All forms of radio communications require that the participants observe good operating practices in order to achieve a successful contact. If good practice is observed, everybody participating in the contact will get the best out of it and nobody will lose out.

Repeaters, particularly internet-linked systems, require a higher than normal level of operating discipline in order to ensure that the system operates at its best. If good operating procedure is not followed then persons wishing to join an existing net, or even those already participating, may not be able to make themselves heard.

The Isle of Man network consists primarily of repeaters, but we have one licensed simplex node and another on part-time test pending licensing.

Where Simplex nodes are involved on a network, users must allow time for those nodes to drop carrier and then allow more time for a user accessing via such a node to press the transmit button and make himself known. This can take a couple of seconds.

I have received a number of comments from simplex node users that people using the repeaters are not waiting long enough to allow them an opportunity to call-in. This is very frustrating for those individuals and the problem doesn't just apply to local nodes; it applies equally, if not more so, to any node (or nodes) that may form part of an extended, linked network.

For this reason, the delay between a repeater user dropping carrier and the repeater sending a "pip" has been extended slightly on GB3IM to about 3 seconds. The intention is that repeater users should wait at least as long as that in order to give simplex users a chance. This is not an arbitrary figure; it has been arrived at by carefully trimming the delays on our simplex nodes to a minimum and then adding time for simplex operators to press the button and speak.

I therefore respectfully ask ALL repeater users to respect the presence of, and wait for the "pip". It's not called a "Courtesy Tone" for nothing! Failure to observe these timing delays is inconsiderate and discourteous.

At present there is no timeout (to speak of) on GB3IM. I may reconsider that decision in the light of the above.

I cannot think of anything that can be discussed on the radio that is so urgent that a short gap cannot be left between "overs" so, please, think of others and leave a gap between all transmissions.

"Tailgating" is the mark of a poor operator. Don't let yourself be known as one.