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Store-and-forward repeaters


#1

Hello all,

More just a musing than anything else (i do like to play with odd bits of kit, hi), but I was wondering about the legality of store-and-forward repeaters in the UK. One of the big emporiums proclaims of its offering “It’s legal!”, but something in my brain tells me its not. Even if it was just something to play around with for the duration of an activation, a simplex repeater could cover a massive area - just imagine what a little box of tricks on a high LD or NW summit could do. It would be fun to put into action and there would be a certain sense of fun and satisfaction in facilitating such wide coverage, perhaps even more so due to its temporary nature. It would be like man made tropo :slight_smile:

73,

Dave, 2E0BYA


#2

In reply to 2E0BYA:

Read the new licence terms, those that replace BR68, and see if what you want is legal. There have been some significant changes since BR68 days. Would you like to post a link to a relevant page for such a store and forward unit?

Andy
MM0FMF


#3

In reply to MM0FMF:
A good thought Andy, I really should read the license a bit more from time to time =) Unfortunately, the Ofcom OLC is down at the moment for maintenance and won’t be back until 3rd March.

One example of such a device would be the MFJ-662, the manual for it is here:

http://www.mfjenterprises.com/man/pdf/MFJ-662.pdf

Dave,
2E0BYA


#4

In reply to 2E0BYA:

Unfortunately, the Ofcom OLC is down at the moment

I believe you are required to keep a printed copy at your main station address. Read that.


#5

In reply to M1MAJ:

Unfortunately, as I’m visiting my parents for a few days (at Geoff M3SFN’s home QTH in Worcs), my printed copy is at my main station address is up in NW land, hi!

73,

Dave, 2E0BYA.


#6

In reply to 2E0BYA:
Shucks! I once managed to get the Ofcom OLC to issue me a licence without a callsign - would you like a copy of that?


#7

In reply to M1MAJ:
If you wouldn’t mind, I’d be most grateful! Its a funny old beast the OLC =)

Dave, 2E0BYA, moleonacid@gmail.com


#8

In reply to 2E0BYA:

Hi Dave

I have a pdf of the licence document I’d be glad to forward to you if you’re that keen :wink:

73 de Paul G4MD


#9

In reply to G4MD:

Did you note that you now are required to keep a copy of the new licence with you when you operate from the main station address?

As it is now an electronically maintained system, I comply by keeping a copy of my licence as a pdf on a memory stick!

Thanks for the link to the MFJ unit. However, repeaters don’t float my boat at all, so I wont be carrying one for others to use up any hills!

Andy
MM0FMF


#10

In reply to MM0FMF:

I guess this is the relevant bit:

"14 Recorded or retransmitted Messages

14(1) The Licensee may record and retransmit Messages addressed to the Licensee received from other Amateurs:

(a) with whom the Licensee is in direct communication; or
(b) which are intended for retransmission to a specified Amateur.

14(2) When recording and retransmitting the Message of another Amateur, if the Licensee also records and retransmits the Callsign of that Amateur, then the Licensee shall transmit the Callsign in such a way that the origin of the Message and the origin of the retransmission are clear."

Don’t know enough about the store and forward system to be sure, but it would seem to be dodgy at least…

73 de Paul G4MD


#11

In reply to G4MD:

The new rules are quite vague compared to the old BR68. Suffice to say, a lot of specific things used to be completely barred in BR68 and there is no mention of them anymore. I take the enlightened view that if it doesn’t say I can’t do something, then I can do it until told to stop. We have moved from a precriptive licence to one which is light-touch and so it will take time for people used to being told what they can do switching to a mindset of doing what they want. Within reason of course.

Andy
MM0FMF


#12

In reply to MM0FMF:

Hmmm. I like this outlook, I think its a very good interpretation of what’s going on.

Paul G4MD: Many thanks for the offer of the pdf, but Martyn M1MAJ pipped you to the post =)

73,

Dave 2E0BYA


#13

In reply to 2E0BYA:

Glad to be of help Dave. These are only my opinions and I may well be very wrong in my interpretations. I don’t see S&F repeaters of being of any great use, especially when at a summit. But just because I see no point doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play with one. They have the disadvantage of halving the message rate, you have to save it then replay it, and unlike a duplex repeater, you can’t tell if the input is in use if you can’t hear the input user. If you could hear the input user then you don’t need the repeater! They are likely to suffer greatly from the hidden transmitter problems that plagued packet radio nodes.

But, and the but is a good but, the relaxed licence conditions make experimenting with such gizmos much easier, and that is a fantastic benefit of the licence changes. We can play with technology just for fun now in ways that would have been extremely difficult a few years back. As to whether S&F repeaters are outside the licence is not clear. Certainly if you are sat on a summit with such a thing, you are clearly able to control the unit and that is different to setting one up somewhere and leaving it on 24/7. Duplex repeaters are still heavily controlled which feels intrinsically the right way to manage them from my view point.

Andy
MM0FMF