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Repeater Etiquette
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Tri-State Amateur Radio Association maintains a repeater on 146.76 MHz with a tone of 131.8. The repeater is open for use by all licensed amateur radio operators.

Repeater Do's and Don'ts

------- DO -------------------------

Identify at the beginning, end, and every 10 minutes.

When identifying your station, say your callsign slowly so those monitoring can interpret your call.

When your are in conversation and 10 minutes has lapsed, just say your callsign without saying "for ID". Giving your station callsign is in fact, identification.

Know where your microphone is at all times. You would be surprised how many embarrassing comments have been made when the mike is open without your knowledge.

Listen for at least 15-20 seconds before transmitting. Don't just turn on your radio and start talking.

Use plain English. Just as if you were talking on the telephone

Speak in a normal tone of voice. Also, know the special characteristics of your radio and microphone. Some "mikes" are "hotter" than others.

Discourage those people who are compelled to dead key the repeater, or try to hack the repeater codes, by asking the offending transmitting party to identify themselves any time you hear them going about their dubious activities.

Talk across your microphone, not into it. This will alleviate all the breath sounds we naturally make.

Use as little power as needed to solidly hit the repeater. It is not necessary to run 50 or 100 watts to talk on the repeater.

If you are going to change frequencies, kindly tell us where you are going. Someone may want to talk to you there if the repeater is crowded.

If you are in the basement, on low batteries, or in a known bad position, don't try to transmit unless it is an emergency. Nine times out of ten, all that happens is it just "kerchunks" the machine. Most people assume it is just another person trying to play with the machine.

------- DON'T -------------------------

Use Q-signals. Terms like QSL or QSY etc., are to be used only on cw. Remember, talk as if you were on the telephone.

Say "roger". We are not commercial air traffic controllers, the police or 11 meter operators. However, the term is used when receiving Formal Traffic

Use CB terms or gestures. We are knowledgable, licensed, courteous and respectful to the hobby radio operators.

Get on the repeater asking for a signal report. Remember, you are talking through a system that amplifies your signal. If you want to test your radio, make contact on the repeater, and ask the other party to go to simplex. That is a much more accurate testing method.

Talk on the repeater if you are in sight of each other, or know you are in simplex range. Remember, there are others who are wanting to use the repeater, and it is very annoying when you are sitting there talking about waving to each other.

Use "BREAK" to enter a conversation. This is very poor protocol on amateur radio. "BREAK" is only acceptable on public safety and 11-meter frequencies. Although "BREAK BREAK" is the recognized emergency call, amateurs still recognize "BREAK" as "I need to speak now, it is important." Simply give your call to enter a conversation.

Quick key the mike so fast that a breaking station cannot get into a conversation or pass emergency traffic. This makes it very difficult to join in.

Break into an on-going conversation and quickly change the topic, addressing only one operator in the conversation. Remember, talking on the radio is the same as talking in real life. Remember your manners. If you need to have a long conversation with one person in a group conversation, ask that person to "move" to another frequency.

The proper way to say good bye, is to say 7, 3 not 73's

All of these topics have been covered before in the basic study guides that you bought to study for your initial ham exams

Finally, the last rule and our favorite rule, "If it feels wrong, it probably is, DON'T DO IT."

Autopatch Use:

When you want to use the patch, say your call and that you would like to use the patch and let the machine drop to see if you are not interrupting anyone. Then, go ahead and use the patch.

Always inform the party you are calling that you are using the patch, and to observe good manners, and the fact it is NOT a private conversation.

When you are finished using the patch, identify, and clear as normal with third party traffic.

DO NOT use the phone patch for ANY business related activities. This is simply illegal.

Remember the phone patch is not a cell phone. If there is a phone near by, use it. It will not have a 3-minute limit.

Don't be afraid to bring the patch down if another amateur is having problems doing it, or is out of range.

Using 911:

If you see an emergency situation, DO NOT be afraid to use the 911 phone patch.

Calling 911 on the phone patch is just like using it from any phone. Dial 911 on your DTMF pad.

You do not have to be a TARA club member, or know the repeater codes to use the 911 phone patch. If you are not able to knock the patch down, it will time out automatically.

Just like any other emergency situation, be accurate, short, and to the point. Dispatchers at 911 have been educated regarding our use of the 911 phone patch.

(Example when calling) "I am an amateur radio operator calling on a radio phone patch. I have an injury accident at Main and Woodland. One of the vehicles is smoking." Then let off the mike to see what further information they need. Do not hang up until after the dispatcher hangs up. After the dispatcher has hung up, clear the phone patch as you would normally do.

If someone ever brings up the 911 phone patch, and does not identify, or say anything, please inform 911 that it was an accidental call, and apologize. Do not hesitate to knock down the patch on a phony 911 call.

Remember:

It is okay to make a mistake. You are, after all, human. If you make a mistake, usually the best thing to do is to admit it, learn from it, and not let it happen again. You will find that other amateurs are forgiving, and everyone learns from someone with a good attitude.

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