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The K7RPT System Fusion C4FM Page
Amateur Radio Relay Group, Inc.

 Of the 17 wide area repeaters that ARRG owns and operates, we currently have two Yaesu System Fusion (YSF) dual mode analog FM and C4FM digital repeaters available for your use.

The repeaters have a dual mode receiver and can listen simultaneously for regular FM or C4FM digital signals. Once a signal comes into the repeater’s receiver, the computer in the repeater will automatically switch the repeater to use whatever mode it just received. Yaesu calls this auto switching mode AMS.

Currently, all ARRG Fusion repeaters are set to favor regular analog FM signals, so anyone can use the repeaters.

To use the new C4FM mode on our Fusion repeaters. users must have a C4FM capable transceiver and currently, only certain Yaesu radios have the C4FM mode.  

Our main System Fusion repeater is on 443.750 + 100.0 Hz. This system is located at the Sylvan Hill Television site and the antennas are mounted about the 200' level of the KOIN transmitter tower. The repeater covers the entire Portland metro area.

The second System Fusion repeater is on the 442.350 + 100.0Hz frequency pair as is usually on the air from our South Saddle or Chehalem Ridge radio sites. This repeater is portable and is used for our System Fusion presentations and for Public Service events like the OMSI Maker Faire, the Cycle for Life Ride and at the annual SEAPAC convention.

We also support a third unpublished System Fusion repeater that is owned by W7PM, and operates on 442.250 + 107.2, and is running in AMS mode.

All three repeaters are the ‘second generation' System Fusion repeaters and operate in AMS, or Auto Mode Select. This allows the repeaters receiver to auto select FM or Digital and then retransmits the same mode, depending on the received signal.

These repeaters are open to all users, Analog FM or C4FM Digital on a co-shared basis. Current Analog FM users will not be affected and can use 443.750 and 442.350 as before. 

I'm Analog, so what now?

If analog only users don't wish to hear the digital data stream over their rig’s speaker, which by the way sounds like strong white noise with little chirps mixed in here and there, the analog user may wish to program their rig with both CTCSS (encode and decode) to help alleviate unwanted C4FM digital noise. Employing both encode/decode CTCSS will allow any analogue user to mask the digital data as is passes over your receiver.

For example, if you don't program your rig to full CTCSS and you happen to turn on your rigs scanning function, any digital traffic that comes across 443.750 will cause your scanner to stop on 443.750 but all you will hear is a very loud white noise, which is very annoying to the regular analog user. The actual C4FM signal sounds like a starts/stop tones, followed by a very loud white noise hiss until the digital user unkeys.  With full decode on, your analog rigs scan feature should fly right past 443.750. 

It should be noted that both the analog FM and Digital user will be co-sharing the three repeater pairs, but only ONE conversation can exist on the repeater pair at one time. If you hear a digital noise on the channel, and your S meter is showing a strong, yet unintelligible hiss signal AND you wish to break in or make an emergency call, simply key up in between their transmissions with your regular analog signal and the system should automatically switch back to analog, and if the C4FM users have their radios set to AMS, then their radios will also automatically switch back to analog.

No matter what mode you are using to access the new System Fusion repeaters; all users should remember to check your rigs busy light or S Meter or at least hit your monitor button prior to making an analog FM call.

Good operators do this to make sure that they are not accidently interfering with an ongoing digital conversation.

 Questions about the C4FM System

So, I'm still analog and have no plans to buy a new radio, how will this affect my use of the ARRG System Fusion Repeaters?

Regular FM users will be able to co-exist with new digital radio users. The Yaesu System Fusion DR-1X and DR-2X repeaters we use will automatically select to the proper incoming mode and then pass the analog traffic or the new digital traffic automatically.

Part of the test is the Fusion's ability to coexist with FM analog signals. FM users; just place your radio into full encode/decode to mask out any digital conversations. Please watch your busy light and hit your monitor button before transmitting.

What does C4FM Sound Like? Does it have better range?

C4FM sounds like white noise on a analog radio, but for digital users, communicating via C4FM is exciting, crystal clear, without any background noise. There are many digital voice modes used in our cellphones and even VOIP landlines like Xfinity and FIOS offer. Using C4FM in the DN (digital narrow) mode users say it is crystal clear and 'weird' because there literally is no noise, static, hiss or anything like we are used to when operating regular FM.

Operating in DN mode allows YSF capable radios to see each other’s callsign and even the distance and direction in miles and feet. We kind of think DN is a little too narrow and some low bass voice types come across sounding a tad nasally. Squeezing a voice and data channel into only 6.25 KHz can make users sound a bit digital.

Operating in the VW (voice wide) mode allows YSF capable radios to see each other’s callsign, but there is no distance or direction data included. The VW mode uses a wider 12.5 KHz wide channel, which has a little more fidelity and people often say it sounds like the person is literally standing behind them in their shack. It's a very odd feeling not hearing a thing but the other users voice. We have compared both the DN and VW C4FM modes with Dstar, DMR and P25 modes, and by far the C4FM modes sound the best.

