YSF Reflector #50679 — US Todd Co KY — W4MSI
I’m pleased to announce that YSF (Yaesu System Fusion) access has been added to the system.
There are better resources out there on the web to detail the differences between YSF, YCS, FCS, WIRESx, etc so please feel free to Google around and find more information if you wish to learn more details about the modes and such.
However, for the purpose of this article, I’ll just give a very simple overview. The actual digital mode that Yaesu uses is called C4FM (Continuous Four Level Frequency Modulation). This is an open standard (think open source in the computer/digital world) that Yaesu took and customized somewhat and then branded as System Fusion. Make no mistake, if you’re using System Fusion, you are actually using C4FM as your digital voice mode. Yaesu in their infinite wisdom decided to lock down their System Fusion / WIRES-x to where you have to use proprietary hardware/software to use their internet linking system (WIRES-x). Unlike many other modes that are open and allow you to use your own inexpensive hardware and tweak things to make your own creation; if you want to use the WIRES system you must have a certain Yaesu radio and/or an HRI-200 interface box along with Yaesu’s WIRES software running on a Windows based PC.
I’ve played with WIRES-x recently, and was very unimpressed with it. Coming from the world of AllStarLink, I found the setup of WIRES to be cumbersome and the use of it to be worse. Regardless, I wanted to give our users another option to connect into the system. No matter how I tried to spin it, it is simply IMPOSSIBLE to link WIRES to anything but other WIRES (Yaesu proprietary) systems. Well I’m not the first to go down this road. In comes all the other “modes” that remain open and accessible with various NON-proprietary hardware/software. YCS, YFS, etc.
I set up a new YSF Reflector and a DVSwitch bridge. Using MMDVM (Multi Mode Digital Voice Modem), DVSwitch, and YSFReflector I’ve created a digital to analog bridging system. What this does, is for anyone out there that has a digital hotspot and an internet connection, it allows them to connect via their Fusion/YSF/C4FM (whatever you prefer to reference) hotspot to the new reflector. Once connected all of their digital voice traffic will get converted to analog and go out the repeaters and any other stations connected to the HUB (we often refer to this as the link). Then any of the regular analog repeater traffic gets scooped up and re-encoded back to C4FM and sent back to the hotspots that are connected.
The summary is that we now have the ability for digital (YSF) hotspot users to connect into and use the system. Echolink and of course AllStarLink will remain active as well and continue to provide those means of communication. Depending on your equipment/abilities/budget/etc digital hotspots can sometimes be easier to come by than an AllStar node, and for those wanting to explore digital voice modes as well, so hopefully this will be useful.