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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Linking Repeaters???

John Pless (KG4BOD) on March 3, 2003
View comments about this article!

I belong to a local amateur radio club, and we have one 440mhz repeater. The new trustee of that repeater (who the club members voted to fill that position) has taken it upon himself to link our repeater to a 2-meter repeater about 40 miles west of town. That repeater is an ECHO LINK machine. None of the club members were asked, or consulted with about this.

This has resulted in our local 440mhz repeater being constantly tied up with out of town traffic. It's either hams from another part of our state going through the linked repeater, or it's hams in other states linked up through the ECHO LINK "chatroom system." Therefore, all the other club members can't use our own repeater to rag-chew on. Our repeater is now always linked into where ever our trustee feels like he wants to talk. He is regularly linked into an out of town machine to talk with his buddy who has moved to another state.

My question is this: Should the club members take up this issue and ask that any repeater linking be done only with a vote by the members? Should we make rules as to how our machine is used? The trustee has in the past made comments about how we are behind the times, and by creating a "linked" repeater, we are "with the times." How much control over a club machine should a trustee have? How much control should the members have? Thank you in advance.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Linking Repeaters???  
by K1MKF on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
My Repeater Association, which has approx. 40 members, has a Constitution that places 100% of the decision making in the hands of the Executive Board. The Board elects it's own members so therefore the membership has no voice. Check your Constitution

The holder of the callsign used on the reapeater, or the trustee if it is a club call, has a lot of say in how it is run and can certainly shut it down if it is not to his liking. He also has the ability to inform certain people that they are no longer allowed to use the repeater. That would also include the linking input to the repeater.

If this is just your opinion I suggest you lobby support for unlinking the repeaters before taking any action. It may be that the majority of the club wants the repeater linked. A compromise would be only linking at certain times when historically local use is at a minimum.
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by WA4MJF on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If the feelin' in the club is widespread that
the trustee is not goin' along with the club's
desires, simply get a FCC 605 and
appoint a new trustee. It only takes the
signature of an officer and the new trustee.

The ole trustee has no say in the matter.

As a trustee myself, I firmly believe that
I'm simply holdin' the ticket for the organization.
A trustee should be subservaint to the organization
and if he feels he can't or won't take their direction
he should give up his trusteeship.

73 de Ronnie
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by WA4MJF on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If the feelin' in the club is widespread that
the trustee is not goin' along with the club's
desires, simply get a FCC 605 and
appoint a new trustee. It only takes the
signature of an officer and the new trustee.

The ole trustee has no say in the matter.

As a trustee myself, I firmly believe that
I'm simply holdin' the ticket for the organization.
A trustee should be subservaint to the organization
and if he feels he can't or won't take their direction
he should give up his trusteeship.

73 de Ronnie
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by KA0MR on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
First the Trustee being new at the helm should have called a board meeting and discussed this. Never should a Trustee assume anything of this magnitude without concerning the board and discussing his desires.

But most important who's callsign is attached to the repeater site. That is who ultimatley has the power to make any hardware changes to the repeater. If it is a FCC issued club callsign the trustees name on the license now becomes the governing voice in this. If you have changed trustees of this callsign you are required to notify the FCC of this.

Also the designated control operator at the moment is the ultimate controller of the repeater. And that must be in writing as to who is the control operator designated at the moment any question arises concerning the operation of any station.

 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by KE4MOB on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds to me like you have let the dog run too far out on the chain. Perhaps it is just a matter of communication. I have seen instances where a person in a position will float a "trial balloon" on an issue and if nobody objects, he will then go ahead and do whatever he proposed and think he has the blessing of the group. You need to draw some boundaries for the trustee, and inform him as to what the club's goals are for the machine.

You indicate that the trustee did this without prior approval or consent, and that he may have done it primarily for his own use. That is more troubling, especially if club funds were used. If club funds were used, then that indicates a real lack of oversight among the club's officers.

On the other hand...at least the repeater is being used. It sounds like your club's repeater has filled a valuable niche in the area you serve. Perhaps you need another machine just to handle the non-linked traffic!

Don't get all bent out of shape over this. Remember, it's just a repeater.


