eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net



[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Operating

Steve Katz (WB2WIK) on February 18, 2007
View comments about this article!


OPERATING

By Steve Katz WB2WIK/6

Is it just me, or are a lot of operators doing stuff wrong?

I don't think it's me. Newbies are always welcome, and the more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned, so I'm not griping about newcomers. I'm griping about their operating procedures - and some of these ops aren't very “new,” at all.

Here's an example: I call CQ, and somebody answers not with a routine reply but his life story. “WB2WIK you're 59 here in Detroit. I was listening to you before, but couldn't get back to you. Handle is Joe. Back to you!”

That's not a proper reply to a CQ.

Or, I answer someone else's CQ and they reply, “Yeah, the 2 station I hear ya. Back to you.” That's not any kind of reply.

C'mon guys, it's not hard to do it right. If you're answering someone's CQ, use their callsign, your callsign, maybe your location, and end it. Example: “WB2WIK this is W1XYZ in Boston calling, over.” Perfect.

I might not get that due to static, interference, the phone ringing or lots of reasons. If I don't, I'll ask for a repeat. “The W1, what's your full call? Go ahead.” If you get a request like this, be prepared to answer the question, specifically. Like, “This is Whiskey One Xray Yankee Zulu, over.” That would do it. Answering any other way is likely just wasting time.

If you call CQ and someone answers you, follow the protocol that's developed over the past century because it works: “WB2WIK this is W1XYZ. Thanks for the call. You're about 57 here in Boston, and my name is Frank. How copy there? WB2WIK this is W1XYZ.”

Reasons to follow protocol abound, but here are some good ones:

  • You don't know how well the other station hears you, since he hasn't given a report, yet. As such, if you keep talking there's a chance he isn't hearing any of it, and you're wasting time and bandwidth. Find out what's happening first, before starting a real rag-chew.

  • You don't know if the other station understands much English (yet), so if you go on rambling a lot of what you're rambling about might be over his head. Get more info first.

  • Keeping exchanges short nearly assures an actual contact will complete. Making transmissions long can result in the band dying while you're transmitting, and when you finally stop, you'll hear nothing but static. You can get a feel for the propagation over the path after a few transmissions, but can't guess at this by hearing a five-second call. Also, at first you don't know how much time the other station has. He may have 60 seconds for a quick report exchange, or might be interested in a long rag-chew. No way to know that in the first transmission.

I can't tell you how many times I've answered someone's CQ and they neglected to mention their name in the first transmission. Why is that? This didn't used to happen years ago - it's happening now.

Once the contact's really been established and each station knows the other's callsign, name and location, then it's time to explore other options. Find some common ground to talk about, and go at it.

When I first contact someone, I nearly always comment on their location, since chances are, I've been there or very close to it. “Oh, you're in Boise? Wow, last time I was there to visit HP, there was a foot of partly cloudy on my rental car and I had to dig out to leave the parking lot! How's it like up there today?” Something like that. It's a conversation starter.

A lot of phone operators like to hear comments about their modulation. Usually, I'll comment only if I think someone sounds particularly good or particularly bad. Many don't take the “bad” comments very well. Makes me think more about giving such a report, but what's the purpose of telling someone they sound good, if they don't?

I think it pays to mention your transmitter power level right away. Here's why: If your station has parity with the station you're in contact with, there's a pretty good chance you'll hear each other about the same. If you're running a kilowatt and the other guy's running QRP, there's a really good chance he'll hear you long after you lose him. I'll mention, “Running a kilowatt to a 3 element beam at 55 feet here,” and wait to see what the other station says. If he's running 100W (“barefoot”), my very next transmission will also be at that level, to keep it even. If he's running high power and I don't hear him very well, I'll stick with high power, since with lower power the QSO would likely end. But this is the reason to at least mention what's going on.

CW is another subject, but surely worthy of mention! I hear bad operating on my favorite mode (CW), too. Much more than ever before.

The age-old protocol of exchanging significant data in an abbreviated fashion and logical sequence seems to be disappearing, except with the experienced ops. In the “old days,” the newbies closely followed what the old timers did, and caught on quickly to the protocol. For some reason, that doesn't seem to be happening today, and I don't know why not.

I hear people call CQ and then sign “KN.” That's ridiculous, and inappropriate. I hear people call CQ FISTS who are really terrible CW operators, making me wonder what the FISTS membership really contributes. Numbers chasing?

I answer a CQ, and the other station might send “NAME HERE IS JOHN JOHN BT MY QTH IS KANSAS CITY KANSAS CITY BT YOUR SIGNAL IS 599 599 BT SO BACK TO YOU…”

Well, that's rather awful. Understandable for someone's first contact, but definitely not for their 100th or 1000th.

A way better format is: “TNX OM UR RST 599 599 HR QTH KANSAS CITY MO KANSAS CITY MO OP JOHN JOHN. HW?”

See the difference? My way gives the report FIRST, which is protocol, and for a reason. My way says “QTH,” followed by the info - instead of wasting time with “MY QTH IS,” (since “QTH” alone already means “my location is”). My way gives not only Kansas City, but which state, since there are two of them, side by side. Instead of saying “name here is” I just use “OP.” As in “the operator here is.” That's all that's needed. My way says, “HW?” which means “how copy?” instead of wasting time with “SO BACK TO YOU…” which is just silly.

I hear newbie CW ops send “R R R R.” I guess that means “roger, roger, roger, roger.” How many times does one need to send that? One would suffice. Or none at all would also suffice. I have to assume you're copying me, or we wouldn't be having this contact.

I also work CW operators who can't hold up their end of a conversation - even worse than on phone. I suspect this is because they're very dull people, or really can't copy me, or really can't copy code, or something. I like to rag chew on CW, and try to be interesting. When you tell me where you are located, I'll usually comment on something about it. “INDPLS, EH? CONGRATS ON SUPERBOWL VICTORY.” Or maybe, “BALTO, EH? LUV THE SOFT SHELL CRAB BT IN SEASON?” “FREEPORT ME? BN TO L L BEAN STORE AT MIDNITE THR BT STL OPEN THAT LATE?” Whatever. I'll hold up my end of the conversation. Try to hold up yours; otherwise, what's the point of meeting people on the air?

Real newbies can be forgiven almost anything; but I hear a lot of people who've been on the air for months or years, still operating poorly. No excuse for that - it means they're simply not listening and learning from others on the air who are operating just fine.

Honing operating skills is key to making more contacts, having more fun on the air, and ultimately being the leader others will want to emulate.

-30-

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Operating  
by HA6SST on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
A plea to all phone operators, please use the correct phonetic alphabet.

Whiskey Niner Alpha Delta Yankee is a lot clearer to hams who do not have English as their first language than Walter Nine Adam David Yokahama.

Hotel Alpha Six Sierra Sierra Tango
 
Operating  
by ZENKI on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Good operating procedures begins with not using any CB language when on the ham bands.

Avoid Using:

Whiskeys/whiskies for Watts. When they officially change the unit of measure of watts, to Whiskies then you can use it.

Handle for name

Swerr for VSWR

Breaker when all you have to do is announce your callsign

Repeated breaker breaker, makes me wanna puke when i hear this.

"Back" in place of full callsigns

Tarzan jungle speak when you speaking to a station who has a accent who you assume cant understand english.

Funny phonetics, i mean why did they invent the international phonetic alphabet? If station cant understand the standard phonetic alphabet what chance will he have of understanding Zesty Sweet Apples in place of Zulu Siera Alpha? We tend to be legend in our own minds when making up phonetics, its only smart to you nobody else.

Speak like a retard

Invent your own grammar and english!

Using a language when you cant speak it properly, or pronounce words properly, you just sound like a fool.

Swearing

Roger Dee

"on the side" when standing by is more appropiate

Using wide HiFi audio when trying to work DX

Using a roger beep

Using CB amplified audio

Using CB amps

The greatest malais on the ham bands today is people who dont call CQ, they seem to tune the bands breaking up peoples QSO's. The first thing they will say is, "sorry too interrupt your QSO, but i just want a report" Its unfair on those who stand by and wait till the QSO finnishes before calling the station they want to work. If you want to work DX call cq dont bust up peoples qso's for signal report just because you too lazy to call CQ. The band always seems dead till one QSO starts then everyone wants to bust it up. Bad manners to say the least. Please wait for the station to finnish the QSO and when he says QRZ then and only then call.


Dont clone other stations like the now infamous "over over"syndrome its getting sickening!

Thats all
 
Operating  
by NF6E on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I don’t recall proper operating procedure being covered on any of the exams I took when first licensed, but the books about Ham Radio that I read prior to getting my license included many paragraphs on the subject. I was also provided with a hand written 3x5 card as a Novice by one of my Elmers to help me learn basic CW QSO protocol. He told me to take the card and keep it close to my operating position. “Just follow what this card says and you’ll be OK,” he said. On the card was written a sample exchange very similar to the one described by WB2WIK:

Sending a CQ: “CQ CQ CQ DE XX#XXX XX#XXX K”

Responding to a CQ: “YY#YYY DE XX#XXX TNX FER CALL. UR RST ### ### BT QTH SAN DIEGO ? SAN DIEGO BT NAME JASON ? JASON ? HW CPY? YY#YYY DE KK#KKK KN

(For those non-CW ops, the question mark sent between matching text indicates to the receiving station that you are going to repeat yourself. This allows the receiving station to prepare to re-copy information that s/he might have missed the first time around.)

Once this standard exchange was completed, the next exchange usually involved rig type, power, antenna, how long you’ve been licensed and operator age. After these go ‘rounds as a 10wpm Novice, you’ve gobbled up almost 30 minutes of the day, so many Novice QSO’s didn’t go past this point. But it was absolutely enough to get on the air, learn technique, learn standard protocol and eliminate the fear of operating.

When I upgraded from Novice to General and graduated to HF phone, I carried much of my CW operating methods with me. Initial exchanges after a CQ were signal report, location and name, and then the next exchange was rig, power, antenna, etc. You get the picture.

The one thing I did not do was use Q-signals on phone; ever. That was drilled into me by the books I read and old timers who said it was not proper to use Q-signals on phone. “Why use a Q-signal when you can just speak the words?” they’d tell me. Made perfect sense to a 14-year old at the time and makes perfect sense to a 40-year old today.

There is no denying a strong CB influence in the way today’s operators are conducting themselves on the air. It was happening back in the 1980’s when I was first licensed and it continues today, especially on VHF/UHF repeaters. Most are just doing what comes natural to them when they have a mic in their hands. Some are struggling to change and improve their technique but can’t break their old habits. Others don’t care and think that they are A-1 operators and their way is the right way.

I suppose the best we can do is lead by example. Follow proper on air protocol to the best of our ability (whatever the definition of “proper on air protocol” is). The more of us who do this, the more likely new Hams will hear how we operate and emulate us. After all, isn’t that how a new CB’er learns how to operate on CB? By listening to other CB’ers on the air and emulating them?

No doubt about it. I’m back quiet.

NF6E *bee-boop*
 
Operating  
by VE3TMT on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Gosh Steve,

Normally I enjoy reading your articles, in fact I found your writing on ALC from a few years back very informative. Pardon me for saying, but your tone in this article makes it sound like you are running for the position of governor of radio. I know you have been around this hobby a long time, I've seen your picture on the cover of many 80's issues of CQ. Seriously though, stop taking the fun out of the hobby. You simply cannot force hams to follow "protocol" when it comes to operating. Everyone has their own unique operating style or preference and as the saying goes, if you don't like the channel, change it! It is unfortunate that we don't all meet your standards to QSO with WB2WIK. I guess I'll just have to work the rest of 'em.

73,
VE3TMT
 
RE: Operating  
by K0BG on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve sort of touched on this, but it bears repeating; signal strength is almost never reciprocal. This fact leads to several peeves of mine.

First, you hear something like, "I didn't look at the S meter so I don't know what report to give you." People who do this need to reread what QST really means. It's Quality, Strength, and on CW, the Tone (we're not talking about its use in a message, by the way).

I suspect one of the reasons folks don't give you a signal report is they're apparently waiting for yours. If you give someone a 59 almost invariably they'll give you that back, no matter the conditions.

The majority of my on-air time is mobile, and I always add that I am mobile in motion. This fact means that transmissions should be kept VERY short. Read that as less than a minute. Which further means, I don't have to hear your call on every single transmission!

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: Operating  
by W9OY on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve


Take a valium bud, you're just getting to be an old fart.

or on CW

tk Val Bud, U old frt.

73 W9OY
 
Operating  
by W8JII on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"ROGER" that Steve--------"WE" certainly agree. Catch you on the flip side.................."QSL"????????????????W8 Jeremiah Igloo Igloo.. 3's to ya , Ron
 
RE: Operating  
by WR8D on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Edward you hit on my number one gripe, phonetics. Someone else mentioned channels, maybe you do need to work a few of the rest of them. I have no channels on my amateur rigs, maybe after a while you'll catch on with enough contacts made. This isn't the cb service. We have "names" not personals or handles too guys. Getting back to Edwards comment on phonetics please use the international standards. Nice article Steve, 73 John WR8D
 
RE: Operating  
by W4LGH on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hey Steve good points, and also very timely with the 23rd of Feb coming on us quickly. As you know tho ,you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.(you can however drown him!) When playing DX or making new contacts, I always try to keep it as proper as possible. However, when getting together with a couple of groups @ nite for our nitely
ragchew, sometimes we get a little lax, but always ID @ 10 as one of the guys is the official 10min timer.
But again, this is group of KNOWN guys, and I feel it ok. We do welcome anyone who breaks in, and a lot of times they too become regulars.

Also like someone posted earlier, using the PROPER Phonetics is very important!! Some guys have some really cute phonetics for their calls, but it certainly makes it harder to understand sometime.

73 de W4LGH - ALan
http://www.w4lgh.com
 
RE: Operating  
by N0SAP on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This is a true story. Last Sunday morning listening to 40 phone band while answering email, two guys engaged in QSO, when I heard, "Contact". One of the other guys says, "Go Contact". "This is KC4XXX, I just wanted to check in with NO TRAFFIC." "KC4XXX this is W5YYY, this is not a net, we are having a conversation, if you would like to join us, you are welcome." "QSL, just what you to know you are FULL QUIETING into Memphis, TN. QSL?"

I was going to say more, but why? God help us all.
 
Operating  
by KD7YPD on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I hear people call CQ FISTS who are really terrible CW operators, making me wonder what the FISTS membership really contributes. Numbers chasing?"

Fists is all about promoting the code by experienced operators helping new operators through practice. A new operator will call CQ FISTS looking for a mentor to practice with. It's not about 30wpm perfect, rather about personal improvement.
 
RE: Operating  
by K8MHZ on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well well....

eHammers are critical of bad operation until someone is very succinct about the specific errors and writes an article about it, then the author is a grumpy OF for bringing it to light.

I have found that bad ops run the gamut of experience. I would much rather chat with a newbie that is a bad OP. Why? So far, 100 percent of them were willing to learn and corrected their mistakes as fast as they could. The seasoned ops will merely continue and only get worse if their practices are mentioned to them on the air.

And phonetics, my word!

PULEEZE use standard phonetics. I have crabbed about this before. The DX stations are the worst. Combine a thick accent with 'creative' phonetics and you have a real puzzle to solve. I mean, what the heck letter is 'sun see bah' supposed to be? (Hint: Zanzibar)

I agree with Steve 100 percent. We need to try harder to do what we say we are good at; communications.

Clear, effective and concise.

There are plenty of other radio services to use where there is no expectation of protocol, if that is the desire of an operator.
 
RE: Operating  
by VE3TMT on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WR8D,

Obviously you have never heard that expression before and I won't waste my time explaining it here. Bottom line...If the other op isn't conforming to YOUR operating guidelines, end the QSO and move on. There is a good book out there that might be worth reading entitled "Don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff" It has absolutely nothing to do with amateur radio, but you may just live longer if you read it, QSL?

VE3TMT
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"People who do this need to reread what QST really means. It's Quality, Strength, and on CW, the Tone (we're not talking about its use in a message, by the way). "

Actually, it's not "QST", it's RST - Readibility, Strength, Tone. "QST" means "calling all amateurs", as in a net callup. Same as "CQ" but not directed to a single station.

RST 599 on CW, for example. Or, just as valid: UR SIG 599.
 
RE: Operating  
by K8MHZ on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff"

That seems to be the motto of Industry Canada when it comes to the Amateur Radio Service as well.

To view the results, visit www.ve7kfm.com
 
Operating  
by K3NG on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve, some of your CW pet peeves may be due to the operator just not being totally comfortable with long CW ragchews. I know some folks who just enjoy doing the usual exchange stuff. While it may be boring for some, there are people that get a charge out of just making the contact on CW, even if it is the standard RST/OP/QTH QSO. At least it's good you try to get them into a real ragchew QSO.

The R R R thing I think is a space filler for the operator to get his thoughts in order for what he's going to send, much like "FB BOB -" you see some folks do at the beginning. Is it bad? Perhaps if it's really excessive. If it lets the other guy get in the groove, I'll patiently listen to his Rs.

I agree with you 100% on proper ITU phonetics. I get so sick of cutsy phonetics on the air. Anyone who doesn't use them (except when with friends under good band conditions) doesn't understand the purpose of them.

On others commenting about roger beeps and CB lingo, I must not spend enough time on phone because I can't recall hearing this stuff in any notable amount on the air.

We should definitely try to improve the operating habits of everyone, however we should really be concerned with outright lousy operating. This would be actions like the kilowatt K5 calling in a pile up over and over when the DX station is asking for a W4 something. Or a net control station getting in an argument about frequency ownership with an ongoing QSO. Or the phone contester who decides to squeeze in one khz away from you.
 
Operating  
by NE5C on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks Steve, I thought you brought out some very "VALID" points with PURE HONESTY, and I cannot help but remember that "My Elmers" sure worked hard on me (Harder than I realized, until the Ham Radio of today) When I passed my Novice exam, to understand OPERATING PRACTICE - that first and foremost "THIS AIN'T CB" and don't try to bring CB with you, and above all, that I should treat it with RESPECT, and RESPECT FOR OTHERS, and by doing that "I-MYSELF" just might "GAIN THE RESPECT OF OTHERS!" Another valid subject that I wish some operators would simply "RESPECT"... is - LISTENING FIRST - to either side of a frequency that you desire to call CQ on - BEFORE FIRING UP! THIS is WHY I get a thorn in the buttocks with some contesters and operation practice! Sure, propoagation affects all of us greatly, and so there are true accidents, but I have heard, and been trying, to work some rare DX on a frequency, with many other stations also trying, only to have someone move right aside the frequency IN USE and BUST LOOSE with WATTS FLYING AND AUDIO SPLATTERING, and of course there is where arguments and distasteful remarks, are born! I surely must add form my heart that I am not against ANY NEW HAMS coming on board, BUT REMEMBER - FIRST - LEAVE CB - WHERE CB WAS - And now that you are a HAM OPERATOR??? "ACT LIKE ONE"
 
RE: Operating  
by K8MHZ on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Same as "CQ" but not directed to a single station."

Incorrect, sir.

CQ is a request to initiate a QSO and not directed at a single station unless specified. QST is a call for attention to all amateurs and is properly used during an ongoing QSO. An example would be 'QST net to QSY up 10', alerting anyone listening that the net will move up 10.

QST is not a request to initiate a QSO. It is more like saying 'Hey everybody, listen up!. Uh, not up the frequency....I hope you knew that.

 
RE: W0BG signal reports  
by WA2DTW on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Alan
Sometimes I wonder how one can always give an accurate signal report on the FIRST transmission.

I must admit that there are times when I cannot. I don't know if it is because I didn't look at the meter, or if I was just not that attentive to accurate signal strength on the first call.



73
Steve WA2DTW
 
ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by WA2DTW on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
When I was a novice in 1959, using 2 meter AM, we always used "handle" for name. This was before the CB craze. I am convinced that "handle" was a HAM term, that was misappropriated by the CBers.
73
Steve WA2DTW
 
Operating  
by WA8VBX on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
After reading this I had to check the calendar to see if it was April 1st. Well since it isn't I have to guess it's not a joke.

I have to agree with don't sweat the small stuff comment. We have all ran into and talked to people who do not conform to what we might think as good operating practice's. One made a comment to end the contact and move on. I have been a ham for a few years and have heard many a OF(of which I am one) say my handle is(I prefer to say my name is), but it doesn't stop me from talking to the fellow ham. What about using Q signals on voice, or one I hear that bugs me is I am where I am at, if you aren't there then where are you?

I work as a dispatcher for a local pd/fire/rescue and still use 10 codes, sometimes especially after a hard busy day, a 10-4 will slip by me, habits are hard to break and as far a phonics we also use a different on then what is used on ham radio.

Don't sweat the small stuff

Just my two cents worth

73
Kurt
K8YZK (Kilo Eight Young Zany Kook)
 
RE: Operating  
by VE3TMT on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
From K8MHZ

"Don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff"

That seems to be the motto of Industry Canada when it comes to the Amateur Radio Service as well.

To view the results, visit www.ve7kfm.com

Mark,

How quickly we forget about K1MAN. I fail to see what your comment has to do with anything. Please send me an e-mail and explain it to me, I'm dying to know. Look me up on QRZ.com. My point is that amateur radio is supposed to be a hobby and nothing more. The rants and ongoing spewings by VE7KFM have absolutely nothing to do with me, amateur radio in Canada, or Industry Canada.

I'm done with this subject.

VE3TMT
 
RE: Operating  
by CURTKRELIC_NE3U on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I don’t like it when I see and hear a young teenager especially a pretty a girl using the [F] word like it’s no big deal, trouble is it is NO big deal these days. I don’t like a lot of things that were entirely different when I was young. Being in my mid 50’s is no longer considered young unless you ask the averaged aged amateur radio operator who are all mostly old and write articles like this that point out how things [used] to be, how much [better] it all was.

I don’t like a lot or what I hear or see in today’s world. I also don’t like growing older, but older I become each and everyday whether I like it or not. Just like the world changes whether I like it or not. But I refuse to bitch about it because I know I am going to die and the world will go on as before not remembering me for more than a few short days. Steve I suggest you take a look at your life and your attitude and just maybe you will understand why you wrote this article, or maybe you feel you’re right and the world is wrong as suggested in this rant. If so maybe take up golfing where you’re the lone player avoiding all others you feel are screw ups and not worthy your time and energy.


Curt/NE3U
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by W8JII on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
To WA2DTW; "HANDLE" was used by Hams and then adopted by CB operators and for some reason as soon as that happened Hams chose to frown on its use...........73, Ron
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by N3OX on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"When they officially change the unit of measure of watts, to Whiskies then you can use it. "

Whiskies are the international unit of how powerful you think you are after you've had a few.

Dan
 
Operating  
by W8WLC on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve you bring up some very valid points. My experience with offering helpfull operating suggestions, usually results in some sort of cocky smartass reply from the newbies. Amateur Radio is built upon years of traditions that have been carried on since day one. I too have heard some very poor CW FISTS members or not. If I listen carefully I can usually tell the difference between no experience and an 80 year fist suffering from the effects of Uncle Arthur. Yes I fear that the poor operating procedures now on 2 meter repeaters will soon flood the HF spectrum.
 
Operating  
by N5YPJ on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
1. Ops on phone & PSK31 who INSIST on giving their life story to DX stations who are trying to make more contacts, and are not looking for a conversation in English. Some OPS are out there at times just to see how many DX contacts they can make. Let the rest of us have a chance to work the DX.

2. I'm calling CQ DX / DX only on PSK31 and an OP in the CONUS insists on answering my CQ and engaging me in QSO. In SW Texas right around dark we have a few nice short duration DX openings on 20 that allow us to work at least a little DX during this solar minimum.

3. Threatening alledged QRMers that you are going to make a phone call and have W1ZYX come up on the air and take some enforcement action. If it's that bad record them, file a complaint and forward to the FCC.
 
RE: Operating  
by K8MHZ on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"My experience with offering helpfull operating suggestions, usually results in some sort of cocky smartass reply from the newbies."

Not once for me. I guess I have either been lucky....or tactful.

Or both. Since I never win anything I would not consider luck to be a huge contender.
 
Operating  
by SSB on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This is what I absolutely hate about this hobby. Some smart ass that makes rules for everybody else. Some one is going to tell me what's proper. I DON'T THINK SO. If it isn't in the FCC rules, IT AIN'T A RULE. Screw your rules. The FCC governs this hobby, not YOU 'WIK.


Alex.....
 
FISTS -- Why some are not polished experts (yet)  
by NN4ZZ on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
From the FISTs web page....see number 2

What FISTS wants to accomplish
1. To further the use of CW on the amateur bands.
2. To encourage newcomers to the CW mode.
3. To engender friendship within the membership.

If you like CW, please join. If you are an old time CW op, you may be able to help someone else thru your good example or you may learn something new...

