RMRL has autopatches on the 145.220 and 224.000 MHz repeaters. The autopatches are intended for use by members and visiting amateurs. If you are an RMRL Member and do not have the autopatch access code, contact one of the RMRL Board members to acquire the code.
- Listen to make certain that the frequency and phone line are clear.
- Make sure your signal is sufficiently strong to reliably control the autopatch. If you’re in doubt, ask for a signal report.
- Identify with your callsign and announce your intent to use the autopatch: “This is WQIABC for the patch”. The repeaters require two seconds of audio before they will accept DTMF touch-tones. If the repeater transmitter is allowed to drop, all timers are reset and you will need to identify again before entering DTMF tones.
- In one command, enter the access code, phone number, and an asterisk (*). The repeater controller will store your phone number, verify that it is acceptable (see below), and dial it with regenerated DTMF tones. You will not hear a dial tone on the air.
- Use your push-to-talk button in the normal manner to speak to the person on the line. You can interrupt them and prevent their voice from being transmitted over the repeater.
- To hang up, announce that you are clear of the patch, then transmit the hang-up code followed by the asterisk (*). The autopatch will respond with a message indicating disconnect; if not, repeat the hang-up code.
- If you make a mistake while entering a phone number, there is no need to enter the hang-up code or wait until the repeater drops. Just enter a #. This acts as a ‘clear’ key and tells the controller to ignore all touch-tones up to that point, allowing you to start again without waiting.
Other Autopatch Notes
- An acceptable telephone number is any 10 digit local number or a 1-800 or 1-888 number.
- A number of public assistance agency and other commonly used telephone numbers have been preprogrammed into the controller. Each of these has a unique 3 digit ‘speed dial’ code, a list of which was provided to you separately.To make a call using a speed dial code, simply transmit the 3 digit code followed by an asterisk. You do not need to transmit the patch access code first.
- The patch normally has a 4 minute maximum call length. The controller will warn you of impending disconnect by transmitting a message. Calls made via one of the published emergency speed dial codes have a maximum call length of infinity (no limit).
- Since the autopatches are intended for the use of members (and visitors with member assistance) only, please do not discuss codes on the air. The codes change on an irregular basis. When this happens you will be notified of the new codes by mail.
- Although the FCC has changed its regulations regarding business calls on auto-patches, the RMRL membership has chosen to still follow the old FCC guide-lines. Business or commercial calls are prohibited. The general test of whether a call can be considered to be business or commercial in nature is whether or not anyone will make money as a result of it. Consequently, the patch may not be used to order merchandise, make or confirm reservations, check with your employer for messages, or conduct similar transactions. Similarly, please do not use the patches to call your business to report your whereabouts or any information relating to your job. If you are unsure whether a call might be considered to be of a commercial or business nature, please do not make it on the autopatch.
- You may place autopatch calls to leave a message on an answering machine or voice mail, but please do not retrieve messages from an answering machine or voice mail.
- Personal speed dial numbers are available on an annual basis in return for service to the club or a monetary donation. Please contact any club officer for details.