eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net



[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Closed Repeaters Stink

Wayne Sewell (K5CUR) on November 9, 2004
View comments about this article!

When you are studying for the exams, you often see the statement "no one person or group owns a particular frequency" or words to that effect. However, in the case of closed repeaters, that statement does not appear to be true. I don't want to get into the semantics of "own", but if the repeater coordination authority grants a particular frequency to a closed repeater, and the FCC always finds against the "uncoordinated" licensee in interference cases, then those particular groups of hams are the only ones allowed to broadcast on that frequency in a certain geographic area. -- Sure sounds like ownership to me.

Sure, I understand that repeaters cost money to operate, and the money has to come from somewhere. But let's hold off on the "freeloaders" argument for a moment.

In a large metropolitan area such as Houston, which is like 50 miles across, there are a lot of repeaters, 2 meters, 440, a few 220, and even a couple of 6-meter ones. On paper anyway, not sure how many of these actually exist. But I have heard carriers and IDs from quite a few. Things are spread far apart here, so you might go through several coverage areas before you get to your destination -- and therefore several repeaters. Say everything was closed, which appears to be the case in some parts of the country. Could you afford to support every repeater in the entire area? Or even enough repeaters to cover the places you normally frequent? Or do you just use your radio within a few miles of your house and turn it off the rest of the time?

I am a member of more than one club, and therefore support more than one repeater. Not surprisingly, these are the machines closest to me, because I use them the most often. Use of other repeaters depends on where I am going. So would I be a "freeloader" on those repeaters? I suppose so.

On the other hand, those repeaters have local members who support them and those people are able to "freeload" on our repeaters. It all balances out, you know?

And this doesn't even address travelers, who would of course not be members of any of the local clubs/repeaters. If they looked in the book/cd-rom/database and found all local repeaters were closed, they would know there was no point in even bringing their radio on the trip.

Yes, there are many people who truly are freeloaders, who don't support any club or repeater anywhere, and that is a problem. On the other hand, many open repeaters manage to stay on the air anyway. Closing a repeater could be considered giving up, i.e. a failure in resource management.

If we simply MUST have closed repeaters, perhaps it could be done in such a way that more people could utilize the repeater, yet the trustees would still receive the financial support they need.

Perhaps computer clubs could have reciprocal agreements such that members of sister clubs could have access to the repeater. This would solve the "I can access my repeater but no one else's" problem. True, no additional money would be received by the repeater this way, as each member would still pay dues only to his own club, but it WOULD keep out the freeloaders. Everybody on the repeater is paying SOMEBODY.

This could even be done at a city/county/area level, sort of a "area repeater membership", such that everyone who has a membership in the super-club could access any of the associated repeaters. Again, this would keep out the total freeloaders. Admittedly, this would require infrastructure/bureaucracy and there would be a greater possibility of financial hanky-panky with greater amounts of money administered from a central location. It's just a thought.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K3ESE on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Try QRP CW!
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"Try QRP CW!"

From my car?

Wow, and people think cell phones cause accidents.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by OBSERVER11 on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Those that can, do, those that cannot, stay on FM.
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by NA4IT on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
It might help if you defined "closed".

If you are refering to "toned", that doesn't necessarily mean closed, especially if the tone is listed in a directory. All modern rigs are capable of tone. And, in my opinion, if a ham is serious about operating on repeaters, it's time to put the boat anchor rig without tone on APRS or Packet and buy a decent tone capable rig to use on repeaters.

If you are refering to not being able to access a repeater at all, then you may have hit the nail on the head as there are tons of "paper repeaters", frequency pairs that have been applied for yet never utilized, and would be better of having been decoordinated and reassigned to someone or a group who will put an active machine on the air.

Mind you also, sometimes, the repeater may be down for repairs or upgrades, or maybe the power is off. Also, at night, a lot of repeater owners have their machine "go to sleep", and I don't blame them, no one likes to hear some jerk kerchuck the machine at 2:00AM just to see if it is up. Repeater trustees are supposed to be monitoring their repeater at all times, or have some on assigned to do it. And most of them need their beauty sleep! (hihi) :-)

Lastly, if you are refering to Joe Blow who gets coordination of a set of frequencies, puts a machine on the air, and turns it off and on so only his family can use it traveling to work or the grocery store...YEP! THAT"S A CLOSED REPEATER! In my opinion, it IS NOT good utilization of frequencies.

I appreciate the fact that you said you support the machines you use locally. Most people do not realize it, but to put a decent 2M machine on the air, here's what it costs:

Repeater = $1200 and up
Controller = $300 and up
Power Supply (60A) = $350 and up
Power Amp = $1000 and up
Duplexers = $2500 and up
Antenna = $300 and up
Hardline = $????
Rack Cabinet = $????
All the nuts, bolts, and connectors = $????

So we are looking at a minimum cost of around $6000 for a new unit. And don't forget the time to build it, the trips to the mountain to maintain it, and the sheer aggrivation of hearing someone who never gives a dime for support be the very first one to complain that it is down.

I travel regulary to Florida, Kansas, and Kentucky. I have had no problem working any machine I wanted to, if it is up, and have found repeater trustees to be some of the nicest folks I have ever met. We have a local machine on Echolink, and in the other states, when I have wanted to use another repeaters Echolink, I simply have the courtesy to ask first, and most of the time, the trustee has come on and even told me the codes to bring it up and down.

So lets be a little more understanding of the repeater trustee. Especially those who bear ALL the expense for the repeater and allow anyone who wants to use it.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by N8UZE on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
In the areas in which I've lived, closed repeaters have not been a problem. They are few to non-existant. In crowded areas, they normally have a PL tone to access them, but this is usually listed in the repeater directory. Our repeater even announces its PL tone periodically.
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by HAMFAN on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hi folks,

Well here's this term again..."closed repeater".

I am not sure to exactly what condition you are referring to. What are you referring to? HOW are these repeaters closed to you or anyone?

Is it that it has an unpublished pl tone on it? Is that the only thing holding you back? If so then it's time for you to treat yourself to a new radio for xmas. Just about every single radio on the market now and for many several recent years contains a function called TONE SCAN. Which will locate unknown tones for you. Then you're in. Otherwise, these repeater owners cannot prohibit your use of their machine....unless you are found to be a troublemaker or something....even then they have no authority to keep you off, they must then hand a complaint over to the FCC. They do not own the freq.

Word up Tone Scan

 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Those who are flexible do both VHF/UHF and HF.

Is no one going to respond on topic?
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by OBSERVER11 on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
E W, your bio is quite revealing.

Closed repeaters are bad amateur practice, as you said, I fully agree, no one ham or group of hams OWN a pair, they are given access, this is NOT A GRANT.

If you look into the history of a club, you will find that most are a group of like minded hams that for one reason or another, broke away from the original club to form a new club, one that meets their needs, goals, or desires. These desires were normally the mother mother club would not want to change, and the daughter club did not want to play the game... new club!

So, you have an option, you can remain as you self-described a "freeloader" or you can join all the clubs in the area.

We have never called non-members "freeloaders", they are non-members. They do not have a vote in operation, but they can play on our repeaters all they want.

Our repeaters are never loaded, as a matter of fact, repeater useage has dropped of dramatically over the years, to the point where repeaters go unused for days and weeks.

And, as for the travelers thing, it has been my experiance that traveling with VHF or UHF is not worth the time or effort.

How many times have you heard a new call on the repeater and you ignored it? If you are not a local, most repeater users will not answer a call, and that is a FACT.

I nolonger travel with a V/UHF rig, I stay on HF, but when I did, I stayed on simplex, simplex users are more likely to answer a call, and you do not need CTCSS or to be a member of any club.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"It might help if you defined "closed".

If you are refering to "toned", that doesn't necessarily mean closed, especially if the tone is listed in a directory."




I was referring to the fact that the tone *isn't* listed. In other words, the repeaters flagged as "closed" in the book.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by W1BAK on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
They paid for it. They choose who uses it and who doesn't. Same as this web site. Quitcha bellyaching and get a life. I'll bet you're one of those people who'd bitch if you were hung with a new rope.... :)
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"How many times have you heard a new call on the repeater and you ignored it? If you are not a local, most repeater users will not answer a call, and that is a FACT."

That hasn't been my experience. I took my HT to Santa Clara last year and had no problems finding people to talk to. And on a recent drive to Dallas, I had conversations with people along the way and in Dallas itself.

Perhaps "most" repeater users will not answer, but how many do I need? I can't talk to everyone in the area anyway.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
" They paid for it. They choose who uses it and who doesn't."

So your assertion is that this particular group of people *does* own the frequency?
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K4JF on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
""How many times have you heard a new call on the repeater and you ignored it? If you are not a local, most repeater users will not answer a call, and that is a FACT."
That hasn't been my experience. I took my HT to Santa Clara last year and had no problems finding people to talk to. And on a recent drive to Dallas, I had conversations with people along the way and in Dallas itself.
Perhaps "most" repeater users will not answer, but how many do I need? I can't talk to everyone in the area anyway."

Depends on the area. We just about always answer travelers here in S. C. Great way to meet interesting people. (And there is no tone on our repeater: it is open for all.) However, my 4 days in Northern Virginia recently, using the 2 most active local repeaters, got exactly zero responses.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K0BG on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Well, gee. Install a decent HF setup in your vehicle, and forget the repeaters, tones, etc.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by W9AFR on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

I went to the ARRL web site and did a search on "Closeed Repeaters" and came up with this Question and answer article that was printed in some issue QST.


Q: Are “closed” repeaters legal?

A: Yes. The FCC even says so in Part 97 in
stating “…Limiting the use of a repeater to
only certain users is permissible”
[97.205(e)]. Just because a repeater may
use some form of coded access, such as
CTCSS, does not necessarily mean that it is
a “closed” repeater. Many “open” repeaters
employ coded access to eliminate or
reduce various types of interference, not to
restrict who is welcome to use the machine.
Also, there is no FCC rule that requires a
repeater’s licensee or sponsor to build a repeater
or allow use by other operators. A
repeater is not a public utility-you don’t have
a “right” to use it. If you use that station in
a manner that the owner finds objectionable,
for whatever reason, that person has every
right to revoke your privilege of using it!


