Common Sense Rules for using Ham Radio Repeaters

  1. Listen, listen and listen some more to make sure the repeater is not already in use before making a call out to someone. Give people enough time to pickup the mic or walk into the room to respond before calling multiple times in a short period of time. If they don't respond, give it a few minutes and try again.

  2. Identify with your call sign when you come onto the repeater if nobody else is talking to alert other users that you are there and available to talk to. It is also a good idea to give your location so people who listen via scanning devices know where you are and/or which repeater you are using.

  3. Give the repeater a chance to “drop” between transmissions. This allows the repeater time out timer to reset AND it gives other people a chance to get a word in edge-wise. Don't get in the habit of “shotgunning” the repeater and not give others a chance to comment on the conversation. This is especially important on a popular and busy repeater! Avoid lengthy transmissions, conversations and other activities that may tie up the repeater and keep it from being used by other people – SHARE!  Most repeaters have a 2-3 minute time out timer.  Just RE-key the repeater to reset it.

  4. Do not interrupt existing conversations unless you have something meaningful to add. Also yield your conversations to recognized activities such as RACES, ARES, Skywarn or a “net”.

  5. “Doubling” is also highly discouraged. Give the other guy a chance to talk! Keying up too quickly and covering up another user is just plain rude.

  6. Use plain English in speaking to others. Do not use CB radio lingo. Because FM repeaters have an amazingly “clean” sound to it, the use of a lot of verbal shorthand (like that used in CW operations, Q signals and phonetics) is usually discouraged.

  7. Emergency communications take precedence over all other communications on the repeater – if someone declares an Emergency, allow them to interrupt traffic. ALWAYS yield to emergency traffic.

  8. Discussions of selling anything other than ham radio gear is highly discouraged and is not allowed under FCC rules.

  9. Avoid political soap boxing. Do not engage in personal antagonisms. You can talk about pretty much anything on the repeaters – however, discussions about politics and religion are discouraged. Things can get personal very quickly. Users are expected to be polite, act like responsible adults and keep confrontation to a minimum. Watch your language, repeaters are “G-Rated” 24 hours a day.

  10. Report any UN-authorized use of the repeater to the repeater owner or person responsible for the operation of the repeater. Only licensed Amateur Radio Operators are authorized to use ANY radio repeater. The repeaters are usually open to any and all licensed Amateur Radio Operators.

  11. Jamming another user or the repeater is against FCC rules, common sense and simple social rules of adult conduct.

  12. Support your local repeaters, repeater owners and local clubs.

  13. Have FUN!

The ARRL says it clearest of all: "A repeater is not a public utility - you don’t have a "right" to use it. When you are using someone else’s repeater you are, in effect, a visitor in the owner’s station. So, you should conduct yourself accordingly. If you use that station in a manner that the owner finds objectionable, that person has every right to revoke your privilege of using it!" (Source: The ARRL’s FCC Rule Book)

I am sure there are a lot more guidelines and local rules but this should give you a general idea of what to expect from using the local FM two way Amateur Radio repeaters in the Chappell Hill area.