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When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?

joseph cotton (W3TTT) on October 26, 2015
View comments about this article!

When is it ok to join a conversation on ham radio?
Here are some opinions that I have copied and attributed to the author. What do you think?


Joining a Conversation in Process- (ARRL.org)

Remember that private conversations don’t exist in Amateur Radio. If you don’t want to call CQ to start a conversation, you can join a conversation that is already in progress. Listen carefully to the operators. Are they having an animated, involved discussion? If so, it may be a bit rude to interrupt unless you have something important to offer. If the chat seems casual, the operators may not mind someone else joining. So how do you politely interrupt? The best approach is to wait for one station to stop transmitting and then quickly announce your call sign:

“Yes, Charlie, I hope to get the dipole soldered together this weekend if the weather holds up.” “N1RL.” “Ah…we have a breaking station. N1RL, go ahead!”

Do not use the word “break.” You may hear other hams doing this, but you should only say “break” when you need to interrupt because of an emergency.


Well, today, we needn't tune around looking for answers, any answers will be right there on the same frequency we're on. Experienced operators know it's easy to break into an ongoing QSO, if you know how and when it's appropriate to do so. I make a lot of my contacts like that: Just overhear an interesting conversation, wait for a pause, insert my callsign, and join the group. But many newbies, as well as some old-timers, are too shy to do this, or maybe just not very good at it. And it is frowned on by most to break into a conversation when you've absolutely nothing to add to it.

So, I only break in when I do think I have something of value to add. It's also acceptable to break into a non-emergency contact (which is about 99.9% of all QSOs) to simply ask for a report, like, “Hey guys, Steve in L.A. here, with a new antenna. How's the signal?” Nobody with a heart can begrudge another ham a signal report when he's using a new antenna. Ditto goes for a new rig, microphone, or a new almost anything.
Steve Katz, WB2WIK

And please! When breaking in, don't say "break, break, break", as most old timers will consider that you have an emergency. Do as Steve suggests, and just give your call.
Alan, KØBG

Someone asked about joining an in-progress group. I do this frequently on 75 meters, and occasionally on 20 meters.

First, if this is a group you do not know, and that does not know you, the main consideration is "Why?" Are they having an interesting conversation? Why is it interesting? Do you know something about it? Do you have something to add? Or perhaps a question? If the group is talking about Power Stroke diesel engines, do you want to know something about that engine? Or maybe you want to compare that engine to some other engine.

I liken round-tables or 'groups' to a group of men standing at the bus stop. They are talking about sports. You arrive at the bus stop and overhear their conversation. But you know none of these men. However, you do know something about sports, so you want to join in. You wait for the right opportunity and then you say "How about dem Cowboys?" Or whatever sports comment is appropriate.

It's the same thing on ham radio. This is a group of people talking about a subject. If you listen for a few minutes, the subject may switch from Power Stroke engines to fishing boats. That's OK. Maybe you like those, too! In other words, be pertinent. Don't pick a group that is talking about digital photography and hop in there with "Any of you guys rebuilding Power Stroke engines?"

Having determined you have a reason for breaking into a conversation, you need to pick the time. Some of the round tables go pretty quickly, with none of the operators "dragging their feet" to listen for newcomers. So you have to be ready for a pause that is longer than a second. If not, you are going to be doubling with someone, and that won't earn you points. See if you can pick up the rhythm of the conversation. Usually one fellow, and maybe a couple, will be a bit slower on the uptake than the rest, and you will recognize this. But if not, sooner or later there will be a brief moment of silence. And that's where you fit in! Be ready! Don't be off feeding the dog or fixing a snack.

Say your call sign, once only, clearly, and no phonetics! You have only one or one and a half seconds to get it in, so make it count. Be sure you are right on their frequency, and let's pray you didn't tune up there!

Recognize that not everyone in the group may have heard you, depending upon propagation, QRN, etc. But someone probably did. If you are immediately acknowledged, great! Someone will say, "was there a breaking station in there?" Well, yes, by gosh, there was and you're "it." Now you can return with "This is (call) and the name is (name) in (location). I heard you guys talking about that fishing boat and I have one. (Or I plan to buy one. Or mine sank.)" But keep it short! One sentence if possible. I recommend still not using phonetics for your call sign until and unless you are asked to clarify it.

You are in. Next go around you will be included, and someone will probably comment directly to you even at this point. "Oh, your boat sank, Joe? Was it overloaded with fish?" You are on your way. But don't get long winded and tell a long, tall tale. Make your transmissions short, conversational the way they would be if you were standing around the room chatting with these guys. (In AM operation, yeah, make your tale long!)

Suppose you weren't heard? Or no one acknowledged you. Wait a few moments; perhaps through three or four other guys transmitting, then try it again. Still not acknowledged? Wait again, and try it a third time, after perhaps three more transmissions. Trust that if you can hear all of them, certainly some of them, if not all, can hear you. So if you aren't allowed in, or acknowledged, in three tries, find another group.
Ed - W5HTW


It is rude and Liddish to break in to a conversation when you don't know what is going on or you can't understand both sides of the conversation.

A person should use the same common sense as he would use in person. If two or more people are in a conversation about some specific topic, would you really walk up and say "hey, how loud is my voice"? If you couldn't understand one or hear him at all, would you join in?

I've been criticized for pointing out to people who are rude enough to break in when they don't have anything at all to add that they are being rude.

I still remember way back to 1962 or 63 when I broke into a roundtable and said "I don't know who is here or where you are at but I want to join in". I was politely educated! I learned a very good lesson about manners, and still respect and value having it explained how rude it was to break in without being able to contribute or knowing who was there.

Nothing wrong with joining in or asking for a signal report from strangers as long as the TIMING is correct.
Tom W8JI


The correct way to join in to an ongoing QSO.

While tuning around on the Hamsphere Bands, you may come across an ongoing QSO and maybe you'd like to join in. There is a right way to do this and a wrong way. Of course, we all want to operate in the correct manner. Remember, we want to operate on Hamsphere as we would be required to do on the actual Ham Bands.

