This evening the subject came up on the 443.3 repeater about quick keying and what is acceptable when connected to a link system. There are a couple points on this that are interesting to take note of.
1. Any time you are on a repeater, any repeater, it is a good idea to wait a few seconds after one person unkeys before you key up yourself. This is because there may be others that need to disconnect their node from the link system and since it is a one way communication, only one person can key up at a time on the node. If you need to disconnect, you have to wait until someone unkeys.
2. Once you key up on the repeater when it is connected to an IRLP or Echolink node, wait a couple seconds after keying before talking. This is because the Internet link has a slight delay and many other repeaters have their own inherent delays that prevent your first couple of words from making it through the link. If you key up and start talking immediately, the people on the other end will miss the first couple of words. You can tell if either of our nodes are connected by keying up and giving your call sign and then entering * 10, that is star ten. The node will read back “link clear” if it is not connected. Otherwise it will play back the node number that it is connected to.
3. Lastly, as with any repeater, it is only common courtesy to give your call sign before entering DTMF tones. Also, besides courtesy, there is a real reason for doing this. You may dial into the node and once connected, a QSO may already be going on the other end. Assuming the other parties continue their QSO more than ten minutes, you may not have time to give your call sign in accordance with FCC rules without keying over the other parties. The FCC does not require giving call sign at the beginning but we request that people do in this case. We hope everyone understands. It is only for these reasons that we ask this.