Repeater Rules and Operating Tips


FCC Part 97.119 (a) Each amateur station, except a space station or telecommand station, must transmit its assigned call sign on its transmitting channel at the end of each communication, and at least every 10 minutes during a communication, for the purpose of clearly making the source of the transmissions from the station known to those receiving the transmissions. No station may transmit unidentified communications or signals, or transmit as the station call sign, any call sign not authorized to the station.

(1) No communications are permitted with persons not holding a valid Amateur Radio license except for transmissions in compliance with FCC rules on third party traffic and control operator supervision. For an unlicensed person to key a transmitter on Amateur Radio bands, the immediate presence of a properly-licensed operator is required. This means that the control (licensed) operator is within a few feet and can observe the operation of the Amateur radio station.

FCC Part 97.5(a)The station apparatus must be under the physical control of a person named in an amateur station license grant on the ULS consolidated license database or a person authorized for alien reciprocal operation by §97.107 of this part, before the station may transmit on any amateur service frequency from any place that is:
 (1) Within 50 km of the Earth's surface and at a place where the  amateur service is regulated by the FCC;
 (2) Within 50 km of the Earth's surface and aboard any vessel or craft that is documented or registered in the United States; or
 (3) More than 50 km above the Earth's surface aboard any craft that is documented or registered in the United States. 

(2) If an operator fails to identify with his or her Amateur Radio call, consider that person to be unlicensed. After a request for their call sign, do not communicate with or acknowledge any transmissions made by unidentified/unlicensed operators. If you hear someone with a questionable call, you can verify via

(3) Do not discuss any details about jammers or jamming on the air at any time and do not acknowledge jammers in any manner. Use procedures shown below to assist in determining the location of an unidentified/unlicensed operator. When input from observers is sufficient to identify a source of illegal transmissions, details will be filed with the Federal Communications Commission and other agencies for enforcement action. Penalties for malicious transmissions can total thousands of dollars in fines and legal costs plus several years in prison.

(4) Communications must be non-commercial. Prohibitions have been relaxed by the FCC. One may order fast food or conduct some personal business. But an operator is not allowed to benefit financially from using Amateur Radio. One could not use ham radio to dispatch employees of a profit-making business (except as outlined by the FCC regarding hospitals and other commercial entities in time of emergency, or an emergency drill, when an employee of a particular entity is a duly licensed amateur radio operator on duty at their job) or to solicit customers. It is permissible to disseminate information on personal gear for sale or trade on nets and during conversations.


(a) No amateur station shall transmit:
 (1) Communications specifically prohibited elsewhere in this Part;
 (2) Communications for hire or for material compensation, direct or indirect, paid or promised, except as otherwise provided or amended in these rules; 
 (3) Communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer. Amateur operators may, however, notify
 other amateur operators of the availability for sale or trade of apparatus normally used in an amateur station, provided that such activity is not conducted on a regular basis;....
 (4) Music using a phone emission except as specifically provided elsewhere in this section; communications intended to facilitate a criminal act, messages encoded for the purpose of obscuring their meaning, except as otherwise provided herein; obscene or indecent words or language; or false or deceptive messages, signals or identification.   


(1) The K4LKW Repeater System uses a courtesy beep and delay (hang time) at the end of each transmission. It is good procedure to pause between transmissions for a second or two so that other stations may call, and to give the repeater time to “drop” so it does not “time out” due to constant use without a break.

(2) Allow a second of lead time when you key your microphone before speaking. This allows equipment time to engage and “repeat” your transmission. PTT means “push-to-talk,” but on the repeater it also means “push then talk.”

(3) To join a conversation, simply announce your complete call or suffix of your call during a break. When joining a conversation and at all other times use your complete call sign.