Saturday, March 14, 2015

147.39 Fulton Repeater - Fusion update from WN8Z

3/12/15 UPDATE from WN8Z; Pat:

The Fulton WN8Z/R, 147.390, went Yaesu System Fusion Wednesday evening. The first Fusion digital qso between WA2ISC  and myself was a complete success!

The repeater is currently set in "Auto/Auto mode. This means that digital in = digital out  & Fm in = Fm out. This setting will remain until Saturday evening, Mar 14 when the Ge Mstr II will go back in service. The system will remain inconsistent during the week as we experiment and continue working on upgrades in the repeater shack.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate soon for the antenna upgrade.

Analog audio quality is exceptional using the internal controller and I am very pleased with the digital quality.

As mentioned in my previous post - the repeater is on the air as supplied out of the
box - all control functions for this phase are handled by the internal controller, no external devices are presently connected to the DR-1X. Echolink node #7390 for Wn8z/r is disabled.

Fusion users please set your radios to the AMS mode and check to make sure the Tx audio mode is set accordingly and not locked in digital tx.

Pat - Wn8z

3/10/15 Note from WN8Z; Pat:

"I've received an email from Yaesu concerning the shipment of the DR-1X Fusion digital repeater. Tracking shows it will be in my hands on Tuesday, March 10.

I don't have a firm date to set it in place yet - but for those Fusion owners out there I'll just say to keep your ear to 147.390 repeater in Fulton  and I would expect you will hear some signals within the next few days after a bench check and burn in.

I plan on first deploying the DR-1x as it comes out of the box from the factory. What this means is that, as it comes, using the internal controller, with no bells & whistles. It repeats, has a time out timer, hang time (analog mode only) and a  cw id'er that many users have complained about as it completely covers any conversations when it blasts off. I will be experimenting using both analog and digital modes. During this time Echolink (node 7390) will not be available on Wn8z/r

As time allows I will be interfacing the Arcom RC-210 controller to the repeater. Adding an external controller to the DR-1X only affects the repeater functions in the analog mode only. Digital functions are passed off to the built in internal controller. There is no hang time or cw id when used in the digital mode. Echolink will hopefully be opernational again and I hope to add the WiresX network (node # 11199) to the system.

For those of you who have noticed and commented that coverage of the 147.390 signal has degraded since last fall, well you are right. For the time being the system is on the air withe the duplexer split and is running in a split antenna configuration. The rx antenna is top mounted and the tx antenna is side mounted 40 ft lower. Unfortunately the side-mounted transmit antenna was mounted on the incorrect tower face and is shielded toward the Syracuse area. For the time being the system most likely hears you better than you hear it.

The good news concerning the antenna is that when the weather breaks, I do have a DB224 ready to replace the stationmaster at the top. The DB224 will have the dipole array set in an elliptical pattern - the back of the pattern will be toward Lake Ontario and Canada.

Now I have saved this part for last part of my update, as I have received many comments about this topic. Here goes:

One of the advantages of the Yaesu System Fusion line is it's compatibility with those users that have an FM (analog) only radio. Can you still use a Fusion repeater? Yes you can.

Yaesu thought ahead and made their system "backwards compatible". All radios, including the repeater, have AMS (automatic mode selection). If a digital conversation is taking place and a FM user wishes to join in all that user needs to do is wait for the digital signal to quit, and when they transmit the entire system will switch to the FM analog mode and conversations will continue.

After a period of time experimenting with all the modes I anticipate setting the repeater into a mixed/fixed mode. Users can transmit either FM or digital but the repeater output will be fixed FM out. This can be remotely changed as needed.

Do you have an analog only radio and don't want to hear the digital noise?
Enable full ctcss on your radio and you will hear only the familiar FM carrier that you are familiar with. Wn8z/r not only decodes the 103.5 tone but also "encodes"  a 103.5 tone. Digital signals don't have a pl tone so the result is you won't hear the digital madness.

And last - All tones are disabled on Saturday nights during the digital slow scan tv net - if you have your receiver set correctly you won't hear the craziness these guys generate. But then give a listen and check in on Saturday evenings, it's a fun group and you may find you like it!

Need a topic for your group or club meeting? I will be happy to appear and answer your questions.

Please feel free to leave your comments here or contact me at"

Pat Wn8z

1 comment:

  1. Pat - Thank you for all your efforts to get a Fusion repeater going in CNY! We all look forward to experimenting on the new set up later this spring.