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Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone Policy:

from The ARRL Letter, Vol 23, No 34 on August 27, 2004
Website: http://www.arrl.org/
View comments about this article!

Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone Policy:

The Southeast Repeater Association (SERA) Board of Directors has approved an "all tone, all the time" policy for the repeaters SERA coordinates. SERA provides voluntary frequency coordination for amateur repeaters in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and parts of Virginia and West Virginia. The Board okayed a motion to amend its coordination policy and guidelines to require CTCSS or DCS receive and transmit tones on all new FM voice repeaters. Existing voice repeaters will have until July 1, 2006, to comply. The SERA Repeater Journal reported the move in its August issue. Repeater Journal Editor Gary Pearce, KN4AQ, said a need to relieve interference complaints led to the Board's decision.

"The point is to stop the ongoing complaints and skirmishes between co-channel neighbors running carrier-access repeaters," Pearce explained. "The vote was unanimous, but SERA recognizes that tone isn't universally popular nor is it a cure-all. And it causes new problems, particularly for travelers."

South Carolina ARRL member Laurie Sansbury Jr, KV4C, would agree with Pearce on that score. He also has taken issue with SERA's new policy and with Pearce's Repeater Journal "SquelchTale" editorial, in which Pearce said he had "little sympathy for the ham whose radio doesn't have a tone encoder" and "Radios are cheap today."

"Not for the senior on a fixed income they're not," Sansbury retorted in an e-mail copied to ARRL. "Not for a teenager--the future of ham radio--they're not."

ARRL South Carolina Technical Coordinator Marc Tarplee, N4UFP, said he believes an important consideration of SERA's tone policy is its potential effect on emergency operations. "The Amateur Radio Service is expected to provide emergency communications," Tarplee said. "How does broad CTCSS implementation enhance or hinder our ability to deliver those communications?"

SERA has no plans to automatically decoordinate repeaters that continue to operate without tones, but "SERA would not entertain an interference complaint from the owner of any repeater who chooses to remain carrier access," the Repeater Journal said. If a carrier-access repeater owner getting co-channel interference complains to the FCC, SERA would tell the Commission that the complaining repeater's owner was opting to operate outside the conditions of coordination. "SERA would expect that to be interpreted as a 'no,'" the Repeater Journal report said.

"If a repeater owner wants to complain about interference, they'll have to incorporate tone first," Pearce said.

Source:

The ARRL Letter Vol. 23, No. 34 August 27, 2004

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by KA2LIM on August 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
More Bull S**t !
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by K7VO on August 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I've talked to a number or repeater owners here in North Carolina. SERA may have a revolution on their hands. SERA can only be the coordinator if the repeater owners are willing to support them. There have been splits in coordinating bodies before. This may well lead to another is SERA doesn't back down.

73,
Caity
K7VO
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KG4RUL on August 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Ditto on the B.S. aspect of this latest SERA edict. Maybe it is time for a new organization to take over this function.

Dennis / KG4RUL
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by AC0H on August 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Personally I don't see a problem with it.
Nearly all of the "real" repeaters in my area have PL access. The amateur in the article who complained about the cost of new VHF/UHF radios is just plain wrong. I don't know of a single young person or senior on a fixed income who can't afford a new 2m radio with PL encoding on it.

The cost of a new radio is roughly equivalent to the price of three computer video games or giving up a pack a day smoking habit for three months.

The poverty argument against using up to date equipment is BOGUS!!!
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KG4RUL on August 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The ONLY way this scheme would work AT ALL is if SERA also coordinates both the receive and transmit tones and REQUIRES the repeater to stick with them!!!!

<< OR >>

allows the tones to be changed but, REQUIRES the ID to include the tone frequencies as part of the announcement!!!!

Lacking this, the utility of a repeater to a casual/transient user, is totally destroyed.

Dennis / KG4RUL
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by W4MGY on August 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Tone em all!!! If some hams think toning repeaters is another means of creating closed systems; think again, it is a tool to eliminate co and adjacent channel QRM. Maybe it is another filter to keep out the Kids, Lids and Space Cadets, so be it. To the 'disadvantaged' types who complain they can't afford to buy a radio with PL or CTSS tone encloding, thats the price you pay to use a repeater.
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by WD4HXG on August 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
If the repeaters operators are ok with this I have no problem with it. If the they are not then SERA had better prepare for backlash like you have never seen. Hopefully SERA has not turned into the REPEATER HOA of the Southeast.
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KF7CG on August 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The problem with toned repeaters is that it makes it <expletives deleted> hard for the casual traveling Amateur to make a contact via repeater. Not just for emergency but for everyday hello how are you type conversations.

On the best of the transceivers setting the tone is not something easily done while driving. This means that all trips have to have the tones plugged in before traveling. Sometimes this can be a pain in the output.

I see this as just another impediment to casual Amateur communications unless tones are included in ID and the tones for the high profile, highway serving repeaters set to no tone.

More cooperation and less ego would make coordination and transient use both easier and more enjoyable.

KF7CG
now in Tennessee
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by WY3X on August 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry if this offends anyone, but I've never been known to hold my tongue on issues that concern me. I call 'em as I see 'em.

I butted heads with SERA before for refusing to coordinate an in-band 440MHz ATV repeater. They choose to use ATV frequencies for repeater links. Of course, that is their perogative, as long as they keep in mind that an in-band ATV repeater is NOT ILLEGAL according to part 97, and as long as they don't try to force it off the air or make it change frequencies. There are listed, after all, in the ARRL "courteous operator" frequency guide, nationally recognized frequencies *set aside* for ATV use. If SERA chooses to ignore that, they do so at their own peril, and they should acknowledge and understand this.

As far as "requiring" PL tones, folks with older radios who have no desire to upgrade should not be left out in the cold by this "rotten legislation". We have one ham in this area who, for reasons of personal choice, chose not to buy a new radio with PL tone capability. Should we shut him out of the local repeaters because he likes his older radio?

Our local repeater is used by hundreds, if not thousands, of travelers who visit the Myrtle Beach area every year, who may or may not have PL tone capable radios. There are many new ham radio operators who have no clue what a PL tone is who can contribute valuable resources during emergency situations. How will we explain to hams that we can't hear calling us how to turn on their radio's PL function? They will likely give up in frustration. If someone from an area outside of the SERA area comes in without the knowledge that all repeaters in a large geographic area are all PL protected, and they don't have that capability in their radio, are we to shut them out of our repeaters across several states because SERA decided to edict that all repeaters henceforth will now be PL protected? I don't know about you, but I always take ham radio along with me on vacation. It would make for a miserable vacation if I had no way to access the repeaters in my chosen vacation spot! The southeast is a destination for millions of vacationers every year! I don't think they thought this thing through all the way... somebody's head is where the sun don't shine, and they need to pull it out!

The stance that SERA seems to be taking is that "if you're too stupid know how to use PL, or too poor to buy a radio that has PL capabilities, then we don't want you on any repeaters in our area". It's under the color of "protection of frequencies". And it's not right!

Somebody needs to call BULL---T on this before it gets any further!

-KR4WM
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by WY3X on August 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
My mistake, the ARRL "considerate operators frequency guide" only covers HF. But every ATV operator nationwide -KNOWS- the frequencies that are in use by ATV!!!

-KR4WM
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by K4RAF on August 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
If I own a repeater, I ask for coordination of a pair, not a mandate on how to run it. I make the call of whether it requires PL or not & whether I degrade the signal by transmitting a PL. When SERA mandates "compliance" of existing repeaters, for both TX & RX, they are simply overstepping their purpose of COORDINATION. Mark my words, the ARRL will embrace this because it will increase ARRL directory sales!

