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Steps on how to set-up your own Wires-x PDN (Portable Digital Node) Station

By: DU1YQ

[DISCLAIMER/NOTICE: This is NOT an official Yaesu guide. I just created this online guide to help fellow hams set-up their own nodes easily. Some are having a hard time learning from the different online manuals and video tutorials. I'm not an expert. I'm offering this page as an alternate tutorial/guide. Most of the content are collated from different official Yaesu and Wires-x manuals and literature. You may access them directly at the Yaesu official website and YouTube videos.] - 73 Rom DU1YQ

Using the WIRES-X Portable Digital Node function, you can operate a WIRES-X digital node station by directly connecting a compatible C4FM digital transceiver with a Windows PC. (The HRI-200 Internet interface kit is not needed in PDN and no fixed or dynamic global IP address is required. But if you want to have your own Wires-x room, you will still need the HRI-200.)

There are two operating modes of the WIRES-X PDN (Portable Digital Node) function:

  1. Portable Digital Node Mode (PDN) capable of Internet communication with digital stations.
  2. Portable HRI Mode (Portable HRI) capable of Internet communication with both digital and analog stations.

Two forms of WIRES-X Access are supported, "Direct Operation" and "Access Point".

  1. In "Direct Operation", the Portable Node station transceiver is used only without transmitting or receiving local "On Air" radio signals.
  2. In "Access Point" the Portable Node station can be used to communicate "On Air and relay nearby local C4FM digital transceivers, while simultaneously connected with the Internet rooms and nodes.

Steps:

  • 1.0 Wires-x ID registration
    • Register your C4FM radio(s) at the Yaesu Wires-x website so you can have your own node ID.
    • C4FM radios that you can use to activate your own Wires-x node are FT2-DR, FT3-DR, FT-5DR NEW, FTM-100, FTM-200 NEW, FTM-300, FTM-400. You just need the correct cables -- SCU-19 (or SCU-39) for HT radios, SCU-20 (or SCU-40) for mobile radios.
    • Other C4FM radios such as FT-991a, FTM-7250, FTM-3207, FTM-3200, FT-70DR can only access the Wires-x nodes and repeaters via RF. They can't be used as node radios.
    • Click here to register your C4FM radio.
    • Look for the link at left column named “WIRES-X ID registration”. Send/submit your email address. You will then receive an email from Yaesu with additional instructions on how to complete your registration.
    • Wait for a few days to get your node/room ID numbers via email.
    • Save your node/room IDs for future reference.
  • 2.0 Internet and computer preparation
    • Recommended internet connection is via WIFI/LAN. WIFI would work but in my experience, LAN cable gives you steady internet connection.
    • Recommended speed is 8mbps or faster (high speed connection recommended)
    • Basic computer requirement: Windows 7/8.1/10, HDD 1GB or more, RAM 2GB or more, Full speed USB, display resolution 1366 x 768 or higher.
    • Any computer running Windows Operating System can be used for this set-up - USB Stick, Tablets, Desktop, Laptop
    • First, download and install your SCU-19 or SCU-20 driver. DO NOT PLUG-IN YOUR CABLE if you haven't installed the cable driver first. You'll encounter errors if you do that.
    • Your SCU-19 and SCU-20 drivers are found in the Yaesu product page, click on Files tab and download the correct drivers.
    • If you have successfully installed the SCU-19 or SCU-20 drivers, you can plug-in your SCU-19 or SCU-20 and go to your "Windows > Device Manager > Ports" settings and see if the "Prolific USB-to-Serial Comm Port (COM)" is there.
    • Second, download the Wires-x software.
    • Install Wires-x software (Latest version is 1.540 - as of 23 August 2021).
    • Check on "Enable WIRES-X Auto Start" if you want to AUTOMATICALLY launch Wires-x upon startup in Windows. Otherwise, DO NOT check this option, it could get annoying it auto-launches the software even if you close it.
    • You may disable your anti-virus programs, Windows Defender, firewall. Or, if you still want to run Windows Defender/firewall, make sure that you allow "Wires-x" software to run.
    • Restart computer.
    • Your computer is now ready.
  • 3.0 Radio preparation
    • Check/verify if your radio has the latest firmware. Go to Yaesu product page to check latest versions. Note: If your radio's firmware is only a few versions behind, there's a big chance that it will still work.
    • If your radio's firmware is not updated yet, please update to the latest version. Go to Yaesu website, product page -- Files tab, then download/install the latest version for your C4FM radios. Follow update instructions to the letter. See example for FT-3DR:
    • You will need the following cables to connect your radio to your computer - SCU-19 (or SCU-39) for FT-2DR / FT-3DR / FT-5DR and SCU-20 (or SCU-40) for FTM-100 / FTM-200 / FTM-300 / FTM-400.
      For FT-2DR, FT-3DR. FT-5DR For FTM-100, FTM-200, FTM-300, FTM-400
    • Connect cables:
      1. Connect radio to your computer using SCU-19 (for FT-2DR, FT-3DR, FT-5DR).
      2. Connect radio to your computer using SCU-20 (for FTM-100, FTM-200, FTM-300, FTM-400)
    • If you want to Rx/Tx digital and analog stations, you need the SCU-39 or SCU-40, they are basically SCU-19 & SCU-20 with audio cables.
    • Start your radio in special Wires-x mode: PDN (supports linking to the Internet only in C4FM digital mode) or Portable HRI (supports internet communication in digital and analog modes) mode.
      FT-2DR/FT-3DR:
      PDN: Press and hold the [X] key, [BAND] key and the POWER switch to turn the transceiver ON. "PDN" or "WIRES-X PDN" is displayed on the LCD screen.
      Portable HRI: Press and hold the [X] key and the [BACK] key simultaneously, while turning the radio ON.
      FT-5DR:
      PDN: Press and hold the [GM/X] key, [BAND] key and the POWER switch to turn the transceiver ON. "WIRES-X PDN" is displayed on the LCD screen.
      Portable HRI: Press and hold the [GM/X] key and the [F MENU] key simultaneously, while turning the radio ON.
      FTM-100/FTM-300/FTM-400:
      PDN: Press and hold the [DX] key and the POWER switch to turn the transceiver ON. PDN is displayed on the LCD screen.
      Portable HRI: Press and hold the [DX] key and the [GM] key simultaneously, while turning the radio ON.
      FTM-200:
      Press and hold the [GM] key and the [D X] key simultaneously, while turning the radio ON.

