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Author Topic: Touchy topic, ethical operating procedures, GREAT reference document  (Read 3049 times)
KG6MZS
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Posts: 476




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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2011, 09:36:02 AM »

As someone new to ham radio, there's one practice that still confuses me a bit - the use of QRZ to end a QSO and initiate another. There seems to be conflicting recommendations on it's use. The document devotes over 2 pages to its use, yet it conflicts itself and still is not clear. The document's usage is generally opposite the ARRL's recommendations.

I find it VERY useful when an operator handling a pileup ends with "QRZ" because it indisputably signals the end of the QSO and that he's ready to listen for new callers. Very often the operator simply ends with his callsign (or on digital with his call and "SK") and it is then ambiguous as to whether he is waiting for the other party of the QSO to respond or if he's waiting for new calls. This leaves the pileup in a state of confusion.

So, is it proper/optimal usage or not to end a QSO with "QRZ?" - what say you?

I say it is the calling operator's prerogative.  Personally I don't call until I hear a CQ, QRZ? or SK.  Sometimes I lay back on a QRZ when I know someone else has already called.  If a station is calling CQ and I hear another station respond and the calling station goes "QRZ?"  I wait for the other guy.

Some DX will just say "Thanks" and that is the same as "QRZ?"   I wait to establish that pattern before assuming that his "thanks" actually does mean "QRZ?"
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N7SMI
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Posts: 315




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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2011, 09:55:04 AM »

Quote from: KG6MZS
Some DX will just say "Thanks" and that is the same as "QRZ?"

Not always so. When someone says "Thanks" or "Bye bye" to me, it is natural for me to respond with a "Thank you", "You're welcome", "73" or whatever back. It's ambiguous as to whether the conversation is over or if the operator is expecting such a reply. This results in an awkward transition to the next QSO where new callers and the person in the previous QSO aren't quite sure whose turn it is. It usually results in callers waiting a few seconds for a response and upon hearing none, then they call - usually over top of the operator's return to someone that didn't wait.

"QRZ?" clearly signals that it's time to call him. I heard one operator use "Go" and "Go ahead" which also did the trick nicely.

Quote from: KG6MZS
I wait to establish that pattern before assuming that his "thanks" actually does mean "QRZ?"

Yes, this is certainly important. But using "QRZ?" removes the need to decipher this pattern.
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KG6MZS
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Posts: 476




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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2011, 10:35:46 AM »

Well, true, but if you wait for that on some "wham, bam, TU ham" DX you'll never make the Q.
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KF5IIL
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2011, 11:43:58 AM »

As a new ham, when someone uses a non ITU phonetic alphabet name, it can get confusing because it can mix up the context.

For example - if you say sand, sugar, sword, silly, or something else starting with "S" instead of "Sierra", then I think you are talking about something else and not making a phonetic spelling.  My mind gets sidetracked because I am more focused on capturing the phonetics as I know them.  This gets even worse if the signal is not great or the interference is sporadic, with some parts of words and phrases not being heard through the noise.  Thus, the whole purpose of using a phonetic for clarity is somewhat defeated.

If I hear "Sierra", Tango, et al, then I generally grok that someone is trying to spell something out, even if the interference is bad.  If I hear "sugar" (which I have heard often, btw), then I think that someone is either giving a dessert recipe or is being far too familiar with me  Grin.

Now I know some more experienced operators will just say I'm being weak-minded or pedantic here, but I do view the radio communications as a discipline of sorts.  And I'm not trying insult anyone who wants to use non-ITU phonetics.  Instead, I'm saying that it important to understand that what you might think is a way to make something clearer may actually do the opposite, depending upon the listener.
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KC9TNH
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Posts: 304




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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2011, 11:49:41 AM »

Downloaded and,...
OK, perused it during lunch. I see it as a Heinz 57. There is quite a bit of good info, some doesn't-apply-to-all-cases-in-reality info, and the occasional mistake of fact. I would certainly suggest it as reading, while handing along other things, such as Your Novice Accent - and What to do About It, and a variety of other things passed to me by mentors. Not being into DX for its own sake - but interested anyway because my globe is round and not bounded by the WAS map - there's some interesting stuff in there.

I'm also remiss (according to the pub) in a couple of relatively minor things and not sure I'll change. An example would be my use of 'k' which I've used in other non-ham commo environs for decades contrasted with the widespread use (I'm since learning) of [bk], when 'k' suffices so long as stations are ID'ing according to Hoyle.

From perspective of studying the species, I wonder how much consternation gets caused by something published based on its tone. Authors coming from different states (literally living under different governments) sometimes put forth things that might seem a bit heavy-handed simply by the tone of the writing when read by an American.

I'm not going to tell someone in the bush that they can't give someone their grocery list over HF when the only way it's going to be delivered is by a Beaver on floats... And QRZ without the interrogative suffix still has a role, and it's translation means exactly what you find in the many lists of Q-signals available IF the part with the '...' is used correctly.

It's very useful reading and I'll neither pitch it nor revere it. Behavior with or without character is kinda like porn or art, you know it when you see (or hear) it.
.
.
.
.
Meanwhile, de kilo charlie niner tango NORWAY HOLLYWOOD.  Shocked
 - oh, wait. I don't have to do any of that CW.
 Grin

KF5IIL: I use the NATO alphabet, period, until it doesn't work which happens usually with a non-US station; quite a few non-US folks don't get 'hotel', hear the long-o sound and think 'ocean'. Many do not get 'November' at all, so if it's not workin' I'll use what it takes (see above). Actually, it's not a CW problem, but on phone I've also learned how to say my call-area number in several languages to bust thru a string of "again?" situations.
Semper Gumby; it's commo, make it work.
 Wink
Have a great weekend everyone.
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73
Wes -KC9TNH
"Don't get treed by a chihuahua." - Pete
N7SMI
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Posts: 315




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« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2011, 12:05:32 PM »

Quote from: KF5IIL
As a new ham, when someone uses a non ITU phonetic alphabet name, it can get confusing because it can mix up the context.