 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by W1BAK on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"So your assertion is that this particular group of people *does* own the frequency?"

Give me a break! They "own" the repeater. You can talk any where the band plan dictates. But..whaa whaa..poor you. You just HAVE to use THAT repeater. Didn't the writer say there were others available? Use em!
This is like complaining that you can't belong to a club. The state licenses it for their use..and if they don't want your dumb crybaby ass in there, then that's just too bad. Sucks being you.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K4JF on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<Well, gee. Install a decent HF setup in your vehicle, and forget the repeaters, tones, etc. Alan, KØBG>

How about both, Alan? :o)

But what about the times you are traveling in someone else's car? Then an HT is about the only choice you have (and an antenna you clip on the window works great). Of course if the HT isn't brand new, then you are locked out of toned repeaters.

In my opinion, if there are so many repeaters around you need to tone them to prevent interference, then there are too many repeaters around.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by N4ZOU on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Yep! Closed repeater frequencies on VHF and UHF and now closed frequencies on HF where Pactor mailboxes scan a large number of frequencies on the HF bands. Same thing except there are no controls on the mailbox frequencies like FM repeaters. At least with a FM repeater you know where it is; an HF mailbox can pop up on any frequency at any time and it cant and wont check and see if the frequency is busy. It just pounds ARQ QRM until everyone gives up and moves off the mailbox frequency. The owner (not to be confused with an operator) simply takes over the frequency for the robots personal use and considers it the robots frequency. No one else is tolerated when the robot wants to crank up on "it's" frequency. Worse is the ARRL digital AD HOCK committee trying to get this Winlink/Pactor crap moved into the phone parts of the band as there running out of space with 3 KHz wide Pactor III mode on the digital sub-band. So yes, a group can homestead a frequency and become the sole owner of it and prevent use by other amateur radio operators from effectively using it, even if they were using it first.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"Give me a break! They "own" the repeater. You can talk any where the band plan dictates. But..whaa whaa..poor you. You just HAVE to use THAT repeater. Didn't the writer say there were others available? Use em!
This is like complaining that you can't belong to a club. The state licenses it for their use..and if they don't want your dumb crybaby ass in there, then that's just too bad. Sucks being you."

What is it about the internet that brings out the worst in people? Are you like this on the air? Can't you have a discussion without name calling?
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by N9WB on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I have a repeater in my hometown and a friend and I support it 100% It is a top quality system at 200 ft is one of the strongest in the area. It is open. The only time that we have restricted anybody is for rules violations or poor Amateur Practice. In 30 years we have barred 2 people from our system.

I had no use for closed repeaters. One day I went to California. They had to drag me out of the Mojave Desert with my camera kicking and screaming. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever imagined.

What I heard on two meters was a different story. I brought a hand held along and was appalled at what I heard on the “open” repeaters. If I had a repeater there, I would use a community controller and every user would have his or her own DPL code.

I came back with a much more positive view of closed repeaters.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
" Well, gee. Install a decent HF setup in your vehicle, and forget the repeaters, tones, etc."

Well, gee, I have one. My 857D can do both HF and VHF. I am not locked into one mode or the other. VHF is how I talk to the local people. From the car, I have not yet made contact with anyone closer than Georgia via HF (I am in Houston).
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by DAILYREGULARITY on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Wayne is 100% right about a closed repeater which is coordinated having "ownership" of a pair in the coverage area of the closed repeater. Closed repeaters are a plague upon amateur radio and have no place on the ham bands. I do part company with Wayne on the matter of forming cooperatives which would allow members of closed machines to operate on other closed machines. While his intentions are definitely good, this is not a good idea as it has potential to be terribly complicated and it legitimizes closed repeaters, which in my book, are unacceptable on ham bands in any form. Yes, I've heard the tired old saw about how expensive repeaters are to put up and why this makes closed repeaters OK. First off, let me say that I do know that they are terribly expensive, take a lot of time and talent to put up and maintain, and I am grateful to every individual, group of individuals, and clubs who go to the trouble, expense, and headache to put up viable, open repeaters! HOWEVER, the expense does not justify commandeering a pair and keeping all but your select clique of friends and relatives off of it. Think of frequency pairs as the roads you drive on in your community. Suppose the road in front of your home, or one you travel to work on, were a dirt road. Then an individual or group of individuals decided to pave it at their expense, since the county or state hadn't done so and showed no signs of doing so in the near future. Paving is a very expensive proposition, requiring lots of materials, labor, and equiment to accomplish. Once the paving was complete, these individuals decide that the only ones they will allow on the newly paved road (previously public domain) are themselves and their cronies. Would this be justified? I think not! They did make an improvement to the public domain but it is useless to all but the few who are allowed to drive on it, and furthermore, the public domain of the dirt road is no longer available to you, either. Kinda like the unused pair that had the potential for an open machine to be activated on or even for a clandestine simplex contact between you and friends but now is off limits because of the closed machine which occupies the space. Thankfully, their are dozens upon dozens of clubs and gracious individuals and groups of individuals out there who do put up and maintain real working repeaters for the good of all. Many of these repeater groups and individuals will not accept donations when offered. Reasons vary but they do a true service to ham radio. I was a member of one local club which had several repeaters on the air but they allowed them to deteriorate over time and to this day, have not put them in good working order. After several years of constant lobbying to the membership, the board of directors, or whoever would listen and donating money and hearing constant promises of impending improvements which were never delivered, I dropped out of the club. Even now, I hear regular promises to improve this or that aspect of their pitiful system but it never happens. Instead of making their repeater system, which benefited the majority of members on an almost daily basis at one time, viable, they developed a knack for being sidetracked by an emergency comms trailer that hasn't seen its first emergency in the 5 or so years it has been in "operation", the club radio room which, while more useful than the trailer still lacked the widespread use the repeater system had in its better days, or some other diversion of dubious utility. What the author proposes to do with "closed" repeaters and their groups is pretty much already in progress in most parts of the country. Good people and clubs put up real working repeaters, as opposed to paper or "ego" repeaters, and they are open to all. Now, if all repeater coordination bodies would do as I understand that SERA does and just refuse to coordinate any closed machine, we'd all be better off. Oh, one last thing, for the masses out there that just don't see
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by DAILYREGULARITY on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Page 2....seem to get it, A PL ON A REPEATER DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY MAKE IT A "CLOSED" MACHINE!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, many closed repeaters do use PL, but I dare say that many more open repeaters are PL'd than there are closed repeaters with or without PL out there. There IS a difference, folks! 73, DR
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by W8VOM on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
America has eliminated many forms of discrimination and so should we. To exclude a licensed amateur from any system for "arbitrary reasons" or because they are not one of the group, is cause for concern. Again, I am not referring to Special service repeaters or PL, I am referring to the proliferation of Private and Closed repeaters within the amateur radio service! If this proliferation continues, you may well find yourself hunting for an Open repeater as you travel this great nation.

It may be time for the FCC and the ARRL to revisit existing law and the great latitude it grants to repeater owners! A survey on QRZ showed that the vast majority of amateurs oppose closed repeaters and I include myself in that majority. I am well aware that some owners will not agree with said majority, nobody likes to loose the power to withhold access. Some owners withhold access for "personal" reasons, not because the person seeking access is a bad operator and this is wrong! Together we can make arbitrary exclusion from closed repeaters a memory. Let your ARRL director know that the existing law needs to be changed. We can take action now or wait till the last pair is granted to yet another closed system! W8VOM
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"I do part company with Wayne on the matter of forming cooperatives which would allow members of closed machines to operate on other closed machines. While his intentions are definitely good, this is not a good idea as it has potential to be terribly complicated and it legitimizes closed repeaters, which in my book, are unacceptable on ham bands in any form"

Well, I did prefix the proposal with "if we must have closed repeaters". I agree that they should not exist at all, and was just trying to minimize the effect when they do. A larger group using the repeater is *slightly* better than a small group using it.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by AC0H on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
If you don't like the way the local or state coordination group assigns repeater pairs you can always get yourself appointed to the commitee and change things.

How exactly does a repeater owner get rid of unruly users who are breaking rules right and left if not by changing the PL tone to one which is unpublished. With tone scan and a reasonable brainpan any idgit can come up with the new tone.
I suppose he/she could ask the barbarians to please play nice or report them to the FCC and hope they get dealt with in 3 or 4 years. In the meantime the FCC will hold the owner/operator responsible for all violations. I don't know why anyone would go to the expense or heartache of putting a repeater up these days.

On our linked systems here in Iowa the repeaters themselves announce the PL tone every 10 minutes with the ID. If you just miss the ID and have no clue what the tone is you'll waiting 10 minutes to get into the machine. Is this a "closed" system?

I do get a chuckle out of the old timers, with rigs that belong in the Smithsonian, who then bitch and snivel about putting PL tones on a machine. Their now 35 year old 2m rig becomes a paperweight. You should hear the howling. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! CRACK OPEN THE WALLET, BLOW THE DUST OUT, AND SPEND $150 ON A MODERN RIG! Or sit down and shut up.

OBTW, Which "book" is the author refering to?
If he means the ARRL repeater directory the thing is chock full of mistakes and misprints.
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KB9YZL on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with the author that closed repeaters are undesirable,…. for the reasons he states. I also agree with DAILYREGULARITY that any king of reciprocal agreement system would be too cumbersome to be effective.

……….And speaking of things that “Suck” (in reference to the title of the article), how about all these guys who find it necessary to insert their moronic comments about “CW” and “Code”, regardless of what the actual topic is!

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”

 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"How exactly does a repeater owner get rid of unruly users who are breaking rules right and left if not by changing the PL tone to one which is unpublished. With tone scan and a reasonable brainpan any idgit can come up with the new tone."