If you'd like to join in or "break" in to an ongoing conversation or QSO as its called, the first thing you want to do is LISTEN. Make a note of the callsign of one or all in the QSO. Then, WAIT for the transmitting station to hand it back to the next station. Between the break in their QSO, you would say your call. That’s all.... Just your call or if you'd like, the prefix or last numerals of your call. For example; Between the "overs" I would break in by saying, "N1TKO" or if your call is 321HS123, you can say, "123". Thats all... Very simple.

Then, WAIT to be acknowledged by the station it was going to. Once acknowledged, the station would say "N1TKO, you are acknowledged, please stand-by" or "The 123 station, stand by". Then, when the station calls you in, then you can transmit and join into the QSO.

NEVER say BREAK or BREAKER.... The term "Break - Break" is only used in the event of an emergency.

ALWAYS listen first on a frequency before you transmit to be sure it is not already in use. A good habit to get into is to select a frequency you'd like to use then ask "Is this frequency in use?" "Is this frequency in use"? If you hear no response, the frequency is all yours.
N1TK0

What do you think? Do you agree with the ARRL and WB2WIK and others, and insert your call sign between the "overs" to join a conversation? Or do you think that is "Liddish" as said by W8JI unless you have "something to add"? Is there a polite way to indicate that a conversation is not accepting other participants? Should you indicate that you are accepting other stations in the conversation or is it accepted and taken for granted that you accept others to join the conversation on ham radio?

73, DE W3TTT

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by VK4FFAB on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Nothing frustrates me more than being in an involved technical discussion and an endless stream of breakers wanting to check their antenna's or report their signals are working, or to make sure their audio is working now after they changed the mic gain from 10 to 10.2.

If you break into an existing conversation, have something to add to the topic or just don't break in until the conversation runs its course, unless it is an emergency then start yelling PAN PAN PAN at a minimum.

Yes, there are no private conversations, but remember that radio is also not all about you, so think of the people involved in the conversation first and your own needs second. And if you have nothing to add to the existing topic, find someone else to get your antenna report from or to exercise your narcissism with.

Cheers,

Rob
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K5UJ on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Rob is absolutely correct. An operator breaking into a roundtable should know the rotation order and the topic(s) and be able to contribute something. The proper way to do so is to give his call sign. "Break" or worse "Contact" are rude. It's also rude to break in and try to change the topic or not know which operator's turn it is to transmit next. The worst is an interesting technical discussion and folks want to break in to discuss drivel. Sure, everyone forgets these rules including me, and there are times I want a signal report but when that happens I try to be brief, apologize, and turn the frequency back to the ham to recognized me.

73

Rob
K5UJ
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K9MHZ on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
With so many in our hobby being awkward socially, it's no wonder that this happens.

Normal social interaction does not stop at the radio mic.

 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by N0CAB on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
QSK would be a good way to Join in!
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KB2DHG on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
When I am scanning the bands and come across an interesting conversation, I wait and see the round table of operators and ONLY IF I have something to add, I will break in with a through of my call.
Never, Ever, would I break in just to get a signal report... I hate when people do that.

One of the things I like about this hobby is having good conversations and good long QSO's
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K4RVN on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I am hearing the word Contact and then a call more often these days to join a QSO in progress. If the other group does not reply then they either don't hear you or they don't want another person in the conversation. I personally just put my call out. If there is no recognition I forget it.
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by W6CAW on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I guess we are strange on the Left Coast. We all use "contact" to let a conversation know we want to join. Much shorter than using your call letters.
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by N4NYK on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Transmitting the word "contact" as your initial transmission, does not identify your station. Therefore, technically, it is illegal. Similar to "kerchunking" a 2m repeater and not identifying. Quickly saying your call sign, w/o phonetics, accomplishes your wish to join and identifies your station. In addition, you don't sound like you're an unlicensed CBer.
Most groups in a QSO welcome newcomers. Just be courteous, friendly, identify yourself on the first transmission and be willing to add something to the QSO.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K1DA on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
"Contact" comes, apparently, from net operations, which is about as far from the kind of operation I like as you can get.
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by JOHNZ on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
"contact" is an aeronautical term.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by W3TTT on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
The intention of using the word "contact" is to let the group know that someone would like to join, while (and this is important) trying not to interrupt as much as possible. The "contact-ter" fully intends to identify if, and when he is recognized. And since the intention is "not to interrupt" is would be accepted as good operating procedure.
By the way, transmitting with out identifying is accepted in certain circumstances. Or don't you ever tune up your transmitter?
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by N4NYK on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Sure. After tuning is complete, I identify using morse. I don't wait to be "recognized" since that violates requirements; just the way I am....
73 de N4NYK
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KQ9J on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
"Contact" is a term used on service nets when stations are looking for each other and wish to notify net control that they want to talk to each other (to move off frequency and continue their conversation).

If you boorishly want to break in, univited, to an established QSO that has not asked for any others to join, just use your call.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by N4KZ on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Great topic and very timely. I tend to operate mainly on 17 meters and above. I run some power and use a large beam on a tower and put out a fairly strong signal much of the time. I seem to attract my share of fellow operators who want to join my conversations - perhaps because I live in a semi-rare state or have a strong signal. But frankly, I hesitate to open up my QSOs to a third party when on the higher HF bands because odds are they don't or won't copy the station I am talking with because of skip zones and propagation. And I really dislike making the party I am already talking with stand-by while I converse with a new station they cannot hear. That is rude. I have been on the receiving end of such behavior and don't care for it.

But it gets worse. Lately, there's been several operators who then begin calling me while the guy I am working is still transmitting. And I mean they call and call and call -- 20 seconds or more. All on top of my fellow QSO partner who is still transmitting. I'm all for a long call but not in that situation. They might be calling because they don't copy the person I am talking with but that's the very reason why I hesitate to allow them into the QSO in the first place.

