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Author Topic: How do we increase usage of our club's repeater?  (Read 2938 times)
KG9SF
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« on: September 23, 2014, 09:41:56 AM »

Our club operates a two meter repeater in our metro area of about 600 amateurs.  Our repeater is quiet most of the time.  On our weekly net, we have 25 or so check-ins, then the repeater sits nearly idle until the next net.

We have a good footprint from our antenna up 350 feet on a broadcast tower.

Anyone have good ideas about how we might increase traffic?

73, Scott
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K4JJL
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Posts: 492




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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2014, 09:51:51 AM »

Three words:  Turnip Truck Net

http://totr-radio.org/turnip.htm
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NK7Z
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 10:24:04 AM »

Our club operates a two meter repeater in our metro area of about 600 amateurs.  Our repeater is quiet most of the time.  On our weekly net, we have 25 or so check-ins, then the repeater sits nearly idle until the next net.

We have a good footprint from our antenna up 350 feet on a broadcast tower.

Anyone have good ideas about how we might increase traffic?

73, Scott
Talk it up at the local ham meetings...  Do a presentation on the footprint, include all needed info, kill the PL if you don't need it...  Etc...
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
KG4RUL
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 10:50:16 AM »

kill the PL if you don't need it...  Etc...

If this is a coordinated repeater and the coordinator has assigned a PL, please don't disable it!  It is necessary for peaceful cooperation with other repeaters  on the same frequency pair.
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1744




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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 10:26:06 PM »

Our club operates a two meter repeater in our metro area of about 600 amateurs.  Our repeater is quiet most of the time.  On our weekly net, we have 25 or so check-ins, then the repeater sits nearly idle until the next net.

We have a good footprint from our antenna up 350 feet on a broadcast tower.

Anyone have good ideas about how we might increase traffic?

73, Scott
   Ask the club members to check onto it several times a day!  I have found that asking for radio checks gets a great many more responses than just stating that one is "listening".   Most Hams like to be helpful!  Smiley
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NK7Z
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2014, 05:46:52 AM »

kill the PL if you don't need it...  Etc...

If this is a coordinated repeater and the coordinator has assigned a PL, please don't disable it!  It is necessary for peaceful cooperation with other repeaters  on the same frequency pair.
Just to be clear, I was not advocating you start changing coordinated things... 
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
K6LCS
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Posts: 1548


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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2014, 09:48:46 AM »

Marketing and publicity - along with membership growth - are the two major factors
affecting clubs and their success.

Poll your membership, and see what THEY want from their club! You might find a
"host" for a "Tech Net" once a week ... or perhaps ideas for a "Swap Net." With a club
as large as yours, there should be plenty of ideas learned from a well-designed poll.

The club has a repeater ... what else are you doing in the community? Any sponsorships
of a ham club at any of your local schools? There's another "net" - a "Youth Net" - for you.

Here's a short article from Rotary International on maintaining clubs that has a couple
good ideas ...

http://www.rotaryleader-en.org/rotaryleader-en/en201401#pg4

And here is how the Albuquerque Amateur Radio Club found out more about its members ...

http://www.qsl.net/albuquerquearc/announcements_folder/AARC_2011_Survey.pdf

When was the last time a board member attended a city council meeting and spoke? Any
hams working at the city level? Is your club's capabilities written into your region's emergency
communications plan?

Clint Bradford K6LCS
http://www.k6lcs.com



« Last Edit: September 25, 2014, 09:52:37 AM by K6LCS » Logged

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
K5LXP
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2014, 07:17:29 PM »


http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,98584.msg780908.html#msg780908

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KV4BL
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Posts: 76




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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2014, 08:04:57 AM »

Three words:  Turnip Truck Net

http://totr-radio.org/turnip.htm


That was neat!  We have a repeater in my area populated by quite a few who would likely have difficulty communicating with your turnips, if their IQ is 20.  The turnips' would be far too intellectual for them.  Around here, we call them the Friday Night Drooler Net.  I wish we could pick up your turnips this far away.
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KB3VWG
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Posts: 46




