Repeater Etiquette

  • Even ‘mild’ obscenities are not good operating practice. This includes suggestive phrases, and suggestive phonetics.
  • 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 supposed to be a shared resource. Don’t drive other people off the air.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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 amongst the repeater users.
  • 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.
  • Don’t cough, clear your throat, sneeze, etc., on the air; Unkey your microphone first.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Promptly acknowledge any break-in stations and permit them to join the conversation or make a quick call.
  • Always remember we have people listening or participating with wide ranging religious, political, or social views. Amateur radio is not the place to discuss such topics in any derisive or negative way. In other words, if you are discussing something with another ham, keep a positive tone or pick another topic when it comes to these areas. There are plenty of other useful things to talk about which will not risk causing dissension, and amateur radio is all about comradery.
  • 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.
  • Following a roundtable, 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.
  • Be courteous. 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 un-keys. Do not wait for the repeater tail to drop.

* Please limit your continuous use of a repeater to a reasonable length.

* While we want our repeaters to be active, it is discourteous to use a repeater to talk to someone who is within easy simplex range. If you can hear each other on the repeater input frequency, switch to a simplex frequency for that long-winded conversation. Similarly, don’t use a wide-area repeater if one with more local coverage will do.

* The FCC rules permit the use of amateur radio for transmissions of a technical or personal nature. Unfortunately, some amateurs use the repeaters to discuss what they don’t like about the actions of another amateur or a particular group. Such comments have no place on a repeater.