Good Repeater Etiquette

by - Charlie Schlieper, N5TD

¥ 1. Strive to be courteous to others. (With all the diverse personalities on-the-air nowadays, this can, at times, be trying.)
¥ 2. Accept breaks as normal occurrences in Ham RadioÑnot an intrusions to your 'private service.' (Some hams do not always exercise their best discretion in breaking into existing QSOs.)
¥ 3. Listen for a short time before you transmit on a repeater. (Use common sense on this one. Don't just switch over to a repeater channel from another frequency and immediately start transmitting unless your situation requires it!)
¥ 4. Limit your time on a given repeater to within reason. (This can vary a great deal and will depend upon the circumstance, but ragchewing for several hours straight is NOT recommended as a friendly practice!)
¥ 5. Talk to strangers once in a while. (Many hams, all good people, slip into a habit of not talking with anyone they don't already know when operating FM repeaters. They forget that this is not what they do when on HF!)
¥ 6. If you're a tight, efficient operator, you may be proud of yourselfÑbut there's a problem: when you're on the repeater, no one else can get in edgewise! (Every now and then, vary your timing to give others a chance to get in.)
¥ 7. If you're operating too loosely on a repeater with long gaps in between transmissions, do not be surprised if another operator suddenly uses the repeater! (They are completely within their rights, and have not committed any error. It is then your responsibility to politely inform them of any "GROUP ACTIVITY" involving the repeater at that time---parades, weather nets, i.e..)
¥ 8. If your area repeater has closed control or autopatch access codes, do not give them to others over the air! (If you are entrusted with such information, you are expected to treat it with discretion.)
¥ 9. You DO NOT have the right to assume your right to use the repeater is more important than others! (Under normal circumstances with an open repeater this is true! THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO CLOSED REPEATERS ! ! ! Just because you might be listening for a call does not give you the right to intimidate others into NOT using the machine.)
¥ 10. Strive to use acceptable language over VHF and UHF repeaters. (Controversial as it may seem, what is acceptable tends to vary from one part of the country to another, but placing some reasonable LIMITS on language helps set better standards for Amateur Radio.)
¥ 11. Use simplex channels when they make more sense. (Two cars traveling close together should NOT be using a REPEATER unless there is some compelling reasonÑlooking for another friend to join in, or the contact is going to be brief, etc.)
¥ 12. Do not be afraid to use the repeater. (That's why it's thereÑ-for YOUR use! No one should question your decision to utilize the repeater for a short to medium contact. For long extended visits following contact, changing to a SIMPLEX channel would be best. PLEASE help us help each other to remember that REPEATER ETIQUETTE can make a difference.)

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