WC0HC Repeater Operating Protocol


Hennepin County, Minnesota
Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES)

146.700 MHz Repeater System

Revised 5/23/2011
System Owner – Hennepin County Emergency Management
Repeater Call Sign – WC0HC
Responsible Individual and Repeater Station Trustee – Dan Anderson
HCSO Communications Manager, Phone 612-596-1920
Primary Radio Watch Officer – Matt Stepaniak, N0TNL
Hennepin County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Call Sign – WC0HC
RACES Responsible Civil Defense Agency – Hennepin County Emergency Preparedness Division

This repeater system is part of Hennepin County’s Emergency Government  Communications System and use of the system by amateur operators is subject to the following protocols and priorities:

SYSTEM INFORMATION: The CTCSS tone for the primary downtown Minneapolis repeater is 127.3 on both the input and output. A backup repeater is located in Plymouth which uses an input CTCSS of 118.8 and 127.3 on the output. Both repeaters are active. The backup repeater is equipped with a SAME weather alert receiver which automatically retransmits NWS issued tornado warnings for Hennepin County.

USE DURING EMERGENCIES: Very Low and Low Priority traffic must yield to all higher priority traffic. When a RACES activity is taking place on the repeater, ALL stations not registered with Hennepin County RACES, or another RACES program should avoid the frequency.

METRO SKYWARN OPERATIONS: This repeater is designated as the PRIMARY METRO SKYWARN operations frequency. Active RACES METRO SKYWARN nets have priority over all other uses.

GENERAL QSOs DISCOURAGED: When not in use for RACES or SKYWARN operations, this repeater is designated as a CALLING AND EMERGENCY frequency. Several Governmental RACES stations, EOC centers, ARES, Hospitals, Disaster Relief and other organizations attempt to maintain a radio watch on this repeater in order to respond to emergencies. This radio watch cannot be done effectively if there is any amount of rag-chewing. The repeater should be KEPT CLEAR of general amateur radio conversation traffic AT ALL TIMES in order for the channel to be open and available for calling/ hailing/ distress and emergency reporting traffic. Amateur stations are welcome to use the repeater for calling/ hailing in order to make initial contact and make arrangements to move to another frequency but are asked to AVOID the repeater for any extended duration QSOs.

General Priorities for Use - High Medium Low
1. RACES COMMUNICATIONS (Source – FCC Regulations): Messages concerning impending or actual conditions jeopardizing the public safety, or affecting the national defense or security during periods of local, regional, or national civil emergencies. This includes formal METRO SKYWARN net operations. Messages directly concerning the immediate safety of life of individuals, the immediate protection of property, maintenance of law and order, alleviation of human suffering and need, and the combating of armed attack or sabotage. This includes formal METRO SKYWARN net operations. Messages directly concerning the accumulation and dissemination of public information or instructions to the civilian population essential to the activities of the civil defense organization or other authorized governmental or relief agencies. Communications for RACES training drills and tests necessary to ensure the establishment and maintenance of orderly and efficient operation of the RACES as ordered by the responsible civil defense organization served.

Messages concerning the immediate safety of life of individuals and the immediate protection of property. This includes informal METRO SKYWARN net operations.  Messages concerning the reporting of suspicious individuals and activities related to homeland security.Messages concerning mobilization and coordination of Disaster Relief Organizations through MnVOAD (Minnesota Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disaster). Messages concerning the safety or coordination of large public gatherings and planned community events.
Communications for ARES training drills and tests.

Messages concerning the immediate safety of life of individuals and the immediate protection of property. Reporting of road and weather hazards, information inquires, rendering assistance to the public. Calling/ hailing another amateur station to make INITIAL contact in order to move to another frequency. VERY SHORT general QSO conversations (i.e. 3 to 5 minutes maximum duration) with other amateur stations.