Steve, KE4MOB
 
Linking Repeaters???  
by W3JXP on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
WA4MJF has it just right! If the majority of club members don't want the repeater linked and the current trustee will not do what the club wants. Then change the trustee. If the majority doesn't mind the linking and votes keep the linking, then majority rules and there is nothing you can do except bitch and make your self feel bad and take alot of the fun out of the hobby.

John Passaneau, W3JXP
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by K1MKF on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
KG4BOD said:

This has resulted in our local 440mhz repeater being constantly tied up with out of town traffic. It's either hams from another part of our state going through the linked repeater, or it's hams in other states linked up through the ECHO LINK "chatroom system."

KE4MOB said:

On the other hand...at least the repeater is being used. It sounds like your club's repeater has filled a valuable niche in the area you serve. Perhaps you need another machine just to handle the non-linked traffic!

My 2 cents:

It sounds to me like the repeater is only rebroadcasting the other repeater or the echolink with no local inputs. If that is so it's a waste of a resource. Now the local guys can't use it because it's busy "broadcasting". I don't think it has filled a valuable niche. Actually it has eliminated one.
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by KA0MR on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Also I might add it is a violation of Part 97 to link a repeater with another repeater without the written consent of the control operator of the repeater being linked to.

This is something these illustrious Echolink operators need to be concerned with as they connect various repeaters at THIER discretion.

Remember the repeater being linked has no control of what is done with the content coming from their site.

Maybe the repeater owner doesn't want his repeater linked out of the area. I listen a lot to these Echolink boneheads and it is obvious they have not gotten permisssion from the owners of the liked systems but they do it anyway. I have found with todays hams the instant gratification mentality supersedes the thought of check with the rules to see if it is legal to begin doing something. Why bother to check rules. The rules might prevent me from using the toy I just bought and waste all of my money.
 
Linking Repeaters???  
by RAD1OMAN on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
There is only one person that has final say on anything a repeater does, that is the licensee. The repeater is an extension of his station. If he/she does not agree on the actions of the club, then he/she needs to hand the job off to someone else or the club can just put up another repeater that does what they want (and that could also cause more problems then it solves).
Remember there is only one LICENSEE, but can be many TRUSTEES. I know of one club that has an executive committee that are called "trustees'" but the licensee has final absolute say. The trustee has say over the direction of the club, licensee has say over the direction of the repeater.
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by WA4MJF on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Rad, there is only one licensee on a club
ham license and that is the club. Likewise
there is only one trustee for the license.
Look up our call, W4RAL, on this site.


When you say that a club has several trustees,
that may mean in another sense, perhaps
financial. However, the FCC only recognizes
one trustee at a time for the
license (custodain for government stations).
The trustee may be changed at any time
by filin' a 605
with an officer's signature and the new
trustee's signature.

So in short, the club is the licensee!

73 de Ronnie


 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by N6HBJ on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
That man is being selfish and using "behind the times" as justification, which is not right. Do not let this person push you around.

Your club should INSIST that this is stopped. Not everyone wants to listen to Echolinlk 24 hours a day. If he is so interested in using Echolink, he can simply do it with his computer and log onto it that way to talk with his friend.

You guys need to speak up. It is YOUR machine (the club's) NOT HIS!

Mike
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by RAD1OMAN on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ronnie,
Look again, there is only one name on the license application, (well two if a club) and it is the licensees responibility to control, operate, run the repeater that has HIS call on it (while it may have a CLUB callsign, it is still linked directly to him) and if you cannot follow this, look up recent rulings regarding K7IJ and W6NUT. The members of the club that do not like the repeater being linked all the time can vote with thier feet. Put up another repeater, if the hardware is owned by the club, remove the current trustee and replace him.
If your W4RAL/R was transmitting on 156.8MHz, who do you think would get the call to fix it? the CLUB or the Licensee (you)? and if it was not repaired, who would the Commission come-a-lookin' for? the club or YOU?
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by KE4MOB on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To K1MKF:

Good point Mark. I hadn't thought of that perspective.

