FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions-for SRG


This is a dynamic list. It changes, based on general knowledge (or lack of) out there.
This is to help you. It is rather long. Read as much as you want; it's recommended to take the time to read and understand. It will improve your enjoyment on the repeater. CO's (Control Operator) are here to help if you need it, too. Questions (from you) are in blue, while the answers are in black.

For "home" (start over) click here.


Please note: Viewing with a "smartphone" may be challenging; it's best to view with a desktop computer with a larger screen.



Is this an open repeater?
Yes, in one word. It's for Public Service / emergencies and secondary use for hobbies and fun talk.

The repeater is controlled (for quality). What this means is pro active management such as this FAQ and other guidelines to make it a nice place to operate for you and the other users. Another is asking folks to register (free) so its known you have the correct access information. Things will go smoother that way. When you register please indicate if any information is sensitive, which will be protected (ie. phone number). It's SRG's mission to get folks on the System correctly (instead of half-hazard information from imperfect sources).

Is S.R.G. a club?
Yes, however, is very informal because of no SRG nets or meetings. There's no "stuffy robots", strict folks, politics or dictatorships are here. It's laid-back. Based out of Spokane, Washington, SRG is just an informal group that wishes to keep the hobby alive with a nice operation. In the past there were occasional annual barbecue-meetings to keep the mission of SRG focused. SRG is open to all suggestions.

Is this a bunch of repeaters linked together?
Short answer; NO. Long answer: you may be used to the Evergreen Inter-Tie, DMR, WIRES-X, Win System, AllStar, different nodes with different Clubs,owners, etc. SRG is different. It's ONE repeater on 147.20 MHz. This is the main access frequency. Having said this; yes, a second access frequency of 145.450 MHz has been added to help out with the 147.20 coverage. The coverage map illustrates this; showing the 20 and 45 access points (147.20 and 145.45).

What's a link?
The work "link" is an operational term (for most) and not a techincle term. Other repeaters may have a "link" that you turn on to connect to other repeaters/Clubs, etc, such as the Evergreen Inter-Tie. For SRG there is nothing to "connect" or turn on or off. Everything is one System and automatic.

Where is the repeater located?
Many locations. You may be used to knowing where a conventional repeater is located (site) so you can determine where you can get into it. SRG is different. Try to un-learn what you've experienced on other repeaters. Try to think of this is one repeater, with lots of coverage. It's understandable that you, the user, experiences a "repeater" being on the 147.20 pair. The repeater is based out of Spokane, with about twenty "towers" (sites) around Eastern Washington State to pick up your signal. These are referred to as "access points". They are associated with the nearest major city or town and not remote mountain top sites. This makes it easier for a traveler (not familiar with mountain tops) to know what city / town the coverage area is. The repeater is easy to figure out and operate. What's going on in the background is complicated however, and not needed to understand to get on the air. If you wish to get involved with SRG and its maintenance there is training available.

What does the repeater cover?
This coverage map should show you the coverage for SRG. The colors indicate the coverage area while the numbers are the frequency.

[20 coverage]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any coverage on the West side?
Not now. There used to be. Past parnter on the West side lost interest in his repeater therefore, sold it. However, it could return if someone on the West side could find a 2-meter pair for SRG; as one System.

How do I get into the repeater?
You request the (free) access information. Then you program your radio to transmit the correct offset and and tone; depending where you are. FCC requires you know what frequency you are on. Therefore, coverage areas are based on the nearest town/city (not counties or mountain sites). This also makes it meaningful for newcomers who probably know a town but not a site.

I have an old radio without tone. Can anything be done?
Yes, a couple of things. Without tone you can have limited access in the Spokane area only with a base station. Some of the access points are on carrier squelch for this purpose. Tone is required for extended access. You can also install a tone generator (encoder) in your radio. Communications Specialist is an excellent source. You will need to have some tools and know-how for the installation.

I have a new radio with all kinds of features, bells and whistles
Avoid getting "wrapped around the axle" with all the tone settings. The basic setup should be carrier squelch on your receive and tone on your transmit. No digital or other signaling is needed or desired.

Is that called "PL" ?
"PL" is a Motorola trademark meaning Private Line, which was developed before amateur repeaters, and is a misunderstanding. PL is a slang for CTCSS; continuous tone coded squelch system.

