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A few thoughts on how to make it easier for the volunteer editors
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First of all, Repeater-Builder is always looking for articles on various topics - everything from increasing the effectiveness of repeater and base station antenna systems to newer repeater technology (like P25 digital) to IRLP to repeater jammer hunting, to... there is a list of topics at this article ideas page, or if you have an idea on something else that you feel should be on repeater-builder (or added to the ideas page), please let us know by sending an email to one of the web masters (see the "Contacting Us" page here) and run your idea past us. We can tell you if anybody else is already working on it, or give you a few ideas.

Since all of the work on Repeater-Builder is done by volunteers, here are a few basic guidelines that will make their life much easier (and while it looks a bit lengthy, please read it all the way to the end):

What we would like to see:

The actual submission:

  1. To help the staff keep track of the files, please format the first few lines of the main article file like this:
    1. (article title) by (author's name, callsign, email address)
    2. - - - (the three dashes are just a separator between the header and the body of the article)
    3. (article starts here)
    The information above the "- - -" is for use by the repeater-builder staff during article editing; your email address will be encrypted in the final article. It's important that readers as well as editors be able to contact you if they have questions about the subject matter. We're just making sure that we can contact you from the info in the article file just in case it gets separated from the email that it was attached to.

  2. Write your article in a word processor with the spell check turned on. Yes, that would seem obvious, but you'd be surprised...

  3. Don't indent with spaces on the first line of each paragraph. Limit your formatting (if any) to font size, boldface, underline, italics, tables and numbered or bulleted lists (like this numbered list, and the bulleted lists above). Don't use Word Perfect's double-underline feature as there is no web page equivalent. The web defaults to font size 3, and can be changed to anything from 1 to 6, sometimes specified in relative sizes from a baseline of 3. For example, ‑1 is size 2, normal is size 3, +1 is size 4, +2 is size 5, and +3 is size 6.
    This is a size 2 sample, this is in italics and this part is in bold.
    This is a size 3 (normal) sample, this is in italics and this part is in bold.
    This is a size 4 (+1) sample, this is in italics and this part is in bold.
    This is a size 5 (+2) sample, this is in italics and this part is in bold.
    This is a size 6 (+3) sample, this is in italics and this part is in bold.
    And there is nothing preventing you from using bold or even bold underlined italics.

  4. When your article appears on the web page your photos will usually go between paragraphs, and where a picture is supposed to appear in your text just drop two lines, insert the phrase "((photo N goes here))" or "((schematic N goes here))" - where N is the number - then drop two lines and start the next paragraph. As the editor creates the web page he or she will find the "((" markers and replace them with the HTML code that will display the appropriate photo or schematic file. The "((" and "))" just makes it easier for him or her to find the photo insert locations.

  5. Please DO NOT embed photos, images, or drawings inside the DOC file. Use some text as a place-holder and send the graphics as separate files. Make sure the names match. You don't have to go crazy with the name either; "photo1.jpg" is much better than "Photo Showing How To Connect The Radio.jpg". We might change the names too.

  6. If you can, please send files in Microsoft Word "DOC" file format, not the current "DOCX" format, as not everyone has the latest Office products necessary to handle those "nnnX" files.

  7. Speaking of pictures, please shoot lots (and lots) of digital pictures - they really help especially on modification articles. There's no film expense on digital pictures and shooting extras costs nothing but a little more time. Please shoot them at the highest resolution (i.e. the biggest file size) that your digital camera can do, and let us resize them. Watch for simple things that can ruin a picture (i.e. glare and reflections); use an off-angle light source so the glare bounces somewhere else, and if needed use two lighting sources to cancel the shadows. Don't use fluorescent lighting (even the twisty compact fluorescents) - it makes the pictures come out with a weird green tint - use incandescent or sunlight. If the intent of a certain picture (in, for example, a modification article) is pointing out a certain component on a densely stuffed circuit board, please include a pointer of some kind - a pencil, a pen, anything (even a 1/4" by 1/2" triangle cut from masking tape).