73...Al
 
Operating  
by W1XZ on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well...Some good comments here and some kind of foolish. It sounds like another 11 meter bash fest brewing up.
I'm all for standard phonetics and all, but it just isn't the CB crowd who uses the wrong ones. How many times have you heard an old geezer use some silly phonetics for their call or name..."broken old bottle here hi hi."? Or remember tuning through 75 meters at night and hearing "No lids, no kids, no space cadets."? Or how about 20 meters when the band is raging and hearing the really wide signal "Checking propagation over the pole to Africa. No rice boxes." There was some great procedure. If you don't know about these guys ask someone who has been around a while...ham radio classics.
I think amateur radio may well be served by less protocol and more common sense. Answering a CQ with a long information laden reply makes no sense because 3 other stations may be doing the same thing, and the caller hears none of it. Using phonetics other than the standard is wrong because it is easier to understand especially when talking to someone who isn't using English as a first language.
But as to what to say and when to say it we need to unclench here. A comment was made about someone using "full quieting" on SSB, but just a topic or two back was a whole article about making a two meter radio an "entry level" radio. What do we expect? These folks come into a hobby and are greeted by 2 meter FM, and we expect them to understand procedure on HF? For my money 2 meter FM shouldn't be an option until one has been on HF for a year.
Amateur radio is changing. Some changes good...some bad. Remember if we all talked about the same things the same way we did in 1936 we might be a very boring bunch...not the vibrant exciting group we have evolved into.

hi hi?
 
RE: Operating  
by WB4M on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
To SSB: This really says a lot about you. Calling people names, saying "Screw your rules".. etc. In other words, do what you want to do, to hell with everyone else. I guess when you go out in public, you act any way you want, regardless of how you appear to others. But then again, your post reflects someone who obviously has no person standards.

Steve's post is merely a suggestion of good operating practices, nothing more. He is not trying to force anything on anybody. He makes valid points, and I'm glad he is concerned enough about the hobby to make such a post. But I knew as soon as I read the title of the post, he would be attacked and accused of trying to tell everone how to live, etc..
But maybe Steve and others, like myself, obtained their licenses when good operating procedures were taught; you just didn't grab a microphone and start bellowing like some ignoramus. You hams like Mr. SSB are the ones who need to "get a life" and take the valium. Nobody is attacking you..tell the little boy in you that everything is OK, nobody is going to hurt you.
 
Operating  
by KG4OLW on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The problem is that there is not an entry level license like the novice any more. i live in miami florida, we have couple clubs and they meet once a month. The area is jammed with people houses apartments, and I have to drive almost 50 miles to even see another hf antenna above a house. There are very few of us, and even fewer young people who want in to the hobby. I myself was licensed when I was 18, but I don't have an elmer that I can talk to close by who can teach me anything, no one gave me a card and explained how to do a proper cw qso, there was nobody to teach me what rst was and how to read an s meter. And some times when you are new to hf some habits from 2m fm slip out like full quieting. The bottom line is that we have bigger things to worry about then proper operating procedures. Maybe it's just me, but repeaters sitting empty in a city as big as miami, almost nobody on, hf band are quiet. Way quieter than they were 40 years ago. even during a contest I have rarely seen the bands completely congested. The hobby is in trouble, and instead of complaining about operating procedures we need to get more operators interested in the hobby in the first place. I myself have had 2 friends get licenses, but that is not enough to insure the survival of the hobby.
 
RE: Operating  
by K5PHW on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Alex, please come back when you have a call sign.
Then you might be taken seriously. 73
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"CQ is a request to initiate a QSO and not directed at a single station unless specified. "

No, you have it reversed. CQ is almost never used to initiate a multiple station roundtable type QSO, unless specified. It is usually a request for one station to engage in a one-on-one contact. That does not preclude other stations joining in, but it is not specifically directed at multiple stations.

QST has always been defined as "calling all amateurs" (those who can hear, of course). Example: W1AW calls its magazine QST and begins all bulletins with "QST" because it means "calling all amateurs".
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Some smart ass that makes rules for everybody else. Some one is going to tell me what's proper. I DON'T THINK SO. If it isn't in the FCC rules, IT AIN'T A RULE. "

THAT is the problem with a lot of newcomers. MOST of the rules in this and any other avocation are not in the FCC rules. There are practices and customs that are honored by all honorable hams, and newcomers should do like we did when we were newcomers, and LISTEN.
 
Operating  
by N0AH on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK/6....................perhaps if you would change your call sign to match your district, you might sound as if you know what you are talking about-





 
Operating  
by AK7V on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The most important aspects of good operating procedure are listening, responding to questions, identifying properly, avoiding interference, and generally being courteous and considerate. Whether someone sends their name before RST, or chooses not to abbreviate something, is not important.
 
RE: Operating  
by KC9KHG on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve,I want to thank you for writing this.I am new and unsure how to operate CW or Phone on HF bands.I have been on CB bands for years and have tired of the way people act there.A friend suggested I become an Ameteur Radio operator.The first thing he told me was to forget all I learned as a CB'er and to just listen to how others speak and act on Ham bands.So at this point,that is what I am doing.Once again,Thanks for writing this article,I find it very helpful!

Randy KC9KHG
 
RE: Operating  
by K8MHZ on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
AH,

Steve is very knowlegable. His choice of call signs is his business and he does use slant 6.

He also wrote a well thought out article and actually took the time to spell words correctly.

You should commend him. Have you ever talked to him on the air? I have heard him in QSOs and he is very good on the air. A nice change to hear someone practice what they preach.

I have never heard you on the air so I can't make any statement as such. I don't have a huge station so I am not heard far and wide either. I am interested to hear what you sound like on the air.

Steve sounds like he writes. Very good / well.
 
Operating  
by W6VPS on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve:
Once again sir, well written. Tips on good operating practices are always helpful.
The posts from detractors aside, these guides are important as the low band ranks will soon swell with new and often unschooled ops.
73 - Whiskey Six Victor Papa Sierra
 
Hearing and Listening and Operating  
by AI2IA on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ham radio relects life in general. Nearly everyone can hear others. Few folks really listen.

The best way to start out in amateur radio and to continue in it is to listen.

Next to my Kenwood TS-570 D is an Icom IC-R75 Communications Receiver. You can learn to listen well with a good communications receiver. It is great for copying code, too! If you don't like what you hear, you just QSY and find something more suitable. Listening does not have to be purely passive. You can listen with a purpose. Try listening as if you were an OO, and keep a pencil and pad handy. You just copy what you find is good and what you find as bad and keep it for yourself. In fact you learn to listen best on a receiver because you don't have to busy yourself with thinking of how to reply. You simply think about what is being said. Later you can transfer this habit to a transceiver. I enjoy my reciever. I enjoy plain listening, and I enjoy tweaking the knobs and buttons until I bring in the best signal. You can enjoy it, too!
 
RE: Operating  
by CURTKRELIC_NE3U on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve's post is merely a suggestion of good operating practices, nothing more. He is not trying to force anything on anybody. He makes valid points, and I'm glad he is concerned enough about the hobby to make such a post. But I knew as soon as I read the title of the post, he would be attacked and accused of trying to tell everone how to live, etc..
But maybe Steve and others, like myself, obtained their licenses when good operating procedures were taught; you just didn't grab a microphone and start bellowing like some ignoramus. You hams like Mr. SSB are the ones who need to "get a life" and take the valium. Nobody is attacking you..tell the little boy in you that everything is OK, nobody is going to hurt you.
------------------------------------------------
Being a gentleman or a believing Christian who follows the footsteps of Jesus would certainly be a nice requirement to obtain an amateur license, but it's not. You can be a depraved self centered egotistic SOB and the FCC will still grant you a license regardless. We live in a fallen and depraved world, it's a fact, it's everywhere and in your face. That being true why is it so hard to accept the realities that are amateur radio today, which is only a reflection of the world and the people in it.

I agree that Steve's ideas are indeed good operating practice that work, even proven. But it's not the world it was only 50 years ago. Becoming an amateur by memorizing the exact answers with no code requirement will IMO only quicken the pace of what many OT amateurs consider a deadly decline into chaos. Most people who choose the easy path settle for and accept less which is what we all are hearing on the bands today when compared to yesteryear.

All we can really do is set examples by actually doing what our fathers did generations ago hoping that a few individuals will pick it up and spread good operating practices, just like an virus is spread so does good and bad practices. The cure isn't eHam and it's forum of rants. The world is declining morally and amateur radio is just a part of it and to be expected.

Curt/NE3U
 
RE: FISTS -- Why some are not polished experts (ye  
by WA1RNE on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!


"I also work CW operators who can't hold up their end of a conversation - even worse than on phone. I suspect this is because they're very dull people, or really can't copy me, or really can't copy code, or something. I like to rag chew on CW, and try to be interesting."




>>> Steve, this is a good topic, but whether or not someone can hold up their end of the QSO and making sure it complies with someone else's standards for being interesting is being rather critical and a bit condescending don't you think?

I used linking verbs like "is" in most of my CW QSO's, as did most other operators and didn't find them to be a hindrance or improper; they actually help sometimes.

There are some excellent publications available to newcomers on operating and setting up a station which deal with similar topics.

An example from the ARRL, "Getting Started with Ham Radio" :

*Using Your Voice on the HF Bands. Advice on making your first voice contacts.

*Code Conversations. Advice on using Morse code on the air.

http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?item=9728#top



As a side note:

I'd like to see new and experienced operators think a little more about station identification and the lack thereof on the air. For example, many DX stations running pile-ups to do not identify themselves during each contact - and many U.S. stations don't reciprocate. Amateurs were issued a call sign for a reason; if you don't identify the station you are contacting and/or don't end the QSO with your call sign, it's technically not a contact and is considered poor operating practice. I've heard stations that run pile-ups for 15 minutes or more and never identify themselves. This not only makes it difficult for stations coming on frequency to call the station, it also makes it difficult to notify a station if they are causing QRM to a nearby QSO in progress.


....WA1RNE
 
RE: Operating  
by AA4PB on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"CQ is a code used by wireless operators, particularly those communicating in Morse code, but also by voice operators, to make a general call (called a CQ call). Transmitting the letters CQ on a particular radio frequency is an invitation for any operators listening on that frequency to respond. It is still widely used in amateur radio."

Per the above, CQ is actually addressed to all stations listening on frequency. One or more may answer your CQ call. If you want to address a single station then you simply use his call sign.



 
Operating  
by N0IU on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
All of these problems will go away on February 24, 2007. From that day forward, amateur radio will be perfect!

For decades, all we have been hearing about is how the Morse code testing requirement was an illegal exclusionary barrier that was keeping otherwise good people out of our hobby. Now that the barrier has been removed, there will be no more excuses and the amateur bands will be flooded with all of these people who who have all the answers but for some reason, did not see the value in Morse code and chose to wait it out.

Obviously us "OF's" are just too stupid to figure out how to conduct ourselves on the air. In a little less than a week, our saviors will be here to set us straight. After nearly 100 years of existence, amateur radio will finally be perfect.

Now where did I put my Atenolol?

Scott N0IU
 
RE: Hearing and Listening and Operating  
by N0RZT on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
On the subject of non-standard phonetics - I agree fully that standard phonetics generally make life easier. Personally, though, the only one that I have *real* difficulty with is the quasi-standard non-standard phonetic for 'K' - Kilowatt. I keep interpreting it as 'KW'. I think the problem is that I hear "kilo", note it as 'K', and then hear "watt", which must be 'W'. The problem is that by time I get to 'KWB8', I realize it's supposed to be 'KB8', and I have a mental hiccup and miss the suffix.

That said, "cute phonetics" sometimes *do* help people remember it. When I moved to Minot ND, the RACES EC kept screwing up my call because of its similarity another call sign (my recollection is that N0ZRT was his counterpart in Bismark, but googling it now, it may have been W0ZRT, which is now used by a Bismark club).

Chris,
N0RZT/8 "Romantic Zebras Tango" or "Readability Zest Tone"
 
RE: Operating  
by KX8N on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Newbies are always welcome, and the more the merrier, as far as I'm concerned, so I'm not griping about newcomers. I'm griping about their operating procedures - and some of these ops aren't very “new,” at all. "


The problem is that many of the people who are doing things wrong have simply never had anybody take the time to sit down and show them how to do it right. The only "help" they have encountered is some jackass on a repeater calling him a lid and telling him to go back to CB, whether or not the operator has ever even heard of CB before.
 
Operating  
by K0CBA on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Phonetics; I try, but hams use one set, the military uses their own and before retiring from the P.D., they had their phonetics. Trying to keep them straight and everyone's feathers de-ruffled is a problem sometimes.

And on the phonetics subject; Why in the name of all that's holy do people TYPE the phonetics of their calls? Besides raising the bar on dumb, what's that all about??

On PSK; I HATE MINDLESS MACROS!!!!!! By the mere fact you are on the air tells me you have a computer, a radio and an antenna so why some toilet bowl full of info about the processor speed, the RAM, the color of the cabinet, etc., etc., etc. As long as you have a nice looking track, I don't give a rodent's rump about it.

"Handle" for name was used (for better or worse) LONG before CB came into being.

The comments about "73s" vs the proper "73" has been beat to death but falls on deaf ears.
 
Operating  
by KF4HR on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'll have to join the others that think you're being too critical. If you need canned responses to your CQ's, perhaps consider going into business making CQ Answering Machines, or better yet, get involved with MARS. Military responses and protocol may be more to your liking. Personally, I'd prefer a human response, as terribly varied as that may be. hihi
 
Operating  
by WA2JJH on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
TNX FER UR POST!

Great post and very timely.

I never had one example you had. The OM gives his whole life's story, after just answering your CQ.

I did a few times hear this OM that had a very silly CQ.

<<<<Yallow CQ, Yallow CQ trenty MEAT- ers, CQ trenty meat-er phone......NO LIDS, NO KIDS, NO SPACE CADETS....THIS IS...>>>>>>>>>> I wish I could recall this very colorfull Hams call sign. I know at was 25 years or more.

One of my peeve pets(kinda like a Cha,cha ,cha chia pet)

The OM that has to set every control to 10.(11, hi hi) Mic gain, compressor, and lets not forget 1499W PEP. He does this only to call CQ.

After the CQ is answered, he will spend half the QSO, backing down each control one by one. Of course he will ask you......"How am I making it now."

 
RE: Operating  
by N3OX on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Personally, I'd prefer a human response, as terribly varied as that may be. hihi"

I have a hard time seeing how Steve can be interpreted as not wanting a human response given that he's asking people to have an actual QSO.

The callsigns, signal reports, names and locations *should* be exchanged in a standard way. If the path is good enough then you start *talking* after that.

I'm someone who's guilty of not having much to say on CW. It's because I'm not very good at it. Usually, this isn't a problem with DX, which is most of what I do. Many ops want short QSO's.

I'm not a CW ragchewer yet. I don't make enough contacts to be conversationally proficient. I could take Steve's comments about not being able to hold up my end of the conversation as harsh or curmudgeony, but I won't. I can't ragchew on CW. I get flustered. If that's you, or me, try to get better. That's what Steve's asking.

I think it's a less forgivable sin on voice. It's a conversation, for heaven's sake. Talk about something!
Don't be a weirdo with nothing to say just because you're on the radio. Strike a balance between effective and standardized information passing at the beginning of the contact and actual, plain English conversation during the rest of it, especially if you've found that conditions are really quite good.

I don't think that the human element includes a pathological inability to talk about things that weren't in the sample QSO's in your study manual.

I don't think the human element includes saying "hi hi" on voice.

I don't think the human element includes telling me in excruciating automated detail what your computer has inside the case.

I don't think the human element includes giving up the extra intelligibility that comes from initiating a contact in a standardized way.

- - - - - -

Look, if you're just starting out and you get stage fright, the "talk about the weather, mention your rig and antenna" QSO is good. Ditto if you're not very good at CW right now or you don't have much of a command of the other ham's language and you want to make DX QSO's.

However, we don't need to hang on to that after 5, 10, 15, or 50 years of operating. What we do need to preserve is a standard way of *making contact* and a vibrant human conversation after that.

- - - - - -

That's not to say you'll be able to talk to whoever you call at length. Just like at a party, you'll hit it off with some people and not with others. I've had plenty of QSO's where it never takes off. I've had others, even DX QSO's, where we actually had something to talk about. I used to have a sked with A22EW and we'd talk about physics a lot. I remember one Pactor QSO with a ZL that went on for an hour and a half... I don't remember what we were talking about now, but it had to be *something* other than the WX.

We shouldn't discourage people from having personality on the air. We shouldn't encourage canned conversation. We should, however, discourage people from being weird radio-people who picked up their conversational style from the strangest parts of ham radio and CB.

Dan
 
RE: Operating  
by W9OY on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
By the way, this kind of HF QSO nonsense happens because people are encouraged to choose 2 meter radios as their FIRST radio.

73 W9OY
 
RE: Operating  
by K3NG on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>Being a gentleman or a believing Christian who follows the footsteps of Jesus would certainly be a nice requirement to obtain an amateur license, but it's not. You can be a depraved self centered egotistic SOB and the FCC will still grant you a license regardless. We live in a fallen and depraved world, it's a fact, it's everywhere and in your face. That being true why is it so hard to accept the realities that are amateur radio today, which is only a reflection of the world and the people in it.

>The world is declining morally and amateur radio is just a part of it and to be expected.

I'm a Christian as well, but I don't see saying "handle" or "73s" or using bad phonetics as a morality issue.
 
RE: Operating  
by K3NG on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>By the way, this kind of HF QSO nonsense happens because people are encouraged to choose 2 meter radios as their FIRST radio

In some cases perhaps, but I think the root cause is a lack of Elmers. Two meters is just an easy point of entry into ham radio. Undoubtedly many people have their first exposure to ham radio via scanners and 2 meters. More Elmers on 2 meters would mean more hams on HF, and better practices as well.
 
RE: Operating  
by K3NG on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>All of these problems will go away on February 24, 2007. From that day forward, amateur radio will be perfect!

I'm sure we'll be hearing on February 25th how the elimination of the code test is an utter disaster as everyone is using CB lingo and roger beeps all of a sudden...despite years of complaints about it here during the code test years :-)
 
RE: Operating  
by N3OX on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"By the way, this kind of HF QSO nonsense happens because people are encouraged to choose 2 meter radios as their FIRST radio."

I think that's right. Hopefully we can change that in the near future since all Techs will have HF privileges.

I'm going to put up an antenna that will get me on 10m today. I've left it out of my arsenal at this house because the openings are rare, but we should all make a concerted effort to get on 10m especially in the first few months after the changeover.

Dan
 
RE: Operating  
by N0RZT on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
K0CBA - "hams use one set, the military uses their own and before retiring from the P.D., they had their phonetics"

I can't speak for the P.D.s, but the phonetic alphabet I learned for the military is the same one I learned for amateur radio.

NE3U - "All we can really do is set examples"

Hear, hear. Here's an example: In our monthly radio checks at three EOCs, we conduct what I guess could be called a "sprint net" - one EOC has net control, and we check our ability to make contact on twelve repeaters (within the county and adjacent counties) - this is to make sure the radios work and also to find out if any of the repeaters have issues that we aren't aware of. A few months ago, I had net control, and fresh on my mind was a couple of folks complaining about the time they were ragchewing on a repeater when a regularly-scheduled net started up during a twenty-second pause in their conversation. I realized that by changing frequencies throughout our net, we were twelve times as likely to step on a conversation. So each time we changed frequencies, I preambled with "Is this repeater in use? N0RZT" and waited about fifteen seconds before proceeding. I know fifteen seconds isn't much, but if it is in use and someone's just collecting his thoughts, that's enough time for him to pick up the mike and say "yes". Our coordinator had an "well, of course!" moment, and QRL checks are now part of our script.

Somtimes you need more than setting a good example. It's also necessary to document good practices (as Steve did). They're "good practices" because the past 100 years of radio has proven them out - it didn't take even half of that time for them to be discovered by trial-and-error and accepted as "good practices" because they work better than other practices most of the time. I occasionally tell my students (in my day job) that I teach them "best practices", and that they're best practices because they work best most of the time. And that they should follow best practices until they grok *why* they're best practices; only then should they trust themselves to be able to judge when some other practice will work better in a particular situation. I think that's what Steve has here - examples of practices that work well most of the time, examples that work some of the time (but maybe oughtn't be standard procedure), and examples that generally work poorly, plus an encouragement to use the good practices and avoid the others. Somewhat more subtle is the "until you can effectively judge when other practices are more appropriate".

Take care,
Chris,
N0RZT/8
 
RE: Operating  
by N3OX on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"And that they should follow best practices until they grok *why* they're best practices; only then should they trust themselves to be able to judge when some other practice will work better in a particular situation"

Well put, Chris.
 
RE: Operating  
by KX8N on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"...despite years of complaints about it here during the code test years :-) "

That's the thing... we're not going to hear any complaints after the 23rd that we haven't heard for years and years and years. It's unfortunate that there are people who think that unless you know at least 13 WPM code, you are a total idiot - period. Doesn't matter how long you've been a ham, how well your operating practices are, or what else you have accomplished in life. There are people that will sit and debate that Albert Einstein was a total idiot, because there's no proof that he ever knew at least 13 WPM code. The guy gave us the fundamental ideas about how the universe works, but he would have been a lid if he had ever stopped at a technician class level.
 
Operating  
by AH6FC on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Good post and very accurate.

Echo the request for proper phonetics.

When did "op" replace "name" ? Not that op is unclear, just never remember using op when I started this business in the late 60's.


There is also a direct correlation between improper operating ettiquitte and frequency in Mhz. I've seen a lot more "back at you" on 6 meters than on 20 meters.

73,Bill
 
Operating Procedures  
by W8KQE on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Whether you like it or not, Steve makes some EXCELLENT and VALID points! I've been on the air since 1977, and have also noticed a marked decline in operating protocol and accepted QSO standards as well over the years. Just listen to 14.275 MHz on a typical day! Perhaps some of Steve's (and others') observations are merely a reflection of the lowering of standards in many spheres of society overall, or as some would say part of 'the dumbing down of America' (not my phrase)! Unfortunately, there will continue to be those who do things the right way, and those idiots who don't want to learn or pick up on accepted standards, because no matter what, they think their way is better. You know the old adage about leading a horse to water...
 
Operating  
by W1YW on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It seems amazing to me that our ham culture has degraded to a CB level in many cases. But educating is a positive step to bring the great unwashed up to speed. Nice point and effort here.

I was shocked a few months ago when a licensed ham argued with me because he felt insulted that I called him an 'OM'. He had never heard it used before except in a non-ham, derogatory way...

 
RE: Operating  
by K3NG on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>There is also a direct correlation between improper operating ettiquitte and frequency in Mhz. I've seen a lot more "back at you" on 6 meters than on 20 meters.

Then how do you explain all the legendary LIDs that everyone complains about on 80m? Also, six meters has some of the most courteous and knowledgeable people I've ever had a QSO with. Although I don't do 220, many people tell me it's an entirely different group there as well, much different from HF or 2 meters.

I'm sure the 10 GHz people would take major offense to your theory :-)
 
Operating  
by 3CX800A7 on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Those whom resort to immature ad hominem attacks on the author are merely projecting their own psychological inadequacies and confirming their culpability.

Perhaps the article might have been written in a more diplomatic tone. Other than that, Steve is correct. His sage advice is a bitter pill for many of you to swallow. Unwisely, some have spit it out due to their narcissim and fragile egos; hence the petty retorts.

LEARN THE PROTOCOL!!!

It's as simple as that.

Anyone whom writes disparaging remarks and questions addressed to me is engaging in an act of masochism, as I will not respond to them. In fact, I disengage myself from this thread and will not return to read
follow-up comments on this article.
 
RE: Operating  
by N1BHH on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Op being short for operator has been used by many, maybe not you. I've been using it for 37 years on CW.
 
RE: Operating  
by CURTKRELIC_NE3U on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Those whom resort to immature ad hominem attacks on the author are merely projecting their own psychological inadequacies and confirming their culpability.


-----------------------------------------------------

Hmmm-- a ham who is also a forensic psychiatrist, or maybe just a fan of Keith Ablow.

I think we are getting completely out there with this topic. Albert Einstein turned into psychiatric residency, what's next? I can't wait:)
 
RE: Operating  
by W7ETA on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Great timely article.
As usual, excellent prose.

When I ceased to be interested in what other ops use for rigs and antennas, I stopped sending rig and antenna info; same for WX info.

All of this nattering about what phonetics other ops should use?

73
Bob, Bob Oscar Bob
 
RE: Operating  
by NS6Y_ on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I've had to remove my outdoor antennas and this place sux for indoor ant's.

My trailer-trash neighbors can have a barbecue, motorcycle, and all kinds of crap on their patio though, this is most often covered also with pyromaniac little Eminems in training.

I'm keeping my VHF gear, a VX-170 and earbud mic and antenna, because those can be hidden well, all the other stuff is outta here.

When you're cheek by jowl with people who will gladly kill you for your stuff which they can sell for drugs, and have said as much, you need to put in time down at the pistol range, not trying to operate ham radio.

That being said, ITU phonetics, people! Standard, battle-proven and effective procedures, people! The "balloon could go up" any time, and we the good guys will have to communicate!
 
Operating  
by G0GQK on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve is right, there are ways to do things properly, and as always some people just want to do their way and to hell with doing it the right way. If some people don't like the observation they always say, "well, he's an old fart".

However, let's remember this is a hobby, not a military operation. It may be a service as far as the US amateurs are concerned, but to everybody else in the world its a hobby and a pastime.

There are different types of operating techniques, and it depends on which bands, and the mode you're using. People who operate on 2 metres don't talk or operate the way people do on HF. I don't regard the most important thing a contact must tell me first is my signal report because they must have been able to hear me, otherwise they wouldn't have responded.

I've been operating for over 20 years and almost without exception every contact gives me a signal report...... with QSB ! I know for goodness sake ! Everybody on the band has a transmission affected by QSB, except for those with 1.5 kw amplifier and a 100 feet high mast with a monobander on top.

