"How Can I Use It?"
SIMPLY FOLLOW THESE 4 STEPS
4 .....Ok, this step has several steps. Did you happen to notice steps 1-3? Yes! Listen, Listen, Listen! This is the best advise we can offer you. Please KNOW what you are doing BEFORE you do it. The more prepared you are, the more receptive other stations will be to engage in a QSO with you.
Our NODE (11979) is connected to our own room #21979. Our own room accepts call from outside stations as well. If you desire a different room, simply key your radio and send the DTMF character * into the repeater. Once you DISCONNECT (*) from our own room, or whatever room we are currently in, you will hear the repeater "talk back" to you with 4 rapid dits. This is a MORSE CODE "H" (for hangup) and is the indicator that you have just disconnected from a room. Within about 20 seconds, key into the repeater (with your PTT button) the # sign followed by the room number of your choice, and un-key your radio. Once again the repeater will "talk back" to you and announce that it is connected to the room you requested. If you do not receive an announcement that you are connected, a series of 5 longs tones will be heard. This indicates that the room is either busy or is not accepting incoming connections. Once you receive the announcement that you are connected, PLEASE wait to transmit, to ensure that there is not already a QSO in progress.
There is a list of available rooms on the internet. Simply look up the list of available rooms currently on the system. Click the button below to view the list of active rooms, and their room number. Remember the number of the room you would like to join. The SSRA repeater is an ANALOG repeater, and some rooms do not want analog nodes (like ours) to connect. Please pay attention to the comment section of the list, and respect those who ask that no analog repeaters (or RF linked repeaters) connect to their room.
The repeater may already be connected to a room and someone might already be in a conversation. So... Listen, Listen, Listen, to make sure the repeater is NOT in a room already, and that a QSO is not in progress. Better yet, after listening for a few moments, announce "is the repeater or Wires X in use"? Once you are confident that you are not interrupting, key the * symbol into the repeater. This is also know as "hang-up" or "Disconnect", which will disconnect the repeater from any Wires-X room it's in. The repeater will answer this with 4 rapid dits (Morse code "H" for hang-up), indicating it has disconnected.
Now that you have your desired room, send the DTMF character #, PLUS the desired room number into the repeater using your PTT by pressing # followed by the 5 digit room number you desire. The repeater will either announce to you it has connected, or that the connection has failed, using a series of 5 rapid tones.
You have just connected to your very first room! Congratulations! VERY IMPORTANT - When entering a room, a QSO might already be in progress, so follow steps 1, 2 and 3 again. Better yet, follow them a second time. No one wants to be interrupted by someone barging into a room hollering their call sign. Once connected, either (1) Listen for other stations, (2) Respond to a calling station, or (3) Put out your call sign with the state (Washington or Oregon) that you are calling from, and simply ask for a Wires-X contact. You will likely get a response using this method. The room you are in likely has several repeaters in it, so make sure to follow the rules and be mindful that your transmission might be carried by dozens of repeaters systems in the USA and OVERSEAS.
Use your call sign Phonetically! Phonetics help immensely with stations being able to hear your call sign and respond to you!
When you are in a room and establish a contact, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you not "Tailgate" or "Quick-Key". Once the other station is done transmitting, count to 3 or 4, and then begin your transmission. When you start your own transmission, please key up, wait a second or two, and THEN begin speaking. Remember, you are likely bringing up several (sometimes up to 50!) connected repeaters, and they like a little time to start transmitting before you start talking. This allows the entire system to complete the previous step before picking up your transmission. Once you are done speaking, leave your mic keyed for about 1 second (dead air), and then UN-key. This encourages the station on the other end to do the same, keeping the system flowing smoothly. Please review these points to present yourself as well prepared station.
When you are done with the Wires-X system, feel free to stay connected, in case another station wants to get begin a QSO themselves. This is called "leaving the link up", or "keeping it connected". If you disconnect, (dropping the link), that's fine as well. Just be sure to use your call sign, when you key the repeater to connect (#) or disconnect (*).
ALWAYS IDENTIFY your transmission, when connecting or disconnecting the Wires-X link.
Here is something else to listen for. Once you disconnect from a room, any room, our node will "park" itself back in the SSRA room after about 15 - 20 seconds. If you do not key a new room into the system, our node will put itself back in our own room automatically. Feel free to test this out yourself. Disconnect from the current room, and then wait and listen. it will go back to its own room about 15 - 20 seconds later. The SSRA repeater is ALWAYS in a room, even if it is our own.
Here are 2 perfectly acceptable examples...
"This is WF7S, accessing WIRES-X", (assuming that you have already disconnected previously) and then without un-keying, key your desired DTMF characters into your radio. Now UN-KEY.
The same is true when disconnecting...