(See notes at the bottom of this page for help with offsets and tones.)
Our most popular repeaters...
Providing excellent wide-area coverage, and serving as the Baker's Dozen ARES emergency communication frequency, the 145.15 MHz repeater is located on the W5NCD tower near Bruceville/Eddy, south of Waco, radiating from a height of 400 feet AGL. The repeater operates with a PL tone of 123 Hz, and an input frequency offset of –600 kHz.
This repeater is now functioning as the Waco area input to the D-Star gateway (FM-digital transmissions only). The antenna is located near Texas State Technical College (TSTC) in Waco. For more information, and to register to use the HOTARC Gateway, see the D-Star page.
HOTARC's 440-band repeater is located atop the Waco water tower on Panther Way in south Waco. (You can easily see the shadow of the water tower in Google's satellite view!) This repeater operates on 442.875 MHz with an input frequency offset of +5.000 MHz and a PL tone of 123 Hz.
|(NOTE: Our backup 145.15 repeater, located in Waco is activated when/if there is difficulty with the main repeater. You can distinguish this repeater by the courtesy tone ending each transmission. This location has less signal range, so adjust your transmissions accordingly.)
145.15 repeater (2015)
145.15 rack mount (2015)
Guidelines for Repeater Use
Courteous and legal use of a repeater is the responsibility of every amateur radio
operator. The Heart O' Texas Amateur Radio Club has established these guidelines to encourage
good operating practices. Since the Club is ultimately responsible for the use of these repeaters,
amateur operators who do not abide by these guidelines (whether or not they are Club Members) may be asked
to not use the HOTARC repeaters. Thanks for your cooperation! Let's all be good neighbors!
- Emergency use of a repeater always takes precedence over all other use.
- Organized activities such as nets or training drills have priority over routine
- Before keying your transmitter, listen for any activity on the repeater.
- Keep individual transmissions short. The timer on most repeaters is set to three minutes
to follow FCC regulations. However, someone who talks for that long in one transmission may be
using valuable time if someone else has an emergency and is waiting... waiting... waiting....
- Please limit your continuous use of a repeater to a resonable length. We recommend 20
minutes as a guideline.
- It is considered bad etiquette to interrupt an ongoing conversation unless you have an
emergency or something meaningful to contribute to the conversation.
- While we want our repeaters to be active, it is discourteous to use a repeater to talk
to someone who is within easy simplex range. If you can hear each other on the repeater input
frequency, switch to a simplex frequency for that casual conversation. Similarly, don't use
a wide-area repeater if one with more local coverage will do.
- Most repeaters have a courtesy tone to indicate that the other party has released the
key to end their transmission. Make it a habit to wait for the courtesy tone before replying
so that someone with an emergency or someone wishing to join the conversation has ample
opportunity to "break in."
- You must identify your station with your call sign every ten minutes and at the end of a
conversation. While the FCC rules no longer require that you identify at the beginning of a
conversation, it is common courtesy to do so.
- Whenever you transmit, you must always identify your station at some point, even if you just key up the
repeater for test purposes. "Kerchunking" (a short, unidentified transmission to "bring up the
repeater") is illegal.
- "CB"-style talk and off-color remakrs or comments have no place in amateur radio. Keep
your activities on our repeaters responsible and courteous.
- The FCC rules permit the use of amateur radio for transmissions of a technical or
personal nature. Please don't use ham repeaters to air "dirty laundry" (yours or anybody else's).
That's why telephones were invented. :-)
- As in all of amateur radio, transmissions for business purposes are illegal. Please be
mindful of this whenever using our repeaters. (It's okay to briefly talk about your business,
but just don't conduct or promote your business on the air.)
Setting Up Your Radio for Repeater Use
- First of all, tune your receiver to the repeater output frequency. This is the "receive frequency" on which you will listen. If you only want to listen, that's all you need to do. But if you want to join in the conversation...
- Repeater offsets—required to transmit.
- HOTARC's 145.15 MHz repeater listens for your transmissions on an input frequency 600 kHz below the output frequency (and also requires a subaudible tone of 123 Hz; more on that later). You must configure your VHF transceiver to transmit with –600 kHz. Consult your radio's manual on setting this "negative offset." (Many radios will show a "minus sign" in the display to denote a negative offset.)
- HOTARC's 146.98 MHz D-Star gateway/repeater does not use an offset (or a PL tone, see below). However, you do need to register before you are allowed to use this repeater.
- HOTARC's 442.875 MHz repeater listens on a frequency 5.000 MHz above. That means you will configure your UHF radio for a +5MHz offset. (Again, many radios denote this with a "plus sign" in the display.)
- HOTARC's 145.15 and 442.875 repeaters (and almost every repeater in our area) require a subaudible tone of 123 Hz. Signals that don't include this low-frequency (not audible) tone will not be repeated. This is helpful for those times when signals from outside our area may occasionally "skip" their way to our repeater. Those distant stations probably won't be including our choice of subaudible tone, and so the repeater will just ignore them. Again, consult your radio's manual on selecting and transmitting with this subaudible tone. (Many radios will show a "T" in the display to denote that a subaudible tone will be added to your transmissions.)
- Our repeater controllers have an activity timer that will automatically shut down the transmitter if a carrier is received continuously for 3 minutes. A brief pause between transmissions will reset the timer. This is designed to protect the repeater in case someone's radio gets stuck ON. But it will also time out if someone talks continuously for longer than 3 minutes. (See Guideline 4 above.)