Does tone (or PL) mean a "closed" repeater ?
Absolutely not..! This is an OPEN repeater. Tones are to control interference and to select the various access points on the system. Hopefully, this FAQ clears up any misunderstandings from on-line repeater listings or other hearsay.

I saw a directory or on-line listing showing it "closed".
It appears some frequency coordination bodies consider a repeater "closed" if the access information is not published. That is not the case with SRG; the repeater is open and the information is available via a secure medium (keeps the ET's away). The directories normally call them "repeaters". SRG is different and it's "access points" provide coverage where you are. Also, beware some on-line directories may not be current. They have good intentions, that may work for conventional repeaters however, can not properly explain the System, nor have the manpower for that. You can use it as a general guide to see that a frequency is in use in that area, but that's about it. It's best to get all your information from this web site; right here.

I found the access info on my own, or in the repeater directory.
Bringing up the repeater does not mean you have the correct tone, or will get through. There are things happening in the background designed for interference suppression and to "hunt and peck" around with your tone selector only complicates the situation. It is best to request the access information.

I found x.xx MHz frequency I happen to be hunting around for on various bands and hear some of the same traffic as the 20 repeater. Some of these are in the repeater directory.
As a reminder, we have three VHF bands and three UHF bands for amateur use. (6, 2, 1.25, meters; 70, 35 and 23 centi-meter bands, respectively). These bands have "sub-bands" for auxiliary and linking usage. Other sub-bands are for (user) repeater in and outputs. The repeater's connection points use many frequencies on VHF and UHF. These are for support of the 147.20 repeater. Unfortunately, some frequency listings have left such link frequencies in the repeater directory, thus causing additional confusion and frustration. These administrators need to understand name "repeater directory" is self-explanatory, not to be confused with "linking directory", would make life nicer for repeater owners and users. It's an ongoing struggle to convince them of this simple fact.

Is the System available for emergency traffic? (For the real thing).
Absolutely yes. That's what the amateur radio service is about. For true emergencies contact SRG as soon as possible. Nets of any kind are normally not done on the System. Having said that; EOCs occasionally wish to use the System for a practice, perhaps once or twice a year. In some cases the System can be "adjusted" to accommodate most situations. If you are an EOC reading this please ask all your people to go to SRG web site, read this FAQ, then request the current access information for themselves. SRG provides reasonable accommodations for challenged folks, who don't have internet access. They can (US) mail the request, too. Operation will go more smoothly this way (instead of handing-off third and fourth-hand information).

I am monitoring the repeater but nothing is being heard (I want something to happen).
The next two answers are geared toward the very young operators who may be impatient. The repeater is not like a broadcast station which transmits a signal (with voice, music, etc.) all the time. During periods of no activity your radio will be silent with your carrier squelch. This is a normal condition for operating on the amateur FM bands. (lower HF bands with SSB/CW has that constant noise in the background during no activity).

If you wish to start some activity, just key up, say your call sign, along with something meaningful such as "monitoring" or "listening". If you just say your call sign some folks don't know your intentions. You should be clear and say what you want. Also, it's not like HF (calling CQ over and over). On a repeater that would be annoying to others listening but don't have time for a casual chat. If you are really trying to start a conversation something be patient. Or do something else; play on the internet, eat lunch, drive your car, etc. while monitoring the repeater.

Of course, if there's an emergency your first effort should be to call 911. Otherwise, if you are in the woods, for example, and out of phone range, then yes, get on the repeater with your call sign and ask for emergency help.

Tip:
When you want to access the repeater and key-up you also need to say your call sign, all in one step. Just keying up is inappropriate and technically illegal. Doing this is a bad habit called, "kerchunking" and should be avoided.



SRG Guidelines and Policy


What type of emissions are allowed on the repeater?
The repeater is for F3E emissions only, which is your (human) voice in FM, the standard mode for 2-meter repeaters.
All other emission types are not allowed; such as:

  • Computer generated traffic, such as voice storage (DVR track) or other signals from your radio.

  • F1, F2, SSB, which is continuous waves, tone modulated telegraphy and single side-band, respectively.

  • Digital, such as packet, APRS, DMR, Wires-X, IRLP, Echo-link, IPARN or other types of IP based systems.