Steve, KE4MOB
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by WA4MJF on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Rad, I guess you've never been a trsutee.
The FCC contacts the trustee regardin'
ANY problem, that is why there is a trustee
(custodian for government stations). The FCC
wants a single POC. When you looked
up W4RAL you only saw one
Licensee CSC and one trustee me.


BTW, are you even a ham and if so why don't
you use your callsign?

73 de Ronnie



 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by WA4MJF on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Rad, I guess you've never been a trsutee.
The FCC contacts the trustee regardin'
ANY problem, that is why there is a trustee
(custodian for government stations). The FCC
wants a single POC. When you looked
up W4RAL you only saw one
Licensee CSC and one trustee me.


BTW, are you even a ham and if so why don't
you use your callsign?

73 de Ronnie



 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by WA4MJF on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Rad, there are THREE names on a club
605: 1- The Club 2 - the officer
and 3 - the trustee.

More and more I think you're talkin' about somethin'
about which you know nothin'

Have you ever been a trustee or
are you even a ham?

73 de Ronnie

 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by RAD1OMAN on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
My pedigree is simple, I am an Extra, I am the LICENSEE for TWO (2) club calls, one is a REPEATER club, been a repeater owner, builder. I do not use my call on this forum so I can enjoy my hobby and I can argue here.

I am finding it interesting that you got the CLUB to sign on the line. Funny, my applications had TWO places, the Ham that would accept responicibilty and the club representitive. If it were your way, everyone and no one would be responcible.

If my repeater failed, while it is OWNED by a group, it is MY problem to fix it, not the group. If it were up to the group, it would never get done, it would always be tinkered with and in a group of 20, you have 25 opinions.

 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by WA4MJF on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Obviously you do like to argue. But I don't,
I like to edumicate! Part of the ole elmerin' thing.

You said names and there are three on the 605,
now since you lost that, you say there are two
signatures and that is correct.

You say that you are two clubs, ie that you
are the licensee for two clubs. That is obviously
wrong, you are probably the trustee for two clubs.


I can't do anything with a person that keeps changin' in every post.

So we'll just have to agree to disagree.

It is a shame that you make so many enemies on here
that you can't use your call sign, lest you
loose your enjoyment of on the air activities.

Must be a sorry state of affairs!

73 de Ronnie

 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by KA0MR on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Despite who owns the hardware a repeater must have a designated control operator. A station license must be posted in plain view at the repeater site.

If anyone other than the persons name that is on that license is the designated control operator there must be a written statement posted alongside the station license.

If it is not is it is assumed the name on the station license is in fact the control operator and that person is responsible for it's operation.

Any third party traffic that occurs through this station must have a control operator monitoring during this period and that includes autopatches although I would venture to say 90% do not and that includes myself at times.

But with Echolink how are you sure the station entering your repeater is legal? You don't really so I would suggest that any Echolink operation not be done unattended by the designated control operator.
 
Linking Repeaters???  
by K0RGR on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
It sounds like your club needs a technical committee or a Board to consider and approve changes like this in advance.

EchoLink has its downside - in most cases, it does not qualify for automatic control, as a repeater would, so the Echolink gateway needs to be monitored by a control op who can be either local or remote. (And yes, I wish we would all write to ARRL asking them to petition FCC to let our nodes operate under the same rules as the repeaters they serve!)

As the owner of a gateway, I am often the one who ends up monitoring the node, because I want to make it available as much as possible. This means that I am also often the one who answers the 'DX' when they connect to my gateway. I do various things to try to encourage others to do so, but I do sometimes ragchew with friends and other members of my ham family this way, and I know that bores others too.

Many people tell me that they really enjoy listening to the DX QSO's - I know I sure do even when I'm not in them. Yeah - it isn't real radio, but sometimes it is a little amazing, and educational! The same forces that draw me to search the ether for weak CW are involved here, too! For some reason, many like-minded people choose to congregate and pursue this activity. That makes it fun.

The repeater I'm using is a 70's vintage relic that has a number of ills. It had not been updated mostly because it was little used. The advent of a third two meter machine in town, reduced this machine mostly to intercom duty for a very small number of users. Now, with the increased traffic from Echolink, the club is working to update and replace the system. Those using it as an intercom have moved to the low-level 450 machine or one of the other two more active local 2 meter machines. Not everyone is happy with this.

