Dexter's Youngest Amateur Radio Operator

The W8SRC Repeater Code of Conduct
Version 1.2.1
Date: 09/15/2017

The repeater owner who is also the trustee can alter or make exceptions to this Code of Conduct at any time, for any reason, with or without prior notice. I will make every attempt to post the Code of Conduct in a timely manner online at the W8SRC repeater website.

Ownership Statement

Stuart Carlson of Dexter, Michigan has been assigned the Amateur Radio Callsign W8SRC by the Federal Communications Commission. He has applied and been granted authority to operate as a trustee of an amateur radio repeater located in the city of Dexter, MI.

This W8SRC repeater, found on the coordinated (Michigan Area Repeater Council) frequency of 446.150 MHz, is owned solely by an individual and shall remain the property of Stuart Carlson unless directly conveyed by him by sale, gift, or other legal property transfer by written instrument. The W8SRC repeater is affiliated with the Southern Michigan Repeater Network (SMRN) and is often linked to the SMRN link system. Stuart Carlson from time to time may be provided technical, financial, equipment, or other support by the repeater users or other persons. Such support is understood and deemed by Stuart Carlson and any such party to be a gift and does not create nor transfer any property interest of any kind to any such person with respect to any aspect of repeater property. Also, the repeater users by virtue of their use of the repeater, shall not be deemed to have been conveyed or transferred in any form any property interest in the repeater under applicable Michigan or federal laws related to property ownership. All rights to the repeater at all times shall remain solely with Stuart Carlson.

Why do we need rules at all for repeater conduct or etiquette?

No one likes a bunch of arbitrary rules, but when you have a shared resource, like a wide-area coverage repeater, they become necessary. We all tend to assume that everyone knows the generally accepted rules. But, that could be careless of us and unfair to those who want or need to have a clearer definition of the expectations and requirements. It can also create discord when repeater users offend others by unknowingly breaking some unwritten rule. Activities that may be an irritation or even a flagrant violation to one person might not be an issue at all to another. It's probably best for me to be clear about the rules that I really think are important. It is not my intent to define every action allowed or disallowed but to provide the guidelines for proper etiquette and give some “breathing room” to previously established, as well as new and exciting, uses of the repeater.
I completely understand that everyone slips once in awhile, no matter how hard we try. But, I expect all users of the W8SRC repeater to do their very best to follow these rules of repeater conduct. Conduct on the repeaters should be governed by common sense and courtesy. 

Here are the rules:

1. Always identify yourself according to the regulations. This means every ten (10) minutes and at the end of your transmission. This is not only my rule; it is also required by our license. It never hurts to give your station's call sign more than less. It helps other users know that you are there if they are listening.

2. Avoid lengthy conversations; pause between transmissions. This, in no way, means to keep the repeater quiet. On the contrary, I put the repeater on the air to be used, and I am very happy when it is busy.  It does, however, mean that we all should remember to leave pauses for those to have their say.  This helps for those on the remote base and especially EchoLink.

3. When using EchoLink or the remote base, identify yourself often. I often have the repeater connected to other systems via EchoLink or the remote base. Feel free to connect to other EchoLink systems.  If you are an authorized Control Operator, then feel free to connect to other local repeaters/simplex frequencies via the remote. Please don't forget that there are operating limitations of the repeater equipment. So, try not to connect to many busy nets. The equipment will last longer and I will not have the expense should something burn up.

4. Yield existing conversations to recognized activities: Skywarn, weekly nets, news bulletins, etc. Please remember that this is a shared communications resource.

5. Do not engage in political soap boxing or in any personal antagonisms. SMRN is firm on this rule; you will be warned and if you continue you may be asked to leave the repeater.

6. Do not use CB lingo/slanguage. Do not use “Q” codes and phonetics excessively. This is Amateur Radio, not CB, MURS, FRS, or GMRS.  Furthermore, this is UHF FM, not HF.  

7. Always yield the frequency to a breaking station (any station with emergency traffic). The pro sign "break break break" has a very specific meaning on ham radio. If you hear it, then give them the frequency. If you use it, then remember the importance of its use. Ham radio has saved many lives, and you never know when it may need to save yours.

