[LarrysList] Good Operating Practices during band openings on Repeaters

Larry Staples larrystaples at mac.com
Thu Jun 16 13:57:45 CDT 2016

It is very plainly stated in our rules and regulations that we must do our utmost to not interfere with another station.  We are told that we must in all cases use the least amount of power necessary to maintain a contact, so that we will limit the range that we might interfere with other operators.
Today we had another 2m band opening.  During storm season it is going to be common to see tropospheric ducting between our repeater and our friends running a similar repeater in Mountain Home, Arkansas, running on 146.88 PL 103.5.   There is nothing wrong with stations on either side of this duct to attempt to contact the other when it occurs.  Please be respectful of your local users when doing this, and please keep these attempts brief so that local operators on either side are not inconvenienced.  Most of the day to day operations at each end are local communications, and by definition there is no attempt to contact the other side of a long duct, and no need for high power.
Today I heard a couple of new hams talking about the mixing that was occurring on our repeater from a strong station in Arkansas and I noticed that their response to this was exactly the opposite of what should have happened.  They figured that they needed to override the station that was doubling, so they decided to go to high power.   Think about this.  Now the problem got worse... now the Warrensburg guys would be interfering with the Mountain Home repeater each time they transmitted.   Imagine what could happen if this caused the good people in Arkansas to think they needed to run high power to override us... pretty soon the frequency would become a squawking and howling mess of stations TRYING to override each other.   Ooops... there is that Part 97 again, demanding that we not intentionally interfere with another station.
This is not a shouting war.  The correct response on VHF repeaters during a band opening is to reduce power to the minimum necessary to hold your local repeater.   You should know what that number is, since you should have been practicing it all along.   
Cary Altman, KBØHV
President and Public Information Officer,
Warrensburg Area Amateur Radio Club, Inc. (WAARCI - a 501c3 Tax Exempt Charitable Organization)
pio at waarci.org , president at waarci.org , kb0hv at kcmarket.com

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