Wires-X and Fusion
Mike, NO7RF, Mazama WA
Node 11068  /  Room 21068 (DCI-TRBO)

NEW: WIRES-X node returning to analog to free up 400 mobile for better use
TRBO-Fusion gateway project canceled due to slow release of repeater firmware
Winbook computers are popular for WIRES-X software


BACKGROUND:  Yaesu's Fusion (digital mode) and MotoTRBO seem to lay a foundation for a symbiotic relationship and I am planning on launching a gateway to bring the two digital modes together as soon a Yaesu releases the firmware that supports C4FM (YSF) the direct connection of the repeater/HRI-200.  This will eliminate the need of dedicating an expensive FTM-400DR control radio slaved to the HRI-200.

Image shows current or typical set-up to implement WIRES-X in digital mode without a repeater

I am currently operating simplex in digital mode with a FTM-400DR as the control radio (20 watts with 4" muffin fan) for Wires-X into the HRI-200 interface.  I don't use the Fusion repeater (with WIRES-X) currently due to the analog mode's ping pong effect of the DR-1X hang time and lack of direct digital mode issue (pending firmware release late 2015 possibly).  As Yaesu has indicated that that the C4FM mode will be supported directly by the repeater with a firmware upgrade in January April October 2015, I am experimenting more with digital simplex into WIRES-X.  I have the HT's and  3 400 mobile for Digital modes but I'm also using them for their cool APRS support.

I am running the Fusion software on a LIVA Win8.1 computer into the FTM-400DR and it is working perfectly.  The audio handling is superior (far less "system" noise in analog mode) to that of my last HP PC and the buffering delay and clipping of the buffered audio still in the queue when un-keying, is less than .5 second rather than up to 1-2 seconds.

More details on fusion and WIRES-X and its deployment

  • WIRES-X - HRI-200 and files / $125 via HRO, works in analog and digital, requires a computer; will support the repeater with firmware upgrade around January 2015.

  • WIRES-X information / Brochure / WIRES-X Info / Log-in / USA Node List  / Yahoo Group

  • LIVA 2x3x5 Win8.1 computer to run WIRE-X software:

    • $118 from Newegg (2-3-15) without Win8.1 or ~$180 from Amazon (varies)

    • Liva includes

      •  2 gig of RAM (soldered)   /   32 Gig SSD (soldered)

      • Supports Win8.1 64 bit (free download from Microsoft or included) & Linux

      • Ethernet (1 gigabit   /   Wi-Fi

      • HDMI and VGA

      • USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports

      • runs on 5VDC via micro-USB port at 15 watts

      • case, wall wart and all drivers on DVD are included

      • It has no mechanical devices.

    • Install Win8.1 via DVD or bootable USB stick

    • Makes for dedicated WIRES-X server

    • Well suited for remote deployment at repeater sites

    • Specs (or see below)

Click on image for larger view

This picture shows the Liva computer (2"x3"x5") sitting on the HRI-200 which is on the FT-7800 control radio. 

The 4 port USB 2.0 powered hub is seen in the upper left.  A powered hub is required as the Liva will not source sufficient current to power the HRI-200 directly. 

The only other connections to the Liva are Ethernet and and 5VDC power. 

Teamviewer (or VNC possibly) can be used for WIRES-X and computer management remotely.



Winbook computers are being used with success as well.  The 7" model line starts at $70 from Amazon and are being used for WX.  I don't have one but they can fill a niche as they have the touch sensitive screen so they can be deployed more easily than the Liva.  Models have 500MB and 1 GB RAM and SSD from 16-32GB, up to a 1.33 Atom CPU and with a licensed copy of Windows 8.1 64 bit.  This is a much easier and cheaper method to dedicate for WX.

LIVA WINDOWS 8.1 64 bit Core Version INSTALLATION:  Download Win8.1 directly from Microsoft (if you don't already have a Win8.1 install DVD), use the "Create Media" button to create the DVD or  use a 4gig USB stick (must be a bootable stick compliant with Liva), install windows onto the Liva (stock "Core" version install works fine), install the Liva drivers via included DVD, then install the WIRES-X software and configure.  Win8.1 will install with a generic key (if you don't have your own) and activation can be done later (or not at all).  Read more on Legal Downloading of Windows.

Some USB sticks are not bootable on a LIVA.  You will find this out when you click on Create Media.  So try a different stick or create a Bootable DVD instead and use a USB external DVD reader to install Win8.1.  Newer USB sticks are likely less of an issue. 

I found that copying the Driver's DVD files onto another stick or USB HD and running setup would fail unless the the set-up application was in the root directory.  Some drivers would install separately from their own directories but not all.  Once started from the root directory, all drivers install perfectly.

