Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the purpose of this Web site?
- Is there a fee to use this site?
- Why do I have to register?
- Do you need help with the site?
- As the owner or trustee of I repeater, how can I request the information on my repeater be changed, obscured, or removed?
- How do you obtain the repeater information on this site?
- I found an inaccurate listing or I know of a repeater listing you don't have.
- How often is the repeater database updated?
- Are there any plans to add [enter state or province]?
- Do I have to use a call sign to register?
- Why does your database seem to have more information than other databases?
- How do you obtain accuracy within your listings?
- You have incorrect information on the site. Aren't you responsible for that?
- If someone vandalizes a repeater site after finding the coordinates on your site, aren't you liable?
- As a repeater owner, I demand that the listing of my repeater be completely removed.
- Do you obtain the permission of a repeater owner before publishing the information?
- As the owner of a closed or private system, will you completely remove my repeater's listing?
- As the owner or trustee of a repeater, why should I share my information with you?
- What are the responsibilities of an admin (moderator)?
- How do I submit a repeater to the database?
This Web site is a resource for amateur radio operators in the U.S. and Canada.
The site includes up-to-date repeater and club information. Other topics of Ham interest include a stolen gear registry and EchoLink status database.
No. Membership is free. However, it costs money to run a site like this. Your help is greatly appreciated. Your donations will help pay for server space, bandwidth, and programming.
It also helps keep us motivated to keep this site the premier site for up-to-date information regarding amateur radio in the U.S. and Canada.
You are free to browse this site without registering. However, when you register you will find that you have more access to more features and automation.
This is not a commercial Web site. Your information will never be sold or distributed to anyone.
Absolutely. Every aspect of this Web site needs your help to be the best. We need site admins in several states to collect and maintain data.
But, everyone who visists the site can help. Please add and/or correct any information you see on the site. It is especially easy to add or edit repeaters.
As repeater owners ourselves, we understand that owners have varying comfort levels regarding the amount of information that is publicly available about their machines. As a courtesy, we are happy to obscure the micro landmark location, PL tone, GPS coordinates, features, and functions of your repeater.
However, we will not obscure the frequency, city ( or nearest city), county, or state the repeater resides in. We will publish the known operational status of the repeater, usage rights, contact e-mail, and Web site of the repeater if it was obtained from publicly available sources.
Occasionally we receive some demanding and rude requests from repeater owners ordering the site to obscure more information than the site policy permits. The U.S. Constitution safeguards the first amendment right to publish this data on the Internet, along with exact coordinates of repeaters and PL tones, which trumps a repeater's "right" to privacy as a repeater site has no right to privacy. Furthermore, amateur radio repeaters reside on publicly available spectrum and no frequency is licensed to any person for exclusive use. The general public, and certainly the amateur radio community, has a right to know that a repeater is operating on a given frequency, even though usage of said repeater by the owner/trustee is prohibited.
Try pleading, begging, or a simple please and we will be more willing to work with you! Requests phrased any other way may be ignored.
The information on this site is taken from commonly available resources. The Internet and other HAMs are our best sources.
Great! Send us the information. Share it with everyone. The only way to make this site the most complete and up-to-date site on repeaters, nets, and clubs on the Web is for users to send us updated information.
The repeater database is updated constantly.
As visitors browse the site, they may find incomplete or incorrect information and submit it. The information is reviewed and any necessary changes are made.
Submitted updates are usually uploaded within 24 hours.
Yes, we would like to add every state and province.
Information is added somewhat slowly because the accuracy of the database is very important to us. If you are interested in lending a hand, either submit repeater information to us or apply to become a site admin.
Eventually, more states and provinces will be enterd, but in a very slow and methodical process. This database is no good if the information in it is bad.
Yes. This is an amateur radio web site and all regular users should have a call sign.
This is an open community. We use our call signs whenever we transmit on the air. Anyone can look us up and see who we are. Often, the radio operators who seek anonymity are jammers and trouble-makers, who are not welcome here.
If a visitor wants to use a username that is something other than a call sign, it must be explained to and approved by the administrator.
The administrator reserves the right to reject or cancel memberships to this site at any time, with or without cause or notice.
When we obtain a repeater listing, we conduct a thorough search of the Internet for all available information on that repeater. Many times a repeater sponsor will post a lot of information on a Web site that is beneficial to the Ham community. We collect that data and provide it for you here.