  • "Beacons", "roger-beepers", "echo boxes" or other unusual audio processing or other automatic IDer transmissions.

  • "Personal remotes", such as a user's cross-band radio. They are not appropriate and incompatible with the System. FCC rules require that you have 100% positive control of your amateur radio station at all times. If you have issues getting into SRG please contact SRG for possible solutions.
    Note: There are some other conventional Clubs / repeaters occasionally do allow this type of operation when they are contacted beforehand. However, cross-band stations work best for emergency, simplex work.

    What can I talk about on the air ?
    Anything that's fun, technical, other interesting subjects, or just the usual things to chat about. This is what we do while being prepared for any (true) emergencies. If you are wondering about this you might visit the ARRL and FCC sites under amateur rules. The obvious undesirables (no-no's) are:

  • Politics (serious, long term discussions; does not include joking or razzing them)

  • Religion (serious, serious, long term discussions; same as above)

  • Profanity (occasional "this damn computer thingy" etc. is tolerated but not recommended). Other words; F-word, S-word, etc., is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

    However, some examples of the "gray area" would be humor / jokes; whether dark, weird or otherwise, is not considered profanity and can be used when appropriate with your group. Another exception might be if you were in a major car accident, not being coherent and calling for help, saying "colorful" words, that is overlooked; considering the situation and urgency for your health and welfare.

  • Playing music is absolutely not allowed and is forbidden by the FCC. Also, "patching" other services over the repeater, such as NOAA, Public Safety, short wave, etc. is not allowed. It's also a good idea to confirm your mic gain (sensitivity) is not excessive and not picking up something in the background in the room / car you are operating in.

  • Causing interference

    As with most U.S. governmental rules and people's interpretation of them; laws and regulations are left "open" for some people to use them in the "gray area". For example, some of the undesirables listed can be "touched" on in a humorous way, such as "I wish God would make it snow today". This is understood as fun talk with a religious reference; but without preaching doctrine or other possible offensive contend to other people with different beliefs. Every person has a right to believe (or not) however, this subject and related activities should be avoided to any detail over the air. Amateur radio is a neutral medium/forum where-is, all ethnic background, religion, gender, age, military rank, civilian seniority, etc., is on neutral ground. Amateur radio operators are people, no more, no less.

    Any other items not to say?

    Yes, CB lingo is not appreciated on the system. Some of undesirables and poor language are:

  • "10-4" (or any 10 codes) "on the side", "breaker-breaker" etc.

  • "QSL"; The appropriate term is "roger" or some other plain language. "Q" signals are for CW/morse code operation and not for voice mode especially, on FM repeaters. Your signal is normally good and clear therefore, using "Q" signals and phonetics is usually unnecessary, redundant and annoying. Sometimes a "Q" signal will be said in joking only such as "I'm QSYing to the dinner table. Actually, the intent of a remark like this is making fun (joking) of the mis-use of a "Q" signals.

    Obviously, if your are not very readable and someone asks you for your call sign phonetically, that is fine and very appropriate.

  • The word "Personal" can indicate something about your "privates" on your person therefore, is interpreted as something as R-rated. If you are trying to tell your name, just say "my name is........". Yes, the amateur radio term of "handle" is used and fine. Just keep in mind to use plain language; like how you would talk in person; is best.

    Also, if you are joking and making fun of CB operations (or other idiots/"lids") for a very short time, that is understood. Just don't make it a personal attack on any individual. In the event you witness a mis-use please do report that SRG via the contacts page. If a control operator is listening that mostly likely is already being taken care of. Otherwise, you could make a simple suggestion to that person on not to use CB language; just keep it light with no confrontations over the air.

    Other tips:
    Let's not create "geritol" or "drama" nets on the System, by keeping health issue discussions being drawn out for several minutes or more. A brief mention, or making fun of drama people is fine, however. The Author has heard bleeding-heart, depressing issues, like divorces, on-going health issues on other repeaters, which is a real turn-off. We get enough of that rubbish on the TV channels so let's keep it fun and nice.

    Having said that; if there's an injury someone got into or a loss of life (SK) or other welfare information to be said, that's fine to keep folks informed. When in doubt, ask a CO (Control Operator).


    Technical requirements


    Your radio needs to be compatible with the System. These items will explain them to you below.

