Please note: Viewing with a "smartphone" may be challenging; it's best to view with a desk top computer with a larger screen.
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 (transmitting) are not allowed; such as:
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:
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.
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. 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 repeater. Some of undesirables and poor language (being a "LID") are:
Obviously, if your are not very readable and someone asks you for your call sign phonetically, that is fine and completely appropriate.
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.
Let's not create "geritol" or "drama" nets on the repeater, 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. After all, that's our mission with amateur radio. When in doubt, ask a CO (Control Operator).
Your radio needs to be compatible with the repeater. 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 Anytone, 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. To make matters worse if you own ones of these, and it's got a problem, you won't know you have a bad signal because you don't have to listen to it.What other settings / technical requirements are needed for the repeater?
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). Any CTCSS (tone) signalling should be around 400 Hz deviation. The repeater will respond down to around 150 Hz however, being that low will loose an headroom for other issues such as a noisy path. Anything higher in deviation will start to distort one's voice and sound annoying. 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. Also, some "DMR" dual mode amateur radios and certain commercial radios use an audio compressor for transmit which is annoying to listen to and should be turned off, if possible.
Therefore, it is best to measure (and adjust if needed) your radio on the test bench. If you do this use a dummy load on a not-used frequency. Testing on the repeater frequency is a bad practice. Even though you are on a dummy load your signal may still get into the repeater. 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 repeater. Don't rely on general "hams" to say if your signal is good or bad. As a reminder; to get a technician 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.
Bottom line; get a signal report from a qualified person to be sure you are good-to-go. The Author or a CO is a good source for this.
FAQ Recommended reading. Guidelines Optional good ideas and suggestions. Access information Request page.
FAQ Recommended reading.
Guidelines Optional good ideas and suggestions.
Access information Request page.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