"Closed" repeaters

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Ghstwolf62

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That's unfortunate that people would be that way. What is the point of being a Ham and putting up a repeater that isn't for all Hams in range to use?

Sad really.

430-440 is opening up at least to digi traffic. National Simplex Digital 4 is 433.45 and there are other freqs in that range listed for digital simplex ops. Not 100% sure on repeater ops but I believe I've seen one or two examples somewhere online in that range, may be wrong though.
 

KB7MIB

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Putting up a repeater can be an expensive proposition. The cost of the repeater and antennas and coax and duplexer, etc; site rental (especially on a prime mountaintop location); electric service to the site; back-up power systems; telephone service to the site (remote control and/or autopatch); link radios and antennas and etc for linked repeaters on other sites, if capable; hiring professional licensed/bonded/insured tower climbers; etc., can easily cost thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars a year. (Some sites cannot be accessed via vehicle, even 4-wheel drive. They can only be accessed by ATV, horseback, foot, snowmobile or skies in winter, or may even only be accesible via helicopter, further increasing the cost of installation, regular maintenance and repair.)
If a club decides that only those who pay towards these costs can be allowed to use it, then that is completely within their rights.
Then there are those who are on ego trips, or who just don't play well with others lol
 

KB7MIB

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Sorry, double post.
 
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Thunderknight

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additionally within ~ 50 miles of the US border of some states and Canada the lower end of 420 to 430MHz is not allowed for amateur use as this is a Canadian Public safety allocation.
There is US public safety in 420-430 as well, near the Canadian border. E.g. In the Buffalo, NY area.
 

zz0468

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That's unfortunate that people would be that way. What is the point of being a Ham and putting up a repeater that isn't for all Hams in range to use?

Sad really.
Perhaps you simply don't understand the reasoning why some closed systems exist.

1. Not all repeater operations are compatible with open operation available to everyone. On UHF, many systems are very complex, and some require all users to be trained control operators in order to operate the system effectively.

2. Some repeaters are sponsored by an organization, like a utility company, or government agency, and the terms of that sponsorship require that it's use be limited to the sponsoring organization's employees. Sometimes site access is based on such conditions.

3. Some systems are extremely expensive to operate. Large linked systems can have annual operating expenses well into the tens of thousands of dollars. Limiting use to members who will actually support the system is required to insure the system's very survival.

And then there's this...

4. Many open systems can be... well, painful to listen to. Inane conversations, inexperienced operators, subject matter thats marginally inappropriate for the radio, or simply unpleasant for some people to listen to. After putting forth considerable effort, time, and expense, not everyone wants the end product of their efforts to be painful to listen to, so membership is restricted.

They're all valid and legal reasons, and drilling down to the FCC rules, you don't need to give a reason for restricting access to your repeater. "Because I said" is enough.
 
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Seven-Delta-FortyOne

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I completely understand the closed repeater thing. They are, after all, privately owned and maintained. I would never presume to use one before ascertaining whether it was open.








Delta
 

Ghstwolf62

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Perhaps you simply don't understand the reasoning why some closed systems exist.

1. Not all repeater operations are compatible with open operation available to everyone. On UHF, many systems are very complex, and some require all users to be trained control operators in order to operate the system effectively.

2. Some repeaters are sponsored by an organization, like a utility company, or government agency, and the terms of that sponsorship require that it's use be limited to the sponsoring organization's employees. Sometimes site access is based on such conditions.

3. Some systems are extremely expensive to operate. Large linked systems can have annual operating expenses well into the tens of thousands of dollars. Limiting use to members who will actually support the system is required to insure the system's very survival.

And then there's this...

4. Many open systems can be... well, painful to listen to. Inane conversations, inexperienced operators, subject matter thats marginally inappropriate for the radio, or simply unpleasant for some people to listen to. After putting forth considerable effort, time, and expense, not everyone wants the end product of their efforts to be painful to listen to, so membership is restricted.

