Tower Scanner Anderson Repeater Club, Inc. Tornado

 Madison County - Anderson, Indiana

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RECOMMENDED OPERATING PROCEDURE GUIDELINES FOR THE ANDERSON REPEATER CLUB REPEATER SYSTEMS

Every repeater and its users have a “personality” and preferred method of operation. As you listen to different systems you will notice a wide variety of operating practices that are viewed as “acceptable”. Each sponsoring club or system trustee has the right (and obligation) to determine the acceptable operating practices, language, autopatch usage, and other characteristics that they want to be identified with. The Anderson Repeater Club has developed over time a system “personality”, to be generally described below, that characterizes the way in which we want our repeaters to be utilized. They are as follows:

Identification:

1) We expect that a station identify at the beginning, end and every 10 minutes of a series of transmissions. Therefore, the initial keyup of the repeater must be accompanied by the user call. If you are testing to determine if you can “hit” the repeater you are expected to give your call once.

2) When you are called you should reply with your comment and your call. The response of “Hi Steve…What’s up?” isn’t acceptable. “WA9CWE this is KA9SYP…Go ahead” or “Hi Steve…This is KA9SYP” is correct.

3) When making a general call to see if anyone is around and wants to talk for awhile the identification “KA9SYP listening” or “This is KA9SYP….Anyone around?” is appropriate.

4) When in QSO with two or more stations you should identify at least once per 10 minutes, but not every transmission. Since only your call is required during your identification perhaps your call plus the call of the next station to transmit is appropriate. “WA9CWE and the group this is KA9SYP” is acceptable.

5) If you make a call and no one indicates an interest in talking or if a station you called does not reply it is not necessary to indicate that you got no reply. Anyone listening is aware that you didn’t get a reply, so “NO station heard….This is KA9SYP clear” is a waste of air time. Call another station or do not transmit further. In some cases when the repeater is very busy, or it isn’t clear that you aren’t going to call someone else or call the station again a comment “KA9SYP clear” is acceptable.

QSO’s In Progress:
1) A repeater is a big “party line” that allows anyone for a radius of at least 50 miles to hear what you say. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want others to hear. Additionally children are often in the car/shack of a monitoring ham, so don’t say anything “off color” or inappropriate for mixed company. Our Club will not tolerate vocabulary that isn’t suitable for all ages.

2) Family members are encouraged to utilize the repeater to keep track of one another. However, family business of a personal nature is best conducted on a simplex frequency or by telephone. Calls to check on the welfare of a family member are appropriate.

3) When in QSO with another station observe the “courtesy beep” plus a second or so to give others a chance to break in if necessary before you transmit. QSO’s of 10 minutes or longer should be broken up to allow other users to make calls or to identify.

4) When a QSO is in progress it is acceptable to break into the conversation and request an opportunity to call a specific station. If the station answers a thank you and QSY to another frequency is necessary.

5) Breaking into a QSO is best done by giving your call only “KA9SYP”. It is then appropriate for the next transmitting station in the QSO to recognize the breaker immediately and allow him to transmit. It is possible that his communication is of an urgent nature.

6) When completing a QSO the customary “73”, “Clear” or “QRT” is adequate to indicate you are finished. Comments such as “on the side” or other terms associated with CB operation is not appropriate on the ARC repeaters.

Priority of Communications:
1) The ARC repeaters are dedicated to public service and emergency activity. Therefore, EMA projects and emergency calls have priority over all other uses.

2) If you need to break in with emergency traffic identify with your call and the statement “emergency traffic” or something similar. Utilize an available base station to call police whenever possible.

3) Mobile and handheld users have priority over base station QSO’s which are more able to utilize simplex channels.

4) Autopatch use has the lowest priority except for emergency calls.

Emergency Communications:
1) An “emergency” is not defined the same by everyone. Therefore, we respect the judgment of the person on the scene to make that determination. Usually the time of day, location of the incident, person(s) involved and other factors help define the situation. Use your best judgment and common sense.

2) If you come upon an accident or other emergency and you determine that a call to a police or fire agency is needed consider the following:

      A) Can you stop at the scene without unnecessarily endangering you or your family?
      B) Can you determine what the situation actually is?
      C) Can you describe the location?
      D) Are there injuries involved or could there be?

