Yaesu: Setting up the FT8900R to communicate with repeaters

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KD9DDY

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Jan 28, 2017
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McFarland, WI
Hi!


New to the forum just today. I've had my license for about 2 years now. I purchased an HT, but it's spotty on repeaters because of my distance. Finally pulled the trigger to purchase a rig for a base station. I opted for the Yaesu FT-8900R. But I'm having problems setting it up to transmit on repeaters. I'm hoping you guys could help me out.


A few facts to help you diagnose my problem:

1. I can hear activity on the repeaters from my HT (not great) but I know its happening. I've got the 8900R tuned in to the same frequency, but get nothing.


2. I've tested out the 8900R to make sure it can receive using both the HT on simplex as well as tuning into one of the NOAA channels. Can get the NOAA weather information just fine. So the antenna seems to be working fine.


3. I live in Dane County, Wisconsin and am trying to hit a couple of repeaters. Here is the info for one of them:


Frequency: 147.3600+ plus
Tone: 123.0
Location: Cambridge
County: Jefferson
State: Wisconsin
Call: WE9COM

Use: OPEN
Op Status: On-Air
Coverage: Wide area.
Sponsor: WECOMM
Features: E-power, WX.
Links: Full-time to the WeComm System.


4. Here is how I have (what I thought were) the relevant menu items set:

Menu 2 ARS: set to "off"
Menu 33 RPT MODE: set to "+"
Menu 36 SHIFT: set to "0.60M"
Menu 39 TONE F: set to "123.0HZ"
Menu 40 TONE M: set to "ENC"

5. Other than the changes in 4, all of the other settings are "factory".

Any thoughts on what is going on? Am I missing something in the programming?

This seems like a great rig to have, but I can't seem to get past the first step to using it for repeaters.

On a side note, what are your thoughts on programming software? I need to get the USB connection. I use CHIRP for my HT and that has worked like a charm.

Thoughts?

Mark
KD9DDY
 

TheSpaceMann

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Joined
Apr 3, 2014
Messages
1,302
Hi!


New to the forum just today. I've had my license for about 2 years now. I purchased an HT, but it's spotty on repeaters because of my distance. Finally pulled the trigger to purchase a rig for a base station. I opted for the Yaesu FT-8900R. But I'm having problems setting it up to transmit on repeaters. I'm hoping you guys could help me out.


A few facts to help you diagnose my problem:

1. I can hear activity on the repeaters from my HT (not great) but I know its happening. I've got the 8900R tuned in to the same frequency, but get nothing.


2. I've tested out the 8900R to make sure it can receive using both the HT on simplex as well as tuning into one of the NOAA channels. Can get the NOAA weather information just fine. So the antenna seems to be working fine.


3. I live in Dane County, Wisconsin and am trying to hit a couple of repeaters. Here is the info for one of them:


Frequency: 147.3600+ plus
Tone: 123.0
Location: Cambridge
County: Jefferson
State: Wisconsin
Call: WE9COM

Use: OPEN
Op Status: On-Air
Coverage: Wide area.
Sponsor: WECOMM
Features: E-power, WX.
Links: Full-time to the WeComm System.


4. Here is how I have (what I thought were) the relevant menu items set:

Menu 2 ARS: set to "off"
Menu 33 RPT MODE: set to "+"
Menu 36 SHIFT: set to "0.60M"
Menu 39 TONE F: set to "123.0HZ"
Menu 40 TONE M: set to "ENC"

5. Other than the changes in 4, all of the other settings are "factory".

Any thoughts on what is going on? Am I missing something in the programming?

This seems like a great rig to have, but I can't seem to get past the first step to using it for repeaters.

On a side note, what are your thoughts on programming software? I need to get the USB connection. I use CHIRP for my HT and that has worked like a charm.

Thoughts?

Mark
KD9DDY
What kind of antenna are you using on the 8900?
 

KD9DDY

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Messages
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Location
McFarland, WI

teufler

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ST PETERS, MISSOURI
oK, YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE 8900 PROGRAMMED CORRECTLY. uSE YOUR HT ON LOW POWER. Tune to the repeater outputs and see is the radio receiving your ht 0n the repeater outputs, so set the ht with no offset. You might be so close that you cause the 8900 to receive with NO antenna. What signal indications are you getting on NOAA reception. If you are getting pretty much full scale, the antenna is working. Chirp supports the 8900, its good, though when I owned the 8900, I use RT Systems. Oh, you can check the antenna with a simple ohm meter. Unscrew the coax from the radio, if you can remove the antenna from the base, then do a continuity check. Hopefully it will show an open connection. Then check ground on the coax to grown on the antenna mount. If closed, then the positive pin on the coax to the positive on the mount. Again closed, your coax is good. If you have or can go to someone who has, run an swr check. If you do that first , you can forget the coax check. I would go back and check, your offset, pl tone, and if you have 600 selected or not. Depending on terrain, if you are withing 20 miles, you should hear the repeater.
 

robertmac

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Messages
2,151
As I said earlier, RTFM and ensure that your have read page 26 on how to set the RF Squelch. You don't mention this in how you programed the frequency in. I think you should start with this set to OFF or 1 to ensure you are not squelching out signals. Simplex if close to you and NOAA being strong could over ride the setting of RF Squelch.
 