They're all valid and legal reasons, and drilling down to the FCC rules, you don't need to give a reason for restricting access to your repeater. "Because I said" is enough.
You're right I probably don't understand a lot of the reasons. Some may be valid but are they all?

I can understand 2. Having a designated frequency for something in particular is not what I was thinking of. The OP had said most if not all UHF repeaters in Calif were closed repeaters. So yes a designated frequency or PS link frequency is understandable to be closed unless for specified operations.

1 I don't understand but will take as as is. DMR is probably the most complicated I have seen for normal radio stuff and its free. I'm sorry if I don't understand how an analog repeater could be all that complicated.

As to 3 and 4.

4 is just bad radio etiquette or inexperienced operators from what you are saying. Most of the radio conversations I have heard since getting my license seem inane to me due to my background, training, and use of radios prior to amateur licensing. I've been given to understand this is normal amateur communications. Talking for the sake of talking and not about anything for the most part. So be it. It is what it is and is designed for.

The inappropriate conversations are something that should be policed. That has no place on the air if they are inappropriate.

As to spending all that money then wanting to make it some exclusive club. Well I guess as you said if its legal they can be that way just because. That doesn't in my opinion make it right. I would certainly never give the time of day to someone who did something like that. I also wouldn't think much of them at all.

If I had the money to put up a repeater I would be doing it for one main reason. To provide coverage or increased coverage over one or more bands in my area and possibly surrounding areas as well as to provide this coverage to any amateurs who may have need or desire to use it.

The purpose would be to help the amateur community rather than set up some private radio network. Isn't there something along the lines of "....the benefit of the amateur radio community" somewhere in the rules.

I also was under the impression that an amateur couldn't charge or make money off amateur radio which is I assume what "Support" means in your and others' posts.

Either way just because you can doesn't mean you should do something.

Like I said, sad.

Oh and for the inference that I would do so, I would not use any repeater that I knew or had reason to believe was closed to the amateur public. I would also stop should I learn one was closed.
 

Ghstwolf62

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Putting up a repeater can be an expensive proposition. The cost of the repeater and antennas and coax and duplexer, etc; site rental (especially on a prime mountaintop location); electric service to the site; back-up power systems; telephone service to the site (remote control and/or autopatch); link radios and antennas and etc for linked repeaters on other sites, if capable; hiring professional licensed/bonded/insured tower climbers; etc., can easily cost thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars a year. (Some sites cannot be accessed via vehicle, even 4-wheel drive. They can only be accessed by ATV, horseback, foot, snowmobile or skies in winter, or may even only be accesible via helicopter, further increasing the cost of installation, regular maintenance and repair.)
If a club decides that only those who pay towards these costs can be allowed to use it, then that is completely within their rights.
Then there are those who are on ego trips, or who just don't play well with others lol
Maybe so but why then even bother putting up an amateur repeater at all if no one but your buddies are "Allowed" to be on it. Just get a license and set up a private radio system for your use instead.

Everything I have heard since I was in my 20s about amateur radio has always been about how amateur radio was a community for everyone with a license to communicate with one another. How it was specifically for increasing communication within and expanding the amateur radio community.

How does having private amateur radio systems that no one can use do that?
 

Ghstwolf62

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I completely understand the closed repeater thing. They are, after all, privately owned and maintained. I would never presume to use one before ascertaining whether it was open.








Delta
I wouldn't even bother to put it in my radio as I wouldn't want to have anything to do with it. All frequencies in my radios are listed on various repeater sites as "Open"

I guess I'm lucky because so far I haven't ran across any listed as closed out here in my neck of the woods.
 

Seven-Delta-FortyOne

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I also was under the impression that an amateur couldn't charge or make money off amateur radio which is I assume what "Support" means in your and others' posts.
That rule does not limit an Amateur Operators ability to accept reimbursement for actual operating expenses, or to require all users of a repeater system to assist monetarily, or otherwise, with station upkeep.

I don't have the sub-part reference on the tip of my fingers, but I will look it up and post it.





