Please take a minute to familiarize yourself with the our K7RPT Repeater Use Policy
All licensed amateur operators are welcome to use any ARRG owned repeater system for normal day to day communications when adhering to the following repeater use guidelines and policies.
You do not have to be an ARRG member to use the K7RPT repeater system, but it’s your responsibility (whether you are an ARRG Member or not) to follow our repeater use polices as detailed below whenever operating the K7RPT repeater system.
By becoming a supporting member, you will be directly supporting the repeater system you are using. To become a member of ARRG please go to our support page.
If you or your group wishes to schedule weekly usage of the repeaters for emergency or social nets, please let us know by clicking on the repeater scheduling link schedule form.
Using the K7RPT Repeater System
Since the advent of the relaxed requirements for entry level amateur licensing many years ago, many new hams very first taste of actual on-the-air operation is quite likely to be through a VHF or UHF repeater. Because there are always new ham operators without much on-air experience, established users are asked to be polite while being friendly and instructive without being preachy.
All licensed hams are welcome to use the K7RPT repeater system. If you are new to the hobby, you must take the bold step and actually get on the air and talk, or nobody will ever have a chance to become your on air friend.
While the repeaters are actually a great place to meet other hams of all ages, there is a tendency for new hams, and some old timers, to take the repeaters for granted and simply come to expect there will always be repeater service.
You might be surprised to know that repeaters and the services they provide are not public domain. They are owned by individuals, groups, or clubs and were most likely created to support a particular purpose or emergency service activity for the common interest of their owners, but generally speaking were installed for good of the entire amateur radio community. The K7RPT repeater system is owned and operated by the Amateur Radio Relay Group, Inc. an Oregon non-profit Corporation.
The FCC gives the ARRG authority to make repeater policies and and user guidelines. They also give us the authority to police our system within our systems effective range. Repeater owners like the ARRG have the legal authority to warn, suspend and ban any user operating through our repeater system and coordinated frequency pairs for any reason, both published here and unpublished, to keep our system running smoothly and to maintain 100% control per FCC Rules.
When you operate through a repeater system, you are actually operating through someone else’s licensed and coordinated station. It is important for you to find out as much as you can about the repeaters you intend to use on a regular basis. It doesn’t hurt to ask those you chat with on the air, information about who owns the repeater and how you can help support it. Most repeaters are normally used for rag chew, net operations, autopatch phone calls, emergency communications and public service events, or any combination of the above.
You wouldn’t just walk into a ham’s shack and begin operating his station without some type of invitation or permission; so be aware of this fact as you begin to operate any repeater you hear on the air. In regards to any K7RPT repeater system, we are encouraging each of you to invite your friends to come in and operate the system, as they are there for your legitimate use.
If you find a repeater you like, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the repeater and its coverage. There are always ‘experts’ on the frequency that will be happy to tell you all about the repeater and the group or individual that operates it. If you happen across a new repeater you’d like to use, make sure and ask if the repeater is available for use by anyone, but the chances are it is probably open to all users. Make sure to ask if there are any special operating procedures or prohibited types of operation, like restricted or quiet times, rag chewing, net operations, and so on.
Inquire if you must join a club or group or if you need to join to operate the repeater autopatch. Ask if it is appropriate to help defray the costs of power, maintenance, or site rent by offering a periodic contribution. Ask if there are any special features available like an autopatch or direct 911, EchoLink or IRLP VOIP access.
As a new repeater user, initiating a dialog with the repeater owners or control operators on the air to show your interest is always a good idea. You may be surprised how welcome you will be by all the other users on the repeater.
If you are an established member of ARRG and run across a new ham trying to use one of our repeaters, don’t be a ‘know it all’ please remember to be educational and not judgmental. Always place yourself in the shoes of the new user because we all understand that using a repeater where everyone can hear you is a scary experience.
It is in very poor taste to direct the new user to other repeaters, teams or groups without first giving them a chance to learn more about ARRG and the repeaters we support. Please be supportive of new repeater users and always direct them to learn more about ARRG by visiting www.arrg.org.
K7RPT Repeater Use Guidelines
Per the FCC, Repeater Owners and operators can establish their own repeater use guidelines that all users (member or not) must adhere to at all times whenever operating through our repeater system.
All licensed amateur operators are welcome to use any ARRG repeater system for normal day to day communications, just be aware that many of our repeater systems are used for primary emergency communications and should not be overly monopolized. (See Repeater Priority Use)
The following repeaters are designated by ARRG as our primary emergency communications backbone.
This system backbone plays host to many Public Safety, Search & Rescue and ARES/SKYWarn agencies and as such, personal communications should remain short and to the point when operating on these important repeaters. Some are classified by the Forest Service as Wilderness Radio Telephone alternatives and they are often monitored by both Control Operators, Wilderness enthusiasts and professional hikers from all over the world.
