Yaesu: Creating my own Fusion repeater

Joined
Apr 13, 2024
Messages
4
Location
Pocatello, ID
I’m a new ham as of just a couple weeks ago. So, I’m trying to learn as much about this hobby as possible. I have a Yaesu FT-70D and an FTM-500D. I’ve played around with the HT a little but just barely received the mobile yesterday. In my area there aren’t any Fusion repeaters. There is one about 45-50 miles north of me. I plan to install an antenna on the roof of my house and use my mobile as a base station when I don’t have it in my truck. I got to thinking, what if I were to create my own Fusion repeater at my house? I live next to a major interstate. I wonder if that would serve people traveling through? Obviously I’m very new to all this so I may be way off on it. I don’t understand nodes and rooms right now. I’m trying to sort that out. It’s a little tough since I don’t have a Fusion repeater closer to me. Any thoughts about any of this? Sorry if it seems like I’m rambling a little. It’s hard to convey what I have in mind.
 

MTS2000des

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Why bother with the expense of a repeater which, to do right, can cost thousands and to be effective, you need a good site which can costs thousands a month in expenses when you can spend about what a week's worth of groceries cost today and buy a hot spot? This will allow you to connect to YSF repeaters, reflectors, rooms, etc all over and plenty of people to talk to. I recommend the OpenSpot 4/4 Pro. You can even cross mode into D-Star and DMR reflectors and repeaters and have even more fun.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2024
Messages
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Location
Pocatello, ID
I was wondering about setting up a repeater so that I could connect to the Fusion repeater that’s north of me without having to use the internet. I also wondered if it would give travelers along the interstate (right by where the repeater would be) an option for communicating.
 

AK9R

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Unless you can find a tall tower for your repeater antenna, a repeater won't be very useful. That's especially true for people driving on a nearby highway. Remember, they will be driving towards or driving away from your repeater at 60-80 MPH. If you put up a repeater with an effective range of 10 miles, they could be out of range in 10 minutes or less.
 

ka3aaa

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middletown, pa.
it would be a whole lot easier and cheaper to reverent the wheel rather than try to build something like a repeater from scratch which you apparently need to brush up on and secondly what is it that makes you think people want to use it, some people may enjoy the piece and quiet.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2024
Messages
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Location
Pocatello, ID
it would be a whole lot easier and cheaper to reverent the wheel rather than try to build something like a repeater from scratch which you apparently need to brush up on and secondly what is it that makes you think people want to use it, some people may enjoy the piece and quiet.
I’m new to this hobby and I’m just trying to learn about an aspect of it and was hoping get some help with that here. I’m sure you were new at something at sometime. Nonetheless, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
 

dwh367

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Mar 17, 2003
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Owensboro, KY (Daviess County)
If you're wanting to homebrew a Fusion repeater, and connect it to the Internet via WIRES-X, you'll have to also purchase a Yaesu HRI-200. You can get buy cheaper, using a MMDVM board, but you"ll be restricted to using YSF/FCS reflectors. MMDVM boards don't support WIRES-X.
 

prcguy

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Jun 30, 2006
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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
I bought a new Yaesu Fusion repeater several years back for $700 direct from Yaesu, they have specials now and then that makes them cheap. The DR-2X repeater is a dual band 2m/440 with both analog and Fusion modes, it’s a bargain for the price and has a lot of features. Internally its a pair of modified FTM-400 radios.

With that said they are not the highest performing repeaters but can work at lower power with a cheap flat pack mobile duplexer for home use. Running at 50w I believe they will burn up with extended use. After performing a bunch of mods to improve operation I run mine at 20w into a 6dB attenuator to provide 5w drive to a 100w amp running about 85 watts. If I run the repeater at 5w it’s got a lot of transmitter grunge that interferes with its own receiver.
 

rf_patriot200

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Feb 9, 2024
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Freeport, Illinois
I bought a new Yaesu Fusion repeater several years back for $700 direct from Yaesu, they have specials now and then that makes them cheap. The DR-2X repeater is a dual band 2m/440 with both analog and Fusion modes, it’s a bargain for the price and has a lot of features. Internally its a pair of modified FTM-400 radios.

With that said they are not the highest performing repeaters but can work at lower power with a cheap flat pack mobile duplexer for home use. Running at 50w I believe they will burn up with extended use. After performing a bunch of mods to improve operation I run mine at 20w into a 6dB attenuator to provide 5w drive to a 100w amp running about 85 watts. If I run the repeater at 5w it’s got a lot of transmitter grunge that interferes with its own receiver.
The DR South of me, is the W9DXN and runs 5 watts into a mirage @50 out and is equipped with IRLP node 4350 on the Analog side. Great performance so far.
 

TeddJohnson

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I was wondering about setting up a repeater so that I could connect to the Fusion repeater that’s north of me without having to use the internet. I also wondered if it would give travelers along the interstate (right by where the repeater would be) an option for communicating.

"connecting to the repeater north of you" doesn't inherently require a repeater (in-fact, most repeaters don't bother to connect PTP, though some do use something like AREDN as a backhaul). Instead they are typically linked via the internet. The nice part about that, is that if they have continuous coverage, someone just has to switch to the other frequency and they can still be part of the same community.