8. Selling items OTHER than ham related equipment is not allowed, nor is it conducting any business. This is not only my rule, but it is also a prohibition against our license. As Amateur Radio operators, we are prohibited from gaining any pecuniary benefit from our operation of our amateur radio stations. When in doubt, take it off the air.

9. Watch your language; my repeater is "G-Rated" 24 hours a day. As stated above, sometimes slips happen. That being said, there is a complete difference between an inadvertent slip and an intentional act. More often than before, all transmissions of the W8SRC repeater are being electronically recorded, and these recordings will be turned over to the FCC enforcement office. I'm not kidding.

10. If you hear stations jamming or interfering, then do not make any comment; ignore them. Do not antagonize those interfering! This is not going to make them stop; it also puts your license at risk as well.

11. Transmitting touch tones to gain control of repeater functions is allowed only on the user level. If you are an authorized Basic or Advanced Control Operator, then you automatically gain access to those respective functions.  Please first identify your station; then, state the function or feature that you wish to access; then, enter the access code. If, however, your touch tones are solely to cause interference to users, this behavior is strictly prohibited! This includes ANY transmission intended to disrupt communications between users. Such conduct will be reported to the FCC enforcement office, and recordings will be provided to enforcement agents. Again, I'm not kidding.

12.  Cross-banding this repeater to another band on any frequency, other than the legal remote base frequency of 53.000 MHz, or anywhere in the 222 MHz band (with a PL tone if necessary) is strictly prohibited!  If you are cross-banding elsewhere, you are violating the FCC rule of auxiliary control above the 2-meter band (except for 53.000 MHz).

My policy: the W8SRC repeater is open for all to use, provided that you follow the rules in using it.

Part 97, officially called Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97 (47 CFR Part 97), is the body of rules which governs the Amateur Radio Service.

What gives the owners and trustees the right to tell someone how to operate?

All repeaters have rules. These rules often go beyond Part 97. And, users who refuse to comply with the repeater’s rules can be told to stop using the repeaters. This is entirely at the judgment of the repeater owners or trustees. FCC Rule 97.205(e) says, "...Limiting the use of a repeater to only certain user stations is permissible." There are no qualifications - ifs, ands, or buts - to this rule. This isn’t just the right to close a repeater. In fact, the ARRL says, "...a repeater does not have to be listed as being "closed" in The ARRL Repeater Directory in order to have a limited access." (Source: The ARRL’s FCC Rule Book) The terms "open" and "closed" don’t appear in the regulations at all! All repeater users must follow the rules of the repeater.

Again, my policy: the W8SRC repeater is open for all to use, provided that you follow the rules in using it.

Nothing could be fairer. The ARRL says it clearest of all: "A repeater is not a public utility - you don’t have a "right" to use it. When you are using someone else’s repeater you are, in effect, a visitor in the owner’s station. So, you should conduct yourself accordingly. If you use that station in a manner that the owner finds objectionable, that person has every right to revoke your privilege of using it!" (Source: The ARRL’s FCC Rule Book)

Each station owner is responsible for the operation of their equipment. They must always meet the FCC defined rules, and may also implement a more stringent set of rules for the operation of their equipment. To use my repeater you must follow my rules. There are repeaters with more lenient rules than mine are and some which are much more restrictive. Beyond the FCC minimum requirements, it's up to each repeater owner to set their own operating rules. A repeater user needs to try to fit in. If the rules for the W8SRC repeater are uncomfortable for you and do not suit your personal needs or style, I encourage you to try other repeaters or try talking on simplex. I wish for everyone willing to abide by these rules to freely use my repeater. They will help us all get along and enjoy this wonderful hobby. 

Please report interference and flagrant violations on the repeater to [email protected].

I sincerely welcome you and hope that you have many enjoyable conversations on the W8SRC repeater. 73!

Portions of this document were extracted from other repeater owners' versions. Imitation is the highest form of flattery. That being said, I in no way wish to infringe upon any copyright material held by any person. Please contact me if you are the holder of any copyright material found on this webpage at the above listed email address. I have made every attempt to modify this document as my own personal work product, and so, therefore, I am asserting my own copyright claim to this specific document and its modified content.

Copyright © 2017 Stuart Carlson, W8SRC; Dexter, MI.  All Rights Reserved.