Some have told me that they have removed that repeater from their scanners because their scanner stops there too often. That is also why I have no desire to move the Echolink to a higher-level machine or one that is linked elsewhere. I want to INCREASE two meter activity. If everybody turns off their scanners, activity will go DOWN.

I learned the hard way years ago that anything like Echolink can create a major political firestorm, no matter how carefully you pursue it, and there have been times when, as an impetuous youth, or an impteuous old timer, I tried things without asking permission first, and lived to regret it. I almost made that mistake with something like Echolink a few years ago, and the result was a vigilante committee out to tar and feather me! Needless to say, this time, I waited until I was invited to put Echolink on the local repeaters!

It's up to the club to tell the trustee what they want. But don't be too hard on him - I suspect he means well, and may not intend to monopolize the repeater.

I would encourage you to pursue putting up your own local Echolink node in town, either on a repeater or on one of the three simplex frequencies that many Echolink users have decided to standardize on : 147.42, 147.48, or 147.51 . All that's needed is an Internet connection that is always on (cable, ISDN, DSL, etc.), an interface like a RigBlaster or a WB2REM card, and a semi-dedicated PC that's always on. And if it's on simplex, it's the licensee's perogative - but you better check to see if there's a local net on that frequencey first!
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by RAD1OMAN on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ronnie, did you forget you lithium this morning?
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by KB3GUN on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
To KA0MR:
-Quote-
But with Echolink how are you sure the station entering your repeater is legal? You don't really so I would suggest that any Echolink operation not be done unattended by the designated control operator.
-Unquote-

If that's the case, how do you know everyone that uses the repeater via RF is licensed? Unless it's a closed system, you can't guarantee compliance.

To KG4BOD:
The person that linked the repeaters, even without one of them having an EchoLink connection, should have gotten the OK from the repeater trustee. If the repeater is club owned, then the Club should have made the decision. If it was done without approval. He/She was wrong. Do you have a repeater committee that you can voice your greivence(sp) to?

I'm very active with echolink and always bend to the wishes of the local amateurs. I hate to hear other amateurs giving the system a bad name by taking it upon themselves to link to a repeater without consent. I hope your problem gets rectified in short order.

73!
Bill - KB3GUN
 
Linking Repeaters???  
by WN3VAW on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Before you can ask how to handle the situation, check your club's constitution and/or by-laws. You may find that they have given the license trustee full power or no power to make these decisions.

At first glance, it appears that the trustee is trying to justify his personal use of the repeater, for his own personal benefit that is, and not the benefit of the club or organization as a whole. My feeling is that if the trustee's attitude is contradictory to the club's wishes, either said trustee needs to construct his own repeater to perform the tasks he wants, and/or the organization may need to find a new individual to become the trustee.

As trustee, he is the one the FCC will go to first should their be a problem. But that does not translate into the trustee using a club resource exclusively for his own personal agenda.

Having said that... EchoLink is an interesting system. One of the local 440 repeaters affiliated with (not owned by) my club is an EchoLink node; makes good use of an underused machine at many times of the day. The key to remember here, though is that this machine was NOT the main repeater that our club or others in the area use to communicate, so EchoLink makes sense here. Using EchoLink, ILink, or a similar system to hijack a repeater that was otherwise being used for local communications is a misuse of resources, IMHO, and should be grounds to replace the trustee... if it's allowed in the constitution/by-laws.

73, ron wn3vaw
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by KA0MR on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
When someone enters your repeater via the Internet on Echolink he is not in control of the repeater. The person operating the echolink to the repeater is.

A normal RF connection to a repeater the user of the repeater is controlling the repeater with his radio that he is the control operator of.

In Echolink the person entering the repeater via Echolink has absolutely no control of the repeater his conversation is going out on hundreds of miles away just as someone you call on the telephone on your autopatch has no control of his conversation that is why third party contacts must be monitored by a live control operator. The point is a repeater control operator should most certaintly have total control of his repeater not someone with a brand new toy and just connecting repeaters without any consideration of the owners and users of a system.

