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Author Topic: "Roger"  (Read 1341 times)
N7KTX
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Posts: 31




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« on: November 06, 2011, 09:16:56 PM »

Does anyone know the origin of the radio communication term "Roger"?  I can find its meaning but not its history.  It almost certainly dates back to WWII or even before.  Who was Roger, anyway?  My daily net members want to know!

David
KF7OAE
davidcaldwell@gotsky.com
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N2EY
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Posts: 3877




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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2011, 01:59:09 AM »

Does anyone know the origin of the radio communication term "Roger"? 

That's easy. It started with Morse Code.

In order to save time, the use of abbreviations and prosigns was and is common with Morse Code, going back to the earliest days of the landwire telegraph. The landwire telegraph is where we got "73" for "best regards", "ES" for "&", and the expression "take five".

In radio, the abbreviation "R" for "Received All Correctly" gained early acceptance. "R" simply means "I heard and understood everything you sent".

When voice radio came along, the use of phonetics for individual letters became necessary. Words were chosen for their lack of rhyme with other words and their clarity in noisy situations.

One phonetic word list, commonly used by the US military in WW2, used the words Able, Baker, Charlie, and so on for A, B, C, etc. And the word for R was Roger. So the Morse Code abbreviation "R" became the voice proword "Roger", with the same meaning.

Note that "R" or "Roger" does not mean "Yes" or "I agree". It just means "I heard and understood what you said".

Today the standard phonetic word for R is Romeo. But the use of Roger is so ingrained that it's pretty much permanent.


Now you figure out where "take five" came from. No, it's not jazz musicians and it doesn't mean "take five minute break"

73 de Jim, N2EY
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AE4RV
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2011, 06:48:19 AM »

Jim, please stop teasing us with "take five". Does it have to do with station IDing? What is the origin?
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N7KTX
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2011, 07:28:45 AM »

Thanks for the input.  Sounds plausible.

KF7OAE
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