This just increments the rising rudeness of ham radio by playing "I can't hear you". This is just plain ignorance with intent to distribute & not in the spirit of ham radio's purpose.

As mentioned, you used to be able to travel & scan a band for activity in the open. Now you will have to buy a SERA (or ARRL if it goes national) repeater directory before travelling in order to know what PL is used on what machine? How will updates be handles & how often?

The FCC decides who is right & who is wrong, based on coordination. PL'ing a repeater with overlapping coverage is NOT coordination at all!

This will also allow SERA to increase the density of overlapping repeater assignments while preventing anyone using CTCSS decode from hearing interference. Once SERA grants a pair, it's out of their hands.

Making this policy mandatory is just the lazy way out of actually fitting coverage, for a specific purpose, to a specific frequency, as done by commercial frequency coordinators everyday.

What happens to predated equipment without PL? An IC2/3/4AT didn't have PL & any board was jumper programmed before closing the case up. I guess you have to make up your mind or throw it away.

A bogus political solution to an unescapable problem, amateur turf battles & crying about them.
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by ASTROHAM on August 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
In my experience, everybody and their dog wants a repeater and there are clearly too many repeaters, hence gross over-use and crowding of available pairs.

Some thoughtless (read: Petty power-tripping) hams spend so much time worrying about how quickly they can put up a repeater to serve themselves and their little sub-groups, that they never wonder if in fact they SHOULD put up a repeater.

That is the core problem, and pushes organizations like SARA to reach faulty and ill-advised conclusions.
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by W4CNG on August 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Yes on the No Poverty issue. Yes some few folks will get left out in the cold, sorry but technlogy moves on, along with it's solutions. There are already other folks being left on the sidelines because they do not want to adapt and move forward with the rest of us, and that is their CHOICE. Dumb comment on coordinating the tones in and out of a repeater, if they are not the same, dumb repeater operator/owner. This is just another step in a Forward direction by the SERA. BTW, there are many "Paper Repeaters" in every state, and it is not hard to see through them. The Repeater Directory from multiple sources is the way to find out WHAT Tone you need, and some repeaters tell you which tone in a tail message.
Nuff Said.
Steve W4CNG, build too many repeaters to count.
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KV4C on August 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Keep in mind that any article you read is edited-- it makes specific points only, and may not include the entirety of the argument. In this case, my quotes on expense were used, but not any other ones. Let's, however, take a look at what "bogus" really means. In the past few months my VE group has had two teenagers pass the technician exam. Trust me, neither the 13 year-old, nor the 14 year-old have the ability to purchase a new 2-meter rig with tone capability. If all of the youngsters that you know DO have that ability, then consider yourself, and them, very lucky.

The real problem, though, is that tone doesn't solve the interference problem. As I said in another post, "PL Tones originally worked commercially for a strong mobile who was equidistant between two repeaters. He could choose the correct tone and only open one of them. However, just because he is using FM, his carrier can still block the receiver of the other repeater as well. How does tone help in that situation? What really happens then, is that the people who are already running a hundred watts (when five will do) will still be blocking BOTH repeaters, but feel fully justified because they are using tone and following SERA's orders." So, we're back to step number one all over again.

Not every repeater has a problem-- most probably don't. Why, then, would you want to put tone on every single one of them? Just because you have the ability to do something doesn't automatically make it a good idea. Remember BPL?

73 de KV4C


 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by N6AYJ on August 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I haven't used a repeater in years, and have sold all my 2-meter and 440 gear. To me, the term "repeater" means:
1. Petty, power-tripping repeater owners.
2. Rude, inconsiderate, inbred repeater denizens.
3. No free speech rights whatsoever, ever since Riley Hollywood started misinterpreting Sec. 97.205(e) to mean that a repeater owner has the right to order a user off the machine while leaving it up, rather than (as intended) merely having the right to turn the repeater off on an undesired user. This has gotten so ridiculous that the repeater owner will order you off the machine if you look at them cross-eyed, or don't part your hair on the same side they do.
4. Boring, boring, boring!
5. "Honey, would you please pick up a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread on your way home from work?"
6. The repeater-owner types can take over your radio club, loot the treasury, and if you complain about it on the club repeater you will be ordered off, and there is nothing you can do about it. If you refuse to leave because you want to stop the repeater owner from continuing to loot the treasury, you'll receive a warning notice from Riley Hollywood. Is that guy the world's only living brain donor, or what?
I have better things to do than to hang out with repeater types. The single best thing the average ham could do to improve ham radio would be to boycott repeaters entirely. Let's see how the idiot repeater owners like it when nobody uses their machines.
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by N8AUC on August 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds like SERA is just implementing what amounts to "good amateur practice", as a matter of policy.

We run all of our repeaters (6 of them) in PL all the time. We also tell you, in a voice synthesized tail message what the required tone is, so you can access it. We don't do this in order to exclude people, we do this in order to keep out unwanted interference from dirty commercial paging transmitters. Our repeaters are at very high profile sites, and the locations are shared with commercial services. If we didn't require PL, no one would be able to use them.

What we aren't responsible for:
1) You don't have PL. Virtually inexcusable these days. I've seen brand spanking new Icom 2M HTs (from a dealer) containing all conceivable PL features at several hamfests for less than $100 ($89 to be exact).
2) You don't know how to program/operate your radio. Sorry - again inexcusable - RTFM dude.

 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KV4C on August 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hello Eric,

What you have done may help you now, but you leave out one big problem-- especially if the tone was put on in order to reduce intermod problems. One of our local repeaters uses a receive tone now to help mask intermod problems. SERA, however, wants BOTH a receive and transmit tone. THAT will actually bring back the problem-- not solve it. Why? Because having the same tone on transmit and receive now allows the intermod to include the proper tone, thus defeating the original purpose. Using both transmit and receive tones can, in fact, be quite harmful when trying to mask an intermod problem.

 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by K7VO on August 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
For the advocates of mandatory CTCSS tones I have a few questions:

1. How do you account for the fact that when a repeater moves from carrier access to tone access activity drops off to a fraction of what it was before? How do you combat this?

2. Maybe this makes sense on a crowded 2m band. Why do we need mandatory tone on bands like 222MHz where there are no interference problems at all? Many hams won't invest $250 for a monoband FM rig for an "extra" band but will spend $50-$75 to get their feet wet on 222 and see if it's worthwhile. Aren't you concerned that taking away the option of using older equipment will kill the slowly growing level of activity on 222? What about totally underutilized bands like 33cm (902) and 23cm (1296)?

3. I've had a mix of periods of unemployment and serious medical issues over the past few years. Money was tight. Older equipment kept me on the air when I sold off fancier stuff and used the money to pay bills. Would you rather, when times are rough for lots of people as they are now, drive bunches of hams off the air completely?

I happen to think that mandating PL has become necessary on 2m and, in some areas, 70cm, because SERA has done an incredibly poor job at coordination. There are just plain too many repeaters too close together, and many are hardly used. Why does everyone who requests a frequency have to be accommodated on their band of choice? How does this benefit amateur radio?

The issue of travellers is a real one. Sure, my mobile rigs have PL encode/decode ability. Changing it while mobile is dangerous. I only do it when stopped. I certainly won't grab a repeater directory when driving. Besides, if there's nobody on the repeaters what's the point? Isn't the purpose of a repeater to extend communications range? Well... if a rule change limits communications it defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

I think SERA's decision doesn't advance technology or the hobby at all. Heck, Yaesu offered optional tone boards beginning with the "Memorizer" series back around 1979. (I still have a 222MHz Memorizer in service.) What it does is make access more difficult even on rigs that are properly equipped. This decision is short sighted and will only serve to decrease activity.