The designated emergency repeaters for ARRG are as follows:
South Saddle 147.320/442.325 and Skyline 444.400
Mt. Hood 147.120/444.225 system
Sylvan – KOIN 147.040/442.225 system
When it comes to normal day to day operations, you do not have to be an ARRG member to use the repeater system, however, we do encourage all users to become supporting members of ARRG in an effort to help fund the ongoing upkeep of the K7RPT repeater system. If you use our repeaters multiple times per week and enjoy the range and wide area capabilities that they present, please step up and support the systems you use.
By encouraging your family and friends to support ARRG and the K7RPT repeater system, you will directly support the actual repeater system you like to use, also, becoming a member is the right thing to do. It’s not about about money, it’s all about supporting the repeater system and the groups who have spent tens of thousands of dollars install and maintaining our repeaters 24/7.
It is definitely your right to not support the repeater system you are using, but please take a moment to understand how difficult it is to set your own repeater. Such an endeavor requires the purchase of a working repeater (500-2000.00) and you’ll have to usually purchase purchase crystals on the assigned frequency pair as provided by the ORRC. Once you install them, you have to do a complete tune-up of the repeater, duplexers and antenna system, this requires about $5000 worth of Service Monitor, Bird Wattmeter and tower tools needed to even get the repeater installed on a remote site. Once you are tuned up you have to find a high mountain top site, purchase a mast or tower and feed line, enter into a long-term lease with the site owner, play monthly rent of $500 and up as well as pay expensive power of $150 and up. After about the first couple thousand dollars spent towards your own repeater (which you realize is still not in operation) maybe you’ll get the idea of all the work that goes into maintaining our expansive repeater system.
So, if we haven’t chided you enough yet, to become a member of ARRG please go to http://www.arrg.org/membership.htm.
As a reminder, if you or your group wishes to schedule weekly usage of the repeaters for emergency or social nets, please fill out the repeater request form here http://www.arrg.org/schedulerptr.htm. If emailing us, please include your name, your group or organizations name, your call sign and your phone number so we can respond to your request quickly.ecc
Section 1. Daily Repeater Priority Use
It is important to realize that there is an underlying (and not usually mentioned) understanding that all amateur radio operators should not only follow, but adhere to the ‘Priority of Use’ policy. The entire K7RPT Repeater System is designated as an official Emergency Service communication backbone and should be treated with respect. Users should operate in a professional manner on the following key emergency service repeaters: South Saddle 147.320/442.325 and Skyline 444.400 linked system. Mt. Hood 147.120/444.225 system and the West Portland, Cedar Mill 147.380/443.750 repeater system.
Repeaters are owned or operated by ARRG will be used on a daily basis with the following priority uses in mind.
1. Emergency involving danger to life and secondly Emergencies involving danger to property
3. Routine Emergency Traffic, Public Service Events and ARES work
a. Regular scheduled nets
b. Prearranged communications (public service)
c. Prearranged communications (emergency tests)
d. Autopatch traffic
4. Other uses, such as normal conversations, unscheduled drills and tests
5. Since the systems are wide area and linked, there are many Agencies and emergency services personnel who actively monitor the systems for emergency traffic. Please refrain from using these systems as a personal chit chat channel and use simplex or another repeater whenever possible.
In the case of a real emergency, there exists the possibility that multiple agencies would desire to use one or more of our systems simultaneously. In the event that sharing needs to occur, it would be expected that all groups understand that the system must be used in the spirit of cooperation. The organizations that have an agreement with the ARRG for the use of their repeater systems as part of their emergency plans may wish to decide among them what methods of sharing can best be used in case of an actual emergency.
Section 2. Using the IRLP and Echolink
IRLP system SHOULD NOT be used to link to other local repeaters or conferences without first obtaining permission from an ARRG Officer or Board Member and the other repeater owner.
For example, please don’t link the 147.040 repeater via IRLP to the 145.290 Tech Net (that repeater already covers our metro area) during the day unless you have specific permission to do so from ARRG and the distant repeater owner. ARRG may or may not have a working agreement signed with the other local repeater owner. Most IRLP and ECHOLINK uses are for connecting to and receiving traffic from distant repeater outside of the repeaters normal footprint. If the other repeater owner wishes to extend their system’s coverage into the Portland Metro area that we serve, they should contact us to work out an on-going linking agreement.
Exceptions to the policy are as follows:
If you are setting up or training for an event, race, walk or Emergency Services net, you CAN link the system via IRLP (even to another local repeater) as long as you get prior approval from ARRG and the other repeater owners you intend to link to.
Section 3. Tips about Amateur Radio Communications after a Disaster
As we all know, most Amateurs take repeater systems for granted and are prone to depend on them, however, during a disaster, repeaters get very busy. Operational repeaters after a major disaster are a premium, so please use them sparingly.
