WIRES-X Basics

WIRES (Wide-Coverage Internet Repeater Enhancement System) is an Internet communication system which expands the range of amateur radio communication. For WIRES-X operation, an amateur node station connecting to the Internet is used as an access point connecting your wireless communication to the Internet. Your station can communicate with other amateur stations all over the world using a node within your radios range.

The W7NEO (147.040/145.19/442.125), WB7ILL (443.80), and WF7S (146.80) repeaters are all the local machines within Umatilla & Klickitat counties that are currently linked to the WiresX system. The W7NEO machines (with the exception of 442.125), WB7ILL, and the KE7PUP Node (147.55) are all four parked in the same WiresX room (NE-OREGON). This effectively links them all together to provide a foot print covering roughly a 150 mile area within both NE Oregon and SE Washington. All of these machines allow world-wide contacts to be made through the WiresX system. In addition to this is the KB7PPM repeater located in Salem Oregon which for the moment, covers all of the immediate area of Salem. According to the owner (Paul, KB7PPM) there are plans to relocate the repeater at a later date to a higher location which should provide excellent coverage over the Willamette valley.

 FAQ’s:

“Will I have to buy a new radio?”
If you’re accessing the system via analog FM then no you won’t. But if you’re accessing a repeater that is operating in digital voice only (such as the W7NEO machine) then unfortunately you will need to have a radio that is C4FM capable. On the up side, the digital voice mode provides considerably more features, better voice fidelity, and ease of operation.

 “Can I turn the Wires-X System On/Off when I want to?”
~Yes! If you’re going through an analog repeater pressing your PTT (Push-To-Talk) and pressing  “*”  on your DTMF keypad will disconnect the Repeater from the Wires-X system (for about 20 seconds). Most local repeaters are configured to automatically return to their home room after they have been disconnected from the previous room (such as the W7NEO system). If you’re on a digital system (such as the W7NEO repeater) there is no need to press the PTT, just press and hold down the “*” button on your microphones DTMF pad for a couple of seconds, without depressing the PTT and the system will disconnect from the current room you are in. Again, most systems are configured to return to their “Home Room” by default (W7NEO returns to NE-OREGON).

“Who all can hear me?”
~You decide! When a user connects to a “room”, the room may be full of other users, or only a few. Some might be in the USA, others could be overseas! Keep reading for more on this.

 *The W7NEO repeater by default is parked in the NE-OREGON room (40289) when not in use.

“Is this like IRLP or Echolink?”
~Somewhat. With Wires-X, a node connects to a room, which might already be hosting other nodes. This feature is not available with IRLP or Echolink. Wires-X (a Yaesu system) allows “Rooms” that often host several other nodes, some of which might be repeaters or personal nodes, belonging to a single operator. Keep reading…

“Do I need to upgrade my license to use Wires-X?”
~No! A newly minted Technician class operator can access the system and still make contacts with other states, and countries. A license upgrade is NOT required to use Wires-X.

“What if I need the repeater for an emergency?”
~Easy, first disconnect the system from the WIRES-X system. Either way, your emergency traffic WILL be heard locally, and possible on other systems as well if the systems are still connected. Pressing your PTT, then “*” , will quickly disconnect, or hang-up on the system. NOTE, this can only be done (right now) in-between transmissions.

*Be aware that the W7NEO system is NOT affiliated with ARES or RACES or any other such organization.

Good Operating Practices while using the WIRES-X system

SIMPLY FOLLOW THESE 4 STEPS

1 Listen!

2 Listen!

3 Listen!

4 …..Ok, this step has several steps. Did you happen to notice steps 1-3? Yes! Listen, Listen, Listen! This is the best advice I can offer you. Please KNOW what you are doing BEFORE you do it. The more prepared you are, the more receptive other stations will be to engage in a QSO with you.

Typically most of the repeaters local within Umatilla, and surrounding Counties are connected to their own rooms. Their individual rooms will accept calls from outside stations as well. If you desire a different room, there are two ways to go about it depending if the repeater is digital, or analog voice (The W7NEO repeater system is digital).