We have this renegade mentality all over the bands now days. Hell we even have 3 hams operating marine radar from their motor vehicles here in Wichita playing weatherman in total Violation of Part 80 and 97 on numerous counts and have been told how illegal it is and they want to be weatherman so bad they are willing to risk their ham licenses to do it. Spent thousands of dollars without checking the rules and after finding out they can't legally do it they do it anyway.
 
Linking Repeaters???  
by N8UZE on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
You really need to look into what are the duties and responsibilities of the repeater trustee. If your bylaws are vague or give the trustee too much independent authority, they then need changed.

In general (not just concerning amateur radio), trustees are NOT or should not be empowered to make policies. They administer policies set by a board or other governing group. So how would this be applied to amateur radio repeaters? Well the trustee would be the point of contact for the FCC, would be responsible for seeing that it is kept in proper running order, would be responsible for seeing that FCC rules and club rules and policies are adhered to. The trustee would not normally have the authority to add or delete features to the system or move the system or change it or link it to anything unless so directed by the licensee (i.e. the club in most cases).

So check your bylaws and if need be get them changed so that the trustee doesn't have the power to unilaterally implement changes without approval.

If the bylaws are already clear, then it is a matter of enforcing them and requiring the trustee to adhere to the club rules.
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by AC5KD on March 3, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Personally, I think people are using Echo Link as a subsitute for hf and upgrading. However, I'm a trustee and I don't go punching buttons to benefit my own methods of operation if it gets in the way of others operating too. Some trustees, especially when new, get that new feeling of "command control" and see it as a new toy to play with, forgetting that other people use it too. Unless he bought the repeater with his own money, and coordinated it under his own call, then he should consult the club for such operation.
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by WV2NY on March 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Go to your next board of directors meeting.
During the meeting they should ask if there is anyone who wishes to bring something before the board. When they do, bring this question up. They will then have the opportunity to discuss it and then vote on it. Hopefully it will go your way. I know I would vote AGAINST it as I Wouldn't want ours tied into it either.

73' and Good Luck.

JOE
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by N2KEJ on March 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If someone wants to talk down Echolink, get the facts first.

If you don't give permission for another node to connect to you the node can be blocked. That means any repeater or all repeaters, computer operators, anyone at all. The control operator has complete control of the system if he wants to.
There must be thousands of Echolink control ops that know nothing of setting up their node!

If you just want to connect to your buddy three states away and no one else, you could do it. Echolink gives you complete control on who you want to connect to you!

Have a nice day!

Steve N2KEJ
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by KA0MR on March 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Yes there probably hundreds of Echolink ops that know very little about the Part 97 aspect concerning this type of operation.

Case in point.. An Echolink station at home with Echoloink conected to Internet to a 2 meter repeater 1000 miles away. He wants to link an avaerage equipt 2 meter repeater 20 antenna miles away with the only input to this repeater is 2 meters no Internet link at site. How does he make the RF connection? Simple on the input of the 2 meter repeater. Legal?? Only if this RF connection meets ALL of the parameters required of an "auxillary station" and auxillary operations below 219 MHZ is a violation of Part 97.

How widespread do you think this really is. Very widespread. How many Echolink ops are well versed in the interpretation of auxillary operation and are following the rule to the letter?? Not much!!

So this is the reason these Echolink "waters" should be ventured with great care and thought.Like anything new Echolink can be a great device but it needs to be carefully orchestrated.

Bob

Bob
 
Linking Repeaters???  
by K0RGR on March 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Bob, there are lots of potential problems with Echolink, but at this time, FCC and ARRL have given their blessings to these VoIP 'modes', because they are beneficial to ham radio.

If we get down to 'splitting hairs' there are lots of questionable things. My 2 meter gateway would be an auxiliary link IF it were linking two repeaters or being used to control one. What it's really doing is providing a phonepatch. The origin of the audio that passes through that phonepatch is irrelevant as long as it is under the control of a control operator. As long as the person on the other end is a licensed amateur (even DX) the 3rd party rules don't apply, either!

The most controversial thing involves the use of touchtone controls on two meters. You can control a phonepatch or any public repeater function on two meters, but since my gateway is not a repeater, basic control has to be on 222.1 or above. The general consensus is that this means that the control operator must have the ability to remotely shut down the Echolink system that he is monitoring via an 'auxiliary link'or wire control.