So to hopefully help address a few things:
1. If you want to connect to that far away repeater, it's "technically" possible, but only if there's a significant height difference between yourself and the other antenna. 50-miles is a stretch, unless one of you is on a mountain. If something like this IS the case, you could setup a yagi (directional) antenna and point it to the other repeater!
2. Setting up your own repeater to benefit others is commendable! I think the biggest thing people are trying to let you know however is that it will likely be expensive and not used that often, so consider that in your plans. I totally get having an idea and wanting to experiment with it, even if it's just hypothetical until you understand it.
3. There's probably a frequency coordinator you would have to use if you're trying to setup a full-time repeater: Frequency Coordinators


Anyways, good luck it's a great hobby!
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2024
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Pocatello, ID
I really appreciate all the replies with helpful information. You guys have taken your time to explain things to me and that means a lot to me. Some have even sent me private messages which have been very helpful.

I can see where I was mistaken in thinking that if I had a repeater here locally that it would help me to talk to the repeater north of my location. Bill helped me to see how that isn’t the case.

I now have directed my spare time to trying to learn about nodes and rooms. It’s still very foreign to me.
 

mmckenna

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I am a lineman for the county.
In my area there aren’t any Fusion repeaters. There is one about 45-50 miles north of me.

A much better investment would be to install an appropriate antenna that will let you reach that existing Fusion repeater.
It's important to learn, as a new ham, that the antenna is the most important part of your system, and investing there will be money well spent. Even if you decide to do your own repeater down the road, you'll still benefit from a good antenna. So, start that now, and see if you can connect to the existing repeater.
 

k6cpo

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San Diego, CA
I think a lot of new hams have no concept of just what's involved in putting a repeater on the air. There is the cost of the repeater itself, backup power, duplexer cans and other incidentals such as feed line, connectors and antenna. Then there's the matter of location, including potential site rent and power costs. And then the one single item everyone overlooks and possibly the most important, a frequency pair and coordination of the frequency.

When I first joined my club, we had one two meter analog repeater on the air. In the intervening 13 years we have replaced that repeater with a Fusion repeater, added a 70cm Fusion repeater, converted both repeaters to grid-independent solar power, taken over another 2 meter Fusion repeater (at a different location) from a club that folded, and are in the process in standing up another 70cm Fusion repeater at the second location. Even with the discounts on the first two Fusion repeaters, being able to buy the third Fusion repeater from another club, we've still expended substantial amounts time and money to get these installations up and working.
 

prcguy

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Jun 30, 2006
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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
I think a lot of new hams have no concept of just what's involved in putting a repeater on the air. There is the cost of the repeater itself, backup power, duplexer cans and other incidentals such as feed line, connectors and antenna. Then there's the matter of location, including potential site rent and power costs. And then the one single item everyone overlooks and possibly the most important, a frequency pair and coordination of the frequency.

When I first joined my club, we had one two meter analog repeater on the air. In the intervening 13 years we have replaced that repeater with a Fusion repeater, added a 70cm Fusion repeater, converted both repeaters to grid-independent solar power, taken over another 2 meter Fusion repeater (at a different location) from a club that folded, and are in the process in standing up another 70cm Fusion repeater at the second location. Even with the discounts on the first two Fusion repeaters, being able to buy the third Fusion repeater from another club, we've still expended substantial amounts time and money to get these installations up and working.
Not to mention lots of test equipment to align the repeater, duplexer and filters plus the knowledge to operate all of it.
 

TeddJohnson

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Jun 6, 2023
Messages
21
I can definitely understand why a new ham might think a repeater just equals a "way more powerful radio" which seems like the primary objective here (connecting to the other one 50 miles away).

In addition, if you needed that hardware anyways (you don't, but remember assumption 1) then why WOULDN'T you expand repeater coverage?
The question makes sense based on the assumption. It sounds like OP has gotten correct info on how they could PTP connect, or (likely better) connect via a hotspot.
If I lived somewhere with zero repeaters in my area, I would 100% understand the desire to set one up. All repeaters had to start somewhere!
 

n9upc

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Joined
Jan 18, 2003
Messages
264
Location
Land of mixed mode digital comms
I’m a new ham as of just a couple weeks ago. So, I’m trying to learn as much about this hobby as possible. I have a Yaesu FT-70D and an FTM-500D. I’ve played around with the HT a little but just barely received the mobile yesterday. In my area there aren’t any Fusion repeaters. There is one about 45-50 miles north of me. I plan to install an antenna on the roof of my house and use my mobile as a base station when I don’t have it in my truck. I got to thinking, what if I were to create my own Fusion repeater at my house? I live next to a major interstate. I wonder if that would serve people traveling through? Obviously I’m very new to all this so I may be way off on it. I don’t understand nodes and rooms right now. I’m trying to sort that out. It’s a little tough since I don’t have a Fusion repeater closer to me. Any thoughts about any of this? Sorry if it seems like I’m rambling a little. It’s hard to convey what I have in mind.
Feel free to contact me at j.kruk@yaesu.com and I can cover the In's & Out's with different options.
 
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