The ARRL is thought to have the most accurate database available. They obtain their information from coordinating councils, as I do. As long as the coordinating councils are correct, the ARRL directory is correct.
The ARRL updates their database for publication every other year. Many repeaters can be changed and added or deleted during this time. At the end of the publication cycle their directory is no longer as correct.
The RepeaterBook database is updated constantly, so it is not limited to the age of the print. When we have new information, you have new information.
Some coordinating councils are better than others about sharing and updating information via the Web. We use change detection software to review their listings so that we are notified when changes occur. We then propagate that data to the RepeaterBook site so you have the most recent information available.
We also look for other sources of information beyond what is available through coordinating councils. We search the Web for repeater Web sites, contact repeater users and trustees directly, test repeaters, and rely on you to assist with information verification.
A 'last updated' date has been added to every entry so that you can see immediately how recent the information on the repeater listing is.
If you are referring to some sort of legal responsibility, no, there is no liability. If someone was to become injured as a result of incorrect information, some form of mental culpability paralleling intentional or reckless must be proved. Since this sites underlying goal is to provide accurate information, there is no intent or provable recklessness in regards to incorrect information.
If you are referring to slander or libel, the operators of this site take no responsibility for the opinions recorded on this site. Any accusation of slander and libel must be taken up with the author of the statements and not the medium that displayed it. You cannot sue the manufacturer of a pen and paper company when someone writes a defaming and untrue piece about another.
The short answer is no.
Case law can be found on this in regards to Web sites that publish the home addresses of police officers and abortion doctors. Recently, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously said the activists could be held liable only if the material authorized or directly threatened violence. A recent Supreme Court ruling that said a threat must be explicit and likely to cause "imminent lawless action." Their right to publish this information is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Even when common sense tells you that the posting of the information is to allow for the information to get to someone who would do harm to the individual, it is still protected. The poster of the information is not responsible for the actions of another individual. This all changes, however, if the poster encourages others to inflict harm upon the individual.
Since this site does not wish harm to come to any repeater, in fact the opposite, the site and its operators cannot be held liable for any actions taken by a third party with information gleaned from the site.
When we receive this request, invariably some right to privacy or copyright is claimed.
Consider for a moment that a repeater listing was similar to your home address being published on the Internet. It is nearly impossible to prevent. In order to keep your address from print in the local phone directory, you must initiate a request to your local phone service provider. Notice they never ask for your permission to print your address, but in fact charge you to obscure it. They even sell the information to anyone who would purchase it.
Even if you are unlisted in your local directory, chances are you home address is still findable on the Internet. There are other publicly available sources for the information and your information is regularly sold without your permission. Other common sources include government records (especially property records and court documents), utility companies, and credit card companies. There are no laws prohibiting companies from publishing this information about you without your permission.
Many people misunderstand what their "right to privacy" really is. While we all cherish privacy, privacy laws do not apply to publicly disclosing where you live. Though many companies maintain privacy policies as a service to their customers, they are not legally required to do so. For more information about US Privacy laws, try here.
As you can see, asserting privacy concerns to request the removal of a repeater entry is without merit. Certainly a repeater, which is a machine and not a person, would have no right to privacy. The operating frequency of the repeater, its tone, and call sign are continually being transmitted onto publicly available spectrum. This is akin to using a bull horn to announce to the world what your home address is, then becoming upset when someone actually writes it down.
The general rule to privacy and protection of certain information is to not announce it. We have received requests to remove the complete listing of inactive repeaters when information had been intentionally entered onto another database on the Internet. The owner's claim was when the information was entered into that database, that the intent was for it to remain only in that database. This is not a reasonable expectation within the Internet.
As far as copyright law and a database like this, many people believe incorrectly they they have some protection here as well. You may want to study the issue on the US Copyright Office Web site. Specifically not protected is fact. Repeater data on this site is completely grounded in fact. The operating frequency, pl, offset, location, call sign, etc, is all fact. A book that is a collection of facts can still be copyrighted. However, the facts contained within are not protected. The protection is the book's format and the method for expressing the facts.
In conclusion, yelling, screaming, or threatening anything (including lawsuits) in an attempt to remove your repeater listing, does not have to be resorted to. We have no legal requirement to remove a repeater listing. We are confident we are completely within the law. However, we can be sympathetic to requests that are well articulated and polite in nature.