73,
Caity
K7VO
Bunn, NC
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by N4ZOU on August 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I have not been on a local repeater in my area in years. The reason is PL tones on the repeater. This prevents groups using the repeater with different PL tones between them. If you're running several different emergency groups or even just one then you force them off the PL toned repeater at that instant you turn on the PL tone. No emergency group wants to hear chit-chat on the repeater they monitor 24/7. Emergency group 1 would use a PL tone to prevent hearing this chit-chat stuff until the Emergency group using A PL tone causes all members transceivers to open up and receive the Emergency net call. Yes, a repeater can pass a PL tone through the audio circuits. Also anyone that wants to activate the Emergency group (or different groups) simply plugs in the proper PL tone for that group and activates them. As it is now with full PL tone access required with most repeaters this kills this type of operation. This makes 2-meter repeaters worthless for on call amateur radio Emergency operation services. You know, that service that went away when you toned your repeater. We have a local group that simply went to Cell phones when the last local repeater went to tone access. Now when any Emergency group member calls one number all the Cell phones in the group rings. The local 911 services also has the ability to call the group in an Emergency which would have required an Emergency group member to call 911 or have a licensed radio amateur on duty at the 911 service station 24/7.
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by WA4MJF on August 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
K4RAF,

If you're using a IC-2/3/4 HT you can get
a DIP programable CTCSS encoder from ComSpec.
There is an indentation in the rear of the
case you cut out and mount the board with
the DIPs programable from the outside. I
did that many, many moons ago on my IC-2.
I added the DTMF pad so it was in reality
an AT, but came from factory as an IC-2.

73 de Ronnie
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by K4RAF on August 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Ron,

I am fully aware of it & I had it on all my 2/3/4AT's. I simply used it as an example of a very popular & surviving mainstay radio. I just sold my 3AT's.

What I can't picture is driving along & fumbling with DIPs correctly to access a machine I happen to hear or QSY to. "Read the manual dude"? DIPs were a table dude!

I find it rather ignorant to suggest we "just buy something new". It is the definitive appliance operator attitude we are faced with today. Makes me feel like an old timer after 22 years. I bet the same people don't even understand that PL'ing a machine doesn't get rid of an RF interference problem.

This SERA policy will lead to the demise of group & has already caused the bees to buzz. The lack of grandfathering existing machines furthers the overall anger because of the added expense & effort when there are no current problems.

Luckily, I only own & operate commercial repeaters up here. All are PL'd...

Chris
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by K1CJS on August 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I personally would welcome any means to reduce intermod and make repeaters more usable. BUT mandating tones is just one or two steps away from mandating radiation patterns, power levels, actual repeater locations, and so on.

Co-ordination should be to make sure adjacent repeaters have the least chance of interfering with each other on a voluntary basis--not mandating where, how, and also every condition a "co-ordinated" repeater has to or should meet to operate.

I agree, some of these 'associations' are going too far. I guess that's why some people stress the as* of these as*-ociations.
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by ASTROHAM on August 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Once again, we are our own worst enemy. We come up with all kinds of ways to dictate to each other what not to do, while at the same time we put virtually no effort(read: absolutely none) into educating ourselves on what to do. The ARRL Operating Manual, the VEC question pool, the ARRL website, and a host of other "resources" are oozing with instructions on how to operate various modes and how to build this, or tune the other thing, however barely a mention on good spectrum management or operating practices. Wouldn't it be nice if we actually tested people on operating practices, which would include the questions one should ask oneself before putting up a repeater. Instead, we allow people to believe they are entitled to a repeater pair on the band of their choice, then we provide them with the illusion that the responsibility for selecting and vetting that pair lies with SARA, and finally we give them someone to blame (SARA) when the problems arise, as well as the opportunity to throw stones at those devoting time and effort trying to treat the symptom.

All the various, subtle, and intricate operating practices and spectrum management techniques we are all required to successfully demonstrate in order to operate an amateur radio station (which includes repeaters, hamsats, remotes, etc) on all of our bands could easily fill a handbook by itself. Imagine if we dumped all the traditional technical questions (and the code, why not), and required new hams to pass a 100-question exam strictly on operating practices with a 90 percent passing grade.
Eventually, more hams than not would be concerned about spectrum management and the problems addressed in this thread would begin to disappear.
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by KC0NPF on August 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I don't know about the difficulty of application but our local machine announces the tone on the half hour. I would suggest that a standard be incorporated as to what times repeaters would announce their own tones (perhaps with a routine ID). We have a fairly modern repeater so we have a voice ID that says something like: "The W0MXW Repeater is under tone control of 100hz" You could do it in CW as well, but that kinda defeats the purpose, most techs can't read cw at the ID spead anyway.

My 2/10 of a cent worth (sorry if someone already posted something similar, I was too lazy to read every last post before I posted)

KC0NPF
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by K1OU on August 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Repeaters suck. End of story.
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by DAILYREGULARITY on August 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
While I see merit in some of the arguments against this rule in a few of the posts, I generally agree with SERA's initiative for mandatory "PLing" of repeaters. In a way, I wish they would grandfather some of the machines which have operated in carrier squelch (CS) mode for years without a hitch. One such machine that comes to mind is the wide area coverage "Mt Mitchell" (NC) repeater on 145.190 MHz. This repeater has served several states for years and seems to always be in top working order. There is a local machine in my area on 147.390 which has also operated in CS mode for years and is very popular locally. Never hear any intermod or other junk on it. I generally feel the mandatory PL will be a good thing, especially the requirement for a tone on the input AND the output. I have never understood why so many repeater owners, clubs, etc will require PL for access but can't seem to bring themselves to PL the output or at least allow for the passing of tones to the output. Believe it or not, many ht's and mobiles which move around within the coverage area of most any machine are vulnerable to noise from intermod, gas pumps, computers, and all manner of other electronic noise generators. Being able to turn on your PL decoder while monitoring a frequency has its plusses!Another thing, as several have mentioned having the recorded announcements as to a particular machine's PL tones, it is a good idea to set these announcements so that they transmit through the repeater WITHOUT a PL tone. This allows those who might want to monitor the machine for emergencies or other reasons to listen to the machine without being bothered (awakened) by constant annoying voice messages. If you want to hear the announcements, disable your decoder. If you want to sleep and listen for emergencies, leave it on. Another possible solution to the problem of travelling hams not having ready access to a PL'd machine; how about setting the machine to open up briefly for the 1750 hz (Euro) tone burst feature which a lot, if not most, modern radios now incorporate into their list of features??? If there is anyone on, they can get the tone from them and program it in and if there is no one listening, doesn't really matter as they didn't have anyone to talk to anyway. 73, DR
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by WR8D on August 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Great idea, i toned my 2 meter machine a few years ago and now have no qrm at all. I put the tone in an id so any traveler will know it. All the area machines do this. From all the interference i used to have i can understand easily why this is a must. I feel in no way that sera is pushing their weight around. This is a much needed move. I don't even have pager interference now. By toning mine it completely 100percent cleaned it up. Stop fussing and bitching guys and gals...look at the big picture. When you tone yours put the tone in an id for everyone to know so they won't have to carry a repeater guide in their pocket.
73, John WR8D
Welcome to the WR8M 145.330 repeater with a tone of 100

Good move SERA!
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KE4MOB on August 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
As a repeater trustee, ARRL and SERA member, I really have objections over this.

