Using a Repeater System

  • Please understand that a repeater is like a party line telephone system. To be successful, ham radio operators must cooperate and be courteous with each other. Don't hog the repeater. Be considerate of others who may wish to use it.
  • Monitor the repeater for a few seconds when you first turn your radio on before transmitting to be sure it is not in use.
  • Key up for a half second before you start talking so all the repeater equipment has time to engage. If you start talking immediately when you key, the first syllable may be lost while the repeater is engaging. This is especially important if linking is active because the link radios are tone protected and take longer to become active.
  • Don't hold each key down for extended periods when sending DTMF commands. If the signal is weak or fluttering, long key presses will seem like multiple key presses to the repeater. Dial like you would on your home phone.
  • Ham radio operators have names and call signs, not handles or personals. Use plain English. Don't use phonetics unless necessary for clarity. Only join a net, when net control invites check in or if you have important time sensitive information. When you call a station and receive no response, it is not necessary to advise "no contact". The failed response speaks for itself.
  • Breaking into an on-going conversation should be done with your call sign only. Stations engaged in a conversation on the repeater, should pause between transmissions. That polite pause will allow breaking stations the room to say their call sign.
  • Watch your manners and language on the repeater. Remember there is a large audience with scanners listening.
  • Repeaters are installed and maintained at considerable expense. If you regularly use a repeater, you should financially support the individual or club owner in their efforts to keep the repeater working properly.
  • Don't be afraid of doing something embarrassing on the air. We have all goofed up one time or another. Use of the repeater is intended to be fun, enjoyable and facilitate your becoming one of the good ham radio operators.
  • Please feel free to join any net on the repeater. Listen closely to net control directions regarding station check-ins. We want you to join in so we can get to know you better and you can get to know us better. Everyone is welcome and invited to participate in any repeater activity regardless of club affiliation.
  • As for acceptable language on the repeater, don't use words that would be embarrassing in church or in front of your mother, wife or anyone you respect. Using such language is disrespectful and is not proper conduct on the repeater. Even though you hear some people use inappropriate language, don't follow suit and perhaps your good conduct will beneficially influence someone else's bad conduct. Because of the large and basically unknown audience, we want to hold to a high standard of conduct that will reflect beneficially on our repeater, our club and Ham Radio in general. Also, don't forget there are young ears out there and we want to set a good example.
  • With all the new hams coming on the repeater, be sure to take time to say "HI" and make them feel welcome by inviting them to a club meeting. Help them any way you can and make them feel like you would want to be treated if you were the new ham!
  • Speak slowly and distinctly on the repeater. When ten minutes has elapsed, say your call sign to identify. You don't have to say, "for ID", it is understood.
  • Know where your microphone is at all times. Do NOT lay your microphone in the seat or put it in a position it can become unintentionally keyed. You would be surprised how embarrassing your conversation in automobiles or residences can be if your two-meter rig is unknowingly keyed and everyone listening to the repeater can hear your unguarded comments or conversations.
  • Use plain English, just like you are talking on the phone. Speak in a normal tone of voice and normal voice volume. Talk across your microphone, not directly into it, this will eliminate the breath sounds we all make. Ham radio Q signals are intended for CW work, not voice so use plain English. We are knowledgeable, licensed, courteous, professional and respectful ham radio operators.
  • If you are in doubt about some action or conduct, you probably should not do it until you ask, preferably off the repeater.

Emergency Use of the Repeater

  • If an emergency net is in progress, refrain from using the repeater for non-emergency communications. Ask the net control station for permission if you desire to use the repeater for communications not related to the emergency in progress.
  • If an emergency net or weather net is activated, check in and provide information as requested by the net control station.
  • Maintain a courteous, professional image. You may be working with or being observed by several different agencies. Extend every possible courtesy to served agencies, such as law enforcement, fire, medical, governmental, etc. make sure they know who you are and your communications capabilities.
  • Make sure to monitor your radio at all times and advise net control if you must be away for a moment.
  • Follow and obey net control instructions. Never abandon your assignment without advising net control.