Make your call to your station and please move off to a simplex frequency to continue your QSO. During a disaster, users might be unaware if the repeaters are running on AC power, backup generators or mere batteries. In any case, try and treat all repeaters after a major disaster as if they are running on batteries and do not chit chat.
Regardless of what you may think, any K7RPT repeater may be taken over and used by any emergency team from any district. Please be reminded that ARES, CERT and RACES teams are less able to respond during an emergency if one or more repeaters go off the air from power failures.
The remaining repeaters will most likely become overloaded, so do your best to keep them as clear as possible. Local and regional ARES response plans stipulate where simplex is appropriate and include plans for managing communications if one or more repeaters go down.
Use repeaters for talk-in and to reach areas with poor simplex coverage, but don’t encourage their use for your primary working frequency. Stress keeping repeaters clear for priority traffic.
Local operators should know their assigned simplex frequencies to use for emergency local nets, coordinated with surrounding jurisdictions, following approved band plans and channelization.
If your favorite repeater happens to be 147.04 and its down or off the air, feel free to use the output frequency as a simplex frequency to check in with your friends and family members, but don’t use it as a primary simplex frequency. Once you hear the repeater come back up, switch back to repeater model.
Use common sense during and shortly thereafter a disaster. Please remember that while our technical team wants to respond and repair any repeater after a disaster, some roads and access to our site may be blocked and inaccessible to our technicians. Also, our technicians have homes and families just like you, so obviously their number one priority is to secure their own home and family first. Please be patient with us and them as we attempt to recover from any disaster situation.
Section 4. Daily Operations
No matter if there is a disaster occurring or you use the system for normal day-to-day operations, all users should be courteous to others at all times. Please follow good amateur practices and at all times follow the published Repeater Use Guidelines and Policies as set forth by the ARRG and of course, follow all of the FCC Part 97 Rules & Regulations.
Lead others by your example on the air!
Use your call sign to enter an ongoing conversation; using the word “break” usually indicates emergency or priority traffic. If the party has emergency or priority traffic, please relinquish the repeater immediately. Using “break, break, break” three times also indicates emergency traffic. During normal daily communications, if someone does use the word “break” to enter a conversation, please don’t chastise them; in some areas it is perfectly acceptable to use “break” to enter a conversation.
Always end your conversation with your FCC Callsign.
For daily communications, please allow the repeater carrier to drop before transmitting if at all possible as this will allow the repeater timer to reset it. Not doing so, will often cause the repeater controller to time its self-out. Pausing is also a courtesy and allows other stations to break in. This is especially important in the case of an EMERGENCY.
Please try and keep all conversations short at fewer than ten minutes each. Please do not monopolize the repeater frequency. Please keep conversation short during the commute hours of 6 – 9 AM daily and 4 to 7 PM nightly. A good policy is, once you make contact with another party and you are in range of the other party, try a SIMPLEX FREQUENCY to continue your conversation, freeing up the repeater for others to use.
Section 5. Repeater and User Interference Issues
1. Please do not overly acknowledge transmissions from unlicensed stations or stations causing the interference.
2. Please do not discuss the repeater interference on the AIR. If you are being interfered with, you are required to simply sign off and leave the repeater immediately. Continuing to use the repeater or arguing with the jammer eggs on the jammer and could possibly get your K7RPT repeater privileges temporarily suspended. Comments or questions ascertaining the jammers intent will be allowed, as long as it has a truly evidentiary gathering ability.
3. Be prepared to report the time, your location, signal strength, the type of antenna you were using, and if directional, the direction in degrees from your station, you are receiving the offending signal from.
4. Let the control operators handle interference problem. There may be an ARRG control operator taking action that you are not aware of.
5. Control operators do have the authority and responsibility to monitor and maintain complete control of the repeaters.
6. While using our repeater systems and dealing with jammers, do not add to the situation by making disparaging or snide comments about any ARRG officers or K7RPT repeater facilities. Our control operators are listening most of the time. Very little goes on that our group of control operators don’t already know about.
7. Do not allow your unlicensed persons at your station to access, use or respond to any call unless a licensed amateur is in physical control of the transmitter key. Do not answer a call that you know is from an unlicensed user, without properly making sure there is a licensed Amateur in control of the transmitter key.
8. Do not allow any unlicensed person to operate your station unless they are duly licensed. Proper third party traffic is allowed, but all users must first announce their call, followed by something like “allowing third party user” before handing the non licensed user the microphone. When your third party user is finished talking, as the licensed amateur, please transmit something along the lines of “third party communications clear…this is KC7XYX.”
