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Author Topic: Calling CQ the right way?  (Read 2492 times)
KC9AIK
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Posts: 19




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« on: July 09, 2002, 02:11:52 AM »

Hi guys,
this may sound really stupid, but I seriously started to wonder, what my problem is with calling CQ. I spend today and yesterday several hours behind my (newly received but used) TM-733a rig and tried to make contacts. Without any success. As I started to ham, i just had my little vx-1r I communicated with. I knew I couldn't make much of a contact due to the 500mW output. But now i have a mobile rig with 50watts and there is still no one answering my CQs. I thought maybe there are not that many hams hams in my area (southern suburbs of Chicago... Tinley Park to be specific) but I still can listen to them all over the 2meter band. Is there like a trick to call CQ (I actually can't believe i am asking this question)Huh
Thanks for your help,
73 Kilian KC9AIK
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2002, 12:25:18 PM »

Assuming you're serious, why are you calling CQ on FM?  This is not illegal or anything, but it's far off protocol for channelized (FM) communications.

What people do to make contact on FM, if a channel is completely clear (no activity for some time), is simply state, "W1ABC listening."  That's perfectly sufficient to raise a contact, if anyone's there and wishes to chat with you.

Alternatively, and maybe easier if you're just starting out, is to simply find activity and join the conversation, by inserting your callsign quickly in a brief break that occurs when one station turns it over to the other.  And that's _all_ you do: Insert your callsign.  When the first station stops transmitting, quickly transmit, announce your callsign (only), and stop transmitting.  If you're on the right frequency, using the right PL tone, they'll hear you.  And now you're part of their conversation!

WB2WIK/6
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KC9AIK
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2002, 12:15:22 AM »

Well,
I heard it is kinda rude, to interrupt 2 pople in a conversation. this might be the proper way if they use a repeater but when operating simplex... I thought calling CQ is the correct way to call for a contact, when on simplex, or am I mistaken?
And what do you mean, that it is almost illegal to call CQ on FM? why is that? I never heard of that before.
thank you, Kilian
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KL7IPV
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Posts: 984




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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2002, 01:23:33 AM »

Well, the idea of calling CQ on FM does sound strange but is not illegal. Usually on channelized FM one would get on frequency and rather than call CQ say, " Is any one on frequency? This is KL7IPV" Just saying, "KL7IPV listening" is technically illegal since it is actually a broadcast to no one person in particular. "Kerchunking" a repeater is not nice either but keying the repeater and announcing that you are testing is legal and lets you know if you are getting into the repeater okay. If you hear a conversation that sounds interesting to you, it is not considered rude to insert your callsign when they pause. If they want to accept another person into their conversation they will acknowledge you and ask you to return. If the people you hear are on a repeater and you can never seem to reach them, when the repeater is not in use try to key it up and be sure you have the PL tones needed to bring the repeater up. If it doesn't come up for you, they will not hear you and you will need to find out why you aren't getting into the repeater. If you hear stations on and want to see if you are putting out  a good, clean signal, it is not inappropriate to insert your callsign and ask for help with a signal report or audio report. That at least breaks the ice for you and gives you a chance to go from there. Good luck. Don't give up.
73
Frank
KL7IPV
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2002, 07:05:54 PM »

I didn't say it was "almost illegal" to call CQ on FM.  I said nothing even close to that.  I said it's against protocol, and what I really meant by that is that calling CQ on FM will identify you immediately as a "newbie," or an inexperienced operator.  That's not so bad, but it's also not so great!

For more than 40 years, hams working FM simplex or repeaters have used "listening," or "monitoring," or something similar, along with their callsigns, as the FM version of a very brief CQ.  I don't believe it is illegal to do so, unlike Pete, because calling CQ is also a broadcast to no one in particular, and that's been legal since Part 97 was written, and was convention well before that.  Code practice transmission and amateur radio related bulletins, also broadcast to no one in particular, are also legal in the Amateur Service, provided one follow the standards for doing so.

It is not impolite to break into an ongoing conversation between amateurs, although common sense dictates what is "nice" and what's not.  If the ongoing QSO is general ham radio stuff, operators welcome break-ins, and the more, the merrier.  If the ongoing QSO is between a husband and wife discussing family matters, then it probably would be impolite to break in.  I'd wait until they're finished with their personal stuff.  If the ongoing QSO is handling an emergency, then by all means, unless you can directly and immediately contribute somehow, stay off the channel until the emergency seems resolved.  It's just common sense.

I've operated VHF-FM since the 1960's, and have owned repeaters on both coasts (still do), and can tell you that most of the QSOs I've had on, say, two meter FM, were "round table" conversations involving more than two stations -- sometimes, as many as 20 or 30!  That makes it so much more fun.

73 & good luck!

Steve, WB2WIK/6





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KG4RUL
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2002, 10:13:30 AM »

Saying 'listening' or 'monitoring' does not in any way convey your desire for a conversation.  However, using CQ states that you are desiring a contact with anyone who will respond to you.  Just because a practice is 'convention' does not mean it is the optimal way to do something.

Dennis - KG4RUL
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2002, 04:42:48 PM »

"CQ" doesn't mean anything to anyone who doesn't know what it means, so that argument isn't very good.

