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Repeater Glossary

01 Nov 2003
Updated 03 May 2005

Here are a few definitions of the words and phrases commonly used as lingo on repeaters. This chart covers some of the basic "Repeater-Speak" and explains the terms heard on your local repeater.

Repeater Glossary
AutopatchA device that interfaces the repeater system with the telephone system to extend ham communication over the telephone communication network.
BreakerA ham who interjects his call sign during a QSO in an attempt to get a chance to communicate over a repeater.
ChannelThe pair of frequencies (input and output) a repeater operates on.
Closed RepeaterA repeater whose use is limited to certain individuals. These are completely legal under FCC Rules.
Control OperatorAn individual ham designated to "control" the repeater, as required by FCC regulations.
CORCarrier-Operated-Relay, a device that, upon sensing a received signal, turns on the repeater's transmitter to repeat the received signal.
Courtesy ToneA short tone sounded after each repeater transmission to permit other stations to gain access to the repeater before the tone sounds.
CoverageThe geographical area in which the repeater may be used for communication.
CTCSSContinuous Tone Coded Squelch System, a subaudible tone system which operates the squelch (COR) of a repeater when the corresponding subaudible tone is present on a transmitted signal. The squelch on a repeater that uses CTCSS will not activate if the improper CTCSS tone, or if no tone, is transmitted.
CrossbandCommunication to another frequency band by means of a link interfaced with the repeater.
DesenseDegradation of receiver sensitivity caused by strong unwanted signals reaching the receiver front end.
DuplexerA device that permits the use of one antenna for both transmitting and receiving with minimal degradation to either the incoming or outgoing signals.
Frequency SynthesisA scheme of frequency generation in modern transceivers using digital techniques.
Full QuietingSignal strength in excess of the amount required to mask ambient noise.
Hand-HeldA portable FM transceiver that is small enough to use and carry in one hand.
InputThe frequency the repeater receiver is tuned to: The frequency that a repeater user transmits on.
IntermodInterference caused by spurious signals generated by intermodulation distortion in a receiver front end or transmitter power amplifier stage.
Key-UpTurning on a repeater by transmitting on its input frequency.
LiTZLong Tone Zero (LiTZ) Alerting system. Send DTMF zero (0) for at least three seconds to request emergency/urgent assistance.
MachineThe complete repeater system.
Mag-MountA mobile antenna with a magnetic base that permits quick installation and removal from the motor vehicle.
OffsetThe spacing between a repeater's input and output frequency.
OmnidirectionalAn antenna system that radiates equally in all directions.
OutputThe frequency the repeater transmits on; the frequency that a repeater user receives on.
Picket-FencingRapid flutter on a mobile signal as it travels past an obstruction.
PolarizationThe plane an antenna system operates in; most repeaters are vertically polarized.
Reverse AutopatchA device that interfaces the repeater with the telephone system and permits users of the phone system to call the repeater and converse with on-the-air repeater users.
RPT/RAbbreviation used after repeater call signs to indicate that the callsign is being used for repeater operation.
SimplexCommunication on one frequency, not via a repeater.
Split SitesThe use of two locations for repeater operation (the receiver is at one site and the transmitter at another), and the two are linked by telephone or radio.
Squelch TailThe short noise burst of unmodulated carrier following each repeater transmission.
Time-Out-TimerA device that limits the length of a single repeater transmission (usally 3 minutes).
Tone PadA device that generates the standard telephone system tones (DTMF) used for controlling various repeater functions.

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