For Digital, you’ll have to first connect to the WiresX system by pressing the DX button on your radio. Once connected you can either do a search, or choose from your favorites list for a room to navigate too. This can vary depending upon the individual radio. Once you’re finished with which ever room you’ve been using, you can either navigate to another room in the same manner, or press “*” on your DTMF mic (without keying the radio) and the repeater system will do the rest.

For a WiresX repeater operating in Analog FM mode, simply key your radio and send the DTMF character * into the repeater (Digital Operation is slightly different). Once you DISCONNECT (*) from a room, or whatever room the system is currently in, you will hear the repeater “talk back” to you with 4 rapid dits. This is a MORSE CODE “H” (for hangup) and is the indicator that you have just disconnected from a room. Within about 20 seconds, key into the repeater (with your PTT button) the # sign followed by the room number of your choice, and un-key your radio. Once again, the repeater will “talk back” to you and announce that it is connected to the room you requested. If you do not receive an announcement that you are connected, a series of 5 longs tones will be heard. This indicates that the room is either busy or is not accepting incoming connections. Once you receive the announcement that you are connected, PLEASE wait to transmit, to ensure that there is not already a QSO in progress.

There is a list of available rooms on the internet. From the internet simply look up the list of available rooms currently on the system. Click on this link to view the list of active rooms, and their room numbers. Remember the number of the room you would like to join. If you are accessing the system through one of the local analog repeaters you should know that some rooms do not want analog nodes to connect. Please pay attention to the comment section of the list, and respect those who ask that no analog repeaters (or RF linked repeaters) connect to their room.

The repeater may already be connected to a room and someone might already be in a conversation. So… Listen, Listen, Listen, to make sure the repeater is NOT in a room already, and that a QSO is not in progress. Better yet, after listening for a few moments, announce “is the repeater or Wires X in use”? Once you are confident that you are not interrupting, key the * symbol into the repeater. This is also know as “hang-up” or “Disconnect”, which will disconnect the repeater from any Wires-X room it’s in. The repeater will answer this with 4 rapid dits (Morse code “H” for hang-up), indicating it has disconnected if analog, or the word “Disconnected” on a digital connection.

 Now that you have your desired room, send the DTMF character #, PLUS the desired room number into the repeater using your PTT by pressing # followed by the 5 digit room number you desire. The repeater will either announce to you it has connected, or that the connection has failed, using a series of 5 rapid tones. This is true for digital operation as well, in addition to the search feature.

You have just connected to your very first room! Congratulations! VERY IMPORTANT – When entering a room, a QSO might already be in progress, so follow steps 1, 2 and 3 again. Better yet, follow them a second time. No one wants to be interrupted by someone barging into a room hollering their call sign. Once connected, either (1) Listen for other stations, (2) Respond to a calling station, or (3) Put out your call sign with the state (Washington or Oregon) that you are calling from, and simply ask for a Wires-X contact. You will likely get a response using this method. The room you are in likely has several repeaters in it, so make sure to follow the rules and be mindful that your transmission might be carried by dozens of repeaters systems in the USA and OVERSEAS.

Use your call sign Phonetically! Phonetics help immensely with stations being able to hear your call sign and respond to you!

When you are in a room and establish a contact, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you not “Tailgate” or “Quick-Key”. Once the other station is done transmitting, count to 3 or 4, and then begin your transmission. When you start your own transmission, please key up, wait a second or two, and THEN begin speaking. Remember, you are likely bringing up several (sometimes up to 150+!) connected repeaters, and they like a little time to start transmitting before you start talking. This allows the entire system to complete the previous step before picking up your transmission. Once you are done speaking, leave your mic keyed for about 1 second (dead air), and then UN-key. This encourages the station on the other end to do the same, keeping the system flowing smoothly. Please review these points to present yourself as well prepared station.

 When you are done with the Wires-X system, feel free to stay connected, in case another station wants to begin a QSO themselves. This is called “leaving the link up”, or “keeping it connected”. If you disconnect, (dropping the link), that’s fine as well. Just be sure to use your call sign when you key the repeater to connect (#) or disconnect (*).

  • On the W7NEO system those WiresX nodes not already locked in the NE-OREGON room are set to automatically disconnect and return to their home room (NE-OREGON) after 15 minutes.

ALWAYS IDENTIFY your transmission, when connecting or disconnecting the Wires-X link.