I have run (and will continue to run) carrier squelch on my repeater. It's our equipment. We maintain it. And if there is interference we might tone it. But making it mandatory for coordination (which after all is voluntary) is excessive and a knee-jerk reaction.

I could see where, if there is an interference complaint, it be mandatory that PL be attempted before the complaint is advanced any further. It's called dispute resolution...something we're good at in the amateur service. (Maybe SERA is just getting lazy in doing the job it's supposed to do??) But mandatory PL even if no interference is present? Please!! Amateur radio has long had a history of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" and this edict blows that philosophy out of the water.

Further, the editorial on the back page of the Repeater Journal gave us a behind the scenes glimpse as to the decision making process...and it smacked of a "we know better than you as to what you need to do...and everybody else is stupid" approach. Shame on you, SERA. You are here to aide and assist repeater trustees and users, not chastise us. I have clipped many a PL diode matrix in my 10 years of ham radio, and I take offense that a coordinator would make a snide comment on anyone not knowing how to program a radio. (I just wonder how many coordinators have electrical appliances in their homes that flash "12:00" all the time?)

Why wasn't this brought before the membership? Something as important as this should have been given an airing beforehand, considering the number of machines across the Southeast that are potentially affected.

Finally, as a carrier squelch machine trustee and a SERA member, I'm going to have to really re-evaluate my membership of an organization that has a publicly stated policy of not supporting me when it comes to brass tacks.

Steve Matda, KE4MOB
Trustee, KK4MW/R
Carbo, VA
147.075(-)

 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by N4QX on August 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
SERA's position is sound, and is most succinctly stated as follows:

<<SERA has no plans to automatically decoordinate repeaters that continue to operate without tones, but "SERA would not entertain an interference complaint from the owner of any repeater who chooses to remain carrier access," the Repeater Journal said. >>

When I was working at the Regulatory Branch at ARRL, I would occasionally field calls from repeater operators who would complain about their machines being keyed up by stations using another repeater that was just too darn close. The conversations almost invariably went something like this:

Brennan: "So where is your repeater located?"
Caller: "1000 feet up a commercial tower, on top of a mountain peak 3000 feet above sea level."
Brennan: "OK. Where is this other machine?"
Caller: "150 miles away."
Brennan: "Got it. Now, these stations using the other repeater, can you tell from their call signs or their transmissions where they are?"
Caller: "Oh, they're in the same town as the other repeater."
Brennan: "Huh. You using the same CTCSS tones?"
Caller: "Nope. He's using 100 Hz. Mine is carrier squelch."
Brennan: (stone silence)
Caller: "Hello?"
Brennan: "So let me get this straight. You're complaining because your repeater is working precisely the way you want it to?"

It seems that SERA is acknowledging that there may be a reason to run a non-toned machine in its statement that it will not withdraw coordination from such a machine. However, operating a machine that hears everything carries a significant risk that you will indeed hear everything.

Finally, I have very little sympathy for the poor ham argument. Even the least expensive VHF/UHF equipment has been coming with CTCSS standard for at least a decade.

73 de Brennan N4QX
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by WA4ETE on August 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I've read many emails concerning SERA adopting a requirement to use tone on future coordinated repeaters. I would like to say I have been a Board Member of SERA since 1988. You should know that SERA Board Members are required to be either a repeater owner or trustee. I say this so you know we are a part of the constituency of repeater owners as well. We are all volunteer coordinator representatives elected by our state membership, which is not unlike the process of senators and representatives in congress. When they have a controversial issue concerning everyone in their state do they contact each person and ask their opinion and then compile a score before they vote. No they don't !! Because if they did the wheels of justice would come to a complete halt. They vote what they feel is best for the majority of their constituents. I know a lot of cynical people think different.

I go on record as saying I was totally opposed to the approval of the tone proposal at first. I didn't want to deal with the hassle of implementing the tones or having to program tones in when I traveled. I also was concerned about traveling hams not knowing the tone and therefore unable to use the machine. The hair on my neck bristled when the tone subject came up. Then I listened to the opposing side and it began to make sense to me. I was reminded that my own 440 machine had been toned accessed when I purchased it and I had never changed it and also it seemed to have overcome the question of how the traveler would know what tone to program when the tone was announced with the ID. I also heard the enormous problem that some coordinators were having with repeater owners, over the difference between the meanings of "interference" and "annoyance". Many owners thought if they heard another repeater off at a distance they were being interfered with. There also is the problem of repeater users living between two repeaters on the same frequency, over a 100 miles apart, wanting to communicate with just one of the two repeaters but when he tries, it keys up both repeaters causing problems with users of both machines. I think perhaps the change of policy could have been communicated better. Some have interpreted it to mean if you don't "tone up" you will be de-coordinated. This is not the case. What it means is if you have an "annoyance/interference" problem and you have not installed tone to your repeater you will be required to do so before resolution of your problem will begin. In the case of interference and you are the source of the problem and haven't "toned up" and if SERA is asked by the FCC as to which repeater is coordinated, SERA will report that your station is coordinated but not in full compliance of the Policy and Guide of SERA. I feel that the FCC will take the position that full compliance will take precedence over the station not in full compliance.

After listening to debates on both sides, I decided not to vote for what I would have preferred, but what was best for the amateur community as a whole. Everyone should remember SERA is not a enforcement organization it is a coordination organization. Without organizations like SERA stepping forward and coordinating with an orderly policy for operating repeaters, we would be in chaos in the repeater community. To successfully function in the coordination world you must have a Policy & Guideline Procedure to operate under which is fair to everyone. We are not in this for ourselves and we must do what is right for the community as a hold not what certain individuals would prefer. Ask yourself, "Is the position that I'm taking what's best for my fellow repeater owners or is what's best for me.

It is not uncommon for people to object to change but it is the measure of a person who accepts change for the betterment of the group as a whole.

Johnny Wofford, WA4ETE
SERA Treasurer
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KE4MOB on August 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Johnny, I really appreciate a SERA officer posting and willing to discuss the issue.

My questions are:

Why is it necessary to make the use of CTCSS tones mandatory on existing repeaters--especially those that have demonstrated no problems in the past?

Further, once time passes, is it possible that the SERA board might move to reduce the co-channel separation requirement, thus "squeezing out" carrier access machines?

 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KE4CQW on August 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry guy’s but this is my two cents worth…..

These guys are full of CRAP! It’s amazing how people who need to be in touch with everyone are so far out of it they live in the next galaxy. Come on guy’s do your job you volunteered for! It amazes me to go look at the meeting minutes see the “crap” that they put out…. Something this big on rates this piece off work! Display the whole conversion or are they afraid too?

http://www.sera.org/meet0604.htm

“EXPLORING FUTURE AUXILIARY OPERATION ON TWO METERS: Steve Grantham presented his thoughts on auxiliary operations on the two meter band. He reminded us that we all have had problems with in band linking and/or remote base operations. He had previously started an e-mail thread about this topic and said we need to think about what position we are going to take in the future. There was lively and lengthy discussion from just about all present. Steve offered a motion that “we require the use of CTCSS/DCS on both transmit and receive on all new FM voice repeater coordinations, effective June 13, 2004, and any existing FM voice repeater that is in operation now must utilize full time CTCSS/DCS on both transmit and receive by July 01, 2006.” Seconded by Terry Jones, the motion passed unanimously.

Dick Fowler remarked that a notice should be inserted in the forthcoming datasheet mailing that contains the Policy 17 revision and a notice of our new official position on CTCSS/DCS use adding that any interference complaint, that involves a situation where CTCSS or DCS is not in use, will not be considered for review by the SERA. Alex noted that the Policy 17 insert was a matter included in the motion made by Andy. There was a general consensus by the staff present that the additional information concerning CTCSS/DCS should be included in the mailing.”

