Your Own Repeater


So You Want Your Own Repeater?


Having your own repeater goes well beyond a few weeks of construction, one day of installation, and then sitting back in your easy chair for the next decade until you need to go replace a power amplifier or some other failed component.  Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who think that way!

If you plan to install your repeater at a commercial communications site, you should keep in mind that the site owner sees you as an "amateur radio operator".  What you build, how it looks, how you act, how much you complain, etc. reflects on the entire amateur radio community!
bulletIf you install junk, the owner may think that all amateur radio operators install junk.
bulletIf you are a thorn in his side and complain about little things, the owner may think that all amateur radio operators complain.
bulletIf your repeater is a consistent source or interference, the owner may think that all amateur radio operators cause interference.

Any of these things, or a myriad of others, can quickly give a site owner ill feelings about amateur radio operators.  Things like this have happened at sites in Southern California and it has taken decades for those owners to let any amateur radio operator back in their buildings.  So, keep in mind that what you do will reflect on the entire amateur radio community for many years to come.

From a technical standpoint, you need to keep your operation clean.  You should expect to make periodic maintenance trips to ensure that your equipment is operating properly.

The FCC is serious about enforcing Part 97.  You, or your designated control operator(s), are responsible for the activity on your repeater.  You need to ensure that your users abide by the rules set forth in Part 97.   The ARRL has an online version of Part 97 if you need to review it.

Getting Started

So you understand the responsibilities of owning your own repeater and what it means to the entire amateur radio community.  You're ready to get started towards making your dream a reality.

First, keep in mind that you live in Southern California.  This is probably the most densely concentrated region of amateur radio operators in the United States.  Consequently, it probably has the highest number of repeaters in operation.  Of the bands that SCRRBA coordinates, 6m, 70cm, and 23cm are the most often used bands for repeater operation - with 70cm being the most active.  As such, there are some 700 repeaters on roughly 450 channels in the 440-450MHz segment.


Last modified: April 12, 2003