    Does my radio sound ok?
    It is good that you are interested in a quality signal both for transmit and receive. The major 3 amateur radio manufactures, Icom, Kenwood and Yeasu generally make good radios. With any brand there are "lemons" to be aware of. It's best to do your homework and ask around, check out ratings and evaluations on line, such as "EHam.net", etc before purchasing a radio. Remember, you get what you pay for. Those cheap, Chinese radios have a wide range of quality control therefore, you could end up with a piece of junk. For example, some of the TYT, Baofeng and Wouxun, Anytone, etc, radios generally are copies of the major brands mentioned. Some have poor transmit audio which appears there is no easy "fix" to get them to sound right. You get what you pay for.

    What other settings / technical requirements are needed for the System?
    Again, it's good you are wondering. Your 2-meter radio needs to be set up, with ARRL standard offsets to work a repeater. For example, in the 145 & 146 MHz area your transmit offset will be -600 KHz. For the 147 MHz area will be +600 KHz. Your transmitter deviation limiting (maximum) is set at 5 KHz, which is "normal" wide-band for amateur. (beware of the narrow band 2.5 KHz option on some modern radios.) Your deviation average (modulation) should be about 3-4 KHz. Your transmitter pre-emphasis needs to be on (otherwise, you will sound muffled). For some of the new radios the most common problem is excessive microphone gain. This causes all your voice audio to be at the maximum deviation limit; thus, causing extreme audio distortion which is an annoyance for others to listen to and is a poor way to operate.

    Therefore, it is best to measure (and adjust if needed) your radio on the test bench (using a dummy load) and the proper test equipment. If you do not have such a facility your next best choice is to ask for a signal report from a control operator or qualified person on the System. Don't rely on general "hams" to say if your signal is good or bad. As a reminder; to get a techician class amateur radio license you don't need to be "techi" savvy (some just guess at the test answers) so anything goes in some cases.

    Tip: If you are an "old timer" (like the Author) you may be used to government / military / aircraft radios where it is necessary to hold your microphone real close to your mouth. Amateur radios are not designed for close contact with your mouth. Try to unlearn this and keep the mic 1-2" away. Also, to avoid the "pitter-patter" and breath noise a simple cure is talking across the mic instead to straight into it. When in doubt ask a qualified operator (or CO) for a signal report.

    Tip: The remark "radio check" generally means you are only checking your radio (and identifying as you should) but do not need a response from anybody. If you want a response (signal report, for example) make your intentions clear and ask for just that.


    Other Q & A


    I learned we should not "tie up" the repeater for local stuff and go to simplex.
    Perhaps you have been ridiculed on other repeaters by tying up the frequency for conversations lasting more than a few minutes or read about that in ARRL or other publications? Or perhaps you have been told it's for emergency traffic or drills only?

    For SRG that is not the case. There is not enough traffic on SRG to be concerned with, like some other repeaters. SRG promotes coverage in Eastern Washington. One way to accomplish this is to use the repeater. That way everyone can hear what's going on. Who knows, maybe someone out of town might be interested in listening, or even want to join in. If there becomes a time when it gets too busy SRG will address a change in this answer. In the meantime, we could use some activity, so you are welcome to stay on the System. Some typical conversations can go on for an hour or more.

    Having said this, if you happen to be coordinating directions with another amateur and only a few blocks away or want to get into a "drama" thing, or want a low-key conversation, then yes, it's best to go to a another repeater or even simplex.

    Another, very minor issue is a "newbie" mistake to break in a conversation then getting nervous or intimidated and have nothing to say. We understand that. Perhaps that's why many folks like "nets" whereas, one "checks-in" then can just listen to the rest of the traffic. SRG promotes individual opinions, comments and fun conversation.

    I don't get a courtesy tone (roger-beep)
    Asking this indicates you come from the "newer school". That's okay. When a station is done transmitting and unkeys, there is the familiar squelch burst heard by others on the repeater. A beeper for every transmission is redundant, unnecessary and even distracting from real important indicators that might be noticed on the repeater. Rather than to have an "electronic leash" SRG relies on your responsibility of leaving a second or two "gap" between transmissions in case someone needs to get in. In the future "beepers" (actually "eepers") might be used to show status of unusual conditions, such as a link up, or emergency power, etc. where real attention may be needed.

