The purpose of this page is to provide GMRA repeater users with a brief synopsis of repeater operation procedures. They have been extracted from the Operating and Bylaw Manual (see below) provided to each member upon joining the Association. This summary can be used as a quick reference guide for members, and to acquaint visitors and potential members with our repeater etiquette.
The GMRA Board of Directors do not believe that it is necessary to establish a rigid set of rules, regulations and policy for the use of the repeaters since this would tend to minimize the enjoyment derived from Amateur Radio in general. As licensed operators you are already aware of the required FCC Rules and Regulations. All repeater users are expected to follow FCC Rules and Regulations at all times when using our repeaters. Because our repeaters are located near the Capital of the United States, our repeater transmissions are monitored by many people, including those who regulate, enforce and oversee Amateur Radio frequencies and operation. It is essential, therefore, that our repeaters be utilized in a manner which reflects the highest standard of operating practices.
Priority 2 - Public or community support. (May be in conjunction with Priority 1)
Priority 3 - Routine calls, exchanges, autopatches etc.
Board of Directors
The GMRA Board of Directors (consisting of a President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer), shall have the control and general management of the affairs and business of the Corporation and they may adopt such rules and regulations for the conduct of their meeting and the management of the Corporation as they deem appropriate and not inconsistent with these bylaws and the laws of the State of Maryland. The Board of Directors meet once a month except in the month of the annual meeting, at a place at time which is mutually convienent. Special meetings may be called as necessary. Attendance at the monthly meetings is normally restricted to members of the board, however repeater control operators which assist the board with technical or other duties, are invited and encouraged to attend. As per the bylaws, any member of the association which wishes to attend a monthly board meeting, may do so after contacting the board president and requesting permission. (See Bylaw Manual below for additional information.)
The GMRA Board of Directors normally meets on the last Tuesday of every month at 1930 hours, except as noted above. The minutes from each meeting (starting with January 2011), are now available by clicking here.
Repeater Licensee/Trustee and Their Control Operators
Although the repeaters are owned, operated and maintained by GMRA and it's membership, by FCC regulation, each repeater must have a designated Licensee or Trustee (for club callsigns). The callsign of the licensee or the club callsign is used to identify the repeater and the Licensee or Trustee is responsible for the proper operation of the repeater. To assist them, Control Operators are selected to monitor the repeaters and advise users of prohibited transmissions and/or illegal operating procedures. The primary purpose of a Control Operator is to assist; not criticize nor censor exchanges. The latter is especially important.
FCC regulations governing Prohibited Transmissions states: No Amateur station shall transmit any communications the purpose of which is to facilitate the business or commercial affairs of any party. Additionally, No station shall transmit messages for hire or for material compensation, direct or indirect, paid or promised. Thus, under no circumstances will any business or commercial calls be allowed. It is important that stations think carefully before making any call which may possibly considered in any way as a business call. (FCC Rules & Regulations Part 97.113 Prohibited Transmissions and Report and Order PR Docket 92-136 refer.)
Basic Procedures for Repeater Operation
Using the repeater for the first time, especially for newly licensed Amateurs, can be an anxious moment. Relax. If you follow the simple basic procedures you will enjoy the full benefits of the repeater. Listen to the exchanges for a few days to learn the hang of it. To begin with, the repeater has a timer that deactivates the repeater following 3 minutes of continuous input signal. To reset the timer for another 3 minutes, it is only necessary to unkey your microphone, wait for the reset dual tone and continue your transmission. Most Amateurs limit their transmissions to under the 3 minute time limit. However, from time to time, the limit is exceeded and you will hear an announcement that the repeater has timed out. When the Amateur finishes his/her transmission and releases their microphone, another announcement will state that the time out timer is canceled. To read about calling techniques that have stood the test of time, members should please consult the GMRA Operating Manual.
The GMRA Operating and Bylaw Manual has detailed information about the club's repeaters and other operational rules and procedures, and be downloaded by clicking the above link.
EchoLink - The 146.610 repeater is connected to other repeaters around the world 24 hours a day via the "Voice-Over-Internet" (VOIP) protocol. While operation on EchoLink is somewhat similar to normal repeater operation, there are some special procedures that should be adhered to. Please click HERE for Echolink details and operating procedures.