HF Long Range C4FM

If you have a FT-991 series radio, which covers all modes, HF clear through 70cm, you are allowed to use DN on 10 Meters. Using VW, is too wide for the bandwidth rules for 10 meters.

During a good sunspot cycle when 10 meters is wide open, C4FM DX occurs. Again, when the signals are more stable, you get to have a crystal clear QSO with someone hundreds of thousands of miles away...no noise, no hiss.

Real World Analog VS. Digital example on 443.750

W7PM (stationary) is working K7ASJ (mobile on his commute home) and both are using regular FM through 443.750. K7ASJ lives out in Forest Grove and the repeater is known to have certain weak spots along his route home. At a certain point, K7ASJ's FM signal is barely holding the repeater with 60 % steam. Both switch over to C4FM and because the voice signals are stored, cleaned up, error corrected and retransmitted, W7PM now hears K7ASJ crystal clear.

However, there still has to be a strong enough signal to detect, error correct and forward. When a digital user drops into a dead spot while talking, users will hear 'packet loss' which represents itself on the air as an occasional chirp or squeak noise.

Technical Support for Digital Radios

All System Fusion radios, the FT-70dr, the FTM-3250, FT-991, FTM-400DR mobile and FT1D and FT2D radios can operate in regular analog FM or switch to DN (Digital Narrow @ 6.25 KHz) or VW (Voice Wide 12.5 KHz signal).

We suggest running your System Fusion radios in the AMS mode to better co-exist with regular FM users.

Using the AMS mode (there is a display bar that appears over the FM/DN/VW) icon on the mobile and a rectangle bar to the left of the FM/DN/VW icon on the walkies.  Some radios, like the FT-70dr come setup to only use FM or DN and require the user to go into a special menu to activate both DN and VW modes.

Note: When using any of the K7RPT System Fusion repeaters; please announce in regular FM that you'll be using the digital side of the repeater. This gives any analog users time to switch to a different channel, if they don’t have full CTCSS on their analog rig. 

Current Oregon & Regional System Fusion Repeaters 

Please add your Fusion Repeater to this growing list, contact Marc Peterson, W7PM to be added at w7pm@live.com

 

Portland Metro Area

 

 ARRG SYLVAN HILL - KOIN TV TOWER

443.750 + 100.0 Hz

Digital Group: Open - No Code

Status: On Air - AMS mode

 

K7RPT Special Event Repeater

442.350 + 100.0 Hz

Digital Group: Open - No Code

Status: AMS -

 

 PARC System Mt. Scott

147.180 + No tone

Digital Group: Open - No Code

Status:  AMS mode

 

West Hills - KGON CARS

146.700 - 100.0 Hz

Digital Group: Open - No Code

Status: On Air - in FM, Unknown Digital

 

Salem

444.950 + 100.0 Hz

WA7ABU Silver Falls - Salem Area

Digital Group: Open - No Code

Status: On Air - AMS mode

 

Salem - Prospect Hill

441.2750 + 100 Hz

W7SRA

Digital Group: Open - No Code

Status:  AMS mode

 

Oregon North Coast

 Astoria, Seaside and SW Washington

145.450 - 118.8 Hz

W7BU Sunset Empire Amateur Radio Club

Located on Megler Hill

Digital Group: Open - No Code

Status: On Air - AMS mode

 

Vancouver, Washington

443.900 + 94.8 Hz 

KB7APU Larch Mountain

Digital Group: Open - No Code

Status: On Air - AMS mode

 

North Eastern Oregon

146.9800 - 100 Hz

W7GRA Grande Ronde Hospital

Digital Group: Open - No Code

Status: On Air - AMS mode

 

147.000 + 103.5 Hz

KB7DZR  Joseph Wallowa

Digital Group: Open - No Code

Status: On Air - AMS mode

 

146.800 - 123.0 Hz

WF7S Elgin, Sprout Springs

Umatilla Ski Resort

Digital Group: Open - No Code

Status: On Air - AMS mode 

2019 Washington State Frequency Guides

Freq

Offset

Tone

Location

County

Call

Use

  145.2100

-0.6 MHz

100.0

Forks, Police Department

Clallam

W7FEL

OPEN

  145.2100

+2.78 MHz

D023

Mazama, Edelweiss Community

Okanogan

NO7RF

OPEN

  145.2300

-0.6 MHz

146.2

Graham

Pierce

N3KPU

OPEN

  145.2900

-0.6 MHz

 