KD9DDY

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Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
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Location
McFarland, WI
As I said earlier, RTFM and ensure that your have read page 26 on how to set the RF Squelch. You don't mention this in how you programed the frequency in. I think you should start with this set to OFF or 1 to ensure you are not squelching out signals. Simplex if close to you and NOAA being strong could over ride the setting of RF Squelch.
Factory setting was to "OFF".
 

KD9DDY

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
9
Location
McFarland, WI
oK, YOU THINK YOU HAVE THE 8900 PROGRAMMED CORRECTLY. uSE YOUR HT ON LOW POWER. Tune to the repeater outputs and see is the radio receiving your ht 0n the repeater outputs, so set the ht with no offset. You might be so close that you cause the 8900 to receive with NO antenna. What signal indications are you getting on NOAA reception. If you are getting pretty much full scale, the antenna is working. Chirp supports the 8900, its good, though when I owned the 8900, I use RT Systems. Oh, you can check the antenna with a simple ohm meter. Unscrew the coax from the radio, if you can remove the antenna from the base, then do a continuity check. Hopefully it will show an open connection. Then check ground on the coax to grown on the antenna mount. If closed, then the positive pin on the coax to the positive on the mount. Again closed, your coax is good. If you have or can go to someone who has, run an swr check. If you do that first , you can forget the coax check. I would go back and check, your offset, pl tone, and if you have 600 selected or not. Depending on terrain, if you are withing 20 miles, you should hear the repeater.
Thanks! I'm sorting through your response and wading though it. I have checked the offset/pltone/shift numerous times. All are correct. I've verified the squelch as "off" and adjust the knobs as indicated in the manual.

I need to do some more experimenting with the HT (per your suggestion) a bit later.

I do have a buddy who works for the State Emergency Services and has a Extra Class license. I know he has an swr meter, but that will likely be a few days. In the interim, I'll see if I can do the coax check.
 

k6cpo

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
724
Location
San Diego, CA
Hi!


New to the forum just today. I've had my license for about 2 years now. I purchased an HT, but it's spotty on repeaters because of my distance. Finally pulled the trigger to purchase a rig for a base station. I opted for the Yaesu FT-8900R. But I'm having problems setting it up to transmit on repeaters. I'm hoping you guys could help me out.


A few facts to help you diagnose my problem:

1. I can hear activity on the repeaters from my HT (not great) but I know its happening. I've got the 8900R tuned in to the same frequency, but get nothing.


2. I've tested out the 8900R to make sure it can receive using both the HT on simplex as well as tuning into one of the NOAA channels. Can get the NOAA weather information just fine. So the antenna seems to be working fine.


3. I live in Dane County, Wisconsin and am trying to hit a couple of repeaters. Here is the info for one of them:


Frequency: 147.3600+ plus
Tone: 123.0
Location: Cambridge
County: Jefferson
State: Wisconsin
Call: WE9COM

Use: OPEN
Op Status: On-Air
Coverage: Wide area.
Sponsor: WECOMM
Features: E-power, WX.
Links: Full-time to the WeComm System.


4. Here is how I have (what I thought were) the relevant menu items set:

Menu 2 ARS: set to "off"
Menu 33 RPT MODE: set to "+"
Menu 36 SHIFT: set to "0.60M"
Menu 39 TONE F: set to "123.0HZ"
Menu 40 TONE M: set to "ENC"

5. Other than the changes in 4, all of the other settings are "factory".

Any thoughts on what is going on? Am I missing something in the programming?

This seems like a great rig to have, but I can't seem to get past the first step to using it for repeaters.

On a side note, what are your thoughts on programming software? I need to get the USB connection. I use CHIRP for my HT and that has worked like a charm.

Thoughts?

Mark
KD9DDY
Change menu item # 2 ARS (Automatic Repeater Shift) to "ON." This will automatically create the settings for Menu items 33 and 36 and you won't have to worry about them.
 