Guys, I think it's more considerate to just stand by politely and wait for me -- and others -- to sign clear with the other station and then call. Repetitive calling in such a situation is a guarantee of not getting a QSO at all.

73, Dave, N4KZ
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by SWMAN on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Many times on HF I would just say HELLO, It always works for me.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K9MHZ on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
One guy locally was infamous for breaking into the big 2-meter machine in Indy, and then hijacking conversations. People were actually generally civil to him, but he never caught the clue how utterly annoying he was to everyone. To his credit, his operating practices (on-time IDs, etc) were pretty solid. Still, the rudeness persisted, so the repeater group censured him through a vote I think. I may be wrong, but I think if you're instructed (in writing?) by a trustee to cease operations on his machine, you must comply.

So now he's gone and those guys are happy. Every town has their imbecilic group's machine, and Indy's is that one. Well good for them, I guess.

 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by WA7SGS on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Great article and great comments! It's always fun to see how others approach the actual communicating part of communications. The idea that it's pretty dang close to a face to face encounter seems spot on.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by WB8VLC on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I thought contact was a nasal decongestant.

I'm on the far Northwest left coast and we never use it nor have I ever heard it on VLF, LF, HF, VHF, UHF, SHF LIGHTWAVE OR ANY OTHER freq's.

After 38 years as a ham I found it best to just stay out of existing qso's, to ignore dx checkin nets and to stay away from 10-10 international nets etc.

When I tune across an already in progress qso I learned years ago that it's best to keep spinning the dial until I find a dx station calling cq simply because most existing qso parties don't want unsolicited interruptions from outsiders.

Treat them just like you would conversations of surrounding patrons in a restaurant, ignore them unless specifically directed to you.

 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by WB8VLC on October 26, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I thought contact was a nasal decongestant.

I'm on the far Northwest left coast and we never use it nor have I ever heard it on VLF, LF, HF, VHF, UHF, SHF LIGHTWAVE OR ANY OTHER freq's.

After 38 years as a ham I found it best to just stay out of existing qso's, to ignore dx checkin nets and to stay away from 10-10 international nets etc.

When I tune across an already in progress qso I learned years ago that it's best to keep spinning the dial until I find a dx station calling cq simply because most existing qso parties don't want unsolicited interruptions from outsiders.

Treat them just like you would conversations of surrounding patrons in a restaurant, ignore them unless specifically directed to you.

 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by VK3YE on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
1. Tune around for stations calling CQ. Never leave one unanswered, even if in the same city or state.

2. If there's no one calling CQ, find a clear frequency and call CQ yourself. Reasonable length calls, with callsign announced well.

3. If still no reply after a good go (say 5 or 6 longish calls), then you may join in an existing casual QSO, especially if you can contribute to it.

But overall it's better for band occupancy (and in my view more enjoyable QSOs) than to have 10 groups of 2 or 3 scattered across the band than 5 nets of 5.

When too many people join a conversation, especially if signals are marginal, its more tempting to sign, especially if the topic wanders to one less of interest.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by WA3RSL on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Great ideas!
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KE4ZHN on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
My pet peeve is when you're in a round table and one or two break in and hijack the frequency away from your original group. These types need to be told off or they will do it to you again.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KF4HR on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I agree 100% with the OP. Many hams that break into a QSO have absolutely nothing to say or add to the conversation. Perhaps their purpose is to just exercise their equipment or prove to the world they too have a license. I'd sure like to see the FCC add a section in the license testing procedures pertaining to on-the-air social etiquette.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by ND6M on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
some people in this thread are under the mistaken belief that there is a legal requirement to ID at the beginning of a QSO.

Granted, its not a bad idea/practice, but, it isn't required.

 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by N4KZ on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
There are a few groups on 40 and 80 meter SSB that use devious tactics to wrestle a frequency away. I've had it done to me 3 times. It started by me finding an unoccupied frequency, asking if it was in use and when no one replied, I called CQ. I was answered by a station and we began a nice QSO. But after several transmissions, a friend of my QSO partner breaks in. A couple minutes later, another buddy drops in, and then another and then another. They all begin conversing and it becomes immediately clear they all know each other and I, the original CQer, am then cut out of the QSO entirely. Despite the FCC rules saying otherwise, the guys are of the opinion that certain frequencies belong to them. And when they find someone else on their frequency, they employ a known strategy of slowly taking over the frequency and shoving the original station aside. I don't think it violates any FCC regs per se, but it shows the character of the people involved -- and it smells worse than a skunk.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KE7YD on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
You mean "Breaker, breaker, anybody got a copy?" isn't correct?........ Darn, 46 years of having a license down the drain......
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K8QV on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Why would anyone interrupt two or three people having a conversation?
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by W3TTT on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
to KE4ZHN
"...My pet peeve is when you're in a round table and one or two break in and hijack the frequency away from your original group. These types need to be told off or they will do it to you again...."

I agree with you regarding a "hijack" of the conversation, that it is poor operating.

But what about someone who . . .
1. . . has something to "add" to the conversation
2. . . has not much to add, but just wants you to know he is listening
2. . . just wants to say hello
3. . . just wants a reception report

 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K8QV on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
"Break! Can I have a radio check?"

"Sure, I have mine."

I've been in QSO with friends and on several occasions over the years some moron will intrude to ask for a "radio check" or perhaps a "signal report" if he's trying to hide his roots. Sorry, that's just dumb. Call CQ or answer one, we're having a conversation here. Sometimes an informal group or round table will extend an invitation to anyone who wants to join in. No need to be rude.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KE4ZHN on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
W3TTT I have no problem with folks who wish to join. Even if they are off topic or just want a quick signal report. My post did not mean to imply breaks are not welcome. I am part of a small group here in central Florida that like to operate 40 meters during the afternoons and all newcomers are welcomed.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KE4ZHN on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
N4KZ I've had that routine pulled on me a couple of times over the years. They love to do that on 80 meters where space can be at a premium sometimes. Pretty annoying. I refuse to let it happen to me again though.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by VK4FFAB on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
W3TTT Said:

But what about someone who . . .
1. . . has something to "add" to the conversation
2. . . has not much to add, but just wants you to know he is listening
2. . . just wants to say hello
3. . . just wants a reception report


1. If you have something to add that is pertinent to the conversation, or you have wisdom to impart that the original members of the discussion have not thought of, or missed, you should say your call sign and wait to be called in. It is not the breakin that I object to, it is the discussion killing that I object to and radio is about the sharing of information about the hobby etc.