3) Request that a base station call the police and relay to him the information from item 2 above.

4) If a base station is not available and the autopatch is used to contact the emergency service identify yourself and explain briefly that you are calling by amateur radio autopatch and that you cannot hear them while you are talking. Do not go into a lengthy explanation of the autopatch. Provide the following information:

     A) Your name.
     B) Location of the incident.
     C) Nature of the incident.
     D) Type of help needed.
     E) If you could not stop or are not at the scene say so.
     F) Indicate that they can’t call you back, but you will call them again shortly with an update if needed.

5) If you stop at the scene and make a call for help stay there until help arrives. If you are relaying through a base station keep that station updated with information as to the situation.

Autopatch:

1) Autopatch use is a very controversial subject within the Club. Some members would prefer that it not be on the repeater at all. Others recognize the benefit to emergency situations and prefer it be used for those purposes. Still others see it as a benefit of the repeater. Respect the wishes of all members and use the Autopatch system with discretion and common sense.

2) The autopatch is for use by Club members only (and licensed family members). An occasional courtesy patch for a ham passing through is acceptable as long as you realize you are fully responsible for all that is transmitted through the repeater. You are to control the system at all times. Do not give out the control codes.

3) Autopatches from a base station is not permitted unless it is an emergency.

4) Autopatches to a business to conduct business is not acceptable on the ARC autopatch. Even though now viewed as legal by the FCC we have decided that “ordering pizzas” is best done on a regular telephone.

5) If a regular telephone is available do not use the autopatch.

6) Membership in the ARC is not granted to those outside our County so that they can use the autopatch to avoid toll charges. Calls made from base stations outside the County are not permitted.

7) The Reverse Autopatch is to be used only for emergency situations. Calls by unlicensed persons that result in keying up the repeater are viewed as transmissions without a control operator in control and aren’t acceptable.

8) In order for an autopatch call to be made successfully the signal strength must be good. Occasionally when mobile the signal quality is adequate to bring up the system but location or conditions may quickly change resulting in loss of control. Make certain your signal strength is “full quieting” before attempting an autopatch.

9) When the repeater is in “Emergency Net” (Mode 4) the autopatch function is disabled. In other modes the function is available. Refrain from using the autopatch during “Controlled Net” (Mode 3) situations.

Willful Interference/Unlicensed Operation:

1) If you determine that transmissions coming over the repeater are of a willful interference or from an unlicensed person do not engage that person in conversation. Ignore the interference if possible or cease operation. Do not acknowledge the interference.

2) The membership has in place procedures for identifying and locating this type of offending station. If you are not a member of this team do not offer to help. All transmissions and comments are being made with a specific reason and plan in mind. Cease all transmissions and/or utilize direction finding techniques to locate the offender. All coordination and data collection are done on other frequencies or by phone. You can best help by noting times, names, locations mentioned, and recording the transmission.

Operating Practices:

1) It is always best to listen for a short time before transmitting. Some serious situations require immediate communications followed by standing by. Don’t transmit unless you know that nothing is going on.

2) Learn the sound of the “Courtesy Beep” in normal situations. If you hear something different assume that the repeater is not available for general use. For example a “Controlled Net” indicates that all communications is under the direction of a “Net Control Station”. All communications must be directed to that station unless he directs otherwise. In a “Weather Watch” mode normal operation is permitted.

3) Feel free to use the touch tone tester, information messages, and other features of the repeater. However, don’t overuse them, particularly during periods of the day that are usually high use.

4) Set a good example for new (and old) users by using the best of operating practices, being courteous to all, and respecting the rights of the other Club members.

5) If you accept for relay to a police or fire agency information about an emergency from a mobile station recommend that the reporting station stay at the scene until all questions have been answered. Ask enough questions yourself that you are confident you know the exact location and the nature of the problem.

6) The repeater controller has a 3 minute “time out timer” that shuts down the repeater after 180 seconds of continuous signal. If you transmit longer than 3 minutes you won’t be heard. The controller will notify you after you quit transmitting that you have timed out the repeater. Refrain from making long transmissions.

For further information or clarification contact a Club Officer or repeater Trustee.

Approved by the membership 7/5/1994.

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