Repeater Upgrade – 146.625 Yaesu Fusion

YSF Repeater

Update September 24, 2020

Wires-X has been in testing for a little while and appears to be functional. This linking technology requires one to select between analog and digital at the time of configuration on the repeater itself. It is presently set up for digital only which means that analog traffic on the 146.625 repeater is NOT linked. I’ve been playing with which system to link 625 to by default or whether to let it simply disconnect after a period of inactivity, will be speaking to those who are currently using it to get a feel for how we’d like to have it set up going forward

Update: August 25, 2020

The YSF repeater is on the air! 146.625 has been upgraded and is running barefoot at this time at 20w. The amplifier requires a small modification in order to work with the new repeater, and that has not yet been performed. Wires-X/Internet linking is now available We have some additional configuration work do in order to bring that online. Stay tuned!

New 146.625 repeater internals
Everybody loves repeater innards!

Update: August 12, 2020

Yaesu approved our application for the DR-2X Fusion repeater, shipped it, and it has arrived! The repeater accessories for Wires-X linking are in transit. I hope to have this on the air by the beginning of September, though Wires-X linking may take a bit longer. The repeater will be configured to default one of the Southern MN reflectors but users can change that as needed with a YSF digital radio.

We’re planning to run this repeater in its “Fusion” mode, where it will freely switch between repeating analog FM and repeating C4FM digital. This comes with a couple of side effects:

  • When the new repeater is put into place we will definitely want to have tone squelch turned on for FM radios when listening to 625 unless of course you find C4FM to be a soothing sound, hi hi… Once tone-squelched, the FM radios will ignore digital transmissions.
  • Additionally we’ll all need to learn to check the S-meter on our FM radios for ongoing transmissions so we don’t accidentally step on digital users.

May, 2020

It has come to the attention of the Tech Committee recently that we have a unique opportunity to replace and update the 625 machine. In the last several years Yaesu has been offering their “Fusion” repeaters at a fairly decent discount. Their play is to get Fusion digital repeaters out to as many clubs as possible in hopes that Fusion radio sales will follow, and it seems to be working..

We’re looking specifically at the DR-2X The benefits of this upgrade include:

  • Modernize the repeater and increase stability, its last upgrade was 2004.
  • Maintain Analog FM operation on 146.625
  • Add the capability to pass C4FM Digital “Fusion” mode
  • Add the capability to join Wires-X, via the HRI-200 linking with several other counties around us.
  • Repeater will be frequency-agile and COULD be used on VHF or UHF if we ever desire to do so.
  • Can be used with an external controller if we want to add bells and whistles.

Not all of the equipment will be replaced at this time. We’ll be using the existing:

  • Duplexers
  • Feedline
  • Antenna

Resources to learn about the repeater, the Fusion system & Wires-X:

https://yaesudr2.blogspot.com/ – This website was most helpful

The existing KRP5000 repeater + CAT1000 controller was purchased in 2003. It has been a very solid machine and was recently re-aligned. The controller, while flexible, is also a bit dated.

Costs:

  • DR-2X Repeater: $700
  • HRI-200 Wires-X device: $125
  • FVS-2 Voice Synthesizer: $35
  • PC for Wires-X Linking: ??
  • Shipping: ??

We expect all total to be under $1200 for this upgrade.