Delta
 

AK9R

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Guys, if you are going to debate the pros and cons of "closed" repeaters, let's do it a different thread...like the one I just created for you.
 

zz0468

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Maybe so but why then even bother putting up an amateur repeater at all if no one but your buddies are "Allowed" to be on it. Just get a license and set up a private radio system for your use instead.
But that's exactly what we're talking about... getting a license, and putting up a private radio system to chat on. That's allowable under Part 97. It's not allowable under any other service, unless it's a business type use. But that's not what we're talking about.

Everything I have heard since I was in my 20s about amateur radio has always been about how amateur radio was a community for everyone with a license to communicate with one another. How it was specifically for increasing communication within and expanding the amateur radio community.
It's all those things and more. But it's not limited to just that, and it doesn't require that one set of hams be forced to talk to another set, if they chose not to... not on repeaters, or any other frequency or mode.

How does having private amateur radio systems that no one can use do that?
That "no one" can use? That's absurd. I suppose there may be some systems out there that literally "no one" can use, but that's not what I'm talking about, nor is that what I am advocating here. So, what about a club with hundreds of members supporting a system, and requiring that use of that system be limited to those who actually support it. I don't understand why that would be perceived as a problem.

You're right I probably don't understand a lot of the reasons. Some may be valid but are they all?
In the eyes of the FCC, yes. They are all valid. Consider that without some mechanism available to repeater owners to limit who uses their repeater, they would be forced to relinquish control over who and what has access to a transmitter that they are responsible for. This is a situation that the FCC would not allow. They recognize that there needs to be a mechanism within the rules to allow licensees to exert whatever control is necessary over their transmitters. This would be the REAL reason behind the rule that allows closed repeaters. Just like you can lock the door to your ham shack to keep out unauthorized people, repeater owners have the right (by FCC rule) to "lock the door" to their repeater.

Moving on...

1 I don't understand but will take as as is. DMR is probably the most complicated I have seen for normal radio stuff and its free. I'm sorry if I don't understand how an analog repeater could be all that complicated.
Just be aware that there are systems out there that may have a dozen or more transmitters on a single site. The transmitters may be links to other sites, frequency agile remote bases, beacons for weak signal operations, and who knows what else. There are some extremely sophisticated analog systems out there that are simply not suitable for open repeater operation. There are clubs that own their own repeater sites, so have to pay hefty insurance fees, utilities, USFS or BLM fees, maintenance, weed cutting, etc. etc. etc. Without requiring membership fees, these systems can't exist. Allowing freeloaders on an expensive system only allows the population of freeloaders to expand, while the support dwindles. It's human nature.

4 is just bad radio etiquette or inexperienced operators from what you are saying. Most of the radio conversations I have heard since getting my license seem inane to me due to my background, training, and use of radios prior to amateur licensing. I've been given to understand this is normal amateur communications. Talking for the sake of talking and not about anything for the most part. So be it. It is what it is and is designed for.
For the most part, you are correct. But if you listen to enough repeaters, you'll get the sense that different repeater systems develop their own "personality", if you will. Some (like .435) are dedicated to pushing the legal and social limits to the ragged edge. Others seem to collect users who are more likely to be educated, and working in the sciences, and so the conversation is likely to be more technical. Others collect the freshly licensed, or public service types, and so on.

It is the repeater owner's right to exert control over the "personality" that his repeater develops, if he so chooses.

The inappropriate conversations are something that should be policed. That has no place on the air if they are inappropriate.
That is correct. One very effective way of policing that is to limit use to certain operators.

As to spending all that money then wanting to make it some exclusive club. Well I guess as you said if its legal they can be that way just because.
Look at it this way. Picture a system that has numerous complex sites and are a heavy financial investment for the hardware. I'm talking 6 figure equipment investments and 5 figure annual operating expenses. Don't laugh, they exist. The secret to survival is to require that all users financially support all that hardware. If you don't make it mandatory, then as time goes on, more and more users may decide to join the swelling ranks of free loaders, causing financial collapse of the organization supporting the system.