Yes, I would love to see the rules changed to allow me to use automatic control on my gateway just like the repeater that it is associated with. I've had my link on the air for well over a year, and so far, zero problems requiring a shutdown.

In addition to all the automatic controls required of a repeater ( I have three timers and two id'ers including a hardware timer in the transmitter), I have a secondary receiver on UHF that is one means of an emergency shutdown - this is one reason my link is NOT on UHF - otherwise I'd need a receiver on ANOTHER band above 222.1 just as any legal 440 repeater would. I wonder how many UHF repeaters really have this capability?

Echolink users also have another secret weapon - our gateways can be remotely controlled via a secure Internet connection, too! So we have excellent wireline control available anywhere -even from a web-equipped cellphone!

The February QST has a detailed article on the legalities of the VoIP programs. Over 90,000
userids have been registered for Echolink.
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by KA0MR on March 4, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
No one is splitting hairs. The FCC gave the blessing to operate it within Part 97. They did not give VolP the green light to disregard part 97.

If you use Echolink in the manner of my case in point it is an auxillary station and must operate in accordance to the rules of auxillary station.

Only the operator of the Echolink knows what hardware is station consists of. If it meets the description of an auxillary station the same goes. There is not enough spectrum in the 2 meter area to accomdate auxillary stations that's why the FCC disallowed it some years ago and it ain't likely to change.

To meet the legal description of "repeater" the input as well as the output frequencies must be in the same band to operate automatic if your input is an Echolink connection from the internet and it is being relayed to the repeater site by way of RF on 2 meters it is an "auxillary station" and must be done at 219 MHz and above. It must have a proper identification method as well to identify the auxillary transmitter.

It very simple. I have numerous repeaters I own and quite an investment, I might add to serve all hams and I must meet the requirements as specified in Part 97 to operate them and that goes for any Echolink operation as well.

We have way too much instant gratification operations on the bands. Such as dual band radios that are everywhere crossbanding, again an auxillary station in this mode (crossband), and not one marketed in the U.S.,last I checked, will meet the identification requirement right out of the box without intrusive circuit modification to bring it into compliance.

I really don't think expecting Echolink operation to abide by Part 97 as everything else is expected to qualifies as "splitting hairs"

Bob
ARRL Official Observer Program
Midwest Division
 
Linking Repeaters???  
by KA7RRA on March 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Since this repteater is a club repeter, it should have gone to the vote of members of that club Iwould get a new trustee
Dave/KA7RRA
 
Linking Repeaters???  
by K0RGR on March 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry, Bob, I don't agree with your reading of the rules, and I don't believe that ARRL will back you on that, either. They've published 4 articles on Echolink now, and they've tried very hard to lay down the rules. The February QST article defines what I am doing as a "simplex gateway" NOT an auxiliary link.

It explains where an "auxiliary link" is required - to provide control operator functions - specifically to power up or down the link radio. My link isn't controlling anything! That's the difference between my Echolink gateway and Kenwood's Sky Command system - which IS an auxiliary link because it is used to provide primary control functions on 2 meters, and that does violate the rules. With Sky Command, additional frequencies are required.

With my gateway, there is no practical difference between an Rf link and a hardwired gateway, except that the repeater site doesn't have high speed Internet access. The number of frequencies occupied are the same. Not so with Sky Command.

I (and many others) have personally written to our ARRL Director, the editor of QST and ARRL Counsel Imlay for further clarification of the February article. So far, they have chosen not to comment further. Mr. Hollingsworth has been quoted (on ARRL's website) making very positive comments about Echolink and the need to consider 'revisiting the rules'. By the way, I wasn't being flippant with my 'splitting hairs' comment. That comes from Mr. Hollingworth, himself! He is the enforcer right now!

There is no need to change the auxiliary link rules - but we need a formal definition of what a VoIP gateway is. I'd like a clarification on part 97.205, too.