    After I unkey, I get a long tail. Do I need to let it drop out each time?
    No. The long tail saves the repeater from being up and down during a normal contact/conversation to avoid the (second) annoying squelch burst in your receiver. The other reason the repeater has a delay when it first comes up. To avoid this delay the output carrier is designed to stay up during contacts. Just give a second or two pause between transmission and you should be fine. In the event that you did transmit continuously for over 3 minutes the repeater would time out and the output carrier would drop and stay off, until you stopped transmitting. In that case the repeater would reset, telling the others the repeater did reset by the output carrier coming back up. One way to avoid this is to set the TOT (Time-Out-Timer) on your radio to limit to something less than the 3 minutes figure the repeater functions. See your radio's manual to set the TOT. Of course, for the older radios not having this feature will rely on your operator skills to avoid time-out.

    The repeater was in use, so I couldn't use it. And I was afraid to "break-in".
    This is not an interruption, especially if you have something constructive to add, or need to make a quick call to another station. The other stations should be able to respond to your break-in and help you. Remember when you are in contact with another station (perhaps a family member) you are subject to monitoring and possibly a breaking station wishing to get in as well. Just drop your call sign between transmissions. The only way to have a private, uninterrupted contact is with a cell phone, but that's not amateur radio.

    I can't get a word in edgewise.
    It's true some groups get going in fun, snappy, quick, razzing comments back and forth to each other and you want to join in. You may be used to HF communications, with (simplex) transceivers that respond to quick transmissions. Not so in this case and can be a problematic area. There are delays from when you press your PTT to the point others hear your signal. Therefore, it is a good practice to "key" and pause for a second before talking.

    This is also misunderstood; that you do not need to talk fast. But you need to start transmitting (PTT) right away, only during trying to get in. Listen for the squelch burst and give your call sign. The squelch burst occurs when the other station unkeys. Remember, a simple single word, such as "break", "comment" or "contact" may not be heard. Tip: Rather than using the word "contact" (this is not a 75-meter SSB net) it's better just to give your call sign.

    Another tip:
    If you suspect your transmission is being cut off or not completely heard here's a suggestion: As soon as you hear that familiar squelch burst (last person just unkeyed) say some "preamble" (such as "here is") then your call sign. This is especially true when the repeater is idle and you are the first station to bring it up. That way if the delay cuts off your first part (of "here is") the rest will get the other's attention (not to key up over you) and most likely your call sign will get through, which is the intent. To illustrate this you can view the timing chart for the System.

    In some areas I receive interference, almost like another repeater on the same frequency.
    Near Ritzville, Chelan, Davenport, South of Manastash pass and upper SR97 are "overlap" areas. This may be that you are hearing more than one of the 147.20 transmitters. To reduce this issue is very expensive however, if enough demand (and support) to clear these areas up, it is possible. The FM "capture affect" is relied on for these areas. This means the stronger (and closer) System transmitter will override the other transmitter that's further away from you. Also, try switching to the .45 pair; which was installed to help with this issue.

    Keep in mind the System was designed for station in "normal" areas, being on highways, home or other lower level areas. Just like a "cell phone service" subscriber unit (you, the user) won't work well when you are up high in some areas. This is because you will be receiving more than one System transmitter. You can still use the System, at any rate.

    Which frequency do I use for my area?
    Refer to the chart below for the list of frequencies, which is only two; 147.20 and 145.45. The SRG repeater happens to cover a wide area, on the same (primary) frequency of 147.20 in Eastern Washington. The secondary frequency is to avoid the overlap areas. True, there are many transparent connection points and technical things happening when you press your mic button, but that is all automatic support in the background for the repeater's several transmitters and receivers (just put it in "drive" and go). The only change you make in your radio is the transmit frequency and tone for your area. Tones are designated to the nearby city/town, (not mountain top sites) covering your area . The coverage map will show these designations and will clarify this.

    It's hard to change tones/areas while driving along the highway.
    Here's a tip. Beforehand, program your radio with several positions on the same 147.20 frequency (with the proper offset) but with different transmit tones. That way you just move your dial to the next "area". You are really just changing "area" access on 147.20 (or 45). As a reminder, your receiver will need be on carrier squelch (no tone).

