I recently took a deeper dive into digital ham radio and picked up a Yaesu FTM-100 mobile System Fusion rig. VHF and UHF… 500 Channels on each band! Holy Crap, Batman… I’ll wear my aged, stubby, fat fingers to the nubs tryin’ to poke all that individual channel info into those 1,000 spots using those little buttons! Plus, I have to look up all that info… somewhere… on EVERY channel I want to add to my line-up. Ain’t no-body gotz time for dat! (I also had to do that with my Baofeng UV-5RV2+ portable HT a couple years ago.)
What to do? Path of least resistance! Did a little research and found a computer program that does it all for me. (I actually used the free CHIRP software to program my HT a couple years ago.) RT Systems software makes the programming easy! You simply pick out your software version based upon what radio you want to program, download the software, (Hopefully your radio came with the right interface cable to hook your radio to your computer to make the download of freq’s to your rig.), grab the repeater frequencies from some site like RFinder World Wide Repeater Directory and in 20 minutes you can load up your rig with more frequencies than you will ever use. (While CHIRP is freeware, RT Systems and RFinder software platforms are paid versions. I can honestly say that the software is very reasonably priced for both and you might only need to use it once in a while but it saves you HOURS of manual poking and prodding your radio buttons.)
(Click link below to see the typical instructions)
(See the videos below…)
You can easily marry RT Systems software to RFinder software and quickly create a sort routine that grabs the EXACT frequencies you want and transfer it to your radio. You can sort by town, state, zip code, ham bands, NOAA frequencies, etc.
It makes short work of all of it! You’ll spend more time convincing yourself to not pull in frequencies you will never use than the download takes!
Once you set up your channel database you want to use for your radio, you simply hook your radio to your computer with the cable… poke a couple drop-down menus… and then the magic happens! UPLOAD COMPLETE.
I programmed about 75 VHF and 75 UHF Channels into my radio, start sort to finish sort to upload compete in under 20 minutes. You might export your databases to your laptop or website to store for the future.
One thing I did that sort of brought sanity to my programming strategy and thinking was that I added the freq’s in sort of “banks” of channels so I could visually sense what channels I needed to tune to depending on my car’s location as I traveled. For the first 10-15 channels, I loaded repeater data for the local area repeaters within about 75 miles of my home QTH. I live just below the Mason-Dixon Line… and yes, I consider myself a southerner but I can be in Pennsylvania within 10 minutes; in fact, I can be at the Pittsburgh International Airport in under 90 minutes! So, since I travel a good bit for work, I can bounce to various repeaters as I drive in any direction!
In the next grouping of channels I might add just the Pittsburgh area repeaters. In another group of channels I added the Dayton, OH repeater freq’s since my daughter and son-in-law live and work next to Wright-Patterson AFB and I also usually attend the Dayton Hamvention each year. Another group of channels I include are the NOAA Weather Channels. Other groupings include various regions of West Virginia since I also hunt, fish, camp and hike all over the place.
Posted in 2 meters, Amateur Radio, APRS, Cables, CHIRP, Dayton Hamvention, Digital Modes, Dual Bander, Ham Radio, Ham Software, Ham Videos, HF Band, Home Network, HRD, HT, QRZ, Radio, Radio Operations, Receiver, Repeaters, Reviews, Station Accessories, Transmitter, UHF Band, Uncategorized, VHF Band, Yaesu System Fusion
Tags: Amateur Radio, Cables, CHIRP, CHIRP software, Contesting, Field Day, Ham Radio, HF, KA8LJO, KB8FIR, Monongalia Wireless Association, Operating Practices, radio programming, RFinder, RT Systems, Spence Graham, Spencer Graham, Spencer W. Graham, Spencer W. Graham II, Station accessories, System Fusion, W8MWA, WT8WV, WVUSWG, Yaesu, Yaesu System Fusion
This is a solid review by Don Trynor from VA3XPR from July 2015 of the Yaesu FT2DR dual-bander HT. (They have a very nice website!)