It seems to me that its probably radio operators in the US who are the cause of the article because I have never really noticed problems like this in Europe. Generally they do give their names and QTH without having to ask.

In fact I get irritated when I've given a 5/9 report, when I can hear the person I've called very well, and he insists on saying, eg. the name is Bob, the name is Bob, bravo oscar bravo, bravo oscar bravo. I know your name is Bob, once is enough, and I do know how to spell Bob !

I have always found that the American operators I have contacted on HF have always responded in a nice relaxed pleasant way, as I always do, and I will be pleased when the bands open up again so that I can return to having those pleasant radio contacts all across the US. If standards have deteriorated in the meantime, and I find I am being assailed by a "big 10-4, howdy there, you aint bending no fences over here" I shall suddenly have a call to answer the phone !

The operators who are a pain in the backside are those with special callsigns where it is impossible to know where they are located, who only operate in contests, and refuse to give details of their QTH, which is not permitted. When asked, everyone should provide their operating location, so I don't give contesters any points these days. Not giving your QTH is bad operating, as is not giving your IARU locator square when using PSK. Its the done thing, just do it !

G0GQK
 
RE: Operating  
by K8MHZ on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
NS6Y,

I would love to help you figure out a way to get some HF out of your shack. I like designing stealth antennas.

If you yearn for HF and would like some help figuring out a way, e-mail me. I work the world with antennas I could easily hide in trees. Michigan to Brazil with a portable antenna made from 2 Hamsticks.

k8mhz@k8mhz.com

I am up for the challenge.
 
Operating  
by W6GF on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve would you please show us your Extra Class license and your A-1 Operators Certificate.

Thanks

George, W6GF
 
Operating  
by W1YW on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"LEARN THE PROTOCOL!!! "

-----------------------------------------

Exactly. It's more than tradition. It just makes sense.
 
Operating  
by N0CTI on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
While we are at it...
How silly is an RST report when operating PSK-31? I guess the problem is that there is no generally accepted substitute. I usually report something like 100% copy or 50% copy.

Seems like a hole in operating protocol that needs to be patched up.

Dave
N0CTI
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I was shocked a few months ago when a licensed ham argued with me because he felt insulted that I called him an 'OM'. He had never heard it used before except in a non-ham, derogatory way... "

Doesn't know much about ham radio, does he? You were complimenting him.
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The first thing he told me was to forget all I learned as a CB'er and to just listen to how others speak and act on Ham bands.So at this point,that is what I am doing.Once again,Thanks for writing this article,I find it very helpful!

Randy KC9KHG "

Very good, Randy! That's the right approach, and WELCOME ABOARD!!
 
RE: Operating  
by KC4GS on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
With all the whining about how people talk now, what is it going to be like in a few more days when we open up the NEW NO CODE CB BAND??? I hope you have good lick in training them how to speak properly, or should I have said Correctly ???
 
RE: Operating  
by KC5CQD on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The problem is that there is not an entry level license like the novice any more. i live in miami florida, we have couple clubs and they meet once a month. The area is jammed with people houses apartments, and I have to drive almost 50 miles to even see another hf antenna above a house. There are very few of us, and even fewer young people who want in to the hobby. I myself was licensed when I was 18, but I don't have an elmer that I can talk to close by who can teach me anything, no one gave me a card and explained how to do a proper cw qso, there was nobody to teach me what rst was and how to read an s meter. And some times when you are new to hf some habits from 2m fm slip out like full quieting. The bottom line is that we have bigger things to worry about then proper operating procedures. Maybe it's just me, but repeaters sitting empty in a city as big as miami, almost nobody on, hf band are quiet. Way quieter than they were 40 years ago. even during a contest I have rarely seen the bands completely congested. The hobby is in trouble, and instead of complaining about operating procedures we need to get more operators interested in the hobby in the first place. I myself have had 2 friends get licenses, but that is not enough to insure the survival of the hobby."



The bands are quiet because we're at a sunspot minimum. Two meter repeaters are quiet because cell phones are easier and more private. And as for needing an elmer.........ever heard of reading a book? Lots of good books out there on radio operations.

 
RE: Operating  
by NG0K on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Excellent article Steve. These guidelines will certainly help me become a better op.

73, Doug NG0K
 
RE: Operating  
by KF4HR on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I don't think..."

Correct.
 
Operating  
by AB8XA on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"My way gives the report FIRST, which is protocol, and for a reason."

Care to share that reason?

Seems to me RST is meaningless without knowing QTH (which tells you distance) first.
 
RE: Operating  
by W4KVW on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
CQ CQ CQ 20 METERS(Get'er Done)hehehehe Just wait about a month from Feb 23 & listen & HF will sound like a GOOD BUDDY convention!I'm GLAD the HF bands stink right now MAYBE "MOST" of them will lose interest waiting on the GOOD end of the cycle & go back to 11 meters!(BEEP) That's right if you can't LEARN "CW" MAYBE you're in the WRONG hobby & will NOT be able to afford QSL CARDS either & want the U.S.Postal Service to give "YOU" a SPECIAL mail rate!Or like the FCC(bunch of "IDIOTS")gave you "NO CW" maybe & "FREE" postage because your SPECIAL & need all the HELP you can get!!!! Looking forward to MANY replies from the KNUCKLEHEADS on this one!hahahahehehe
 
RE: Operating  
by NU0R on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve, As usual, you hit the nail on the head.If this offends some, then maybe they need to take a closer look at their operating practice.
The only thing that I want to add is when I make contact with someone then the quicker they give me their state then the quicker I can put my beam on them. Unfortunately you can no longer go by the call district indicated by their call. A station with a 2 in the call could very well be in Oregon. In the low part of the solar cycle like we are currently experiencing it is really helpful to know where you are talking to before they Qsy away because they are not in the area of my beam where I can optimise gain and pull them in so I can continue the qso. This is particularly frustrating here in the Zero call district where I turn my beam quite often due to calls coming in stateside from multiple directions. Frankly I liked the old system where you had to get a call in your new area indicating your actual location. This is not aimed at you Steve because your call indicates that your primary station is in the 2nd call dist., but you are operating portable in California. Please correct me if that is wrong. 73 Bruce NU0R
 
RE: Operating  
by KA1EUI on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I love it when I hear a ham say "this is K1XXX for ID"
No kidding....it's for your ID.

Jim KA1EUI
www.radiosarefun.com
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"If you want to address a single station then you simply use his call sign."

Don't be ridiculous. You don't KNOW his call sign.

I'm not going to argue the ridiculous! This is addressed to the newcomers: When you hear someone calling CQ, he/she is calling for ONE STATION unless specified otherwise. That has been established practice for decades. If someone else answers him first, do not butt in. He is not setting up a roundtable unless he says that he is doing so. Simply wait until he is finished with the other station, THEN call him.

Actually, I have never, in 32 years of very active operating, heard someone call CQ for multiple contacts unless it is an established net. Many of them use CQ, but strictly speaking, they should not. QST is the proper Q-signal. Check the book: it means "calling all hams". CQ means "calling any station". There is a big difference between "any" and "all".
 
Operating  
by KJ5KX on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Excellent article! You are spot on.

Unfortunately, I don't think much can be done about it. This is a product of today's culture, where everything goes; it is all about how someone feels at the moment. Nothing is wrong and a person shouldn't be held accountable for their actions! It is becoming commplace to exhibit contempt for anything that smacks of order. There's no sense of propriety anymore.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the phonetics issue. It took me all of 4 days to memorize them for life. Like CW, it is not that difficult.

Then we have someone like Gordon West, WB6NOA (who I'm sure is a dear, dear man), giving his call on thousands of instructional video and audio recordings as W-B-6-Nancy-Ocean-America! I'm at a loss. Of all people, he should know better.

Yeeeeah.. "73's" used to aggravate me, too. Gave up on that one a long time ago. Too many CBers.

It's only going to get worse, boys. Although, as someone earlier suggested, if an operator is too "loosey-goosey" in his operating prowess for my taste, I just pass him by. He'll have plenty of CBers on the band, more than eager to "modutate" with him. 10'?

Gentlemen's agreements, customs, tradition, operating pride... these are fast becoming foreign concepts.
 
RE: Operating  
by AA9YA on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This is how a Hillbilly Ham Operates his rig!

Written by Elmer A. Hamoprater,
Tennessee Hillbilly Ham.


"Wheen i wont 2 flap mi gums a bit on mi radyo thes es houw ey du it

tha ferst thinge i du es git mi ol ladiy 2 go doun 2 tha crek an cachetch
me a mess of fish caws i git awful hungerey operatin tha thinge

i then go oute 2 tha roote seller and get me a jar of sippin licker

i opin her up an tak a swigg an thene i hed fur tha shak

thates wher i keepes ma raydiyo

i pul up a barole ta set onn an tak anuthur swigg frum tha jar

shor is gud sow i tak anuthur swigg er 2

i sets her doun own tha flor an then i gow owt side 2 mi truk an gits
mi jumpin kables an huck em up 2 tha battry an run em threw tha
winder of mi shak 2 mi radiyo rume

i pik up tha jar of sippin kicker an i takes anuthur swiggg er two an
then i sits hur doun own fla door agin

bout this time i realiz mi anteners not hucked 2 ra mig sow i reche
bahind it to hook her up
dang it nocked ovur mi swiggin lipski

gits miself tugethur an gows bak ouwt 2 ra thout seller an git anuthur jar
of whipin lisker

noue i opin er up an tak anuther swig jus t0 mak shur it haddent gown bad
and then i hed bak 2 tha shak 2 tawk own my raydio

its ah hot sumer dae so own tha waye bak 2 tha shak i dasides 2 rest
a spell undur a big trade she sow i sit mi celf doun an take anuthur
shwip uf mi lippin swigger

bout this tyme mi ol laydi starts hollerin somthin thet sownds lyke
hellp me ime drownin but i no she koud not be caws she doent no
how 2 swim

i tak anuthur swig big uf mi slippin kiski and start heddin bak too
tha shak

i sit doun in frunt of mi raydio tak anuthur swig frum ja thar
an i turn it own
an tha nects thinge i no its tha nects day an mi head feals lik its jest a bouwt
2 xplode

shur wus fun operatin mi raydio
eny body no wher mi ol laydi is

urs tru ley
elmer a hamoprator

pe s
downt use mi call letturs if you dacide to prent thes on ur webe syte
ime havin a littlue truble withe tha revnuers"


 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The problem is that there is not an entry level license like the novice any more."

I agree. That is a serious part of the problem.
 
RE: Operating  
by KA9KQH on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The problem is that there is not an entry level license like the novice any more."

For better or worse after February 23 the Technician License will essentially be the equivalent of the old Novice license. The bonus is that it has HF privileges, the downside is the potential influx of new operators will far outnumber the older experienced operators who want to elmer and/or set a good example!
 
Operating  
by KF2NS on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
steve seems we need more elmers to take these new people on the side and teach them how

steve it is your mission this year to teach 5 new hams the proper way
 
RE: Operating  
by VE7RS on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I agree....to me the most annoying thing is to hear non-standard phonetics used on ham radio. It sounds SO unprofessional. You won't likely hear an airline pilot, police or other emergency service personel use anything but the "recognized" International phonetic alphabet. You know....the one that goes: alpha, bravo, charlie, delta? NOT: able, baker, connecticut, dog! Even a mixture of the recognized ones and some "made up" or "50 year old" ones sounds very bad. This alphabet IS taught in every ham class and in every instruction book that I've ever seen, so why are we not complying? I hate to say it, but I think that a LOT of this, is older, long time hams that either refuse to change or somehow feel that their OWN version of the alphabet will be easier recognized by dx'ers. Hogwash.
 
RE: Operating  
by EXWA2SWA on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Although I probably violated one or more principals of good operating procedure on more than one occasion, Steve has suffered through a couple of QSO's with me - and I enjoyed them as I have virtually every QSO in my log.

Truth is, we wouldn't know we were doin' wrong if no one bothered to call us to task.

Nicely written & timely article - and no matter how good an operator one may be, it never hurts to review the basics. I'll be that much more conscious of my manners.

73,
Jim NS5M
 
RE: Operating  
by AF9J on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I've read both good & band about Steve's article. I think it's fine. I've been licensed since 1978, and on-the-air (with exception of a 4 year QRT period from 2001 to 2005) since 1982. Back in the 80s., what Steve mentions was pretty much SOP. People, he's not dictating, these are guidelines to help you get started on a good foot in a QSO. And this is not oldster advice (I'm not a baby boomer, I'm a Gen Xer). I remember as a new General in the mid 80s, talking with another club member (who had an Advanced License at the time) at the University of Wisconsin ham club (I was in college at the time), who told me face-to-face, that he hated hearing "the handle is" during QSOs, and that he'd with respond with "my NAME is Pete, the only handle I have, is on my coffee cup." There are other suggestions that should be made too. Such as:

1. Listening on a freq., to make sure it's clear before you fire up the rig to tune your antenna, or amp. I've lost track of the number of times I've been blanked out by a tuner upper.
2. If somebody is operating on a freq. you normally use for a net or roundtable, politely asking them if they could move, and if they say no, looking for another freq. nearby, instead of having the radio equivalent of a Flame War.
3. Short & Sweet tranmissions are good practice if condx. are iffy. This always assumed as a matter of course in VHF & UHF weak signal operating, so transmissions are kept short, until there is proof that the path between 2 stations is stable.

As for the beef on using RST for the digital modes - hey I hate to tell you this, but it's used for Hellschreiber (as matter of fact we use it for Feld Hell Club nets).

73 & just my 2 cents worth,
Ellen - AF9J
 
RE: Operating  
by W2TXB on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
What Steve (WB2WIK) has suggested makes sense, and I do not see it as somebody attempting to force anything on anybody. So many times, new hams never get to learn the easy and organized method of establishing a contact that works, and then they become discouraged without knowing why so few (if any) contacts were made.

On another related subject (only because it was brought up in this thread), I still cringe when I hear people using "handle", hihi", or "QSL". I have attempted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Amateur Radio Service to various non-hams who represent emergency communications agencies, and every time, that demonstration is conducted, a ham comes onto the repeater using the above terms, along with other words/phrases that make the hams sound like something less than capable in an emergency. The "pros" are switching to plain English communication; maybe we should do likewise.

We want to attract new (high quality) hams, but will likely not achieve this if they hear us on the air and decide to not be a part of what they perceive as just another CB.
 
Operating  
by N0IU on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK/6 opens his post by asking, “Is it just me, or are a lot of operators doing stuff wrong?”
Wrong would be operating outside of your license privileges.
Wrong would be using SSB in the CW/Digital sub-band.
And the list of things that are truly wrong goes on…
What I saw in Steve’s post, to use his own words, is “…griping about their operating procedures”, not about doing something illegal. The wrongs they are committing are according to his definition. He does provide some valuable insight based on many years of operating, but what he is saying is like stop signs on the shopping mall parking lot; they are only a suggestion. So in reality, they are not doing anything wrong per se, they are only doing things that don't meet your standard of proper operating procedures.

He gives an example of someone replying to a CQ that does not meet his standards by saying, “That's not a proper reply to a CQ.”
To me it is pretty simple. If you call CQ and don’t like the way in which someone responds to it, don’t answer!

Steve continues, “If you call CQ and someone answers you, follow the protocol that's developed over the past century because it works:”
RS232, for example, is a true protocol. It is an agreed upon established set of rules that MUST be followed in order for a connection to be made. Each pin on the DB9 and DB25 connectors has a specific purpose. There is no leeway and if you do not follow the protocol, there will be no connection. On the other hand, there is obviously quite a bit of latitude when it comes to establishing contact with another amateur on the air. Sometimes someone does something the same way for so long that it becomes written in stone for them and it takes on the appearance of being a true protocol rather than being an established convention.

Steve opines, “I also work CW operators who can't hold up their end of a conversation - even worse than on phone. I suspect this is because they're very dull people…”
So unless you have something witty and clever to say all of the time, you are not entitled to become an amateur radio operator, eh?

Steve laments the fact that, “In the “old days,” the newbies closely followed what the old timers did, and caught on quickly to the protocol. For some reason, that doesn't seem to be happening today, and I don't know why not.”
I know why not. There is one reason: Electronic filing. Once a newcomer passes their test, they receive their license within a few days. Back when I passed my first test, I had to wait three months before my license came in the mail. There was no ULS database. There wasn’t even an Internet! You could not go on the air until you actually held that piece of paper from Gettysburg in your hand. In that three months, I joined a club, talked to other “elders” about brands and models of equipment that would fit in my budget and suit my operating environment. Several were gracious enough to invite me over to their homes to see their station and let me stand over their shoulder while they made contacts. By the time I set up my own station, I already had several months of experience under my belt before my license ever arrived. That time also allowed me to listen, a lot. It is pretty easy to pick up on operating styles you find enjoyable and then try to emulate that style when you get on the air.

Some will say that the introduction of the No Code Technician was the worst thing to happen to amateur radio. Others take it back further and blame it on the renewal of the Novice license and others blame it on the fact that the “time in service” requirement was taken away in order to upgrade. For me, it was electronic filing. You can take your test at a hamfest on a weekend where you also buy a radio and by the following weekend you are on the air. No wonder they are doing it all wrong!

Scott N0IU
 
RE: Operating  
by N3OX on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The wrongs they are committing are according to his definition. He does provide some valuable insight based on many years of operating, but what he is saying is like stop signs on the shopping mall parking lot; they are only a suggestion. So in reality, they are not doing anything wrong per se, they are only doing things that don't meet your standard of proper operating procedures. "

I sure as hell want people to obey the stop signs in the mall parking lot.

The amateur radio rules in Part 97 are not sufficient to keep amateur radio running like it should. It's our place to offer constructive criticism (which is what this is) to those who aren't doing the optimum thing.

There are a couple of sentences and points in Steve's article that are easy to get hung up on because they are pretty subjective (like OP JOHN instead of NAME HERE IS JOHN). Some of it is much more objective. "“Yeah, the 2 station I hear ya. Back to you.”" is just incorrect. It's not amateur practice, even if it isn't delineated in Part 97.

All of it is just good advice for making lots of quality QSO's.

If you're talking to the same guys every night on 75m you can dispense with everything besides Part 97 rules, but if you're making random contacts, you need to do it right for best results, and there is a right and wrong. Not all of Steve's examples can be taken as the only way to do things, but there are appropriate practices that define right and wrong beyond Part 97.

Dan
 
RE: Operating  
by KB5DPE on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I, too, am grateful for this thread. It has made me realize that I don't belong on HF, thereby saving me a great deal of money for a radio and antenna, not to mention all the accessories that go with it. When I was working, I expended a great deal of effort learning proper procedures and "protocol" to do the job just as my employer wanted me to do it. After all, this was my occupation and I was being paid good money (they said!)to do the job as they wanted it done. HOWEVER, when I came home, and now that I'm retired, I look for things that I can do that are enjoyable, that I can do in a relaxed and non stressful way. If I don't say the right thing in just the right order, then I'm not welcome? If I'm not a good conversationalist, proficient with small talk, then there's no place for me? If I don't learn procedure (protocol?) as if I were working at the local 911 dispatch center, go elsewhere? OK. That's what I'll do. I certainly won't impose my (ignorant, CB'ish, nonconforming, unprofessional, etc., etc., etc.; pick one) ways on the professional amateurs running the HF bands. Fortunately for me, my primary enjoyment comes from building and experimenting with electronics. I have never been much of an "operator", usually only getting on the air to "check out" the results of a mod. or a construction project, so being "unwelcome" on HF won't really be traumatic for me. After 40+ years as an amateur, I've never had the courage to try a CW QSO. Now I can see that my reluctance was well founded. I would have really Pi.... off the HF owners with my ignorant and unprofessional ways, all the time thinking that I'm learning! Well, 73's good buddies, thanks for letting me know the score before I made a fool of myself; and cheer up! In no time you'll have most of those enthusiastic newcomers towing the mark or back on 2 meters. Couldn't happen to nicer guys!
Tom
 
RE: Operating  
by KI4PEQ on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Not everyone enjoys rag chewing. I don't. I am very awkward in social situations, even on the air. My interests in amateur radio are community service and emergency communications. I also enjoy working with modes that involve computers and amateur radio. I'm more into the technical end. There are others that like the social aspects. To each their own.

Amateurs that use cutesy phonetic spellings are one of my peeves, but I don't get rabid about it. I guess it's because I was career military and the International Phonetic Alphabet was drilled into my head. KILO INDIA FOUR PAPA ECHO QUEBEC I can understand and process without thinking. KING ICECUBE FOUR PIZZA ESKIMO QUICKSAND would drive me up the wall.

To the poster that said he would not go on HF, just because there are bad operators does not mean you should not go there. By this time next week I should be /AG and can use the antennas I have been building to TRANSMIT. I am looking forward to it. Don't sour on HF so easily!
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I sure as hell want people to obey the stop signs in the mall parking lot."

I would like them to obey them out on the highway, too. But ~90% don't (actual measurement).
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"HOWEVER, when I came home, and now that I'm retired, I look for things that I can do that are enjoyable, that I can do in a relaxed and non stressful way."

Me, too. That's why the hams before us worked out specific ways to do things. So we can relax and enjoy the avocation, and not have to worry how to do it. Just listen to the good ops (and they're easy to spot - they're the ones having a good time) and learn the right way to do it.

That's no different from any other activity.
 
RE: Operating  
by KB5DPE on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"So we can relax and enjoy the avocation"

Avocation? NO! Hobby, passtime, time-available preoccupation, maybe; but NOT avocation. If I decide to choose an avocation it will be something like a WalMart greeter, part time cook, hardware store clerk, etc. Amateur radio is NOT an avocation.
 
RE: Operating  
by N3OX on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"OK. That's what I'll do. I certainly won't impose my (ignorant, CB'ish, nonconforming, unprofessional, etc., etc., etc.; pick one) ways on the professional amateurs running the HF bands."

Don't be sarcastic. This *matters*, it really does.

No one is trying to be mean and nasty, however, it's important to keep ham radio functioning like ham radio. Sometimes that means we have to tell people (gently, of course) that they're not doing things right.

Are you going to be relaxed and able to enjoy ham radio in your retirement if everyone is a splattering, foul mouthed weirdo who wants to key up on you?

"If I'm not a good conversationalist, proficient with small talk, then there's no place for me?"

Steve wasn't aiming primarily at people who are bad conversationalists. They're self-selected out. That's not mean or nasty either; if you don't like talking with strangers, you're probably not going do make many contacts.

The problem is that some people turn into radio-weirdos when they're trying to talk on the radio. People who you could have a nice, normal conversation with if you were face to face all of a sudden have a hard time straying from the normal script when they're on the radio. I've done it, many of us have done it, but eventually you just have to stop.

Radio-weirdoness is really rampant on the digital modes when you can put four minutes of canned nonsense about your computer into the QSO with the touch of a button, but the same thing happens on phone... canned responses.

There's nothing wrong with a quick calls, name, QTH, and signal report QSO. I make hundreds of them when I'm DXing and like you, testing improvements. I do more tweaking and building than operating too...

But if I'm going to try to sit down and have a little ragchew, I try to just talk... it still usually starts with the weather etc, but you really should try to converse.

Someone tells me "antenna here is a SteppIR up 22 feet" and I could either "QSL, fine business, antenna here is a vertical" or I could say, "That's a nice antenna. I can't have any permanent antennas up here because I'm renting this place while I'm in grad school, but when I'm somewhere permanently, that's high on my list. I've got a fiberglass pole vertical set up in the backyard which does the job for now"

The latter gives several openings for other things to talk about... my studies, what the other guy did while he was renting, details of my homebrew antenna... all small talk, but keeps the conversation going.

Like Steve, if someone lives somewhere I've been, I mention that I've been there and why.

- - - - - -

The intent of this criticism is not generally to exclude people. However, I think people who actually do hold the attitude of "screw protocol, screw tradition, I'm gonna do what I want" *should* be excluded. Some people like to blame the newbie Techs or the "5 WPM Extras" or the VE system or one thing or another for the ills of ham radio, but it's none of that.

The big in ham radio is the bad ops who won't try to become good ops. They come in every age, every license class. They spend their time splattering and jamming and cussing and being generally unpleasant. They don't care about their fellow hams. There *is* a way to do things, and if everyone just completely ignores it, ham radio will degenerate.

Something has to be said if things aren't going right, and it really upsets me when someone comes back with a sarcastic response like yours when all someone is trying to do is point out some things that a good ham should work toward.

73,
Dan
 
RE: Operating  
by N3OX on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Sometimes that means we have to tell people (gently, of course) that they're not doing things right. "

I should have said "gently, at FIRST" .. .that's what I really meant.
 
RE: Operating  
by KB5DPE on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Don't be sarcastic. This *matters*, it really does"

No sarcasm is this statement (for sarcasm, see reference to "HF owners" among others), just fact. When they PAY me to operate amateur radio, I'll jump through all the hoops, until then, I just don't need it! That said, I also won't impose MY ideas on others either. There are plenty of other things to do in the electronics hobby.
Tom
 
RE: Operating  
by N3OX on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I'll jump through all the hoops, until then, I just don't need it! "

I see what you're saying... but I don't think what Steve has said here sets up any hoops for anyone to jump through, really.

If you operate too much differently than suggested in the article, you're not going to make as many contacts and they're not going to be very good.

I still think N0RZT had it best... I'll requote it because everything is buried ten posts deep... regarding laying out a set of "best practices" for someone:

""And that they should follow best practices until they grok *why* they're best practices; only then should they trust themselves to be able to judge when some other practice will work better in a particular situation"

Everyone has to learn how ham radio contacts go, and I think Steve's guidelines are good.

