Your RATS repeater team would like to remind all operators to treat our repeaters as a shared resource. When engaged in any conversation on a repeater:
1. Leave enough space between each transmission to allow another station to join the conversation or make an emergency call. Pause at least three to four seconds before responding (includes repeater hang time). Responding too quickly ("quick-keying") monopolizes access to the repeater and is contrary to the spirit of a shared system. If you wish to join a conversation, simply announce your call sign in-between transmissions. Do not use the word "break" to interrupt a QSO on amateur repeaters unless there is an emergency.
2. Establish a rotation and stick to it. A common approach is to go in order by first name. Minimize deviations from the rotation and restore the normal flow as quickly as possible. As new stations join the conversation, let them know where they land in the rotation. Know who you're after, and who's after you. Pass the QSO off to the next user by name. "Over to you, John."
3. Long-winded conversations -- many minutes or even hours long -- are welcome on the RATS repeaters. Insert additional pauses in your transmission every five to ten minutes and invite others to use the repeater. They may want to join your conversation, or they may have their own quick calls to make.
Repeated doubling (transmitting on top of each other) or lots of "let me see if I've got the mic" is a good indicator that someone in the QSO might have bad operating habits. If enough space is being left between transmissions, a rotation is established, and all users in the QSO stick to it, there should be no doubt who talks next, and doubling should be practically eliminated.
RATS Control Operators will sometimes intervene in instances where there is severe/repeated doubling, excessive quick-keying, or other discourteous operation.
RATS wants all users to enjoy their time on our systems. The club has several resources to help hams operate professionally and courteously on repeaters.
The RATS Technical Committee is available to answer any questions about our systems.