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Fusion Gateways

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Single Frequency

Unlike repeaters, Fusion gateway nodes operate with a single frequency.  That means they can't extend your radio range except via an internet connection to another gateway or repeater.

Typically, UK Fusion repeaters are well sited on hills with a good range and Fusion gateways are not well sited and have a short range.  That allows several gateways to operate in a given area.

WIRES-X Box

The device which connects a Fusion gateway radio to the internet is called a Yaesu HRI-200.  It is a Wide-coverage Repeater Enhancement System or WIRES-X to you and me.  It is configured and monitored using a computer.  On the internet side it uses the VoIP protocol.

Not Connected

If you have a Fusion hand portable or mobile radio and are in range of a gateway, you don't have to be connected to it to use it.  If you hear a digital voice calling CQ, your display will show where the voice is coming from and you just need to transmit to reply.  If the gateway has been silent for a while, you can just transmit and call CQ or call a specified station which you suspect may be active.

If you hear a Fusion digital station from far away which uses radio, then the internet, then Fusion digital radio to reach you, your Fusion radio display will show that station's callsign (and perhaps a name) and the distance between you.  If you hear a remote station using a Fusion repeater in FM mode, then the internet, then Fusion digital radio to reach you, your display will show the callsign of the remote FM repeater.

If your local gateway has a UK Notice of Variation (NoV) to operate only when attended, it may have a website and there will hopefully be an indication of "Gateway Radio On" or "Gateway Radio Off".

Gateway node MB6INE in Middlesbrough has a website here.

Connected

If in range of a gateway node and on the correct frequency, you can connect to it by pressing your X button (WIRES-X button?).  Your radio's display will then show the callsign of the gateway and its default room name.

You can press buttons to see a list of all rooms, repeaters and nodes, or type a wildcard callsign template to restrict the size of the list, e.g. GB3 or MB6

You can then select one station and play.  Gateway nodes are like mini-mailboxes.  You can upload or download (if any are present), voice messages (60 second max), text messages (80 characters max), or pictures (the bigger the jpg file, the longer it takes).

If connected only to your local node, you can upload (transmit) or download (receive) the above.  If connected to a remote node, you can also play with messages from thousands of miles away.  Each node has an EMERGENCY folder for voice messages, text messages and pictures.  I have no idea why, but the Yaesu software kiills each of them 2 hours after they were placed there.

As a general statement, nearly all voice and text messages are along the lines of either "Greetings" or "Testing".  You can't delete any voice message, text message or picture, even if you put them there.  Only the node owner can do that.

Rooms

Other digital standards may call them reflectors.  Yaesu call them rooms.  The WIRES-X box can be configured by default to link a few, several or many Fusion repeaters or gateways together.  The room will have a name, e.g. -UK-NET-HUB- .

Suppose your local gateway has a room consisting of another two gateway nodes and a repeater.  Without being connected to your local gateway, but in range and on the correct frequency, if you call CQ, you will be heard on the radio outputs of the remote two nodes and the repeater at the same time.  With several people in range and active at the same time near the three remote nodes or repeaters, there could be a conversation covering hundreds or thousands of miles between perhaps 20 people.  Good radio procedure and net discipline will be required.

Note that if several people are talking to your local node and further afield, your gateway node is not a repeater so you may not be in range of all locals.  I have been in the silly situation of saying to a station 4,000 miles away, "I can't hear G1ABC who is 12 miles from me behind a hill, please ask him which rig he is using, then tell me the reply."

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Page updated on 09 January 2017

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