    • To swith or toggle between Direct Access and Access Point modes, please press A/B.
  • 4.0 Setting-up the Wires-x software
    • Open the Wires-x software.
    • You will be prompted by this screen (see below). You should see your C4FM radio's serial number auto-populated in Serial Number box. Input your Node/Room ID (from your email from Yaesu). Click ID entry. The remaining blank fields will be auto-populated with your basic information. Click Okay.

      If you don't see your C4FM radio's serial number auto-populated in the "Serial No." box, please check/reinstall your driver, make sure that it's properly configured. In most cases, problems are from bad driver installation and/or Windows computer settings. Also check if your radio is in PDN/HRI mode.

    • Configure Transceiver section: Select "RX:DIGITAL - TX:DIGITAL" from the dropdown menu. Set your desired frequency VHF/UHF. Select Power to Low (if you're just using it at home) or Medium (if you want to use it as an Access Point with an external antenna).
    • Configure Settings:
    • Wires ID Information: You may change your "User ID", just click on "User ID Change", add comment, click Confidential if you want to hide your ID, select QSL exchange if you're into digital QSL card exchanges, add comment or other info.

      Location Settings: Add your station location, click on "Show position data".

      Call settings: Check on the desired options, add a default Room ID for your "Return to Room" field (Your node will always go back to that room when your connection with other rooms are inactive.)

      General settings: Very important! Check on "Unlimited TOT" (time-out timer)

  • 5.0 Launching Wires-x
    • Open/launch your Wires-x software.
    • Decide whether you want to run a PDN or Portable HRI mode:
      1. Portable Digital Node Mode (PDN) capable of Internet communication with digital stations.
      2. Portable HRI Mode capable of Internet communication with both digital and analog stations
    • Decide whether you want to access the Wires-x network via "Direct Access" (Talk using PTT directly) or "Access Point" (Your node becomes a "digital repeater" and you have to access the set frequency using another C4FM radio via RF) mode. Press A/B to switch/toggle between Direct Access and Access Point modes.
    • Connect to a Wires-x room. Go to Connect > Connect To > then input desired Wires-x room number.
    • And that's it! You're all set to QSO.
    • Quick tip: Leave enough gap between your transmissions. It gives others a chance to join the QSO and to make sure that your transmission is successfully sent over the internet. 2-5 seconds is the recommended gap.
    • Here's a screenshot of a successful Wires-x PDN set-up connected to the Philippine-Link #43534 room.


    Congratulations, you are all set! Enjoy Wires-x!



Random Notes/Tips:

  • HOTSPOTS (mmdvm, pi-star, openspot, clearnode, all-star, etc) CAN NOT connect directly to the Wires-x network and rooms. Some Wires-x rooms have GATEWAYS, BRIDGES & REFLECTORS (Ex: FCS-xxxx, YSF-xxxxx) and only those rooms can be accessed by hotspots.
  • YSF and FCS reflectors (or bridges) found on pi-star/hotspots are not Wires-x.
  • Restart your computer and radio after every update, change of settings, upgrades.
  • You OWN your Wires-x room. You are free to use it in whatever way you want - activate/deactivate, share with others/use as private. Your traffic is not monitored.
  • You can change your Room name or User ID anytime you want. You can even change your name to Special Event Callsigns.
  • FT-991a can connect to C4FM (System Fusion) via RF only. It can't be used in digital mode as a node or room but it can be set-up as an analog node.

References:

Official Yaesu link:
https://www.yaesu.com/jp/en/wires-x/node/index.php

Official Wires-x manual:
https://www.yaesu.com/jp/en/wires-x/contact/pdf/WIRES-X_Manual_ENG_1606-E0.pdf

DU1YQ C4FM Presentation at the Philippine Amateur Radio Association's (PARA) 2019 Anniversary:
https://www.para.org.ph/digital/c4fm-by-du1yq.html


Thank you very much.73

Rom DU1YQ
Email: du1yq@hamradio.ph; Facebook: YQ DuONE

Philippine-Link #43534: A C4FM and Wires-x Community

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Info Corner


Recommended radios for those who want to experience the C4FM audio quality and full C4FM/Wires-x features: FT-2DR, FT-3DR, FT-5DR NEW, FTM-100, FTM-200 NEW, FTM-300, FTM-400


Recommended radios for D-Star, DMR, All-Star, Hotspot (YSF, REF, XLX reflectors/bridges) users: FT-70, FTM-3200, FTM-3207, FTM-7250




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