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MARA Rules of Conduct
Adopted by the MARA Board of Directors on November 13, 2015
Why do we need rules at all for repeater conduct or etiquette?
No one likes a bunch of arbitrary rules, but when you have a shared resource, like a wide coverage
range repeater they become necessary. We tend to assume that everyone knows the generally
accepted rules. But, that could be careless of us and unfair to those who want or need to have a
clearer definition of our expectations and requirements. We understand that everyone slips once
in a while, no matter how hard they try. But, we expect all users of the MARA repeaters to do their
very best to follow these simple and obvious rules of repeater conduct. The 25/85 repeater covers
a very large area that is listened to by many. Your operating practices reflect directly on how other
people view amateur radio.
The rules are pretty basic:
1) Identify with your call sign when you first come on the air. Make sure you ID once every
10 minutes, and at the end of the contact. Ignore stations who break-in without identifying. If you
do not identify when you first come on the air, the control operators do not know if it's a legal
station or bootlegger.
2) Do not monopolize the repeater. Keep your transmissions short and thoughtful. During
drive times try to keep your transmissions to 60 seconds or less. A long monologue may prevent
someone with emergency traffic from using the repeater. Remember that repeaters have timers
that will cut your transmission short if you talk too long.
3) Do not interrupt existing conversations unless you have something meaningful to add.
Interrupting is just as impolite on the air as it is in person.
4) Yield existing conversations to emergency traffic and recognized activities, such as
RACES, Skywarn, net operations, etc.
5) Leave you CB lingo next to your old 11 Meter rig. You worked hard for your amateur
license. Listen a lot and learn how to sound like the licensed amateur that you now are. Phrases
and 10 codes used on 11 meters such as "got a copy?", "the personal here is...","10-4", etc. are not
considered good operating practice.
6) Be clear and concise. Speaking in riddles or misleading language is poor practice. Amateur
operators are supposed to be good communicators.
7) Do not use the word "break" to join a conversation. It is not considered good operating
practice and in some circles the word "break" is reserved for announcing emergencies. If you
simply want to join in, just transmit your full call sign.
8) To initiate a contact, simply indicate that you are on frequency. "KZØZZZ listening" is
the usual sort of message if you aren't calling a specific station. If no one comes back to you, no
further transmission on your part is necessary. When you're done with you QSO, sign of with
"KZØZZZ clear and listening" or just "KZØZZZ clear".
9) Watch your language; our repeaters are "G-Rated" 24 hours a day. Even "mild"
obscenities are not good operating practice. This includes suggestive phrases, and suggestive
10) Ignore jammers and others who try to disrupt the repeater's normal operation. Without
any reaction from the repeater users, they will have no audience and probably go away in short
order. If you are someone who is the subject of frequent interference, it may be a sign that you
are aggravating people with your operating habits.
11) Never argue with a control operator over the air. Control Operators police the club's
repeaters as they deem necessary in order to protect the club's call sign. If you disagree with the
actions of a Control Operator, you should write down your grievance and contact the Officers
What gives the owners and trustees the right to tell someone how to operate?
All repeaters have rules. These rules often go beyond Part 97. And, users who refuse
to comply with the repeater's rules can be told to stop using the repeaters. This is entirely at the
judgment of the repeater owners or trustees. FCC Rule 97.205(e) says, "...Limiting the use of
a repeater to only certain user stations is permissible." There are no qualifications - ifs, and, or
buts - to this rule
The ARRL says it clearest of all: "A repeater is not a public utility - you don't have a "right"
to use it. When you are using someone else's repeater you are, in effect, a visitor in the owner's
station. So, you could conduct yourself accordingly. If you use that station in a manner that the
owner finds objectionable, that person has every right to revoke your privilege of using it!"
(Source: The ARRL's FCC Rule Book)
The Metro Area
Repeater Association operates two amateur repeaters in the
Minneapolis / St. Paul Metro Area.