He's not making the law. He's not an "HF owner", he's just the messenger... the article is a reminder of how *all of us* do things, where "all of us" is the hams that came before.

Dan
 
RE: Operating  
by KB5DPE on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"and it really upsets me when someone comes back with a sarcastic response like yours when all someone is trying to do is point out some things that a good ham should work toward."

I can't say that YOUR response upsets me, it's just not that important. If you are upset that I won't cater to a few self-appointed "authorities" that try to impose their way of doing things, good OR bad, on others, that's your problem. I obey all of the laws set down by the ONLY authority over amateur radio, the FCC and I try to be considerate of others during the few times that I actually am on the air, but the monkey business spelled out on this thread is over the top. Once more, and for the last time, I JUST WON'T PLAY THIS STUPID GAME, there are too many ENJOYABLE things for me to do. What don't you understand about "I'm OUTTA HERE"? CASE CLOSED
 
RE: Operating  
by N3OX on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"What don't you understand about "I'm OUTTA HERE"? CASE CLOSED"

Mostly the fact that you're not outta here ;-)

Look, I hope this didn't really scare you away from HF. I'd expected that in your 40+ years as a ham you'd already been there and you were speaking rhetorically for the new hams who might feel put off by this article.

If you've really decided not to get an HF radio and get on the air, that's too bad, unless you actually don't give a @&*# about being a good operator.

Ham radio is a community and needs standards. The FCC does not set all of those standards. Get over it.

Dan
 
RE: Operating  
by KB5DPE on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
One FINAL comment: It amazes me that my disagreement with the procedures is repeatedly quoted, but, NOT ONCE, has the following statement, also mine, been quoted, "I also won't impose MY ideas on others either. There are plenty of other things to do in the electronics hobby." I have repeatedly stated this fact from my very first post.

TRANSLATION: I won't violate the procedures you spell out; I just won't play the game!

It's much more fun to try to make me seem like the "bad guy", isn't it. "If you can't baffle 'em with brilliance, buffalo 'em with bull...."

Good Night! I've wasted far too much time here that I could have used to learn something useful! Shame on me!
 
RE: Operating  
by N3OX on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I also won't impose MY ideas on others either. There are plenty of other things to do in the electronics hobby."

Clearly, I will "impose my ideas" on others if I think they're doing something wrong.

Of course, by "impose my ideas," I mean "suggest an alternative course of action that I think is better."

Maybe I would be incorrect to do so in some cases, but I try not to do it unless I'm pretty sure I'm right. I couldn't care less about the operating style of someone who likes to tinker with stuff and has a ham radio license just so they can make a couple of contacts every once and a while to test some project out.

I do care about the operating style of someone who comes back to my CQ and tells me that I'm "hitting them with nine pounds," and I'd suggest to them that they might get a better response from people if they used amateur radio signal reporting convention.

If that's "imposing," then I'm going to impose away!

Dan
 
Operating  
by K3TJ on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have to agree that the made up phonetics "Micky Three Lions And Tigers And Bears" or the like. Takes me a while to figure out what the heck you said. Hmm, M3LATAB.... far too many letters there for anything less than a special event station.

The one that always gets my attention is the use of "Germany" for "G". In static, you hear the soft "G" and think its a "J".

Stateside, if you want to train a radio operator, get them to join MARS. If they check in, they will learn real fast. The fellowship is fantastic, you have built in elmers and all the help they can give you. Not to mention a completely clear frequency most of the time.

But the royal "WE" irritates me to no end. "Yup, we got you 5 by 9 here at our qth in central PA". Excuse me sir, do you have a mouse in your pocket? Who is "we?"

Of course, if you introduced your dog as well, I figure thats a "we". Dogs count, cats don't care and the mouse probably got crushed in your pocket.

Like the bumper sticker said "MY SHEPARD IS SMARTER THAN YOUR HONOR STUDENT"

I am just trying to introduce a bit of bad humor into this string. It needs it.

Remember, its just radio.

Respectfully, ed k3tj/aar3eq

 
RE: Operating  
by KG6WLS on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I was shocked a few months ago when a licensed ham argued with me because he felt insulted that I called him an 'OM'. He had never heard it used before except in a non-ham, derogatory way... "

Funny you should say that...

I worked a VE station earlier this evening on PSK 40 meters who mentioned TWICE during the QSO their name was Don. After Don signed and 73, I came back with "tnx for the QSO OM, hope to wk u agn and 73 de KG6WLS". It wasn't until I looked in QRZ that the name was actually Donna. Boy, did I feel like kind of silly. That's the fun of working CW and PSK. You never know who your really talking to. Then again, it might have been someone using a call sign that didn't belong to them either.

Nice article, Steve. Once again you've made it quite clear that no one in here is as good as you. I passed the slow 5 WPM test back in Sept., and trying to copy 20 WPM with the upgraded privs. Getting better but, please excuse the newbie here if I make a mistake over the air. Try to work the "slow coders" when they call CQ, instead of spinning that big knob to the lower portion of the band. I learned it and earned it so, give us newbies a chance to learn from you over the air so that WE TOO can be as good as Steve. :-)

--... ...--
-.- --. -.... .-- .-.. ...

Mike

 
RE: Operating  
by NS6Y_ on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
K8MHZ thanks for the offer of help ........ I can set up an antenna on a tripod for operating, just can't leave it out there because it will be stolen, and am not allowed to have anything attached to the structure here. As for an indoor antenna, I could, but I'm on the bottom floor, makes it kind of tricky. I could move to an upper floor apartment which makes things MUCH easier but I move heavy stuff in and out, so it has to be the bottom floor.

And there's the lack of time for hamming, I can certainly operate portable, fool around at HRO, do stuff like that. Truth is, like most good little American slaves these days, I work long hours and there's only so much I can fit in.

BTW I find my little Eton E5 picks up all kinds of neat stuff! Non-directioal beacons, good AM DX'er, lots of ham and all the other good stuff on HF, and has a neat BFO clarifier thingie that means I can listen to USB/LSB not just one like you might think. And it's small enough to fit in a cargo pants pocket, pretty darned neat. The psychos next door clean me out here, I'd rather they take a $140 radio than a $1000 Kenwood, frankly.

It's nice to listen around before drifting off to sleep, listen to some code and some weird stuff hehe.
 
Operating  
by W6AAV on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
There sure is a lot of folks that know the CB lingo. Interesting... I for one perfer the proper use of terms. Keep it simple, the more we practice proper or good radio operating procedures and styles, the more the newcomers or others it will rub off on. We have to lead by example..
 
RE: Operating  
by NN4RH on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
What does WIK-the-Ham-God want? Everyone to stay off the air until they have memorized every official WIK-the-Ham-God approved CW abbreviation and can send flawlessly formed code according to a precision WIK-approved formula and be a Certified Brilliant Conversationalist?

I may not be up to the Standards Of Perfection of WIK-the-Ham-God. I may accidentally pause for a second during a QSO or use an actual word if I forget or don't know the proper old-timey CW abbreviation. I've even been known to use punctuation instead of BT sometimes. I would not want to lessen WIK-the-Ham-God's enjoyment of ham radio by relaxing for even an instant. And WIK Help Me if he heard me send "SK" in the wrong order when signing off.

I would never of course actually answer WIK-the-Ham-God's CQ. I would not be worthy of a such a Divine QSO.



This hobby used to be more fun back in the 70s when I first licensed, when Elmers would teach and give cordial, constructive criticism.

Now there's too many Ham-Gods with "gripes".



 
Operating  
by G6LFT on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well I guess I will add my pet operating hates, I only have three :)

1 I really do get irrationally cross with people who put out a 25 x 1 call on cw.
I am tuning the band and suddenly hear CQ CQ CQ ....
I wait for the call...
still hear CQ CQ CQ CQ ...
should I wait longer??? (I do)
then at last CQ CQ CQ de ?3???
(few milliseconds gap)
CQ CQ CQ CQ etc....

Please, if this is you, give YOUR CALL often, I KNOW you are calling CQ, I want to know WHO YOU ARE!!
Mostly, if I do not hear a call after 5 CQs I move on, I haven't got all day.

2 Again on CW I really don't like 'IS'. name 'IS', QTH 'IS', RST 'IS' etc. My code is a bit shaky and when hear name, QTH or RST I get ready with the pencil. When the next two letters are 'IS' I feel conned and miss the next few important letters!

3 Lastly, I hate made up phonetics. There is a good reason that an international phonetic alphabet exists. If you only catch part of the word then you know what it related to. When I hear 'kilowatt' I always want to write 'KW' and I have to agree that spelling out BOB a few times during a 59 contact is a waste of bandwidth and very boring.

Opps I have one more! incorrect RST reports. I was listening on 40 on Saturday morning. I could only hear one side but he gave the other OM a 59+10, then proceeded to take four (yes 4) overs to correctly get the callsign!

I feel better now! 73 (and definitely not best 73!)






 
RE: Operating  
by NN4RH on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
There were any number of ways this article could have been written to convey information. But WIK-the-Ham-God chose to take an arrogant and bitchy approach.

I don't really give a hoot how many magazine covers WIK-the-Ham-God was on 30 years ago. I base my opinion of him solely on what I see NOW - someone who is a legend in his own mind.

 
RE: Operating  
by W8JII on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
To WA2JJH; His call was W2OY. "No lids, no kids, no space cadets, class A operators only"...........73, Ron
 
Operating  
by WA8VBX on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well I have seen alot of different comments on the subject but the ones that get me are the ones that say Steve didn't mean it this way or that way. Since Steve has not made any further comments on what he actually ment then how does someone know what his actual intentions were?

This is a hobby, and it is suppose to be fun. There are certain things that have been done this way or that way since the beginning but it does not set them in stone, and if the person on the other end is not doing them the way YOU think they should be then are they wrong, No.

I heard back when I was a Novice in 1966 that we should not have 2 meter voice, that we needed to start with cw only or we wouldn't be good operators, well my first contact was on voice, but didn't stop me from working CW, or upgrading before the year was up, but I also made a lot of contacts on 2 meters.

I not sure what Steve was trying to say in this article. It has some good and bad points, but to me it sounded like he was venting.

73
Kurt
K8YZK(King Eight Young Zany Kook)
 
RE: Operating  
by N4CQR on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have read this article twice and I find nothing about it condescending, arrogant or mean. Perhaps there are some thin skinned readers out there.

J C S
 
RE: Operating  
by WB2TQC on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I want to echo the comments by N4CQR. I fully understand the intent of Steve's post and agree with it as well. I don't believe it was meant to be mean spirited or demanding. One of the things that led me into Ham Radio from CB in the 70's was the proffesionalism of its operators. I have always enjoyed the hobby. I might waste a little more time than Steve thinks is proper but I do it while keeping in mind those things that brought me here in the first place. A structured, decent, self-policing, and adventurous hobby that you had to work for to enjoy.

73,

John - WB2TQC
 
RE: Operating  
by K8MHZ on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I have read this article twice and I find nothing about it condescending, arrogant or mean. Perhaps there are some thin skinned readers out there.

J C S"

Bingo!

Additionally there are a few that erroneously view recalcitrance as a virtue.

The response to Steve's meritorious article is just as enlightening as the article itself. So many ways for the childish insolent to say "Your not the boss of me."

Hardly impressive.

Thanks to Steve for writing the article.
 
RE: Operating  
by K3NG on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>There sure is a lot of folks that know the CB lingo. Interesting...

Actually, many here who think they know CB lingo really don't, or at least aren't up to date. I'm not a CBer, but the frequently-troll-quoted "Good buddy" doesn't mean the same thing now that it did in the 70s. If you call a truck driver a good buddy today, he's probably going to run you off the road or worse :-)

http://www.cbgazette.com/slang.html

Even the "worst" hams don't come close to using a significant portion of CB slang.

I like their definition of "QSL":

"QSL - Term used on SSB for "Roger"; i.e.- "QSL on that". While the Q signals were originally used on CW in the Amateur Radio Service, and often are the butt of complaints, they have found their way into CB’s society, and live with them we must."

....kinda funny how ham radio has "polluted" CB, ironically with Q signals... :-)
 
Operating  
by K6YE on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve,

Your article was great and generated some interesting posts.

Semper Fi,

Tommy - K6YE
DX IS
 
RE: Operating  
by AF9J on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
NS6Y - "K8MHZ thanks for the offer of help ........ I can set up an antenna on a tripod for operating, just can't leave it out there because it will be stolen, and am not allowed to have anything attached to the structure here. As for an indoor antenna, I could, but I'm on the bottom floor, makes it kind of tricky. I could move to an upper floor apartment which makes things MUCH easier but I move heavy stuff in and out, so it has to be the bottom floor."

I feel for you. It sounds like you live in a bad part of town. I live in an apartment too - Have you possibly considered doing like what I've done? - a stealth antenna. In my case, I load up the rain gutter of my building (it's nice and long - about 125 to 150 feet). If you're on the first floor, feed the rain gutter from a downspout (I know a ham who did this years ago, with good results). All you need is a small wire, and alligator clip or clamp it to a clean part of the gutter (clean off any oxidation on the gutter or downspout surface - this can cause TVI/RFI), and seal the feedpoint with caulk to help prevent corrosion.

Results may vary - sometimes rain gutter antennas are cloud warmers, the one I'm using now, is actually pretty good even for DX (I used it in the ARRL 160m Contest this last December, and I may have even won the QRP class for Wisconsin [I made 134 QSOs]). Still it beats always having to operate protable when you want to do some hamming (especially if you don't feel like going anywhere).

73,
Ellen - AF9J
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Avocation? NO! Hobby, passtime, time-available preoccupation, maybe; but NOT avocation. If I decide to choose an avocation it will be something like a WalMart greeter, part time cook, hardware store clerk, etc. Amateur radio is NOT an avocation. "

Maybe YOU do it as a business, but by definition, Amateur radio is an avocation. WalMart greeter is not an avocation. They actually PAY those people.

Definition: "av·o·ca·tion / –noun 1. something a person does in addition to a principal occupation, esp. for pleasure; hobby: Our doctor's avocation is painting. "
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I really do get irrationally cross with people who put out a 25 x 1 call on cw.
I am tuning the band and suddenly hear CQ CQ CQ ....
I wait for the call...
still hear CQ CQ CQ CQ ...
should I wait longer??? (I do)
then at last CQ CQ CQ de ?3???
(few milliseconds gap)
CQ CQ CQ CQ etc.... "

Oh, YES. Well said, and not just on CW. You hear that on SSB too. The proper practice (in virtually all the "starter" books"), is a 3x3. Like this (and it doesn't matter if you're on CW or fone):

CQ CQ CQ de A1ABC A1ABC A1ABC k ... then LISTEN! And tune a tad either side of your frequency if you have a good receiver.

(On fone it would be:
"CQ CQ CQ this is A1ABC Alpha One Alpha Bravo Charlie A1ABC over" (or "go ahead")
- and don't say "listening" It is evident that you are listening. If you weren't going to listen, why would you call? Exception: "listening up 2" is frequent and proper.)
 
RE: Operating  
by N5EAT on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I somewhat agree with Steve. Many years ago I had a cw qso with a Cuban who did not speak English. I spoke very little Spanish. However, using the standard CW exchange format we were able to chat about 15 minutes using just Q codes.

I also agree that you should keep it short unless you're pretty sure that the band is not in on-and-off mode. These days on-and-off is the rule, not the exception.

Someone brought up not using CB lingo, etc. I fully agree with this. However, I've never been able to see the general dislike of the 'roger beep'. A little "peep" when the mic is unkeyed is pretty distinctive - especially when the band is lousy.
 
RE: Operating  
by KX8N on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I can set up an antenna on a tripod for operating, just can't leave it out there because it will be stolen"

I lived in a place where I had a bag of apples stolen that I had left outside because it was cold.

However, if you put a vertical on a tripod, all you have to do is take it down when you're done operating. I used an Outbacker Perth Plus mobile antenna mounted on the ground-coupled tripod that Outbacker sells. Setup and teardown time are about 5 minutes each. I liked it so well that when I moved to a better place, I kept it, and that's still what I use. Worked Spain just last weekend with it, and we know what kind of propagation we've been having.
 
Operating  
by W1YW on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The jargon, protocols, and abbreviations that have now stood more than 70 years of use were born out of good operating practice. That practice emerged from the need of getting accurate info with minimum need of redundancy, in a noisy (both natural and man-made), QSB-ridden propagation medium.

The medium hasn't changed. So why should the protocols of good operating practice?

Do YOU have something better?

No one has replaced the international Morse code in 80 years...so I tend to think that , using this as an example, we should continue to use conventions of protocol that ALREADY work.

Otherwise it just becomes a whispering gallery in the Tower of Babel...
 
RE: Operating  
by AC9HE on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well everyone is entitled to their opinion, so that makes it so I may have my own. I know that this site (eham.com) is not radio. But I have went to a few of the local area ham meetings and have noticed that the existing hams, no matter the limit of their education or knowledge of life, tent to be very rude, arrogant, condescending and “better than you” attitude. I would assume that there are quite a few long time operators in this hobby that have a vast abyss of knowledge to offer new licensed hams. But, as in anything that involves teaching, force feeding someone with rudeness and arrogance isn’t going to produce a very willing student. Remember that some of these operators although not accomplished in this hobby, most certainly may be very educated and knowledgeable in other areas. Some with masters’ degrees, bachelors’ degrees, technical degrees and some that are very intelligent in their own right. Most of these people, because of their nature will be willing to return to the status of student to obtain their desired education in this field, but not at the expense of being talked down to and belittled by some one who is close minded and ignorant on matters of elmering. This cycle that I read in this forum is redundant and I assume that it will continue on this course until a new method of nurturing in new arrivals is adopted. Soon there will be a great influx of new operators into this hobby with the same “legal” rights to the airways as long time operators. No matter your elmering techniques, this will not change the fact that soon the old school methods will either be adopted through more desired coaching or those who chose to teach like a fool……. Will be the minority and could find themselves shunned by the new order. Wake up, smell the coffee and offer someone a cup with tact.
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
KC9AHG - Good points. But first, maybe you should find a better club. Personally, I have been in a lot of clubs over my career (moving a lot) and have never found such a group. Guess I'm just lucky!

If he is talking about YOU, guys, grow up!! The arrogant, condescending attitude I hear about is nothing but immaturity. It makes you look small.

If you have been here a while, hopefully you have learned something that is worth sharing. Hopefully, also, you have learned that there is a right way and a wrong way to teach something. Put yourself in the newcomer's shoes. Remember, you were there once!
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Oops, darn!! My post above is directed at the excellent comments of KC9HGJ. I apologize for butchering your call. (Ouch!)
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The jargon, protocols, and abbreviations that have now stood more than 70 years of use were born out of good operating practice. That practice emerged from the need of getting accurate info with minimum need of redundancy, in a noisy (both natural and man-made), QSB-ridden propagation medium.

The medium hasn't changed. So why should the protocols of good operating practice?"

You are 100% correct. Good operating practices do NOT change.
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Another one: Why do some people feel the need to announce to the world (usually on 2m) that their receiver is turned on?
 
RE: Operating  
by K3NG on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>Another one: Why do some people feel the need to announce to the world (usually on 2m) that their receiver is turned on?

If you mean something like "K1ABC listening" on a repeater, probably because it's not customary to call CQ on a repeater.
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"If you mean something like "K1ABC listening" on a repeater, probably because it's not customary to call CQ on a repeater. "

Yup. It makes absolutely no sense that "CQ" is used everywhere but a repeater. It still means "calling any station". What is wrong with calling any station on a repeater? "Listening" is passive - it is not actively seeking a response.
 
RE: Operating  
by K2GW on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>>A plea to all phone operators, please use the correct phonetic alphabet.

>>Whiskey Niner Alpha Delta Yankee is a lot clearer to hams who do not have English as their first language than Walter Nine Adam David Yokahama.

I totally agree, but to be extremely correct the standard phonetic letter for "A" is the made-up word "Alfa", not the Greek letter Alpha. When ICAO/NATO was first developing the current alphabet, they found that Alpha in some languages would be pronounced ALP-HA, so they simply respelled it as Alfa.

All of the other letters use real words, but in the service we always got some literature major trying to "correct" the word Alfa in the training materials. ;-)

73

Gary, K2GW

 
Operating  
by AA4LR on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

You know, Steve, I wonder if some part of this poor Phone operation comes from never operating CW.

And, no, I'm not being some kind of anti-NO CODE snob here. I'm just thinking back to the old paradigm when most hams came into the ranks by first being a Novice, learning the procedures, and then upgrading to Phone. (Or the really old, old paradigm before the Novice when guys started off on CW because that was about all there was...)

Most folks are familiar with the now 50-odd year old "You Novice Accent" article by W6DTY. (If you haven't seen it, you can find a copy here: http://www.qsl.net/kc7eqw/novice_accent.htm)

W6DTY makes many of the same points that you do, Steve:

- How to answer a CQ
- Keeping things brief and to the point
- Responding to questions directly
- Giving report, location and name, in that order.
- long-winded operators
- Proper use of Prosigns on CW.
- Improper use of R (eg R R R R R BUT MISSED EVERYTHING OM)

Once we'd been indoctrinated into these procedures on CW, transferring them to Phone communications was pretty straightforward. The new breed of hams coming to the HF bands won't have the benefit of that experience. Perhaps a bit of gentle instruction (or just being positive examples on the air) will help these newbies improve their skills.

Interesting point about some CW operators not being able to hold up their end of the conversation. I suppose I may have been guilty about this on occasion. Sometimes you just have a glitch and miss some bit of copy so you really didn't understand clearly what the other operator wanted.

Or perhaps you can't copy well beyond the formulaic RST, QTH, NAME, RIG, WX, 73 -type of contact.

I had a blast this last SKN, operating a homebrew crystal-controlled rig, but my CW was kinda rusty to get into much long-winded conversation. Plus, after a couple of hours, my arm was getting real tired.
 
RE: Operating  
by AD5TD on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"RE: Operating Reply
by WA0SAP on February 18, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This is a true story. Last Sunday morning listening to 40 phone band while answering email, two guys engaged in QSO, when I heard, "Contact". One of the other guys says, "Go Contact". "This is KC4XXX, I just wanted to check in with NO TRAFFIC." "KC4XXX this is W5YYY, this is not a net, we are having a conversation, if you would like to join us, you are welcome." "QSL, just what you to know you are FULL QUIETING into Memphis, TN. QSL?"

I was going to say more, but why? God help us all.
"

Just wait till the 24th...
 
RE: Operating  
by K8MHZ on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Yup. It makes absolutely no sense that "CQ" is used everywhere but a repeater. It still means "calling any station". What is wrong with calling any station on a repeater? "Listening" is passive - it is not actively seeking a response."

I have found that simply asking if anyone is around works as a fine replacement for calling CQ.

Yes, 'listening' is passive. When I simply want to let my pals know I am on the air I issue my call and add 'listening' sometimes. More often than not I just say my call.

If I want to yak and no one has called me, I issue my call and ask if there is anyone around. It works almost all the time.

 
RE: Operating  
by K3NG on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>>"If you mean something like "K1ABC listening" on a repeater, probably because it's not customary to call CQ on a repeater. "

>Yup. It makes absolutely no sense that "CQ" is used everywhere but a repeater. It still means "calling any station". What is wrong with calling any station on a repeater? "Listening" is passive - it is not actively seeking a response.

OK, I thought you were implying it is bad operating practice to say that you are listening, you're questioning the protocol itself. You have a point, but really it's just semantics. Does it matter if the protocol is "CQ from K1ABC" or "K1ABC listening"? Everyone knows that despite saying you are listening, you're really seeking a contact with anyone. CQ always seemed to me like it was intended for less than ideal conditions where you were going to repeat much information for clarity, such as in a 3 x 3 CQ. Most calls into repeaters are full quieting, and don't require much verbiage to solicit a contact.
 
RE: Operating  
by K3NG on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>Just wait till the 24th...

Yea, that's when everyone will start complaining about CBers on our bands and poor ettiquette. Oh wait, everyone does that now and has been doing it for the last 30 years.
 
Operating  
by VE6XL on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Like most things a balance needs to be reached. If you hear an operator that needs some guidance resist the urge to blast them and try to show them the way. We were all new once remember?

Often a polite email after the fact is a much better approach, rather than embarassing someone on the air.

Use discretion and pick your battles. Everyone has something to offer, being welcoming first and offering sound advice second will make the bands a better place.

I am not sure about all of you, but I still recall my first Amateur contact and I know I used some "CB" jargon in my first conversations. Luckily I had a group of fogiving folks that were tolerant and slowly broke me of those poor habits.

73!
 
RE: Operating  
by N0RZT on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
K3NG: "CQ always seemed to me like it was intended for less than ideal conditions where you were going to repeat much information for clarity, such as in a 3 x 3 CQ"

I suppose this is an example of why the known good practices are good practices - there's more than one reason for them. As I see it, the 3x3 CQ format serves two purposes. As noted here, it provides listeners three opportunities to hear the caller's callsign.

In my limited experience, though, it also strikes a balance in giving a call long enough for someone on a tuning through the band to tune to the caller, without being so long as to be annoying to someone who's ready to go from the first dah.

Take care,
Chris,
N0RZT/8
 
RE: Operating  
by KB3CS on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
N0CTI: if your BPSK demodulator is instrumented, then RST is entirely useful.

