GOOD OPERATING PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES FOR THE HAM BANDS
Presented by Tim, AJ4D
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 better operators.
I am not the best in the world. I make mistakes on HF that most new hams would not make.
Even on VHF, I sometimes "get in a big way of talking" and forget to ID on time.
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 comes back!
What happened to being courteous!
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?
Remember guys and gals.....you're the "Elmers" and teachers of the newer hams!
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 welcome".
The last paragraph above in bold text 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 page.
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 other time!
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 PASSED IMMEDIATELY......
it's an EMERGENCY!!!!!!
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 eights....
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 CW
--... ...-- 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" ?
Why 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 talking about?"
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 dont 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 cities.
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!"
NO.... 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.
They may 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 receiving.
Listening.... 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!!
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 band.)
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 repeater.
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.
Zed' 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?????? .
.............We copied Tim! Thanks!.........N4UJW
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