Repeater Operating Procedures

Repeater Operating Procedures

The Muncie Area Amateur Radio Club repeaters are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission and the users of said repeaters MUST at all times comply with ALL FCC mandated rules and regulations as put forth in Part 97.

IN ADDITION, beyond the minimum required by law, MAARC has established operating procedures to optimize the use of the repeaters and to define a level of quality operating practices representative of the club. While not all-inclusive, the following procedures establish a baseline for all repeater users to follow:

Station Identification - All stations should identify themselves using their FCC assigned call sign upon initially transmitting on the repeater and must identify at least once every ten minutes thereafter and at the end of a conversation as required by FCC rules (§97.119a). In addition, when operating in a net or "roundtable" your call sign should be announced more frequently as needed to facilitate efficient communication.

When initially coming on the repeater, when not previously in use (verified by LISTENING for a few minutes PRIOR to transmitting), it is only necessary to announce your call. If you are trying to contact a specific station, you should announce ... "K9XXX from WB9XXX".

If the repeater is already in use, please wait for a pause between transmissions to announce your call. ONLY USE THE TERM "BREAK" OR "BREAK BREAK" in an emergency or life-threatening situation. (If a station announces a single or double "break" the repeater is to be given to them IMMEDIATELY for their traffic.)

All stations using the repeater should pause after the previous station drops its carrier to minimize inadvertent "doubling" (simultaneous transmission) and to allow time for new stations to identify.

When a new station enters the roundtable, those stations using the repeater and the next station in rotation, should acknowledge the new station AND turn it over to them. That station should also indicate to whom the joining station should turn the repeater over to in order to keep the rotation intact.

Communication should be in plain language. "Q" codes and "10" codes are not required and their use should be minimized. Similarly, phonetics should be reserved for those instances when they are required (minimal signal/emergency traffic for example).

Extraneous Tones and Identifiers - Except when required for control or identification purposes, extraneous audible content should NOT be transmitted before, during or at the completion of a transmission.

Simplex vs. Repeater - If you are close enough to another station to hear them directly AND it is only the two of you communicating, move to a simplex frequency. It is not only courteous... IT IS REQUIRED BY THE FCC (§97.101b). Transmitting on the repeater OUTPUT frequency, while the repeater is operating is prohibited.

Auto Patch - When using auto patch (on those repeaters where it is available) always keep in mind, you are on a big party line. Always inform the called party of this fact to avoid embarrassment (to all). Again, only use the auto patch for its intended (non-commercial) purpose... if you can use a telephone, please do so.

Content - While certain topics and vocabulary are not "illegal" for commercial broadcasting, MAARC, as the operator of the club repeaters, DOES prohibit those communications that are considered to be in poor taste or a waste of the repeater facility (§97.101a). While the following list should not be considered all-inclusive, it will establish a baseline for behavior that is NOT PERMITTED by the club on MAARC Repeaters:
  • "Off Color" comments, sexual innuendo and ANY double- entendre. Derogatory or bigoted remarks directed at any group (gender, ethnic, racial, religious, sexual etc). 
  • "Bathroom Humor", If you wouldn't tell the joke to your ten-year- old child, don't tell it on the repeater.
  • Any activity in violation of FCC rules and/or any other Federal, state or local laws or ordinances (including, but not limited to: jamming, "stepping on", broadcasting of music, unidentified carrier etc).

         Note: Intentionally transmitting simultaneously with another station ("stepping on")
                   is prohibited by FCC regulation... even if the intent is good natured kidding
                   among friends... it is still illegal (§97.101d).

Remember, use of codes and ciphers is NOT permitted by FCC regulations (§97.113a4). If it can't be said in plain English, it probably should not be broadcast on the repeater.

Commercial Communication - you can, certainly, identify your occupation. However, if you are, for example, a car salesman, you CANNOT try to sell your wares on the repeater (§97.113a3).

Malicious Interference - When subject to interference which is clearly intentional, DO NOT RESPOND TO THE INTERFERING STATION. It not only provides encouragement, if the individual is unlicensed YOU would then be operating illegally. Make note of all pertinent information (date and time of occurrence, your location, fixed or mobile, if you can hear the interfering station on the input, was your signal heard above the interfering signal, type of equipment you are using) and contact the club leadership with the information.

Members who violate the above rules and procedures will be warned after the first offense. If the behavior recurs, steps will be taken, up to and including revoking the offender’s club membership, as provided for in the MAARC By-Laws, and reporting the offense to the FCC.

Proper and legal operating etiquette is 95% common sense. While the above limits on content are not all inclusive, they should make clear the type of communication that is NOT appropriate. In general, if what is being said could be construed as embarrassing or hurtful by a listener, it is probably NOT acceptable operating practice. Always err on the side of caution. When in doubt... DON'T.