  8. Please preview your photos - the little screen on the back of the camera hides a lot of problems - and being out of focus being the biggest one.

  9. Pictures need to be in PNG, JPG or GIF format for the web and we can convert TIFs / TIFFs from your scanner if necessary. 99% of the digital cameras out there generate JPG files, and no conversion is necessary. PNGs and JPGs are preferred since they have a much wider color spectrum than GIFs which are limited to 256 colors (or 255 colors plus transparent). You can also send PDF files if they pertain to the article, but we can't edit or modify those files.

  10. If you are going to include schematics, please scan them at a size of at least 300 dots per inch and let us resize them. If the schematic is all black and white, please use the monochrome mode on your scanner software (i.e. if you aren't using color, there is no sense in including the binary color info in the scan file, as it makes the file at least three times larger). If it is a color schematic then scan it in color and save as GIF format if you can, or JPG if that's all the scanner software can do (GIF is usually smaller than JPG for the same material, and the 256 color limit of the GIF format doesn't affect schematics).

  11. If you are showing a dimension change in your article (like rewinding a front end helical from 150 MHz to 220 MHz, or cutting an antenna from 866 MHz to 902 MHz), please put a ruler or tape measure in the picture. As a courtesy to the other 90% of the planet that thinks in metric, please use a double scaled ruler or tape measure if you have one.

  12. Then save the file with a file name that has no spaces or punctuation (like exclamation points or dollar signs) in the name, in all lower case, and please use dashes instead of underlines, for example, "maxtrac‑800mhz‑to‑900mhz.txt" as opposed to "MaxTrac 800MHz To 900MHz!.TXT".

  13. Then create a single zip file containing your entire article plus any picture files, schematic scan files or other files. Even if the Word file has the photos inside it, please include them separately (the Word file will have them resized, and we need them raw). Think of the zip file as being the envelope for an entire article package.

  14. Then send the article zip file attached to a covering email that mentions who you are, what the article is and how the editor should contact you. No, that last part is not obvious... we have had several submissions from folks that normally use a home dialup connection, and they have used a thumb drive or a floppy to take their zip file to work and used the work email address, or a public library computer (that has a high speed connection) or used a friend's DSL or cable modem to send us the article zip file. In those cases the email account that sent the zip file is not the author's preferred contact address, so please make sure that the body of the email (that the zip file is attached to) contains your preferred contact address. As I said before, we're just making sure that we have a good way to contact you either from the email or from the header inside the article itself.

  15. Once the article is in the editor's hands, he'll convert it to HTML, upload it to the repeater-builder server, then send you an email with a link to that private web page. You will be able to click on that link and see your article's web page so you and the editor can email each other back and forth and "fine tune" the article, making the changes that are necessary to get your point(s) across. The editors that convert your submission are not English majors, and you need to proofread your work. This is the opportunity. Once you are happy, the editor will add the article to the appropriate Index page, where everyone can now access it.

Another option that has been used to get a large quantity of information to the repeater-builder staff is to burn a CD and recycle an old AOL CD mailer. Most of the GE radio documentation showed up on CDs in ex-AOL mailers.

Another way to get a large submission to us, is to use FTP to upload it to a folder on the repeater-builder server. Most Windows systems come with a command-line FTP program that will work just fine. If you want to use this method, contact one of the webmasters and let him know you're ready to submit an article or file. He will send you directions, a username, and a password to use. It's really quite easy and much faster than mailing a CD.

That's about it...

/s/ The repeater-builder staff...
Kevin W3KKC,
Scott N3XCC,
other anonymous editors,
...and all the current contributors...

This page first posted 14-Oct-2004.

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Text and hand-coded HTML © Copyright 2004 and date of last update by Mike Morris WA6ILQ.

This web page, this web site, the information presented in and on its pages and in these modifications and conversions is © Copyrighted 1995 and (date of last update) by Kevin Custer W3KKC and multiple originating authors. All Rights Reserved, including that of paper and web publication elsewhere.