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Author Topic: Alternative Phonics for DX use  (Read 4101 times)
K4EZD
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Posts: 88




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« on: November 14, 2013, 10:13:10 AM »

I was attempting a SSB QSO with a DX station in Eastern Europe and he was able to understand my call except for the "Echo" that I was using for the letter E.  He asked me to use a different word so that he could understand but he did not recognize any that I could come up with at the time.  What are some alternatives for the standard phonic echo that he might have understood?  I think I tried "England", and "Europe" but did not want to get into the more silly options like elephant or entrails.   Grin

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N6GND
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Posts: 332




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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 10:40:54 AM »

It's a fundamental problem because our (American English) letter "e" is pronounced here like the letter "i" in most European languages.

"England" in Bulgarian (using our alphabet) is spelled "Angliya" so the problem of which vowel represents which sound also depends on spelling.


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WB2WIK
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2013, 11:21:05 AM »

I've always found with vowels, phonetics that use the "long" vowel pronunciation get through better than those using the "short" pronunciation, if you have an easy option.  Otherwise, very recognizable country, state or city names, preferably multisyllabic ones, get through better also.

"Echo" is a short "e."  "England" is a long "e" and almost always works better.

For me, "ocean" works better than "Oscar" for the same reason.

For "A," while "America" uses the short "a," it does get through very well.

I've found over many years of DXing that "short" isn't necessarily better for phonetics, especially if you want to be understood by non-English speakers.  I've found "delta" doesn't work very well for "d," but "Denmark" does.  "Foxtrot" doesn't seem to work very well for "f," but "Florida" does.  And so forth.
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N6GND
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2013, 11:32:51 AM »

"England" is a long "e" and almost always works better.

For "A," while "America" uses the short "a," it does get through very well.

I've found "delta" doesn't work very well for "d," but "Denmark" does.  "Foxtrot" doesn't seem to work very well for "f," but "Florida" does.  And so forth.

I think this is the best approach. I don't agree with the analysis, however, that it's a matter of "long" or "short" vowels. Seems to me that using place names is likely the key.
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AG6WT
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Posts: 437




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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2013, 12:13:08 PM »

Here's a compiled list of alternative phonetics that are often heard on the bands:

http://www.ac6v.com/dxphonetics.htm
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4366




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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2013, 01:38:16 PM »

This is an old perennial. The NATO/ICAO/ITU alphabet is meant for commercial/professional use, where rarely are signals marginal in terms of signal to noise ratio (SNR) but accents can be very heavy. When SNR is poor - as in many DX QSOs -  longer words are advisable because they add "syllabic redundancy" - much the same as having Forward Error Correction (FEC) in digital communications.

The downside is that there are people who for some reason, cannot recognise the longer words - only the standard ones. They have troubles with poor SNR....

Maybe the worst was the pre WW2 alphabet with 'Xanthippe'  (Zan - tipi) for X!
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K0OD
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Posts: 2521




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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2013, 02:54:12 PM »

This comes up every year here. Some things to note:

1) There are no mandatory "standard" phonetics hams must use for normal operating or contesting.

2) Best is what works for you, your station and your voice under the circumstances (noise, signal level, accent, modulation, pileup etc)

3) Some common "standardized" phonetic letters are awful. I refuse to say "Kay-bec" for Q. Who wants to sound like a hockey player?

4) When one set of phonetics doesn't get thru, switch to another. I often use "Oscar Delta" but will go to "Ontario Denmark" or make other adjustments.

5) Eschew single word phonetics... Mike, Golf. Long words are better.

6) Learn from the best ham ops in the toughest contests. Not from DX nets or VE study sessions. I don't use phonetics simply because two NATO mid-level officers liked them 40 years ago.


Jeff
K0OD
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2762




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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2013, 04:04:57 PM »

A – as in Aeolian
B – as in Bdellium
C – as in Czar
D – as in Djibouti
E – as in Eight
F – as in Philly
G – as in Gnat
H – as in Heir
I – as in One
J – as in Jalapeño
K – as in Knick-knack
L – as in Fifty – or as in llama
M – as in Mnemonic
N – as in Nguyen
O – as in Oedipus
P – as in Psychosis
Q – as in Quran
R – as in Are
S – as in Sea
T – as in Tsar
U – as in Uighur
V – as in Five
W – as in Write
X – as in Xylophone
Y – as in Yttrium
Z – as in Zwieback
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
WA8MEA
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Posts: 258


WWW

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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2013, 07:17:35 PM »

People just murder my callsign.  W A 8 M E A.  I don't know why.

Echo is the biggest problem.  But like tonight, the guy put a "Delta" in for the Alpha after "W".

So, I use:

Washington - America - Number Eight - Mexico - Ethiopia - America

or...

Washington - America - Number Eight - Mexico - Ecuador - America

And Pat, I especially like your alternative list.  The "Five" for "V" was extra funny...
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TANAKASAN
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Posts: 933




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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 01:10:52 AM »

For the letter 'E' how about Easy or Edward?

Tanakasan
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M6GOM
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Posts: 875




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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2013, 03:57:58 AM »

I specifically chose M0GVZ as my full call because I can use "Mexico Zero Guatemala Venezuela Zanzibar" which never ever fails to get recognised. The V seems to be an issue with Russian/former USSR countries so I usually just say Victoria for that and they get the rest using standard NATO.
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AC4RD
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Posts: 1236




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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2013, 04:21:52 AM »

A – as in Aeolian
B – as in Bdellium
C – as in Czar
D – as in Djibouti

I almost never laugh this early in the morning, but this is hilarious!  Thanks for the laugh!


A friend's first callsign was KF4UQX.  He said the phonetics were "Unceasingly Querying Xerxes."   :-)
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4366




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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2013, 01:58:58 AM »

Or

A is for 'orses
B   eef or Mutton
C for yourself


etc.....as used by Tommies in WW1
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K0OD
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Posts: 2521




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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2013, 11:44:37 AM »

Simplify:

C as in Czar
T as in Tsar

Z as in Zed
Zed as in Z
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1619




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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2013, 11:48:05 AM »

I personally prefer the CW phonetic alphabet.
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