I think "reasonable brainpan" and "idgit" are contradictory, unless said brain pan is mostly empty space.

Anyway, not all jerks are mentally deficient. Many could follow the change of tone as easily as the non-jerks. So what has been accomplished?


"On our linked systems here in Iowa the repeaters themselves announce the PL tone every 10 minutes with the ID. If you just miss the ID and have no clue what the tone is you'll waiting 10 minutes to get into the machine. Is this a "closed" system?"

Not if any licensed amateur who knows the tone is allowed to use the repeater.

If there is *any* restriction on usage other than removing operators who have caused problems in the past, then yes, it is a closed repeater.

"I do get a chuckle out of the old timers, with rigs that belong in the Smithsonian, who then bitch and snivel about putting PL tones on a machine. Their now 35 year old 2m rig becomes a paperweight."

I don't have a problem with tones in themselves, my rig can handle them fine. As long as I can access any repeater to which I know the tone.
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KD7NNT on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Closing Repeaters to non-members is a very good way
to inhibit new HAMS.
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by N0IU on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
There is only one thing worse than closed repeaters and that is people with closed minds!

I guess that's easy for me to say since I can't remember the last time I operated above the HF bands.

The bottom line is just that; the bottom line, no matter how you want to justify it. As has been said over and over and over again, no one owns any frequencies, but clubs and individuals do own their equipment and they have every right in the world, legally, morally and ethically to expect the users of that equipment to help defray the costs.

Do I have to let you into my house to use my equipment just because no one owns any frequencies???

NØIU
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by W5EEX on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Seems like a moot point to me....I am in Phoenix where there are probably close to 40 or 50 repeaters all total.....the majority of the time they are sitting idle....I think a bigger issue is getting people to use the repeaters, and hence the frequencies, so we don't lose them to something else. I am sure there are some closed repeaters around here, but there are more than enough open ones that sit idle most of the time. I was once concerned that the "no code" Tech license would lead to massive crowding and lack of available repeaters.....it just hasn't happened.
73
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K4JF on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<"I do get a chuckle out of the old timers, with rigs that belong in the Smithsonian, who then bitch and snivel about putting PL tones on a machine. Their now 35 year old 2m rig becomes a paperweight.">

So anything over 4 or 5 years old should be junked, huh? That is not very good Amateur practice.

As for "tone scan", even if your brand new rig has it, you still have to 1) wade through the menu system to get to it, 2)find someone transmitting close enough to hear the signal going into the repeater. Very inefficient, and dangerous if you are driving. Even if you know the tone, it is dangerous to try to program it in while you are driving. As opposed to letting your rig scan the band, and picking up on what it finds. (That used to be fun while traveing.)
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by G3SEA on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

Since individulas or groups pay for the repeater equipment and maintenance then it is their prerogative as to how they operate their repeater.

However if you have problems finding an open repeater or if the open repeater(s) ' seem ' to have no activity or response then there is always EchoLink ( with a notebook ) whereby you can completely bypass all local repeaters and connect to any repeater in the world and have a meaningful and enjoyable QSO.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KT8K on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I am against closed repeaters, too. Closed repeaters, like automatically-operated PACTOR mailboxes, have no place in the ham bands, IMHO.

I also believe PL should be used only when interference problems require it, and only until the interference problems have been addressed.
If lids are causing a system problems, the trustee and supporters should take steps to find them and let them know what kind of behavior and use is appropriate. If the lids continue to offend, and their conduct is illegal, the steps to address the problem should be clear. If the lids are making people uncomfortable but NOT in violation of any regulations, they should still be contacted and asked to straighten up. If that doesn't work, then there are other measures that can be taken: More personal visits? Contact their spouses/parents/children and make them aware of the problem? Publicize the problem on the repeater newsletter/website?

There have to be more, and more creative, approaches, too. I'd like to hear them - so I'd appreciate it if someone with one of these deeply troubled repeaters would post a request for suggestions here. I am a repeater trustee for three repeaters with a pretty benevolent ham community in the area, and few issues, but I'd like to see some brainstorming and real-world experiences with these issues (and hope I and my club don't have to deal with them).

Thanks for the interesting item and discussion.
73 de kt8k - Tim
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by W5HTW on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
There are two issues here! (Though most won't agree.)

One is "closed repeaters" in which a repeater, and its 'pair' are 'owned' by a club or individual. It is in fact, the owner's duty, responsibility, to be able to control the repeater, just as he would control his HF ham station, as to whom could use it and under what conditions.

The other issue, though, is the actual frequency. He doesn't own that. He owns the repeater. But he doesn't own the frequency.

If his repeater is not being used at the moment, then the *frequency* is open. He can't own it, and he doesn't. You may not can put a repeater up there and get it coordinated, but who says you can't bring up your kilowatt CW rig on that frequency? Then, by nature of you being there, it is YOUR frequency, and if the repeater keys up on you, it is doing the interfering with you, not the other way around.

Repeaters are, for the most part, an ego trip, a power trip, for their owners. One or two good coverage repeaters in an area are all that may be needed. Forty or 50 is just idiotic. Either that, or make ALL of two meters a "repeater only" band and forbid all other types of operation. And, just like in business radio, *assign* frequencies by the FCC, not by some ad hoc repeater coordination group, and force them to follow the rules of business radio. Then they can be closed all they want, and be "personal" or "business" radio and let the hams move to 220 mhz.

It is incredibly asinine to link five or six two meter repeaters in an area to an additional five or six 440 mhz meters. Just a person's way of laying claim to the ham bands to satisfy ego.

As to cost? Well, let's see ... Some of us have $8,000 invested in HF equipment. So does cost justify laying a claim to 3905 KHZ, since we have so much money in the equipment? If so, then I suppose K1MAN is justified in taking over 14275 KHZ.

I liked the old way better - no one had a claim to ANY ham frequency, HF or VHF/UHF. Welcome to the new ham radio.

Ed
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by N3ZKP on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<< And, just like in business radio, *assign* frequencies by the FCC, not by some ad hoc repeater coordination group, >>

Unless something has changed in the last few years, business band assignments are NOT done by the FCC but by a frequency coordination body.

Lon
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by N3ZKP on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I think the whole article is nothing more than another troll posting to cause an argument.

<< Say everything was closed, which appears to be the case in some parts of the country.>>

I have traveled in 40 of the fifty states and have yet to find an area like this. Repeaters that are idle and/or no one answers, yes, but closed, no.

Another solution in search of a problem that doesn't really exist.

 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KE4ZHN on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Simple solution is to just find another one to use. If there are as many repeaters in you area as your article suggests, whats the problem?
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"If his repeater is not being used at the moment, then the *frequency* is open. He can't own it, and he doesn't. You may not can put a repeater up there and get it coordinated, but who says you can't bring up your kilowatt CW rig on that frequency? Then, by nature of you being there, it is YOUR frequency, and if the repeater keys up on you, it is doing the interfering with you, not the other way around."

Does it actually work that way in practice? During the discussion about the SERA All Must Tone or Else Follies, the point was made that the FCC recognizes the coordination authorities and will always find in the favor of the coordinated repeater in interference complaints. That was talking about interference by uncoordinated repeaters, but would they let somebody doing simplex CW/SSB/FM get away with it?
 
Closed Repeaters Suck (no they don't...)  
by NA6DF on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Ya know, ya bunch of whiners, it *is* the repeater licensees license & equipment that is being used here. If he/they don't want public access, then that is thier perogative. Period. Get over it. And by the way, if you only travel a few miles around, why bother with a repeater? Ya ever try SIMPLEX? Ever heard of it? Works great. (flak jacket mode *on*)

NA6DF
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by X-WB1AUW on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Good Rant.
Glad to see you didn’t post it in the Elmers Section.

Peter Island and Kerguelen are coming up. They won’t be closed.

Figured out what temp. antenna you going to use to get thru to them?
Bob
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K0RGR on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Sadly, some of the most impressive repeater systems around were 'closed systems'. You had to be voted in by the membership and membership was definitely not cheap. I think that the advent of cheap cell phone service has deflated a great many of those operations.

I'd prefer to see 'closed systems' on bands other than 2 meters - if I were doing one, I'd prefer the privacy that a 222 Mhz. system would give me, anyway. Heck, there aren't any cheap scanners out there that cover that band, so there would be no eavesdroppers.

I still think that another revolution that needs to sweep ham radio is a national review of overall 2 meter repeater assignments. I think there are simply too many of the things. The first ones that need to go away are the ones that only exist on paper, followed by those that only go kerchunk in the night. Then, the truly active ones need to be rebalanced on the available channels. Sometimes, you have to weed the garden. It is long past time.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K3ESE on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I love to do QRP CW from my car!!!

Only on the open road, of course...but it sure makes those long trips go faster!
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by W3JXP on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I agree, closed repeaters suck. But they are a fact of live on FM. As I travel most of the repeaters that I drive through are Tone controled. No one uses the same tones and I can't remember how the change the tone seting in my radio without using the manual and I couldn't do it with out stoping as it would get me killed if I try to do change it while moveing. The result is I've given up repeaters while traveling and stick to simplex. I get the same number of contacts as I would have using a repeater and I get more fun out of doing on my own. My suggestion is to work more simplex. Its more fun than repeaters.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by AC0H on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<<"So anything over 4 or 5 years old should be junked, huh? That is not very good Amateur practice.">>

Four or five years?
PL encoding has been available on most if not all VHF/UHF mobile rigs for at least 15 years, probably more. It is bad amateur practice to let yourself and your equipment get left behind technologically.
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KC2GOW on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
You mean your NOT supposed to talk on closed repeaters? OOPS! Lets put this into perspective just a minute.

A: Nobody is obligated to put up a repeater. If you can't pay for it...DON'T BUILD ONE!

B: You would have to be pretty stuck up not to let a passing ham use the repeater. (That is of course we're talking about a complete...PUT CATCH PHRASE HERE...)

