East Kootenay Amateur Radio Club, Inc.

VHF Repeater Guidelines and Good Operating Practices:

All amateur radio operators are welcome to use the EKARC Amateur Radio

Club, Inc. 2 meter repeaters. The rules that govern our service require good

amateur operating practices. Our club membership, the repeater board, and the

trustee have approved the following guidelines and repeater operating practices.

We encourage you to follow these guidelines when using our club’s repeaters.

This will make the use of our repeaters more enjoyable for everyone.

Use plain English and avoid jargon. Use plain language on a repeater.

There is no need to use slang or jargon. FM repeater communication is

essentially as clear as a telephone call. Q-signals, pro signs and phonetics are

not necessary for most FM operation.

Content of communications. We are all familiar with types of communications

which the rules prohibit, such as music, codes and ciphers, criminal activity,

false signals, broadcasting, retransmitting radio signals, and obscenity and

indecency.  While we support freedom of speech, we need to remember that

there are many listeners of all ages who monitor our repeaters. Our language

 should be courteous and sensitive to the considerations of all listeners, free of

expletives,and suitable for family conversations. Use language suitable for

 prime-time television, not R rated movies.

We also ask all users to avoid on-the-air conflicts about controversial topics. If

the debate starts getting vehement, change the subject, or continue it off-the-air.

For many years, hams have followed a “rule of thumb” that it is not a good idea to

discuss sex, religion, and politics over the air.

Identify correctly.  rules require a station to identify every ten minutes

and at the end of a QSO. Repeating the other station’s call sign and your call

sign following every transmission is not necessary. Never transmit without


Making contact with another station. If the repeater is quiet, just sign your call

or say your call followed by the word “listening.” Anyone on the frequency will

know that you are willing to accept calls from any other station. Nothing else is

necessary. Don’t call CQ to begin a conversation on a repeater.

If you’re in conversation, a brief pause before you begin each transmission

allows other stations to break in – there could be an emergency. Don’t key your

microphone as soon as someone releases theirs. If your exchanges are too

quick, you can prevent other stations from getting in.

To join a conversation in progress, transmit your call sign during the pause

between transmissions. The station that transmits next will usually acknowledge

you. If you are in the midst of a conversation and another station transmits his or

her call sign between transmissions, the next station in line to transmit should

acknowledge the new station and permit the new arrival to make a call or join in

the conversation. It is impolite not to acknowledge new stations, or to

acknowledge them but not let them speak. The calling station may need to use

the repeater immediately, so let him or her make a transmission promptly. Don’t

use the word “break” to join a conversation, unless you need to use the repeater

to help in an emergency.

Testing and signal reports. If you are unsure how well you are making it into

the repeater, DO NOT kerchunk the repeater. Any time you key up the repeater,

you should identify, even if you are just testing to see if you are making the

machine. Keying the repeater without identifying is illegal. Do not use the

repeater as a "target" for tuning or aiming antennas, checking your transmitter

power, etc. Use a dummy load where appropriate, or test on a simplex

frequency. If you need someone to verify that you are making the repeater OK,

ask for a “signal report.”

Emergencies. To make a distress call over a repeater, say “break, break” or

break for priority traffic” and then your call sign to alert all stations to stand by

while you deal with the emergency. DO NOT USE THE WORD BREAK TO JOIN

IN A QSO UNLESS THERE IS AN EMERGENCY! All stations should give

immediate priority to any station with emergency traffic.

Usage. Keep transmissions on the repeater as short as possible, so more

people can use the repeater. Be considerate of other users, and don’t tie up the

repeater unnecessarily for long periods of time. Don’t overuse the repeater – it is

a shared resource. The repeater is not a soapbox. If you’ve been using the

repeater for quite a while, consider getting off and letting others have an

opportunity to use it, or if possible, move your conversation to a simplex

frequency.  Our repeater is considered an emergency resource and as such

 requires monitoring by other home stations.  Overuse and insensitive

conversations will force these monitoring stations to turn their radios down or even off.

The best way to determine if you are able to communicate with the other station

on simplex is to listen to the repeater input frequency. If you can hear the other

station’s signals there, you should be able to use simplex.

If other amateurs are asking to make calls during a QSO, it is a very good

indication that there are other users waiting to use the repeater. Even if there are

not other stations asking to make calls during a QSO, or if other users are invited

to break in but chose not to, there is still a very good possibility that there are

other users waiting for the QSO to end so they can make a call. Many amateurs

are reluctant to interrupt an ongoing QSO to make a call; they may feel that the

call they want to make is no more important than the QSO already in progress.

Being a wide-coverage system, many mobile stations and travelers use the

system to communicate over a wide distance while on the road. The VE7CAP

repeaters have been built at considerable expense and hard work to provide this

wide-area service. One of the purposes of our repeaters is to expand the range

of mobile and hand-held transceivers.

VE7CAP is NOT a closed repeater system. It is an open, user-friendly and

visitorfriendly and very wide coverage system. Local and visiting amateurs who

are not members of the East Kootenay ARC are welcome to use our repeaters.

Those who use our repeaters frequently are encouraged to consider joining our

club or making a donation to help support our repeaters.

Shutdowns. A control operator may shut off the repeater either due to a violation

of the VE7CAP repeater policies, violations of Industry Canada regulations, or

flagrant disregard for "good amateur practice". A shutdown should be taken as a

hint that something was wrong, either with the conversation or with the operating

practices. Shutdowns are often done in lieu of direct personal intervention by a

control operator as it avoids the situation from becoming a personal


If you have any questions about the East Kootenay Amateur Radio Club, Inc.

repeaters, feel free to contact any member of the repeater board or Joe Reiberger,

VE7CLJ, the President of the club.


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