R(eadability) -> Error rate
S(trength) -> Signal to noise ratio
T(one) -> Intermodulation distortion

an over-driven transmitter will reduce "T"
a weak signal near the noise floor will reduce "S"
QRN and QRM can cause symbol losses and reduce "R"

if you switch your display to Spectrum instead of Waterfall, you'll be able to judge RST by eye if your software does not provide an RST readout.
 
Operating (Thank you, Steve!!!)  
by W1YB on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Steve,

Just a quick note to say I really appreciate your comments.

I was QRT for 25 years and I was quite dismayed when I returned to the hobby early last year.

Thanks to all of those who provided additional positive contributions to good operating practice. That education can only help the Hobby.

I try to achieve with my operating practices what I believe led to my original Elmer's A-1 Operator Award.

Thanks again!

73 W1YB Johnne

 
RE: Operating  
by PLANKEYE on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve:

I think you made some very good points, for whatever my opinion here is worth. There is alot of information out there for operators who wish to make contacts the right way. But, you have to take the time to look and have the motivation to do better and to learn. None of us are perfect. If people read your article with their eyes open, hopefully they will learn something. Thanks for a nice article Steve.

PLANKEYE
 
RE: Operating (Thank you, Steve!!!)  
by KC9GUZ on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Why does every other post on a ham forum refer to new hams or hams that make a few little mistakes as CBers?
 
RE: Operating  
by W1YB on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Hey SSB,

The FCC could not govern the Amateur Service if there lives depended on it.

We both know what you "...hate about this hobby..." is that your Log In is 'SSB' rather than a valid Amateur Radio Service call sign.

 
RE: Operating  
by KE4DRN on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
hi,

Good article, I'm open to anything that will help me make more contacts.

73 james

 
Operating  
by KE4ZHN on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Is it just me, or is the tone of this article very condescending? I wonder what its like to know everything there is to know about amateur radio and be the perfect ham.
 
RE: Operating  
by K5PHW on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the article Steve.
To those who are taking shots, write you own and let the
rest of us know how you feel. 73
 
RE: Operating  
by KJ5KX on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>>Is it just me, or is the tone of this article very condescending? I wonder what its like to know everything there is to know about amateur radio and be the perfect ham.<<

It's you. If a person reads an article like this with an open mind, they may learn something they DIDN'T know. That's the idea.
 
RE: Operating  
by N4SL on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ham Radio Today:

"Hey You Kids, Get Out Of My Yard!!"
 
RE: Operating  
by KJ5KX on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
...as the kids line the trees with TP. :P
 
RE: Operating  
by G3LBS on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I must say I have always enjoyed and used the folklore of ham radio and also the occasional departure from it - like -
Being called 'Old Boy' instead of 'Old Man' by English aristocrats, like Queen Camilla, and being called
G three London Bus Shelter.
Buffalo Gil W2/G3LBS
 
RE: WIK's way, or QRT  
by THERAGE on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Real newbies can be forgiven almost anything; but I hear a lot of people who've been on the air for months or years, still operating poorly."

Yup, and I'm sure that there will be a bunch of forgiving to the "gimmie crowd" come Feb. 24. Get ready...here they come!!
 
Operating  
by AA8X on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It will only get worst after February 23, 2007.
 
RE: Operating  
by KI4GLH on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Next horse please!
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"As I see it, the 3x3 CQ format serves two purposes. As noted here, it provides listeners three opportunities to hear the caller's callsign.

In my limited experience, though, it also strikes a balance in giving a call long enough for someone on a tuning through the band to tune to the caller, without being so long as to be annoying to someone who's ready to go from the first dah.

Take care,
Chris,
N0RZT/8"

Excellent points, Chris. Agree fully.
 
RE: Operating  
by WA1RNE on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

Buy a handbook or two and learn the accepted operating practices, get on the air and above all - LISTEN. That's all that's needed. You don't need to recite the procedures to perfection, but some facsimile will make the learning process smoother for you.


For everyone's sake, a little patience will go a long way, especially towards new hams.


I really doubt that anyone on this forum can say they weren't the least bit nervous the first time the called a station, especially on Phone.


....and never in all my years on CW did I ever lose patience with a new ham who didn't recite perfect operating procedures or sent his name before his signal report, etc. I just figured he or she was a little green and figured they would eventually get the hang of it.


I still have QSL cards from over 30 years ago with notes thanking me for hanging in there with them. Isn't that's what this is all about?



WA1RNE
 
Operating  
by KG6TT on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Over 40 years as a ham.... I understand the concept behind your article... but you are SO RIGID in what you believe to be acceptable. Sorry to disappoint. This is a hobby not a profession. On one hand it is good to mentor other individuals so that they understand why some operating practices may tend to be more 'effective' under some conditions than others, but to emphatically want 'cookie-cutter' repetition.... Well, I get enough of that during contesting and perhaps DXing. For everyday QSOs I really don't mind a bit of flavor.... errr... personality leaking into the exchanges.

So even though I know all the abbreviations... I know the 'format', etc... I simply don't always use them. I probably use a different rig than you do too... and as far as antennas are concerned... well? So, as I stated I appreciate your concerns but I don't necessarily agree. Consequently, I don't mind if you don't come back to me. That is your choice. :) After all, I find 'rigidly formatted' exchanges a bit boring myself. :)
 
RE: Operating  
by PLANKEYE on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
NOAH POSTED THIS:

WB2WIK/6....................perhaps if you would change your call sign to match your district, you might sound as if you know what you are talking about-

PLANKEYE POSTED THIS:

The reason I put NOAH'S post up again, is so people can see it again. A person can respond with disagreement without disrespect. Some choose not to. I spoke earlier about this article. Some can learn from this article, if they read it with their eyes open.

PLANKEYE

 
RE: Operating  
by K8MHZ on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"This is a hobby not a profession."

Actually, it is neither. The word 'hobby' appears nowhere in Part 97.

We are described by the FCC as a service, a licensed service to be precise.

Nothing in 97.1 (Purpose and intent) denigrates amateur radio to a mere hobby.

If you want a hobby I suggest quilting. Anything goes in quilting! No rules, all fun, no responsibility.
 
RE: Operating  
by WA9SVD on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
AB8XA on February 18, 2007 "My way gives the report FIRST, which is protocol, and for a reason."

Care to share that reason?

Seems to me RST is meaningless without knowing QTH (which tells you distance) first.

-------------------------------------

Your logic fails me. How does distance affect the RST report?
Do you give a different RST report to a station 3000 miles away versus one only 300 miles away? Or 30 miles away?

RST isn't a variable scale due to distance. At least, I've never seen it presented in ANY operating manual as such. Check out the various manuals; your library may have some old ones, too. I don't think you'll see a single reference to RST being determined or affected in any way by distance.
 
RE: Operating  
by AB8XA on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Posted By WA9SVD
"How does distance affect the RST report?"

The "S" in RST stands for signal strength, right? What happens to signal strength as distance increases?

"Do you give a different RST report to a station 3000 miles away versus one only 300 miles away? Or 30 miles away?"

Lets turn your question around where there's one transmitted signal. Would you expect the same signal report from those three stations?

Can you share the reasoning behind sending RST first?
 
RE: Operating  
by KE4ZHN on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Thank you for your words of wisdom Tim. The next time I need help understanding something I`ll be sure to have you explain it to me.
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Does it matter if the protocol is "CQ from K1ABC" or "K1ABC listening"? Everyone knows that despite saying you are listening, you're really seeking a contact with anyone. "

Probably not. But there is a difference to most of us. If I'm casually monitoring, and I hear someone say they are listening, I may or may not call them. If they say CQ or even "Anyone there?" then I will almost always answer. It does make a difference.

It's different from people coming on 2m (or any band) and saying "QRZ?" when nobody is calling them. That is just plain wrong, and should never be answered - unless you WERE the one calling them, of course.
 
RE: Operating  
by K8MHZ on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The "S" in RST stands for signal strength, right? What happens to signal strength as distance increases?"

Strong is strong no matter how far away and weak is weak no matter how close by the station may be.

The report is how strong the signal is at the receiving station. Sure, the signal will get weaker as distance increases, but signal strength also depends on propagation and the quality of both party's antennas.

As soon as a signal is heard an RS or RST can be accurately given.
 
RE: Operating  
by AB8XA on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
K8MHZ writes:
"The report is how strong the signal is at the receiving station. Sure, the signal will get weaker as distance increases, but signal strength also depends on propagation and the quality of both party's antennas."

I understand that. But my point is the signal report will be more meaningful to me if I know where it's coming from. And that's not only distance, but direction, if I've modeled my antenna and want to compare to that, given certain propagation. Or as someone suggested earlier, I want to rotate a beam in that direction.

Now, all this being said, sure, the QTH should shortly follow the RST, but why not the other way around?

The author said there's a reason for RST first, but didn't give it.

Can YOU tell me what that reason is? No one else so far seems to be able to.
 
RE: Operating  
by AC7NA on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The reason for immediately sending a signal report is to determine if you can maintain contact, REGARDLESS OF THE OTHER STATION'S LOCATION. That's why honest RST reports are important. Don't flatter me w/ 599s all the time if my signal doesn't warrant it, you're not doing either of us any favors.

If you can't maintain contact, not much else matters...
 
RE: Operating  
by AC7NA on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Signal reports are also important because the minimum requirement to confirm a "valid" contact includes the time, callsign, band, and RST. Callsign and RST are the minimum requirements you need to obtain from the other station (assuming you can read your own wristwatch and freq dial).

Brian
 
RE: Operating  
by NS6Y_ on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I suggest that all Americans speak American.

Say it with me now!

Perfer
Perteck
Perfesshunul


It seems to be required on American broadcast radio, and it's refreshing to see it spelled that way, "Perfer", here.
 
RE: Operating  
by AB8XA on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
First, thanks Brian for the answers.

"The reason for immediately sending a signal report is to determine if you can maintain contact, REGARDLESS OF THE OTHER STATION'S LOCATION. That's why honest RST reports are important. Don't flatter me w/ 599s all the time if my signal doesn't warrant it, you're not doing either of us any favors.

If you can't maintain contact, not much else matters..."

Agree, but I'd think both sides copy of the initial call and reply would be at least as good an indicator of that as a questionable, if flattering RST.

"Signal reports are also important because the minimum requirement to confirm a "valid" contact includes the time, callsign, band, and RST. Callsign and RST are the minimum requirements you need to obtain from the other station (assuming you can read your own wristwatch and freq dial)."

I suspected this was the real reason--so those who don't care about your name and where you are can quit copying after they get what they need from you.

Have a good night.
 
RE: Operating  
by KL7IPV on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Great points, Steve. I also get a little crazed when I hear the same stuff. I KNEW you would get slammed about the article just because so many don't want to admit when they make the same mistakes. I also happy that many agree and try to emulate your radio use too.

I also learned something. I am not a CW guy and I didn't know that a question mark indicated that the sender was going to repeat a phrase. I will remember that one. As for those complaining about your callsign out of area, so what? Mine is too and will always be since the FCC rules now allow it. Use a book or eHam to see where I am. But you see, I save you the trouble because I say where I am when I call CQ on phone or tell you up front in CW. I wouldn't want anyone to waste their time talking to me since I am in Las Vegas and NOT Alaska.

Good stuff, Steve. I think you are one the consistent ones that try to help and have the experience to know what you're talking about. Thanks again.
73,
Frank
KL7IPV
 
RE: Operating  
by K5WOB on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
N4SL said:
Ham Radio Today:
"Hey You Kids, Get Out Of My Yard!!"
___________________

Oh, that one made laugh out loud! For some reason, I'm reminded of adult characters out of Ren and Stimpy.

I agree with much of what Steve wrote, but I find his attitude towards struggling CW OPS curious. Maybe they are the older ones--who should know better--he's referring to, and not the newbies?

73 to all
Alan
 
RE: Operating  
by KC9AGG on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Being a gentleman or a believing Christian who follows the footsteps of Jesus would certainly be a nice requirement to obtain an amateur license, but it's not. You can be a depraved self centered egotistic SOB and the FCC will still grant you a license regardless. We live in a fallen and depraved world, it's a fact, it's everywhere and in your face. That being true why is it so hard to accept the realities that are amateur radio today, which is only a reflection of the world and the people in it."

carefull,carefull, my friend--there are plenty of fakes out there as far as Christains go---and therefore not a good criterion for a courteous, skillfull operator...being a gentlemman is a better description, since it's not exclusionary...i know practicing buddhists that are more thoughtfull, compassionate, and accomodating than many church goers. i love all those who feel that courtesy and an even demeanor are always appropriate, on and off the airwaves...and yes, i've made my share of mistakes , too.
ham radio can be a training ground for how to communicate effectively with others--how to accept criticism, and how to develop tolerance to other's opinions. i find this aspect of the hobby enriching and challenging--we all need to improve our communication skills.
oh, and no, the world isn't going to hell---it's changing--because change is what the universe does.
interesting ideas in the original post...
 
Operating  
by N0IU on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
KC9AGG wrote, "ham radio can be a training ground for how to communicate effectively with others--how to accept criticism, and how to develop tolerance to other's opinions. i find this aspect of the hobby enriching and challenging--we all need to improve our communication skills."

These are among the same things we learn my Masonic lodge.

Scott N0IU
 
Article Suggestion  
by K4RAF on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
While trying to teach behavioral modifications, why not an article called:

"The Proper Diet, Exercise & Daily Hygiene for Ham Operators" ???

More necessary than restrictive "fine business" operating conformity...

K4RAF
wifidx@gmail.com
 
Operating  
by KI5BC on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Just a quick note on phonetics. I love to work our WW2 hams. Just my cup of tea. I have noticed that their hearing is a bit of a challenge at times. I like to use the older phonetics if they have trouble with my call, and I have yet to have one mess that up. I'm no expert, but it seems those older phonetics are glued up there in the grey matter. But that's the only others I'll use. I don't like to muddy the water. I have a hard enough time speaking English, due to my fluency in Texan.

73 de King Item 5 Baker Charlie
 
RE: Operating  
by KF4HR on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Am I the only one that sees this thread becoming more and more harilous? (Hopefully not.)

We've got Christians are claiming "proper church ways" should be a component of getting a ham ticket. (Sorry folks, all other religions need not apply!)

Arugments over 73 versus 73's?! (Do boarder line nutcase comes to mind?)

Proper phonetics! (Yes. You joined the military when the FCC issued your license. Didn't you get the memo?)

The amateur community is heading downhill because CW mode is going away. (Argh! The sky is falling!)

And not even the digital modes do not pass muster because some are upset over mindless PSK31 Macro's!

It's understandable why some (above) are swearing off HF because of this thread. (To that individual... Please realize this thread represents only a fraction of the amateur mindset (thank God). I encourage you to continue your efforts to work toward the higher class licenses and getting on HF.)

The funny part is, this thread is shooting at a target, which is pretty darn elusive! Ask 100 hams what they think the "proper operatiing procedures" should be, and you'll get nearly 100 answers. With multiple variations! So who is right?

Folks, the FCC is right. They issued our license and they make the rules and regs, sorry but that's it. You can't sing on-the-air (thank you FCC), you can't transmit outside your authorized band segments, and you can't run 5,000 watts (DX'ers shhhhh...), and all the rest of the REAL rules and regs. Everything else is home-made protocol that has been developed over the years by... yep, you and me! But as great as protocol is (to some), it doesn't amount to a hill of beans, when it comes to the FCC regs. Yes it's good to hear "UR RST is 599...", but if the guy (or gal) tells me, "I hear you well. 100%", is my world going to fall apart? Not hardly... Whoa! Wait a darn minute!!! Who gave permission for "RST IS 5NN?!?!?!" :^))

Actually I might appreciate this type of person for thinking outside the box a bit. And with a mindset like that... who knows... that person might go on to invent the next break-through in communications! Will Mr. Protocol (or Mr. Elmer) create that next break-through? Jeeze... I seriously doubt it.

It's no wonder the infamous; CALL-NAME-RST-QTH-73-CALL, has become so popular. Step outside the box a bit and who knows... you may NOT be keeping in-line with everyones "OPERATING PROTOCOL"! Oow! CAN'T DO THAT!

But for all you protocol nuts out there, I'm happy to report hope is just around the corner. During a drive home from work the other day, I wandered upon a solution that will solve this whole situation, and make everyone happy.

The solution is called PGS, or Protocol Grading System; steps 10 through 1. With 10 being the highest-obsolute-straightest-standard protocol, and 1 being the Hillbillie protocol. It'll go something like this:

PROTOCOL RATING 10 - Highest standards on standard phonetics, only the proper religion (this one might be tough), only the highest standards on the minimum power required (constantly variable power level transmitters and transceivers are a must), only talk about certain subjects, minimize all jibberish, no "Ahhhh's" allowed, no 8-dits allowed, speak english perfectly & clearly (no mistakes allowed), no rag-chewing unless it meets certain standards, NEVER say 73's -> only 73, speech compression turned on only when necessary, only the highest family values can be discussed (car accidents, bad or scary newscasts, "R" or above rated movies, etc -> forbidden). Issues in the news can only be discussed after being screened by the "Protocol Board." And only individuals at the PhD education level will be permitted to use Protocol 10. Oh, and of course Extra Class amateurs only. Minimum family income of at least $200K, with no more than 15% debt, minimum debt rating of 720, and no traffic violations of any kind.

PROTOCOL RATING'S 9 through 2 - varying and decreasing values from the above. (We'll work out the details later.)

RATING 1 - Someone that doesn't care to participate in the ratings 2 through 10, but never-the-less always follows the FCC rules and regulations.

Now... all that's required is, when we give our callsign, add your rating Protocol Rating (P10 through P1), after your call. That way all the people that get upset with "73's" or non-standard phonetics and all these other terrible operating procedures can talk to "their own protocol types", and the amateur world can once again be a happy place.

All this seem funny to some? I hope so. For the rest of you, my suggestions are two-fold; 1) please get a life, and 2) try to develop some tolerance towards your fellow amateurs. I'm terrible sorry, but not everyone sees the world as you do.
 
RE: Operating  
by AD5TD on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I thought about posting this last night, but thought better of it. Then the last post did it. So true.

Reminds me of the saying: Arguing over the Internet is like running in the Special Olympics, even if you win, you're still a retard.
 
RE: Operating (Thank you, Steve!!!)  
by KC6TOA on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
> Why does every other post on a ham forum refer to new hams or hams that make a few little mistakes as CBers?

I grep this page for "CB", i see no less than 43 hits.
Maybe there is a deeper meaning here.
 
RE: Operating  
by EXWA2SWA on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
KF4HR sez: "NEVER say 73's -> only 73, ..."

Oh my, oh dear: One SAYS "My best to you and yours"; one KEYS "73".

That's gotta be at least a half-point off ...

Jim NS5M
 
RE: Operating  
by ICR71A on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"LO I the man, whose Muse whilome did maske,
As time her taught, in lowly Shepheards weeds,
Am now enforst a far vnfitter taske,
For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds,
And sing of Knights and Ladies gentle deeds;
Whose prayses hauing slept in silence long,
Me, all too meane, the sacred Muse areeds
To blazon broad emongst her learned throng:
Fierce warres and faithfull loues shall moralize my song."

Did you get that? Why, it's very appropriate to this discussion, and summarizes the debate. It is Edmund Spenser, the intro stanza to the Faerie Queene, and published in 1590. Hmmmm, looks like language has changed a little.

Bad operating practice is bad operating practice. Overmodulation, excessive power, no consideration for others whilst tuning up, failing to identify the station, cursing, cutesy abbreviations and colloquialisms that are hard to understand, etcetera. Just as general language changes,so gradually will ham jargon. However, as the author of this thread notes, it is the job of the community to shape it into an accepted set of use guidelines.

NE3U Wrote:

"Becoming an amateur by memorizing the exact answers with no code requirement will IMO only quicken the pace of what many OT amateurs consider a deadly decline into chaos..."

I wish that everyone would get off of this. A certain number of prospective ops have always just memorized the element pool. Being able to copy 5 or 13 or any other arbitrary speed of Morse does not make anyone technically competent, a good person, or get them into heaven. It simply means that they can copy Morse code. Technology and consumerism are more a cause for the "dilution" of ARS than code.

One poster noted that years ago it took quite a bit of time to get one's ticket by mail. That the interim period was spent learning, listening, and associating. All true. But now we live in a world of instant gratification, and "Out of the Box" satisfaction. Many coming into the HOBBY will never have or obtain the equipment necessary to do anything inside the case. Appliance operators? Sure. Does it make them less human, or worthy of participating? Nope. Likewise, are contesters better than ragchewers? Coders supreme to phone operators? Bovine fertilizer. Let's learn to get along, and find better ways of communicating certain "agreed upon conventions" rather than lambasting each other.

I would write more, but I need to get back to memorizing Element 4....
 
Operating  
by WA8VBX on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I like the comment about out of the box operation. If the other operator doesn't fit your style of operation(box) does it make them wrong?
I like to swap stories, talk about my kids, grandkids,pets,job and other hobbies. Some will continue to talk, alot just want name,rst,qth, and county,grid square and not necessarily in that order, then it is 73's SK.
Listen to one of the work all nets and you hear your report is nickle, nickle or deuce deuce, or go ahead ac8xxx send your report to who ever. Are those valid contacts when you have a go between, well some nets and operations say they are. They are out of the box in my opinion but not necessarily a valid contact in my opinion also, but it is their style of operation.

Now for phonics talk to any WWII radio operator or look at what was used and it is not the same as today. My mom (KA8LIC, SK) was told on a repeater that she could not use Lady In Charge, guess what she told the other station, as she was always the Lady In Charge

I am all for out of the box contacts,if I can carry on a converation with someone I don't care if I am 5x5 or 5X9. I am actually looking forward to Feb 23rd and plan on being on 10 meters to make more out of the box(safety zone) contacts.

73
Kurt
K8YZK (20wpm Extra)

 
RE: Operating  
by WB2WIK on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The "?" to indicate "I'm going to repeat this" is pretty old hat. OTs were using this when I was a kid, but that was 40 years ago. They don't really use it today, and I can understand why (I dropped it, too)...

...it's superfluous. If you're going to repeat something, just go ahead and do it. You don't need to warn someone, "Here it comes, again."

Kind of like "BTs." Used to be really popular with the OTs, not so much today, and I can get that one, too. The double dash is a break in subject, or in thought. But I don't feel I need to use it. If I send:

"UR RST 599 HR QTH LOS ANGELES OP STEVE STEVE HW?"

I've changed the subject three times, but don't really see the need for "BTs." Just a time waster, for me, like "ummmms" interlacing a phone conversation.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Operating  
by WB2WIK on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>"If I'm not a good conversationalist, proficient with small talk, then there's no place for me?"

Steve wasn't aiming primarily at people who are bad conversationalists. They're self-selected out. That's not mean or nasty either; if you don't like talking with strangers, you're probably not going do make many contacts.<

::I think there's a place in ham radio for everyone with an interest in the hobby, whether they're good conversationalists, or not. There are still tinkerers, experimenters, and people working moonbounce who don't need to "converse" because their contacts consist of a few bytes of data and it's damned impressive they're exchanging them.

The article was obviously aimed not at those folks, but at us regular guys who get on the air to work DX, chat, meet people. If you can't hold up one end of a conversation, then why bother starting one? It's a bit like sidling up to a YL at a bar, asking "Do you come here often?" and then walking away.

WB2WIK/6
 
Operating  
by N0IU on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
And speaking of tolerance (or intolerance), I agree with those who finding objections to Steve’s article. Not because of the advice being given, but rather for the tone of the piece. Steve has obviously developed a finely honed operating style the works well for him, so much so that he calls it a protocol. By definition, a protocol is a strict set of rules that MUST be followed and we all know (well some of us know) that you can have a very rewarding and satisfying amateur radio experience even if you do not follow Steve’s sage words of wisdom exactly to a "T".

The intolerance I see comes from Steve’s own words:

“Is it just me, or are a lot of operators doing stuff wrong?”
“That's not a proper reply to a CQ.”
“Answering any other way is likely just wasting time.”

While these statements may not be mean spirited, they do not exactly come across as being some friendly suggestions from your kindly old uncle Steve. It’s his way or it’s wrong. It’s his way or it’s not proper. It’s his way or it’s a waste of time.

The State Department needs to have a strict set of protocols for dealing with foreign governments. Ask someone in the Diplomatic Corps what can happen if protocol is not observed.
The computer industry needs to have a strict set of protocols for transferring data. Ask your IT department to make up an ethernet jumper that does not conform to industry protocol and see how much data flows from one end to the other.
Law enforcement, fire and EMS departments, and other emergency communications agencies need protocols. Even amateur radio traffic handlers and those involved in emergency communications need protocols. In this case, brevity, clarity and uniformity can literally mean the difference between life and death.

On the other hand, Steve isn’t talking about critical communications; he is talking about casual communications. The beauty of amateur radio is that there can be a range of nearly 100 years in the ages of people you meet on amateur radio. Some of them might be children in elementary school while others can have a Ph. D. Some people may have never left their own hometown while others have traveled around the world. Some people may work at a fast food restaurant while others may own their own business. Some people scrimp and save and go into debt to buy an IC-718 while others can write a check for an IC-7800 and not even think about it. There is a vast array of human experience out there and not everyone is as adept at the art of clever and witty banter as is the author, but they all deserve to be amateur radio operators if they so desire. If you are one of these people, just make sure to put WB2WIK/6 on your “black list” of people to avoid while on the air.

I personally find the notion of suggesting that there is only one single correct way to conduct a casual conversation utterly ridiculous!