Here is something else to listen for. Once you disconnect from a room using the “*” key , any room, our node will “park” itself back in the Home room after about 15 – 20 seconds. If you do not key a new room into the system, our node will put itself back in our own room automatically. Feel free to test this out yourself. Disconnect from the current room, and then wait and listen. it will go back to its own room about 15 – 20 seconds later. Most all of the local repeaters are ALWAYS in a room, even if it isn’t their own room.

 Here are 2 perfectly acceptable examples…

 “This is K7ABC, accessing WIRES-X”, (assuming that you have already disconnected previously) and then without un-keying, key your desired DTMF characters into your radio. Now UN-KEY.

 The same is true when disconnecting…

 Key * into your radio, and then without un-keying your radio, announce “This is K7ABC, dropping (or) disconnecting WIRES-X“.  Now UN-KEY your own radio. You will hear the repeater return with the disconnect message.

September 2020 Pickle Barrel Review

The official newsletter of the Weston Mountain Digital Radio Association


Introduction

Greetings one and all to the first issue of the Pickle Barrel Review! The hope is to make this a regular monthly publication filled with the latest happenings not only of the W7NEO system, and the NE-OREGON room, but System Fusion and other Ham Radio related goings on as well. That said, we invite others to contribute with articles, or if your club or organization is having an event such as a tailgate, swap meet, VE testing, or whatever you can list it here as well. The only thing we ask is that your contribution be nonpolitical (unless it’s a government action that directly affects Ham Radio), respectful of others (no personal attacks), and relatively family friendly.  So, all that said, feel free to reach in the barrel, grab yourself a pickle, pull up a chair and have sit while we discuss the latest happenings in Ham Radio.


Repeater Updates

This month was a busy one for the W7NEO system. Work continued with the Cabbage Hill repeaters (444.975 & 146.88) trying to reduce, and or eliminate all together the noise interference that was trashing the 146.88 machine. Although we did install an inline A/C noise filter it appears that perhaps we may not have been the only ones falling victim to the noise. Although the filter was effective at reducing the noise, it seems to have simply stopped all on it’s own. Ironically it was after a conversation on the repeater in which a comment was made that we finally had the contact information for the FCC enforcement division and was planning on simply handing the issue over to them. I’m not saying that the originator of the noise was listening, but it is nice to not have to deal with the noise for the past few weeks. Fingers crossed it stays gone!

Another progress report pertains to the Weston Mountain repeaters. After (literally) years of talking the installation and raising of the tower is finally complete! For photos of this monumental undertaking check out the Photo Gallery section of the web site. Unfortunately, due to safety concerns we were unable to go the entire 45 feet and had to instead settle for 35 feet. Considering just how high the antennas “weren’t,” and how well they were still performing regardless, raising both the 147.040 and the 441.700 antennas up another 25 feet, in addition to upgrading both of the feedlines to 7/8” Heliax will most definitely result in some increased coverage for both machines. We might still add the missing 10 ft of tower at a later date depending upon availability of equipment such as a bucket truck, etc. So, either way I’m sure we’ll be doing the Happy Dance once we are able to verify the improved coverage.

Speaking of both Cabbage Hill and Weston Mountain, the analog side of each site will be undergoing a slight change. The 441.700 DR2X will be getting replaced with a Kenwood TKR-850, and for the 146.880 repeater on Cabbage Hill the DR1X will be getting replaced with a Kenwood TKR-750. These are both commercial grade repeaters, and if the reviews are correct both machines should provide excellent service for years to come. Although the DR2X is to be repurposed, one of the two DR1X (refurbished) will most likely be going up for sale. The other has already been spoken for.

Well that’s about it for our system status update for now. I wish I could tell you all that we have a date and will be installing the Chandler Butte repeater soon, but unfortunately this CONVID 19 fiasco that has a choke hold on everything is also delaying our installation of a new repeater on the system. Hopefully next month I’ll have some better news.