For example - if you say sand, sugar, sword, silly, or something else starting with "S" instead of "Sierra", then I think you are talking about something else and not making a phonetic spelling.

Likewise. However, I do think these have a place. "Sierra" is a hard one because the "s" is very soft and the "r"s very hard. My call has "Sierra Mike" and operators will often hear "Rome" or "Rum" in the middle of it. "Sugar" has a very hard "s" and a distinct ending making it easier to pull out of the noise.

I think it best to follow the pattern of the operator I'm calling, especially for DX. I will sometimes use the more understandable-over-poor-voice-conditions "Norway" and "Sugar" on a second call to help them catch the right letters if they have also been using such phonetics.

The one that trips me up EVERY   SINGLE   TIME is "Kilowatt" for "K" instead of "Kilo". I always think and write "KW" or "K?" instead.
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W3LK
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Posts: 5644




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« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2011, 01:28:37 PM »


Likewise. However, I do think these have a place. "Sierra" is a hard one because the "s" is very soft and the "r"s very hard. My call has "Sierra Mike" and operators will often hear "Rome" or "Rum" in the middle of it. "Sugar" has a very hard "s" and a distinct ending making it easier to pull out of the noise.

There is an element of truth in this, but many, many problems with understanding words are cause by the speaker mumbling and not enunciating correctly. Regional dialects can wreak havoc on pronunciation.

And then there are the people who insist of speaking so quickly they run the words together into one unintelligible mess. Just like CW, shooting and many other endeavors, accuracy (intelligibility) is more important than speed.
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
G0GQK
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Posts: 634




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« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2011, 02:03:29 PM »

Radio operating can be likened to driving a car, auto, automobile, you choose. People read the Highway Code front to back before they take their driving test and never look at the book again for 50 years. When you see them doing things and not using their indicators you realise they don't know what they're for, or they've forgotten.

G0GQK
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4358




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« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2011, 12:42:48 AM »

It was back in the early 1980s that there was correspondance in the RSGB Radcom magazine on this subject. There was general concensus from the weak signal SSB VHF operators (GW4FRX comes to mind) that the ITU alphabet is non ideal in those situations, because of the lack of syllabic redundancy, as well as the number of words with low energy syllables.

Thus the realisation of the problems are based on at least semi scientific reasoning and the  results obtained in practice. If you just operate through the local repeater, you don't need any other alpahbet.

Incidentally, have you ever heard it taken to it full usage?

As a number, as a number, Hotel, as a number, as a number, Charlie.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5855




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« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2011, 10:28:20 AM »

OK, perused it during lunch. I see it as a Heinz 57. There is quite a bit of good info, some doesn't-apply-to-all-cases-in-reality info, and the occasional mistake of fact....

That is how it seems to me.  AAMOF, there are about as many opinions of these things (ethical operating procedures) as Carter has liver pills.  What may seem OK for some may not be for others, especially if the operators are in different countries, since the government of some countries are not as permissive as the government of others.

Reading these treatises and listening to the bands are the best ways to get the feel of how to operate, not sticking to the exactness of some obscure document that other operators may not have even heard of. 
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AA4HA
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Posts: 1377




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« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2011, 02:15:43 PM »

Reading through it a couple of times I agree that it is a "Heinz 57" and not a mandatory way of carrying out a QSO. It does address many things that are not covered in any of the license study guides in regards to the flow of making a contact. It is sort of nice to have a benchmark, even if it is idealistic, for a new operator to get a little feel for the rules of the road. I would not want "some" of the 75 meter chats to end up being served up as the way to be a good ham operator as many are nothing better than the worst kind of tripe (outside of Howard Stern or Don Imus) on the air.

Now I have gone and broken one of the key precepts, to avoid controversial subjects. I am certain to have offended some portion of the eHam crowd with the Stern/Imus jab. Again, those are my personal opinions and well... you can snipe at me about them but it is like water off a duck's back. <p>

Yes, it would be boring to just speak about "radio" or the weather on the air. I keep the subjects that I talk about on the air to be on par with what I discuss with the taxi cab driver from the airport to the hotel. Yes, I find it interesting that he has a masters degree in international relations and is from Kenya and can only get a cab driving job in Las Vegas. I am not going to taunt him about it or about how he should go back to his country and to give jobs to AmErIcAnS. He is, after all, the cab driver and could dump me off in some miserable spot in the desert <g>. The idea is to have fun on the air (at least to me) as I am not going to file a logbook with the ARRL for some certificate or contest (too much like revision tracking on an Excel spreadsheet for work). I go on the air when I am in a good mood and not when I have an axe to grind or to get a good hate going on someone. When I hear rude behavior I just spin the dial or change the band. If it really gets to me I just hit the power button for the evening.

Getting back on topic, I think the document is useful. It is overreaching to say that it is an "ethical guide" and really is more of a description of good operating practices. If in reading it we each came away with just one minor adjustment to how we operate our station or more importantly, turn on our brains before we hit the PTT key, then it has had made a positive impact upon the hobby.

Tisha Hayes
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Ms. Tisha Hayes, AA4HA
Lookout Mountain, Alabama
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