no doubt that one radio will sound different than another. One suggestion I heard from a reputable individual was to turn the mic sensitivity down to the point where it actually makes a difference at the far end. In other words, if your adjustment DOES NOT make a difference at the far end, you didn’t turn it down enough. Along with that goes the idea that if your voice sounds muffled at the far it, it is distorted and needs lowering. It also seems to be a given that Bluetooth headsets easily overdrive the Yaesu digital radios and sound muffled.

     Bottom line is: experiment with several different radios if possible and listen to yourself. And oh yes, mic gain settings for analog FM generally will need to be higher than for C4FM.

FORGET ABOUT HOTSPOTS!

     Unless you are referring to a cellular, Jet Pack or Access Point connection to the Internet when you say ‘hotspot’, fuhgeddaboutit! Yaesu did not design their systems to work with what most people consider to be a hotspot. System Fusion and WiRES-X devices work with Yaesu proprietary equipment and this is the way Yaesu intended it. OpenSpots, Pi-Star, MMDVM and all that stuff is for other platforms.

     Yes you say, but why do many ‘hotspots’ have C4FM on them? Yaesu uses C4FM, so why can’t I use my Yaesu digital radio with my hotspot on C4FM? Well, you can, but maybe not the way you expect.

     Let’s back up a bit in order to understand what is going on. System Fusion is Yaesu’s name for its digital radios that automatically adopt to the received format, be it analog or digital. All System Fusion radios do both. WiRES-X is Yaesu’s name for its Internet linking system. C4FM is a modulation technique and it is not used solely by Yaesu, however, Yaesu uses their own version of C4FM which makes it incompatible with commercial C4FM radios. So, having a C4FM radio DOES NOT get you onto WiRES-X unless you have a Yaesu HRI-200 Internet linking device or, unless you have put together a ‘Portable Digital Node’. Both require Yaesu’s WiRES-X PC software running on a Windows machine.

     Yes but…… yeah, I know, you can talk to a hotspot with C4FM with a Yaesu C4FM radio. You can talk directly to an FCS or YSF reflector. Yep, all that’s true, but that STILL does not get you onto WiRES-X. There MUST be the above-mentioned Yaesu method somewhere in the process to get onto WiRES-X. There is just no way to access WIRES-X without it. WiRES-X is a proprietary system, unlike the other open-source platforms, reflectors and repeaters out there. Before you go complaining about it, take a minute to realize that a different type of system can have numerous advantages. I’m not telling you one is better than another. I am simply saying there is more than one way to skin a cat.

     Okay you say, but why does Yaesu have Yaesu System Fusion reflectors if they do not access WiRES-X??? The answer begins with: YSF DOES NOT stand for ‘Yaesu System Fusion’. Get that idea out of your head now because Yaesu did not coin that term and they do not license, authorize or operate ANY YSF or FCS reflectors. Whoever named those reflectors ‘YSF’ did so on their own without Yaesu being involved. 

     Alright, well how did YSF and FCS reflectors get the Yaesu-style C4FM capability? You must understand that to operate (at least in the United States) on amateur radio frequencies, your transmissions cannot be encrypted. They may be ‘encoded’, but not ‘encrypted’. Therefore, the actual method must be published in the public domain, which it is. Yaesu is not required by anyone to license their products to others, and they don’t. By the same token, they cannot prevent anyone from using the same modulation technique.

     WiRES-X however, is an Internet linking system which DOES NOT have to be in the public domain, and it is not. Therefore, in order to access WiRES-X, you must use Yaesu’s proprietary software and/or equipment to do so. Again you say: ‘I got onto WiRES-X through my hotspot and you just said it couldn’t be done’. Not true. I said Yaesu equipment and/or software had to be involved somewhere along the line. If you accessed WIRES-X through any method other than the ones I mentioned above, it was because someone established a bridge to WIRES-X…..USING THE EQUIPMENT I MENTIONED ABOVE. In no way was that part skipped over by anyone.

     Nothing prevents anyone from constructing such a bridge between platforms. However, in the eyes of many System Fusion and WiRES-X users, it defeats the purpose of having the Yaesu digital product. When such a bridge is established, you have stepped outside the technical requirements Yaesu has designed for maintaining a quality digital product. Yaesu strives hard to produce a quality product and they have no control when other elements are introduced. Therefore, if it doesn’t sound good, you can’t blame Yaesu!

OTHER AUDIO

     When using the PDN function, audio is handled by the soundcard of your PC running the Yaesu WiRES-X PC software. When running an HRI-200, the HRI-200 handles the audio. Thus, in the PDN function, the correct audio inputs and outputs must be available.
     Lately it has become very common for these selections to ‘disappear’ after a Windows update. You may see (on the PC screen) that you are at first lighting up ‘LOCAL’ and then ‘INTERNET’, but that in the Connect ID Window your node is not showing up on top of the connected nodes, nor is the host gateway showing up. Check for the correct audio path when this happens. It may be necessary to reload the drivers.

 

By the way, our weekly nets almost always feature a tutorial of some sort. We try to make it WiRES-X or System Fusion related, but this is not always possible. Check us out in Room 40383 on Wednesday nights at 9PM Eastern Time.