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.


“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


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


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.


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 was originally setup for a couple of local UPS drivers so they could talk to one another as they were returning back to their home bases. Both have since retired, with one now a silent key. Since that time it has become a local mainstay for many local Hams to use and enjoy. Additionally, because of its excellent coverage, it is used as a backup for the Walla Walla Emergency Communications folks. Currently this repeater is connected to our remaining analog repeaters via AllStar. All this helps to provide a valuable resource to our local Ham community for those that either haven’t the ability or the desire to explore digital voice communications.

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

LocationWeston Mountain (above Weston, OR)
OffsetPositive 5MHz
PL Tone131.8Hz
ModeFM Analog
Repeater Make/ModelKenwood NXR-810
Elevation2950 ft
AntennaSuper Station Master
Antenna Height35 ft
Control Operator
Lynn Wilson (K7LW)

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 which has since disbanded. It later went completely off the air due to equipment failure, and remained off the air for over three years. We replaced the failed repeater with a new, and much improved repeater thereby putting the repeater back on the air. The local history of this repeater spans just over forty years, so the renovation of this site was particularly important to us. It is also linked to our other analog repeaters via Allstar.

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

LocationCabbage Hill (I84 20 miles E of Pendleton near the weigh station)
OffsetNegative 0.6MHz
Repeater Make/ModelKenwood TKR-750
Elevation3562 ft
Antenna Sinclair SC246 
Antenna Height60 ft
Control Operators

Lynn Wilson (K7LW) PRIMARY
Emery Heintz (KE7YX)

Coverage Map

W7NEO-RPT1 Digital Weston Mountain Repeater 147.040

The Original Weston Mountain repeater not only was the first of the system, it marked the very beginning of the system, and is what eventually gave our little group it’s name.

LocationWeston Mountain (above Weston, OR)
OffsetPositive 0.6MHz
PL ToneNone
LinkingWires-X to NE-Oregon Room (40289)
ModeC4FM/Yaesu Digital Fusion ONLY
Repeater Make/ModelYaesu DR-2X
Elevation2950 ft
AntennaComscope DB224E
Antenna Height35 ft
Control Operator
Lynn Wilson (K7LW)

Coverage Map

Comprehensive Emergency Operations Management Plan

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


To better enable the W7NEO repeater system (Hereafter referred to as “The 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. 

1.0        General conditions of activation for Amateur Radio:

 During times of national emergency the War Powers Act TITLE 47 SECTION §606, in conjunction with applicable FCC regulations within part 97 permit Amateur Radio operators to serve the public by enabling them to legally communicate with non-amateur entities (e.g., FEMA, the National Weather Service, the military). This exception is only granted by Federal authorities in the event of officially declared emergencies and disasters, and when specifically authorized by the civil defense organization (a.k.a. emergency management) for the area served (under RACES protocols). The following are referenced to FCC regulations contained within Title 47, part 97 as they apply to the Amateur Radio Service during emergency operation:

Title 47 §97.111 – Authorized transmissions.

Title 47 § 97.403 – Safety of life and protection of property.

Title 47 § 97.405 – Station in distress.

 Title 47 § 97.407 – Radio amateur civil emergency service.

1.1        Definition of National Incident Management System (NIMS)

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) provides a consistent nationwide template to enable partners across the nation to work together to prevent, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity. This is a shared responsibility between Federal and local agencies in order to work with community responders encompassing six elements as outlined within the Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-8). In the event we as Non-Government Operators (NGO) would be called upon, in cooperation with various Federal, State, and local agencies during times of emergency, we would adhere to the guidelines as stated within the National Incident Management System Section IV Communications and Information Management.

1.2        National Incident Management System (NIMS) Operational response conditions as it applies to NGO entities 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.

             *A general description of NIMS operational types can be found here.

1.3        Actions to be taken by WMDRA 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 activity on both analog and digital repeater systems, while making frequent announcements updating users of the status of the emergency. 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 administrators/control operators shall announce the transition to NIMS Type 1 on both analog and digital repeater systems so as to further improve system access for those stations directly involved in the passing of emergency traffic, particularly during critical periods of communications. Insure that EOC’s, and outside organizations understand that although there is no directed net activated on the system the passing of legitimate emergency traffic is permitted, and as such will be given priority. 

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

  • 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 repeater system. Local emergency services 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 portion of the digital repeater system be allowed to be included within the Communications Plan of any other organization outside of the association without prior approval of the membership. In the event such approval is granted said organization will understand that policy and guidelines of the use, deployment, and otherwise utilization of the repeater system will remain solely that of the repeater owner, the association, and no others.
  • In the absence of a directed net being conducted on the 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.
  • The WMDRA is not in any way to be considered a formal emergency response organization. We instead define our role during times of emergency as a secondary backup communications system to be available for use in the event of an emergency for the purpose of passing legitimate emergency traffic. Therefore, we should not, under any conditions whatsoever, find ourselves in a situation of self-deployment.
  • 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 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 association, and the regular users of the system do not cater to their ideologies therefore the system 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 are expected to show reasonable consideration to stations already using the system when requesting use of the system in order to pass traffic. 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.
  • Malicious interference will in no way be tolerated on the system at any time, for any reason. Stations who deliberately cause interference on the system will be requested to leave the system immediately. If they refuse to leave, they will be blocked with no recourse of reinstatement. In the case of analog repeaters, the repeater will be taken off the air until such time as it has been determined that the interference has passed. If possible, control operators will identify the interfering station, noting the time, frequency, and a brief description of the interference being generated. Afterwards, a report containing date, time, frequency, and a brief description of the incident shall be submitted to the nearest FCC field office.
  • 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 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 system 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 system are operating on emergency battery backup power traffic on the system will then be limited to essential communications only. Control operators shall inform users of repeater status.