For example, a while ago i was discussing some arduino code i was having trouble making work, with a guy who is an expert on these things, and while explaining my code to the other person there were 2 antenna checks, 3 signal reports and 1 audio report. I mean seriously, that just killed the conversation and in the end we took it to facebook chat because it was too painful.

2. If you have not much to add, wait till the main bulk of the discussion has run its course, use your ears, you might learn something.

3. If you want to say hello, then wait till the conversation has run its course, then call in.

4. If you want to check your antenna, find someone else to do it with, or wait till the discussion is over, or better yet, learn CW and use RBN or use PSK and Reporter or a dozen other ways to check signals without having to disrupt a conversation that is running.

This is of course for local type communications on 40 and 80m, for DX on the high bands, you just wait till the station holding the frequency has had his little rag chew and calls qrz. Guys on 15m are so polite this way, will sit and wait for 5 mins while you exchange pleasantries then call in.

End of the day, Its not all about you, think of the other peoples conversation first and your needs second. There is enough narcissism in the world already, lets not make anymore.

Cheers,

Rob.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KI4WCA on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I enjoy breaking in to ask guys how they like their rigs or to tell them their audio is excellent...etc.
It is pretty easy...most of us are pretty cool!

I always have something to add...even if it it just a signal report!

As a ham I love discussing all things geeky and RF'y.

For goodness sake who else do you talk about this stuff with?

Most ops are very gracious...

The guys with new rigs, antenna, etc...it is the best to work them.Real amateur spirit in action!

Some interpersonal skill required but I enjoy it bigtime!
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K4KJC on October 27, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Several good points made here, but one thing I have heard more lately is someone on voice mode interjecting "QSK" as a means of breaking into an ongoing QSO. QSK is an operating feature used on CW, meaning "I can hear you between characters". Do not attempt to join a voice QSO by saying "QSK" ! It doesn't make any sense.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KE4ZHN on October 28, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
VK4FFAB Rob you nailed it. Even if they don't hijack it, they basically destroy the original QSO with too much other BS in between.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K8QV on October 28, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?

Final Answer: When there's an open invitation to do so.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K9MHZ on October 28, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
"Break! Can I have a radio check?"

Dude....PayPal is the rage today. Checks....sheesh.

 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by W3TTT on October 28, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I counted up the replies to my article. There are 26 unique respondants. Five are against allowing fellow ops to interrupt an ongoing conversation. All the others would accept an interruption from a fellow ham, although some would be against interruptions if due to certain bad operating procedures. Three would accept interruptions "by invitation only".

So the percentages are: 19% against, and 81% for.

The consensus was that an interruption to an ongoing QSO or round-table net would be accepted if done with good operating procedure. That would be a quick transmission of the interrupter's call, or just the word "contact", between the over's. Wait to be recognized. Then enter the conversation, but don't dominate, and don't "steal" the net.

Thanks to all for the discussion, and for answering my question. I wrote the article because I was wondering about how acceptable I am when I try to enter an ongoing conversation on ham radio. I found that I was doing it right.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KM1H on October 28, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
The only time Ive heard "contact" is from an obvious new ham by the call and mostly on 10/6/2M by Tech Class operators.
If you answer them they tell you their "personal" which ID's them as from CB land. I just ignore them now. One response that usually shut them up was "Only my wife knows my personals name".....

I dont join make believe DX lists or most other HF nets unless they are for specific purposes Im interested in such as vintage SSB, USN veterans, weak signal VHF/UHF, and similar.

If I decide to join an interesting 2-3 way QSO, I just drop in my call and if Im ignored just move on. I dont like roundtables that take forever to get to you but do enjoy fast VOX style conversations.

Often I wear another hat and get on AM where VOX is seldom used and PTT is very prevalent. When a windbag joins in I just go elsewhere, my patience limit is 10 minutes of locked mike; I had enough of those type when AM ruled the airwaves in the 50-60's and then the first resurgence in the 80's were a few could go for hours. Thankfully most are dead now.

Ive also found serious technical discussions more available on AM covering most any subject including SDR's (lots of them are on AM and sound great), Class E amps, and all the way back to 1920's gear. Lots of well versed antenna and homebrew people too.

When I had the contest station running with stacked yagis 40-10M and got on other times and called CQ on a clear frequency, and asking first, only to have some clown tell me there was a net in progress after calling CQ and starting a QSO. The solution was usually to peak two of the 4 el to the station Im talking to and two peaked on Bozo(s)(20 thru 10 and 4/4 on 40); then just use the two to listen. I usually run 100W and the hilltop location with 4 towers was usually sufficient to have an enjoyable QSO and ignore the QRM. But when necessary, adding the amp was the 600 pound gorilla that most always worked.

I didnt lose my temper or even acknowledge the QRM after one attempt which was guaranteed to get him over the top PO'ed. Many times others joined me and we had a jolly old time.

Carl
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by W2NAP on October 28, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
well for me generally i don't "ragchew" on HF, im looking for dx stations I ain't worked before or collecting grids.

Now on my repeater I do ragchew a bit, and I don't mind people breaking into the conversation, as long as they don't go on about their handle, or add "for id" after their callsign.

