Repeater Rules

AARO Repeater Rules of Conduct

Date: 02/05/2014

The AARO Board of Directors shall be responsible for making these Rules of Conduct for its repeaters. Further they empower the trustee and/or control operators to enforce them.

Ownership Statement

Alamo Area Radio Organization (AARO) has been assigned the Amateur radio call sign AA5RO by the Federal Communications Commission.

This AA5RO repeater, coordinated (Texas VHF FM Society) frequency of 147.380/443.875 MHz is owned solely by AARO and shall remain the property of AARO. AARO 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 AARO 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 Texas or federal laws related to property ownership. All rights to the repeater at all times shall remain solely with AARO.

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 coverage range repeater they become necessary.

The rules are pretty basic:

  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 AARO’s 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 you are there if they are listening.

  1. Avoid lengthy conversations, pause between transmissions. This in no way means keep the repeater quiet. On the contrary AARO put the repeater on the air to be used and we 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.

  1. Yield existing conversations to recognized activities: Weekly nets, RACES, Skywarn, etc.

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

  2. Do not use CB lingo/slanguage. Do not use “Q” codes and phonetics excessively. This is FM, not like HF so we all can hear you loud and clear, nor is it a general practice to speak in this way. 10-4 good buddy? QSL then.

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

  1. Selling items OTHER than ham related equipment is not allowed, nor is conducting any business. This is not only my rule but 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.

  1. Watch your language; the repeater is “G Rated” 24 hours a day. Sometimes slips happen. That being said there is a complete difference between an inadvertent slip and an intentional act. Most times all transmissions of the AARO  repeater are being electronically recorded and these recordings will be turned over to the FCC enforcement office, if necessary.

  1. If you hear stations jamming or interfering 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.

AARO’s policy: the AA5RO repeater is open for all to use, provided 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.

Here is AARO’s  policy: the AA5RO repeater is open for all to use, provided 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 the AARO repeater you must follow the rules. There are repeaters with more lenient rules than AARO’s 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 AARO repeater are uncomfortable for you and do not suit your personal needs or style we encourage you to try other repeaters or even try talking on simplex. We wish for everyone willing to abide by these simple rules to freely use the AARO repeaters. They will help us all get along and enjoy this wonderful hobby.

Please report interference and flagrant violations on the repeater to trustee@aa5ro.org