I salute you for trying to keep us straight - keep up the good work - and if ARRL publishes something that says my two meter uplink is illegal, I'll change it.
If Mr. Hollingsworth sends me an invitation to mend my ways or explain why not, I will do so. Until then, I will continue doing what I'm doing.

Amateur phonepatches were technically illegal - unlawful foreign attachments to the telephone line - for decades before the rules caught up with reality.
In this case, I really don't think I am violating the intent of the rules in any way.
 
Linking Repeaters???  
by K2WH on March 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Your first BIG mistake - joining a repeater club. They are the pits.

K2WH
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by KA0MR on March 5, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
If your set up meets the legal description of an "Auxillary Station" it is an auxillary station. If you choose to remain in denial this fact so be it,and I have no idea it is. Only the control operator knows what his hardware consist of. And if it's not an auxillary station it's not. If it.. it is.

If you have an Echolink set-up at your house connected to a transciever on 2 meters to relay the internet connection to the repeater the radio at your house connected to the Echolink is an auxillary station. The transciever connected to the internet to relay to the repeater is controlling the repeater the person on the Echolink is not controlling the repeater your radio is.Part 97.3(a)(7). The auxillary must identify itself as I said. If your set up is truly not an auxillary station why worry aboutit however I would look at the set up meticoulously and make sure it's not.

If as many Echolinks I have heard just in my area alone used 2 meters it there would be no simplex channels left,and several are, Repeater owners would be pissed because of the interference. This is why Kenwood ran into trouble with thier attempt at changing the rules on auxillary operation in the 2 meter band because of their TS-2000 and was unable to get the FCC to make a variance for them.

The Echolink is going to create the same dilema for 2 meters if we don't look out.
 
Linking Repeaters???  
by WF0H on March 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Well, there is an effort to standardize EchoLink simplex operations on three simplex frequencies that appear to be lightly used in most areas of the country, 147.51, 147.48, and 147.42. You may want to suggest that your EchoLink sysops move their simplex to these frequencies if possible.

I don't in any way control the repeater. The designated control operator for the repeater does. The repeater retransmits my signals - I have no control over it. I'm not maliciously interfering because the club has invited me to transmit on their input frequency. The only reason I have it on the repeater is so that everyone can hear both sides of the QSO - it is much harder for me to do that than it would be to run it on simplex.

Oh, and I control my transmitter, the remote site on the Internet does not. I won't go into the details, but I have multiple indepenent timeout timers, multiple IDers, and three redundant and independent means of locally or remotely shutting my transmitter down. My gateway is monitored whenever it is on the air. Can your repeaters at the Boeing club match that?

Overall, I think two meter activity almost everywhere is drastically low. Repeaters IDing themselves in the night do not constitute activity. Other people think there's too much activity. My EchoLink node exists to increase two meter activity. Some people think there is too much activity now. I think they are nuts.

Anyway, this is way off topic now - I apologize - as previously stated, I think the trustee needs to have the support of the club before making big changes. That's how it's done up here in Vikingland.
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by KA0MR on March 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Control of a repeater is not limited to a live control operater turning on and off. Activating the transmitter in any way is control.

Apparently there are those who don't fully understand what control of a repeater,auxillary station,remote,crossband entails.

And why would Boeings repeaters need to have any other control other than "automatic" as they are repeaters and qualify as such to operate this way.

And since one determines that 2 meters is under-utilized it gives the green light to operate on that band in any way one wants to despite how Part 97 regulates it's use. Part is really only designed to impede what one wants to do with amateur radio so it seems. It no longer establishes a method in which regulation can allow all to operate harmoniously on the bands

Again it's an instant gratification mentality that is driving amateur radio and this subject being discussed here demonstrates this fully.
It appears we want to twist our perception of what we are doing to justify to ourselves what we want to do irregardless of Part 97 and other amateur radio operators.

Enough of this subject why bother.
Bob
 
Linking Repeaters???  
by K0RGR on March 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
This is degenerating fast, and I won't resort to name calling.

I respect the opinions of the ARRL, even if I disagree with some of them. In this instance, I think I'm more in touch with ARRL's position than you are.

If I am wrong, please ask them to put their reasoning in writing and cc: me on it. They have my email address and have had my mail address for almost 40 years. I have no desire to operate in violation of any rules, and have no intention of doing so.