First off, why was this issue not posted for all to see instead of an email? You would figure that these are “best and the brightest” doing their jobs? Gee, it looks like all they want to do make more money! First off if you get right down to it they want to do this so they have more repeaters in the same area…. Encode / Decode. But think about it if you will….. Who’s going to regulate the power that stations run? SERA or the FCC? I have a prim example…. Here in Tennessee we a very nice repeater that covers the Knoxville area really well…. But we can’t use it because of a “HAM” in Virginia that runs 160 watts just to talk to “his” local machine. So we said fine and went out purchased a set of corner beams, co-phased them and put them on the tower with the rear of the beams aimed at Virginia. Then we toned our repeater and had it transmit the tone out also so we decode the repeater and not hear the Virginia machine (both are SERA coordinated). That was a rather large waste of money…. It worked great till he keyed up….. Then he overrode our signal with the tone and still terrorized the repeater… So that does not work… well the makers of amps will befit…. (more money) The more power up to 1500 watts you can have you might be able to talk to the machine you can see on the hill.

Another thing what about an emergency? If you don’t have the latest “SERA” journal (more money) you will not have the latest info…. Well the latest that hasn’t changed the previous day. The bigger joke is the ARRL repeater director it’s printed every year (more money) so that is about useless more than it is now, if you travel your uup the creek. Thank about the risk that they are taking…. I am net control operator for the East Tennessee area aka www.etskywarn.net we had a very destructive tornado a couple of years ago in an area called Mossy Grove. It took just about everything; the ONLY communication in and out was ham radio. The local radio system was out and what worked was over loaded or was not cross compatible. We all went to the repeaters that covered that area… one was toned and the others were not. The one that was toned had the toned removed to help. We used that repeater for days….. Just like now it is toned, but he turns the tone off just in case the primary repeater is taken out we can still use his as a back up during Skywarn events. According to what I have see if you turn off the tone and have interference tough cookie’s… If your traveling to an event and you don’t know the tone what are going to do? How can you risk the valuable seconds it will take for everyone to reprogram their radio’s? What about borrowed equipment…? If the user is not familiar with the radio, then what do you do…? Who wants stand up and say someone died because I can’t program a tone into an unfamiliar radio…? Get back in touch with the rest of the world!

I guess my last topic… then I will get down off the soap box…. It’s amazing who people can make such a decision that affects everyone but can not take the time to do mundane part of their jobs…. Example I have sent my manager 14 emails with no replays, no read receipt acknowledgement, and then tried to fax him several times, and I even called and left voice messages and still not a word back. I started this little ordeal back along the time frame of late May to early June this year. He has time to go to the meeting but I can’t have a simple email, fax or phone call back to answer my questions! This is prime example off of lack of account ability…. In my humble opinion on this we should tell SERA to take a flying leap off a very BIG cliff and I hope they hit every branch on the way down. Between them and the ARRL they making this “hobby” in to something that is nothing but a money racket with no accountability to anyone but them selves. People fuss about code / no-code need to open up their eyes and see the writing on the wall that this, THIS is more of a threat to the hobby than that will ever be..... It looks like SERA is now in bed with BPL…. Stop and think about it Encode / Decode…… WRITING IS ON THE WALL!

73, hope to hear you on six meters….. oh BTW when are they going to tone that?

Moe KE4CQW always listening on 50.150 usb
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by N4QX on August 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KE4CQW writes:

<<It looks like SERA is now in bed with BPL.>>

Moe, notwithstanding whatever merit there is in your argument, this swipe is absolutely uncalled for. W4FAL, KN4AQ, and others' efforts to compel Progress Energy to address interference concerns at the soon-defunct Raleigh BPL site are well documented and very thorough.

Comparing the difficulty that a ham will face by determining a CTCSS tone and programming her radio accordingly with the difficulty that a ham will face when trying to hear a station over S9+ BPL noise from the lines along her street is like comparing a gnat to an elephant.

73 de Brennan N4QX
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by N4QX on August 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Moe,

I should add that I'm sympathetic to your problem with the remote user who is clearly using more power than necessary. Have you documented that he's using 160 W? If so, and if CTCSS has failed to stop the problem, I might suggest that a well-reasoned and supported report to the Commission might be in order. However, it is in order precicely because you have taken reasonable efforts to address the problem.

73 de Brennan N4QX
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KE4CQW on August 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"Moe, notwithstanding whatever merit there is in your argument, this swipe is absolutely uncalled for. W4FAL, KN4AQ, and others' efforts to compel Progress Energy to address interference concerns at the soon-defunct Raleigh BPL site are well documented and very thorough.

Comparing the difficulty that a ham will face by determining a CTCSS tone and programming her radio accordingly with the difficulty that a ham will face when trying to hear a station over S9+ BPL noise from the lines along her street is like comparing a gnat to an elephant.

73 de Brennan N4QX"

Thanks for the reply but I stand by my comment.....

Here is how I see it.... not knocking anyone I am not here to do that... it is a general view I have.

As it stands now if a repeater has a problem ie noise on the input or output it requires the repeater owner to work on it... agreed. Case in point an friend has a repeater... ugly noise on input..... so he toned just to check it.... trouble shoot the problem... ended up being a cold solder joint that was being mask by the tone... what if we needed his machine during a emergency and he took the tone... what then... We would have NEVER know we had a problem.

My comment about BPL goes hand in hand I think with BPL... we are fighting a big battle that I full expect us to get stabbed in the back by the powers that be. To me this is the first step in that happening.... Think about it encode / decode... what more could you want. Hid any problem you have... instead of fixing a problem we bury our heads in the sand.

The ARRL uses SERA to test the waters.... we are a test bed to guage the reaction to the new coordination paractice. If we lay down and take it I fully expect it to become the policy of the ARRL nation wide. I have nothing against any one in the ARRL and like some of the things SEAR have done IN THE PAST. But todays ARRL & SERA are out for nothing but the oh mighty dollar. I sorry I got the subject but that's how I feel... both are leading use by the nose down a path that will destory our hobby for ever.

As for "I should add that I'm sympathetic to your problem with the remote user who is clearly using more power than necessary. Have you documented that he's using 160 W? If so, and if CTCSS has failed to stop the problem, I might suggest that a well-reasoned and supported report to the Commission might be in order. However, it is in order precicely because you have taken reasonable efforts to address the problem."

We did, we even ask the repeater owner in VA to ask him to cut back on the power.... that was a was of a good stamp.... We recorded some stuff, even had him admit on the air he was running the amp at 160 watts but we got a reply other it's a local problem you need to police yourselves. What do you do then....?

Don't get me wrong I not trying to point fingers at anyone person but when it comes to getting help from SERA your p-----g in a hurrican if you think they will help.... it amazing at some of the coordination practices while I am on it.... a friend put in for a 440 repeater pair in October of 2003.... it took till March of 2004 for them to finally grant it... but here is the kicker.... they coordinatied the same pair to a guy in March one day before they granted his... it's even under the required seperation distance. He noticed it when he a bunch of interference on his machine. He finally managed to get hold of our coordinator and found out other repeater pair request. The other repeater request was ask for in Febuary.... You tell me who should have it? The request in Oct or Feb? If you don't kiss a-- or be one of the click with them your out of luck trying to get them to do a d---- thing. Now he is having to recrystal his machine and hopefully get a new repeater pair granted... then again he's only be asking since April for that and I have only been waiting since May about my questions.