Spokane, Spokane International Airport

Spokane

K7MMA

OPEN

  145.4500

-0.6 MHz

118.8

Chinook, Megler Mountain

Pacific

W7BU

OPEN

  146.6400

-0.6 MHz

100.0

Kennewick, Johnson Butte

Benton

W7AZ

OPEN

  146.7600

-0.6 MHz

100.0

Port Angeles, Striped Peak

Clallam

W7FEL

OPEN

  147.1600

+0.6 MHz

103.5

Bellingham, King Mountain

Whatcom

K7SKW

OPEN

  147.1800

+0.6 MHz

103.5

Everett

Snohomish

WA7LAW

OPEN

  441.1500

+5 MHz

123.0

Snohomish

Snohomish

KG7QPU

OPEN

  442.6000

+5 MHz

100.0

Spokane

Spokane

N7FM

OPEN

  442.7250

+5 MHz

D125

Mill Creek

Snohomish

WR7DS

OPEN

  442.7500

+5 MHz

146.2

Tacoma, Madigan Army Medical Center

Pierce

KE7YYD

OPEN

  442.9000

+5 MHz

103.5

Seattle

King

WA7LZO

OPEN

  442.9250

+5 MHz

 

Federal Way

King

WA7FW

OPEN

  442.9250

+5 MHz

100.0

Otis Orchards

Spokane

NV2Z

OPEN

  442.9500

+5 MHz

103.5

Federal Way

King

WA7FW

OPEN

  442.9750

+5 MHz

103.5

Snohomish, Clearview

Snohomish

WA7DEM

OPEN

  443.0500

+5 MHz

D071

Bremerton

Kitsap

N7MTC

OPEN

  443.3250

+5 MHz

 

Airway Heights

Spokane

W7TSC

OPEN

  443.3500

+5 MHz

103.5

Kent, Emerald Park Elementary School

King

K7CST

OPEN

  443.5250

+5 MHz

 

Spokane

Spokane

WA7DRE

OPEN

  443.6500

+5 MHz

103.5

Bellingham, King Mountain

Whatcom

K7SKW

OPEN

  443.8250

+5 MHz

94.8

Vancouver, Peace Health - Memorial Health Center

Clark

W7AIA

OPEN

  443.9000

+5 MHz

94.8

Vancouver, Larch Mountain

Clark

W7AIA

OPEN

  444.5750

+5 MHz

103.5

Everett

Snohomish

WA7LAW

OPEN

  444.7250

+5 MHz

123.0

Edmonds

Snohomish

NW7DR

OPEN

  444.8500

-5 MHz

D023

Mazama

Okanogan

NO7RF

OPEN

  444.8500

+5 MHz

D023

Winthrop, Horizon Flats

Okanogan

NO7RF

OPEN

  444.9000

+5 MHz

131.8

Sequim

Clallam

K6MBY

OPEN

Combined Washingon/Canada YSF Regional Repeaters

147.320 MHz +   88.5 Hz VE7RSI SSI

442.725 MHz + 100.0 Hz WR7DS Everett WA

147.340 MHz + 107.2 Hz VE7SUN Delta

146.980 MHz  - 141.3 Hz VA7ANI Ladysmith

442.500 MHz + 100.0 Hz VA7REF Richmond

442.325 MHz + 127.3 Hz VE7VHF Burnaby

444.725 MHz + 100.0 Hz Edmonds WA

443.000 MHz + 141.3 Hz VE7GEC Gabriola Island

146.760 MHz  - 100.0 Hz W7FEL Striped Pk

444.850 MHz + 100.0 Hz VA7FE Victoria

147.240 MHz + 100.0 Hz VE7RFR Victoria

442.700 MHz + 100.0 Hz VE7RFR Victoria

147.000 MHz +   77.0 Hz VE7SQR Squamish

444.900 MHz + 131.8 Hz K6MBY Sequim WA

146.640 MHz - 141.3 Hz VE7ISC Nanaimo

145.130 MHz - 100.0 Hz WF7W Port Angeles WA (FM/C4FM in and FM only out)

145.210 MHz  - 100 Hz W7FEL Forks WA

444.975 MHz  - 123 Hz VE7SKY New Westminster

146.610 MHz  - 110.9 Hz VE7RVA Abbotsford

Rant Email of the Year!

Unfortunately, there is always misinformed hams who are scared of progress or new things Ham.

They somehow feel like groups that own, operate and beta test any new technology are somehow ruining Amateur Radio for them. This could not be further from the truth. Our System Fusion system has been in place for four years now and we are very happy to report that our FM and Digital C4FM users co-exist beautifully on the same repeater pairs. So it is disheartening to receive an email like the one we received on November 6th, 2016, from an Amateur Operator who doesn't even live in our area and never owned or operated a System Fusion repeater.

Dear ARRG,
Here's what's wrong with the thinking of the proponents of System Fusion. As you see as you read the ABOVE LINK, their attitude is, "Here we come, YOU move over and make room for us by putting your rig in full encode/decode mode."
 
Of all the nerve!
 
They try to sound nice and congenial by saying analog will still be available. What if people have commercial rigs that will have to have expensive re-programming just to not be tormented with the digital hash? What if their ham rigs simply DON'T HAVE receive PL coding, and perhaps they run something like CommSpec SS-64 encoders for transmit.
Do those people have to just put up with "smokers?"
 
You see, the biggest problem with System Fusion isn't the questionable quality of the equipment. The larger problem is the ATTITUDE of its users that they somehow have priority over the rest of us. To them I say they should go to the "smoking section" and puff away!
 
BT from Maryland  
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