I'll bring things by at the next meeting.
Anyone in our club could easily get a ham license. The test costs $15 and you're set. I've seen 10 and 12 year olds pass the exam. You can practically guess your way to passing, so with a little on line studying it is no biggie.
You don't need a license and call sign to listen, but you do for transmitting. The regs are that you need to use your call sign when initiating radio work and again every 10 minutes or so, but that is all. Unlike the non-repeater frequencies that are empty, there is monitoring of the repeaters. Still they aren't used much except during early mornings or evening commutes.
No DCS on repeaters. It re-transmits so DCS doesn't work with a re-transmission. Can't lurk. Need the Ham license.
Colorado has linked repeaters that provide range from Cheyene to Pueblo and Limon to Grand Junction, including all along the I-70 corridor.
You can also use a linked repeater to connect to repeaters in other places like Atlanta, Phoenix, London, Capetown, Dublin.... It is like Skype but cheaper and its been around a lot longer. Someone could be flying down in Australia, or Crestline in CA, use a linked repeater and be on the radio with someone flying at Lookout. But no need for all that.
I see repeaters as being very useful when someone is planning on doing a long XC up and down the front range, or from lets say Wolcott to Boulder. Easy to keep in contact for a retrieve or in case of an emergency bail out landing. Since they are monitored, even if your retrieve doesn't hear about you, someone else probably will. Might be good to have set up just for emergency XC situations.
For example lets say I plan to go XC from Villa to Buena Vista. If I have a radio set up for using the repeater on top of Methodist Mtn at 11,700 ft., once I get out of normal radio range I could switch to the repeater frequency and effectively have a 100 watt transmitter and full wavelength antenna to use. My retrieve car can monitor both the primary and secondary channel (depending on radio) so they could switch to use the repeater once they hear me transmit that I've crossed Poncha Pass. So all I need to do is getting the flying part working and then I'll be set
On the other hand, seems like plenty of others in the club have already got the flying part worked out!