I'm sorry that you choose to believe that the rest of us are too lazy or careless to observe the rules.



 
Linking Repeaters???  
by K0RGR on March 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Ooops - OK , times change, and so do I.

I just read an article from the Southeaster Repeater Association on Echolink. Here's a link:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/echolink/files/Articles%20and%20Write-Ups/SERA%20on%20IRLP-Echolink.pdf

You should read Hollingsworth's statements, first, so you understand better where we're all coming from.

SERA agrees with your opinion about the auxiliary link -though as you can see from the article there was apparently some disagreement even among these repeater elite. I think their position differs from that of ARRL, but SERA is composed of repeater owners who view everything in terms of repeaters.

However, they make one reasonable argument to support their recommendation that we use links on 222.1 and above. In the event of a band opening, even my 1 watt link transmitter with a directional antenna could interfere with another repeater on 146.625. I don't think there are any more due north of here, but I could be wrong. We surely get band openings - I've listened to those fine Wichita repeaters all the way up here before.

The repeater we are currently using is over 30 years old, and we are not comfortable making any changes to it. It will be replaced later this year. At that time, I will recommend that the new system be equipped with a 222 link transceiver, and I will replace my link transceiver. We can also use the link to support a voting receiver system.

I will now recommend to others that we follow that practice, and not use inputs on 2 meters or below.

I still don't agree with your reading of the rules, but on this issue, you are right for the wrong reasons.
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by WA4MJF on March 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Next to last para, I think you meant Two
Meters and ABOVE. There is an inverse
relationship between frequency and wave length.

I'm in SERA and also agree with the article

73 de Ronnie
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by KA0MR on March 6, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
While my intent was never to insult anyone. As pointed out there is too much rengade operating on the bands today. My personal view is Echolink offers all of us a prelude of what the Internet can do FOR society and technology.

The Part 97 area of "special Operations" can be quite ambiguous to the layman. An "OO" must be familiar with the rules he suggest others to follow and that goes for himself as well. I appolgize to any that regarded these posts as an attempt to make people feels less about themselves that was never the intent.

The most outragous disregard of Part 97 as well as Part 80 and public safety that is occuring right now is the ham operators that have purchased marine radar and have them installed in their storm spotting vehicles exposing the public to dangerous levels of microwave energy in direct violation of RF exposure rules on uncontrolled subjects. These devices require a license to operate and at least one of these operators even submitted an FCC application for license and the application was subsequently "dismissed" (meaning license to operate in this manner applied for -denied-). But in his desire to operate it anyway to play weatherman he has convinced himself that dismissed means "license application dismissed no need for license to operate this device" denial of the obvious.

As an "OO" this is one area I have been relentless in persuing and explains my reference to "instant gratification" mentality. This is going on in Wichita, KS as we speak.

At any rate Echolink away and have fun doing it.
Bob KAMR
 
RE: Linking Repeaters???  
by KF4VGX on March 9, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
While Most agree and disagree :) I dont really think anyone is trying to bend rules to their liking of Echolink. But we all must agree Life with time changes.
I know of a few laws that say you cant beat your wife on sunday's .I would say that is a foolish law.Are we to ignore the future of ham radio by not experimenting
with ways to improve involvements with Ham Radio? Should we all sit back and just wait for it to deminish? I injoyed the post here without insults its nice to see Hams discussing instead of Bickering. Most Kids today are deeply involved with computers ,computers have chips in them my radio has chips in it! New technology ! New Rules ! Where would we be if the rules stated Radio's must consist of Tubes only ?
It would have been nice to discuss with the club before bringing Echolink aboard .I know I would have,But its still not fair to pass judgement with out hearing his side of the Story
 
Linking Repeaters???  
by VE6GLF on March 20, 2003 Mail this to a friend!
Why dont you put a dtmf controller on the repeater then you can break the link when its not wanted. We have many linked repeaters in this area and that is the way most are setup. The only question I have is are the "club members" doing the work to keep your machine on the air? If the only guy that is working is the trustee, then I think he has earned the right to use it as he sees fit. That remark is from experiance.

Gerry
 
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