Finally to finish this mental release. Talk there anyway unless spoken to DIRECTLY from the Trustee. NOT the: Club board and or members, some guy on the repeater, or jammers.

That is my two sense, take it or leave it.

73 from a CW Operator.
Andy KC2GOW
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by WA5ZNU on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I'm amazed how many people confused closed repeaters and PL tones.

Look at http://www.narcc.org/ or just jump directly to http://www.narcc.org/Rptr_Lists/Repeater_List_menu.html and see how many of the 440-444 MHz repeaters are listed as "c" for closed.
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KD5VHF on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Yes the repeater owner/s should be required to OPEN the repeaters to any and everyone. They should also be required to leave the door to their shack/s unlocked in case someone wants to use any of their other equipment.....NOT. If a "closed" repeater is the only one that covers the area you want then put up your own repeater in that area. Problem solved. I can't afford a class A motorhome but I don't expect the owner of one to just let me use his/hers because I want to.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by WB2WIK on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
There may be confusion between "closed" and "CTCSS (PL) accessed," and "unpublished tone" repeaters, but for sure there are truly "closed" repeaters in lots of places. Here in L.A., about 75% of all the repeaters on the 70cm band are officially "closed." <Yawn>

I like the mobile CW idea, and do that, myself. I've had my Bencher in my center console so long that my car mechanic thinks it's something Volvo installed. I much prefer mobile CW to mobile phone operations, since there's no mike cord to get tangled up, and for "local" CW contacts, I use 40 meters during the day, which provides pretty good signals from next door out to a few hundred miles.

Regarding repeaters, though: I've been in the repeater game for so many years that I just don't care, anymore. I just sold my next-to-last (2 meter) repeater to somebody who cares more than I do, and raised the money to buy a K2. I can still use my old repeater, it just IDs with somebody else's callsign, now. Hallelujah.

WB2WIK/6
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by WA6BFH on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Just to beg the question, or perhaps otherwise clarify a point, I wonder if all the repeaters mentioned -- are really repeaters? I still keep running into Ham's who think that the signal somehow gets bounced off two antennas but, my real point is -- every receiver/transmitter on top of a mountain or some other such desirable location is not necessarily a "repeater"!

Remote Base Stations, or what the FCC calls Auxilliary Link Stations are intended for certain purposes. They are intended to be specifiaclly used, not just to repeat the QSO of anyone who wants to ragchew. In fact, general indiscriminate chit-chat would interfere with the intended purpose!

I myself do not understand those who get 'bent out of shape' because a particular system may not want their patronage. We have lots of systems on VHF, UHF, and SHF that are both 'open' and 'closed'. It takes a lot of work to build and maintain such a system. I myself always ask, when I am new to an area, if particular systems are open or closed. If they are closed, I go elsewhere.
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K8NQC on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
TRUE STORY !!

Two years ago, my wife and I were driving in an adjacent state. We came upon an accident where a young woman was thrown through the windshield of a vehicle and into a tree. We were the first ones there and saw it was serious. We tried to raise the local repeater but could not raise it. It had PL on and we could not get it up. We even tried reverse but could not get any response. I stayed at the accident and worked with the young woman, clearing her air passage to permit breathing. My wife had to drive a few miles away to report the accident. Life-flite did get help in time but ten weeks later the victim died, never getting home from the hospital. Had we not had the delay it may have been different. There is no way of knowing that but every time I hear the subject raised I cannot help but wonder.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KG5JJ on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I haven't had a problem with repeaters in years; I use a cellphone now... ;-}

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by GILLIAM_LINEBERRY_EX_N4VOX on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
First I am surprised at the number of people that said
"It might help if you defined "closed". I can't believe these people passed the required exam(s) to get a license.

I have found "closed" repeaters to be few and far between. I can't recall ever seeing one in an area that didn't have open repeaters.

Why spend your time worrying about something that is not a problem. Enjoy the open repeaters that are generally under utilized.
 
Closed Repeaters Suck ?  
by N9AVY on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
If I run across a repeater listed as "closed" in the Repeater Directory, figure that the Welcome Mat is NOT out and assume that this is a clique which does not welcome "outsiders". That's okay with me as there are other frequencies and repeaters available.

 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K4JF on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
< haven't had a problem with repeaters in years; I use a cellphone now... ;-}

73 KG5JJ (Mike) >

So how do you meet a friendly stranger, in a city where you know nobody, with a cellphone, Mike?
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K4JF on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<PL encoding has been available on most if not all VHF/UHF mobile rigs for at least 15 years, probably more. It is bad amateur practice to let yourself and your equipment get left behind technologically. >

Until VERY recently, only as an add-on board. And when you live in an area with open repeaters, you don't tend to buy the board.

Example: I own 5 different, modern, 2m rigs. Car, sailboat, house, mountain house, HT. Only 2 have PL, and one of them is the oldest (I bought it used at a hamfest and the previous owner had installed one for his area). One of my rigs (without PL) presently sells for $800+ used, and Kenwood no longer sells the PL board. Being retired, I really would rather not junk them, for no real advantage.

Another thought: what about the young newcomers to our hobby/service? THEY are the future of ham radio. Many of them have limited funds - allowance, or maybe a part-time job while in school. Maybe they can only afford a used HT, for example. Why are some people so anxious to price them out of the market?
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 9, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"If I run across a repeater listed as "closed" in the Repeater Directory, figure that the Welcome Mat is NOT out and assume that this is a clique which does not welcome "outsiders"."

Fortunately, the software on the travel plus cdrom can be instructed to ignore these totally useless, waste-of-a-good-frequency-pair, available-only-to-the-gods-of-olympus closed repeaters when making a repeater list. There is absolutely no point in downloading them into your radio if mere mortals are not allowed to use them.

Now if only something could be done to identify the even more useless paper repeaters and drop them from the list.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by G5FSD on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> > KØBG
> > Install a decent HF setup ...

> K4JF
> But what about the times you are traveling in someone else's car?

How about not being so rude, and actually talking to the driver?!!

---

I can't believe you need closed repeaters over there, here in Europe all repeaters are open and we get along just fine. Apart from the fact that they're so quiet so much of the time.. but that's life :o)

 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"I can't believe you need closed repeaters over there"

We can't believe we need them either, or more precisely, that some people think they need them. Which of course is what this thread is about.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KB8UFF on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>Example: I own 5 different, modern, 2m rigs. Car, sailboat, house, mountain house, HT. Only 2 have PL,<

I guess we have a different definition of 'modern'.

I have had my license since 1994 and I have never seen a 2m amateur tranciever sold since then that doesn't have PL as standard equipment.

We use PLs to keep our repeaters from opening up when people are accessing distant repeaters on the same freq. pair. In Western Michigan most of the PLs are 94.8. Others are used when remote access through listening stations are involved. From my home in Muskegon I can hit three different repeaters on the same freq pair by using different PLs.

I don't know of any closed repeaters in our area. And when I hear a new call on any of our repeaters I always give a reply. More often than not, I am not the only one. We really like to get callsigns on our repeaters from other 'lands'.

If people aren't as friendly in other parts as they are here in Western Michigan, I don't ever want to leave! Add to that phenomenal sunsets, exquisite summers the Air Fair and Scribb's Pizza...I'll be an 8 call forever!

73,

Mark K8MHz (formerly KB8UFF)
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KB9CRY on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
So why the use of un-professionsal words in the title of your article?
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
This is a professional forum and we are all professional radio operators? I wasn't informed.

Come on, that is the *only* contribution you have to make to the thread?
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by W6PMR3 on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
In Southern California the FM portion of440 has been "PRIVATE" for decades. Not "Closed" as in anybody can join, but it's a "don't you dare come on my system or I'll have your head" attitude.
Someone on this thread said it's 75% closed,...no it's 90-95% "PRIVATE"
It's been a "PRIVATE" club that does not like to issue frequency,s (when they become open) to any "open" machine group. For years the frequency and location guides never had ANY infomation on ANY machines in the area on this band. Check out the older ARRL repeater guides from a few years back and check out the Southern California area.
I and many others were denided use of the band for years and years. THIS WAS/IS A DISGRACE ON HAM RADIO
The only reason there has been any info on call signs and locations now is because I and many others copied the calls and noted the frequency's then got together and published an "Underground" frequency list for the band. We then distributed this incomplete list at the TRW swap,...you should have seen the anger on some Hams,s faces!!!!This for just distributing info that should have been public in the first place!!
So dont carp about a couple of "Closed" systems in your area, In So. Cal the 440 band has been run by a small group of people that for years have kept an entire band hostage.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K9MI on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Whoa there partner!

I know of NO 2m rigs built in the past 15 years, probably more, that don't have the ablity to transmit a CTCSS tone to access a repeater using PL access.

The boards you are referring to, are probably the board that allows for CTCSS decode, which is for decoding a tone, commonly referred to as "tone squelch" which keeps other repeaters from breaking your squelch on your end. With tone squelch, your repeater must transmit a sub audible tone at all times. It is never a necessity to have tone squelch, but a luxury to keep from hearing distant repeaters.

For the past several years though, just about every VHF/UHF rig comes standard with encode (you transmitting a tone) and decode (you receiving the tone).

And VHF/UHF rigs have never been cheaper then they are right now! Not this past Dayton, but the one before, a friend picked up an Icom 2100H for me, for $127. This radio is rated at 55 watts output on high power, has the ctcss encode and decode standard, as well as tone scan. So in reality, there has never been a time when getting into ham radio has been so inexpensive.

As far as uing PL on a repeater, and I am trustee of our club's repeater, I think that should be reserved for times of interference. That said, I realize that there are repeaters that have constant interference, and the PL is a necessity or listening to the interference all the time will drive you batty. I set a voice announcement of what the PL tone is, and have it play every 15 minutes in case someone out of the area comes through and wants to use the repeater.

If you have old equipment for VHF that you can't find a board for, don't want to go to the trouble, etc, you can always take your older vhf gear to a hamfest and if you price it reasonable enough, some one may pick your older rig up for use on the packet cluster or Aprs, where transmitting a tone is not required.