On a more positive note, we would like to point out that we would like to represent everything that is good about amateur radio. We do not wish to be argumentative about these points or debate them with you. We would prefer to embrace you as a fellow Ham and work together in a spirit of cooperation to come to a mutually acceptable arrangement. While other repeater listing repositories attempt to make money on their products, there is no requirement on this site to pay money to receive any information. We are simply a collection point for publicly available information. We believe because of our operating practices, you may be most willing to share your information.
We considered contacting every repeater owner, not necessarily to obtain permission, but information. However, as many of us are repeater owners or board members of large clubs with repeaters, we decided that such a mailing would be expensive, overwhelming, difficult, and likely fruitless. If every administrator of a Web site attempted to gain the permission of the owner of a repeater, repeater owners would be so tired of receiving requests that they would likely ignore them. Cost is also a major factor. We figured the cost would be about $1.00 per mailing. Currently, we service more than 5,000 repeaters. For a free site, that cost is overwhelming. Finally, there is no legal or moral requirements to request permission to publish facts, especially when they are generally available from other sources.
We are glad to list your repeater as closed or private and even provide a note in the comments field alerting potential users to this fact. We will also subdue the PL tone, exact coordinates, access codes, and features. However, if your intent is to "hide" your repeater from the would-be jammer, removing the listing from this database is not likely to accomplish this. There are several other publications, both Web and print, that display closed and private repeaters. Removing the entry from this database does not remove it from the Web.
There are a couple of reasons why we hesitate to outright remove a listing from the database. One of those is because we provide a service to repeater owners. For potential repeater owners looking for a frequency, it is handy to know that a frequency is already in use. If there are repeater interference issues, a listing on this site provides an easy method to locate the potential source of the interference so that a remedy can be applied.
We also believe with the advent of fast-scan radios and PL search, that there is no way to "hide" a repeater on the ham bands. Finding a repeater in the wild that is not listed on this site just makes other's curious. If you are attempting to avoid a jammer that preys on private systems, the more you try to hide, the more determined a jammer becomes and the more satisfaction he feels in his accomplishment. We believe the alternative approach of 'nothing to hide and nothing to fear' is a more effective way of quelling the competitive nature of a jammer.
Please don't insult us by requesting that we remove the information if you post it on your own Web site.
We are attempting to build an open access and free database of useful information for all amateurs. The deployment of the information is designed to help those with a legitimate interest in amateur radio a reliable and central resource to gather repeater information. We do not require anyone to pay any fee for use of the site and openly seek accurate information. We believe this is in harmony with the concept of amateur radio as a service organization.
Beyond all of that, we believe that this site can assist travelers and new HAMs with the information they need to confidently enter the hobby in the area served. Travelers appreciate the ability to program reliable repeater data into their radios to increase the safety and pleasure of their trips. New HAMs appreciate a quick way to get the information they need to program their radios and start socializing. In this spirit, we hope that you will share your repeater information with us.
If you prefer not to allow other amateurs use of your repeater, simply request the repeater be listed as closed, as this is a sign to other HAMs that the repeater is not open to general use.
Many repeater owners want their repeaters to be used. Listing your repeater on this site allows us to advertise the presence, features, and capabilities of your repeater for you.
Admins are assigned a state or province and they are generally responsible for the database information pertaining to that area. They will conduct research to locate repeaters and update information, handle requests from site visitors, and review submissions.
Admins must be Ham radio operators with some knowledge of repeater operation (repeater owners preferred), some affinity to some basic web programming and attention to detail.
The time commitment is not very high. There is some front-end work getting the data entered and updated, but ongoing maintenance is low. The typical admin can spend just 15 minutes per week handling requests and doing some light research. Occasionally, more time is required for the bi-annual data reviews.
We have 7 years of experience with obtaining repeater data and automating the gathering of information. We are here to assist our admins get started and working efficiently. The site also has a large toolbox for admins so that making updates is quick and easy.
First, conduct a search for the repeater in the database through the state or province it should be located in. If the search results do not incldue the repeater, select the 'Submit Repeater' link in the blue menu bar near the top of the page. A notification of the request will add the repeeater to the database. You will be notified when this happens. Most of the time, updates are completed within 24 hours.