K2ADA Repeater WIRES X Etiquette

K2ADA Repeater WIRES X Etiquettes

The WIRES X Network is a collection of local node and repeaters that’s connected to the Internet. This means that being on the Internet; all nodes and repeaters connected; go through routers and switches and subject to all the latency that goes with it. So at time of communications with other nodes, there are times that transmissions may be delayed due to network conditions. This is especially true when there are many nodes that are in communication with each other, not to mention any other traffic that’s normally uses the Internet. This latency could be a few milliseconds to up to a few minutes. There also could be lost transmission or even collision (also known a doubling) of transmission between nodes and repeaters.

In long and the short of it, we need observe a few rules when using the WIRES X Network to insure that transmission between nodes occurs in an orderly fashion and transmissions are not lost.

The following are some suggestion put together by K0ORK and others on what I refer to as WIRES X Etiquettes.

Good Operating Practices for Fusion Repeaters and Nodes, courtesy of BARS Fusion (the good folks in the Mn-Wis Room)

1. Leave pauses between transmissions

WIRES X Nodes and System Fusion Repeater linking is different than the normal analog repeaters and analog radios. For the reason describe in the preceding paragraphs, in is advisable not to Quick Key.

It is a good practice to leave a pause between transmissions (say 2 to 3 seconds). This gives others a chance to join in or announce their presence and let the linking between nodes to drop before keying up again.

On the K2ADA repeater, there is no courtesy tone so you must wait for the repeater to completely drop and pause for 2 to 3 seconds for all the links to un-key; otherwise, this could cause a repeater timeout.

When in a round table QSO, leave a little longer break to give others a chance to join in, and announce the break so that others in the round table know this is the time to let a breaking station to join in.

2. Listen Before You Talk

When preparing to use the repeater or node, be sure to listen before pressing the PTT.

Remember to key your microphone and pause for a second or two to insure that all the links to come up so that your transmissions are not cut off at the beginning.2 Also hold the PTT down for 2 to 3 seconds after you finish talking so all of your transmission is sent.

When you turn on your radio, check the volume setting to be sure you can hear any activity on the repeater.

3. Station Identification

All station should identify themselves using their FCC assigned Callsign upon: Initially transmitting on the repeater or node (this strongly suggested).

You should ID with your Callsign every 10 minutes thereafter, keeping in mind the nodes and repeaters on the WIRES X Network are a mix of Analog and Digital stations.

When ending a QSO, you need to use your Callsign to sign off.

4. Testing Repeater Access

DON’T just key-up (kerchunk) the repeater without identify. Instead, use the term “Testing”, e.g. “This is WB7OEV Testing”.

If you want a signal report from another station, state that in plain English, e.g. “This is WB7OEV, can someone give me a signal report?”

It is not a good idea to use the Repeater Frequency to check antenna SWR or to do other equipment checks. Move to a simplex frequency if possible or use a dummy load.

5. Demonstrations

From time to time, an amateur may want to demonstrate the capabilities of amateur radio or local node to a non-amateur. The typical way to do this is to ask for a “demo” for example “This is WB7OEV for a demonstration.” Anyone whose listening to the Repeater can answer them. If you answer such a call, give the calling party your name,

Callsign and location, not a lengthy conversation.

6. Making a Call

Just say your Callsign to try to initiate a call.

Be clear and concise, Speaking in riddles or misleading language is poor operating practice.

Do not use the word “break” to join a conversation. Break is reserved for announcing emergencies.

If you are trying to contact a specific station, you should announce … “<Callsign of station being called> – this is – <your Callsign>”. Your Callsign is stated AFTER the station you want to call. If you do not get an answer after a couple calls, announce “<your Callsign> – clear”. This lets everyone else listening know that you have released the repeater for others to use.

If the repeater is already in use, please wait for a pause between transmissions to announce your call. If you want to contact another station not in the current conversation, ask if you can make a call in plain English. Simply announce Call Please or state, “<your Callsign> for a call”.

Make your call when the parties using the repeater turn the repeater over to you. If you contact the party you are seeking, turn the repeater back to the person who turned it over to you, thank them for letting you in, and move to another frequency to hold your conversation no matter how short you think it might take.

If you do not get a response from the party you are seeking, turn the repeater back to the person who turned it over to you, and thank them for letting you in.

When you hear someone making a call to a specific station it is not polite to jump in and put your Callsign out. Please be kind and let the calling station attempt to make contact to his/her specific station before putting your call out on the air saying you are listening.

7. Roundtables:

When a new station enters the roundtable, those stations using the repeater, and the next station in rotation should acknowledge the new station AND turn it over to them, or let them know what their place is in the rotation. Also indicate who they should turn it over to in order to keep the rotation intact. Remember to give your name as a matter of introduction so everyone becomes familiar with you!

 When in a roundtable discussion make it a practice to turn the repeater over to the next party in the conversation. Don’t assume everyone will remember when it is their turn.

Not turning it over can cause confusion and instigates double-keying which does not play well in the digital world or repeater linking world.

8. Nets and Emergency Net situations

When the repeater is running an Emergency Net or any type of net, all traffic will go through a net controller and all normal amateur uses will be suspended until the end of the net. Ask permission of the repeater trustees before running a net.

When running a net make sure to leave longer pauses to allow every repeater/node to catch up, 5-10 seconds every 3 or 4 rounds seem to work well.

The word “break” is reserved for announcing emergencies.

9. Be mindful that you are representing all hams in a very large geographical area since our repeaters and nodes are linked country wide.On an average day there are 5 or more repeaters/nodes linked up. This can cover most of the US. Remember what you say will be heard in all these places. Is your conversation that important that the whole world needs to hear it?

10. Do not monopolize the repeater

During drive times keep transmissions a short as possible. The repeater/node is a shared resource.

11. Switching from one node/room to another

If you are not the repeater or node owner please call on the radio asking for permission before changing the node or room linking. You might not be answered but it is courteous to ask first.

Please return it to the original node or room when you are done.  The K2ADA repeater will return to the Florida-Room if you simply disconnect.  

Thank You!

Andy K2ADA