WB1GOF Repeater Rules of Conduct

A copy of the Repeater Rules of Conduct can be downloaded here

The WB1GOF Repeaters Rules of Conduct
Date: 01/06/2014

The repeater owners or trustees can alter or make exceptions to these Rules of Conduct at any time, for any reason, with or without prior notice. We will make every attempt to post the Rules of Conduct in a timely manner online at the PART website, www.wb1gof.org.

Repeater ownership statement
The Police Amateur Radio Team (PART) of Westford Massachusetts has been assigned the FCC callsign WB1GOF. The club has appointed a Trustee of the WB1GOF callsign. PART, through its membership, has allowed the WB1GOF callsign to be used on the three amateur radio repeaters located in the Town of Westford. The three WB1GOF repeaters (including all hardware and associated components with each repeater), found on the coordinated (New England Spectrum Management Council) frequencies of 145.330 MHz, 146.955 MHz and 442.450 MHz, are owned solely by individuals who are considered the “owners”. PART from time to time has provided financial support to the repeater owners. Neither PART, nor its members by virtue of their membership status, has any ownership rights to the repeaters.

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. We tend to assume that everyone knows the generally accepted rules. But, that could be careless of us and unfair to those who want or need to have a clearer definition of our expectations and requirements. It can also create discord when repeater users offend others by unknowingly breaking some unwritten rule. Activities that may be an irritation or even a flagrant violation to one person might not be an issue at all to another. It's probably best for us to be clear about the rules we really think are important. It is not our intent to define every action allowed or disallowed but to provide the guidelines for proper etiquette and give some “breathing room” to previously established as well as new and exciting uses of the repeaters.

We understand that everyone slips once in awhile, no matter how hard they try. But, we expect all users of the WB1GOF repeaters to do their very best to follow these few simple and obvious rules of repeater conduct. Conduct on the repeaters should be governed by common sense and courtesy.

The rules are pretty basic:
* Always identify yourself according to the regulations
* Avoid lengthy conversations, pause between transmissions
* When using EchoLink, identify yourself often and do not “park” on a connection
* Do not interrupt existing conversations unless you have something meaningful to add
* Yield existing conversations to recognized activities: RACES, Skywarn, Sunday Night PART net, etc.
* Do not engage in political soap boxing. Do not engage in any personal antagonisms.
* Do not use CB lingo/slanguage. Do not use “Q” codes and phonetics excessively.
* Always yield the frequency to a breaking station (any station with emergency traffic)
* Selling items OTHER than ham related equipment is not allowed
* Watch your language; our repeaters are "G-Rated" 24 hours a day
* If you hear stations jamming or interfering do not make any comment, ignore them. Do not antagonize those interfering!
* Transmitting touch tones to gain control of repeater functions or to cause interference to users is prohibited! This includes ANY transmission intended to disrupt communications between users.

Our policy: the WB1GOF repeaters are open for all to use, provided you follow the rules in using them. 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 our policy: the WB1GOF repeaters are open for all to use, provided you follow the rules in using them.

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 our repeaters you must follow our rules. There are repeaters with more lenient rules than ours 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 WB1GOF repeaters 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 our repeaters.

Please report interference and flagrant violations on the repeaters to repeater@wb1gof.org.

We welcome you and hope you have many enjoyable conversations on the WB1GOF repeaters. 73!

Portions of this document were extracted from other repeater owners versions with permission. Thanks to those folks!