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Modification to the 147.120 Repeater

I am reach out to everyone that I am aware of that is a regular user of my 147.120 Pipe Creek Repeater, as  you may have noticed yesterday we had a sudden flurry of activity from around the State and may be wondering what is going on, combined with questions of how to use these features and what impact it is going to have on local activity.

First and foremost I want everyone to please be comfortable with the Repeater and with using the repeater. I am very interested in honest opinions and I will at all times try to provide a repeater that meets the needs of the region. In about 1 week, I will be sending out a 100% anonymous survey soliciting your honest opinions of the repeater linking. Based on the results of that survey we will decide to make this permanent with just Texas Nexas, expand it to include foreign repeaters or terminate the link and return to 100% local repeater activity only.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Even though the link requires that you operate in Digital Narrow mode to access the link and communicate with repeaters through out Texas, you can still use Analog to communicate. I ask you verify local digital repeater activity first and then switch to Analog and make your contact. Those with Analog Radio’s only, will need to watch the S meter and if you see no activity, please feel free to take the repeater to analog only and communicate away. for those using dual mode radio’s {Analog/Digital} it may be wise to lock your radio in Analog so repeater activity in Dallas, Houston, etc does not cause the repeater to switch to Digital on you. This will eliminate interruptions to your analog conversation.

What has happened to the N5XO Hill Country Repeater?

Effective about 4:pm Saturday August 12th 2017, we activated the WireX function of the Fusion Repeater, and linked into a State wide Repeater Network {Texas Nexas}, this has linked us to about 25 repeaters through out Texas and enables you with the ability to communicate directly via our repeater to Houston, Dallas, Austin, Waco, and points through out that region. You can now effectively drive from Bandera Texas to Dallas Texas and carry on a continuous conversation. Or link up to friends and family in those areas. 

To sum it up in a nutshell, we have taken our already wide regional repeater, and expanded it’s range 300 more miles, basically as if we expanded the tower another 500ft higher. 

When you operate Analog, you are talking to other users of our local repeater only, and your communication is limited to the range of our repeater. When you switch to Fusion Digital Narrow, you are now connected to repeaters around the state that are part of the Texas Nexas Network.

How to use it Analog:

For those who are using Analog only radio’s, we ask you verify with your S meter to confirm that there is not any current Digital Activity, if you see Digital activity please stand by. Other wise you can carry on a conversation just as you have in the past, simply key and go. If you are using a Fusion Radio, and working a station in Analog, I would suggest {not required} that you lock it in Analog, and this will keep the repeater from getting pulled off your conversation to activity on a repeater in Dallas, Houston, Waco, Austin, etc.

How to use it Digital:

To operate  your Fusion Radio in the Digital mode and link with the repeaters via the WireX connection, you need to place your radio in DN mode, you do not need to lock it {so you can still monitor for Analog contacts}. You do not need to make any other modifications of changes. You can talk on the repeater as normal {with the below listed exceptions} and if someone is on the air in Dallas, Houston, etc that wishes to join your conversation or vice a versa you do it as normal.

The following rules are very important to properly use the system in Digital Linked Mode:

Because of the delay in the network switching and the fact that signals can be buffered, it is important that you follow the following guidelines.

a:  When you key up your microphone to begin your transmission, do not start talking instantly. Pause for about 2 seconds, remember you are linking with 20 to 30 repeaters and there is some latency.

b: When you finish each transmission, state over or give your call. This indicates to others you have finished the transmission

c: When the person you are talking to or another person finishes a transmission, pause 3 to 5 seconds before you keyup, to allow the buffered audio to make it through the system or you and them will be heard at once.

Be polite, listen and learn and get use to the new system.

It will take us a little time to get used to operating on it, but once we do it will seem just perfectly normal for everyone.

What can our WireX link do for us?

At this time, we are only linking to the Texas Nexas Network, and the system is locked there. If at the end of our 5 day test period we decide that we like being a linked system, we will expand the rooms to include networked repeaters in the U.K, Ireland, and through out the United States. 

If and when we open up the repeater WireX link to include multiple rooms, you will actually from your base or mobil radio be able to switch the network the repeater is linked to directly from your radio. For example, you may wish to talk to a friend in Waco, switch the repeater from your radio to Texas Nexas and call away, or you may find yourself wide awake at 2:am and no one to talk too, switch the repeater to link with the U.K and talk away.

With the flexibility will come new operating requirements and guidelines to insure few problems and a learning curve.

Where do we go from here?

I hope everyone will take the time to give the new WiresX link a good work out, learn how to use it and get comfortable. 

Then towards the end of next week, I will send out an anonymous survey to everyone to solicit feedback, and at that point in time we will make the determination to deactivate the link, expand the link to include other countries and regions or to simply leave us linked as part of the Texas Nexas Group. 

This choice I am leaving to the members/users of the repeater, as it impacts you all.