MAARS Repeater Policy
MAARS maintains one of the largest repeater system in SE Wisconsin. Our members are proud of the system that they built and support, and agreed to enact some common-sense rules of conduct while using the repeater. We love amateur radio, and have set up a few policies to protect against hardship and/or bad feelings.
MAARS Repeater Policy
1. Control Operators represent the Trustee, and therefore the Board and the Club. Their directives on and
off the air are to be followed. If you have a problem with something a control operator asks of you, do it
anyhow, and contact him/her or a board member later, OFF the air.
2. The 5.13 repeater is an open repeater and all licensed amateurs should be encouraged to talk on it.
3. Specialized repeater functions are for paid members only. These include all functions requiring DTMF
(“touch tone”) codes, such as: auto-patch, IRLP, DVR messages, etc. If your membership expires, do
not use these functions until the treasurer receives your renewal dues.
4. General Communications Priorities – follow these at all times:
a. Emergency communications have top priority at all times. Say the pro-word “Break” if you have
an emergency. If you hear “Break”, yield the frequency immediately. It is our policy to use this
pro-word only for emergencies, although you may hear it used on other repeaters for normal
b. Normal amateur communications/conversations – In accordance with FCC rules and MAARS
policy, normal ham-to-ham QSO’s have top priority on our repeater except for emergency traffic,
as already described
c. Auto patches (non-emergency)
d. Other repeater functions, e.g., keypad tests, DVR messages, etc.
f. Reverse auto patch
This implies a few things:
a. You should ask permission of those engaged in conversations on the repeater before making a
non-emergency auto patch or accessing IRLP, and wait until you receive it. If possible, wait until
the current QSO is finished.
b. Please allow everyone in the current QSO to identify themselves before going ahead with your
auto patch or other function.
5. Auto patch function:
a. Auto patch is provided as a service to MAARS members and should be used within FCC rules,
common sense, and good amateur operating practices.
b. Auto patch is intended for emergency calls or personal calls of a non-essential nature.
c. Pizza Rule: The 5.13 repeater club as a matter of policy will not allow some things permitted by
the FCC under the so-called “Pizza Rule”. In general, you should not call a business unless it is
for personal reasons, i.e., to reach a personal friend for non-business reasons.
d. Keep in mind that the FCC rules generally do not permit you to call your employer or employee.
e. Buying, selling, or anything leading to or supporting a business are not valid uses of the repeater.
Swap nets are allowed when ham-related items are for sale or swap (generally construed to also
include computer equipment) but rules on naming a price on the air are not clear. You can list a
price but no negotiating is allowed on the air.
f. The auto patch should not be used for purposes of avoiding toll calls.
Revised 9/15/2003 9:03 PM
g. Do not use the auto patch function when:
i. Calling home when you will be there shortly. Use a phone before you leave.
ii. Any business purpose.
iii. Any time there is a phone, pay phone, or cellular phone available.
iv. When you might be put on hold and music will be transmitted.
v. Any other purpose advised against by a control operator. If you have a dispute, follow
the directions of the control operator and resolve the issue off the air.
h. Frequency of use: No one individual, except under the most extreme circumstances, should be
making auto patches every day. No hard limits are in effect at this time, but please follow the
directive of the board and control operators.
6. Reverse auto patch function:
a. The telephone number and procedure for making reverse patches is not to be given out to large
numbers of people.
b. Reverse patch is not to be treated as a personal paging service. It is for occasional use only.
Anyone who consistently gets more than one (or at most two) a week should consider buying a
pager or cellular phone.
7. If you need to test equipment (tune antennas, etc.) please make initial tests on an unused simplex
frequency and make your final test on the repeater, if you have to. Don’t interrupt any other repeater use
8. Certain radios have advanced features, such as automatic ID’s, etc. These can be annoying to other users.
If another user or a control operator asks you to turn that or any other feature off, please do. Specifically,
the automatic CW ID burst feature is not allowed on the MAARS repeater.
9. Please be sure to leave a pause after the courtesy tone, to insure that anyone that wants to, can get into a
QSO. This is especially important during “drive time” when accidents may occur and need to be
reported, and when repeater usage is high. As a reminder, IRLP can be connected at anytime. Please make
it a habit to leave longer pauses after the courtesy tone and one second after key up.
10. Let control operators and technical committee members handle problems with the repeater. If you
experience a problem using the repeater, please contact one of the control operators.
11. Never try to talk to a “jammer” or disruptive person. Do not even refer to them on the air, since it lets
them know that they have accomplished their purpose, disrupting the repeater. If you can’t maintain a
QSO through the interference, end it without mentioning the interference.
12. Making an auto patch is not a good demonstration of amateur radio. Making a contact with a station at
some distance is a better demo of the capabilities of the hobby.
13. Do not discuss how to use the repeater functions on the air. Call any board member or control operator
by phone and they will be happy to help you. Don’t mention your user auto dial number or IUAC number
on the air, either.
14. Personal attacks, insults, and similar behavior are inappropriate and will not be tolerated. Such
conduct on the repeater demeans the club and the hobby.
Make good use of the 5.13, and enjoy!!