You may use your Win8.0 or Win8.1 key from you COLA sticker.  I am told that even Win7.x keys will install Win8.1 but I have not confirmed this.  Once you have the Window 8.1 64 bit Core version installed on the Liva, you should back up the system image to save having to do a scratch install down the road.  I did several images along the way setting up WIRES-X as well as several other programs.  I use Teamviewer to remotely operate the LIVA so I don't have a display, keyboard or mouse plugged into the Liva.  Very clean and easy method run the LIVA, especially if running it from a hilltop or in your vehicle.

I have found that with Teamviewer running as well as WIRES-X, the CPU load when both are idling is around 9-10%.  With WIRES-X passing traffic in and out of a room with 2 nodes, CPU load rose to 19%.  A busy room such as KJ4VO, idling with 10 members, loads rise to only 12%.  Physical memory shows about 47% used.  All indications after running the LIVA for 2 weeks now, is that the LIVA/WIRES-X combo should a great combination.

Because this is windoZe, I would suggest adding a CRON job to restart the OS daily in the wee hours of the night.  Somewhat like what has been suggested for the DR-1X's.  Remember your mileage may vary if you follow my lead.  You get what you pay for, yada yada.  If you discover other or better approaches, I would appreciate the feedback.  This will likely help the next fellow ham who comes along to give a Liva box a try.

As the Liva most PC's have soft power switches, if the computer loses power, then you will need to press the power button, a fairly substantial issue if the computer is located at a remote site.  The Liva should be run on a 12VDC battery backed system via a 12v-5v brick or other no-chance of loss power system.

VOICE MESSAGING (2-3-15):  This is a cool discovery but you can drop voice messages much like SMS or Text message using the HT or mobile radio into nodes privately or publically in rooms.  The messages can be routine (unannounced) or "Emer" style where the message will repeat every 5 minutes for 2 hours, then revert to a "normal" or unannounced voice mesage.  While this may be annoying, it is still a nifty feature that deserves to be explored more fully.

NODE NAMES:  It is handy to have your first name as part of the node call sign.  WIRES-X allows up to 10 digits.  While overall, not enough characters, it still is nice to be able to get a 3 and letter names rather than the default of "-ND".  Experiment after looking at what others are using.

REPEATERBOOK:  Please consider listing your repeater in RepeaterBook.com

IF USING EXPORT/IMPORT:  When using the Export function and then Import functions, the Import side fails in one area but it effectively breaks the WIRES-X software installation. My workaround is not elegant but short of uninstalling WIRES-X, re-installing and then re-entering all the settings again, what follows is my solution.  I'm hopeful that Yaesu will correct the hard path coding and use a dynamic path on the new computer so that the Export/Import works correctly.

The failure is that the Import function wants to see the exact same directory path for the "User" from the Exporting computer and then the Importing computer.  If it is different, WIRES-X can't find the WiresWeb.dll file when the program is executing.

My workaround is simply to create the same original directory path and copy the WiresWeb.dll file into it.

So for example:

My original path on the exporting computer was: C:\Users\Mike\Documents\WIRESXA\Plugin\WiresWeb.dll

The new path on the Importing computer is: C:\Users\NO7RF\Documents\WIRESXA\Plugin\WiresWeb.dll

In this example, the key is to create the new directory from "Mike" to NO7RF.  Do not touch your current User directory, just create the new directories and add only the one file.  There is no need to put all the other files from the old WIRESXA directory as that is done when you install WIRES-X on the new computer.  Only the single file fails to be carried over from old to new if the user name is different. I pulled it from the old computer as it is not in the WIRES-X program directories.

While this may seem a lot of work...it is still simpler than a full scratch install, especially if you have populated all the set-up field, favorites and other custom settings.  Remember your mileage may vary and there is some minor potential to muck up your system. Maybe Yaesu will fix the import script some day.

NO7RF/R Local YSF Rollout Plans (Neat-to-Far Future)

  • Project on indefinite hold / WIRES-X and Fusion repeater in digital mode in room 21068 (DCI-TRBO) with gateway to MotoTRBO via the DCI network on Talkgroup: Fusion 1, talkgroup ID number 3181, timeslot 1.

  • Winthrop, Washington: Local analog / digital modes on Fusion repeater running standalone to replace cross-band repeater with remote base linking to another Fusion repeater located in Pateros Washington.  No current plans to add WIRES-X to this repeater

  • Mazama repeater deployed; auto/auto, same pair as Winthrop, same DSQ, different DCS

  • WIRES-X currently digital simplex node, using the control radio as a active mobile

  • WIRES-X project stalled until digital mode supportly directly into the repeater

Revised: 08/19/2015