The Utah VHF Society
"So, you want to
up a repeater?"
"I have a lot of time
to kill and a big wad of cash burning a hole in my
Ok. Somehow you've gotten to the point of deciding that you
want to put up a repeater. At the moment of this
should ask yourself two questions:
- Am I crazy?
- Was I dropped on my head when I was really
Here are the steps typically
required to obtain repeater coordination:
- A potential repeater trustee
decides that there is a need
in a particular location to fill a yet-unfilled
requirement for service
- Read this document,
the Frequency Coordinator, the Frequency
Coordination FAQ, and the Frequency
Form. Preliminarily fill out the Frequency
form and make note of any questions that this might
- Contact the frequency coordinator
informally via telephone
or email and
explain your needs. Remember that the Frequency
with coordinating frequencies so that they will do the
most good - and
it is possible that your idea, while it might be
sound, may be asking
much of limited resources.
- This first contact with the
frequency coordinator may
reveal that your
original idea was or was not practical and you may
need to revise your
- If you are able to derive a plan
that will fit within
you may then submit the completed Frequency
and mail it to the frequency coordinator.
are permitted for minor updates and informal
trail (with real paper!) is an
some (unforeseen!) issue arise in the future.
- Remember: While you may make
you might operate on, it is the frequency coordinator
that makes the
determination. The frequency coordinator has an
database and relies on this information and experience
to determine a
frequency/location combination. It is
entirely possible that nothing
is available for your needs (as is the likely case
of 2 meters along
After answering these questions to your
satisfaction (or simply
them and thereby proving that there may be something to them...)
are several other questions that you need to ask.
Before going further, let me state a few simple facts:
- What wonderful thing will this
repeater do that other
around me do not do.
- Do we (as a ham community) really need another
- Is there a repeater near you in where the
owner could really
some help in improving, rather than you duplicating
- Can I really afford to spend the
time/money that it takes
a site (and permission,) put a repeater on the air, and
- Do I even know how to do any of this?
In short, if there is a group or individual that can
up a repeater/system that will genuinely benefit the ham community
provide or improve a service or further the state-of-the art)
often prevented from doing so by a number of mediocre or poor
tying up frequencies.
- There are far too many repeaters in many
metro areas and most of
are rarely used!
- There are a lot of repeaters that have
turned into private
where no-one is welcome except for a small, select
this exclusivity is compounded by the existence of an
- There are too many repeaters that are
poorly located (i.e. a low
location) and/or poorly maintained (making them difficult to
and are all but useless.
Now don't go away assuming that the answer to
request will automatically be no. Think carefully
it is that you are trying to accomplish. Quite
want to put up a 2 meter repeater at your house with an
autopatch on it
for your personal use, you should really ask yourself if this
is a good
use of (already tight) resources!
If your intents are really altruistic
(i.e. you genuinely
to help the amateur community by providing a genuinely valuable
cover an area that isn't already covered well, demonstrate a new
of the communications technology, or something else that
into the basis and purpose of amateur radio) then there are
and individuals that already have their repeaters on the
may be able to offer your help or expertise to improve that
It may be possible that you have identified a repeater that,
help." In this case, befriending the owner/operator of
may prove productive
Assuming that you can justify (to yourself and
the ham community at
large) the need for yet another repeater, it needs to be
First, read the Frequency
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. Then,
it again. Then make sure you read the frequency
coordination policies page. It is on this latter
bulk of this document is based.
The frequency coordinator is
Putting up even a "low-budget" repeater is
time-consuming and can still be fairly expensive, so before you
start spending much time or money on a repeater or the
equipment, please contact the repeater coordinator
to determine if what you propose is practical! One of the
worst things that can happen - and it happens too frequently -
is that someone buys the gear for a repeater somewhere and,
having spent the time and money, finds out that it's not going
to work out - perhaps because there's no frequency available,
the location that was planned for the repeater (say, the house)
is just not very good - or, perhaps too good for "local"
coverage, or because of some other technical issue that a
first-time repeater owner may not have been able to foresee!
PLEASE work with the frequency
coordinator to learn the "ins and outs" before
you spend the money and time! If your proposed repeater
turns out to be practical, there's a good chance that the
coordinator can offer advice that would improve the repeater's
performance and even save you money on the equipment when you do
In the process of supplying coordination
information there may be some aspects/parameters with which you
may not be familiar or need help in determining: Again,
the coordinator is there to help you!
Supplying Coordination Information:
In order to make an
informed decision, both you
the coordinator must have complete and accurate
Here is an overview on a point-by-point basis:
If you request a frequency, you had better have
your due diligence to make sure that this frequency and
location of the repeater are compatible with other systems.
the frequency coordinator is under no obligation to
you the specific frequency that you request.
- An applicant for coordination may request a
the final decision will rest with the Frequency Coordinator.
Frequency sharing is
by the Frequency Coordinator. However, frequency sharing
done only where it makes technical sense and there is agreement (in
writing!) from all parties involved. It should
that the earlier coordination on the frequency has seniority and
given first consideration should problems arise.
- An applicant may wish to share a frequency
with another existing
by whatever means, and Letters from all parties concerned (and
are to be determined by the Frequency Coordinator) should be
with the application for coordination. Coordination of a
Pair, Control Link, Aux Link, etc. is for a specific:
What is "HAAT?"