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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2014, 12:25:20 PM »

As other noted, plus:

- offer it for ARES/RACES use (perhaps engage your City/County Police/Emg. Management/Homeland Security/Red Cross/Health Dep't/Hospitals/etc.)
- engage science clubs, scouts and other youth groups
- send out a mailer/news letter to the local hams about the club's goings-on
- institute a quarterly club luncheon (eyeball QSOs) with door prizes/raffles
- TX the Amateur Radio Newsline at times of least use
- add Echolink capability
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K6LCS
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2014, 12:57:39 PM »

>>... offer it for ARES/RACES use (perhaps engage your City/County Police/Emg. Management/Homeland Security/Red Cross/Health Dep't/Hospitals/etc.)

Unless a polling of the existing membership indicated there was a tremendous interest in this, I would NOT make this a top priority. Done half-baked, it could be an embarrassment to the hobby. I have witnessed MANY groups that call themselves "emcomm clubs" whom I would not trust for the most basic of communications services ... This is NOT to dismiss the concept. But it takes a lot of dedication and persistence and effort to make it work. It also "excludes" many from participation: those with families/children, those with special needs or medical conditions, and other categories that should NOT be expected tobe available 24/7 for an emergency callout.
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
KB3VWG
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Posts: 46




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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2014, 02:12:25 PM »

>>... offer it for ARES/RACES use (perhaps engage your City/County Police/Emg. Management/Homeland Security/Red Cross/Health Dep't/Hospitals/etc.)

Unless a polling of the existing membership indicated there was a tremendous interest in this, I would NOT make this a top priority. Done half-baked, it could be an embarrassment to the hobby. I have witnessed MANY groups that call themselves "emcomm clubs" whom I would not trust for the most basic of communications services ... This is NOT to dismiss the concept. But it takes a lot of dedication and persistence and effort to make it work. It also "excludes" many from participation: those with families/children, those with special needs or medical conditions, and other categories that should NOT be expected tobe available 24/7 for an emergency callout.


Agreed!

It is alot of commitment, and in fact, there are multiple Repeater Clubs in my State/County that offer their services to the County's RACES operations (sponsored by my County's Homeland Security Office)...many are ARES-affiliated. Our RACES RO and ARES EC always coordinate their efforts with one another. In my area, they're one in the same (the only difference is that the operator must have certain FEMA certifications on file to be considered "certified" per ยง97.407(a)).

I sometimes forget that emcomm is a touchy subject in some parts of the country.
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AE5J
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« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 08:32:17 AM »

I really don't see how we can increase usage of repeaters until people start actually talking to one another and taking an interest in each other as they used to do.

Technical discussions of what filament material is best for a high power transmitting tube for HF will not generate interest.

Offering signal reports will not do it.

Working disasters will not do it. Practicing to work disasters will not make it more interesting except for a limited number of folks.

Bike races, walk-a-thons, and other such activities, while good community service, do not offer any hope for generating any significant usage increase unless they are held 24/7.

Here in Houston we have a linked repeater system that is tied into IRLP and the result is people actually seem to be interested in making contact with people far away and learning about even such mundane things as the weather, their jobs, and other stuff that people used to converse about face to face. I think this might offer a clue about how to better utilize new technology (IRLP) to stimulate old technology (repeaters).

Someone will have to offer first hand observations, but clubs such as the Dallas Amateur Radio Club have started a "recipe net". Believe it or not, I think they claim it is the most popular thing to come along in Dallas in a long time-ham radio wise. Specialized nets that are less formal but more along the lines of things people are actually interested in will start more conversations which will carry over.

I'm sure there may be lots of other outside-the-box ideas that will work, given time, ingenuity, and a little work. My XYL say "Involve more women on repeaters. They speak 3 times more words in their lifetime than men." Hmm, she might have something.
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K6LCS
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« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 11:39:17 AM »

Today's HandiHams newsletter has sone great info for improving your club's Web site and attracting more people ...


http://handiham.org/drupal2/node/360


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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
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