Getting started with repeater connections

Once connected to a repeater and someone responds, do you just use that frequency to talk? To call CQ for example? No classes around here to have anyone teach anything with using the radios (everything is for getting the license) most of us are on our own to figure things out and ask questions…

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Good questions!

First of all, CQ generally is never called on a repeater. You can do that on HF and there is some use of CQ on VHF and UHF bands, but that typically is reserved for CW and SSB communications because they often mimic HF operations. But on repeaters, we normally say something like this to strike up a QSO: “This is AA1RC listening Midtown,” or “Here is AA1RC monitoring Mount Holyoke.” Repeaters often are identified by a name that ops call them on the air. It might be the city they are located in; it might be the mountain name they are located on. In lieu of that, you can just say you are listening on part after the decimal in the frequency, such as “This is AA1RC listening 76” for 146.760 MHz output.

If someone responds to your “listening” or “monitoring” call on a repeater, they actually will be calling you back. A typical go-around might sound like this:

– This is AA1RC listening Cherryville.
– AA1RC, here is N1USA. Where are you located this evening?

Or, perhaps they might just say their call sign, and then you just call them back:

– This is AA1RC listening Warrenville.
– N1USA
– N1USA, here is AA1RC. How are you this evening?

Make sense?

For what it’s worth, our Baofeng Basics course here at the American Radio Club is perfect for new licensees because it’s much more than just learning how to program your Baofeng radio. There is extensive information about making that first contact on repeaters and simplex frequencies when you first get licensed. Check it out at under the courses tab on our website. We hope to hear you on the air soon! 73

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Hello Chuck, thank you for the advise, I appreciate it. I plan to take the Baofeng class as soon as I finish my General test. I can’t stress enough how difficult it is to fumble our way through learning the use of a radio. Tons of videos and tutorials but not being able to ask questions (even simple or even dumb ones) makes things all that harder.

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That’s exactly why we set up this forum for our students. Our own Elmers as well as other knowledgeable students and recent licensees are here to assist. Ask away at any time.

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@kc3tdx Try the Simplex video too. That might help with understanding.

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