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SRG Rules (policies)
What type of emissions are allowed on the repeater?
The repeater is for F3E emissions only, which is your (human) voice in FM, the standard mode for 2-meter repeaters.
All other emission types (transmitting) are not allowed; such as:
Computer generated traffic, such as voice storage (DVR track) beeps, CW, alarms or other signals from your radio.
F1, F2, SSB, which is continuous waves, tone modulated telegraphy and single side-band, respectively.
Digital, such as packet, APRS, DMR, Wires-X, IRLP, Echo-link, IPARN or other types of IP based systems, including "blue-tooth".
"Beacons", "roger-beepers", "echo boxes" or other unusual audio processing or other automatic IDer transmissions.
"Personal remotes", such as a user's cross-band radio. They are not appropriate and incompatible with the System.
FCC rules require that you have 100% positive control of your amateur radio station at all times.
If you have issues getting into SRG please contact SRG for possible solutions.
Note: There are some other conventional Clubs / repeaters occasionally do allow this type of operation when they are contacted beforehand.
However, cross-band stations work best for emergency, simplex work.
What can I talk about on the air ?
Anything that's fun, technical, other interesting subjects, or just the usual things to chat about.
This is what we do while being prepared for any (true) emergencies.
If you are wondering about this you might visit the ARRL and FCC sites under amateur rules.
The obvious undesirables (no-no's) are:
Politics (serious, long term discussions; does not include joking or razzing them)
Religion (serious, serious, long term discussions; same as above)
Profanity (occasional "this damn computer thingy" etc. is tolerated but not recommended).
Other words; F-word, S-word, etc., is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
However, some examples of the "gray area" would be humor / jokes; whether dark, weird or otherwise, is not considered profanity and can be used when appropriate with your group.
Another exception might be if you were in a major car accident, not being coherent and calling for help, saying "colorful" words, that is overlooked; considering the situation and urgency for your health and welfare.
Playing music is absolutely not allowed and is forbidden by the FCC.
Also, "patching" other services over the repeater, such as NOAA, Public Safety, short wave, etc. is not allowed.
It's also a good idea to confirm your mic gain (sensitivity) is not excessive and not picking up something in the background in the room / car you are operating in.
As with most U.S. governmental rules and people's interpretation of them; laws and regulations are left "open" for some people to use them in the "gray area". For example, some of the undesirables listed can be "touched" on in a humorous way, such as "I wish God would make it snow today".
This is understood as fun talk with a religious reference; but without preaching doctrine or other possible offensive contend to other people with different beliefs. Every person has a right to believe (or not) however, this subject and related activities should be avoided to any detail over the air. Amateur radio is a neutral medium/forum where-is, all ethnic background, religion, gender, age, military rank, civilian seniority, etc., is on neutral ground. Amateur radio operators are people, no more, no less.
Any other items not to say?
Yes, CB lingo is not appreciated on the system. Some of undesirables and poor language (being a "LID") are:
"10-4" (or any 10 codes) "on the side", "breaker-breaker" etc.
"QSL"; The appropriate term is "roger" or some other plain language.
"Q" signals are for CW/morse code operation and not for voice mode especially, on FM repeaters.
Your signal is normally good and clear therefore, using "Q" signals and phonetics is usually unnecessary, redundant and annoying.
Sometimes a "Q" signal will be said in joking only such as "I'm QSYing to the dinner table.
Actually, the intent of a remark like this is making fun (joking) of the mis-use of a "Q" signals.
Obviously, if your are not very readable and someone asks you for your call sign phonetically, that is fine and completely appropriate.
The word "Personal" can indicate something about your "privates" on your person therefore, is interpreted as something as R-rated.
If you are trying to tell your name, just say "my name is........".
Yes, the amateur radio term of "handle" is used and fine. Just keep in mind to use plain language; like how you would talk in person; is best.
Also, if you are joking and making fun of CB operations (or other idiots/"lids") for a very short time, that is understood.
Just don't make it a personal attack on any individual.
In the event you witness a mis-use please do report
that SRG via the contacts page.
If a control operator is listening that mostly likely is already being taken care of.
Otherwise, you could make a simple suggestion to that person on not to use CB language; just keep it light with no confrontations over the air.
Let's not create "geritol" or "drama" nets on the System, by keeping health issue discussions being drawn out for several minutes or more.
A brief mention, or making fun of drama people is fine, however.
The Author has heard bleeding-heart, depressing issues, like divorces, on-going health issues on other repeaters, which is a real turn-off.
We get enough of that rubbish on the TV channels so let's keep it fun and nice.
Having said that; if there's an injury someone got into or a loss of life (SK) or other welfare information to be said, that's fine to keep folks informed.
After all, that's our mission with amateur radio. When in doubt, ask a CO (Control Operator).
Your radio needs to be compatible with the System. These items will explain them to you below.
Does my radio sound ok?
It is good that you are interested in a quality signal both for transmit and receive.
The major 3 amateur radio manufactures, Icom, Kenwood and Yeasu generally make good radios. With any brand there are "lemons" to be aware of.
It's best to do your homework and ask around, check out ratings and evaluations on line, such as "EHam.net", etc before purchasing a radio.
Remember, you get what you pay for. Those cheap, Chinese radios have a wide range of quality control therefore, you could end up with a piece of junk.
For example, some of the TYT, Baofeng and Wouxun, Anytone, etc, radios generally are copies of the major brands mentioned.
Some have poor transmit audio which appears there is no easy "fix" to get them to sound right. You get what you pay for.
What other settings / technical requirements are needed for the System?
Again, it's good you are wondering. Your 2-meter radio needs to be set up, with ARRL standard offsets to work a repeater.
For example, in the 145 & 146 MHz area your transmit offset will be -600 KHz. For the 147 MHz area will be +600 KHz.
Your transmitter deviation limiting (maximum) is set at 5 KHz, which is "normal" wide-band for amateur.
(beware of the narrow band 2.5 KHz option on some modern radios.)
Your deviation average (modulation) should be about 3-4 KHz. Your transmitter pre-emphasis needs to be on (otherwise, you will sound muffled).
For some of the new radios the most common problem is excessive microphone gain.
This causes all your voice audio to be at the maximum deviation limit; thus, causing extreme audio distortion which is an annoyance for others to listen to and is a poor way to operate. Also, some "DMR" dual mode amateur radios and certain commercial radios use an audio compressor for transmit which is annoying to listen to and should be turned off, if possible.
Therefore, it is best to measure (and adjust if needed) your radio on the test bench. If you do this use a dummy load on a not-used frequency.
Testing on the repeater frequency is a bad practice. Even though you are on a dummy load your signal may still get into the repeater.
If you do not have such a facility your next best choice is to ask for a signal report from a control operator or qualified person on the System.
Don't rely on general "hams" to say if your signal is good or bad.
As a reminder; to get a technician class amateur radio license you don't need to be "techi" savvy (some just guess at the test answers) so anything goes in some cases.
Bottom line; get a signal report from a qualified person to be sure you are good-to-go. The Author or a CO is a good source for this.
FAQ Recommended reading.
Guidelines Optional good ideas and suggestions.
Access information Request page.
A note from the owner and President:
I hope you enjoy the repeater. It's taken many years to get it to where it's now.
'73, Karl Shoemaker, AK2O