That doesn't in my opinion make it right. I would certainly never give the time of day to someone who did something like that. I also wouldn't think much of them at all.
You're certainly entitled to your opinion, but it seems that it comes from a lack of knowledge of just what different people and groups are accomplishing out there on the ham bands.

If I had the money to put up a repeater I would be doing it for one main reason. To provide coverage or increased coverage over one or more bands in my area and possibly surrounding areas as well as to provide this coverage to any amateurs who may have need or desire to use it.
A laudable goal, indeed.

The purpose would be to help the amateur community rather than set up some private radio network.
Many of those private networks get pressed into use for public service events and emergencies. Some have associations with agencies like the Red Cross, state OES agencies, and other groups that provide public service communications on a part time occasional basis. Sometimes the unique characteristics that require a system be private or closed are just what these agencies require, and so arrangements are made to make it workable.

There's a lot of ignorance steeped in the opinions that all private repeaters exist simply to be exclusive clubs.

Isn't there something along the lines of "....the benefit of the amateur radio community" somewhere in the rules.
Um... no. There isn't.

I also was under the impression that an amateur couldn't charge or make money off amateur radio which is I assume what "Support" means in your and others' posts.
You misunderstand the rules. An amateur cannot be paid for activities directly involving amateur radio operation. In other words, handling traffic. But there is nothing in the rules that prevents an amateur repeater owner from charging users in order to help cover costs. There is also nothing within the rules that prevent a club from charging dues, said dues including the use of a specific repeater.

Even ARRL employees can get paid full time wages, just not for actually operating on the radio.

Either way just because you can doesn't mean you should do something.
And just because one isn't aware of all that is involved, doesn't make it bad or wrong. For every closed or private system out there, there's a whole unique set of reasons why it evolved that way.
 
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I know of one closed repeater around. Armadillo innertie (it's actually a nice looking link system on paper).

Many of us pay for cable, phone service, satellite radio, etc. Why is a closed repeater any different?

Business type license, much more restrictive. (Erp, number of radios, registered transmitter sites for repeaters, etc)

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atech

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closed

One of the big reasons they are closed is because the repeater may have autopatch. Being a owner and having equipment still in calif.. Most hams love autopatch and want the codes to access. But when it comes time to pay the phone bill? You may haft to catch them first if you know what I mean? That`s why most clubs will charge for access and servicing! We shut down our autopatch as we got really tired of trying to get the bill paid. Also the repeater may be linked to more than one mountain top site. So you close it to maintain control of access codes!

Hope this helps!
 

eorange

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Just be aware that there are systems out there that may have a dozen or more transmitters on a single site. The transmitters may be links to other sites, frequency agile remote bases, beacons for weak signal operations, and who knows what else. There are some extremely sophisticated analog systems out there that are simply not suitable for open repeater operation.
Can you elaborate on this more? I'm not questioning why it would be closed, but more on the technical side...what would be the goal of such a system (i.e. experimentation, remote device triggering?) It seems you're referring to an actual system(s) somewhere, from experience. What does it do?
 

nd5y

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You could have several repeaters, remote bases or point-to-point full duplex link radios all at the same site controlled by a single multi-port repeater controller that allows the different radios to connect to each other either all the time or only connect certain radios depending on who the users want to talk to.
 

Kirk

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I didn't understand why closed repeater systems were so common in California. After moving a couple years ago, I noticed the local open "popular" repeater has about 75% of it's daily traffic tied up with people talking politics. They're all of the same belief, and are not at all accepting of those with other beliefs. I'd rather listen to fingernails on a chalkboard. A closed system is much easier to enforce rules and get rid of folks that misbehave.
 

eorange

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You could have several repeaters, remote bases or point-to-point full duplex link radios all at the same site controlled by a single multi-port repeater controller that allows the different radios to connect to each other either all the time or only connect certain radios depending on who the users want to talk to.
Cool, that's the kind of info I was looking for. Didn't know that was all possible (in the extremely rare cases when I'm on 2m/440, I am a PTT "hooray it works" user.)

Thanks!
 
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