How to support your local repeaters
Like everything in life, setting-up and maintaining a repeater system costs money.
The Isle of Man's repeater network began with a VHF repeater, GB3GD, located on Snaefell. It was installed in 1985 and was the culmination of a lot of scrounging and fundraising.
Subsequently, GB3IM came along on UHF in the early 1990's.
Since then, the island's amateur repeater network has grown, with the installation of three additional UHF FM repeaters at Bride, Carnane and Peel. These Internet-linked repeaters were primarily funded by the current repeater keeper (GD4HOZ) with various financial contributions for hardware purchases from the IOMARS.
The new DMR repeaters at Carnane and Bride were privately purchased by GD4HOZ and GD6XHG respectively and the costs are well on the way to £5,000. There is a rationale behind this approach to purchasing the hardware which is explained here.
The IOMARS maintains a fund for the support of the repeater network and this is where the financial assets of the former Isle of Man Repeater Group are kept. The IOMARS has undertaken to act as a sort of "league of friends" to the repeater network and will, where possible, provide financial support when requested to do so. These funds are ring-fenced and are included in the annual audited accounts of the society.
Personally, I would prefer any contributions to the running of the network to be accounted for and, since the IOMARS has a suitable bank account and keeps accounts, that seems a right and proper place for people to send their donations.
I do understand, however, that some folk may have their own reasons for not wanting to follow that route.
If you would like to contribute to the running, upkeep and future development of the repeater network and would like to send funds directly, then feel free to do so.
In the first instance, money sent to the repeater keeper will be used to relieve some of the financial sting incurred in the purchasing of the equipment for the new DMR system, and will be shared between Ed and myself. Beyond the cost of the radios, there was a substantial amount of ancillary equipment that was required including components for the combining system, connectors, rack hardware etc.
Any surplus funds will go towards purchasing of spares and the maintenance of the repeater website.
Contributions sent to the keeper will neither be accounted nor audited; they will simply be banked in my personal account. If you want your contribution to be recorded and audited, please send it to the IOMARS.
Whatever approach you take, all contributions will be gratefully received and will be put to good use for the furtherance of the islands' communications networks.
Thank you in advance.