Using the PL tone is also something I do when there is a band opening to the point of distant stations keying up the repeater (and probably several others). Dx'ing is a fun thing, but IMO, it's something best left off of repeaters.

73, Mike K9MI


 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K4JF on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<I guess we have a different definition of 'modern'.>

I've been at this a while, so looking at how often the manufacturers bring out new equipment, my definition of "modern" is anything less that 10 years old. It also has to do with design, so "modern" would need all solid state, at least some computer control, at least some programming ability to suit to the individual operator, etc. Hmmm, well, the TS-711 fails some of that, so make that 4 modern rigs and 1 PL.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K4JF on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> > KØBG
> > Install a decent HF setup ...

> K4JF
> But what about the times you are traveling in someone else's car?

How about not being so rude, and actually talking to the driver?!!

How about when my sweetie is sleeping? Or when we want local information?
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by WB2WIK on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Q: How do you meet friendly strangers with a cell phone?

A: Stop by neighborhood bar/club; leave cell phone on bar, sitting in front of cute YL; go to phone booth, call your own cell phone. When she picks it up, say, "Hey, this was a trick to see if you'd answer my phone, and it worked. I'm standing 20 feet to your (fill in direction)." Walk over and talk with new friend.

Used to work very well for me. But hard to do if you're still on the freeway. Never lost a phone this way, although that is a risk. Less likely to happen in good neighborhood.

WB2WIK/6



 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K4JF on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<If you have old equipment for VHF that you can't find a board for, don't want to go to the trouble, etc, you can always take your older vhf gear to a hamfest and if you price it reasonable enough, some one may pick your older rig up for use on the packet cluster or Aprs, where transmitting a tone is not required. >

I really don't want to sell my TS-790. It's a great rig for satellite operation, SSB and CW work. I don't think I should have to get rid of it, or install a second rig, just to hit local repeaters. (I already have a TM-221A here for Packet. Oops, forgot that one earlier... but it is too old to be called "modern" so it's 5 modern and 2 old ones) Besides, what would be your definition of "reasonable"? They are going for $750-$800 on eBay. And how would I replace it at any price? I haven't seen a tri-band all-mode with PL on the market. Have you? One should realize that not all 2-meter rigs are just FM, even that is the most popular mode.

Back to the subject of this thread: I don't particularly care for closed repeaters. But there are a lot of them, they are legal, and the owners have the right to make them that way. It is their machine, after all. I'll just stay on the open repeaters (how few there are), or SSB, or CW or HF. But it is a major loss to those of us who travel extensively. And, dare I say, to those who would otherwise get to meet some nice and interesting people.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K4JF on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<by WB2WIK on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Q: How do you meet friendly strangers with a cell phone?

A: Stop by neighborhood bar/club; leave cell phone on bar, sitting in front of cute YL; go to phone booth, call your own cell phone. When she picks it up, say, "Hey, this was a trick to see if you'd answer my phone, and it worked. I'm standing 20 feet to your (fill in direction)." Walk over and talk with new friend.

Used to work very well for me. But hard to do if you're still on the freeway. Never lost a phone this way, although that is a risk. Less likely to happen in good neighborhood.

WB2WIK/6 >

Chuckle.... very good. But hardly the same as meeting friendly folks of both gender, who share a common interest. Also works only locally. I've met friendly people all over the world, and in new cities when I have moved or visited. None of which you can do with a cellphone, or the internet. Ham radio cannot be replaced.

 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KD7EZE on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
NA4IT--

You stated, "I appreciate the fact that you said you support the machines you use locally. Most people do not realize it, but to put a decent 2M machine on the air, here's what it costs:

Repeater = $1200 and up
Controller = $300 and up
Power Supply (60A) = $350 and up
Power Amp = $1000 and up
Duplexers = $2500 and up
Antenna = $300 and up
Hardline = $????
Rack Cabinet = $????
All the nuts, bolts, and connectors = $????

So we are looking at a minimum cost of around $6000 for a new unit."

I don't know where you do your shopping, but I have 5 decent repeaters operating at present, and I may have $6000 invested in all of them combined. My repeaters are 60 watt units, have CTCSS and DPL capability, and work very efficiently. The controllers have both voice and CW ID, WX forecast, and phone patch capability. Each repeater and controller together is less than $400 new. If you're paying $350 and up for a 60A power supply, you've been taken to the cleaners. A good duplexer can be had for 1/2 to 1/3 the price of what you state. A good repeater antenna can be had for around $80. Because my repeaters put out 60 watts, an external power amplifier is unnecessary. Hardline can be had for free from your local cable TV company, and the rack cabinet, etc. can be homebrewed. One thing not mentioned, a tower. These can be picked up cheap at a good hamfest, or in the classified section of your local newspaper.

This is not an attack on you personally. I'm just informing everyone that you can get into a repeater for alot less money than most people think. I suppose if you're buying these items from AES or HRO, you could get into the big bucks. This might be the way to go, if you've got so much money that you don't know what to do with it. For most of us poor hams, there are less expensive alternatives.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KC8VWM on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Repeater = $1200 and up
Controller = $300 and up
Power Supply (60A) = $350 and up
Power Amp = $1000 and up
Duplexers = $2500 and up
Antenna = $300 and up
Hardline = $????
Rack Cabinet = $????
All the nuts, bolts, and connectors = $????



Finding out no one is on the air using your repeater? = Priceless
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by ND5Y on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
You say closed repeaters suck? Consider this:

I put up a $50,000 repeater system.
You buy a $50,000 truck.

I need an amateur operator/station license to operate the repeater on public airwaves.
Your truck needs to be licensed & safety inspected to operated on public highways.

I need a Tech or higher amateur operator/station license to talk on the repeater.
You need a Class A CDL to drive your truck.

Assuming I have a class A CDL, can I come over to your
house at midnight and drive your truck? I think you
should let me drive it on a public road whenever I want.
I can't??? Well, you can drive it yourself, just take
me wherever I want to go whenever I want.

Will you let other properly licensed people drive your
truck whenever they want, even if they are idiots?


Tom ND5Y
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by ND5Y on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
You say closed repeaters suck? Consider this:

I put up a $50,000 repeater system.
You buy a $50,000 truck.

I need an amateur operator/station license to operate the repeater on public airwaves.
Your truck needs to be licensed & safety inspected to operate on public highways.

I need a Tech or higher amateur operator/station license to talk on the repeater.
You need a Class A CDL to drive your truck.

Assuming I have a class A CDL, can I come over to your
house at midnight and drive your truck? I think you
should let me drive it on a public road whenever I want.
I can't??? Well, you can drive it yourself, just take
me wherever I want to go whenever I want.

Will you let other properly licensed people drive your
truck whenever they want, even if they are idiots?


Tom ND5Y
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by N6HBJ on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Look, whats the big deal?

There are more than enough open repeaters out there to use. If someone wants a closed repeater because they take the time and money to operate it so be it. They have that right. Maybe they want it available to their club or group when they want to talk instead of fighting for air time on another repeater with rules that limit talk time or control operators who think they're God, etc. Find another one to use.

Yeah they don't own the frequency so I suppose you could talk on the output simplex when its not in use like some suggest. But do you really want to do that? I mean talk about being a jerk - you can't use the repeater so you intentionally talk simplex on the output just so you can tie up the frequency just to make a point. Give me a break. Thank goodness the FCC would side with the repeater owners on that one!

The spectrum is big enough for everyone. Why waste your time on such pettyness? Good grief.

 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K7IHC on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting topic. Too bad quite a few people took it off-topic to rant about CTCSS (PL) access tones or about a tone-controlled repeater input and it's non-specific relationship to a *closed* repeater.

I knew exactly what the original posted meant by *closed* repeater. They are indicated in the ARRL repeater guide and most regional coordination bodies' databases by the *C* symbol and the lack of a tone frequency.

I was hoping a *closed* repeater owner (or a few) would speak up here and explain the reason(s) their repeater is listed that way. I have wondered why an owner would list their repeater as *closed*.

As one poster noted, quite a few 70cm (440 MHz) repeater pairs in Calif (S. and N.) are coordinated to *closed* machines.

I can understand that some hams wish to *control* the use of their equipment by others, but a limit to the amount of *closed* machines in a specific area/on a specific band might be something a coordinating body should consider.
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"Assuming I have a class A CDL, can I come over to your house at midnight and drive your truck? I think you should let me drive it on a public road whenever I want."

It's not a public road. It was, but now it's a private road for me and my friends.

If you are going to use silly automotive analogies, the earlier one about improving a public road and then taking it away from the public makes more sense.

The repeater hardware is part of the issue. The other part is the ham frequency that can be used only by a handful of people.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KC8VWM on November 10, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"It's not a public road. "

I'm afraid it is...

Repeater pairs are not owned by anyone.

The fact that one owns the repeater equipment that happens to share the same highway as anyone else with similar operating authority, doesn't give them any exclusive authority or specific right over anyone else that operates on this same road.

It's probobly a good idea to "share" the road. So what if you now placed "a toll booth" on the road, you shouldn't really "expect" others to pay for this fact alone.

Somehow, some repeater owners feel justified that they somehow own and control the frequency, just because they purchased the repeater equipment that operates on it.

Personally, I support several local repeaters through regular financial contributions and I haven't even sent a single transmission out on some of them.

Now you are probobly asking... Why?

I do it for the benefit of the keeping them active, alive and well, in effect, just to keep them on the air to keep the spirit of amateur radio alive for the next guy that comes along. It is not because I actually use any of them. I want someone else down the road to enjoy what I do.

The "pay for access repeater payment plan" should not even exist as a factor in Amateur Radio. It's a hobby for goodness sakes...

Realise that some people are going to "donate" and help your cause, and some are not... This is life, deal with it. There shouldn't be any "expectations"

If I were to put up a repeater today, it would be to further promote and would be installed for the benefit of the hobby as a whole, and not to profit from it or should I expect anyone else to pay for my equipment or even the very idea of putting it there.