Scott N0IU
 
RE: Operating  
by N0ZLD on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I tend to talk on the radio like I would to someone if they were standing right next to me with a rare exepection of calling CQ and saying 73.

What I find funny is some Ops bash CB'ers for their "lingo" yet Amateur Radio ops have a lingo as well....

"CQ CQ CQ this is N0ZLD calling CQ." When someone comes back to me, I say, "Thanks for coming back to me, my name is Elijah, I live in Minneapolis Minnesota."

Why do so many ops speak of themselves in 3rd person!?!! What the hell is wrong with you people! Do you talk like that when your sitting at a table eating food with other people?
 
RE: Operating  
by WB2WIK on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>Why do so many ops speak of themselves in 3rd person!?!! What the hell is wrong with you people! Do you talk like that when your sitting at a table eating food with other people?<

::I don't hear "third person" much. I do hear "first person, plural" quite a bit. Like, "We did this," or "We have that."

Ever since I entered ham radio as a kid, I used to wonder about that. First time I heard somebody say, "We have a xyz rig," I felt like asking, "Got a mouse in your pocket?"

Old habits die hard.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Operating  
by WA1RNE on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

"The article was obviously aimed not at those folks, but at us regular guys who get on the air to work DX, chat, meet people. If you can't hold up one end of a conversation, then why bother starting one? It's a bit like sidling up to a YL at a bar, asking "Do you come here often?" and then walking away."

WB2WIK/6


>>> After sliding up to the bar for a chat and a closer look, maybe saying good bye and walking away is appropriate.


Hams do the same thing on the air; if you don't hit it off with anther operator because they bore you, just politely move on. Sounds pretty normal to me in this imperfect world we live in.


Hey, maybe the article should have been named "How to pick up chicks on CW" ?

"ur 59!, name is Clyde, QTH is 42nd street and broadway- Manhattan, want to come over? OK, I QSL boring, CU dwn the log....73"........... hi hi


On the other hand, maybe lowering one's expectations a notch and being kind, understanding and patient is the best approach.


......WA1RNE
 
RE: Operating  
by NI0C on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
N0IU wrote:
"I personally find the notion of suggesting that there is only one single correct way to conduct a casual conversation utterly ridiculous!"

I didn't find anything like that in Steve's article. What Steve said in a nutshell was:
1. Make sure the other person is listening to you (and not someone else) before you start talking.
2. Use accepted amateur radio protocol for initiating a conversation, i.e., give signal report, QTH, and name in that order.

Anyone who objects to such basic principles will find it difficult to make QSO's.

73,
Chuck NI0C

 
RE: Operating  
by WB2WIK on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Somebody "up there" asked about why the order of information transmitted/received has any importance.

I think that's a good question, and didn't really get to explain it:

1. For QSL, award or contest purposes, two pieces of information *must* be exchanged to be considered a valid contact. If you're not interested in QSL cards, awards or contests, then simply ignore this! But most of us have some interest in one of these things, sometimes.

2. The callsign is always one of those required pieces of information. The other "piece" can be almost anything, but the "signal report" in RST format (or other accepted format for the mode used) is the easiest to exchange, because it's what the recipient expects to hear. Unlike a name or QTH, which might be a complete surprise, the signal report is two digits for phone and three digits for CW and we have a preset notion of what they'll probably be, so they're the easiest to copy.

3. The location (QTH) is the next logical piece, also for a reason. It establishes contact distance and antenna bearing(s) to use. Many QSOs are "saved" from an early death by one station or another simply turning his beam to the right direction.

4. Names aren't essential for QSL, award or contest data except in some specialized contests like Sprints; however, it's surely nice to know who you're talking to! I want the other station's name, for sure, but only after getting the first two pieces of data which are more important to confirm the actual contact and possibly help preserve it.

I didn't "make up" this sequence; it's been S.O.P. for nearly 100 years of ham radio and will likely outlive any of us.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Operating  
by KI6LO on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve: Good advice and ideas. Thanks for the one on one help you have given me in the past.
----
With respect to the article, I have several issues that I feel could be addressed, one that I have been seeing a lot of lately that makes it number 1 to me (at least the current time) is when a DX station is working a pileup and calls QRZ, having some operator (stateside or elsewhere) give a long reply such as "DX1DX DX1DX this is AA1AA AA1AA Over". Although this may resemble the generally accepted format for calling stations, in a pileup this usually only adds to the high QRM of the pileup and usually the DX station will have already picked someone from the pileup before the long winded station finishes.

The generally accepted practice for pileups (as far as I have heard and read, and seems to work reliable for me) is to give your call once phonetically but no more than twice at each of the DX stations QRZ requests. If you listen to the successful ops, they usually give their call once. They also listen to the tempo of the pileup and determine where the DX station is picking up calls, usually at the tail end of the main glob of replies. I know that is usually where I have the most success. Most of all, it's all in the timing. Also watch for split operations.

As many have said in this thread, the most important thing that an operator can do is LISTEN.

To the new ops, I would highly suggest that you obtain a copy of a recent ARRL Operating Manual. These are new from ARRL and other sources or used from Amazon.Com or Ebay. Lot's of good sage advice if you don't have access to an elmer.

Just some observations. Everyone should develop their own style related to time honored traditions of operating.

Gene KI6LO
Ridgecrest, CA
 
Operating  
by N0IU on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
NI0C wrote, "Anyone who objects to such basic principles will find it difficult to make QSO's."

Damn! I have been doing it wrong all these years! I guess those thousands of QSO's in my logbook are just dumb luck!

No I will have to throw away my logbook and start over from scratch and do it the right way.

Scott N0IU


 
RE: Operating  
by NI0C on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
" I have been doing it wrong all these years! I guess those thousands of QSO's in my logbook are just dumb luck!

No I will have to throw away my logbook and start over from scratch and do it the right way. "


Suit yourself. Or, maybe you'll enlighten us with an article telling us how it's done.


 
RE: Operating  
by AB8XA on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Somebody "up there" asked about why the order of information transmitted/received has any importance.

I think that's a good question, and didn't really get to explain it: "

Thank you for following up and explaining that.
 
Operating  
by N0IU on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
NI0C wrote, "Suit yourself. Or, maybe you'll enlighten us with an article telling us how it's done."

Truth be told, the way I do it happens to be pretty close to Steve's methodology. The difference would be that in my article, I would never presume to tell anyone that what they are doing is wrong, improper or a waste of time which is exactly what Steve did.

As long as you are putting QSO's in the logbook, how can it be wrong?

Scott N0IU
 
RE: Operating  
by NI0C on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I would never presume to tell anyone that what they are doing is wrong, improper or a waste of time which is exactly what Steve did."

Isn't that a component of "elmering" new (or old) hams? Steve didn't mention any callsigns in his article. He merely reported on his experiences with some hams whose operating methodolgy left something to be desired. If the shoe fits ....

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
RE: Operating  
by RADIO123US on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Isn't it funny that those who are most offended by this article are the ones that NEED to learn this information this most....???
 
RE: Operating  
by NB3O on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
NS6Y wrote:
"My trailer-trash neighbors can have a barbecue, motorcycle, and all kinds of crap on their patio"

I'm entering a little late on this subject, however I did load up a pair of Dodge Aspen station wagons on blocks for 40 meter CW on Field Day a few years back......
 
RE: Operating  
by W6WBJ on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
But Steve, you must admit that these preferences of yours aren't required by Part 97. Part 97 establishes our operating requirements, and I want to comply with Part 97 and nothing more. I don't want other hams telling me how to operate because it stifles creativity. I think ham radio is boring enough as it is, without people trying to enforce a rigid system of operation that is not required by Part 97. You can call me a lid if you want to, but your statement would be completely fatuous because nothing requires me to operate the way you would like me to.
 
Operating  
by UC1AWX on February 20, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Regarding CW. What i hear this days, is most likely goes thru digital codecs. Definitely not a 1:3 dot:dash ratio and at 20+ WPM speed. What's a point of using it? For speed -- digi encoding works better than CW.

16 years ago our CW speed champ was complaining "Nobody works with me!". O.M. said "Ever tried 12 WPM?" ...champ did ... was surprised "Hey, they answer!"

Moral? Keep human for humans (12 - 15 WPM CW)... if you want your CQ answered.
 
RE: Operating  
by NN4RH on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>> It's a bit like sidling up to a YL at a bar, asking "Do you come here often?" and then walking away. <<

And isn't the WIK-approved "protocol" like walking up to a YL at a bar and saying "You're a 6. I live at 7003 Elm Street", and then telling her she's doing it wrong if she doesn't rate you and tell you where she lives ... AND then explaining to her that you don't need to know her name because it doesn't count for your awards score.

And then when she stares at you and doesn't respond, you criticize her for not being a brilliant conversationalist!
 
RE: Operating  
by NN4RH on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Or ... is there maybe just a small chance that comparing amateur radio contacts to picking up YLs in bars isn't a very good analogy??
 
RE: Operating  
by NN4RH on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Or, maybe it does work ...

You're more likely to get ... uh ... "QSLed" ... by that YL in the bar if you tell her she's a 10, than a more truthful 6. And naturally they all want to hear about your "rig" and your "antenna". But of course there are some YL's who won't waste time on any op that's "QRP"

And I suppose working a DX pileup is kind of like pushing your way to the front of a crowd in a topless bar to stuff "green stamps" into the dancer's bikini hoping to get "QSLed".

Hey we could push this silly ham radio = bar pickup metaphor all day ...
 
Operating  
by WA8VBX on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
By the time the bar closes all the YL's look like a 10, now at seven the next morning they all might be a 6.
 
RE: Operating  
by K8MHZ on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I think ham radio is boring enough as it is, without people trying to enforce a rigid system of operation that is not required by Part 97."

Since when did Part 97 requirements start mattering to you?

I thought the Bye Bye Billy song to be a tad prophetic. With such a melodious voice I can see why your ham license matters so little.

Now all you need are better writers and a good plastic surgeon and you, my friend, could be a star!
 
RE: Operating  
by K8MHZ on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The author said there's a reason for RST first, but didn't give it.

Can YOU tell me what that reason is? No one else so far seems to be able to."

Steve's example gave the RST and the QTH in the same sentence.

Maybe I don't understand the nature of your question. To be honest, I pay little heed to the RS figures I get on SSB, especially during contests. I know I am not 5/9 with my little station into all the places where operators have told me I am.

I thought that you were suggesting that the location of the other station was needed to get a proper RS / RST signal, which isn't true. Honesty is though, and strong is strong and weak is weak no matter where the two stations may be.
 
Operating  
by K3BZ on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I just arrived on the scene, late as usual. I don't see anything terribly bad or offensive about what Steve says, but one has to allow for gradual change in any long-term practice. The languages change, people's everyday habits change, the world changes. And so does ham radio and the way we do it.... that doesn't make some things wrong and others right. It just makes them different.... some good because they work, some not-so-good because they just don't work.

Steve would like to keep some of the old, original operating practices intact.... and so would I. Not because they are sacred, but because they are traditional. Change is inevitable, but tradition is important. Traditional practices tie us to those who came before. They are time-honored. They are part of the foundation of ham radio.... our roots... and it involves also some respect that we should give to those who paved the way and got us to where we are today.

And I think it has to do with the complete rejection of anything that sounds like CB radio.... with all due respect to those hams who came to us from CB, hams that saw the light and "graduated" to ham radio.....leave CB behind you. Many of us that pre-date CB still resent having the 11-meter ham band "stolen" from us... especially when we saw what was done with it. Some of us still sting from the distorted view of ham radio that society got from the practices that became common on CB radio. Hearing that "convoy" song still makes some of us feel ill. We are averse to any practice on the ham bands that might make ham radio sound like CB, and in the end we hate anything that reminds us of all that mess. Those of us that have been around long enough to remember the pre-CB halcyon days of ham radio simply don't want to hear anything that sounds like CB. It's a matter of respect.

Progress requires change, so change can be good. But not change that happens too fast or ignores tradition or fails to give due respect to those "elder statesmen" that brought us to where we are....

my two cents.... 73, Jerry K3BZ
 
No surprise  
by KA4KOE on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
And you wonder why there is a shortage of material on Eham??? Any author has to run a gauntlet of insults, personal attacks, and inane commentary.

PHILIP
 
RE: No surprise  
by NI0C on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Philip:
That was well put!
73,
Chuck NI0C
 
RE: No surprise  
by KB1OCC on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'm a new ham (last October) and I agree with most of what the original author wrote. However, the classes I took and the "Elmering" I received all stressed that the conversation should be somewhat relaxed and casual. Otherwise, there's no fun in contacting someone who sounds like a robot reading from a script.

Speak naturally and adhere to the legal requirements (such as pausing and IDing when required). The only time I believe one should forgo the "casual" part is during ARES nets and if (God forbid) there was an actual emergency. Perhaps contests too since QSOs tend to be short and sweet.

I also agree with dropping the CB lingo, but try to be understanding that people sometime slip up.
 
RE: No surprise  
by W1XZ on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>And you wonder why there is a shortage of material on Eham??? Any author has to run a gauntlet of insults, personal attacks, and inane commentary.<
Well if articles were in fact articles and not editorials the flames might be kept to a minimum. While the author of the thread had good intentions his slightly "do it my way" attitude has turned some (me included) off. I hear racist, sexist, and obscene conversations on the bands and there is NO room for it, but most times I listen to and join in with folks just being folks. No protocol, net controls, or rules (aside from the law of the land.) KB1OCC has the best post on this subject. Brian has been around for about 5 months and he has it pegged.
 
RE: No surprise  
by WB2WIK on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: No surprise Reply
by KB1OCC on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I'm a new ham (last October) and I agree with most of what the original author wrote. However, the classes I took and the "Elmering" I received all stressed that the conversation should be somewhat relaxed and casual. Otherwise, there's no fun in contacting someone who sounds like a robot reading from a script.<

::That's a good point, and I agree with you. My point is only that at the very *start* of a new QSO, the procedure described is very effective and saves time: A precious commodity for me and for many, even more so with dwindling band conditions we've been facing of late. Once the contact is *established*, I encourage (right there, in black and white) folks to find some common ground to discuss and go for it. If I lose somebody while discussing the Lakers' record this year, that doesn't matter much; if I lose them in the first 30 seconds, before I find out who they actually are, that matters more.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by WA3ELQ on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks to all those who pointed out that hams were using the term "handle" long before CB was even created. The CBer's appropriated the term, and then gave it a bad reputation by using anonymous "handles" to hide their identity.

Like most hams at the time, I used the term "handle" when I was first licensed as a general in 1966 and find myself sometimes using it today. I am sometimes criticized for using "CB talk", even by members of my local club. I use the opportunity to educate some of the newer hams about one small part of amateur radio history. (And by the way, I have NEVER been a CB operator...never!!!)

Larry WA3ELQ
 
No surprise  
by N0IU on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK wrote, "I didn't "make up" this sequence; it's been S.O.P. for nearly 100 years of ham radio and will likely outlive any of us."

Or not!

There is a whole new generation out there. I have only been licensed for a little over 14 years. It’s not a long time, but a lot has changed since 1992, as you well know.

Apparently this new generation isn't interested in maintaining our venerable old traditions. The old method of taking 5 written tests and 3 Morse code proficiency tests in order to earn amateur radio privileges wasn't acceptable for them. By April of 2000, enough people had convinced the FCC that the amateur radio population needed some shoring up and that 5 written tests and 3 Morse proficiency tests were no longer relevant so the Novice and Advanced written tests were eliminated along with the 2 higher speed Morse code proficiency tests. But this wasn't enough. It wasn't too long after that the Morse code requirement to operate below 30 MHz was dropped altogether on an international basis and now we are following suit.

The face of amateur radio is changing. To use an old cliché, this is not your father’s amateur radio. We are all painfully aware that this new generation has the ability to influence the FCC and change the Code of Federal Regulations to suit their desires. That being the case, adapting operating styles to suit their desires should be a piece of cake. The bottom line is that they are going to do what they are going to do.

I never once said that Steve was giving out bad or erroneous advice and I am by no means saying that we should stop trying to steer this new generation in what we perceive to be the right direction. If they see the value in it, they will adopt it and if they think it is a waste of time, just like learning Morse code and taking 5 written tests, they will shun it no matter how much you beg and plead and try to convince then what they are doing is wrong or improper.

Scott N0IU
 
RE: Operating  
by WA9SVD on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
AB8XA on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a friend! Posted By WA9SVD
"How does distance affect the RST report?"

The "S" in RST stands for signal strength, right? What happens to signal strength as distance increases?

"Do you give a different RST report to a station 3000 miles away versus one only 300 miles away? Or 30 miles away?"

Lets turn your question around where there's one transmitted signal. Would you expect the same signal report from those three stations?

Can you share the reasoning behind sending RST first?
-------------------------------------

It's not that the RST needs to be sent first, just that the location of the other station is immaterial to the RST report.

If a station is 5x5, (or 5-5-9) THAT is the report I will give, whether the station is 30 miles away, or 3000 miles away.
Certainly, signal falls off as distance increases. But that doesn't matter. If the station 3000 miles away is 5x9. that's the report he/she gets. The RST report should reflect the way YOU, the operator hears the other station. Nothing more, nothing less. And there should be no other factors involved.
 
RE: Operating  
by WB2WIK on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I give RS or RST reports by ear, and always have. "S" meter reports are silly and have no relation to how I actually "copy" somebody.

With ionospheric propagation, of course a station 3000 miles away can easily be much stronger than one 30 miles away. Distance has nothing to do with it.

I give reports with my eyes closed, mostly. Very relaxing.

The RST system was developed before receivers had any meters on them...

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Operating  
by WA1RNE on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

Want to read a good report on the accuracy of S Meters? W8WWV has put together the best summary data I've seen to date and it covers most of the popular rigs out there today. W7GT and W3PT also contributed data on the FT-1000 and IC-756PRO:


http://www.seed-solutions.com/gregordy/Amateur%20Radio/Experimentation/SMeterBlues.htm


Compared to precision measurement equipment, an S meter is by far the cheapest means of making a RELATIVE incoming signal level, which is all it was meant to do. Some are a lot more accurate than others, especially over S9. According to this data, the IC-706 is probably the worst case out there; it's pretty much all over the place.


Hey, what's +/- 25-30% when you're always 5-9 in a contest anyway.... ...hams making measurements easy.


....WA1RNE
 
RE: Operating  
by N3OX on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"According to this data, the IC-706 is probably the worst case out there; it's pretty much all over the place. "

I measured my FT-857D's meter... it's about 1dB/S-unit at S4 and below, about 2 or 3dB from S4 to S5, about 4dB from S5-S6... it's about 6dB/S-unit from S6-S9 and S9+10dB and S9+20dB are about 10 and 20 dB over S9.

A signal generator and a step attenuator are all you need to figure out your S-meter in a relative way... it's nice that I can now tell someone roughly how many dB the new antenna has over the old one in A/B tests...

Dan
 
Operating  
by WA8VBX on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
RST first or QTH first? Well when it comes to the S-strength, there is a logic on why not give the QTH first. On VHF and HF if you have a beam, you might hear a station that is say a 5 off the back of the beam where if you point the beam at the station it will go up to a 9. On HF this is true also. So 6 of one, half dozen of another.
Unlike the old days where you could basically tell where the station was by their call, nowdays with people keeping their calls no matter where they live, it is possible that a 2 call is in california, florida or even new york.
I do not give a report the first time, because usually it is just them responding to my CQ with their callsign, I wait until the second go around so I can give hopefully a meanful report.
 
RE: Operating  
by WB2WIK on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>Operating Reply
by WA8VBX on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
RST first or QTH first? Well when it comes to the S-strength, there is a logic on why not give the QTH first<

::If you read the article, you'll see I'm a proponent of always giving your location in the first call, before the QSO even starts, on phone. "WA8VBX, this is WB2WIK in Los Angeles calling." I always do that, and encourage others to do the same.

On CW, it's more cumbersome so I wait until the first real QSO exchange.

If you trace the "protocol" back to its origins you'll find one reason that the typical QSO first exchange is RST-QTH-name is that it's easy to send UR RST 599 HR IN LOS ANGELES. It's more cumbersome to send QTH LOS ANGELES UR RST 599. On phone, I usually say, "WA8VBX, thanks for the call. I hear you fine here in Los Angeles..." and that's my report. I hear you fine. That means "R5" or "Q5." The strength part isn't so important to the actual contact. I also say, "WA8VBX, thanks for the call. You're just over the noise here, so it's rough copy" if that's the case. The truth usually works well.

It's silly to say, "You're 59 here, and can you repeat everything because I can barely hear you?"

:-)

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Operating  
by KASSY on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds like a little too much complaining there, Steve.

If you call CQ, and get that first reply from the guy who gave you his life story, why do you assume it's because he's necessarily a bad op? Perhaps, due to static crashes, etc, he THOUGHT you had made a contact moments earlier. To him, he thought the two of you were re-synchronizing on a QSO that got broken. Correct operating procedure for you, then would have been "Good evening Joe. I'm sorry but I did not hear you earlier, would you please give me your callsign phonetically?" Instead of critiquing the other guy's procedures, you should contemplate figuring out your own, for when things didn't quite go as planned. Hams have been dealing with spontaneous events for 75 years, we can still do it today.

In the second example, you knew what the guy meant, right? The insistence you have on "correct" varies by culture. You knew that, right? So he got a little flustered and because he could not copy your callsign, he didn't have time to look up the exact page in the ARRL operating manual for "What to do when you call CQ, and someone answers, but you can't copy the callsign." Give 'em a break. Answer formally and politely and move on.

Now, I only operate CW - I don't like the way we YLs are treated on phone. And my op handle on CW is two letters like old time landline code ops, so my gender remains hidden. But I gotta tell you - I ENJOY protocol violations. Especially when QSOing with someone on the slow side. I encountered a hilarious OM a few weeks ago. He CQ'd, I replied and in his first xmission he said something like "TU FER CL OM = RST ON NXT TIME GIVES BND A CHANCE TO DIE = HATE TO GIVE 599 AND THEN CANT CPI = OPS DOG IS ROVER ROVER AND QTH IS MY LAP, MY LAP =

and so forth. My most memorable QSO to date.

-k
 
RE: Operating  
by PLANKEYE on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Alot of clenched teeth behind keyboards here. A person doesn't have to be perfect. Just try being nice.

PLANKEYE
 
RE: Operating  
by N3OX on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
""TU FER CL OM = RST ON NXT TIME GIVES BND A CHANCE TO DIE = HATE TO GIVE 599 AND THEN CANT CPI = OPS DOG IS ROVER ROVER AND QTH IS MY LAP, MY LAP = "

That is pretty great :-)
 
RE: Operating  
by KC8QFP on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Come on people, lighten up! It is no biggie, just people talkin' to people on a radidio! Communications is fun stuff. Sometimes we get too nit-picky and snobbish about being better than others. Intimidating new hams is being a LID far more than protocal. I remember guys jumping all over me when I was nervous and unfamiliar with the way the big shots do things and want things to be. I learned they are just bulleys. I think ham radio can be simple and fun, I don't care if someone was a CBer, tech-lite, gen-lite, CW op, or whatever their elite status is (ala extra). The ARS is our neighbores in the radio community. We can be friendly and neighborly, or we can feud and be assholes, (ooops I meant anal retentive to be more PC). I like my neighbors on the south side, they are nice. I do not like the creep on the north side of my house, he's mean. Ham radio is simular. But some get off telling other people how to operate, they love to boss people around as if they know it all. I am curious about the "new kids" moving in on HF next month. I bet they act a lot nicer than the old timers that give them a hard time! I look forward to some nice new people to chat with on my radio. I will be more relaxed that I am not being judged for not talking pretty. Tradition has its place, and people come around, just talk that way, and others will follow along and mimic or copy you. But offending people with rudeness by demanding that they do this and don't do that, simply will cause insulted people to diss such big shots. I think it is great to make new friends, and that comes from BEING FRIENDLY!

73, Don
 
RE: Operating  
by WA4KCN on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
KC8QFP "Come on people, lighten up! It is no biggie, just people talkin' to people on a radidio!"

Don amateur radio is much more than this. We are to represent what amounts to a militia of trained radio operators for the good of the American people. You are supposed to be a trained radio operator. Did you know that? CB is for people just wanting to chat on a radio. Steve is referring to trained communications technique. Communications technique will become even more important with the increased number of HF operators on the horizon if we wish to maintain a since of order and organization. Your comments would indeed carry weight if addressed to a group of CB operators who are starting a campaign to improve operating practice on 11 meters.