Our local ham radio club, Monongalia Wireless Association, recently bought 2 of the Yaesu Fusion repeaters and I am doing my own research into being able to enjoy a new type of technology. I am looking at my options and hope to find something to get my hands on at the 2016 Dayton Hamvention! I would think that prices would be moderating downward by now as others adopt the new radio and there may be some rebates floating around or “Specials” by some of the dealers. (Read Don’s full review here… Review: Yaesu Fusion FT2DR dual-band digitl portable radio )
The FT2DR is a good choice for anyone looking for a full-featured dual-band portable radio that is compatible with Yaesu’s Fusion line of digital radios. While this radio has some innovations, we think that they may not justify the $550 USD price point of this unit. In addition, we feel that Yaesu could improve upon future radios like this one, especially as it relates to the overall user experience. In this day and age when a good user experience for touch screen devices is the norm, such as with smartphones and computers, we think devices like this have room for improvement. All in all, if users can live without the touch screen display and louder audio, they might want to consider a cheaper alternative in the Yaesu FT1DR, which retails for $300 USD.
Posted in 2 meters, Amateur Radio, Audio, Dayton Hamvention, Digital Modes, Dual Bander, Electronic Theory, Ham Radio, Ham Radio Articles, HT, Projects, Radio, Radio Operations, Receiver, Repeaters, Reviews, Station Accessories, Transmitter, UHF Band, Uncategorized, VHF Band
Tags: Amateur Radio, Don Trynor, Ham Radio, KB8FIR, Monongalia Wireless Association, Operating Practices, Spence Graham, Spencer Graham, Spencer W. Graham, Spencer W. Graham II, VA3XPR, W8MWA, WT8WV, WVUSWG, Yaesu, Yaesu System Fusion
Yaesu has System Fusion… guess who has this thing called, D-Star? You can probably guess pretty quickly, if you don’t already have an idea.
Discover D-STAR from Icom
Posted in 2 meters, Amateur Radio, APRS, Digital Modes, Dual Bander, Electronic Theory, Ham Radio, Ham Radio Articles, Ham Videos, HT, Radio, Radio Operations, Receiver, Reviews, Station Accessories, Transmitter, UHF Band, Uncategorized
Tags: Amateur Radio, Audio, D-Star, Ham Radio, Icom, KB8FIR, Monongalia Wireless Association, Operating Practices, Spence Graham, Spencer Graham, Spencer W. Graham, Spencer W. Graham II, System Fusion, W8MWA, WT8WV, WVUSWG, Yaesu
Cory Sickles (WA3UVV) is active in our local ham club, Monongalia Wireless Association, and he has been guiding us in installing a new Yaesu System Fusion repeater system up on Chestnut Ridge. Are you wondering what Yaesu System Fusion is? What is C4FM? What is the difference between Fusion, D-Star, P25 and DMR? Well… here are a couple videos that might give you some insight into primarily Fusion… but the second video looks at some comparison. (Spoiler alert… it gets territorial quickly.) Hats off to HamRadioOutlet and HamRadioNow for spending the time on these cool systems!
Posted in 2 meters, Amateur Radio, APRS, Audio, Digital Modes, Dual Bander, Electronic Theory, Emergency Preparedness, Ham Radio, Ham Radio Articles, Ham Videos, Radio, Radio Operations, Receiver, Transmitter, UHF Band, Uncategorized
Tags: Amateur Radio, Audio, C4FM, Fusion Radio, Ham Radio, Ham Radio Now, Ham Radio Outlet, KA8LJO, KB8FIR, Monongalia Wireless Association, Operating Practices, Spence Graham, Spencer Graham, Spencer W. Graham, Spencer W. Graham II, W8MWA, WA3UVV, WT8WV, WVUSWG, Yaesu, Yaesu System Fusion