Section 6. QSO Content, Comments & Language
Regardless of the situation; off color comments, sexual innuendo and any double-entendre are against the policies of ARRG and the K7RPT repeater system. No overt pillow talk or sexual innuendo conversations are allowed on our repeaters.
Telling your spouse or partner you love them during or at the end of a QSO is okay and is tolerated in small amounts.
Good operator practice is to not get in the habit of sharing too much personal information about yourselves publically on the air. Really intimate, lovey dovey talk just doesn’t sound professional especially over our designated emergency service repeaters.
Remember, use of codes and ciphers is NOT permitted by FCC regulations.
If it can’t be said in plain English, it probably should not be broadcast on the repeater.
Business Use – Commercial communications; you can certainly, identify your occupation, however, if you are, for example, a car salesman, you CANNOT try to sell your cars on the repeater.
You must not be using your Amateur Radio or our repeaters for any business use, no matter how far removed you feel like your business is from your actual on air activity. For example, If you own a delivery business and ask your wife for directions to or from your customers location, this type of ‘dispatching’ is considered business use. Basically having your spouse or partner act as dispatcher or giving you new job location addressee is also considered business use.
Monopolizing the repeaters- It is always a good idea not to monopolize the repeater system for your personal use.
It is okay to have a favorite repeater to hang out on and monitor, but realize other people listen in as well.
If we get complaints from other members that they have quit listening or found that they had to leave from their favorite repeater all because of your ongoing improper use, then you are most likely monopolizing the repeater. Try making contact and moving to simplex to discuss more intimate matters, so as to free up the repeater for other uses.
Airing your personal information on the air – It’s always a good idea not to use our repeaters to air out your dirty laundry.
Be professional and to the point because our repeaters are often monitored by Public Safety agencies.
It is always preferred that you take your intimate personal communications over to a cell phone or landline.
Our users have mad eit clear to us that they do not want to hear pillow talk on the repeaters. Our users do not want to hear other users discussing their ongoing domestic issues and they definitely do not wish to hear conversations regarding personal finances. We definitely do not need to know about your latest garnishment letter you received earlier in the day. Again, save this level of personal conversation for the cell or landline, or simply wait until you can talk in person.
Limited Speech – Hate speech or derogatory remarks directed at any person or group (political, ethnic, racial, religious, sexual orientation, etc.) are never allowed on ARRG owned repeaters. Please keep that stuff to yourself, nobody else wants to hear your personal rants over our airwaves. Save that for your local talk radio call in show.
Bad Mouthing ARRG, it’s Officer’s, Board members or other users who populate our many repeaters while on our repeaters is a violation of this policy.
Life threats – saying stuff like you want to ‘harm, inflict injury or kill’ any other person or animal (unless talking about hunting and fishing) is against this policy. It is also unlawful under both Oregon and Federal Laws.
Bathroom humor – If you wouldn’t tell the joke to your eight year old child, don’t tell it on the repeater.
Section 7. Follow all FCC Rules to the Letter
Any activity in violation of FCC rules and/or any other Federal, State or local laws or ordinances (including, but not limited to: jamming, “stepping on”, broadcasting of music, unidentified carrier etc) is against our ‘Repeater Use Policy’. Intentionally transmitting simultaneously with another station (“stepping on”) is prohibited by FCC regulation…even if the intent is good-natured kidding among friends… It is still illegal.
Proper and legal operating etiquette is 99% common sense. While the above limits on content are not all inclusive, they should make clear the type of communications which are NOT appropriate.
Per FCC actions, repeater owners have the legal authority to ban problem users from their repeaters and coordinated frequency pairs on a suspension or permanent basis. Repeater owners reserve the right to file an official FCC complaint against the offending station, including, but not limited to, taking separate legal action against the offender.
In general, if what is being said could be construed as embarrassing or hurtful by a listener, it is probably NOT permitted. Always err on the side of caution. When in doubt…DON’T!
Section 8. Warnings, Suspension, Notice Letters
Anyone who violates the above will be warned on the first offense verbally, which usually just includes an email from any ARRG officer, board member or control operator. Official action may be part of the secondary follow-up notice. ARRG reserves the right to suspend, terminate or dissolve your membership at anytime for any violations of these policies.
No refunds of membership donations (monetary or equipment) will be offered if you are removed.
If you received a notice from ARRG by email or in US mail letter pointing out a possible violation of the repeater use policy, please accept the note as a helpful reminder to follow our guidelines in the future. ARRG has sent you this notice with your privacy in mind and we will never discuss the matter further unless you continue to violate the policies.
Users who receive a notice letter have the right to contact us for a full and complete review.
Questions regarding any notice are encouraged and we are open to discussion on the matter, please send ARRG an email at email@example.com if you have any questions. Above all, follow the FCC Rules & Regulations to the letter.
Questions regarding this policy are always encouraged, please feel free to discuss any actions to