Nor would it be installed to have my own "private line" system for my exclusive use.

We need to get back to the basics of understanding and realising the great satisfaction out of knowing that putting up a repeater is actually for the benefit of assisting others to communicate.

It is your contribution and dedication to the hobby without expecting anything back from others is what is important and matters most.

Trust me, once users see and understand that fact and you are genuine and sincere in this respect, then they will gladly donate to your repeater system as I have demonstrated in the past.

73

Charles - KC8VWM
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by G5FSD on November 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I suppose it could be argued that if there are loads of spare repeater paired channels available, then a closed repeater doesn't affect any other amateurs. If you wish to obey your local bandplans, you could't otherwise use the channels (simplex) even if there wasn't a repeater using them. Nothing lost.

But this is seldom the case, at least this side of the pond. The demand for free channels is such that there simply isn't room for private repeaters. We've ended up with a national system of open repeaters which is good for everyone.

You guys over there even get to play with personal non-amateur versions (GMRS) if you like - we don't even have that!

So it boils down to a supply and demand thing - whether you're hogging a channel in a busy metropolis or simply using a spare channel out in the middle of nowhere. In the latter case who cares if a group has their own 'box' and won't let you in? They could be doing the same thing with a simple simplex net and you wouldn't EXPECT to just barge in, would you? But that's yet another argument.. whether hams should all be welcoming, friendly and inclusive... !
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
" "It's not a public road. "

I'm afraid it is...

Repeater pairs are not owned by anyone."

My comment was sarcasm. Of *course* the frequency is public, but if only a select few are allowed to transmit on it, it is private *in practice*. We've already discussed the pointlessness of the "broadcast on it anyway and let the fcc sort out the interference" syndrome.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K4JF on November 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> KØBG
> Install a decent HF setup ...
> K4JF
> But what about the times you are traveling in someone else's car?
How about not being so rude, and actually talking to the driver?!! >

I AM the driver. I didn't say a stranger's car. The mobile rig goes in one of my cars. (Not the classic Mustang) Her cars don't get rigs, because she's not a ham. But she does enjoy hearing local people when we're traveling, and sees the beneft of getting local info direct. She even doesn't mind if I chat with a local.

These are reasons I don't like closed repeaters, and HF is not a substitute. But they are legal, and the owner(s) - it's usually a club or group - have every right to limit access.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by N0TONE on November 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, closed repeaters stink. Guess what? So do their users. You don't want to talk to those people anyway.

In your own car, make sure you have 100 watts and a gain antenna like a 5/8 wave.

If you regularly operate from another car, like your wife's, then it's trivial to install an amplifier to which you'll connect your handheld. A through-glass antenna is probably a good choice. If your wife, as you say, enjoys hearing the conversations, then a low-profile through-glass antenna is tiny price to pay.

If she is in the car with you, then as another would say, show her some respect by preferring her conversation instead of the radio. If she wants to listen to the QSOs on the radio, she can do so without you having to join them.

There are many, many options open to you - different FM bands, any of the other 50 repeaters in your area, HF, etcetera. There is absolutely no reason why "opening closed repeaters" should be high on your priority list. You can never have it all, and you should be happy having 80% of it. That is, all except the closed repeaters, and the closed minds that inhabit them. And I think you should not want them.

For myself, I gave up VHF/UHF FM when the conversations ceased being interesting about ten years ago. My family vehicles both have HF setups in them. I just move the rig from car to car. Purely CW in those setups, too.

AM
 
Closed Repeaters Stink  
by N2RXK on November 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I own a repeater that is used for EmComm purposes. The repeater is open only to EmComm Group members who have Level I, II, or III certificates. A few area hams? have decided that anyone can use it....I have had to close the repeater from time to time. Users with the appropriate three digit DTMF code can access it. Because of a few "I OWN EVERYTHING and CAN DO ANYTHING" hams (though I certainly don't consider them hams), members fom the Comm Group have had to purchase and install mikes with the DTMF buttons. I even reset the time out timer to 60 seconds because of these types. If they want to play on the input or output...go ahead...as long as it's on a non-interference basis.
The frequecies must be shared, but my repeater does NOT have to be shared....especially with the "I OWN ALL" attitudes!!! If you were in my area, I'd close it to you because of your attitude. Benton N2RXK
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K4JF on November 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<any of the other 50 repeaters in your area, HF, etcetera.>

50 repeaters in area? Mine or where I'm traveling - usually less than that and more are closed than not.

But that's OK. There are many other things to do. (And OF COURSE conversations with my sweetie come first - but we don't have to talk all the time, too....)
 
Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 11, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"If you were in my area, I'd close it to you because of your attitude"

It's already closed, regardless of any attitude I may or may not have. What would be different?
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KT0DD on November 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Closed Repeaters should be banned from Amateur Radio PERIOD! If someone wants a private family / business frequency, there is the GMRS service. You can have a repeater and run 50 watts, which, with a good antenna, should be adequate for almost any private use. The license costs $75. for 5 years, and you don't have to badger your whole family into getting a ham license.

73, KT0DD
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K9MI on November 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry I got off track, but a lot of people think any repeater which uses PL access is a closed repeater. As long as it's advertised, especially through the repeater itself,that is not a closed repeater. I just wanted to make that clear. I have a nut job that used to wail every time I would turn the PL on about making our repeater a "closed" repeater. With a voice annoucement every 15 minutes of what the PL tone was, I just don't consider that "closed".

And I can feel for you if you don't have a rig that transmits a tone, so you can used a toned repeater. But prices are so cheap now, I would guess that most people could afford a 2 meter mobile that would have all the bells and whistles for around $150, maybe less.

Back to the real subject, yes honest to goodness closed repeaters do suck. Maybe in a few cases it's a necessity, but I would hope there are not that many out there.

73, Mike K9MI

 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I apologize to everyone for not clearly defining "closed repeater" in the original post. I just assumed everybody knew what it meant. Silly me.

I was *not* complaining about tones on repeaters, as long as said tones are available to all hams who do not have a history of causing problems. Published/disclosed tones are merely an annoyance when programming your radio, especially when travelling.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K9MI on November 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Sorry I got off track, but a lot of people think any repeater which uses PL access is a closed repeater. As long as it's advertised, especially through the repeater itself,that is not a closed repeater. I just wanted to make that clear. I have a nut job that used to wail every time I would turn the PL on about making our repeater a "closed" repeater. With a voice annoucement every 15 minutes of what the PL tone was, I just don't consider that "closed".

And I can feel for you if you don't have a rig that transmits a tone, so you can used a toned repeater. But prices are so cheap now, I would guess that most people could afford a 2 meter mobile that would have all the bells and whistles for around $150, maybe less.

Back to the real subject, yes honest to goodness closed repeaters do suck. Maybe in a few cases it's a necessity, but I would hope there are not that many out there.

73, Mike K9MI

 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by WB2WIK on November 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The extreme of the "tone" issue is that in some places like where I live (southern CA), *all* repeaters *must* be tone access (CTCSS) by decree of our local coordinating bodies; you won't get a coordination with a "non-tone" repeater. I don't know of any repeaters here where PL is not required.

That's actually a good thing, because QRM would be even more severe without tone access, and since most of the repeaters broadcast the tone as well, it allows users to use tone squelch to prevent hearing other (co-channel) repeaters we don't want to hear. This is nothing "new" here, it's been going on for many years.

For various reasons, the repeater owners/operators change CTCSS tone frequencies more often than some might think. As such, the "published" tone may be the wrong one. The publications are eventually updated, but this can take a year or more. This leads some folks to believe those repeaters are "closed," when they're really not, they're just limited-access, with access limited to those who know what the right tone frequency is.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KC8VWM on November 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
My interpretation of a closed repeater system is one that restricts it's operation from ordinary users. That is to say that only certain individuals have privy in accessing them.

This would not be confused with a repeater that has a closed tone squelch system installed on them. The term "closed" in this respect, refers to the technology used to access the repeater system. Many "open" repeaters use a "closed" tone squelch system as a method of preventing static bursts from local interference from opening the repeater unintentionaly.

An open or closed repeater system would be determined by the equipment owner itself and is similar in context to restricting what individuals are allowed admission into the front door of your home.

Open repeater = Everyone is welcome aboard.

Closed repeater = Don't tread on my private repeater.

Sorry, it had to be said..

Carry on folks..
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KG4DXS on November 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
this was a very informative thread. the best part of radio is all the new things you learn. es 73, TA
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by N2RXK on November 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
What would be different is you don't understand that some repeaters are developed for a particular purpose that not all hams share...An EmComm repeater is designed and developed for EmComm functions. Many hams do not wish to be involved with EmComm...not a problem..this is a hobby. However we have an EmComm Group available to provide Training and Response to Emergency Issues!!! Hams like you, all freqs are mine... do not respect the goals of a private repeater group. This has nothing to do with payment, support or other financial issues. What is the repeater used for...who is going to use it in support of the repeater goals...?? Go ahead and bitch..you have that right, but last night (Thursday) I had to close the repeater again to the DTMF code because of some a**h*** kerchunking it. Probably in response to my dialogue on this board. I would expect it was you with your attitude...but you can't reach it from your location. In any case, the freq is shared, BUT THE EQUIPMENT IS MINE AND I AM THE CONTROL OP....BY REGULATION...IF YOU DON'T FOLLOW THE GOALS OF THE REPEATER GROUP OR FCC REGS...IT IS MY PROBLEM..NOT SOME JERK WHO DECIDES THAT THEY OWN THE AIRWAYS...YOU NEED TO GET LOST. You really need to get a life and stop complaining about territory you are NOT the control operator of.. If something inappropriate occurs on my repeater...guess who take the shot...ME!! Not some jerk that doesn't follow the regs. Have a nice life and don't move to Central New York... N2RXK Benton
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by N2RXK on November 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
What would be different is you don't understand that some repeaters are developed for a particular purpose that not all hams share...An EmComm repeater is designed and developed for EmComm functions. Many hams do not wish to be involved with EmComm...not a problem..this is a hobby. However we have an EmComm Group available to provide Training and Response to Emergency Issues!!! Hams like you, all freqs are mine... do not respect the goals of a private repeater group. This has nothing to do with payment, support or other financial issues. What is the repeater used for...who is going to use it in support of the repeater goals...?? Go ahead and bitch..you have that right, but last night (Thursday) I had to close the repeater again to the DTMF code because of some a**h*** kerchunking it. Probably in response to my dialogue on this board. I would expect it was you with your attitude...but you can't reach it from your location. In any case, the freq is shared, BUT THE EQUIPMENT IS MINE AND I AM THE CONTROL OP....BY REGULATION...IF YOU DON'T FOLLOW THE GOALS OF THE REPEATER GROUP OR FCC REGS...IT IS MY PROBLEM..NOT SOME JERK WHO DECIDES THAT THEY OWN THE AIRWAYS...YOU NEED TO GET LOST. You really need to get a life and stop complaining about territory you are NOT the control operator of.. If something inappropriate occurs on my repeater...guess who take the shot...ME!! Not some jerk that doesn't follow the regs. Have a nice life and don't move to Central New York... N2RXK Benton
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
No need to repeat. I heard you the first time. How could I not, with all the shouting?

