Repeater Use

The following set of guidelines for operation of the CRARC Repeaters are for your information and education.

* Courteous and legal use of a repeater is the responsibility of every amateur radio operator. The Crowley’s Ridge Amateur Radio Club (CRARC) has established these guidelines to encourage good operating practices. Individuals who do not abide by these guidelines may be asked to refrain from using the CRARC repeaters.

* Emergency use of a repeater always takes precedence over all other use.

* Organized activities such as nets or training drills have priority over routine conversations.

* Before keying your transmitter, listen for any activity on the repeater.

* Keep individual transmissions short. The timer on most repeaters is set to three minutes to follow FCC regulations. However, someone who talks for that long in one transmission may be using valuable time if someone else has an emergency.

* Please limit your continuous use of a repeater to a reasonable length. We recommend 10 minutes as a guideline.

* It is considered bad etiquette to interrupt an ongoing conversation unless you have an emergency or something meaningful to contribute to the conversation.

* While we want our repeaters to be active, it is discourteous to use a repeater to talk to someone who is within easy simplex range. If you can hear each other on the repeater input frequency, switch to a simplex frequency for that long-winded conversation. Similarly, don’t use a wide-area repeater if one with more local coverage will do.

* Most repeaters have a courtesy tone to indicate that the other party has released the key to end their transmission. Always wait for the courtesy tone so that someone with an emergency or someone wishing to join the conversation has ample opportunity to break in.

* You must identify your station with your call sign every ten minutes and at the end of a conversation. While the FCC rules no longer require that you identify at the beginning of a conversation, it is common courtesy to do so.

* Whenever you transmit, always identify your station, even if you just key up the repeater for a test purposes. “Kerchunking” (a short, unidentified transmission to “bring up the repeater”) is illegal.

* “CB”-style talk and off-color remarks or comments have no place in amateur radio. Keep your activities on our repeaters responsible and courteous.

* The FCC rules permit the use of amateur radio for transmissions of a technical or personal nature. Unfortunately, some amateurs use the repeaters to discuss what they don’t like about the actions of another amateur or a particular group. Such comments have no place on a repeater. Keep them to yourself or take them off the air directly to the individual(s) involved. Please don’t use the repeaters to air “dirty laundry” (yours or anybody else’s).

* As in all of amateur radio, a transmission for business purposes is illegal. Please be especially mindful of this whenever using the repeater.

* A suggested practice is to “Key up” before speaking with a breath and another before un-keying. A 1-2 second pause before, during, and after a conversation is good practice. Ham Radio is a hobby-An enjoyable one-But one that depends on how we use the shared airways. We all make mistakes – We are all sometimes not courteous. Don’t be offended…They are meant as constructive comments. Read the guidelines and review your operating habits.

Repeater Operating Practices (from ARRL Repeater Directory)    

1. Monitor the repeater to become familiar with any peculiarities in its operation.
2. To initiate a contact, simply indicate that you are on the frequency. Various geographical areas have different practices on making yourself heard, but generally, “This is (your call sign) monitoring” will suffice.
3. Identify legally; you must identify at the end of a transmission or series of transmissions and at least every 10 minutes during the communication.
4. Pause between transmissions. This allows other hams to use the repeater (someone may have an emergency). On most repeaters, a pause is necessary to reset the timer.
5. Keep transmissions short and thoughtful, Your monologue may prevent someone with an emergency from using the repeater. If your monologue is long enough, you may time out the repeater. Your transmissions are being heard by many listeners including nonhams with “public service band” monitors or scanners; don’t give a bad impression of our service.
6. Use simplex whenever possible. If you can complete your QSO on a direct frequency, there is no need to tie up the repeater and prevent others from using it.
7. Use the minimum amount of power necessary to maintain communications. This FCC regulation (97.313a) minimizes the possibility of accessing distant repeaters on the same frequency.
8. Don’t break into a contact unless you have something to add. Interrupting is no more polite on the air than it is in person.
9. Repeaters are intended primarily to facilitate mobile operation. During the commuter rush hours, base stations should relinquish the repeater to mobile stations; some repeater groups have rules that specifically address this practice.
10. Many repeaters are equipped with auto patch facilities which, when properly accessed, connect the repeater to the telephone system to provide a public service. The FCC forbids using an autopatch for anything that can be construed as business communications. Nor should an autopatch be used to avoid a toll call. Do not use an autopatch where regular telephone service is available. Autopatch privileges that are abused may be rescinded.
11. All repeaters are assembled and maintained at considerable expense and inconvenience. Usually an individual or group is responsible, and those who are regular users of a repeater should support the efforts of keeping the repeater on the air.

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