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Magic Valley Amateur Radio Club
- Digital Fusion Protocol -

Many of us have grown accustomed to the protocols of FM analog repeaters and we try to use those same methods with Fusion.  Unfortunately, many of the methods used with FM analog repeaters are simply not compatible with Fusion.  Below are some tips on how to make your operation of Yaesu System Fusion a lot more enjoyable.

1.  You can't "hot key" the mic.  In other words you can't just key the mic and immediately start talking. By the same token you can't unkey the mic as soon as you are finished talking.  Fusion has to have time for the audio to be processed and it needs time to make its way to any linked repeaters via the internet.  This takes a few seconds.  When you key your mic to talk, always allow at least 2 seconds before you begin talking.  When you are finished talking, continue to hold down the PTT button for another 2 seconds to give the audio time to get through the system.  Otherwise, your first couple sylables will be cut off as well as your last sylables or even words.

2.  When you are having a QSO, always wait several seconds between you and the other station's transmissions to give others a chance to "break in".  Since Fusion takes a few seconds to get through the system, it's not as easy to break into a QSO as say FM analog repeaters.  A good rule of thumb to follow and an unwritten rule for the time to pause is... When the call sign of the last heard station clears off the display on your radio then you can start talking.

 3.  You are encouraged to initiate round-table discussions.  When a discussion involves more than two people the person speaking passes the conversation to a specific individual who would be the next person in line.  It is best not to just stop talking without passing it to another person as this causes confusion and then no one is sure who should take it.  As an example..."This is W7ABC, W7XYZ over to you."  When W7XYZ is finished talking then they would do the same handoff to the next person in line.

4.  Many of the Yaesu Fusion radios are extremely sensitive to the audio.  Digital audio is not forgiving to being over-driven.  If your audio is too "hot" it is possible for the audio to cut out, even to sound like your radio is not hitting the repeater at times.  Some of the radios sensitive to this are the FT-70, FTM-7250 and the 3200 and 3207.  It is advisable to set your audio to the low end of the adjustment.  Then, after some testing with other stations, adjust accordingly.  Also, keep your mouth away from the mic by a few inches and talk "past" the mic rather than talking "into" it.  This will help your audio quality. 

5.  Fusion digital is good but it's not a miracle worker.  You can't sit in your easy chair with a rubber ducky antenna and talk through the repeater 40 miles away and expect to have a perfect signal.  Handheld radios are a compromise.  If you are going to use a handheld, at least get a good antenna for it.  If you will be using it from inside a building or a vehicle, consider installing an outside antenna.  You will have a more enjoyable experience if you do and so will the people you are trying to talk to. 

6.  Not everyone who comes into the MVARC Fusion room is experienced with Yaesu Fusion.  Our goal with our system is to have patience with everyone and help them learn their radio and the YSF protocol.  Our system should be a friendly place.  If someone needs help take the time to help them.  If they are doing something incorrectly, be courteous and respectful and help guide them through the proper way. 

7.  When looking for someone to talk to on the system a one-time call such as "W7ZZZ in Twin Falls is monitoring" should be sufficient.  There is really no need to call more than once every few minutes.  When you do call be sure to wait a couple minutes for someone to answer before you give up and go away.  Sometimes you are heard by someone who wants to answer but they may not be immediately available. 

8.  Operating in a courteous manner cannot be stressed enough.  If you hear someone calling another station and you want to talk to the calling station, please allow time for the station they are calling to answer first. Jumping in and calling them without giving the other station a chance to respond is rude and should be avoided.

9.  The "digital" capability of the Fusion radios allows the other stations to see your call sign on their display if your radio is configured correctly.  This is a legal way of identifying your station.  However, we encourage everyone using the MVARC system to use the regular practice of identifying your station every 10 minutes as  called for in the Part 97 FCC rules.  This will ensure you will be legal even if your radio is not properly configured or if for some reason your call sign is not being transmitted properly by your radio.

10.  There may be times when in QSO with someone that something on their end doesn't sound right...or they may ask how their signal/audio is.  It is sometimes tempting to take the easy way out and tell them everything is fine when actually they may be cutting out or their audio is overdriven or some other anomoly.  Be honest and tell them they may have an issue.  That's the only way they will know and will be able to do something about it.

11.  The repeaters in the MVARC system are set to "time out" after three minutes of transmitting.  Watch your timing.  It goes by faster than you might think.

12. If you move one of the MVARC repeaters to another room it is set to return to the MVARC system after 30 minutes. 

The goal of MVARC is to have a wide-area Digital Fusion System that will be an effective communications system and where hams can have fun.  Please use the system without fear of "hogging the repeaters."  If someone needs to use the system they will break in and ask.  If you have a PDN or a room node feel free to park it in the MVARC room for as long and as often as you want.  You can leave it in our room all the time if you wish.  The more the merrier.  If you have any questions please email  Kelly  .

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