"An EmComm repeater is designed and developed for EmComm functions. Many hams do not wish to be involved with EmComm...not a problem..this is a hobby. However we have an EmComm Group available to provide Training and Response to Emergency Issues!!!"

You think this is unique? This somehow requires a private repeater? Lots of clubs provide this functionality using regular open repeaters. More than one of the clubs I belong to use their repeaters for emergency communications if needed. The rest of the time it's just a regular repeater.


"Hams like you, all freqs are mine... do not respect the goals of a private repeater group."

Absolutely correct. With emphasis on the "private".


"I had to close the repeater again to the DTMF code because of some a**h*** kerchunking it. Probably in response to my dialogue on this board. I would expect it was you with your attitude..."

In other words, anyone who disagrees with you is some sort of villain? For the record, I have never tried to access a closed repeater. After all, what is the point? Someone else in the thread was talking about using the frequency anyway, not me.

You think I actually want to get onto your repeater? As other people have said in this thread, "you don't really want to talk to those people anyway". My preference would be for the closed repeater to simply die so that the slot could be reallocated to a regular open repeater. Could that be arranged?

"don't move to Central New York"

Did I indicate a desire to?
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KC8VWM on November 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

"I would expect it was you with your attitude...but you can't reach it from your location."

First..., Who are you talking about?
Second.. What attitude are you referring to?

"However we have an EmComm Group available to provide Training and Response to Emergency Issues!!! Hams like you, all freqs are mine... "

I'm confused.. Do I understand that you wish to provide hams with emergency response training, but you are not using this training for any new hams - only existing ones that already have this training?

How can you provide any Emcomm training to any prospective hams interested in emergency communications if it is a closed repeater sytem? I am curious to know how does that work exactly?

It's just a thought, but perhaps with a little elmering and encoragement to NEWCOMERS might make good communicators after this training and they might even serve to the advantage of your organization someday.

"Go ahead and bitch..you have that right, but last night (Thursday) I had to close the repeater again to the DTMF code because of some a**h*** kerchunking it."

Again, WHO is bitching?

We are rather "expressing our views" here discussing the concept of open repeaters verses closed repeaters. The pro's, the con's, and everthing inbetween etc.. It's all open for discussion amongst all "gentlemen" participating.

No offense, but my perception is that you are coming across on here as very "angry," agressive and abrasive for some reason. You appear to be angry toward some individual who is not even identified at this point.

Here's my example:

"YOU NEED TO GET LOST. You really need to get a life and stop complaining about territory you are NOT the control operator of.."

Again, Who are you directing this comment to?

This is a forum. We are analysing various facts, ideas and opinions. Then we proceed in discussing them. This is what we do. It's called constructive discussion, or a meeting of the minds.Your participation is appreciated.

Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 12, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I assumed he meant me, as the frequency-grabbing, forever bitching, endlessly-kerchunking anarchist who started all this. And I do live in Houston, which is certainly out of range of his little empire.

But now that you mention it, the rant could be directed at everyone in this thread who agreed that private/closed repeaters suck. There were several.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K7IHC on November 13, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
We still haven't heard from more than one owner of a *closed* repeater.

The posts from N2RXK are interesting, coming from my perspective. I personally know a local ham who owns quite a few 2m and 70cm repeaters in the north half of my state (Calif). All of the repeaters have access tones, to minimize falsing from distant co-channel users. All of the 2m machines are linked, and are all published as *open* repeaters. He has a linked 70cm system that although it is published as a *closed* system (with no tones listed), any ham who follows the proper etiquette for repeater operations can use it. No one will chase a respectful user off the system.

Also, in my area, there are quite a few *emcomm* related 2m and 70cm repeaters, though they also serve as regular *open* repeaters when they aren't being used for RACES/ARES/ACS functions. This ensures that they are functioning properly, and can often alert the control operators to potential problems (that manifest themselves when ragchews may elicit them). When they are being used for special/emergency functions, other hams seem to always respect the operations and stay off the machine(s) until the functions are completed.
We also don't seem to have the chronic kerchunkers and jammers that hams from other areas of the country seem to talk about here on eham-dot-net.

Maybe we're lucky, or maybe the hams in Northern California are just of a *higher* standard.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by KA3BVJ on November 13, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Our local club some who are doing work on the systems feel we need to go to tones but there complaints are not right as of yet for to go to tones....For one thing our machines do not get use hard most of the day nothing.What does come ing some time someone in mobile working another repeater..You know I got a new handheld with tones but also it has something that sences how much power to use to operate a repeater...
I do know if I am mobile and say going across the state
it is very hard to just find a repeater let alone set it up with the right tone....
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K8NQC on November 13, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The $50K truck versus the $50K repeater is not a good analogy. The truck does not expect exclusive use of the roads in a large area. The repeater does. There may be good arguments for adding PL to a repeater but this argument does not hold up.
 
Closed Repeaters Stink  
by PHINEAS on November 13, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
As I said in a post that was removed.

1. Every repeater owner has the right not to allow traffic through their equipment.

2. COORDINATION does not meet ownership. As long as you are not interfering with a QSO, if you just have to talk to some on that output frequency, talk simplex on the output.

3. If you just have to have a repeater, there are too many of them that are not being used, use one of those.

4. Do like some of these other repeater owners did, become your own repeater god. All you need is a friend with an echolink setup, and you could have a wide range repeater.

5. Simplex? Wow, what a novel term.

Everyone has their reasons for having a closed repeater. Who cares what those reasons are. Just like they have the right to put up a repeater, so do we as long as we follow the rules. The people/clubs that own these things are just people with a license just like you. Instead of gripping about closed repeaters, do something about it. Be creative in a positive way. Get together with some of your click, and build a system that will solve your problem. Isnt that what amatuer radio is all about?

We all have to realize that just because someone has a ham license does not mean they are cool, or you will get along with them. It takes all kinds to make the world go round. If a group of hams want to close their repeater, I think the best thing to do is just leave them alone, and move on. It is just not worth it.

Phineas
K0KMA




 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by GILLIAM_LINEBERRY_EX_N4VOX on November 13, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
a closed repeater has nothing to do with CTCSS or pl tones. You can have a closed repeater without CTCSS. It is legal to have a closed repeater.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5SET on November 13, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Repeaters belong to the operator, it his/her equipment, time, expense to build, install and operate. If they want it to be closed So be It. Suck it up, move on, get a life!
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 13, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"He has a linked 70cm system that although it is published as a *closed* system (with no tones listed), any ham who follows the proper etiquette for repeater operations can use it. No one will chase a respectful user off the system."

This is peculiar. If he truly does not mind general hams using it, I would not refer to this a closed repeater, but a stealth open repeater. Do you have any idea what the reasoning is on this?

It's radically different from the one closed repeater I checked out. You can't even attempt to join the club, you have to be invited. And of course, since you can't talk to any of them on the air, you have to track down their club meetings and presumably attend for quite some time before being invited, if then. Who knows? It's quite an effort to gain access to just one more repeater.

If you go to their web site, there is a huge list of requirements. You essentially have to devote your entire life to the club, and turn over your first-, second-, and third-born children to them. I guess you get to keep the fourth kid.

The web site says it all. "Amateur Radio may be for everyone but <name of club> isn't."
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K7IHC on November 14, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
K5CUR:
I'll have to ask him about why the system is listed as a closed system. In fact, I just heard him on the system tonight, replying to a new ham's querry on where this particular machine he was talking into was located.

Knowing this individual (repeater owner), I might venture a guess that he likes the UHF system to be more like a personal link for associates and friends, as that's how the system seems to run. He leaves his home station radio (in his bedroom, BTW) on the UHF system, 24/7. I know this as he has told me, when we're having a QSO at 0600 hrs while I'm driving to work.
As I said before, his 2m linked system is well-publicized and listed as *open*.
 
Closed Repeaters Stink  
by WA2JJH on November 14, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Many NYC repeaters had to resort to PL or even DPL.
They may have been jammed to much, or all the IMOD defeats a simple tone PL.

We have 440 machines that use DPL. They are not closed. They may broadcast the DPL.

Besides many radio's today can scan for PL or DPL.
Lets say you did get in. You my find the Hams there not to your liking.

They may also get over saturated. Spin the VFO and move on for warmer people. Better yet,as others have said HF cannot be closed.

