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Recommended Repeater Operating Procedures
Use simplex wherever possible freeing the repeater for necessary uses.
Monitor the repeater (listen) or determine if the repeater is in use and if there are any peculiarities in its operation. After listening for a few seconds, identify, un key and listen to see if it was quiet for a reason and to allow someone to let you know if there is a reason not to continue (low audio, low signal strength, etc). Then, if all OK, proceed.
Don’t break into a contact unless you have something to add. Interrupting is no more polite on the air than it is in person. Interruption without identification constitutes malicious (and illegal) interference.
Use the minimum power to key up the repeater. To make contact, simply indicate that you are on frequency. For example "VE1ZZZ monitoring". Do not kerchunk.
Remember Amateur Radio transmissions are being monitored by many non-hams with scanners. Be mindful of your language and your manners. Please don't bring disrepute on the Amateur Radio Service.
Repeaters are intended to facilitate mobile and portable operation. During rush hours, base stations should relinquish the repeater to commuting mobiles. Some repeater owners have strict rules requiring this.
Keep transmissions short and thoughtful. Do not monopolize the repeater. Pause between transmissions to allow other Amateurs to identify themselves if they wish to use the repeater. Pausing also allows the timer to reset, avoiding a "time-out".
Identify legally. In Canada that means at the beginning and end of a contact and every thirty minutes of operation.
Repeaters are installed and maintained at considerable expense and inconvenience. Regular users of a repeater should financially support the individual or club owner in their efforts to keep the repeater working properly.
Many repeaters are equipped with autopatch facilities which, when properly accessed, connect the repeater to the telephone system to provide a public service.
Because of past abuses, use of the autopatch is often restricted by the local repeater owners, but may be available to visiting Amateurs on a courtesy basis. Never use an autopatch to avoid a long-distance call, or for any commercial purpose. Even if your use is marginally legal, the repeater owner has the right to terminate your call.
Listen for a few seconds to see if the repeater is in use, then identify, un key and listen to see if it was quiet for a reason and to allow someone to let you know if there is a reason not to continue (low audio, low signal strength, etc). Then, if all OK, proceed.
To use the autopatch, first identify yourself "VE1ZZZ for the autopatch", key in the autopatch access code and the telephone number you are calling. Keep your call short to avoid "timing out" the repeater. You may have to remind the person you have called that you can't hear them when you are talking. Keep the call brief.
When your call is completed, key in the autopatch OFF code, and identify again "VE1ZZZ clear of the autopatch".
Linked Repeater Operation
Permanent Linked Repeaters
Where repeaters are permanently linked, your transmissions will be heard on the outputs of all the linked repeaters.
Operation of a permanently linked repeater is the same as a normal repeater, except that the coverage is much greater.
Code Access Linked Repeaters
Linking codes are required to access the code access linkable repeaters.
To use a link, identify "[local repeater call sign], [your call sign]", and then key in the local repeater's link ON codes. When the repeater identifies, identify the repeater you wish to call "[distant repeater call sign], [your call sign]", and then key in the distant repeater's link ON codes. When that repeater identifies, you can then call any station in that repeater's coverage area.
You will be heard in the coverage areas of both the local repeater and the distant repeater.
When you have finished your contact, you should identify again, and then turn off the links in reverse order using the distant repeater's link OFF codes, followed by the local repeater's link OFF codes.