To those who have experience with FM channelized operations, we know full well what "monitoring" or "listening" means.  No one needs advise anyone that they're listening -- just do it.  To announce same means one is looking for a two-way contact.

The reason "CQ" was never embraced by the FM community is that under crowded channel-sharing conditions, it just wastes time.  This was more problematical many years ago when the FM subbands were truly crowded.  With the varagies of propagation, it's possible that every transmission made could key up multiple repeaters, or potentially interfere with a simplex QSO that isn't always heard by the one keying the mike.  So, it became protocol to keep one-way transmissions as brief as possible.  Today, I'd agree this isn't as important, since activity is considerably lower than it was 20 years ago on the FM subbands.

When passing through an area where I really don't know anybody, I've found it far more fruitful to announce, "WB2WIK, mobile in Houston, looking for directions," or something to that effect.  People respond, trying to help, far more frequently than they'd respond to a general call or a CQ.

WB2WIK/6
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2002, 09:47:51 PM »

I have to take exception to this comment:

"CQ" doesn't mean anything to anyone who doesn't know what it means, so that argument isn't very good.

Every Ham knows what 'CQ' means, or at least they should.  Refer to the following Tech test questions:

T2C07 @N2A07 (D)
What is the meaning of the procedural signal "CQ"?
A.  "Call on the quarter hour"
B.  "New antenna is being tested" (no station should answer)
C.  "Only the called station should transmit"
D.  "Calling any station"

T2C09 @N2A17 (C)
What is the correct way to call CQ when using voice?
A.  Say "CQ" once, followed by "this is," followed by your call sign
spoken three times
B.  Say "CQ" at least five times, followed by "this is," followed by
your call sign spoken once
C.  Say "CQ" three times, followed by "this is," followed by your call
sign spoken three times
D.  Say "CQ" at least ten times, followed by "this is," followed by
your call sign spoken once

T2C10 @N2A18 (D)
How should you answer a voice CQ call?
A.  Say the other station's call sign at least ten times, followed by
"this is," then your call sign at least twice
B.  Say the other station's call sign at least five times
phonetically, followed by "this is," then your call sign at least once
C.  Say the other station's call sign at least three times, followed
by "this is," then your call sign at least five times phonetically
D.  Say the other station's call sign once, followed by "this is,"
then your call sign given phonetically

Dennis - KG4RUL
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N4XC
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2002, 07:58:57 AM »

WB2WIK is TRYING to express the correct way to do things on FM. We all know CQ is primarilly used on the HF bands, why do some people not want to take the advise??  

The best thing a new ham can do is LISTEN, both on the bands and to other hams that have been around a while. I doubt very seriously that anyone would hear anyone else call CQ on a repeater freq.  

If I REALLY want to talk to someone, like to check a rig or something, I'll say "This is N4XC, anybody around??" This usually will bring someone back. There are accepted ways to do things in this world, and calling CQ on FM is not one of them!

Dave, N4XC
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2002, 06:51:47 PM »

CQ is used a lot on VHF and UHF, too, but not for FM channelized work.  It's used anywhere people traditionally "tune around," looking for contacts, using linear tuning methodology.

I haven't looked at the FCC VE Question Pools lately, but if the questions and answers posted earlier are any indication of their contents, it's not surprising we're breeding a crop of people who have no idea how to operate.

**Sigh** (again)

WB2WIK/6
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KA0MR
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Posts: 221




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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2002, 03:37:21 PM »

As an ARRL "Official Observer"  calling CQ is a one way transmission for the purpose of enlisting a contact extremly legal.

Making a one way transmission and saying "callsign Listening" for the purpose of enlisting a contact is also extremly legal. As is " callsign monitoring".

It's all in the intent fellows

Bob KA0MR
ARRL Auxillary
Official Onserver Program
Midwest Division
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N6HBJ
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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2002, 04:02:30 AM »

KG4RUL, I've been a HAM for approx 20 years and I have NEVER heard anyone call CQ on a repeater. Its just not done. It would sound silly.

Although "listening" or "monitoring" out of context doesn't imply you wish a contact, the reality is that on VHF/UHF repeaters the general accepted practice to announce your prescense for a possible contact is to state your callsign followed by "listening" or "monitoring"

Thats just the way its done.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2002, 01:41:31 PM »

N6HBJ:

I don't know if you have ever used EchoLink.  One of the features is the ability for persons who provide access to their repeaters, via EchoLink, to provide a text message regarding usage of that repeater.  Very often the repeater owner requests that you call using "CQ".  Are they wrong, in your estimation?

Dennis - KG4RUL
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N6HBJ
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2002, 02:40:28 PM »

 Dennis,

 I'm not familiar with echo link usage so there may be a different "protocol" for that.

Also simplex CQ calling may be appropriate.

I was referreing strictly to "standard" repeater operation.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2002, 04:39:18 PM »

N6HBJ:

Could you please point me to a written "protocol" or "standard" that states calling CQ on a repeater is not acceptable?  

If doing so elicits a response, why should you, or anyone else, be even the least little bit concerned about it?  

If my goal, in keying up a repeater, is to have a conversation with any Ham, who is listening, why would I even hesitate to call CQ?

Too much ado about nothing.

Dennis - KG4RUL
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