 
Closed Repeaters Stink  
by KC0GLA on November 14, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
There is no such thing a totaly closed repeater unless it is only opened to make contacts by the repeater operater using a switch at the location. All hams are allowed to comunicate within the rules on any band allowed by class.
When a repeater group asks for a closed repeater it is more that the repater is or was abused by others. This may bee even just some old codger not liking a person.
You as a ham have the equipment capable of accesing any repeater or using any repeater even the closed ones if you are local. Almost any modern hi end scanner or newer mobile has the ability to decode tone, dtmf, and dcs tones. If you want to use the repeater use the input frequency and decode what is used to bring the repeater up.
Yes this is not the nicest thing to do but ther is only one thing they can do about it is to report it to the FCC. As long as you use the repeater properly to the rules and have a radio license they can only postpine your operation by changing the required code.
I agree that certain items like autopatch should be closed and as a ham you don't have the right to decode and use the tones for the autopatch since it also deals with the phone company and costs ther of.
Also I belive in asking politly for the codes for a closed repeater before using the decode method. But if you have a person with a repeater that the group is pain then I have used the decode method to obtain the codes. On every repeater that I have, now pretty much chainged their ways and gives the codes to anyone who is a member of any club in the surrounding area that whishes to politly parcipiatae. I usualy do not get permision to use the more expensive parts but it is better than no use at all.
This was the origonal intent on a closed repeater is to keep the travelers off, keep the repeater open and to promote dues to keep the repeater at a given location.
On the topic of not alway being open. I am a repeater op for a repeater I built. I do turn it of in cases of prop and interference. But I have given the code to several other hams to bring it back up if they wish.
 
Closed Repeaters Stink  
by N2RXK on November 15, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Well...I am really pleased to see that closed repeaters don't SUCK anymore, they just STINK! I can live with that!!

If you (K5CUR)wonder why I shout...it's because some people just don't listen.

Again (briefly), I am responsible for what goes through my machine. I have problems in this area with inappropriate (and illegal) unauthorized transmissions.

I teach and test EmComm 1, 2, 3 and allow operators with appropriate training to use the repeater. The repeater is for EmComm training and emergency use. We do not encourage (and discourage) rag-chewing. The repeater is uncoordinated and is mobile on a trailer for use throughout NY State(along with the Packet digipeater, APRS digipeater, ARES Packet database, 2 meter FM rig, 440 FM rig, 6 meter all mode rig, 10 meter all mode rig, HF all mode rig, APRS WX tracker and WX station, three CF-25 Toughbook computers, emergency generator, seven antennas, along with a linking system to 10 meter, 2 meter and 440 meter radios and repeaters). The entire system is engineered for EmComm use. THAT is why it is closed. Due to the complexity, we want (and have) qualified EmComm operators. (See QRZ and look up N2RXK). The TASIS Comm Group is a responsible and effective EmComm team that wants and has trained ops.

Basics...if you want to play (and I do) go to the local club repeaters. I also spend time on 10, 12, and 15, phone and CW (I still haven't figured out whether I am a NO Code or KNOW Code, but I get down to the CW freqs at a slow rate. Not skilled in CW, but I try. Yasss, I'm a 5 wpm Extra).. If you are interested in service to the community, come to mine (or repeaters like mine). All the suggestions about running mobile HF are great, but you are alienating the vast resevoir of great operators, the TECHS!

I state again, amateur radio is a hobby... I like EmComm, others like to rag chew...all of us should do it where we are welcome..rag chewers do NOT SUCK. People who say that things SUCK(or STINK).. do!!
Love Benton...N2RXK
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 15, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"Well...I am really pleased to see that closed repeaters don't SUCK anymore, they just STINK! I can live with that!!"

I didn't change that. Don't know who did. As far as I'm concerned, closed repeaters still suck.

"Again (briefly), I am responsible for what goes through my machine. I have problems in this area with inappropriate (and illegal) unauthorized transmissions."

What does this have to do with anything? This is nothing unique. Lots of repeaters have this problem, open and closed. Has closing the repeater solved everything?

"The repeater is uncoordinated"

You mean all this time we've been arguing about an uncoordinated repeater? In that case, what difference does it make whether it is closed or not? All of my complaints about private use of a frequency don't apply. It doesn't own a frequency, just squats on one.

"Love Benton"

Just don't send flowers, please.
 
Closed Repeaters Stink  
by W3IIY on November 16, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
It would seem to me that that a frequency pair should be coordinated first to those who would allow "open" access to the entire ham community and second to those who would have a repeater be "closed".

If the coordinating group would learn that a repeater has gone "closed" or "private use", they should immediately advertise the freq pair and allow others to use them for the entire amateur community.

73
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 16, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Works for me.
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by N3HGB on November 18, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
This seems to be the system in question:

http://www.armadillotx.org/faq/index.php

I understand that they don't want to have their system ruined by the idiots that will do something like run CW practice over a repeater or carry on X rated conversations "because you can't stop them and call the FCC if you don't like it".
It also seems they have created an exclusive club that might better be done with business band radios. I don't live there and have no idea how crowded that area is. Maybe there are plenty of open repeaters and unused pairs and no once cares about them. Where I live I don't think anyone uses repeaters anymore. Traffic must be off at least 90% since 1985. I have a suspicion that the number of people willing to maintain a huge and expensive infrasture to "organize social gatherings" over the radio has to be shrinking by the day.
73
Joe

 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by N3HGB on November 18, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
This seems to be the system in question:

http://www.armadillotx.org/faq/index.php

I understand that they don't want to have their system ruined by the idiots that will do something like run CW practice over a repeater or carry on X rated conversations "because you can't stop them and call the FCC if you don't like it".
It also seems they have created an exclusive club that might better be done with business band radios. I don't live there and have no idea how crowded that area is. Maybe there are plenty of open repeaters and unused pairs and no once cares about them. Where I live I don't think anyone uses repeaters anymore. Traffic must be off at least 90% since 1985. I have a suspicion that the number of people willing to maintain a huge and expensive infrasture to "organize social gatherings" over the radio has to be shrinking by the day.
73
Joe

 
RE: Closed Repeaters Suck  
by K5CUR on November 18, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, this is the group I was talking about, the one that prompted this article.

Houston does have a lot of open repeaters, so it is not really a problem for me personally. I just object to this sort of thing in principle, it being totally opposed to the spirit of ham radio, legality aside.
 
Closed Repeaters Stink  
by K5RWS on November 19, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with most of the concerns about closed repeaters, but I have always subscribed to the belief that if you support your local repeater you are not freeloading on someone elses repeater when you are in their area. They support their repeater and so are not freeloading on ours when in our area. I am one of the trustees for our repeaters here in Santa Fe and we feel that the greatest compliment to our repeater skills is for the equipment to be used. We love hearing "this repeater sounds great!". We have gone to great lengths to upgrade the equipment on our mountain tops and have even provided linking for the repeaters. Now, the linking codes are club members only information as an incentive to increase club membership and support, but this is not what the casual visitor to Santa Fe is concerned with. Our repeaters are open.
"Freeloading" is a concern, but I see it as more of a education issue. We need to educate those who do not yet support a repeater about the importance of thier support. True, there are those that will never support but that just can't be the criteria used to justify closing a repeater.
I feel open repeaters are a very important part of our justification for our existance in Amateur Radio. Close repeaters are contrary to the stated openess and friendleness of our hobby/service. MY personal experience has been that in a time of emergency the traditionally open repeaters are the ones that are used. So it would follow that if our first responaibility is to provide emergency communications then how can a closed repeater be justified.
You know, I worry about the overall message this practice of closed repeaters sends to those we are trying to encourage to join our ranks. A first time newly licensed ham gets on a repeater for the first time and gets as his/her first response "this is a closed repeater, get off this frequency!". I've seen this happen once and I truley can't say that I've EVER heard that person on a repeater again.
Just my 2 cents worth.
K5RWS
Jimm
 
RE: Closed Repeaters Stink  
by RADIO123US on November 20, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Although I am personally against having closed repeaters for many of these reasons that have been given here, I can certainly understand why some folks would want them...I live near a large city and some of the 2 meter repeaters here sound just like CB radio...what I'm finding in my area is most of the old timers have moved up to the 440 repeaters and left the 2 meter machines to the "children"....
 
Closed Repeaters Stink  
by WA2JJH on November 21, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
NOTONE AND RADIO123, gave you a few things you could do instead.

I had my own SIMPLEX repeater with auto-patch for about 4 years. Well Cell phones are no longer 75 cents/per minute

Many dual band radio's allow you to make a dual band repeater. No multiple cavity duplexer, just a simple diplexer.(a UPDATE OF A CONSUMER UHF/VHF COMBINER-ISOLATOR)

It is also true that the truly closed people are not people you would enjoy anyway.

2 meters to me is a joke. Most of the good repeater groups are on 440 with PL or DPL.

They may be an open repeater and have to use DPL.
NYC is the worst for IMOD. We do not have one single non pl or DPL repeater on air.(carrier squelch)

Maybe you can find a group of other hams that want to set up a cross band repeater.

I like cross band repeaters because you only tie up one single 2M input. You will have to put a PL in on the input. Lets say somebody wants to use that exact same frequency for simplex. You are not allowed to rebroadcast them on 440 with out their consent.

A truely closed repeater may be of such a special interest, you may not be interested in such a special interest.

You have many options. The closed repeater may have had trouble with jammers in the past too.

Get the facts and be pragmatic and/or roll your own.

73 MIKE
 
Closed Repeaters Stink  
by K0PP on March 26, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Boy, so many varied viewpoints! (:-)) Made my head tired to read them! I've been the Montana repeater coordinator for 25+ years. Yes, we have a few repeaters with CTCSS, but that's usually beacuse of (non-amateur radio)interference issues. I suspect that very few would consider a toned repeater as being "closed" in the sense we're using in this thread. I used to be trustee of a very busy system in Colorado that was made more pleasant to it's users by a 1 minute time-out timer ... took a bit of getting used to, but really helped the flow of conversations. 73! Ken Kopp - K0PP
 
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Other Recent Articles
Active Sun Unleashes Massive Solar Flare:
QSO Today - EP 21 - Eric Manning - VA7DZ:
Twisp Police Chief Ready to Train Citizens for Emergency Response Team:
Propagation Forecast Bulletin #51 de K7RA:
Can You Hear Me Now?