  • Lynn Wilson, K7LW

Disaster Preparedness

So last winter was abit on the crazy side with all the flooding, and what not, which makes most of us wonder if there have been any indications as to what we can expect for this winter? One of the things that has a significant effect on weather is the formation of either an El Nino, or an El Nina. Okay so what exactly is an El Nino, or El Nina? Well I’m glad you asked;

The El Niño/Southern Oscillation has a major influence on climate patterns in various parts of the world. This naturally occurring phenomenon involves fluctuating ocean temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, coupled with changes in the atmosphere. Scientific progress on the understanding and modelling of this phenomenon has improved prediction skills to within a range of one to nine months in advance, giving society the opportunity to prepare for associated hazards such as heavy rains, floods and drought.

Organizations such as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) track the potential formation of both the El Nino and El Nina’s in order to try and get a leg up on just what to expect for winter and summer weather patterns. Here is what their saying about this winter:

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) status in the tropical Pacific remains neutral, signifying that neither El Niño nor La Niña is currently occurring. However, since May both surface and sub-surface waters in the region have leaned to below average. The latest forecasts from the WMO Global Producing Centers of Long Range Forecasts indicate that tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures are likely to cool further, potentially reaching La Niña levels during September 2020. Given current conditions and model predictions, the chance of La Niña during September-November 2020 is estimated to be around 60%, with about a 40% chance for ENSO-neutral conditions to continue. Chances for La Niña decrease to 55% for the December-February 2020/2021 period. National Meteorological and Hydrological Services will closely monitor changes in the state of ENSO over the coming months and provide updated outlooks.

In summary:

  • The tropical Pacific has been an ENSO-neutral condition since July 2019. However, since May 2020, sea surface temperatures over the area have leaned slightly towards below-average.
  • Current observations show below-average surface and sub-surface water temperatures in the tropical Pacific, suggesting a likely tendency towards further decreases in sea surface temperature, possibly reaching La Niña thresholds during September 2020.
  • Model predictions and expert assessment indicate that the probability for La Niña development during September-November 2020 is about 60%, while that for ENSO-neutral conditions continuing is 40% and that for El Niño is near-zero. For the December-February 2020/2021 season, the probability for La Niña slightly drops to about 55%, while that for ENSO-neutral remains at 40% and that for El Niño marginally rises to 5%.
  • Sea surface temperatures in the east-central Pacific Ocean are most likely to be in the range of 0.3 to 1.3 degrees Celsius below average during September-November 2020, and 0.1 to 1.2 degrees below average during December-February 2020/2021.

The state of ENSO will continue to be carefully monitored by WMO Members and partners. More detailed interpretations of the implications for regional climate variability will be carried out routinely by the climate forecasting community over the coming months and will be made available through the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services.

So there you have it. As if COVID 19 wasn’t enough right?

As a disclaimer, the closest I’ve ever been to being a meteorologist is having maintained various weather monitoring sensors for the feds, owning my own home weather monitoring station, and watching the evening news for the local weather forecast. Other that that I’m just as confused as everyone else with this stuff.

*Information contained within this article was obtained primarily from The World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

  • Lynn Wilson, K7LW

Emergency Communications

  • The ARES folks (Both Oregon & Washington) are planning on having a SET (Simulated Emergency Test) exercise Saturday October 3rd from 0800 to 1400 +/-.
  • Please be aware that the WMDRA (W7NEO) does not participate in any of the above listed training, this information is made available to our users for informational purposes only.

Local Events

Thanks to COVID 19 most all of the normal yearly events such as Ham Fests, Swap Meets, etc. are pretty much all on hold until further notice. Hopefully once this plague has tired of ravaging the countryside we can get back to normal and go back to holding our cherished nerd conventions once again. But should you have any knowledge of events such as VE testing, or even something virtual locally going on let us know and we’ll get it in the Review for others.

Thanks!


VE Testing

  • Hermiston ARC – September 12, 2020 15:00 – 17:00 – Visit their web page at http://ai7ho.org/ for location, and other details.
  • Tri-Cities ARC – Sept 20, 2020 – Visit their web page at http://www.w7az.org/ for location, and other details.

W7NEO Analog Weston Mountain Repeater 441.700

The analog repeater on Weston Mountain is somewhat of an experimental repeater. The hope is for it to one day be connected via AllStar node.

If you aren’t familiar with AllStar, you can find more here.