73 Moe

 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by KG4YJR on August 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I see the "class envy" argument got injected into a discussion about amateur radio. It's the haves vs. the have nots, the two different Americas garbage again...blah...blah...blah...yadda...yadda. Maybe Kerry and Edwards (since they promote the two Americas theory, I've always believed there was one) will propose taxing the "rich" hams that can afford an IC-7800 to help subsidize or just outright buy new up to date rigs for the poor hams. And not just a standard 2m rig or ht, no sir. The poor deserve the same type rig as everyone else in a democratic/socialist society.


73
Dave
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by KB2HSH on August 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Wow. It's this kind of petty bickering (no offense to anyone, mind you) that compelled me to sell my 2m FM gear this year. Now...when I have the urge to operate a repeater (not that it's often, mind you) I do so on 10 FM.

As far as I'm concerned, I have two opinions:
A) Infighting like this makes us look divided to the entities that want us OFF of certain frequencies/bands

B) To REALLY enjoy these VHF/UHF bands, try SSB/CW. You'll never touch a "machine" again.

Just my $.02

John
HSH
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by K1CJS on August 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Tones should be voluntary--not mandatory. If your repeater has problems and a squelch tone will clear them up, you'd be stupid not to program one in. -BUT- If your machine isn't having any problems and you don't want a tone on it (it IS very complicated to program tones in some of the rigs available today) WHY MANDATE IT? Yes, I saw where they would not require existing machines to implement one, again BUT they wouldn't do their job (attempt to solve intermod problems) if your existing machine doesn't have one.

I still think they're going too far--maybe because they don't want to even hear about intermod problems--which is just a fancy way of saying they don't want to do their job.
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KV4C on August 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, tone should be voluntary and you would be an idiot not to put it on if that would solve your intermod problem...but, that's a RECEIVE tone-- not BOTH receive and transmit like SERA is dictating.

If you put a TRANSMIT tone on the repeater with an intermod problem, you are virtually guaranteeing that the intermod will ALSO have the correct tone needed. Thus, you just defeated the purpose in the first place. You made sure that you now will have the same intermod problem that you had before you ever put on the receive tone. How hard is that to understand? A TRANSMIT tone can be AWFUL for an intermod problem. So, WHY would you do it? Because SERA says so? That means that THEY are the cause of the problem, doesn't it?

You still have to go back to the other problem too, and this is happening in a lot of interference cases. One, two, or sometime more folks are using a 150 watts on 2-meter FM to get into a particular repeater and, consequently, they also open another repeater on the same frequency. EVEN IF BOTH of the repeaters use a tone, that FM signal will cause interference to the other repeater. It might not open the machine, but it will still interfere with the other repeater's receiver. TONE WON'T HELP THAT, so WHY would you go to the trouble and expense of putting a tone on? You don't need it!

Again, this is a case of SERA over-stepping its authority. Once they have coordinated the two machines (they are both coordinated by SERA)then SERA has no further responsibility according to the FCC. The onus of solving the interference at that point is on the two repeater owners-- no one else. SERA, however, volunteered for this job and it's only natural that they will catch some flack because of it. The problem is that they are tired of hearing complaints and they think that they have found a method to cut down on them. Even worse, though, is that they don't have the authority to say "we won't coordinate you if you don't use a tone." They may tell you that that is NOT what they are saying, but read the language for yourself. That IS what they are saying.

KV4C
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KC8VWM on August 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

Tone em...

As far a travellers are concerned, why not just announce the tone freq. with the repeater ID?

I fail to understand why this would be an issue? The traveller can hear any repeater TX'ing even with no tone enabled on the mobile reciever.

The argument that a tone might cause intermod only seems to suggest that additional measures should be in place at the repeater site to prevent any interference from occuring in the first place.

Someone said. "What about using a repeater during an emergency?"

Solution: Why not program the repeater to "accept" an untoned signal transmitting the number #9 as a method of disabling the repeater tone for a period of say 10 minutes? ...You know.. The DTMF number 9 as in 9-1-1...

Some repeaters already "announce" a similar DTMF Disable feature that temporarily disable CTCSS tones on a repeater.

This feature allows "travellers" or unequipped radios a convinient method of temporarily disabling the CTCSS tone on the repeater to get into the machine.

The CTCSS tone would then reactivate itself after a short period of time. ...Look ma ...no hands!

Enabling CTCSS tones on repeaters sure seems like a good way to keep QRM out of them.

How many times have you listened to "open squelched" repeaters for hours at a time, just because someone flicked on a light switch in proximity to the repeater site?

Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KE4MOB on August 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>>>As far a travellers are concerned, why not just
>>>announce the tone freq. with the repeater ID?

What if the controller doesn't have a voice synthesizer? Or suppose the trustee is of the philosophy that voice synthesizer usage detracts from the repeaters usability. I know a couple of trustees who don't want to clutter their machine with endless voice announcements. A courtesy beep and a CW ID is all they have, and I have a tendency to agree with the "less is more" philosophy....

In those cases, this decision will either A) force the trustee to upgrade controllers or B) change the operational philosophy of the machine.

Should SERA really have that power?
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by WA4MJF on August 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The asiest solution is the CAP model.

They have a unique tone for the repeaters
and a common tone for outta Wing users
to use.

For example you have a uniique
tone of 82.5 for the "resident users"
and a common tone of 100 Hz for itinerrant
users.

That way anyone traveling outta their home
area just sets 100 Hz and whalla they're
in the repeater.


73 de Ronnie
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by KK9H on August 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
As the Tech. Director of my local repeater club in suburban Chicago, I receive all the mailings from our Illinois repeater coordination body. Earlier this year they also passed a rule that all new repeater coordinations would require PL encode/decode (CTCSS) capability. Existing repeaters are required to have this capability by 2006. Our club currently has a 2M and a 440 repeater on the air and both have been CTCSS capable for years as have practically all of the other repeaters in our area. This is really no big deal. It has been the norm on the commercial VHF/UHF bands for decades.

With respect to travellers, the handy little ARRL Repeater Directory is really all you need. I travel with mine and have always been able to find a repeater to use anywhere I go in the U.S.

Don KK9H
North Shore Radio Club
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KE4CQW on August 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"The asiest solution is the CAP model.

They have a unique tone for the repeaters
and a common tone for outta Wing users
to use.

For example you have a uniique
tone of 82.5 for the "resident users"
and a common tone of 100 Hz for itinerrant
users.

That way anyone traveling outta their home
area just sets 100 Hz and whalla they're
in the repeater.


73 de Ronnie "

Here is what I see them doing is moving the repeater locations closer to allow more machines in the same area... aka encode / DECODE. If you use a standard tone and have a decent antenna and mobile radio guess how many machines you will bring up on the same freq....? Then your in a worse situation then now.... nice idea.

Moe KE4CQW
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KE4CQW on August 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"From : With respect to travellers, the handy little ARRL Repeater Directory is really all you need. I travel with mine and have always been able to find a repeater to use anywhere I go in the U.S.

Don KK9H
North Shore Radio Club "

I guess my questions is what version do you have? My new one is not worth the paper it is printed on....

I travel for work... the list from Houston is horrible and the one for Baton Rouge is not much better from the last couple of months.

The local version in the South Eastern KY and East Tenneessee is a joke.... I have family in Indiana and Cincinnati the book was useless over the 4th of July... Then again the paper repeaters make it fun to figure it out.

73 Moe KE4CQW
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KC0ARF on August 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hello,

I support this.

