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Author Topic: The term "Roger"  (Read 434 times)
KG4DBM
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« on: July 26, 2004, 09:42:47 PM »

Hello all,

My question is where did the term "Roger" come from in radio. I am in the Air Force and we use land mobile radios all the time and use the term Roger just as we do on our ham bands. Can anyone tell me the history of it and where it came from. It would great to be able to tell the people at work what it is. They always ask me because Iam that RADIO GUY.
Thanks,
Jason KG4DBM
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W2AEW
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2004, 09:46:12 PM »

I always thought it was a phonetic for the letter "r", as in "received".  But, its just a guess on my part...
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KC8AXJ
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2004, 12:25:53 AM »

http://pw2.netcom.com/~mrlucky/roger.html
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W8JI
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2004, 06:24:11 AM »

Roger sounds unique, and is phonetic for R which means received.

The worse phrases or words possible are things like "QSL" "acknowledged" or "confirmed" because weak signals can make them sound like something else.
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K4KK
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2004, 07:40:57 AM »

"roger" is a word often used on HF to be the equivalent of "R" for received.

On VHF FM where signal quality is rarely an issue, it is actually an abreviation of "Rodgeeee" or "Roger Roger Roger Roger" or "Roger on that" or various combinations of the multiple applications.  Really good operaters are adept at "Rodgeeee on that fer sure" or turning it into a question with "Roger that?"  Obviously, on VHF FM where reception is almost universally solid, there is no need to resort to a simple "Roger" when there are so many other possibilities.

On CW at any frequency, didahdit seems sufficient.  At the transmitting speeds of many of the truly skilled "roger" operators, it would take hours to send didahdit dahdahdah dahdahdit dit didahdit.

There are some very good "rogerers" out there that can roger in new and exciting ways.  They are ever expanding the horizons of amateur radio.
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KA5N
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2004, 09:44:44 AM »

Well then what about "Roger, Wilco"?  They always said that on the old WWII movies as well as "Over and Out" which Army MARS operators are chastized for using.  You are either "Over" or "Out" you can't be both.  I saw an short article the other day and it gave the origin of "HAM" as comming from an early 1900's magazine called "Home Amateur Magazine" which told how to build amateur equipment.
In MHO who cares?
Allen
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W3JJH
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2004, 09:48:02 AM »

The US military phonetic alphabet in use before the ACP-125 was adopted to standardize NATO communications procedures used ROGER for the letter "R."  NATO adopted the ICAO alphabet that uses ROMEO.  "R" is the prosign for "message received."  Because of its heritage of use, ROGER was kept as the proword for "message received."
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N3ZKP
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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2004, 11:17:50 AM »

<< Well then what about "Roger, Wilco"? >>

That's Hollywood, nothing more.

ROGER is a proword meaning "I understand your last transmission."

WILCO is a proword meaning "I understand your request (or order) and will comply."

ROGER, WILCO is redundant and no real radio operator would ever use it.

The only time WILCO is appropriate is when you are specifically asked or ordered to take some specific action and are agreeing to do so.

ALso, it is NOT the phonetic for the letter "R". ROMEO is the correct phonetic.

Lon
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W3JJH
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2004, 01:25:28 PM »

Back when I was teaching Radiotelephone Procedure to 2LTs at the Army Signal School, we had a bad operator character played by one of the Assistant Instructors called Roger Wilco.  He did everything wrong, including using OVER and OUT together.

One of the great no-nos in the military is to use REPEAT instead of SAY AGAIN.  SAY AGAIN means "I didn't understand you; resay your last transmission."  REPEAT mean "Shoot the last artillery fire mission a second time."

The lab session during which the 2LTs demonstrated their grasp of proper procedure was held in the afternoon just before a ceremony that required all the students to be in their Class-A Army Green Uniforms.  Without fail, one sudent would ask someone to REPEAT a transmission.  When that happened, one of the instructors would come up on the net with the call sign assigned to the artillery battery and reply, "WILCO Fire Mission."  Then all of the instructors would lob chalk-laden erasers from the blackboards at the offending student--who was always easy to spot on the parade ground later that afternoon.
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KG4DBM
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2004, 09:04:14 PM »

Thanks to everyone all this sheds some light on the whole "Roger" thing. Enjoyed reading the old "war stories" too. 73s
Jason KG4DBM
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CODEBASHER
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2004, 10:37:41 PM »

I always heard that "Wilco" stood for "will comply"
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KC2MMI
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2004, 11:15:53 PM »

I'd been told that the early broadcasts of NASA missions popularized (and legitimized) "Roger Wilco" as the NASA operators used it to mean "Roger", I have understood your transmission" AND "Wilco" I will also comply. Because "wilco" can transmit like a mouthful of ground rocks, ROGER was always used. Wilco was only used when appropriate, following it. If the other party heard "Roger mphfrg" he could assume it probably was "Roger Wilco".  If the just heard "mphfrg" there was no way to tell it that meant Wilco or not.

Considering how many folks rely on "Roger tones" and can't be bothered to use any pro words at all...I'll take anything rather than the tones!
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