HAAT stands for Height Above
This number is derived from a contour maps (such as 7.5
It is the "average" height of the land around the site
based on the
of the elevation of points on lines extending out for 10
at 2 miles, and the elevation at each one mile increment
on the eight
compass points. This means 9 points per radial, or
the average of
72 data points. This value could be either
the site is atop a peak) or negative (if the repeater is
in a valley
If you do not have this information,
coordinator can calculate
it, provided that an accurate
description of the
(site name, precise latitude and longitude - from GPS,
etc.) is given.
If you wish to have the coordinator
calculate HAAT and a few other parameters, he'll be
happy to help!
- Frequency or Frequencies
- Transmitter Location
- Receiver Location
- Effective Radiated Power (ERP)
- Radiation Pattern
- Elevation (HAAT)
- Owner (Club or Individual)
- Time Frame
- Subaudible tone access frequency
This three-month period is intended to prevent people from getting
frequency and then sitting on it, doing nothing. Consider
an incentive to action and getting the repeater on the air.
- All coordinations are for a THREE Month
Period. It is the
of the applicant to notify the Utah VHF Society Frequency
in writing, when the coordinated frequencies go into use.
the Frequency Coordinator after THREE months or failure to
will result in cancellation of the coordination.
This simply means that, in spite of every
and all research done, just because the frequency coordinator may
the coordination, it does not mean that everything is
to be perfect. Occasionally, there is a hitherto unknown
issue with another system. It is on this point that thorough
on the part of the person asking for the coordination and the
of the coordinator can make the difference between a system that
and one that will not.
- Final Coordination is based on all data
available to the
at the time. It is not a guarantee of a clear frequency.
the frequency or frequencies shall be determined by the
This should be self-explanatory. It does
a service to try to keep the details of a repeater system
If you request that the frequency coordinator do so, certain
the proposed system (such as link frequencies, subaudible tone
system topologies, etc.) may be kept confidential, provided that
appropriate to do so. (This may be particularly true in some
especially where certain negotiations - such as site agreements -
jeopardized by their being made public prior to their
- It is the responsibility of the coordinated
party to keep the
Coordinator informed of the status of their Repeater at all
of or insufficient information is counterproductive to and may
All frequency coordinations are based on the
supplied at the time of the coordination. If, say, a certain
is coordinated for a foothill location (one that sees a valley,
not on top of a mountain) then that particular frequency may not
for use on a mountaintop, owing to possible interference
In situations where there is geographical frequency re-use, the
directional antennas or a site with limited coverage may be
to arrangement with the frequency coordinator and the other
which the frequency is being shared) to minimize
these factors may reduce coverage area, it may be necessary if you
to have any coverage at all.
- A frequency coordinated for a new Repeater
is made with respect
planned location, height and expected coverage area. It is not
to the Repeater Operator for unspecified use. Directional
and sub-audible tone access, where appropriate, may be an
of a given coordination.
Again, most of these are self-explanatory, but
if you have questions on any of these points, please contact the
frequency coordinator for help.
the coordination is based on the use of that frequency in
location with that equipment, changing that
is...) will affect its operation (and possibly the operations of
systems.) Additionally, keeping the Frequency Coordinator
of changes allows the coordinator to be an effective clearinghouse
information, and to spot potential problems before they happen.
- All major facility changes affecting the
coverage of a given
or the area from which the repeater will attract input
the cause for a new coordination. Any of the following changes
- Transmitter Location Change
- Receiver Location Change
- Addition of Remote Receivers
- Effective Radiated Power Change
- Antenna Elevation Change (HAAT)
- Antenna Radiation Pattern Change
- Ownership Change (Club or Individual)
If your repeater system goes off the air for
it is your responsibility to establish a paper trail to
what happened, and when (or if) the system will go back on the
This is another procedure to help keep "paper" repeaters from
frequencies. Extended outages of repeaters here in the west
unfortunately, somewhat common owing to the inaccessibility of
during the winter months. The frequency coordinator will
these extenuating circumstances as appropriate.
- If a coordinated system becomes inactive
for a period of SIX
the Frequency Coordinator has not been notified, IN WRITING,
frequencies will be subject to reassignment.
- Coordination requires cooperation. The Utah
VHF Society is a
venture, whose success or failure is determined by the
who it is working for. The amateur bands are a finite resource
support a large amount of relay activity operating in a
provided all parties realize that, like the environment, it is
entity, and abuse can spoil it for everyone.
While every attempt has been made to make this page as informative
clear as possible, it is likely that something was
matters of policy, the ultimate authority is a document
Policies of the Frequency Coordinator and its
interpretation by the
frequency coordinator, not this document.
- Please send your applications for
Frequency Coordination and
Utah VHF Society Frequency Coordinator
John Lloyd, K7JL
2078 Kramer Drive
Sandy, Utah 84092
for the email address
Home: 801-943-8830 Work: 801-268-5819
You may obtain a copy of the Frequency
Coordination form by
Some of your questions may be answered on
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page.
Questions, updates, or comments pertaining
to this web page may
directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to the Frequency
Coordination Policies page or the Utah
This page was last updated