FT5DR repeater database for Australia

I’ve just finished inserting all of the country’s repeaters into my FT5DR and have taken a dump of the memory to save others the trouble should they need it. This is based on the WIA’s Repeater Directory, dated 2022-08-07, and includes all 2m and 70cm FM and C4FM repeaters.

How was this organised

The WIA publish their repeater directory on a regular basis from their website in both CSV and PDF formats. Using this information, I coded up a Python script that re-organised the CSV version of the repeater directory into a linear string of repeaters to be loaded into the radio.

You can find the script on Github. In this case, I tweaked the script settings to exclude all repeaters other than 2m/70cm repeaters using FM or C4FM, as these are the only repeaters useful to FT5DR users. The script uses the GPS co-ordinates (or failing that, the nearest town) to group the repeaters into “sectors”. The sectors are divided by the heading from Alice Springs, and the distance.

The script then orders these “sectors”: iterating first by distance, then heading. The result is a list of repeaters where the repeaters are roughly “grouped” by their geographical position.

Here’s hoping this will work out. It’s an experiment on my part, in the past I’ve ordered repeaters by frequency (mostly on channel-constrained radios like the Wouxun KG-UVD1P), and by call-sign. This is the first time I’ve tried using positional information to group repeaters. I suspect it’ll need fine-tuning long-term, but let’s see how this goes.

How was the file created

By hand, through the radio keypad. I then told it to save the memory to the MicroSDHC card. Yes, Yaesu make a piece of software to let you edit this on your computer, if your computer runs Microsoft Windows. I don’t, so I did it the hard and slow way.

I am working on getting CHIRP to support the FT5DR, to save ourselves some trouble in the future.

Errata from the repeater database

There are some notes about this repeater database which are potential gotchas:

  • VK3RNB “CBD Melbourne” repeater at 438 550kHz is shown with a repeater input of 431 555 kHz which equates to an offset of -6995kHz, this is recorded as -7000kHz since the FT5DR does not support -6995kHz offsets.
  • VK5RSC “Mt. Terrible” repeater on input frequency 147 675kHz actually outputs on the 10m band at 29 620 kHz — as the FT5DR cannot receive 10m FM, this is recorded as a simplex frequency.

How to load

NOTICE: You do this at your own risk. I accept no responsibility for any damage that may occur to the radio loading files from this site, nor any legal action that may arise as a result of using the repeater data supplied from this site.

  1. Download and unpack the ZIP file.
  2. Insert a FAT32-formatted MicroSDHC card, 32GiB or smaller into your computer’s SD card slot and mount it.
  3. Create a directory named FT5D_MEMORY-CH in the root of the SD card
  4. Copy MEMORY.dat to this newly created directory
  5. Unmount the MicroSDHC card
  6. Power your radio off if it’s turned on, then insert the MicroSDHC card into the radio’s MicroSDHC slot (right-hand side — contacts face the front)
  7. Power on the radio
  8. Hold F Menu for 3 seconds
  9. Tap SD Card on the touchscreen
  10. Use the channel knob up the top of the radio to highlight 2 MEMORY CH
  11. Press F Menu
  12. Use the channel knob up the top of the radio to highlight 2 Read from SD
  13. Press F-Menu
  14. The radio will ask “READ?“, tap OK on the screen twice.
  15. The radio should read the file, then do a reset. When it boots back up, you should find the repeater database is loaded.