Nevada Amateur Radio Repeaters, Inc

POLICIES FOR OPERATING ON REF 925X
Welcome to the Western Reflector

Policies for Operating on Ref 925X

These Polices are directed to node owners and node users who want to operate on the Western Reflector. Node owners are responsible for indoctrination and training of node users. A form of these policies appear at www.irlp.net and were adapted for specific applicability to the Western Reflector. The reflector owner is Kent W7AOR and reflector operation is supported by Nevada Amateur Radio Repeaters, Inc. (NARRI). The Western Reflector is physically located in Las Vegas, NV.

Monitoring Requirements

Node operation on the reflector is, at all times, the responsibility of the node owner for the respective connected nodes. All nodes connected to Ref 9250 are expected to be monitored by local node control operators at all times while connected to the reflector. Compliance with 10 CFR Part 97 is required; remember you will be keying up numerious repeaters in the USA where your audio will be heard. Please do not disable inactivity time-outs and leave your node connected to the reflector for extended periods unless your node is designated as a Gateway Node. Nodes left connected for 1 day or longer on the status page are suspect of operator inattention and may be blocked. CTCSS or DCS squelch on your repeater is required.

Special Note for Operators of Simplex Nodes: Monitoring your node means being able to hear what your node receiver is hearing and sending up to the reflector. You generally cannot do this from your car or handhelds remote from your node receiver. In most cases this means you must stay in the room with the node receiver so you can hear it. CTCSS (Tone SQ) or DCS squelch is mandatory for simplex nodes.

Repeater Hang Time and IDs

If your node is linked to a repeater, there must be no (zero) repeater hang time allowed to pass through to IRLP nor anything resembling a courtesy tone. This means set it to zero, not 500 ms or even 100 ms. If you are using a keyed CTCSS approach to solving this problem, make sure your tone encoder/decoder combination drops as fast as possible. No repeater IDs or controller messages are allowed to be played on the reflector at any time, unless they are during a user transmission. An ID or message may not key up the node. This requirement is very important on a busy reflector like 9250, remember that any IDs or hang time that leaks through, completely block the reflector from other users. If there were thirty nodes connected and each one ID'd across the reflector every 10 minutes the reflector the ID’s would mostly capture the reflector.

Pulse check and Read input

Use the “Pulsecheck” and “Readinput” utilities to check for “pulse back”. Please check your node with the 'Readinput' command before connecting to a reflector. Any strange or fluctuating activity must be fixed before using your node. Use the 'pulsecheck' program with your node in its final configuration with all links up and operational and after any node adjustment such as CTCSS level.

No Cross Links to Other Voice-over-IP Systems

Cross links to other linking programs (echolink, eQSO, etc.) or even other IRLP reflectors to Reflector 925X are prohibited without permission of Kent W7AOR. However, the Alaska Reflector Ref 9070 is cross connected to Ref 9250 by agreement of the two reflector owners; when cross connected nodes on either reflector may communicate with the other. Ref 9258 has a special link to NV-GATE Echo Conference Server for emergency service nets in order to accommodate Echo link and IRLP nodes at the same time.

Avoid local traffic or long QSO’s between only two nodes

Please advise your users to disconnect your node if a local conversation becomes extended. Short local greetings are okay while connected, but do not tie up the reflector with a 10 minute local QSO or QSO between only two nodes. Disconnect for the reflector and go node to node if you meet someone on the reflector you want to have a long QSO with.

Pause, Pause, Pause

The three most important rules for successful reflector contacts are Pause, Pause, Pause. Please leave at least two to three seconds between transmissions. For many nodes, the only time control ops can get in to disconnect is between transmissions. Also remember to key up and wait for a full second or so before speaking. The exact amount of delay varies by node and linking technology, but PTT across IRLP is not as fast as local carrier squelch simplex. Quick keying is something a poor operator does if he (she) does not want others to hear the first few words of a transmission.

On Being Blocked

All reflectors have a management function that allows reflector operators (affectionately known as 'cops') to block a node that is causing a problem for connected nodes on the reflector. This is a necessary function in order to have a reasonably clean place for nodes to connect. Blocking is sometimes necessary to restore functionality of the reflector if a node brings pulsing, intermod, courtesy tones, one way audio, IDs

Blocks are NEVER personal, nor should they be considered punitive in any way. Every PTT across a reflector is logged by node number. If we hear something bad, a glance at the reflector console tells the “reflector cops” exactly what node number the problem is coming from. It is then a simple command to block that node. An e-mail message is automatically sent to the registered contact advising of the block and why it was invoked.

Blocked from the reflector? What to Do.

If your node has been blocked, please reply to the e-mail you received, advising the problem has been corrected and how or what action was taken, if appropriate. Please quote the complete message you received in your reply.  If the block was for some temporary condition a reflector cop may remove the block without being asked once your node has disconnected, but we often forget, so the reply is important. Contact W7AOR@NARRI.ORG for help.

Operating Tips & Bits

Remember the PAUSE PAUSE PAUSE procedure described above

When first connecting, remember you may be dropping into a conversation in progress, so wait 30 seconds or so before transmitting to avoid interrupting a QSO.

Resist the temptation to break into a QSO unless invited or the conversation is obviously open. Internet "propagation" always provides a good path, so there is no need to hurry to work the "rare one" before the band dies out.

Calling CQ is a great way to solicit a contact. Every Ham knows what that means. If you are specifically trying to make a contact, be sure to make that fact known in your call, especially if you are demonstrating IRLP.

All Topics of conversation within the realm of "Good Amateur Practice" are allowed. There are no specifically prohibited topics, but remember you have an international audience thus your conversation will be heard worldwide. If you are discussing IRLP operating procedures or practices, remember not to discuss node access details and policies vary considerably based upon local requirements. If a node owner wants people to know how to control his node he can them by e-mail or phone. Don’t encourage button pushing over the reflector.

When disconnecting from Ref 9250, it is not necessary to announce that fact to everyone connected. In fact, a disconnect announcement can be disruptive if you are sneaking in between transmissions of a QSO you are otherwise not a part of. Just bleep in your code and be gone. Balance that with the need to identify your station. If you are fortunate enough to have a full duplex control connection, it is actually completely silent if you disconnect on top of another transmission.

Sub-Channels
9251 - 9259

Use of Reflector sub-channels is encouraged. You do not need specific permission to use any of them. Current channel assignments below.

9250 - General rag chew
9251 - Open and available
9252 - Open and available
9253 - California linking and special events
9254 - Hawaii Pacific linking and special events
9255 - Open and available
9256 - Open and available
9257 - Nevada linking and special events, otherwise open and available.
9258 - Link to NV-GATE 152566 Echo Conf Server. GSM codec
9259 - Open and available - GSM codec

Who's who

Reflector Owner: Kent, W7AOR, NARRI
Reflector Operators-Cops: KB2ERJ, W6KAP, KH6FV, KH6DQ, N5ZUA, W7RAT
IRLP System Designer: VE7LTD

© Nevada Amateur Radio Repeaters Inc - 2009