Aero125

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Messages
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Location
Los Angeles, CA
RT Systems software would make programming the radio a breeze and take the menu mess out of the equation. It's definitely worth the money.
 

captainmax1

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Messages
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Florida Keys
I have the Yaesu FT8900R which is attached to a Discone Antenna 30' high using LMR400 Cable and I get great results from repeaters. You obviously have bad antenna/cable or the settings on your 8900 are wrong. Like Aero states, Get the RT Systems Programming Software and that makes settings and programming a lot easier and take time to read the manual. Downloading manual to your computer makes it easer to read and access.
 

robertmac

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Messages
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Change menu item # 2 ARS (Automatic Repeater Shift) to "ON." This will automatically create the settings for Menu items 33 and 36 and you won't have to worry about them.
Except it will put in a negative shift on UHF simplex.
And for the OP. Take a picture of display and post it to ensure settings are saved. Or try it in VFO mode before saving.
RT software is great but one of the benefits of ham radio is programming without software. Especially if using in another city or when on public service events.
 
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KD9DDY

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Messages
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Location
McFarland, WI
Update: In the interim, the programming cable and software (ADMS-2H) came. I programmed a couple of the repeaters... still nothing.

Over the weekend I had sent an e-mail to Yaesu and they responded. They want me to send the unit to them so that they can bench test it for power out and tone deviation.

I have a meeting tomorrow night with my friend who has an Extra Class license. Will have to arrange to meet with him sometime soon to do some troubleshooting.

I do appreciate the advice you guys have given. Trying to balance work, Scouts and getting this thing running. You can probably guess the order.

I'll keep you up to date as I learn more.

EDIT: After posting, I set the frequency on the base unit and the HT to match. Had my son on his cell phone listening to the base unit. Walked at least a block away and it was picking up my transmissions on simplex.
 
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k6cpo

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San Diego, CA
Except it will put in a negative shift on UHF simplex.
Only if you try operating simplex on a designated repeater input or output. There are 440 simplex frequencies where this will not happen. The firmware in radios like the 8900 is setup to comply with the US band plans.

US Band plans: Band Plan
 

robertmac

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Only if you try operating simplex on a designated repeater input or output. There are 440 simplex frequencies where this will not happen. The firmware in radios like the 8900 is setup to comply with the US band plans.

US Band plans: Band Plan
But on the UHF frequencies between 446.000 and 447.000, Yaesu radios automatically input a negative offset with the setting set to AUTO. Below 440.000 there is no offset input. So it isn't as simple of putting in the auto offset. As well, some repeaters in the 147.000 will have a -ve or a +ve offset so one cannot just set
ARS to auto and foreget it.
 

RBMTS

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Silly question but I didn't see this topic come up yet. Have you selected the "Main" for the side of the radio that you programmed in the repeater for? I've seen many people that programmed up their repeater on the "left" band but had the "right" band selected for the primary tx. They pondered why the radio wasn't hitting the repeater.
 

k6cpo

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But on the UHF frequencies between 446.000 and 447.000, Yaesu radios automatically input a negative offset with the setting set to AUTO. Below 440.000 there is no offset input. So it isn't as simple of putting in the auto offset. As well, some repeaters in the 147.000 will have a -ve or a +ve offset so one cannot just set
ARS to auto and foreget it.
Interesting. I never noticed this before and I have no idea why it's like that. If you program in what the band plan calls the "National Calling Frequency (446.000)" it does enter a negative offset with the Repeater Shift set to "AUTO." I suppose you could use Menu item 36 "SHIFT" to dial out all the shift when desiring to operate simplex...
 

robertmac

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Interesting. I never noticed this before and I have no idea why it's like that. If you program in what the band plan calls the "National Calling Frequency (446.000)" it does enter a negative offset with the Repeater Shift set to "AUTO." I suppose you could use Menu item 36 "SHIFT" to dial out all the shift when desiring to operate simplex...
Yes, I had that problem couple of times during contests. First time wondered why but then found out later. Couple of years later same problem but only took 1 time then remembered. Unfortunately I was using VFO as it was easier being mobile, at least I thought so, until I remember I would be transmitting on 441.000,
And that is a reason to have a picture of the display posted. I do doubt that with the high frequency a wrong offset would be inserted but there have been times I thought it was set up right but when I saved it there was a problem.
And I suppose this points out why every ham needs a SWR and power meter. Even a frequency counter as starting test equipment.
 

KD9DDY

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McFarland, WI
I'm embarrassed to say it was a simple hardware issue. My buddy was finally able to come over today and it turned out the wire from the coax coming from the antenna was a bit depressed and wasn't making good contact. Problem solved.

Radio was properly programmed and a couple of contacts have been made in the local repeaters.



Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

robertmac

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And thus why every amateur radio station/operator should have a good SWR and Power meter.

Banned for encouraging legal and proper use of the crappy band.
 
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