Repeater Etiquette

The following information is a simple guide to courteous operation on repeaters, and comes from various sources, mostly direct from a page on QSL.NET and is not intended to be a “rule book”. If you operate by these simple guidelines, you will surely always be welcomed on many repeaters.

Although the W8LRC repeater is an OPEN repeater, we may ask you to cease using the LARC systems if these guidelines are not followed. Please remember that amateur radio transmissions can be heard by anyone with a radio capable of receiving those frequencies and the W8LRC repeater transmissions are also streamed, and recorded on the internet.

1.) Even ‘mild’ obscenities are not good operating practice. This includes suggestive phrases, and suggestive phonetics.

2.) Do not monopolize the repeater. If 90 % of the conversations for long periods of time, night after night, include you and one or two others, something is wrong. If other hams turn off their radios for big blocks of time because they can hardly talk to someone other than you, something is wrong. You do not own, nor single handedly finance the repeater. It is suppose to be a shared resource. Don’t drive other people off the air. You know who you are!

3.) If you feel compelled to interrupt an existing conversation, remember that it is no more polite to do so on the air than if you did it in person. Would you barge into a roomful of people engaged in a discussion without saying anything of interest? …or even worse, saying something completely unrelated to the topic of conversation?

4.) Ignore jammers and others who try to disrupt the repeater’s normal operation. Without any reaction from the repeater users, they will have no audience and probably go away in short order.

5.) If you are someone who is the subject of frequent interference, it may be a sign that you are aggravating people with your operating habits. This may be a sign that it is time for you to adjust your attitude and use of the repeater. This isn’t always the case, but history has shown that those who have the most trouble with jammers are the ones who have caused the most friction among the repeater users.

6.) Transmit your call sign when you first come on the air. Make sure you ID once every 10 minutes, but there is no need to identify too often. Ignore stations who break in without identifying.

7.) Don’t cough, clear your throat, sneeze, etc., on the air; Unkey your microphone first.

8.) Be upbeat and courteous. Don’t complain. This especially includes complaining about other hams, the repeater, or some aspect of the hobby. We all deal with unsafe and discourteous drivers, please don’t describe their actions to us on the air.

9.) Do not use the word “break” to join a conversation. It is not considered good operating practice and in some circles the word “break” is reserved for announcing emergencies. The appropriate amateur radio term is break-in. If you simply want to join in, just transmit your call sign.

10.) Promptly acknowledge any break-in stations and permit them to join the conversation or make a quick call.

11.) Do not use phrases learned on 11 meters such as “handle”, “making the trip”, “got a good copy on me?”, “the personal here is…”, “what’s your 20?”, “you’re giving me 20-pounds”, and other strange phrases which should stay on CB. Speak plain English. The less said about 11 meters on the air the better.

12.) The commuting hours (drive times) should be left to the many mobile stations who have limited time to converse. Home based stations should refrain from frequent or prolonged use of the repeater during these hours. The repeater is there to help extend the range of mobiles and portables, so be courteous and give them priority during commuting hours.

13.) Following a round table, or rotation format is the best way for 3 or more to participate. Don’t ignore people by not passing it to them for several turns.

14.) Some times we rely on courteous operators rather than courtesy tones. Provide a brief pause between transmissions in order to allow folks to join in. People breaking into a conversation should transmit their call sign when the current user unkeys. Do not wait for the repeater tail to drop.

15.) Please refrain from topics of conversation that you would avoid at large family gatherings such as, religious discussions, politics, or racial matters, as these have proven time and time again to just cause problems.

16.) Unlike cell phone systems and commercial repeaters, Amateur Radio Repeaters do not fund themselves. If you are a regular user, seriously consider your support by becoming a member of the sponsoring club or donating to the repeater fund.