LocationWeston Mountain (above Weston, OR)
Frequency441.700MHz
OffsetPositive 5MHz
PL Tone131.8Hz
LinkingNone (yet)
ModeFM Analog
Repeater Make/ModelYaesu DR-2
Elevation2950 ft
AntennaSuper Station Master
Antenna Height12 ft
Control OperatorsLynn Wilson (K7LW) PRIMARY
Eric Ramirez (K7ELJ)
Will Studer (N7WSY)

Coverage Map

W7NEO Analog Cabbage Hill Repeater 146.880

The “Cabbage Hill 88” repeater is our adopted site. It was previously part of another club and that club disbanded. It later went completely off the air due to equipment failure. We put in a new repeater and got it back on the air.

LocationCabbage Hill (I84 20 miles E of Pendleton near the weigh station)
Frequency146.880MHz
OffsetNegative 0.6MHz
PL Tone67Hz
LinkingNone
ModeFM
Repeater Make/ModelYaesu DR-1
Elevation3562 ft
AntennaSuper Station Master
Antenna Height34 ft
Control OperatorsLynn Wilson (K7LW) PRIMARY
Eric Ramirez (K7ELJ)
Will Studer (N7WSY)

Coverage Map

W7NEO-RPT 3 Digital Chandler Butte Repeater 147.320

Chandler as we so affectionately refer to it is our latest repeater project. We have already built of our equipment for the site, but haven’t had a chance to begin the physical work yet due to COVID-19. This site will fill in a few missing spots and increase our Washington coverage.

LocationChandler Butte (I82 between Prosser and Benton City)
Frequency147.320MHz
OffsetPositive 0.6MHz
PL ToneNone
LinkingWires-X to NE-Oregon Room (40289)
ModeC4FM/Yaesu Digital Fusion ONLY
Repeater Make/ModelYaesu DR-2
Elevation2040 ft
AntennaComscope DB224
Antenna HeightTBD
Control OperatorsWill Studer (N7WSY) PRIMARY
Lynn Wilson (K7LW)
Eric Ramirez (K7ELJ)

Coverage Map

W7NEO-RPT2 Digital Roosevelt Repeater 145.190

The Roosevelt repeater was the second repeater to go up. It was a group effort by members and users of the system. It increased the range of the W7NEO C4FM/Yaesu Fusion System significantly. There are plans/hopes of elevating the antenna higher on the 100ft tower it is located on.

LocationHillside above Roosevelt, WA
Frequency145.190MHz
OffsetNegative 0.6MHz
PL ToneNone
LinkingWires-X to NE-Oregon Room (40289)
ModeC4FM/Yaesu Digital Fusion ONLY
Repeater Make/ModelYaesu DR-2
Elevation1737 ft
AntennaCommander Tech 220-2N
Antenna Height40 ft
Control Operators:Eric Ramirez (K7ELJ) PRIMARY
Lynn Wilson (K7LW)
Will Studer (N7WSY)

Coverage Map

W7NEO-RPT1 Digital Weston Mountain Repeater 147.040

The Original Weston Mountain repeater was not only the first of the system, it is what began the group and gave it it’s name.

LocationWeston Mountain (above Weston, OR)
Frequency147.040MHz
OffsetPositive 0.6MHz
PL ToneNone
LinkingWires-X to NE-Oregon Room (40289)
ModeC4FM/Yaesu Digital Fusion ONLY
Repeater Make/ModelYaesu DR-2
Elevation2950 ft
AntennaComscope DB224
Antenna Height12 ft
Control OperatorsLynn Wilson (K7LW) PRIMARY
Eric Ramirez (K7ELJ)
Will Studer (N7WSY)

Coverage Map

Comprehensive Emergency Operations Management Plan

Weston Mountain Digital Radio Association (W7NEO) Comprehensive Emergency Operations Management Plan.

Purpose:

To better enable the W7NEO digital voice repeater system to effectively provide a valuable resource to our local community in the event of a natural or man-made disaster by the establishment and clarification of operating procedures and responsibilities. In addition, outlining specifically how the system will and will not be allowed to be utilized by outside interests during such times thereby preserving the core values of our organization.