Ever have a nice beam in the air, and want to talk to City A, but cannot because City B has a repeater on the same frequency, but is carrier access only? So if you transmit, you are now bringing up two machines, when you clearly would only like to talk to one.

I also like the idea of repeaters transmitting a tone. In areas of higher electrical noise, it is nice to squelch out those blurps and only hear actual transmissions from the repeater.

Now, if the folks down there are really smart, they will avoid a bonehead situation we have here in Wisconsin ---> USE DIFFERENT TONES. Green Bay / Wausau is 107.2 Milwaukee is 127.3 Chicago is 107.2 A number of repeaters here, due to propogation along Lake Michigan, open up at the strangest moments. With today's antennas and power amps and towers, groups should really think about this. Green Bay should have been 136 or 141. Not the same as Chicago. I should note that WAR recently changed the tone plan around, but there are a number of installed units already out there.

The toneless radios are not junk. They may still be used for simplex and/or packet operation. Also, operating is a privlage, not a right, so if you cannot afford a tone-capable radio, maybe it is time to go to the radio club shack, and work with some others there. Dust off the old gathering place. Or build your own. Or do what I did -- get a second job for a bit and save the $$.

Christian KC0ARF
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KC8VWM on August 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"If you use a standard tone and have a decent antenna and mobile radio guess how many machines you will bring up on the same freq....? Then your in a worse situation then now.... nice idea. "


Additionally, if you don't have any repeater tone at all - this problem is then compounded even further.
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by KV4C on August 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Christian KC0ARF said:

<I support this. Ever have a nice beam in the air, and <want to talk to City A, but cannot because City B has <a repeater on the same frequency, but is carrier <access only? So if you transmit, you are now <bringing up two machines, when you clearly would only <like to talk to one.

I can't help but comment on this because it is EXACTLY one of the biggest problems. Don't you realize that it really doesn't matter whether they are both toned or not? If you're using a big old beam to hit the repeater in City A, your carrier is still interfering with the receiver of the repeater in City B. Just because you are not opening up City B's repeater doesn't mean that you are not interfering with it. "Good amateur practice" says that you shouldn't be trying to hit City A's repeater if you know that you are interfering with City B. You are supposed to use the least amount of power (that includes not using a 100 ft. tall antenna because of the ERP) to communicate. If you have to use a 100 ft tall antenna to hit a repeater, then you shouldn't be doing it. I'm sorry, but you are interfering with others when you do this. If you weren't spending all your time trying to hit theses distant repeaters, then the interference problem would go away.

We have the same problem here sometimes. There are folks that try to hit the repeater in Goldsboro-- same frequency as Florence-- because they like to check into the net there. They are under the mistaken impression that if they use tone to open Goldsboro, that they won't interfere with Florence. THEY ARE WRONG. That is POOR amateur practice! Sometimes, you just can't get everything that you want. City A's repeater will just have to stay off limits for you.

KV4C
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KC0ARF on August 31, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
K4VC,

In my observations, these occurred later in the evening when there was no traffic on the other system. Of course no one belongs trying to do that type of contact when the other system is active.

Fully agree that PL will not prevent interference if someone in the other city provides the tone, and you are into the repeater.

But then again, who said you had to run full power all the time? I do skywarn nets regularly all across the CWA here in Green Bay, and am moving my power around to adjust. Comes down to operator habits and good elmering. I really wish my commercial Motorolas had the power regulating switch.

In the end though, different PL tones will reduce the random openings caused by distant mobiles who happened to find a particular skip pattern and keep kerchunking the repeater.

Christian KC0ARF
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by K4JF on September 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The "you ain't up to date so junk your old equipment" argument is BOGUS!!

I am retired. I own five 2m capable rigs, two of them multi-banders. Only 2 of those rigs have PL capability. One that does not is a state-of-the art multi-band all-mode rig currently selling used for upwards of $800. The optional tone board is no longer available. SERA would destroy the value of that rig, and 800 bux is far, far more than the cost of a few computer games (are they really $100 each??? I don't use them.) So SERA would have me junk my main station rig, my sailboat rig, and my Packet rig and buy new ones. Well over $1000 to replace them all. For no valid reason, because there is little or no interference problem with the repeaters around here.

But I do enjoy meeting and conversing with travelers on the 146.01 machine that covers a large section of I-85 through N.C., S.C. and Ga. SERA would stop that, for the most part, by forcing us to "close" our repeaters. And don't say a PL repeater is not a closed repeater. You may be technically correct on the narrow definition, but a repeater designed to inhibit use by other than the locals is "closed" in my book (and many more, I am sure).
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by KI6LO on September 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Arguments like "...should someone be forced to update their gear to use tones if they like their older radios..." is like saying "I'm not going to buy unleaded gas for my muscle car because it won't run as good as before". If the source goes to unleaded only (e.g. tones ON or no repeater use), then you have to make changes to comply or your left out. In southern California (especially in the crowded coastal areas - LA, SD, SF) most if not all repeaters are toned.

For travelers, my recommendation is get a ARRL repeater directory every couple of years and pass on the older repeater directories to those that supposedly are so poor they can't buy air to breathe. There are costs involved in every aspect of life and hobbies including ham radio are no exception. I buy a new repeater directory every two years and keep it in the car. For crying out loud, it's only $9, the cost of lunch in most places. I give the old one to newly licensed hams or my local club.

If someone is so important that they must have access to a repeater and can't afford to update old or buy new equipment to access a toned repeater, then the folks who are so all fired concerned should get together and collect money to get these VIP's back on the air. If not, then they keep up best they can or fall by the wayside.

As to SERA making a blanket statement about tone coordination, I suspect they have had enough complaints and issues to warrant instituting such a decree. How well they can enforce it remains to be seen, but I would suspect that if they are 'empowered' as the official coordinating body for the area, the FCC will give creedance to them over others, like it or not.

Gene KI6LO
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by K4WWA on September 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with the tones.I gets annoying when the band has a little enhancement and you bring up 3 repeaters at a time.That is why I stay away from them unless I am mobile.Best yet change to ssb simplex and you will not want to use repeaters again.
As far as being afordable,If you can't afford a new rig a $129,the cheap route is to get an external tone unit for abt $50.
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by K4JF on September 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think anyone would be upset about advancing or upgrading for better equipment. But to deliberately obsolete perfectly good, recent equipment is simply not justifiable.

And unwilling to see $1,000 go down the drain is NOT "so poor they can't buy air to breathe". <Besides, air is still one of the few free things left in this country.>

And buying a directory is NOT the solution, when it is impossible to program a tone on the fly, and the listings don't always show the tone. C'mon... get reasonable. Basically, travelers have been kicked off most repeaters.
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by N6JSX on September 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
As a repeater owner that lives in the ultra flatland of Ohio I say TONE them ALL. I run a PL tone as my COR to insure QRM and other noise sources do NOT key up my repeater. Also it allows me to OPEN my squelch on the repeater giving me maximum RX distance. PL is just SMART and the right thing to do.

Now however, I must say there are a few points that I have problems with in regards to FM Repeater Coordiantion bodies and PLs - its the fierce autonamy they hold against Coordinators in adjacent States/areas. Many States are divided into sub-coordination areas and each area has chozen 5 PL frequencies for repeater Ops to select from. In Ohio there are five sections thats 25 PL tones out of 32. (See the potential inevitable conflicts that may occur with adjacent coordination bodies?) Some how the various Coordination bodies need to coordiante the selection of usable PL tones for their area to get the most gegraphical seperation of PL tones possible. I suggest that only two PL tones per smallest coordination area be selected.

