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GOOD OPERATING PRACTICES AND
FOR THE HAM
Presented by Tim,
As I fade from the VHF/UHF bands back to HF, I hope I can
share some of the things that really might help other operators become
on VHF, I sometimes "get in a big way of talking" and forget to ID on
But, below are some of the things that might help everyone out
somewhere down the line, QSL ?
( just had to throw that in there to
show how stupid it looked ).
I really believe that the reason a
lot of the new hams don't operate as much as they could is that they
simply cannot figure out what the heck is being said!! It makes them
afraid to talk.
The other thing is that some
operators on repeaters have their own little "group" and that little group
is the only one they will respond to or talk to. I hear so many new
callsigns being correctly " thrown out' on repeater frequencies and no one
goes back. I try to jump in and talk to them if no one goes back to them
by the second try.
It makes them feel left out, looked down upon , and
more like giving up on the HOBBY than anything else when they hear people
talk for 30 minutes and then when they get the courage to key up, no one
What happened to being
I truly believe that is the reason
there is not that much traffic on repeaters now. Why should 2,000
operators in East Tennessee keep trying over and over for days to get
someone to talk to them or sit there and listen to a bunch of garbage that
they have never heard of?
Get on there and
tell the new ham,
" Good to hear you, just get
on here and if you talk on it like a telephone in plain english and ID
every 10 minutes with the repeater ID timer, and sign off by saying your
ID , you will learn a lot from the people on here and will be made to feel
The last paragraph above sums
up how to talk on a repeater in one sentence.
This is what I was told
on the 147.255 when I tried to pick up some of the bad habits and lingo
that some of the idiots were using at the time. It only takes one time to
tell a new ham the one paragraph above that will make them sound and feel
much better on any and all repeaters.
See "A New Ham's Guide To Repeaters for a basic
understanding of how repeaters work on another
Procedures on radio:
It is stressed that emergency traffic always has
priority. If it aint there, dont ask for it on a net or any
On so many nets on so many repeaters, AND EVEN ON HF,
when they start up the net; they usually say "is there any emergency
traffic?"..... sort of like asking,
"Is there anybody out there
that has quit breathing, or someone next to you having a heart attack, or
someone in front of you in traffic that has had a wreck and is entrapped
in the vehicle?
IF SOMEONE HAD EMERGENCY TRAFFIC , THEY SHOULD NOT SIT
AND HOLD IT FOR A NET TO START SOMEWHERE !!! EMERGENCY TRAFFIC SHOULD BE
SIMPLY STATE IN YOUR PREAMBLES THAT ANYONE THAT HAS
EMERGENCY TRAFFIC SHOULD USE PROPER PROCEDURE AND BREAK INTO THE NET AT
ANY TIME... .. dont ask for EMERGENCY TRAFFIC!
Seventy threes, seventy thirds, eighty
BELIEVE IT OR NOT ,
THESE TERMS DO NOT EXIST on voice !
A little history here; CW
operators in the early , early days of radio came up with the number code
of 7 3 for "best regards" because of the fame of the 73 Winchester rifle.
The 73 winchester was the best rifle of the time and the CW guys just took
it as "seven three " SEPERATE NUMBERS WHICH IS A 7 and a 3 in
Anyone experienced in CW who listens on FM repeaters are
likely to tell the operators on there saying seventy three's; that they
may as well be using French to sign with, which leads me to the next one
that really gripes repeater owners and control operators who have
experience on HF.....
THEY HAVE NO PLACE ON FM PHONE ON A
REPEATER, AND AS FAR AS THAT GOES , THEY HAVE NO PLACE ON FM AT ALL!!
Again, they are created for and from CW and ssb traffic nets ; Q
signals were developed for ease of operation on CW and ssb traffic nets.
If you ever do CW , you will find that sending QTH for " my location "
is much shorter.
Speaking in voice,
especially on FM using Q signals would make me ask," WHY
DO YOU HAVE TO USE "Q" SIGNALS ??? Because it sounds "cool" ?
would you say, " What is your QTH, you have a lot of QRN, QUA Jim lately?
