WIRES (Wide-Coverage Internet Repeater Enhancement System) is an Internet communication system which expands the range of amateur radio communication. For WIRES-X operation, an amateur node station connecting to the Internet is used as an access point connecting your wireless communication to the Internet. Your station can communicate with other amateur stations all over the world using a node within your radios range.
Your Spout Springs Repeater is also linked to this system, allowing world-wide contacts to be made over the associations 2-Meter repeaters.
"Will I have to buy a new radio?"
~NO! Analog users (the majority of us) can still access the system, however some of the more advanced features will not be available to analog users.
"Can I turn the Wires-X System On/Off when I want to?"
~Yes! Pressing your PTT (Push-To-Talk) and pressing * on your DTMF keypad will disconnect the Spout Springs Repeater from the Wires-X system (for about 20 seconds).
"Who all can hear me?"
~You decide! When a user connects to a "room", the room may be full of other users, or only a few. Some might be in the USA, others could be overseas! By default, we reside in our own "Room", which may or may not have other users in it. Keep reading for more on this.
"Is this like IRLP or Echolink?"
~Somewhat. With Wires-X, a node such as ours at the SSRA, connects to a room, which might already be hosting other nodes. This feature is not available with IRLP or Echolink. Wires-X (a Yaesu system) allows "Rooms" that often host several other nodes (like ours), some of which might be repeaters or personal nodes, belonging to a single operator. Keep reading...
"Do I need to upgrade my license to use Wires-X?"
~No! A newly minted Technician class operator can access the system and still make contacts with other states, and countries. A license upgrade is NOT required to use Wires-X. The SSRA does though encourage users to continue their self-education and consider reaching out for upgraded license privileges.
"What if I need the repeater for an emergency?"
~Easy, use the repeater as normal as stations locally can still hear you on our repeaters. Or, chose to disconnect the system first, from the WIRES-X system. Either way, your emergency traffic WILL be heard locally, and possible on other systems as well if we are still connected. Pressing your PTT, then * , will quickly disconnect, or hang-up on the system. NOTE, this can only be done (right now) in-between transmissions.