WIRES-X is Yaesu's system for interconnecting repeaters and/or simplex nodes via the internet all over the world. As implemented on the K4HI repeater, WIRES-X is digital-only. First off, lets define two terms.
Node - A node is an RF endpoint for a WIRES-X connection. A node can be a repeater of a simplex node. The elements of a node are a radio, an HRI-200 device (optional), and a computer running the WIRES-X software. A given node has both a name and a number. The K4HI repeater node name is 'K4HI-RPT' and the node number is 54927. It is considered best practice not to connect to directly to nodes unless for a specific purpose. The reason is that a node-to-node connection is binary; no one else may connect at the same time.
Room - A room is a virtual space to which multiple nodes can connect. In D-Star language, it is like a reflector module. A connection to a room is the most common form of WIRES-X connection. Node-to-node connections are possible, but not preferred as they are binary.
By default the K4HI repeater is connected to the 'SC-WIRES-X' room number 64927. If you are in another location where there is a WIRES-X repeater, or if you have a simplex node setup at home, you can connect to the SC-WIRES-X room from that repeater or simplex node and have a conversation with someone who is on the repeater. If multiple nodes are connected to the SC-WIRES-X room, everyone on any node connected to the room can transmit to and receive from everyone else.
The WIRES-X or 'X' button - When NOT to use it. The first thing to know is that in order to talk over WIRES-X, it is not required that you ever press this button. Since the repeater is connected to the SC-WIRES-X room, any digital transmission you make into the repeater goes out to any other node also connected to the SC-WIRES-X room.
The WIRES-X or 'X' button - When TO use it. Pressing the X button makes a connection between your radio and the node which allows you to change the room, or to use the 'News' feature (basically a bulletin board server for voice, text or pictures). On the FT2D and FT3D, a short press of the 'X' button makes the connection. On the FTM-400 and FTM-100, a long press of the 'DX' button makes the connection.
On each of these radios, what is then displayed is very similar. At the top is the frequency (147.360). Directly below that is the name of the local node to which you are connected (K4HI-RPT). In the middle is the search & direct button. At the bottom of the screen is the room information (by default, SC-WIRES-X). Here is what this looks like on an FTM-400:
To connect to a different room, you would press the downward facing arrow and be presented with the option to view 'ALL,' or to 'SEARCH' by room name. Once you have find the room to which you want to connect, touch the name and the repeater will connect to it.
To view the 'news station' (BBS), press the room name. (applies to only the FT2D, FT3D, FTM-400 and FTM-100).
These are the four categories of news:
Emergency - A space for emergency of priority messages
News Station - This is the BBS for the room. Anyone who connects to the room has access.
Local News - This is the BBS for the K4HI node. Only stations connected to the repeater over RF have access.
International News - currently not in use on either the node or room. Selecting this option returns no data.
To upload a news item, select 'UPLOAD.'
To download a news item, select 'DOWNLOAD.'
This is the download menu. The upload menu looks exactly the same.
Here you select whether to want to upload/download a voice message (VOICE), a text message (MSG), or a picture (PICT).
On the FT2D, FT3D, and FT-991A it is nearly identical in look and method as shown here. For radios with smaller displays, please reference Yaesu's manual for your radio:
FTM-7230 WIRES-X information begins on page 33. The News Station feature is unavailable on this radio. The process is very similar on the now discontinued FTM-3200.
FTM-100 WIRES-X manual. Entirely devoted to the WIRES-X function.