Repeater Usage Requirements

Adopted February 19, 2016

The Coal Fields Amateur Radio Association (CFARA)) owns and operates many repeaters  This is an open repeater and its use is encouraged by all legally licensed amateurs.

The CFARA has existed a long time and consists of professional operators who know how to handle and pass emergency and non-emergency traffic.  This professionalism is due largely to their code of conduct on the air and what we will call "Proper Repeater Etiquette".  We must remember that not only will our repeater be heard by other hams in the area, but will also be heard by the general public listening in on scanners and other receiving equipment.  Our club is judged by what is heard on the air.  Individual operators and their on-air activity are also judged.

All amateurs using the CFARA repeater will be required to adhere to the following usage practices.  It is recommended they be used when talking on other repeaters as well.

Listen, Listen, and Listen

One of the best ways for new hams to become accustomed to the hobby is to listen to those who have been around a while. Always listen before you begin a new QSO.  Don't just turn your rig on and begin calling a station.  Be considerate!  There may be someone else using the repeater.  If you want to join a conversation, wait for a break, sign your call, and wait to be recognized and invited.  Most amateurs are happy to have others join in.  If you have an urgent need to use the repeater, say “break”, sign your call, and again wait to be recognized.  State your need to make a separate contact.  Users are expected to yield to any and all urgent or emergency traffic.  When you finish your contact, sign your call and turn use back to the original users.  Remember interrupting someone on the air is as impolite as doing it in person.

Identify Properly

Be sure to identify properly.  FCC Part 97.119 requires each station to identify at the end of a QSO and every 10 minutes during each QSO.


Transmitting without identifying is considered illegal!  Please do not "kerchunk" the repeater, it could be on a wide coverage system.  If you want to test your equipment do it legally by giving your call followed by the word "testing" (Example  W1AW  testing...).  Know where your microphone is at all times. You would be surprised how many embarrassing comments have been made when the mike is open without your knowledge.

Language on the Repeater

Bad language of any type including swearing, off color jokes, and/or any other inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.  Do not gossip.  If you have a complaint  about club business or a problem with another member, then contact that person and work out your difficulties!   Remember that others are listening!

Organized Activities

An organized activity such as a net or a training drill of any kind will take priority over any other regular/non-emergency repeater use!  When you know a net is about to begin, stay off the air so that "net control" can call the net.


Please use only the amount of power you need to effectively and clearly get your transmission out to the repeater.  FCC regulation 97.313(a) requires you to minimize the possibility of accessing distant repeaters on the same frequency.

Music over the air

Remember to turn down the music in the car when you decide to transmit.  Not only is music over the air unprofessional, but it is also illegal (FCC97.113).

CB vs. Ham Radio

Please remember that CB has its own language and therefore Ham Radio does as well.  When talking on the repeater, please use plain English not CB jargon!  Remember that we are still governed by FCC law

Be Courteous

While on the air, all club members should strive to be friendly!  Remember the times when you threw out your call over a repeater or asked for directions and no one answered?  Well, the only cure for this is our willingness to respond.

Prohibited Communications

The following communications are prohibited on the CFARA repeater:
  • Derogatory comments towards any person or group of people
  • Threats of any kind, veiled or otherwise.
  • Discussion of sensitive or questionable topics
  • Communications using inappropriate language, lingo, jargon, and other non-common language
  • Discussion of topics considered to be in poor taste for a public forum or resource
  • Discussion involving activities deemed illegal under Federal, State or Local Statutes
  • Discussion of activities meant to avert Federal, State or Local law enforcement efforts
  • Other communications that the control operator deems inappropriate and/or inconsistent with CFARA goals.

Disciplinary Action

NOTE: The frequencies used by repeaters belong to the public, but the actual repeater is private property.  FCC Regulation 97.205(e) states that limiting use of repeaters to only certain users is permissible.  Failure to follow any of the rules of the CFARA and the FCC regulations will result in repeater privileges and club membership, if applicable, being revoked.

If disciplinary action is required, as determined by the repeater trustee in consultation with CFARA officers, the following actions will be taken:

Initial Notice of Violation of the rules either verbally or by First Class Mail.
If violations continue, Final Notice will be sent by First Class Certified mail, Return Receipt Requested.
Notice to Permanently Cease Operation on the CFARA Repeater and membership revocation will be by Registered Mail.

Disciplinary action is permanent, final and non-negotiable.

Referral to Authorities

Copies of all documents pertaining to a Notice to Permanently Cease Operation on the CFARA repeater, sources,  and any background correspondence leading to the disciplinary action will be forwarded to the Federal Communications Commission.

This document may be revised as needed.