73 Russ
 
Operating  
by WA8VBX on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Russ (WA4KCN), no Steve was not talking about trained communications techniques. If so then everytime we talk it should be thru a directed net control. He was talking about what he thinks should be the correct way to make and maintain a contact.
Yes it makes it easier in his opinion to follow a certain order but doesn't necessarily make it correct technique.
Being retired military communicator and currently a dispatcher for local pd/fire/rescue I know there is a vast difference between military/civilian communication.
When it comes to everyday contacts there are no right way or wrong way, there is however your way or myway, or the way the guy on the other end does it.
73
Kurt
 
RE: Operating  
by KC8QFP on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Amen to both Kurt and Russ...
There is a time and place for formality and protocal. I am NOT anti-net and "professional" edicutt on ham radio, and there is plenty of that. But even the NTS traffic nets are a mess now-a-days. I've been a ham for a long time. I know the anti-CB and anti-lite attitudes, especially in the CW crowd. I guess what I was trying to say is that ham radio has a bunch of BIGGOTS and prejudice ops that like to put people DOWN because they don't like them, and boss people around. You seem to dislike the CB people. They are people, and some are real jerks (especially in the big cities). But there are also big jerks in ham radio. So it is the pot calling the kettle black to me. I did a lot of the civil service scene years ago, and some really did it seriously. But most of the time we hams are on ""standby"", and we yack away on our little radios as if it is some big deal. Most conversations I hear are quite shallow and stupid, just like CB. So I think all this anti-CB holier than thou attitude is silly. Let's all go to the ham radio church and learn to be PROPER little hams. Fine and dandy, but let's also learn how to get along with each other, and that will include the new influx of ops whereever they come from. Ham radio has many "denominations" to follow in doctrine. I know many a great ham op that came from 11 meters. I wish we could get 11m back, it would be a great QRP band if we cleaned it up from all the bozoes. But I was bozoed far worse on 2m repeaters from people that acted as though they owned the freq because their "so called open" repeater was on the channel. All I am saying is be nice, and be pro if you want, people will follow along and copy the ""good ops"".

Don
 
Operating  
by N0IU on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I just wrote about how the face of amateur radio is changing to suit the desires of this new generation of operators and suspected that some people (including the author of this piece) are resistant to those changes.

On QRZ, there is a post (not started by the author of this piece) about the perils and pitfalls of electronic QSL'ing. The author of this piece chimed in with his reason for using paper QSL cards by saying, "The world's changing, but I'm going out kicking and screaming".

So there you have it in his own words. Steve doesn't like change and it is no wonder that anyone who does something that is not up to his standards is wrong.

Scott N0IU
 
RE: Operating  
by NI0C on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
N0IU:

Well Scott, not all change is good despite a proliferation of corporate propaganda out there, reinforced by shallow, inane, self-serving promotions such as "Who Moved My Cheese."

There are very selfish interests out there promoting change (good for themselves, but sometimes very costly to others.)

Wise people will evaluate and critique proposed changes, taking into account the vested interests of those doing the proposing, instead of blindly accepting.

73,
Chuck NI0C
 
RE: Operating  
by K8MHZ on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Wow,

A thread on eHam bearing both dissent and civility (for the most part)?

I am on Steve's side but it is good to hear intelligent opposition. No matter how you view Steve's article I think that one thing is clear, civility goes a long way in a discussion, both on and off the air.
 
RE: Operating  
by WB2WIK on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>Operating Reply
by N0IU on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I just wrote about how the face of amateur radio is changing to suit the desires of this new generation of operators and suspected that some people (including the author of this piece) are resistant to those changes.

On QRZ, there is a post (not started by the author of this piece) about the perils and pitfalls of electronic QSL'ing. The author of this piece chimed in with his reason for using paper QSL cards by saying, "The world's changing, but I'm going out kicking and screaming".

So there you have it in his own words. Steve doesn't like change and it is no wonder that anyone who does something that is not up to his standards is wrong.<

::Scott, are you really as nutty as you write? Taking statements out of context is silly. My comment about the world changing but I'm going out kicking and screaming specifically referenced electronic QSLing, and nothing else. I clarified why, which is: An eQSL is like an e-mail and for me (and I find many agree -- probably the majority) contain all the emotional depth of an e-mail. No signature, no handwriting, no postage -- blah. The thousands of QSL cards I receive with computer generated labels indicating QSO date, time and so forth -- mostly from DXpeditions and contest operators -- are in about the same category. Nothing personal about them, so they all go in a large file box. The QSL cards I'm proud to "show" to visitors, hams and non-hams alike, are not those. They're the ones that have personal hand written comments on them. Separate article on that, with lots of photographs of those kind of "real" cards, coming up shortly (in process).

73

Steve WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Operating  
by WB2WIK on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: Operating Reply
by KASSY on February 21, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Sounds like a little too much complaining there, Steve.

If you call CQ, and get that first reply from the guy who gave you his life story, why do you assume it's because he's necessarily a bad op? Perhaps, due to static crashes, etc, he THOUGHT you had made a contact moments earlier. To him, he thought the two of you were re-synchronizing on a QSO that got broken. Correct operating procedure for you, then would have been "Good evening Joe. I'm sorry but I did not hear you earlier, would you please give me your callsign phonetically?" Instead of critiquing the other guy's procedures, you should contemplate figuring out your own, for when things didn't quite go as planned. Hams have been dealing with spontaneous events for 75 years, we can still do it today.<

::Nicely expressed, Kassy, and I agree with you. I wish you'd use your callsign, though. Let me clarify something: Ham radio is part of "life." In life, we don't offer strangers respect; they either earn it, or they don't. And the reverse is also true, of course: We can't expect respect from strangers, we must earn theirs. When I hear poor operating, the operator has done nothing to earn my respect, and when I hear very good operating, he or she has. What I consider good or bad is my own judgment, fairly tuned by almost 42 years of active operating and a quarter million on-air contacts. Your judgment may surely differ. When I call CQ, I commonly receive multiple answers and must choose one. The one I choose isn't usually the strongest signal. When I've operated as the "DX" on expeditions where hundreds are calling, this snap decision must be made 4-5-6 times a minute. The station with the strongest signal doesn't always get through. The station with the cleanest signal might, or one the DXpedition operator feels, in one split second, is the operator with the best procedure to help maximize the DXpedition QSO rate (e.g., one who sounds sharp enough to complete the contact the fastest). The station who gives the "last two" of his callsign repeatedly is almost always not that chosen station.

There isn't any reason, ever, to answer a CQ with more than a callsign and location on the first response. More than that is selfish, as you could be transmitting over a weaker station I'd much rather hear and to whom I'd much rather respond.

I deal with spontaneous events just fine; but there are reasons for the way things are. One change I loved to see come in, and it represented a sea change in CW operations, is that most operators stopped using "my name is" or "name" and switched to "op." Smart change, it takes less time to convey the same data; if you're an active CW operator, you know this was driven over the last several years by DX stations who started using "op" well before Americans did. It's a good idea.

Some changes are great. Some are inefficient deviations. It's up to us to sort them out.

73

Steve WB2WIK/6



 
Operating  
by N0IU on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK/6 wrote, "Scott, are you really as nutty as you write?"

Well my wife says I do have some peculiar habits and over the years she has been known to say, "What are you, crazy?" but that is usually in response to me telling her things like, "Calimari is a delicacy in some countries!"

Scott N0IU
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by WA5MKA on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
< When I was a novice in 1959, using 2 meter AM, we always used "handle" for name. This was before the CB craze. I am convinced that "handle" was a HAM term, that was misappropriated by the CBers.
73
Steve WA2DTW >



Amen !!!! I agree with you, "Handle" was originally a Ham Radio term.

George---W7KCU, ex:WA5MKA
 
RE: Operating  
by WB2WIK on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>Operating Reply
by N0IU on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK/6 wrote, "Scott, are you really as nutty as you write?"

Well my wife says I do have some peculiar habits and over the years she has been known to say, "What are you, crazy?" but that is usually in response to me telling her things like, "Calimari is a delicacy in some countries!"

Scott N0IU<

::It is, and America is one of those countries. Saw on the 11:00 news last night that somewhere (missed where) a 900 lb. squid was caught; they said if cut and served, each piece would be the size of a truck tire. Now, *THAT'S* Calimari.
 
RE: Operating  
by NI0C on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Calamari = "O" rings;
Tofu = styrofoam
 
RE: Operating  
by WA4KCN on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"When it comes to everyday contacts there are no right way or wrong way, there is however your way or myway, or the way the guy on the other end does it."

Kurt I appreciate your comments but have to disagree with your premise. Your comments are true only if operating on a radio service where no radio operating skill is expected of the operator. What you are saying is true of the FRS where you can purchase hand helds for your family to use on vacation. Much more should be expected of amateur radio operators. The standard in amateur radio should be each and every time you key your mic or press your code key you reflect excellence in communications technique. This is one thing that seperates us from other unskilled radio services. To know you have achieved excellence there must be a standard for operating technique and Steve demonstrates this well in his article. The belief that there is no right or wrong in anyting we do is symptomatic of a moral belief system of our day that is taking people down. Kurt you should embrace the concept of right and wrong in ever aspect of your life including amateur radio and strive for excellence in all you do. It will take you to new heights. Without standards amateur radio will have to settle for mediocrity or worse.

73 Russ




 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by KC8QFP on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
< When I was a novice in 1959, using 2 meter AM, we always used "handle" for name. This was before the CB craze. I am convinced that "handle" was a HAM term, that was misappropriated by the CBers.
73
Steve WA2DTW >

11 meters was a ham band back then too. And many hams were on CB during the 60's. They elmered many CBer's into ham radio. So some of the CB jargon came from ham radio. CB was not really all that bad until the 70's, especially after the FCC did not enforce its rules (they still don't on CB for the most part). I would like to see CB again as a ham band, in that the FCC would give it back to us as a QRP band without the CB antenna and DX restrictions. We can take it over and police it, if only the FCC would back us up and enfoce their ARS rules. Many of the bozo CBers have gone to the chat rooms. And the truckers use cell phones. Around here is it pretty much a dead band going to waste. This could be a showplace as to how the ARS restored 11 meters to a nice useful band with proper operations instead of the goofballs that gave it a bad name. Why not take 11 meters back?

Don
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by K4JF on February 22, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I agree with you, "Handle" was originally a Ham Radio term. "

Well, it was a ham term before CB. But I understand it was a Western term for name long before there was radio - of any kind.
 
RE: Operating  
by WA8VBX on February 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Russ, I have to agree to disagree. Part of the lure of ham radio is the openest of the hobby where there are no put down in stone requirements other then what the FCC requires. Now doing something in a certain order make it easier, yes, does it make it the only way no. Just because a person doesn't give signal report, name and qth in the order you want does it make them any less of a operator. If I get on and someone says something to me, and I say roger, ok, qsl or even 10-4, nope(yes the 10-4 has slipped in occasionally as I am a police/fire/rescue dispatcher) am I wrong on my choice of words, nope.
The point I am trying to make is if person x give you his information and it isn't in the order you like but you still understood what he/she said then you are communicating.

There are times and places for using doing things certain way, and that is the way it should be, but for myself, I don't do contest, I don't worry about DX, but I do like to rag chew, and if the other operator wants to tell me their life story at the beginning of a contact then I have no problem with that. I just do not care for the ur 599,name is, qth is, 73 contact.

73
Kurt

 
RE: Operating  
by KC8QFP on February 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Have you guys ever read the rules and protocal in the telephone book about telephone conduct that can be considered as illegal? Would you all say that the internet is compliant? Telephone edicuit has gone down the toilet! ""number pleeeazzze""! Iz the aRS going the same path? Where is the dignity and integrity we were so honorable in keeping as hams?

73, what does that mean anyhoo now-a-daze?
Seems like ham raido is ""regardless"" of the protocal, perhaps we will say ten-four instead of 73. Like I said before, monkey see, monkey do, the new kids usually copy us old farts for the most part, let's be a good example rather than the boss and judge over the new ""virgins"".

I'll drink to that! Cheerz! Don
 
Operating  
by N4OI on February 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I appreciate the article -- it made me think about my own operating practices (all CW) and I have tried to tighten up a bit. I especially like the concept of getting the basics exchanged quickly and then follow wherever the conversation leads. I love to rag chew, but if the other person wants to move on, they will let me know right after the basics (tnx, 73, wont keep you...). I appreciate chats with the older hams (yes, even older than me at 55!) who have been around. My favorites are the WWII vets, military or maritime radio ops -- I even ran into a retired telegraph operator! Thanks again for the article -- keep 'em coming!

73 de Ken - N4OI
 
RE: Operating  
by KC8QFP on February 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
R Ken, very nice!


Isn't today the big day for NO code?
I havn't turned on my rig yet to hear all the mayhem on HF yet! HI HI
 
RE: Operating  
by AD5TD on February 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
You are correct sir, it was crude and uncalled for. I apologize to any and all that might have been offended.

I will give more thought in the future to what I post on this and other forums.

Again please forgive me for my crass remarks.
 
RE: Operating  
by PLANKEYE on February 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
AD5TD:

It's OK Sir, none of us are perfect. I just felt it had to be addressed. Sorry if I had to do it in such a strong manner. God Bless!!

PLANKEYE
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by WA2JJH on February 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Handle was originaly used an a street name/orginised crime name during the days before luciano. During the Rothstein time period.

This was around the year 1900. For shady business deals a variation of ones real name was used.

It was then adopted for Ham Radio use, as an alternative to name. Perhaps the early Hams did it to make their nerdy/goody-goody image have an edge.

Seems like in 1958 when CB was created from 10M, handle stuck with CB. Since most CB operation was illegal. Idle chit-chat was illegal.
So the fledging new CBers borrowed HANDLE instead of an actual name.
 
RE: Operating  
by WA2JJH on February 23, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<<<W8JII on February 19, 2007 Mail this to a fr
To WA2JJH; His call was W2OY. "No lids, no kids, no space cadets, class A operators only"...........73, Ron >>>>


TNX RON. In retrospect, I wish iend!I answered the CQ.
However as a 17 year old advance, I had a kid like voice.

As mentioned "Handle was some variation of a Hams name. Henry=Hank. Paul or Peter= Pete.

After the early 60's, handle became a CB thing.
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by K4JF on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Seems like in 1958 when CB was created from 10M,..."

Not to pick a nit, but it was the 11M band that was removed from hams and given to CB. Not 10M.
 
RE: Operating  
by KC8QFP on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

<<< AD5TD
You are correct sir, it was crude and uncalled for. I apologize to any and all that might have been offended.

I will give more thought in the future to what I post on this and other forums.

Again please forgive me for my crass remarks >>>


I too saw the remarks, and appreciate the apology. I have a number of handicapped persons in my family. When your kid can barely walk or talk, it is a huge thrill to see them even run in a race at all! I am nearly blind, my daughtor is sevierely "retarded", actualy a neuro-quad and wheelchair bound, my brother is MRDD, my grandson is autistic, my brothers and sister are also blind, and I won't even go into the mental illness issues. So normal people take for granted the blessing they have that we kind of envy. A disability sure can SLOW (aka retard) a person down, and maybe you'll understand when you get OLD and cannot win a race anymore. I don't mind the slang people use when talking about us. Name calling goes with the handicap. I've been called a "retard" more than I can keep tract of. Heck, "we" make fun of each other as "blinks" so to speak. I really don't think your comment was intended as a slam against the disabled, I bet if you went to a special olympics, you'd be cheering on the kids more than if you went to a pro ballgame! Those special kids can really tear your heart up inside! Many ham ops have volunteered as community service for the Special Olympics to lend a hand, and I bet they went home with tears in their eyes. I don't freak out about politically correct bullshit, but I think people can be so ignorant about disability - the sad thing is, it can happen any moment to anybody! Ham Radio is full of risks and DANGER! I knew of a guy that fell thirty feet off a tower - he got hurt but survived, the back injury caused much pain for the rest of his life. Even a stroke (from sitting too much at a radio, not enough excerxise) can render a person disabled. Electrocution can cause disability. A person can go BLIND from microwave or LASER exposure. That's only ham related mishaps. So be glad that YOU can run and win a race - that can change in an instant (pray everytime you start your car)! Geez, this reminds me of when I was a SIGOP of the Handicapped SIG of Cleveland Freenet! I will get off of my soapbox, just wanted to say I understand your remarks were intended to be goofy, and not mean, and it really did not freak me out because I am more used to it. People say the darndest things sometimes, I do my share too. But it sure is nice when a person feels some remorse and cares enough to publically apologise! I appreciate that! If you had a "retarded" kid, I bet you'd be the loudest guy cheerin' on your kid at the Special Olympics!

Cheerz, Don
Remember, some of us hams are handicapped
And more will be, they're gettin' OLD!!!
 
Operating  
by WA1RKS on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
As per the "Handle" for name, I have been operating since 1972,and have always used handle for name, and vice versa.Its not a CB thing only. I remember my father,and some other "Old timers" from the 20's and 30's using the term "Handle" for "whats your name" as a common term usage. So it always seemed natural for me to use it on the air. As far as I'm concerned its a piece of "Americana".And quite normal to me.
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"As per the "Handle" for name, I have been operating since 1972,and have always used handle for name, and vice versa.Its not a CB thing only. I remember my father,and some other "Old timers" from the 20's and 30's using the term "Handle" for "whats your name" as a common term usage. So it always seemed natural for me to use it on the air. As far as I'm concerned its a piece of "Americana".And quite normal to me. "

Yep, that's about how it is. Definitely not an exclusive "CB" thing.
 
Operating  
by WB8UHZ on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yes you're correct. I think the best way is to ask the other station if a constructive comment can be made. I have found this to work. The CB method of operating is very poor. When I hear "the personal here is" I cringe. Or how about " break break" or " contact" or finally "CQ CQ" when wishing to join a QSO. But also what ever happened to the old rule, not to break into an existing QSO? Really all of this was
explained to us by our Elmers, it was a requirment then to have one to earn a license. All we can do is hope we don't upset these guys by trying to help them.
 
Operating  
by N2OBY on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve,

Thanks for a great (and timely) post. For the most part you're preaching to the choir; but as I've seen by reading through this entire thread there are a few hams new to HF who understand and appreciate your guidance. Those who don't will not be swayed, and will only feel antagonized. Better we leave them alone. Either one day they will realize that there must be a reason why nobody answers their call and they'll make the effort to learn, or they will leave the bands. Better to concentrate our efforts on fostering those who are receptive...

I myself have only been on HF for about a year (kicking myself for wasting 15 years...), and always listen more than I talk. I try to emulate the good operating practices I hear, which isn't hard as the majority of hams out there are fine operators.

Some of the things I love about this hobby and which initially attracted me to it are the traditions, "unwritten rules", and gentlemanly behavior which combine to create our brotherhood. None of this results in a stiff, formal, or uninteresting experience; rather they increase the enjoyment for all.

Unfortunately, we're seeing an increasing lack of respect for these things, which is symptomatic and a reflection of the same thing happening to our society in general. No need to list the specifics - anyone over thirty can see it. I'm no OF (only 43), but I was raised properly, with an emphasis on respect for others. My own life experience has taught me that in many aspects of life the "old ways" are best.

Well, 80m is picking up, so I'll trade the keyboard for the mic.

Thanks again, and 73 to all!

-Ken N2OBY
 
RE: Operating  
by KC7GNM on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
G6LFT said on February 19, 2007

1 I really do get irrationally cross with people who put out a 25 x 1 call on cw.
I am tuning the band and suddenly hear CQ CQ CQ ....
I wait for the call...
still hear CQ CQ CQ CQ ...
should I wait longer??? (I do)
then at last CQ CQ CQ de ?3???
(few milliseconds gap)
CQ CQ CQ CQ etc....

I totally agree. I use this procedure when calling CQ.

CQ CQ CQ this is KC7GNM, KC7GNM calling CQ CQ CQ
I pause for at least 10 sec then repeat this. That is about all you need to say. I hate the ones that keep going on for about 5 min with no break. I usually tune away after about a min of someone calling CQ without any breaks. If you want someone to answer you then you gotta unkey the mic so you can hear.
 
RE: Operating  
by KC7GNM on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
AB8XA said on February 19, 2007

Posted By WA9SVD
"How does distance affect the RST report?"

The "S" in RST stands for signal strength, right? What happens to signal strength as distance increases?

"Do you give a different RST report to a station 3000 miles away versus one only 300 miles away? Or 30 miles away?"

Lets turn your question around where there's one transmitted signal. Would you expect the same signal report from those three stations?

Can you share the reasoning behind sending RST first?

First off on HF you might not hear a station 30 miles away at all but he will have a strong signal at 300 miles away. Sometimes you might get the same signal strength from the station 3000 miles away too. Depends on the atmospheric conditions between the two stations. It has nothing at all to do with distance. I have heard stations coming in stronger from Australia to Arizona that are running QRP than 1.5kw stations in the states. All has to do with propagation not distance.

73 de Greg
KC7GNM
 
RE: Operating  
by KC8QFP on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<<< If you want someone to answer you then you gotta unkey the mic so you can hear >>>

CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ
Don't forget that they are monitoring to receive on the INPUT on their Yaesu SWL HT with its rubber duck! I think they do something like CW on split freqs or HF repeaters or something like that???
CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ
 
RE: Operating  
by KC8QFP on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Just a quick note here, I odviously am not being serious, just funnin with ya'all! One thing I used to really get a kick out of when I was a ham babe, was the practical jokes played on me and other new hams. We all had a great time playin' jokes on each other. It wasn't malicious or mean spirited, just silly fun amongst us hams. The new kids wil learn the ham sense of humor, it is unusual and a bit wierd to get used to.
 
RE: No surprise  
by KC7GNM on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK I have a question for you? Why do you insist on putting the /6 on your callsign when the FCC database shows you are in 6 land? That is another bad operating practice that you talk about in your article. You should only use the /6 or /whatever when you are away from your normal FCC registered QTH. So in essence you are practicing bad operating procedures yourself.

BTW when I was stationed in GA, which is the 4 call area, I never said KC7GNM/4 the whole four years I was there. The reason being is my FCC address stated I was at Robins AFB, GA. With the advent of the vanity call there is more folks that are not in the call area that their callsign reflects. So if you are going to give advice then I suggest you take some too and operate correctly.

73 de Greg
KC7GNM
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by KC7GNM on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W7KCU said

< When I was a novice in 1959, using 2 meter AM, we always used "handle" for name. This was before the CB craze. I am convinced that "handle" was a HAM term, that was misappropriated by the CBers.
73
Steve WA2DTW >



Amen !!!! I agree with you, "Handle" was originally a Ham Radio term.

George---W7KCU, ex:WA5MKA

No who cares if handle had it's origins on HAM or CB. You guys bash the CBers for using silly jargon yet we have our own silly jargon on Ham Radio. Who cares? Each service is different and each service has it's own jargon. I for one am sick and tired of hearing the idiots on here bashing each other over a word. Who cares? This is Amateur Radio not Professional radio. We all have our way of operating. I don't stop chatting with someone on the air just because he didn't use the correct phonetics or says we for I. I just let it go and I don't try to correct them to conform to my way. The article that Steve wrote to me seems like if you don't do it his way then it is wrong. There is no wrong way to make a contact with another ham on the radio, period. As long as you follow part 97 rules then you are fine. Last time I checked there is nothing in Part 97 that says the order in which you should reply to a CQ. As long as you get the info, who cares. Get over it and just have fun on the radio.

73 de Greg
KC7GNM
 
RE: No surprise  
by K4JF on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"WB2WIK I have a question for you? Why do you insist on putting the /6 on your callsign when the FCC database shows you are in 6 land? That is another bad operating practice that you talk about in your article. You should only use the /6 or /whatever when you are away from your normal FCC registered QTH. So in essence you are practicing bad operating procedures yourself. "

Wrong. There is nothing wrong with another amateur telling everybody else that he is in a different place than his callsign would indicate. He is simply being courteous to other ops.

What is wrong with being courteous and informative with others? More should do so.
 
RE: No surprise  
by K4JF on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"BTW when I was stationed in GA, which is the 4 call area, I never said KC7GNM/4 the whole four years I was there. "

You should have. Our of simple courtesy to other stations.
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"When I hear "the personal here is" I cringe. "

Me, too. That is a military term, not amateur.
 
RE: Operating  
by PLANKEYE on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Can I ask a question here? If you were issued a call and then moved, how long do you have to use the slash /? Alright, maybe a little clearer. If I was issued a call in GA and I took a trip to CA. How long is long enough to actually say, hey the trip turned into living here, I need to change my call. This is not a stab at Steve, it's a question.

PLANKEYE
 
RE: Operating  
by WA8VBX on February 25, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Plankeye, the way I understand it is when you legally change your address and notify the FCC you no longer need the /.

After 21 1/2 yrs in the Army as a communicator (radio operator/rtty operator/communication center operation), I never heard "the personal here is", so I don't think it is a military term.

73
Kurt
K8YZK
 
RE: Operating  
by K4JF on February 25, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"After 21 1/2 yrs in the Army as a communicator (radio operator/rtty operator/communication center operation), I never heard "the personal here is", so I don't think it is a military term.

73
Kurt
K8YZK "

Point taken, Kurt. Since no other service uses it, I would guess, then, that the user is trying to SOUND military. :o)
 
RE: Operating  
by WB2WIK on February 26, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Regarding the use of the "/6" or any other "/" designator:

It's a personal choice and may be continued forever, or not used at all. Within the U.S., American-licensed stations *never* are required to sign portable, no matter where they are, or for any time period.

I often don't use the "/6" on the air; it depends on the contact, the band, the propagation, and the reason to identify.

I work a lot of DX. When a DX station calls for "2's," that means he's looking for contacts in NJ and NY, not CA. So, even though there's a "2" in my call, I won't call a DX station who's asking for 2's. When the DX station asks for "6's," then I call as WB2WIK/6, to show that station I'm legitimately calling as a six, along with other 6's.

THAT is proper operating courtesy and protocol.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: Operating  
by W1XZ on February 26, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"When I hear "the personal here is" I cringe. "

Obviously...the proper term would be "first personal."