And when its really going you pretty much have to brute force your way in. But I find many are way too intimidated by us on air. guess we are too much like real people on air.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by ZENKI on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
It has long been the ham QSO tradition not to break into QSO's if you dont know one of the operators or that you dont have anything to add to the discussion.
If you dont meet the above requirements you should politely wait till the QSO ends and then call the station that you want to converse with. This good operator practice seems to be slowly being abandoned by new operators who are using CB like operating procedures to break into any QSO that they hear. I call these operators QSO pests.

QSO pests generally dont want to call CQ to make QSO's or to work DX by calling CQ. Their mission in life and their idea of ham radio is to randomly tune the hams bands and at any time they hear a QSO their bad habit is to break in to make a contact regardless of what the conversation thread is for a contact.

Being a ham is about calling CQ to make QSO's not bust others QSO's

This is typically what you hear:

"Breaker" or "contact" or even "breaker breaker"

The QSO pest gets acknowledged with a go ahead;

"I dont have your callsigns but I would like to work the DX"
"I will put it back to the DX for a signal report"
"Can you give me your callsign and name and the callsign of the DX, you are 5/9 the other station"
"OK, thanks for the DX QSO, I will put it back to other operator"
"Sorry I dont have your callsign and name, but back to you"
"Sorry whats your callsign again I dont have pen to write it down"
"What country are you in I dont know where JA is"

Amazing how lazy hams are, they will break a QSO and dont even know what country the prefixes are from and break QSO with such ignorance and bad manners.

This bad and rude QSO practice is what you hear every day on the ham bands today. You will never hear these stations call CQ to try and make their own QSO's or try to work DX by calling cq on a empty frequency.
They like sitting on the internet, and tuning the ham bands while busting up other peoples QSO's because of lazyness and rude manners.

The other bad practice is the ham radio interjector, they are really CB operators. These operators are the low of the low in my book. They will hear a QSO and just scream "you 59, in XX land" They will go on and typically say "you sounded like DX and I just wanted to give you a report, give me your callsign"

These ignorant QSO busters and bad mannered operators seem to have increased lately as if the ham radio bands operates like a CB channel. These QSO interjectors really annoy me. Whats worst is that there are operators standing by waiting for the QSO to end by being patient and polite. These queue jumpers ruin their opportunity, moment and time by being rude pests.

We hear this bad QSO practice typically when a DX station says his going QRT shortly and these ignorant rude operators will just jump the queue and interject with their bad QSO practice by making comments like "you booming" or "you are 59 on Mars".

These same operators will also tune across a QSO where hams are having a conversation comparing antennas or whatever. These operators again will interject and scream "antenna A is better" They do this without breaking or giving a callsign. How rude can you be? They use no callsign and their opinions were not being sought openly and they deem its their ham radio right to scream over another party with their opinions and cause deliberate QRM.

There is a fine line between being a friendly welcoming ham, but these procedures that I hear on a regular basis are basically rude and unruly operators with no discipline. This behavior that should not be tolerated on the ham bands. If you want QSO's or want to work DX call CQ, dont bust up peoples QSO's randomly without even knowing the operators or callsigns because you are too lazy or impatient to work for your QSO's following proper operating procedures.

These comments also apply to QRP and mobile operators who think that their mode of operation gives them the right to bust anyone's QSO because they deem their operating choice to be special.

I will always acknowledge breakers in cases of emergency or other urgent practice. But these serial QSO busting pests stretches anyone's patience.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by VK4FFAB on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
ZENKI, a lot of what you describe might be an aberration in your part of the world. Here in VK land we have a practical test along with the theory test. You have to demonstrate that you know, understand and can perform proper qso etiquette in an on air situation in front of 2 assessors. This includes making 3 x 3 cq call, how to respond to a cq call, how to break into an existing qso on HF as well as proper etiquette on repeaters as well as identifying every 10mins. New F Call operators here in Aust are generally the most courteous operators on the bands. :)
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by VK4FFAB on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Also need to know how to QSY, the following videos demonstrate what it required.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U8Nya74d4k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJZREMefMrI
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by N0CAB on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Because Everyone Has an Opinion!
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K8QV on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
<<< Here in VK land we have a practical test along with the theory test. You have to demonstrate that you know, understand and can perform proper qso etiquette in an on air situation in front of 2 assessors. >>>


What a great idea! We can't do that in the USA. It would infringe on someone's rights, be unfair to someone, would make sense. So it's a no go here!
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by G3SEA on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!

Since Ham Radio is a cross section of society in general
then patience and courtesy and adherence to the rules are prudent whether in an HF or EchoIRLp net.

It's referred to as the Ham spirit or as here in Hawaii
the Aloha spirit.

G3SEA/KH6
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by AA4PB on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
The problem in the U.S. is that the FCC, for the most part, does not prescribe operating procedures and etiquette. As long as you properly identify your station, stay within the assigned frequency range, and don't cause any intentional interference you are good as far as the FCC is concerned. It would be difficult to test people on things that are not codified in FCC regulations. A practical exam would end up being based on the personal preference and opinion of the examiner.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K9MHZ on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah, and that would open a can of worms if the FCC tried to enforce manners. "Violations" would be in the eyes of the beholder, and what a mess that would be in today's world.

 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by JOHNZ on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
@AA4PB
@K9MHZ

Yes, you both make an excellent observation...Such rules would be highly subjective, dependent on how an individual interprets them. A good example of this is the moderators on QRZ. Many of them allow their personal bias to determine if they should issue reprimands to commenters. If you express a dislike for contesting and the moderator is a contester, you will receive a warning and reprimand for your comments. If the moderator is a liberal, he will cite you for making conservative comments...and so on.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K8QV on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I rest my case, Australia.
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by NY7Q on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
It's a HOBBY. If you hear a conversation going on and you feel you would like to join, give your call sign and wait to be acknowledge......that's it.
I usually listen to see if it is a family qso, (father/son...etc) If it is I might not join.
IT IS OKAY TO JOIN A CONVERSATION ANYTIME YOU WANT TO. THERE IS NO PRIVACY LAWS HERE FOLKS.
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by JOHNZ on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
@NY7Q

True, and most hams act the same way in person too, feeling free to walk up to any conversation and butt right in. See it all the time wherever hams gather. Notice too how any gathering of hams also turns into a shout fest. Social skills are a rare commodity among amateur radio operators, and it extends to clothing and personal hygiene too.

