W8TVC Repeater Rules of usage

These rules are not to restrict anyone from using and enjoying this system. Quite the opposite. They are in place to insure that all users can use the system fairly and without having to endure the over-exuberance of a new user hogging it without realizing his behavior is rude or impolite.  Hams are ‘gentlemanly’ by nature and will rarely interrupt even the most impolite long-winded operators, but will stand by, quietly waiting. This gives the impolite ham the false impression that nobody else is out there waiting to use the system. Often, such is not the case.

Just like repeater autopatch, EchoLink connections can overwhelm the regular operation of the repeater, and diminish it’s usefulness for the routine users of the system. Reasonable courtesy, and restraint must rule in order for the system to maintain its character and provide utility and enjoyable communications for the hams in the area.

If you think of your EchoLink or remote base connection as if it was an autopatch, you will quickly understand why these guidelines have been put in place. The three modes (autopatch, EchoLink, remote base) share many commonalities in their operation and their effect on the ‘personality’ of a repeater system, and should be thought of similarly.

Keep in mind, this system is very complicated and relies on a lot of electronic and computer equipment, therefore, outages will happen from time to time. Please know that we will do our best to keep things running but, as this is a privately maintained system, the repairs may or may not be done in a timely manner.


General repeater use:

  1. Always use good amateur practice. Follow the FCC rules.
  2. identify your transmissions
  3. allow some time between transmissions. The courtesy tone is there for a reason. ***note: stations linked in on the wI0OK system do not have a courtesy tone when you are listening to the 145.27 repeater. Also, if you are using the 100hz tone for tone squelch mode, you may not hear the courtesy tone.***
  4. IF your QSO goes longer then 10 min, please ask if anyone is waiting to make a call.
  5. The repeater owners/trustees have the last say on who can use the system. (per FCC rules) Please follow these simple (and reasonable) rules for its use.
  6. There is 1 Net that uses the system. It Has Priority. The Benzie County ARPSC net is on Wednesday nights at 8:30pm. Please allow this netto go on as planned by not engaging in conflicting repeater use during those times (checking into these nets is encouraged).
  7. Please key your microphone at least TWO FULL SECONDS before you start to speak so your audio can propagate through the system. Due to the complex linking involved, if you fail to heed the suggested ‘key-wait-talk’ advice your first few words will almost always be cut off and not heard by the station to which you are speaking.
  8. If the owners or trustees feel that conduct on the repeater (or via the EchoLink or remote base) is not in accordance with the intent of these rules or general fair and reasonable use of the system, they may terminate the links without notice at any time.

Outgoing EchoLink:

  1. Listen a little while BEFORE transmitting
  2. identify BEFORE using EchoLink – Wait a few seconds for stations to reply to your request BEFORE dialing your connection
  3. You must make contact with the repeater owner (W8TVC and KC8PCQ) or one of the trustees (N7LMJ and KF8KK) to get the access codes. This is to make sure you have read these rules. Do this via email by email at:
  4. EchoLink access codes are * + node number     # takes down the link. 
  5. Limit EchoLink sessions to 30min per every 3 hours. This means if you start an EchoLink QSO at 12 noon, you should turn off the link at or before 12:30 and should not open another connection until at least 3pm. 30min is reasonable for a QSO in most situations.
  6. If you open an EchoLink connection, please stay on the air and available to shut it down. If you are heading towards the outskirts of the repeater system range make sure to close the connection BEFORE you fall out of range.
  7. Do Not open and EchoLink connection just to listen. Open the connection and make your call. If you get no answer, close the connection. You can call back later. Active participation by at least one local user is a requirement for all EchoLink connections.
  8. An email list will be created so when we have to change the codes, or make other repeater changes, you will stay informed.
  9. Standing permission to stay connected longer then the 30 minute limit is given to the WA8ZWJ-r link in Union Ohio and to National Weather Service in Gaylord and Marquette 
  10. EchoLink connections to distant conference servers (NASA audio, out-of-region weather nets, trader nets, etc) is only allowed with prior approval of the owners or trustees.
  11. You must maintain active participation in any QSO that is ongoing if you link into a remote system with a QSO in progress. If there’s no local station transmission to the QSO after 20 minutes, it will be deemed as if the local initiator of the connection was just ‘listening’, which is not in keeping with these rules.
  12. The repeater owners or trustees can alter or make exceptions to these rules at any time, for any reason, with or without prior notice.

Incoming EchoLink:

  1. Same as outgoing, you must limit your connect time to 30min every 3 hours
  2. Please do not connect to W8TVC-R while in conference unless all stations in the conference wish to talk to someone on the W8TVC-r end of the connection.  In other words, we don’t really want to hear some remote station in QSO with some other EchoLink station if it has nothing to do with us, or there are no local users participating in the QSO.
  3. Please make contact with us ( owners/trustees ) on the air, or via the email address below. We would like to get to know our regular users from the other side of the internet.

Remote base:

The W8TVC Repeater is linked full time to the 444.725mhz and 52.92mhz wI0OK repeater system near Empire Michigan and the 444.2mhz Repeater near Cadillac.. The remote base functionality exists as an ancillary feature of the Empire WI0OK/r system and consists of transceivers that allow communications to other systems/frequencies on 2 meters and 222mhz as if your transceiver and antenna were located atop a hill south of Glen Arbor. This system is owned by John, KF8KK and he has generously allowed the W8TVC system to link for better coverage and for use of the remote base system. Please beware that the verbal remote base command acknowledgements from the Empire repeater does not carry through to the 145.27 repeater, regardless of whether the command has been processed and a link to another system established.

    1. Identify BEFORE using the remote base – Wait a few seconds for stations to reply to your request BEFORE dialing your connection
    2. As with EchoLink, limit QSO’s on the remote base to 30min every 3 hours.
    3. Do not just bring up a link just to listen. Make a call and if it’s not answered, please disconnect the link.
    4. If you bring it up, bring it down when you are done.
    5. There are no special agreements with most of the repeater owners that the remote base can connect to, so please be on your best behavior on these systems.  Many hams have trouble understanding complex linking systems and mistakenly assume there is something unseemly or illegal in such operation. Please educate yourself on the actual current FCC regulations so that you may be helpful for some of the hams you may encounter who may not be up to speed on the finer points of our hobby.

If you agree with these rules of use, please email the owners/trustees to get the access codes for EchoLink and the Remote base system at: 

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