1.5 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 (>32GB) 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 communicating in the NE-OREGON WiresX room GPS position information is displayed as APRS position data on web sites such as aprs.fi. This feature is unique to the NE-OREGON room, and not common in most other WiresX rooms.
  • Many fusion radios 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 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 to great advantage in simplex operation. 

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

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

In the event of an emergency the following shall be adhered to by those users of analog FM repeaters under direct control of the WMDRA. This will be in addition to policies already stated within this document applicable to the digital repeater system, except in those situations identified as being more practical as they would pertain to analog repeater operation. The following exceptions shall not be applied to or construed in any way either real or implied as being applicable to the digital repeater system, and shall be exclusive only to analog repeater operation.

  • In the event of a natural and/or man-made emergency, analog repeaters shall avail themselves for the handling of legitimate emergency traffic. GMRS repeaters under direct control of the WMDRA shall avail themselves for emergency traffic while remaining compliant with FCC Sec 47 C.F.R, Part 95 Subpart E. Any instance not specifically addressed within the following will be referenced back to those policies previously stated within the Comprehensive Emergency Management Communication Plan.
  • In the event of a declared emergency, an announcement will be broadcast over the repeater system indicating that there is an emergency taking place. After which, all W7NEO analog repeaters shall be disconnected from outside linked systems in order to facilitate local emergency communications traffic. Analog repeaters within the W7NEO system shall be linked between one another as necessary in order to provide a communications network for the handling of emergency communications as determined by the control operators. Additional, repeater systems shall be permitted to connect to the W7NEO repeater system in order to aid or to monitor emergency communications as required. This shall be with the understanding that the appropriate protocol and restrictions for emergency communications on the W7NEO repeater system are in effect. Any station refusing to abide by said restrictions, thereby causing deliberate interference, will be immediately disconnected and blocked by control operators from accessing the W7NEO repeater system. Once the emergency has officially ended, and emergency communications are no longer required, the W7NEO repeater system will be returned to normal linked configuration, and normal operation following an announcement of said same on the system can resume. 
  • At no time will any portion of the analog repeater system be allowed to be included within the Communications Plan of any other organization outside of the association without prior approval of the membership. In the event such approval is granted said organization will understand that policy and guidelines of the use, deployment, and otherwise utilization of the repeater system will remain solely that of the repeater owner, the association, and no others.
  • Net operation or any variation thereof will be strictly regulated on a case-by-case basis and allowed only by prior approval of the association and with specific restrictions IAW policies as outlined and agreed upon by mutual agreement between the association and the organization requesting to conduct net operation. Final determination to allow net operation on the analog repeater system will be based upon the determination of the value, legitimacy, and service to the community during times of emergency of the proposed net. As a condition of being allowed to conduct net operations on the analog repeater system said net shall follow association policies for repeater operation while operating on the analog repeater system. It will be understood that ownership, thereby control of the repeater system will remain solely that of the repeater owner, the association, and no others.
  • IAW FCC section 47 CFR § 97.119, the use of tactical call-signs is not permitted on the system. Stations will identify with their FCC issued call-signs only, after which they can, at their own discretion, identify their specific location if they wish to do so.
  • Impromptu emergency nets will only be permitted in extreme cases and reviewed on a case-by case basis by the association prior to approval. If during an emergency only one (1) member of the association can be contacted, then that member will have the authority to grant or deny permission to conduct the net. 
  • During an emergency event control operators will by verbal announcement and/or voice macro give frequent announcements informing users that there is an emergency event taking place, and to limit operation giving priority to legitimate emergency traffic. Once the emergency event has cleared a control operator shall make an announcement by voice and/or voice macro informing users that the emergency event has cleared, and the repeater is returned to normal operation.
  • In the event of a smaller scale local emergency where the safety of human life is of concern the individual responding, in conjunction with those providing assistance, will have priority use of the repeater system. This does not grant cart blanche authorization to conduct a directed net, it merely gives those responding priority use of the repeater system while passing emergency traffic. Once the emergency has concluded those individuals taking part in responding to the emergency will relinquish control of the repeater and return the system to normal operation by announcing said same over the 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 analog repeater 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 association and the regular users of the system do 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 those policies 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, control operators shall block the offending station, and/or remotely disable repeater operation thereby taking it off the air until such time it is determined that said individuals are no longer attempting to access the system.
  • Presently there is no accommodation for LiTZ (Long Term Zero) on any of the analog repeaters. Since the controller used with the analog repeaters is capable of responding to a LiTZ this may or may not be explored at a later date for deployment within the analog repeater system.


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 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. This, by the establishment and clarification of system availability and access to outside organizations, operating procedures, and responsibilities during an emergency to be observed by all stations while utilizing the W7NEO repeater system. In addition, it makes clear our system capabilities, and level of availability to local, state, and federal responders in conjunction with our core values as they relate to emergency communication response in general.