I also feel that the time requirement to force all repeaters to comply by July 2006, is rather quick. This will be an added exspense to the repeater system and may take time to install, I'd give them at least two years to get on board. I also feel the ouput CTCSS be optional. I personally like it but it is not required to cut down on interference except for the users.

I remember offering FREE PL installation to HT's/mobiles to all HAMs in a Wisconsin club when we wanted to go PL on the repeater in 1994. All the member needed to do was buy the PL board and have a schematics of the radio. "I had NO takers." [I'm a +25 yr. Electronics Test Engineer/GROL w-RADAR/past US NAVY Electronics Tech, etc.] So we were going to allow non-PL users to DTMF a code to open the repeater until the ten minute timer reset the repeater back to PL operation - they still cried the blues and voted agaisnt this action - yet they still cried about the repeater kerchunking or pager key-ups - when we tightening the squelch it cut off some RX input distance and they really cried. You just cannot please the ignorant!

There is merrit in the issue that active repeaters are hard enough to locate now add a PL tone and they will be virtually invisable to non-local HAMs (and I've found the ARRL repeater guide PL tones are usually WRONG). Maybe the push should be to get the PL decoder manufactures to create a two tone decoder and make 100Hz the National PL tone. (And 100Hz would NOT be used for repeater PL tone coordination.) Activation of 100Hz could trigger the DVR ID message that would ID/announce the repeater data over the air. This would also play into a direction I've been pressing for years that 146.520 WITH 100Hz PL be used for EMERGENCIES. This would allow repeater owners to monitor 146.520 and when a 100Hz PL is detected the audio could be cut into the repeater audio for local HAMs to respond too.

I know I cannot talk to Ft. Wayne repeaters even with a good narrow beam from my location without keying up three other repeaters and then I hope the other carriers drop out quickly so I can hear the Ft. W boys. When the band is open I often key up +5 repeaters on one frequency from Ohio. It is fun and frustrating. Heck try 10m FM repeaters when there is a band opening and you will see how many repeaters you can key up. "PL tones keep band openings in check." With the FM radios on the market over the past 10 years PL no longer means Private Line. So to the old fuds get with the times/technology and GO PL or go to SSB!!!
Kuby, N6JSX /8
 
Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater Tone  
by KI4DPO on September 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
SERA cannot manage the corridination. Every copy of the Repeater Journal talkes about cleaning up paper repeaters and removing dead repeaters. This has yet to be done. If they don't know how to manage corridnitaion how can they manager PL tones.
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by N6AOT on September 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I know there are some folks who like their old rigs, esp good solid mobile 2m rigs, and don't see the need to change - this is not just a price issue. Lots of those big ol' late 70s to mid-80s 2m FM rigs had bulletproof front ends resistant to pager intermod.

There are a variety of cheap tone-encoder and even tone-encoder/decoder kits out there that can readily be added to 70s/80s mobile or base rig. (HT/handhelds are prob different - but then, a new Icom V8 or Yaesu VX150 is only $120ish.)

We're HAMS, OK? We're SUPPOSED to be able to tinker.

This month's QEX magazine has an article detailing how to build an automatic tone encoder for rigs w/o CTCSS encoders and that doesn't require a separate adjustment of a PL knob for each freq. change. Apparently it's carrier-frequency operated, which is very cool.

73 DE BILL N6AOT
SAN JOSE CA USA


 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by N1OFJ on September 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
As the chief engineer for the NI1U repeaters here in Connecticut, we have found that PL/DPL requirements are used to prevent occasional interference causing an unintended keying of repeaters in band opening circumstances, in other words, conversation not intended for our repeaters. They are also used in order to have silent squelch tails. Reverse burst employed by our radio systems produce no squelch tails. Also, when needed, PL/DPL makes easier linking to other systems, as hang times do not tie up the linking processes. We have been using PL and DPL for years, and I have never heard anyone say that it excludes them from use. Radios for many years now come equipped with PL encode as a standard accessory. For those who have a non PL radio, Com-Spec sells a cheap PL encoder that should be a snap to install, even in a portable. I would think by now, most radios that do not have PL are in the scrapyard. PL/DPL has been in use for over thirty years in the commercial world, and why hams cry over PL/DPL decoding requirements for a repeater says a sad statement for our fine hobby. It is high time for ALL repeaters to run PL/DPL encode and decode. Up here in the North East, it has been like this for a while, and it helps alleviate distant keyups.
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KE4MOB on September 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>>I would think by now, most radios that do not have
>>PL are in the scrapyard.

Guess again. Check eBay. The old pre-PL radios outlast most new radios, as they were built like brick outhouses. My favorite: the Kenwood TR-7400, 7850, and 7950 models. My newer radios don't hold a candle to these.

 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by N6JSX on September 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
MOB - FYI - Kwood TR-7950 had a optional PL board - something like a TU-76? Three channel diode configerable PL's - PL channel was slectable in each memroy. Of course most of use put a dip switch on channel three diodes for selection.
The 7800 series and older had no capability that's why I installed a 5 pos. rotary switch, a diode matrix, and a Comspec encoder board with a 10K resistor to reduce HUMMMMMMMM.
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KE4MOB on September 3, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Yep, got the TU-76 (or maybe TU-79??) in my 7950. Around here, very few repeaters are toned while the band is quiet, so the diodes don't pose a problem.
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by K4JF on September 4, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
" I would think by now, most radios that do not have PL are in the scrapyard."

Hardly. I saw literally dozens upon dozens of non-PL radios, in good working order, at the Shelby 'fest this weekend. Or at least radios in which PL was an option, which would mean that around the Southeast, they would most likely not have PL.

And one in my shack - that does not have PL - sells for over $800 on the market today (recent eBay prices). You are saying I should scrap it? Bravo/sierra.
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by K4JF on September 4, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"The toneless radios are not junk. They may still be used for simplex and/or packet operation."

Packet repeaters are exempt from the ruling? I didn't hear that.
 
RE: Repeater Coordinator Okays Mandatory Repeater  
by KF4VGX on September 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
As far as "requiring" PL tones, folks with older radios who have no desire to upgrade should not be left out in the cold by this "rotten legislation". We have one ham in this area who, for reasons of personal choice, chose not to buy a new radio with PL tone capability. Should we shut him out of the local repeaters because he likes his older radio?

Our local repeater is used by hundreds, if not thousands, of travelers who visit the Myrtle Beach area every year, who may or may not have PL tone capable radios. There are many new ham radio operators who have no clue what a PL tone is who can contribute valuable resources during emergency situations. How will we explain to hams that we can't hear calling us how to turn on their radio's PL function? They will likely give up in frustration. If someone from an area outside of the SERA area comes in without the knowledge that all repeaters in a large geographic area are all PL protected, and they don't have that capability in their radio, are we to shut them out of our repeaters across several states because SERA decided to edict that all repeaters henceforth will now be PL protected? I don't know about you, but I always take ham radio along with me on vacation. It would make for a miserable vacation if I had no way to access the repeaters in my chosen vacation spot! The southeast is a destination for millions of vacationers every year! I don't think they thought this thing through all the way... somebody's head is where the sun don't shine, and they need to pull it out!

The stance that SERA seems to be taking is that "if you're too stupid know how to use PL, or too poor to buy a radio that has PL capabilities, then we don't want you on any repeaters in our area". It's under the color of "protection of frequencies". And it's not right!

Somebody needs to call BULL---T on this before it gets any further!

-KR4WM

Its a strange thing that Web sees this as a problem ?

As He and Rick kf4vgv, has moved the local skywarn nets to a multi toned Repeater system. Sombody needs to Web's Bull---T .
 
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