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posted Sep 5, 2013, 7:27 AM by Stones River
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     The rules that govern our service require good amateur operating practices.  Without further analysis, this is a vague term.  Since more hams use FM voice than any other communications mode, and there are more than nine thousand 2 meter FM repeaters in the United States, it is not surprising to find that good operating practices, have, in fact, been defined. This is a listing of "Good Operating Procedures" that we should all strive to maintain;

A good operator uses plain English and avoids jargon

     FM repeater communication is essentially as clear as a telephone call.  In addition to avoiding needless repetition, a key to good communication on fm repeater contacts is the use of plain English.  There is no radio-ese.  There is no appropriate jargon.  Q-signals, pro signs and phonetics are not appropriate for fm operation except in the most unusual circumstances.  Those circumstances exist when your signal cannot otherwise be understood.  Normally, before a signal deteriorates to that point, communication becomes impossible. 

A good operator identifies correctly

     FCC rules require a station to identify every ten minutes and at the end of a QSO.  Repeating the other stations call sign and your call sign following every transmission is the mark of a poor operator.  Most of us are acquainted with each other.  We often recognize each-other's voices without any further identification being necessary and when we meet each other in person, we address each other by our names rather than our calls.

There is no place on the repeater for no-contact reports

     When you place a call on the repeater, and a station does not answer, it is appropriate to place the call again.  The listening station may well be far enough away from a microphone that it takes a while to respond.  Allow the station time to respond.  On hearing no response, it is appropriate to announce your call sign. That lets other people who may be waiting for you to finish your calling attempts to know that you are done and they may proceed.  All that is necessary is the repetition of your call sign one time.  Remember;  Broadcasting is illegal. 

When you want to talk to someone on a repeater...

     it is appropriate to announce your call sign followed by the word "listening" or "mobile" or "monitoring".    Anyone hearing this on the repeater frequency will know that you are willing to accept calls from any other station.  Nothing else is necessary. 

Wide-Area coverage...

     Repeaters exist for the purpose of expanding the range of mobile and hand-held transceivers.  Once a contact is made on a repeater, your QSO is open for anyone to join in - so remember to allow time between transmissions for others to do so.  If you wish to have a relatively more private conversation, it is appropriate to move to a simplex frequency - or at least, another lower profile repeater that all stations involved in your QSO can reach. 
   The appropriate amount of time to use a repeater can vary during the time of the day.  For example; During commute hours perhaps two or three minutes is all that should be used... while off-hours, or even "middle-of-the-night" sessions would allow for longer QSOs. 

A good operator does not overuse the repeater.
     The repeater is a shared resource.

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