There was a kind of semi-bungled release of the long-awaited software updates from Yaesu this past week (long story). This includes updated Wires-X node software, and new software for the DR1-X repeaters to allow connection to a Wires-X device.
Since we have no internet connection at the repeater site, the first option is more interesting to us. I have a Wires-X device, a PC, and a FTM-400DR at my home QTH, that up until now, has only had limited functionality in analog FM. With this new software release, I can now use my node to point to our W2XRX repeater and have full digital capabilities. It can also work in analog FM, but setting the mode on a Wires-X node is not automatic, and has reduced functionality. So I will likely concentrate on digital.
I’m starting to see what Yaesu has been trying to do. Frankly, now that I see it, they probably would have been better off just forgetting about making it analog compatible so they could have more resources getting Fusion perfected. But it is finally getting there. I have a FT1XD handheld on order, and I’m selling my old HT.
Here are a couple of videos that might help with an understanding of Wires-X. They aren’t great, but are a start. For those of you who have asked “why would I want a Fusion radio?”, these help show some of their capabilities.
A couple of points – you don’t need to have your own Wires-X node to use one. Best case scenario is that the Fusion repeaters in the area would be connected (directly or via a node like mine). You can then connect as shown in these two videos (with an HT or mobile).
The PC screen in the first video is the PC running the node software that controls the node. It provides connection to the internet and controls the node radio.
There will hopefully be more updates in the coming weeks. Maybe some more videos – if I find anything interesting I will pass along.