    Here’s an example what your radio panel/programming can look like:

    Knob pos: Coverage area Your radio label Your receive frequency Your transmit tone
    1 Spokane SRG SPO 147.20 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    2 Wenatchee SRG WEN 147.20 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    3 Omak SRG OMK 147.20 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    4 Yakima SRG YAK 147.20 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    5 Tri-Cities SRG TC 145.45 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    6 Colville SRG COL 145.45 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    7 Chelan SRG CHE 145.45 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    8 Spokane SRG SPO 444.70 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    9 Seattle SRG SEA TBD xxx.x Hz to be determined

    Position 9; you might want to leave a slot open for a possible Seattle access point (that-is if a pair over there can be obtained).

    Another way for your radio's position label could be:

    Knob pos: Coverage area Your radio label Your receive frequency Your transmit tone
    1 Spokane 20-SPO 147.20 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    2 Wenatchee 20-WEN 147.20 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    3 Omak 20-OMK 147.20 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    4 Yakima 20-YAK 147.20 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    5 Tri-Cities 45-TC 145.45 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    6 Colville 45-COL 145.45 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    7 Chelan 45-CHE 145.45 xxx.x Hz (write for this)
    8 Spokane 70-SPO 444.70 xxx.x Hz (write for this)


    I tried to get into the system but nothing is happening. There could be several things that cause this. Check you radio settings for proper offset and transmit signaling (tone encode) would be a good place to start. Another test is verify you can access another group's repeater to confirm your antenna is working. "Kurchunking" is not appreciated. To bring up the System (even if just testing) key and say your call sign (FCC requirement). The System is generally reliable however, if you witness something not working you are welcome to contact SRG either on the air or via email. For example, the Omak (input) receiver being at an off-grid site, needed new a new generator. Due to low membership funding was not possible until the fall of 2018 to repair that unit. If you can monitor the repeater the current System status is discussed occasionally.

    Gee, now I can call my spouse/SO anytime and it's free.
    This is not private telephone or cell phone. We all share the same frequency and privileges. We share this repeater like a "party line", therefore, expect others are listening (we hope so, in case you need help) and even might want to join in, or at least make a call during your contact. This is NORMAL and encouraged. Just keep in mind everything you or your spouse talks about can be heard most anywhere in the State and is public information. Therefore, everyone will know what's for dinner at your place and be showing up on your doorstep. (just kidding; about the doorstep!)

    Tip: Keep the personal problems or goody kissy-talk for in-person or your cell phone. We know you love your spouse; why else would you be married?

    Are there dues?
    Support is not required although very much needed. By supporting SRG financially it will a give a better chance for keeping the repeater running in the future years. Sites and equipment are expensive. When membership funding is low there is no money to fix something, which could last months or even years (as in the case of the Omak receiver).

    SRG is interested in accepting donations from folks that are not concerned about "how many contacts I can make for my money", rather just want to see the repeater stay on the air. If you cannot support this repeater you are still welcome for occasional use and of course, any "true" emergency traffic.

    I have a budget. How much should I send in?
    Amateur radio is a hobby, not a competitive business however, both have operating expenses to make it possible. With a quality repeater it takes more sites to do a good job of wide coverage therefore, costs more to operate. Annual membership of $50 will help with those costs. That is less than 14 cents a day for 24/7 availability for usage.

    If you stop and think what internet access, telephone (or cellular) service, movies or other treats; membership is a bargain. If it's a priority to help this repeater that shouldn't be a problem. If you have a true financial hardship lessor amounts will still help out and give you basic repeater access in Spokane on 147.20. Other repeater "clubs" around the area have several hundred "members" to support the their repeater. SRG is a very small Club, (in the 'red') therefore, the repeater owner has supplemented the expenses out of his pocket to keep the repeater going since 1976. Any Donation money goes to the maintenance/site rent of the System. Where to send funds are on the "contact page" on this site.

