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​Radio Setup

Program your 2 meter radio to 146.700 MHz with a negative offset of 600 kHz and a CTCSS transmit tone of 79.7 Hz. Program your 70 cm radio to 443.700 MHz with a positive offset of 5 MHz. If you do not want to hear the occasional noise of the digital signals you should also turn on your receive tone squelch. Digital users will not have (nor need) a CTCSS or DCS setting on digital modes, but should follow the above procedure when programming your radio for the FM mode.


Making A Contact

Amateur Radio is, and has been since its inception, self policing. We have always prided ourselves on understanding and complying with 'the rules'. But what are those rules? FCC Part 97 is where you look to find the majority of rules that apply to our service. If you don't have a copy or have been several years (maybe decades) since you perused them, check out this link: The ARRL maintains this page and updates changes as they occur.


Before initiating a contact, always listen to see if the frequency is in use. If you need to make a contact quickly simply ask, "Is the frequency in use?" and give your call sign. If no one responds, continue on. If you are calling a particular station, give their call sign once or twice and then your call sign. You may repeat again if no response. If still no response, end your transmission by giving your call sign.


According to F.C.C. Regulations, you must always identify yourself when transmitting on any frequency; otherwise you made an illegal transmission. Simply keying the microphone to see if you can hit the repeater with no identification is an illegal transmission. You are not required to identify the call sign of any other station during a conversation, only your own. When you are testing, you also must identify. Simply give your call and say "Testing". When you have finished testing, give your call and say "Clear".

If you have no one in particular to contact and would just like to announce you are available for conversation, simply give your call sign (of course, after first checking to make sure the frequency is not already in use as in the instructions above).

If there is a conversation already in progress and you want to join, simply give your call between transmissions. Courteous operators will acknowledge you right away and turn the frequency over to you for you to join. It is preferred not to use the word break to join a conversation, because it is confusing with the words break break, which indicates an emergency. All stations should relinquish the frequency immediately for any station with emergency traffic.

If there is a conversation already in progress and you want to make a short call, follow the instructions as above then ask politely to make a quick call. If you make contact, ask your party if they can move to another frequency. Make your call, then thank everyone for the interruption. Courtesy is always the key to good Amateur Radio practice.


Talking on the Repeater

Use plain English when on the repeater. The amateur phone bands are not the frequencies for using QTH, QSY or 10 Codes. Stay familiar with the International Telecommunication Union Phonetics as suggested by the F.C.C., especially when checking into nets or during emergency traffic situations. In all situations, give your call slowly and clearly for easy identification.

By the way, 73 is old CW shorthand for best regards and is acceptable jargon. Please note there is no "s" on the end, so 73 is the correct usage. "For ID" when stating your callsign is superfluous and hence not necessary. Please just state your callsign. We realize these are little petty annoyances but correct use will make you stand out as a more "seasoned" and experienced operator.


As with F.C.C. Regulations, inappropriate language is not permitted. On the B.A.R.S. repeater, we expect everyone to carry on wholesome, friendly conversations. We have a good reputation that we wish to maintain.


If you hear someone not following these guidelines or violating an F.C.C. Regulation, don't assume they are intentionally doing so. Everyone can make mistakes. You may offer them the benefit of your knowledge at that time in a helpful, friendly manner. It is neither helpful nor courteous to berate anyone over the air. If there is further concern, notify a club officer.

Digital/Analog Operations

Since we are using the digital/analog machines, there is a slight delay in the audio pickup on the analog side (regular FM). Remember to pause about 1 second after keying the mike to ensure that all your audio gets passed through the repeater. This will prevent partial calls and missed first words. Remember, slow down just a bit.


Courtesy Tone

The B.A.R.S. repeater has a courtesy tone, which transmits after you have unkeyed the microphone. This lets you know you have "hit the repeater" (though not necessarily that you are understandable). It is also there as a reminder to pause between transmissions to allow someone else to call either to join your conversation or to make an emergency call. That's one reason why it is called a courtesy tone - to be courteous to others who may need to use the repeater.



The B.A.R.S. repeater is set with a timeout function at approximately three minutes. If you make a transmission beyond this time limit, the repeater will timeout and temporarily shut down. Keep each transmission as short as possible to avoid timing out the repeater. This is another function of the courtesy tone; if you hear the tone, the timer has reset.



When two operators are trying to talk at once on the repeater, the resulting noise is known as a double. If you're in a conversation including several people, you can avoid this by passing to another ham by giving their name or call at the end of your transmission. This type of group conversation is called a round table.


When Not to Use the Repeater

It is good practice not to use the repeater for conversations that can take place simplex. Simplex simply means talking directly with someone on a single frequency. Repeaters use two frequencies. There are many simplex frequencies from which to choose. This frees the repeater for those portable, mobile or too far away to communicate otherwise. A complete list of these frequencies can be found in the ARRL Repeater Directory. Some are also listed (in red text) in our Local Area Repeater Directory.

Demonstrating the Repeater

If you feel the need to demonstrate amateur radio to a non-ham or just show off some of the repeater capabilities, preface your transmission with demonstration. This will let others know what you are doing and may even generate a contact or two to assist in your demonstration.

SKYWARN® Emergency Net Operations

The KY4KY repeater is used for the SKYWARN® Emergency Net when severe weather is forecasted to move into the areas covered by the Louisville office of the National Weather Service. During operations the Net Control Station will use the callsign WX4NWS.


When the Repeater is Down

Should the repeater ever go down, do not use the input frequency. 146.700 MHz is the recommended simplex frequency for B.A.R.S. club members to use at this time.

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