National Incident Management System (NIMS) Operational response conditions are as follows:

  • The incident complexity is NIMS Type 5 or 4, and all communications needs are being handled through commercial services, there is no need for additional communications resources.
  • When incident complexity reaches NIMS Type 3 or 2, regular communications systems may not be capable of normal capacity in the affected areas. Supplemental Amateur Radio communications resources can fill the gap until regular communications are restored. Depending on the quantity of communicators needed and operational periods, deployment of emergency communications resources from outside the affected jurisdiction(s) is possible.
  • During major emergencies and disasters (NIMS Type 1 incident complexity), there may be major failures and overloading of the communications infrastructure, including the degradation or loss of the electrical grid, cellular phone network, Internet, public safety radio systems, and AM/FM radio systems. In such cases, supplemental emergency communications resources are needed in quantity and for extended periods until regular communications are restored.

General conditions of activation for Amateur Radio:

FCC regulations permit Amateur Radio operators to serve the public by communicating with non-amateur entities (e.g., FEMA, the National Weather Service, the military) during emergencies and disasters, and when specifically authorized by the civil defense (a.k.a. emergency management) organization for the area served (under RACES protocols). Although very little of the following directly applies to the W7NEO system to the degree of which it would conceivably be utilized during an emergency, it is nevertheless worth noting:

47 CFR §97.111(a)(2) – Essential communication needs and to facilitate relief actions;

47 CFR §97.111(a)(3) – With another FCC-regulated service;

47 CFR §97.407(d)(1) – Public safety or national defense or security:

 47 CFR §97.407(d)(2) – Immediate life safety, protection of property, law and order, human suffering/need, combating of armed attack or sabotage;

47 CFR §97.407(d)(3) – Public information or instructions in civil defense and relief.

Actions to be taken by W7NEO system administrators/control operators:

NIMS Type 5 or 4.

  • No action is required, continue to monitor the situation for any changes in status.

NIMS Type 3 or 2

  • Request that users minimize the shifting of WiresX to rooms outside of the NE-OREGON room. Make every effort to reasonably accommodate individuals that may wish to use the system in order to pass and/or receive emergency traffic. Update NE-OREGON room message board with short posts (limited to 80 characters) in order to inform users of various hazards including but not limited to changing weather, road hazards/closures, etc.

NIMS Type 1

  • System administrator/control operators shall lock WiresX into the NE-OREGON room (#40289) so as to prevent the system from being moved during critical periods of communications. If not already in contact, contact local Emergency Operations Center(s) (EOC) via dedicated local ARES/RACES repeater systems, and/or email in order to inform them the W7NEO system is available. Insure that EOC’s, and outside organizations understand that although there is no directed net activated on the W7NEO system the passing of emergency traffic is permitted.
  • In the absence of a directed net being conducted on the W7NEO system every effort will be made in order to accommodate stations needs involved in communications support activities during the emergency. Post to the WiresX message board of this status, in addition make frequent announcements on the system informing users of the system being in emergency operation mode, with emergency traffic having priority.
  • Individuals not serving in official capacity pertaining directly to the emergency entering the NE-OREGON room attempting to obtain information shall be directed to contact their local EOC, or other official sources of public information. The WMDRA does not have a Public Information Officer (PIO) position within our organization, nor is it our responsibility for any of our membership to serve in such capacity.

Procedures pertaining to how the W7NEO system will be deployed/utilized during times of emergency:

  1. At no point will any outside organization not authorized under powers granted by 47 U.S.C. §606 be permitted to establish a formal directed net on the W7NEO repeater system. Local ARES/RACES repeater systems are already available specifically for that purpose, and it is expected that they would be utilized accordingly without the need of the W7NEO repeater system.
  • At no time will any militia groups, and/or groups otherwise representing antigovernment and/or racist sentiments within the fundamental ideologies of their organization(s) be permitted access to the W7NEO system under any circumstance whether real or implied. If individuals representing any such organization(s) are identified on the system they shall be informed that the W7NEO system does not cater to their ideologies therefore it is not available for use by their organization. After having made contact and informed said individual(s) of WMDRA policy pertaining to such ideologies they shall be directed to clear their station(s) from the system immediately. If said individuals refuse to vacate the system as directed they shall be blocked by a system administrator or control operator with no recourse to be reinstated.
  • Legitimate emergency traffic will be given priority, however stations with emergency traffic will show reasonable consideration to stations already using the system. This will be accomplished by the station holding the emergency traffic requesting use of the system in order to pass their traffic, and the occupying station(s) releasing the system to them. Once traffic has been passed, and no further traffic is waiting to be passed stations involved will relinquish the system to normal use.
  • Regular users of the system will be asked to show consideration during times of emergency by paying particular attention to avoid practices such as tailgating, and/or tying up the system for extended periods of time with non-emergency related conversation, etc.
  • If proper operation of digital voice equipment is not adequately understood by Amateur Radio personnel manning the EOC then every effort will be made to provide a qualified individual to assist in training EOC personnel. The purpose of this is to minimize unnecessary interference on the W7NEO repeater system (and other digital voice repeater systems parked in the NE-OREGON room) by EOC personnel. Once training is completed, said individual will be under no obligation to further assist EOC personnel, but will be free to do so if they feel it is appropriate.
  • In the event that repeaters are no longer linked due to loss of linking infrastructure those repeaters within the W7NEO group will be utilized as standalone systems and all of the above operating directives will remain in effect as if they were still linked until such time as the network is restored. Fusion repeaters are perfectly capable of fully functioning as standalone digital voice repeaters without the need for internet connection. Individual coverage by the various repeaters within the network is more than capable of still providing a service to the local community as needed during an emergency. Other repeaters that may have been connected to the NE-OREGON room prior to the loss of linking that are not part of the WMDRA will most likely revert to their own policy doctrine as they deem appropriate until linking is restored. Once linking is again restored, control operators for those machines will be informed that linking has been restored, and that those repeaters will be once again free to rejoin the network as they wish to do so.
  • In the event that repeaters within the W7NEO system are operating on emergency battery backup power traffic on the system will then be limited to essential communications only.

Utilization of various features of the WiresX system:

  • A bulletin board which is accessible to all users of the system has an emergency section in addition to the local News section. Both can be utilized for posting road hazards, weather conditions, and information in general. Messages can be text, picture, or audio format, with text messages limited to 80 characters. When posting to the local News list section messages can be broadcast to users that have WiresX activated and are connected to the NE-OREGON room. In order for the users to receive the message broadcasts they must have a MicroSD card installed in their radio.
  • The GPS feature has multiple applications both within and outside the WiresX system. Some radio equipment can display both range and bearing information to other stations active on the system. This feature does not require connection to WiresX in order to function. When connected to the WiresX system position is displayed as APRS data only when the microphone is keyed on web sites such as aprs.fi. Many fusion radios also have a fully functional APRS feature built in which APRS data is displayed both on the radio display and web sites such as the afore mentioned.
  • Stations located outside of the immediate coverage area can connect into the NE-OREGON room (#40289) as well in order to exchange traffic.
  • Although Group Mode (GM) is available, it is highly discouraged from being used on the repeater system, but may be used in simplex operation.

*Fusion repeaters are fully capable of functioning independent of the internet, however WiresX features are contingent upon the internet being available.

Policies and procedures as they pertain to analog FM repeaters within the W7NEO system:

  • Currently none of the analog FM repeaters within the W7NEO system are linked into the digital voice portion of the system.
  • All of the above policies are applicable to the analog FM repeaters with the exception of those circumstances and conditions exclusive to digital voice (C4FM) repeater operation.

Summary: It is strongly felt by the membership of the Weston Mountain Digital Radio Association (WMDRA) that all of us within the Amateur Radio community must step up to the task as skilled communicators in times of an emergency in order to best serve our community. Our local, state, and federal authorities will be depending upon the valuable communications resources the Amateur Radio community as a whole will be able to provide in the way of capable communications systems and highly skilled operators. In order to fulfill this responsibility, we as communications specialists must function as part of a communications team combining our individual strengths for a single purpose, the safe wellbeing of our local community. The primary purpose of this document is to provide clear and detailed guidelines with regards to the response by the WMDRA to a natural or manmade disaster by establishment and clarification of operating procedures and responsibilities. In addition, it makes clear our system capabilities, and availability in conjunction with our core values as they relate to emergency communication response.