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Repeater Operators


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#1 taco6513

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 05:45 PM

This post is for repeater operators. I understand you are allowed to charge a fee for use of your repeater. Weather is be a club due, club membership, or usage fee. What are some of the examples of the amounts of  these fees and other requirements? I was thinking of a public tone with free membership and use. Then a fee service for a private tone to help pay operating costs. Please give actual fees you charge currently.

Thanks WRCW870. 



#2 Corey

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 10:14 PM

You can't technically charge for use of a repeater,  only for the upkeep and operation costs.

 

You can not in any way profit from a GMRS repeater.

 

I do not charge anybody and the reason is simple. The moment people start contributing they want a say in how its run.

 

I do this as a hobby and have substantial investment, its a labor of love. My payback is hearing people use and enjoy it.

 

Below is the FCC part 95 sub part that outlines this better.

 

Corey

 

 

(1) The station to be shared must be individually owned by the licensee, jointly owned by the participants and the licensee, leased individually by the licensee, or leased jointly by the participants and the licensee. (2) The licensee must maintain access to and control over all stations authorized under its license. (3) A station may be shared only: (i) Without charge; (ii) On a non-profit basis, with contributions to capital and operating expenses including the cost of mobile stations and paging receivers prorated equitably among all participants; or (iii) On a reciprocal basis, i.e., use of one licensee’s stations for the use of another licensee’s stations without charge for either capital or operating expenses. (4) All sharing arrangements must be conducted in accordance with a written agreement to be kept as part of the station records


Just My $.02

 

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#3 WPXM352

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 01:33 AM

"(ii) On a non-profit basis, with contributions to capital and operating expenses including the cost of mobile stations and paging receivers prorated equitably among all participants"

 

This says you can charge, but you would really have to form a legitimate non profit and get a CPA involved in the books. And Corey is right, you may have some hassles. I am considering a no-fee arrangement with tones for private use, but with some certain operating rules so that if, frankly, I don't want someone using it because of their behavior, I can send them a certified letter telling them they have violated rules and must go away.. I would send a nice letter first. I just don't want to have to punish everybody by pulling the plug.



#4 Corey

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 07:32 AM

All I am trying to say is you cant sell access nor do you have to start a non profit or get a CPA involved. Capital and operating expenses is in reference to supporting the equipment, paying tower rent or even leasing a repeater. Now if you start selling private access tones that is not allowed at all.

 

I manage a system of GMRS repeaters linked from Highland Indiana to Rhinerander Wisconsin and have never had the need to send a letter or pull the plug. We have had jammers over the years but we out last them, best to just ignore them. I promise the second you start sending letters or trying to boot people off your repeater you will have jammers as well. I have even heard of instances of repeater sites being vandalized, and it all started with "you are not allowed to use this machine"  Its hard to send a letter to somebody that wont ID while driving around in a mobile. Engaging them on the air just makes it worse and PD/DPL tones can be captured rather quickly with a scanner so in reality changing them works for about a day. If you start changing tones and pulling the plug you will end up with a quiet repeater that nobody uses.

 

Just me $.02

Corey


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Just My $.02

 

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#5 taco6513

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:04 AM

I am aware of the status of being non-profit. However you are allowed to recoop your operating and upkeep costs.

Just to be a little picky. The persons that  work at a non-profit can get paid. They don't haft to be unpaid volunteers.

The deal I am working with the tower owner will be I pay the towers electric bill. No tower lights and all the owner has

on the tower is his WIFI business. I also offered to install a backup generator. So I will have some upfront costs and

ongoing operating costs. I plan to offer free use of the travel tone when registered. A private tone will be $100 per 

year per call sign. Would take about  a dozen to break even. I will be good if it does and good if it doesn't. If more

show up the the cost will drop as it is a non-profit. My searching on google the $100 amount was the only real 

figure I found. This sounds fair. I would pay it if that was an option.

 

WRCW870

Lee.



#6 berkinet

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 02:49 PM

... A private tone will be $100 per 

year per call sign. Would take about  a dozen to break even. I will be good if it does and good if it doesn't. If more

show up the the cost will drop as it is a non-profit.

 

As I read the regulations, what you are proposing would not be allowed. That is because your fee is fixed, while your costs are not.  If, on the other hand, you were to divide the annual costs of operation plus the remaining unrecovered capital costs across the number of private tone users, perhaps adding a $100 cap, my guess is that would be Ok.  You could keep charging the $100 until the gross annual income exceeded the the remaining unrecovered capital costs + annual operating costs. At that point, you would need to reduce the fee.

 

I believe you are misinterpreting the term non-profit as meaning a specific type of corporation or  business. However, as I read the FCC regulations, they mean simply that income cannot exceed expenses (capital and operation).  I suppose if it took someone's time to actually manage the station, and that person was paid for the work, you could also recover an amount equal to the actual labor costs. Same for management. If you could somehow demonstrate there were management costs specifically associated with operation of the station(s) then you could recover that as well. But, you'd better be prepared to back-up your accounting with good data.  OTOH, just forming a non-profit corporation would not entitle you to charge all costs of the corporation to station users.


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Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

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#7 quarterwave

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 02:54 PM

It's not like FB4 / FB6 in part 90. 

 

As told several ways above...unless it's a variable cost / charge model covering only actual operating expenses in a co-op style function, it's not legal...nor welcome if you ask me, in GMRS. 


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#8 Corey

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 03:59 PM

I just want to know where all these people willing to pay a 100 per year to use the repeaters are! Lets face it, my network covers 3 states and several 1000 sq miles and we have 51 users. Anytime I have needed help with climbers or manpower its always my same core group standing in the driveway. What you are talking about is basically a part 90 community repeater service not GMRS. Again as i stated selling tones is not legal...nor welcome.

 

I would like to hear Pastor Gary's thoughts?


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Just My $.02

 

Corey

 

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#9 PastorGary

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 06:06 PM

Corey - I'll have to sit this discussion out.  I have never owned or operated a GMRS repeater and therefore, I have not researched the topic covered in this thread in any way.  I'll PM you with additional info.



#10 kb2ztx

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 08:43 AM

It seems to me this has come up a few times over the last year . I always used the donation approach. I have alot of money invested in repeaters, antenna and cables. If folks want to donate great, if not its on me to cover the costs. I didn't put them on the air to make money, I put them there to use. If others can use it and can afford to help with electric or repairs great. If not its up to me. What your proposing is a LMR system. I for one dont believe in not letting folks use it if they can't afford it. 


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#11 quarterwave

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 09:55 AM

WQOM273 , whose email doesn't seem to work and his website is dead...has 20 repeaters listed in rural areas, I am 10 miles from one, and if it were on the air, I could hear it...but I have never heard it. 

 

I would question if these sites even exist or this is another day dreamer channel camping with listings all over the database here. They are also all listed as private, pay to play.

 

You can tell your friends you drive a Ferrari, but eventually they want to "see" it....  


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#12 n4gix

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 04:05 PM

I get tickled at those who list as a "Network" who only have one repeater. :rolleyes:


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#13 taco6513

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Posted 02 March 2019 - 06:11 PM

This is a free county. They could just spend thousands and put up there own repeater. 



#14 magic279

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 03:39 PM

Perhaps a better idea is to find a group of users and split the cost from the beginning as a group.  Better to have the group up front than Putting up the system and hoping others come in to cover the cost.  People are more willing to pay for something they had a stake in than finding people willing to pay for the service afterword.


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