Me, I'm destinated and outta here.
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by WB2WIK on February 26, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name Reply
by KC7GNM on February 24, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The article that Steve wrote to me seems like if you don't do it his way then it is wrong. There is no wrong way to make a contact with another ham on the radio, period. As long as you follow part 97 rules then you are fine. Last time I checked there is nothing in Part 97 that says the order in which you should reply to a CQ. As long as you get the info, who cares. Get over it and just have fun on the radio.
73 de Greg
KC7GNM<

::I agree, as long as you follow regulations you're not doing anything wrong. My suggestions help maximize call returns and improve operating efficiency. That's all there is to it. There are reasons for following the format that's developed over 9 decades of ham operating, and the format has evolved to make best use of available resources.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by K4JF on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"I agree, as long as you follow regulations you're not doing anything wrong."

I disagree. There are established bandplans and customs that make it work better for all of us, even though the regulations are different. Not just in ham radio, (Try driving 46 mph on an interstate highway, for example).

Don't do SSTV on 14.300 or 14.195, or hold a long QSO on 146.52. Both are perfectly legal.
 
RE: No surprise  
by KC7GNM on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"WB2WIK I have a question for you? Why do you insist on putting the /6 on your callsign when the FCC database shows you are in 6 land? That is another bad operating practice that you talk about in your article. You should only use the /6 or /whatever when you are away from your normal FCC registered QTH. So in essence you are practicing bad operating procedures yourself. "

"Wrong. There is nothing wrong with another amateur telling everybody else that he is in a different place than his callsign would indicate. He is simply being courteous to other ops.

What is wrong with being courteous and informative with others? More should do so."

No you are wrong. The whole point to his post was efficiency on the air. Would it not be more efficient to drop the /6 since his FCC address is listed as being in CA? I made that point because adding the /6 is redundant since he is giving his location anyways. It is like saying kc7gnm/4 in located in GA. Almost as bad as a double negative. Also what is the point of putting the /whatever anyways Should I say KC7GNM/7 if I am mobile in Washington State?


Greg
KC7GNM
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by KC7GNM on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
K4JF said on February 27, 2007
"I agree, as long as you follow regulations you're not doing anything wrong."

"I disagree. There are established bandplans and customs that make it work better for all of us, even though the regulations are different. Not just in ham radio, (Try driving 46 mph on an interstate highway, for example).

Don't do SSTV on 14.300 or 14.195, or hold a long QSO on 146.52. Both are perfectly legal."

How wrong you are. Just because there is one frequency listed on 20m for SSTV does not mean that you have to do SSTV on that Freq. If you are on a freq you can operate any mode as long as it is authorized on that particular part of the band. Just because the maritime mobile net operates on 14.300 does not mean they own the freq. If I was doing SSTV before their net starts then they have to move, not me. Remember no person or group owns a Frequency. If I am having a QSO on a freq before a net starts then they either have to wait until I am done with the freq or they have to move their net. Too many folks think that just because they have a published net time somewhere that they should have exclusive rights to the freq. Ask K1MAN about that. He found out the hard way and lost his license because he thought just that.

Greg
KC7GNM
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by KC7GNM on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK said

"::I agree, as long as you follow regulations you're not doing anything wrong. My suggestions help maximize call returns and improve operating efficiency. That's all there is to it. There are reasons for following the format that's developed over 9 decades of ham operating, and the format has evolved to make best use of available resources."

What works for you might not work for another. My question to you is if someone does not follow your procedures then will you not talk to them? What makes this hobby great is there is a lot of diversity and if we all start talking the same on the radio it would get boring mighty fast. From your article it sounds like you are a contestor and only like the quick signal report exchanges. Those are good for nets and contests only. (Contests are something I detest, too many on the bands now a days). Besides as long as you have the callsign you pretty much have all the information you need. The rest is just Gravy.

Greg
KC7GNM
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by WB2WIK on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name Reply
by KC7GNM on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend
What works for you might not work for another. My question to you is if someone does not follow your procedures then will you not talk to them? What makes this hobby great is there is a lot of diversity and if we all start talking the same on the radio it would get boring mighty fast. From your article it sounds like you are a contestor and only like the quick signal report exchanges. Those are good for nets and contests only. (Contests are something I detest, too many on the bands now a days). Besides as long as you have the callsign you pretty much have all the information you need. The rest is just Gravy.
Greg
KC7GNM<

::Greg, I suspect you have a reading comprehension problem. You continue to write about things already addressed, clearly enough for the majority (based on a lot of PM'd responses), and argue about them needlessly. I didn't write anything about contesting or about contest-style "59 QTH" operating, at all. I suggested an efficient format with which to *begin* a QSO, and then said, "find common ground to talk about and go for it." That means a "ragchew."

The operating foibles I was addressing, which the majority seemed to understand but for some reason is escaping you, are those that create stumbling blocks at the very start of a QSO which indeed would cause me to not wish a contact with you. It is inappropriate to answer someone's CQ with a call that's longer than your callsign and location (or just callsign, on CW). To start a mini-ragchew during the response call is just ridiculous, inappropriate and selfish, as you could be transmitting over someone else I'd rather hear. I pointed this out numerous times -- as to the specific reason.

Others seem to be getting this.

By all means, if you choose to operate in your own personal style which deviates from accepted norms, I won't turn you in to any authority. I probably also won't answer you. No great loss. I make a *lot* of contacts.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: No surprise  
by WB2WIK on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: No surprise Reply
by KC7GNM on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"WB2WIK I have a question for you? Why do you insist on putting the /6 on your callsign when the FCC database shows you are in 6 land? That is another bad operating practice that you talk about in your article. You should only use the /6 or /whatever when you are away from your normal FCC registered QTH. So in essence you are practicing bad operating procedures yourself. "

"Wrong. There is nothing wrong with another amateur telling everybody else that he is in a different place than his callsign would indicate. He is simply being courteous to other ops.

What is wrong with being courteous and informative with others? More should do so."

No you are wrong. The whole point to his post was efficiency on the air. Would it not be more efficient to drop the /6 since his FCC address is listed as being in CA? I made that point because adding the /6 is redundant since he is giving his location anyways. It is like saying kc7gnm/4 in located in GA. Almost as bad as a double negative. Also what is the point of putting the /whatever anyways Should I say KC7GNM/7 if I am mobile in Washington State?
Greg
KC7GNM<

::Greg, once again I suspect a comprehension problem. I addressed with great specificity why it is very appropriate to use the "portable" or "/" sign at times while operating. Answering DX stations is one such use, not only appropriate but strongly requested by the DX station operators. Another would be during some contests, where it is the callsign plus location, together, that determine the prefix for scoring purposes (such as the CQ WW WPX contest.) In such contests, WB2WIK counts as prefix WB2. However if WB2WIK is operating in California, he *must* identify as WB2WIK/6, and then counts as prefix WB6. The rules are very clear. Nothing to do with the FCC, everything to do with knowing what the hell's going on, on the bands.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: No surprise  
by ONLYON6METERS on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
i couldn't finish reading this thread. should i send the FCC a letter requesting they cancel my (no code) extra upgrade? SHEESH. CB IS more fun than this!
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by KC7GNM on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK said:

::Greg, I suspect you have a reading comprehension problem. You continue to write about things already addressed, clearly enough for the majority (based on a lot of PM'd responses), and argue about them needlessly. I didn't write anything about contesting or about contest-style "59 QTH" operating, at all. I suggested an efficient format with which to *begin* a QSO, and then said, "find common ground to talk about and go for it." That means a "ragchew."

The operating foibles I was addressing, which the majority seemed to understand but for some reason is escaping you, are those that create stumbling blocks at the very start of a QSO which indeed would cause me to not wish a contact with you. It is inappropriate to answer someone's CQ with a call that's longer than your callsign and location (or just callsign, on CW). To start a mini-ragchew during the response call is just ridiculous, inappropriate and selfish, as you could be transmitting over someone else I'd rather hear. I pointed this out numerous times -- as to the specific reason.

Others seem to be getting this.

By all means, if you choose to operate in your own personal style which deviates from accepted norms, I won't turn you in to any authority. I probably also won't answer you. No great loss. I make a *lot* of contacts.



Steve,
First off I do comprehend exactly what you wrote. The problem is there is no wrong or right way to make a contact. What you are pushing is your way of operating and you should have stated as such. This quote from you says it right up front "Is it just me, or are a lot of operators doing stuff wrong?" Now I could write and article on operating too and give my view of how folks should operate on the air. Then I would be pushing my way of operating onto others. I have read several posts on here that agree with me. You operate your style and the rest of us will operate our style. I learned my style from my elmer and modified it to fit my own style. What I am saying is what makes your way right and other ways wrong? Who gave you that authority to make that decision? Is there a regulatrion that says I must send a message exactly like you say in your article? What about a regulation that says how a contact should be initiated? The point that you fail to comprehend is, you are not the radio god you pretend to be.

73 de Greg
KC7GNM
 
Operating  
by VE3VWX on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Geez!

Some of you guys have to chill out, it's only a hobby.

One of the things we must all learn to deal with is that there are no real set protocols outside of the basic legal limitations and identification standards despite what some would like to believe. Different countries or regions within countries will often have very different operating practices and standards. Nothing is legally binding of course but it is the general protocol most ops use in that specific area.

In essence, what may be acceptable and practical to one group may very well not be to another.

Consider phonetics, I have heard a number of US stations from the SE (Alabama, Georgia, etc) use Victoria instead of Victor for a phonetic. Now is that really such a big deal?

I heave heard many east coast stations use "personal" instead of name e.g. “The personal here is Joe”

Oh and don't I dare mention slang. Most ham's have 50 years on me and many of my friends and just like any group ranging from teens to 20 something year olds, we naturally don't like conformity and to mimic our parents or elders. You don't dress or act like someone old and mature because that is simply not cool, we have to be different and naturally what applies to clothing also applies to other facets of life such as language.

You would think, having our own repeater to rag chew on and play around with would get us away from torment but nope, clearly there is an overwhelming need to beat ideologies and practices from the 1960's (sometimes 1950's) into our heads. Instead of saying hello "sup" suffices, instead of saying bye, 73 followed by "later" is common.

Whether or not these operating practices are acceptable depends dramatically on age. No one under 30 has ever complained yet, and no one in their 40's has ever made an issue out of it (chances are they have kids), after all we are on our own coordinated repeater so as not to bug other people. It is common though for people over the age of 60 to start picking on us or complaining that "sup" and "later" is not acceptable language.

We never argue with our elders, after all they are our elders and are responsible for the hobby and attaining bands we may otherwise not have had. At the same time there is no need to make an issue where there is none. If we decide to use another repeater, we use what would be coined "standard operating practice" so no one gets angry.

The part that amazes me though is that even though we always operate legally and id within the mandatory time frame, there are those who find it necessary to make an issue , I guess retirement can be boring and that's what we usually shrug it off as.

I do strongly believe it is only a very small portion of amateur society which shuns us and I am not sure why, whether it be ideological differences or other externalities that come into play but none the less amateur radio is a great hobby and we cherish it just like most other operators do.
 
RE: Operating  
by KC7GNM on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
VE3VWX you hit the nail on the head. As long as we are following our countries rules and regulations there is no set way to talk on the radio. My whole point that Steve does not get is every example he used is not wrong. His first statement was that it was. Just because they don't conform to his way of doing things it is wrong in his view. To me it is just someone being different like we all are in real life like you mentioned.

73 de Greg
KC7GNM
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by K4JF on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Just because the maritime mobile net operates on 14.300 does not mean they own the freq. "

Nobody said they did. The FCC rules are very clear. NOBODY owns a frequency.

I was merely saying you are spinning your wheels and wasting energy if you start up a SSTV CQ on 14.300. There are customs and procedures and if you don't follow them, you are just making it hard on yourself.

That's why the first rule is LISTEN.
 
Operating  
by KN4LF on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve WB2WIK your post is good and right on. Unfortunately though standards have been totally abandoned in virtually every aspect of our sick society.

Also I can't help but notice that consistently the most ignorant, assinine, trolling, flaming remarks are posted by people without a callsign. It's a spineless and cowardly way to conduct business. No callsign (unless you are a professed SWL) and as far as I'm concerned you are a little boy in an adult's body and a LID.

73,
Thomas Giella, KN4LF
http://www.kn4lf.com
 
RE: Operating  
by AD5TD on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
KN4LF, you have a great point. People tend to say things on the web that they would NEVER say to someone face to face. The safety and anonymity of the web make monsters of some. I have gone over board here myself. (see previous postings on this topic) But I have never done it anonymously.

A good rule would be, if you wouldn't say it to someone you meet on the street, keep it off here.
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by WA4KCN on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The problem is there is no wrong or right way to make a contact."

Wrong again. This is true of radio services such as citizen band or the family radio service where there are no licensed radio operators using the alloted frequencies. Steve has given you several reasons why your thinking on the matter is overly simplified and does not comport with good amateur radio operating practices.
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by KC8QFP on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
<<<<< by WA4KCN "The problem is there is no wrong or right way to make a contact."

Wrong again. This is true of radio services such as citizen band or the family radio service where there are no licensed radio operators using the alloted frequencies. Steve has given you several reasons why your thinking on the matter is overly simplified and does not comport with good amateur radio operating practices. >>>>>


"RIGHT" or "WRONG" both are a matter of opinion these days. So this means it is a matter of what the other hams think or say about your op proceedures and methods. WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK? So your reputation as a ham depends on your technic and which crowd you go along with. When I listen to other hams, I consider the source. Are they really knowledgable? Are they gentlemen (i.e. courteous, considerate, friendly)? Are they doing a good job? Also I don't expect the new guys to operate like the experts. Generally the ARS used to be considered a NICE gentlemen's hobby.

The lawbreakers, rude-fighting bullies and lowsy operators are considered as lids. What the guys on here are trying to say (like about CB and such) is all that bad stuff gives ham radio a bad name in th public (and FCC) eye.

The ""lites"" will come around, people mostly copy or go along with the crowd. CW is really irrevelant as to good behavior. It's only a mode, no biggie. But some people like to stereotype the no-coders as being like CBers and lids. If anything, that appears to be prejudice and biggotry! I'd rather be a "lite" than a snob-biggot! So let's have some fun with the new guys too, the more the merrrier! I hope some sour pusses will not spoil it for them either. We need some fresh new faces, otherwise it kind of stagantes into SOSDD. OFFENSIVE behavior is part of life, but on the air we hope to keep it to a minimum to avoid kaos and maham. Be nice and elmer the new dudes!

73, Don

 
RE: Operating  
by VE3VWX on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The age-old protocol of exchanging significant data in an abbreviated fashion and logical sequence seems to be disappearing, except with the experienced ops."

That's perfectly correct, with everything these days being solid state, you have fewer and fewer people who are capable of keying down for 10 minutes straight without blowing their finals and most of those experienced ops who still do are using tubes which are probably glowing by the time they come up for air.

"In the “old days,” the newbies closely followed what the old timers did, and caught on quickly to the protocol. For some reason, that doesn't seem to be happening today, and I don't know why not."

The basic flaw with such an argument is that it assumes the previous method of communication is more efficient than the method which follows. It also predefines set normative standards without regard for the contemporary emerging practices of others and it does not take into consideration social groups and their structures.

Therefore the argument is a non sequitur as it does not follow.

Greg KC7GNM, I certainly agree with a number of your statements and I find it sad that amateur radio is at times an extremely hostile hobby divided by conformists, elitists, independents and neutrals. Many people compare the world of 2 meters to CB taking an elitist stance but yet the reality is that when you listen to 20 meters or something like one of the other bands like 80 meters right away infighting is one of the most visible attributes.

I don't disagree with Steve that there may very well be more efficient methods to communicate, consider that all emergency agencies use a set dispatch method which is very efficient but when people respond with things like "A plea to all phone operators, please use the correct phonetic alphabet" what does that mean? This individuals clearly has no idea how many European operators say Germany instead of Golf and Germany is a commonly accepted phonetic in Europe. That begs the question of what is the correct phonetic alphabet?

How about ZENKI saying no to "invent your own grammar and english!". Well how many people say destinated? What about Googled... Googled is not English, it is an invented word which conveys a concept which is becoming universally understood. Eventually it will become English I am sure but under the concept of not inventing words you can't use it on radio according to ZENKI.

Ah whatever... this is all just a microcosm of the real world in many ways.
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by WB2WIK on February 28, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
>RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name Reply
by WA4KCN on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The problem is there is no wrong or right way to make a contact."
Wrong again. This is true of radio services such as citizen band or the family radio service where there are no licensed radio operators using the alloted frequencies. Steve has given you several reasons why your thinking on the matter is overly simplified and does not comport with good amateur radio operating practices.<

::Here's an example that just happened last evening, on 20m SSB. I heard a VE3 calling "CQ DX" on a pretty empty band. He called CQ DX a few times, and I didn't hear anyone answer him, and evidently, neither did he. So, I gave a quick call myself, adding a very quick comment "I'm not DX but if you'd like a contact, I hear you." That goes above and beyond my own standard of not giving extranneous information on the first call, but the band was pretty dead and this fellow was getting no answers.

He came back and indicated my being in Los Angeles was DX enough from Toronto and we had a little chat on 14.220.

The errors here were multiple. If he was willing to chat with a U.S. station, he shouldn't have called "CQ DX," since the U.S. is not DX for Canada. I shouldn't have added more words to my reply than my own callsign and location, but felt it warranted in the situation. Both guilty, but I was honestly trying to help out a station who sounded possibly confused.

This doesn't mean that protocol is bad. It's a suggestion, not a law. There are causes for deviation, and I felt this was one of them.

Had I made an issue of the "DX" thing, I'd be more guilty than the VE3, and then shame on me. But I didn't. Just mentioned, "Hey, I'm not DX, but we can chat anyway," and it worked.

On a crowded band, I wouldn't have made the call.

WB2WIK/6
 
RE: ZENKI ("handle") for name  
by KC7GNM on February 28, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
WB2WIK said,

Here's an example that just happened last evening, on 20m SSB. I heard a VE3 calling "CQ DX" on a pretty empty band. He called CQ DX a few times, and I didn't hear anyone answer him, and evidently, neither did he. So, I gave a quick call myself, adding a very quick comment "I'm not DX but if you'd like a contact, I hear you." That goes above and beyond my own standard of not giving extranneous information on the first call, but the band was pretty dead and this fellow was getting no answers.

He came back and indicated my being in Los Angeles was DX enough from Toronto and we had a little chat on 14.220.

The errors here were multiple. If he was willing to chat with a U.S. station, he shouldn't have called "CQ DX," since the U.S. is not DX for Canada. I shouldn't have added more words to my reply than my own callsign and location, but felt it warranted in the situation. Both guilty, but I was honestly trying to help out a station who sounded possibly confused.

This doesn't mean that protocol is bad. It's a suggestion, not a law. There are causes for deviation, and I felt this was one of them.

Had I made an issue of the "DX" thing, I'd be more guilty than the VE3, and then shame on me. But I didn't. Just mentioned, "Hey, I'm not DX, but we can chat anyway," and it worked.

On a crowded band, I wouldn't have made the call.



OK what made you think that Toronto to LA was not DX? Here is the definition of DX taken out of wikipedia.

"DXing. DX is a common telegraphic abbreviation that stood for a signal that travelled a very long distance (see DX station). It is still used today in the field of radio, and is most frequently used in amateur radio circles."

So again you are saying that someone is operating incorrectly calling for DX and talking to a you he should not be calling for DX. Well in my opionion he was correct. First he was in Canada and you were in the US that is country to country which can be considered DX. Next, you were both a long distance away from each other which fits the definition above. Don't sit there and tell me that DX has to be outside the continital US because that is not true. I know in the Triple H net we consider Canada DX when we call for DX. I guess our whole net is wrong too then.

The whole point which you fail to understand is, and you proved it with this example, there is no wrong way to make a contact. You even broke your own rules which means by your own rules you are a bad operator. Yes you made a contact and had a nice QSO with the fellow in Toronto but you also showed that your statement of "Is it just me, or are a lot of operators doing stuff wrong?" should be retracted. No one is doing anything wrong unless they are breaking the rules of part 97 period.

73 de Greg
KC7GNM
 
Operating  
by N0IU on February 28, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Greg, you might as well just throw in the towel. Steve has been licensed for over 40 years and no matter how much you quote his own words and try to spin them against him, there is no way he will admit that he is wrong. I know, I tried. Instead of going off to eat worms, I ended up eating squid instead!

The way I see it, what Steve is sayings is that its OK to deviate from the accepted protocol if you know what that protocol is and you have a good reason not to follow it, but its not OK to deviate from the protocol if you don't know what it is in the first place. After all, how can you think outside the box if you don't know what's in the box to begin with?

Yeah I know, it doesn't make much sense to me either.

Scott N0IU
 
RE: Operating  
by KC7GNM on February 28, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Scott,

I totally agree with you. That is the problem with the OT. They are set in their ways and won't accept change even if it is for the good. I think I will leave him to insert his foot into his mouth some more. His last post really showed that.

73 de Greg
KC7GNM
 
RE: Operating  
by K8YZK on March 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ok Gregg so you are putting all OT's in one basket. If you read some of my comments you see that I did not totally agree with Steve. Your remark is no different then saying General/Extra Lite because it only took 5wpms code test to pass. Complain about OT comments and turn around and basically do the same.
Guess you are learning from us OT's
 
RE: Operating  
by KC7GNM on March 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Ok maybe I should have said some OT, not all. Sorry for the confusion.

73 de Greg
KC7GNM
 
RE: Operating  
by PLANKEYE on March 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe, if you stand to look at it, Steve makes some interesting points. Some learn more by listening, than by speaking. Just a thought!! God Bless!!

PLANKEYE
 
RE: Operating  
by ONLYON6METERS on March 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
RE:Operating Reply
by KN4LF on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Steve WB2WIK your post is good and right on. Unfortunately though standards have been totally abandoned in virtually every aspect of our sick society.

Also I can't help but notice that consistently the most ignorant, assinine, trolling, flaming remarks are posted by people without a callsign. It's a spineless and cowardly way to conduct business. No callsign (unless you are a professed SWL) and as far as I'm concerned you are a little boy in an adult's body and a LID.

73,
Thomas Giella, KN4LF
http://www.kn4lf.com


RE: Operating Reply
by AD5TD on February 27, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
KN4LF, you have a great point. People tend to say things on the web that they would NEVER say to someone face to face. The safety and anonymity of the web make monsters of some. I have gone over board here myself. (see previous postings on this topic) But I have never done it anonymously.

A good rule would be, if you wouldn't say it to someone you meet on the street, keep it off here."

well, i saw nothing 'ignorant, assinine, trolling, flaming' in my remark. i thought i was being cordial & truthful in replying to 'ignorant, assinine, trolling, flaming' remarks. i have no desire to have a crazed lunatic emailing, writing or calling me regarding a disagreement about a HOBBY. it's happened before. i would even think twice about saying it face to face. how do i know that either of you aren't the type to 'swing 1st/ask questions later'? WIK made a suggestion. while PARTS of it may have merit, LIGHTEN UP! HOBBY HOBBY HOBBY HOBBY. have some fun. your TX-FL-CA accents i am SURE differ from mine, as do our 'regional dialects'. if i wanted EVERYBODY to SPEAK & SOUND the same, i'd listen to a network newscast. OK i agree 10-4 good buddy has no place on CB either, but handle/personal, & the such-LIVE WITH IT. if you have no desire to talk to somebody who talks 'wrong', all you guys should stake claim to some isolated land & put up stakes there. i go nuts at the local ARC-just TALK ENGLISH. and have a good day.
 
RE: Operating  
by KC7GNM on March 3, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Plankey said: "Maybe, if you stand to look at it, Steve makes some interesting points. Some learn more by listening, than by speaking. Just a thought!! God Bless!!"

The problem is that Steve can make rules then break them when he sees fit. Steve has no valid points what so ever. All he has is his opinion on how hams should operate on the bands. If it is not his way then you are wrong. That is what really got me miffed. Apparently some on here agree with me that Steve was totally wrong in the way he presented his article. Had he written it saying that in his opinion hams should be operating like that I could buy that but he didn't and he will not admit it either.

73 de Greg
KC7GNM
 
RE: Operating  
by PLANKEYE on March 3, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Plankey said: "Maybe, if you stand to look at it, Steve makes some interesting points. Some learn more by listening, than by speaking. Just a thought!! God Bless!!"

The problem is that Steve can make rules then break them when he sees fit. Steve has no valid points what so ever. All he has is his opinion on how hams should operate on the bands. If it is not his way then you are wrong. That is what really got me miffed. Apparently some on here agree with me that Steve was totally wrong in the way he presented his article. Had he written it saying that in his opinion hams should be operating like that I could buy that but he didn't and he will not admit it either.

73 de Greg
KC7GNM

PLANKEYE HERE:

Please note, I said Steve made some "interesting" points. God Bless Greg!!

PLANKEYE
 
Operating  
by K4UUG on March 5, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Now STEVE KATZ is going to tell YOU how to talk on the air,just like a Yankee to show US how much more cultural superior he is than the rest of US General & Extra class CBers!

Steve the Amateur's Code BELOW
says it all !

The Radio Amateur Operator is

CONSIDERATE: never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.

LOYAL: offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.

PROGRESSIVE: with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach.

FRIENDLY: slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.

BALANCED: radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.

PATRIOTIC: station and skill always ready for service to country and community.


The original Amateur's Code was written by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA, in 1928.

 
RE: Operating  
by K4UUG on March 5, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Plankeye making more new friends I see !
 
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Related News & Articles
JT65-HF -- an 'Odd' but Fun Digital Mode


Other Operating Articles
JT65-HF -- an 'Odd' but Fun Digital Mode
Is This In Your House?
Where is Your Microphone?