    I just bought a new little portable radio. How far does it work?
    This is a tough question to answer in a short paragraph. Portable (two-way) radios are a wonderful compromise of handiness and misunderstanding. Several members use them, including the repeater owner. You need to know of the limitations otherwise, they can be very handy, hence, the slang name came about as "handi-talki". A portable radio typically transmits 1, one-hundredth the power that a repeater transmits, so very roughly, if you are hearing the repeater very strong you probably can get into it.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Try to picture that the repeater is like the Sun. You can see it everywhere on one half of this planet, and many, miles out in space. Then use a flashlight to shine a light to someone standing on the Moon. Not going to work very well. This is an extreme example, but to emphasize the power difference between your portable and the repeater . Know the general coverage of the repeater you are working. It might surprise you or might disappoint you. This is not like a cell phone. Cell companies install dozens of "tower" stations around your area so at least one will pick up your weak signal. They have lots of money to spend. Hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most Clubs have a few hundred to play with. Private repeaters have less. Most repeaters have ONE site and you need to be close to that one site. SRG has several "receiving" antennas around Spokane so you can get away with a portable. However, there still are "dead-spots". The rest of the state has one "receiving" antenna (for each coverage area) therefore, you would be best to use a mobile running at least an ERP of +44 dbm with a good, outside antenna. (for math challenged folks that's more than 25 watts at 50 ohms). There's nothing wrong with experimenting, just keep in mind it is annoying for others to listen to a "scratchy" (noisy) signal from you lasting more than a few minutes.

    Does a 100 watt mobile get out 100 times (in miles) more than one watt?
    No. Power figure expressed in "watts" can be a another misunderstanding. "Watts" is normally a marketing thing to impress people. Most folks think of that light bulb they buy at the hardware store. We won't get into the (boring) math, but keep in mind a hundred-to-one power ratio is a lot less than you would think. Power figures are a result of "ohm's law", described in the A.R.R.L. radio amateurs Handbook. Logarithmic figures are more practical. More on that can be read here

    I had an unpleasant experience on the repeater.
    In the event you witnessed a hostile event, personal attack or otherwise mis-treated please contact SRG as soon as possible. Send as much information in the email as you can for example, who was involved, times dates, etc. It will investigated to determine if this was intentional or an accident and take the appropriate action. In the event you monitored and interpreted a conversation as offensive please give input as well. To record the event would be very helpful, too. SRG wishes this to be a fun, nice place to be.

    This sounds all new and intimidating.
    Please feel at home. It's understood we all have to start somewhere and maybe make an "oops" once and in a while. You are not going to get your head bit off if you make any ignorant mistakes. We are not robots; just humans. If you monitor the frequency for a week or so, that might help you understand how things work on here. Most likely this FAQ answered all your questions you may had. There are not really any "stupid" questions. You are really "smart" to ask a question, so you will learn. Others listening on the frequency might learn, too.

    I noticed the "SRG Home" image on several areas on the site, here.
    Internet search "engines" have "spiders" that go out on the web and look at many documents on many sites (html documents) "key words" such as what you are searching for end up in the search engines "database" so the next time you search they come up with a brief description about the site "hit". Some of those "hits" are not complete paths to the proper site therefore, if you go there you sometimes will see only that specific document which might be confusing relevant to the site you are looking for. The SRG images are clickable and will get you back to the "main" home page as a starting point. An example, the image at the bottom of this page (html) "document" returns you to home.


    Okay, so, what in the world is "html" ?
    Hyper Text Markup Language. Your PC accesses web sites with an (IP)address (in your browser's address window). Those sites send back a file, in the form of text. To make the this site look better, and to control the way it displays on your PC, the "Hyper" has instructions given to your browser, in turn, your screen to accomplish this.


    Can I copy and "save" this HTML file?
    Sure. You know as well as others there is nothing to prevent anyone from "downloading" anything one sees on the Internet. But it was nice for you to ask. You can copy any documents on the SRG site. If you find any typos however, it sure would be nice if you let the owner know so he can correct it. On the tech "copyright" info, it can be copied in complete form with the Author given credit.


    I had a little trouble reading this FAQ. For example, is this question's font okay? If you don't like the font, please report that. Or perhaps, is this font better or bad? If the font type, size or whatever was not very compatible with your screen and/or browser you should contact SRG for adjustments can be made on the web site. Also, all upper case or bold type in a message or document is bad, since it losses any emphasis one needs to make. We care.





    Request for the access information.

    A note from the owner and President:

    I hope you enjoy the repeater. It's taken many years to get it to where it's now.
    '73, Karl Shoemaker, AK2O

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