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British Columbia Frequency Modulation Communications Association


The Autopatch


General Information

The VE7RPT autopatch is equipped with a full-duplex interconnect telephone system for toll-free calling within the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, as well as Western Washington and Vancouver Island. An access code, provided to all BCFMCA members, is required to make an autopatch call. The autopatch can be accessed by either transmitting the appropriate DTMF tones directly, or by using the autodialler function.

Remember that the autopatch is for the use of BCFMCA members only. Please do not give out the access code or any autopatch control codes!

NEW! The autopatch lets you make calls from wherever you can work the repeater to ANY number in the following area codes: 604, 778, 250 (BC); 360, 206, 425, 253 (Western Washington)


Autopatch Instructions

    • 1. Press the PTT on your radio to transmit. Identify your station as follows: "VE7RPT, this is <your callsign>."

    • 2. Without releasing the PTT, enter the access code followed by the telephone number you wish to call using the DTMF keypad on your radio, then release the PTT.

    • 3. The VE7RPT autopatch controller will then respond by saying, "Autopatch." Two options are now available:

      • a) Immediately press the PTT momentarily for about one second. The autopatch will then begin to dial.

        b) Wait and the controller will confirm the telephone number by repeating it to you. If the number is correct, immediately press the PTT momentarily for about one second. The autopatch will then begin to dial.

      Once connected, you are allowed 3 minutes for your call. The controller will announce, "thirty seconds" when you have 30 seconds left on your call before it will automatically disconnect the autopatch.

    • 4. When you are finished your call, disconnect the autopatch by transmitting the "#" hang-up code using the DTMF keypad on your radio. The autopatch controller will then hang-up the autopatch and respond by saying, "Call Complete" followed the current time.

    • 5. Finish your QSO properly by identifying your station as in Step #1.


Proper Usage of the Autopatch and the Repeater:

    • Always listen for a minute or two to ensure the repeater is not in use before using it.

    • Please do not transmit on the repeater just to hear the courtesy tone. Always identify yourself with your callsign.

    • Never make commercial calls, no matter how innocent they may seem.

    • Make brief transmissions, let the other party talk too.

    • Help visitors to the area by offering to make autopatch calls for them.

    • For safety reasons during mobile operation, pull your vehicle over and/or stop before making a telephone call on the autopatch.

    • For reliable tone entry, set your DTMF level to just under clipping.


Disclaimer

Due to circumstances beyond our control, some features of the autopatch system may be temporarily disabled from time to time.

Due to technology changes, access to 911 via the autopatch is no longer supported. With the proliferation of cell phones, and the on-going abuse problems with having 911 access enabled for general use, it has been decided that this feature will be discontinued.

Past experience has shown that many times the call-taker at E-Comm is un-able to communicate properly due to the half-duplex nature of the call, and more time is wasted trying to get the proper information communicated, than could be realized by finding an alternate means of making call.

If you are unable to find a phone to make a 911 call with, by all means, call for help on the radio, and get someone to assist you.