QSL?"All the tech licensees are sitting there saying " what the heck is he
Or why would you say " Hi , Hi " on voice ( CW
.... .. .... .. = H I H I for humor intended)
Oh , by the way, coded transmissions ARE NOT ALLOWED ON VOICE per
Part 97... hmmm!
Here is "q t h " in CW
compared to "my location";
--.- - .... compared to -- -.-- .-.. --- -.-. .- - ..
here is 7 3
compared to best regards;
compared to -
... . ... - .-. . --. .- .-. -..
That should explain it! Even if you dont know CW, you
can see the difference in how many dots and dashes are used in each term !
Many control operators don't say anything at all about users because
there are not that many users anymore and they are afraid they will ' run
somone off ' .
Did they ever think that maybe that is the reason there
are not that many people on repeaters, due to listening to all the LID's
using CW lingo on voice ?
It is better to have a few "good
operators'" than 70 bad ones like on some repeaters in the larger
There are courteous ways to mention these things to newer
operators "on the air". Here is one of them, " Hey, you dont have to say
all that Q stuff because you are on FM phone, just use it just like you're
on a telephone, remember kids are listening..... PLAIN ENGLISH! All you
are required to do is be courteous and say your callsign every ten minutes
as the repeater ID's, and use it when you sign off.... and dont say
seventy threes or seventy thirds...... simply say your call and bye, see
ya later, etc...." Again PLAIN ENGLISH!
Another one heard on most
repeaters " Man, what did you do, you are loud on me , looks like you are
putting a 9 ' on me!"
.... Both stations through the repeater are hearing the
repeater, not each other directly. THERE IS NO WAY TO TELL A STATION WHAT
THEY ARE "PUTTING ON A REPEATER" as far as signal strength.
be able to tell the other station that "white noise", ( static), is heard
on their signal or that they are "picket fencing", ( clipping in and out)
, but without being at the repeater receiver with an S-meter hooked to the
repeater receiver you cannot tell what signal strength the repeater is
Monitoring.... or calling " CQ" CQ -.-. --.-
Again, when using CW,"CQ" is
a lot shorter than "calling any station".
ON FM, SIMPLY KEY UP AND SAY
YOUR CALLSIGN OR ASK IS ANYONE ON THIS REPEATER. Make sure you don't
"double", (talk at the same time), in any circumstances or band!!
HF SSB:SSB = sideband, LSB/USB
LSB = lower
sideband (used on 40m through 160m.)
USB= upper sideband
(used on 20m,17m, 15m, 12m, 10m and also on 6m, 2m, and 440
When making a call, be sure to listen
for a few minutes, which is a good rule to use on any frequency or band!
Just because you cannot hear anyone for a minute on HF does not mean that
someone else is not listening to a reply from a distant station that they
can hear and you cannot. This happens all the time.
Someone will tell
a friend to move to " so and so frequency" and they go there and just
start talking.... well, Ol' Jim in kentucky may be sitting there listening
to Ol' John in California giving a parts list out for an amplifier and Ol'
Jim may be using a directional antenna pointed west while your antenna is
going north and south. You can't hear John and and Jim is listening to
John. If you say your call, Jim should politely tell you "standby'.
Chances are he will either remember your call or jot it down so he can
return your call when he gets the chance.
On FM repeaters though, listen,................ then just
"drop in your callsign" ...... Chances are no one will come back , but
dont give up. Maybe all the "QSL'ers" will someday learn to send CW and
learn they had been using the wrong operating procedures and come back and
talk to you like a normal person on the
Last but not least .....
ZED is NOT listed as a phonetic for the
letter "Z". ZULU is the correct phonetic.
This may not matter much to
some on FM , but in an emergency on simplex or any HF voice mode,
PHONETICS ARE IMPORTANT AND THEY WERE CREATED SO THAT ALL STATIONS WOULD
HAVE A STANDARD TO GO BY WHEN PASSING TRAFFIC IN BAD CONDITIONS.
may be picked out the noise incorrectly as "head" and a broken leg may be
transmitted as a "head" injury due to the station misinterpreting ZED'
.... Give us a break people! QSL?????? .
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