 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by NY7Q on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
JOHNZ,,,,,HOW WOULD YOU KNOW??? YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE A CALL SIGN....THIS IS A AMATEUR FORUM....USE A CALL IF YOU HAVE ONE.....TALK ABOUT RUDE...AND CRUD.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KC2IEZ on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
You are Spot on!
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KC2IEZ on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
LOL....
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KC2IEZ on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
LOL....
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by VK4FFAB on October 30, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
by AA4PB on October 29, 2015
The problem in the U.S. is that the FCC, for the most part, does not prescribe operating procedures and etiquette. As long as you properly identify your station, stay within the assigned frequency range, and don't cause any intentional interference you are good as far as the FCC is concerned. It would be difficult to test people on things that are not codified in FCC regulations. A practical exam would end up being based on the personal preference and opinion of the examiner.


by K9MHZ on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah, and that would open a can of worms if the FCC tried to enforce manners. "Violations" would be in the eyes of the beholder, and what a mess that would be in today's world.


And here in lies the problem. If you do not have as part of your training regime some form of knowledge passed on about how to operate as an amateur how do you expect the CB guys to anything more than they do with their breaker breakers and 10:4 good buddies?

You cannot expect to have good operating principles and procedures if none are ever taught to anyone? Or if the new licensee is never taught or tested on what is good operating principles. The things we are examined on are not enforceable rules of ACMA if you call CQ and dont use 3x3 you wont get an infringement notice, but testing peoples ability to use commonly accepted standards for calling CQ, RST, QSY, QRL etc while no panacea to bad behaviour, is certainly a step in the right direction.


 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by N4KC on October 30, 2015 Mail this to a friend!

Well, I'm not sure where you guys are operating that you find this to be a HUGE PROBLEM. I listen and operate a ton and I don't really hear it. Okay, if you are in the middle of a hot-and-heavy arduino conversation and someone yells, "Break! Break!" it would be irritating. But what does it cost to politely say, "Breaking station, stand by and let us wrap up the conversation and we'll pick you up. Now, Joe, if I..."

Then actually pick them up later if you want to. Or not.

I typically have no issue with someone breaking in to ask for a signal or audio report. If the QSO is a particularly good one and I don't want the interruption, I'll say, "You are 57 or 58 here with some QSB. Good luck with the new antenna and maybe we can chat sometime. Now, Joe, if I..." If the ongoing chat is the typical kind, I will invite the breaking station to join us if he would like. And if he or she seems to have something to add to the discussion, then by all means come on in.

KM1H: If someone uses jargon such as "breaker" or "my personal," I seize it as a teaching opportunity. I don't care what his or her previous radio experience might have been. I see this as a chance to politely say something like, "Great to meet you, Sam, and welcome to the world's greatest hobby. I think you will find that we Hams don't typically use 'breaker' or 'personal.' That's one of the good things about voice communications. We can use common language like just saying your call sign to ask to join in and your 'personal' is just your name. Now, how long you been licensed and what do you think of Ham Radio so far?"

I bet none of you knew all the right words and protocol when you first keyed that mic. Nor would having to demonstrate contact prowess before an examiner do much to educate newcomers. The Ham license is a license to learn. And to teach. To teach politely and effectively.

All that being said, I did recently have an example of the kind of thing that seemingly provokes many of you guys to red-facedness and on-air vitriol. I was on my usual exercise walk with my 2-meter HT and when I gave a call, a long-lost friend came back to me. We were both thrilled to run into each other as he passed through town. We had just gotten started when one of the repeater regulars broke in, thinking he might want to say hello to my buddy, too. I politely turned it to him only to find he only wanted to say good morning and see how everybody was doing.

I (politely) thanked him, told him good morning right back and that I was fine, thank you, Then I told him the other station and I had not spoken in years and invited the breaker to stand by while we continued. I don't think I hurt the guy's feelings. That is hard to do to some folks, I know.he still is friendly when we chat.

Civility is always a good tack.The Golden Rule works with breaking stations, too, as well as those whose QSO it was into which they broke.

And it is all fun, after all.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
Author of the new books GET ON THE AIR...NOW!
and THE AMATEUR RADIO DICTIONARY



 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by N0SYA on October 30, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
It's always fun to listen to old codgers on the radio ignoring those trying to join in, I often help the joinee out by crying out "go ahead, breaker!" whenever they want in the conversation.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K9MHZ on October 30, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by VK4FFAB on October 30, 2015 Mail this to a friend!

(by K9MHZ on October 29, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah, and that would open a can of worms if the FCC tried to enforce manners. "Violations" would be in the eyes of the beholder, and what a mess that would be in today's world.)

"And here in lies the problem. If you do not have as part of your training regime some form of knowledge passed on about how to operate as an amateur how do you expect the CB guys to anything more than they do with their breaker breakers and 10:4 good buddies?"<<<<


Wow, if there was ever a case for people getting used to a ridiculous government bureaucracy, here it is, folks. The LAST people I want to have an ounce of added power or more intrusion is the friggin' FCC. "Down there in VK land" is quite the socialized utopia. No thanks.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KT0DD on October 30, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Too many are too conceited and won't allow a newbie or stranger in... It's a sad state of affairs...
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by ZENKI on October 30, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
"contact" as a means of breaking in originated on the many maritime mobile nets. Many of the ham licensing cram schools teach students that "contact" is the appropriate way of breaking in on a QSO. I used to hear this a lot on the Pacific Sea Fairers net on 14313.

Then you have the ridiculous nets like the HHH net where its participants are screaming 22 22 rimfire, 44 magnum, nickel nickel and all sort of weirdo ways of giving signal reports.

