Michigan Area Repeater Council
Why your bi-annual TDS report is so important



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R. Bruce Winchell – N8UT
MARC Coordinator
June, 2003


The MARC thrives on up-to-date information. Everything we do is based on the information in our database. Accurate information is our life-blood and it is extremely important that this information is kept current. Continual improvement of the accuracy of our information and the use of more accurate methods of analyzing that information, have proven to be primary keys to the MARC recently being able to make new coordinations where none were previously thought possible.

You would be very surprised at what that pesky TDS form can reveal to someone who sees a lot of those forms come across their desk. The form is very well designed and we are always looking for ways to improve it. There are hidden indicators built into that form, which reveal probable “paper” repeaters, unreported moves, and other anomalies. These are “red flags” that trigger quiet investigations by the MARC Coordinator. These “red flag” investigations often result in a frequency pair being made available for re-coordination.. Believe it or not, some trustees/owners find it necessary to deliberately falsify TDS information. Many times, there is no apparent reason for this. Honest mistakes are usually easy to spot and easy to forgive. I happen to think that the deliberate stuff is often a “smart-aleck” move to see if we are paying attention. This just results in a waste of time for all concerned, because we are paying attention. If push came to shove, the coordination could be rescinded for a very basic breach of this simple coordination contract if falsification is deliberate. When it is determined that there has been a deliberate falsification of TDS information, you can bet that the Coordinator and Database Manager will forever be super-critical of all future TDS information from that individual.

Let’s look at what can happen if you do not file every two years as you contractually agreed to do when you accepted coordination. According to the MARC Standards, Section I, Paragraph F, Sub-Paragraph 1, “If updates (from the system sponsor) are not received a minimum of ONCE PER TWO YEARS, the (M.A.R.C.) Coordinator MAY WITHDRAW THE COORDINATION AUTHORIZATION.” The MARC has been lax in enforcing this statement in the past few years. That laxity is about to end. Please note that this statement says nothing about the Coordinator having to go through a lengthy decoordination process, or notification by Certified Mail. It simply states that he can withdraw the coordination. However, this will not be done without Board approval and some form of notification, like a post card or email, with a short grace period, to the trustee prior to the coordination being withdrawn.

Part of what the TDS form provides is an opportunity for the trustee to update his contact information. This is very important. People often change their mailing addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses. This is expected. The most common contact information problem is changed email addresses. E-mail is our best and most used method of communication. Telephone is the quickest, but there are the negative aspects of the costs incurred when using long-distance telephone. E-mail is preferred because of the documentation trail created. If you change your email address, notify the MARC!

Let’s look at why having your USPS mailing address current with the MARC is so important. The MARC has always reserved the use of Certified Mail for matters that are considered to be extremely important. Should the MARC determine that there is an issue of high importance regarding your coordination, we would use Certified Mail to notify you. Here is what the Standards say in MARC Standards, Section I, Paragraph F, Sub-Paragraph 2, about the use of Certified Mail. “ …. Should no response be received within thirty days from the date from receipt of this letter, or if the letter be returned as not deliverable, the coordination of the frequency pair will be rescinded.” (emphasis added _ ed.) While this paragraph of the Standards is dealing specifically with “paper repeaters,” this wording regarding the use of Certified Mail has traditionally been applied by MARC Boards to all uses of Certified Mail. If a Certified letter is returned as not deliverable, the coordination WILL be rescinded without any further attempt to contact the trustee. If you change your USPS mail address, notify the MARC!

The MARC must be able to contact any trustee, at any time. Should the FCC ever receive a complaint regarding your repeater, they nearly always contact the Coordinator for current contact information and the current status of the machines involved. If the information we furnish is not current, Riley Hollingsworth develops a deep frown and a negative attitude toward your status. He knows that it is a requirement of all coordinating bodies, in all states, that contact information be kept up-to-date. The perception is that if you will violate that simple rule, you will probably violate any rule. That perception will never benefit you. It can pay big dividends if your status with the MARC is always current.

Lastly, we strongly suggest that you set up a specific day of the year to update your TDS information every two years. Historically, the largest response days for reporting are New Years Eve and New Years Day. It must be an activity that either helps avoid getting a hangover, or a good way to deal with one? Either reason is fine with us. Any reason is fine with us. We just need your reports.