Western Washington Amateur Relay Association

Providing frequency coordination services for Western Washington since 1976.

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WWARA Vision

Scott N7SS

Recognizing the value of the spectrum we manage, we have an obligation to be the best stewards of this public resource and insure access to as many licensed amateur radio operators as possible.

    We will do this by:
  1. Requiring engineering "best practices" when installing systems
  2. Encouraging as many co-channel systems as technically possible
  3. Encouraging the use of existing and future narrow-band analog and digital modes
  4. Insuring geographic diversity in coverage areas
  5. Encouraging users into less populated bands
  6. Working to eliminate inactive systems to allow equal access to spectrum
  7. Encouraging potential new repeater owners consider joining an existing system

Discussion

Congress has raised significant capital by auctioning RF spectrum, occasionally to the detriment of amateur radio.  The spectrum used by amateur operators represents a sizable investment in public resources that could potentially be better used for another purpose.  Amateurs in general and WWARA in particular, have an obligation to make best use of this spectrum.  Although WWARA cannot evaluate the value of content on these systems, we must always be searching for an opportunity to allow more amateurs use of the spectrum.

Following engineering "best practices" is one way commercial systems achieve a higher density of users.  This minimizes interference, while maximizing performance and reliability and allows for more systems in close proximity.  A failed system has no value to anyone.  Systems should be required to offer both encode and decode squelch control systems.  After decades of these systems on the air, there can be no more reason to delay implementation.

Many commercial users and all government users are switching to more spectrally-efficient narrow-band analog and digital modes.  Although there is little to no available spectrum for additional systems, amateurs have made little progress toward improving spectral efficiency since converting from AM to SSB decades ago.  WWARA needs to champion these modes and insure there is spectrum available for their use.

Owners may change, lose interest or the ability to care for these systems.  For whatever reason these systems go dark, WWARA should make a best effort at identifying this spectrum and making it available to other users as quickly as possible.  Just like an empty table at a restaurant makes no money, an empty repeater pair has no value to the amateur community.

When hams form clubs or emcomm teams, a natural next step is to get a repeater on the air.  With so many systems already in place, it is often unnecessary.  It is more practical for these groups to partner with a system that offers the coverage they need.  The new team can learn the repeater technologies and maintenance requirements and the repeater system can benefit from increased financial support, making it a more valuable resource for the entire community.


 
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Last Updated 07/09/2016 by Jim Etzwiler KD7BAT
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