These same operators also want to change the unit of measure of watts to their unit of measure for watts which is "whiskeys" or something like that.

Why cant new hams do as the Romans do living in the ham village rather than trying to change what has worked for decades and considered correct operating procedure. We all obey the road rules new hams need to obey the ham operating rules especially when they have been long established like the Phonetic alphabet. Its not hard!
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by ZENKI on October 30, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
"k9mhz . Downn there in VK land" is quite the socialized utopia. No thanks"

VK land is the classic nanny state. A good example of what happens when you let governments intervene in every aspect of your life treating its citizens like children.

They disarmed the population while the criminals still have guns

They force you to wear bicycle helmets

They wont allow VK hams to run 1kw because it might fry their helmeted brains.

They have repugnant data retention laws and mass government surveillance on its citizens.

In a massive country with the lowest population density in the world you cant even put up a miserable 100ft tower even if you lived on 100 acres. Look at JA in comparison, 100 ft towers everywhere on apartment size lots.

They started a new ham license whose entry level requirement is so low it ruined the ham bands in VK. The bands are fully of jammers, CB'ers and people who just get this easy license to cause havoc on the ham bands. They even now want to make this the entry standard for all ham license classes in VK. Ham license in the cheerios box!

VK is an example of what could happen in the USA when you let politicians run every aspect of your life. I worked in VK once and the "red tape" in every aspect of life was horrendous. Its the most over governed country in the planet.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by VK4FFAB on October 30, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
ZENKI Said: They have repugnant data retention laws and mass government surveillance on its citizens.


HAHAHA you sir are way too funny, CIA, NSA, FBI, wikileaks, Edward Snowden any of these things ring a bell, we might have some garbage laws, but at least our government tells us they are spying on us.

You complain about the quality of operators on the bands and when offered testing or teaching of proper etiquette as a solution you scream DONT TOUCH MY GUNS LOL, way too funny.

As for the rest of your diatribe about the quality of F calls in VK you really have no idea at all, all this jamming and abuse you talk about does not exist, and i know because i am on the bands most days. Our biggest issue is QRM from the unlicensed operators in Indonesia, and even that is only on the low portion of 40m.


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qwXUEN9bFVQ/UOKdaFJuezI/AAAAAAAAAOI/wfCp5MoMq1Y/s1600/430776_587387351287884_415815203_n.png
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K9MHZ on October 31, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by VK4FFAB on October 30, 2015
You complain about the quality of operators on the bands and when offered testing or teaching of proper etiquette as a solution you scream DONT TOUCH MY GUNS LOL, way too funny.<<<<


WHAT are you talking about? BTW, have you ever thought that buying a friggin' Operator's Manual, or even listening to on-air discussions to understand what works, might be easier and cheaper than empowering the government even more? Who are you, man? Every Aussie I encounter is delightful and polite. Now, if a $25 beer also suits you, then yes, hang out in downtown Sydney. Taxes, taxes, taxes, and mind-numbing bureaucracy. What a shame for them, although FFAB seems to be good with it.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by VK4FFAB on October 31, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
K9MHZ Said: WHAT are you talking about? BTW, have you ever thought that buying a friggin' Operator's Manual, or even listening to on-air discussions to understand what works, might be easier and cheaper than empowering the government even more?



Perhaps it is, but then it is the WIA (ARRL) that are responsible here in AU for testing not ACMA (FCC) which is done via local clubs with accredited assessors. Amateurs here play a much greater roll in the day to day business of the hobby and the government leaves us to it mostly, dealing only with enforcement and legislation.



K9MHZ Said: Who are you, man? Every Aussie I encounter is delightful and polite. Now, if a $25 beer also suits you, then yes, hang out in downtown Sydney. Taxes, taxes, taxes, and mind-numbing bureaucracy. What a shame for them, although FFAB seems to be good with it.

Blaa Blaa Blaa ad hominem much. Seriously, try attacking the position, rather than hiding behind weak arguments like Australia is a socialist utopia.

Anyway im done with this, 10:4 good buddy, over and out.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K9MHZ on October 31, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
You're weird.

 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KM1H on October 31, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
KM1H: If someone uses jargon such as "breaker" or "my personal," I seize it as a teaching opportunity.


** Ive done more than my share of teaching over the decades, from ham radio to military to in house at companies Ive worked for. Some on the air types just annoy me and quite a few quickly understood my tongue in cheek comment and we had a fine QSO. I choose my own on the air opportunities and not what some busybody wants to force down my throat.


I don't care what his or her previous radio experience might have been. I see this as a chance to politely say something like, "Great to meet you, Sam, and welcome to the world's greatest hobby. I think you will find that we Hams don't typically use 'breaker' or 'personal.' That's one of the good things about voice communications. We can use common language like just saying your call sign to ask to join in and your 'personal' is just your name. Now, how long you been licensed and what do you think of Ham Radio so far?"


** About 5 years before you.....sonny (-:


I bet none of you knew all the right words and protocol when you first keyed that mic.


** You lose. Maybe you never experienced the world of AM SWLing which included hams on the family Zenith, Philco, etc. I did and is what prompted me to build at age 13 a regen receiver mostly from salvage at the town dump and use it to learn CW and listen to a lot more ham AM with a decent outside longwire. Got my Novice a month before turning 15. Didnt operate any AM until my General.


Nor would having to demonstrate contact prowess before an examiner do much to educate newcomers.

** I completely disagree. When I tune the bands and listen to an obvious newcomer with a foreign call I can see that he obviously had some instruction in operating and just not someone on the air trying to imprint his own version of reality on him. It is a shame that more countries dont include operating basics and protocol in the exam as it would also make them effective communicating with non hams in an emergency.
In the US the obvious CBer influence is very prevalent and obnoxious.


The Ham license is a license to learn. And to teach. To teach politely and effectively.


** Ive read your QRZ page. You seem to be very full of yourself and start pimping the books and your professional stats even before mentioning the station.
Cant say Ive ever heard of you but being a 28 year USN veteran I have read a lot of factual and fictional books on the subject and likely didnt pay attention to the authors name.



From N0SYA:
It's always fun to listen to old codgers on the radio ignoring those trying to join in, I often help the joinee out by crying out "go ahead, breaker!" whenever they want in the conversation.


** Nothing has changed in the 60 years Ive been a ham (this month) and older people have absolutely no lock on the subject. You might learn a bit about your obvious anti social biases and seemingly poor operating skills if you indeed screech that out when not part of the conversation.

Carl
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by NY7Q on October 31, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
CONTACT IS NOT THE PROPER WAY TO ENTER A QSO. YOU GIVE YOUR CALL SIGN AND WAIT TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED....PERIOD
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by VK4FFAB on October 31, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
by K9MHZ
You're weird.


Again, Ad Hominem much. I guess this is the real reason you fear education and training as a solution. It would mean you would have to think your way through an issue rather than attack the person with the idea, something Fox News has taught you not to do. Where the Bill O'Reilly's and Rush Limbough's of the world tell you how to think rather than doing it for yourself. In the end, it is a sad indictment on you, and those that think like you, that the only argument against education and training is Australia is a socialist utopia. And you call me weird.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K9MHZ on October 31, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Wow.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by N4KC on October 31, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Well, unfortunately this thread has taken the usual sideways track to the realm of nasty. Too bad. The discussion, for the most part, has been pretty good.

KM1H, I have no desire to spar with you, and even agree that sarcasm is an effective and legitimate form of commentary...and even instruction. However, I'm of the opinion that when possible, positive reinforcement and gentle correction works better, and especially with someone who may be excited about entering a new realm but still a tad unsure.

Congrats on being a precocious 13-year-old, building that regen receiver from pork-and-bean cans and knowing IT ALL before topping 15 and getting the Novice. Clearly not everyone has your intellect and might not be so completely informed before making those first contacts. They may figure that, being of mere normal intelligence, if they wait until they know IT ALL, they may never be able to transmit.

By the way, the definition of "pimp" is: a person, especially a man, who solicits customers for a prostitute or a brothel, usually in return for a share of the earnings. I've held many positions in my time but that is not yet one of them. Should I decide to follow such a career path, I'll be sure to add it to my QRZ page, though. I consider that web site a nice resource to inform those with whom I might communicate about myself, what I do, what my interests are, my station, my family, and more. I appreciate it when others have informative QRZ pages, too.

That is something you might consider doing with your page. That, by the way, is just a suggestion, not my being a busybody forcing anything down your throat, Carl. And based on your mention of your Navy background, I'd bet you'd enjoy my WWII and submarine books if you have not read any of them yet.

73 (No, really: 73!),

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com


 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by JOHNZ on October 31, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
VK4FFAB said: "...Where the Bill O'Reilly's and Rush Limbough's of the world tell you how to think rather than doing it for yourself..."


Ah now I see, just another simple case of envy of two successful gentlemen.

If you are going to post drivel like this, you ought to really learn how to correctly spell Rush's last name.

 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by W0TKX on October 31, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Hi NY7Q (Larry)!

This whole conversation is like the ebb and flow of a big round table. Rag chewing is fun, but some folks are more interested in showing their teeth. Sheesh.

My .02oz...

1) Break or Breaker is dumb, but some do it anyway.
2) Contact is no big deal, and is OK.
3) Use your call sign or the last letters.
4) Be patient, listen, and wait for a pause.
5) If you listen, some discussions are heated.
6) Avoid number 5, unless you like Argument Clinics.
7) Number 6 is a stupid concept anyway.

Heh heh heh.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KM1H on October 31, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Well, unfortunately this thread has taken the usual sideways track to the realm of nasty. Too bad. The discussion, for the most part, has been pretty good.

** Until you got criticized which has your knickers in a knot.

KM1H, I have no desire to spar with you, and even agree that sarcasm is an effective and legitimate form of commentary...and even instruction. However, I'm of the opinion that when possible, positive reinforcement and gentle correction works better, and especially with someone who may be excited about entering a new realm but still a tad unsure.

** There is a time and a place for everything.

Congrats on being a precocious 13-year-old, building that regen receiver from pork-and-bean cans and knowing IT ALL before topping 15 and getting the Novice. Clearly not everyone has your intellect and might not be so completely informed before making those first contacts. They may figure that, being of mere normal intelligence, if they wait until they know IT ALL, they may never be able to transmit.

** I read the above as a not so veiled insult which comes as no surprise considering the source. Both HS I went to had active radio clubs which was very common in the 50's in the Brooklyn-LI area of NY which had above average educational facilities and staff back in those dark ages. The club mentors were exceptional and included a PhD Physics instructor who knew how to teach HS kids. Teachers were non union and allowed to whack students and the cops did a bit worse to get kids back on track.....it worked well. Then we went downhill to your gentle kissy kissy fairyland that is the norm today and have lost our national identity and intellectual leadership.
I was far from being a top student and several others I knew in my age group could be called precocious....I was a few steps up from a bonafide JD until a couple of smart cops got me back on track.

By the way, the definition of "pimp" is: a person, especially a man, who solicits customers for a prostitute or a brothel, usually in return for a share of the earnings. I've held many positions in my time but that is not yet one of them. Should I decide to follow such a career path, I'll be sure to add it to my QRZ page, though. I consider that web site a nice resource to inform those with whom I might communicate about myself, what I do, what my interests are, my station, my family, and more. I appreciate it when others have informative QRZ pages, too.


** It is nice to know you were able to research the word pimp but a lack of reading comprehension totally missed what I said. It might be nice if you took your for profit commercial business promotions off of QRZ.


That is something you might consider doing with your page. That, by the way, is just a suggestion, not my being a busybody forcing anything down your throat, Carl. And based on your mention of your Navy background, I'd bet you'd enjoy my WWII and submarine books if you have not read any of them yet.


** My page remains blank since if I just touched on a portion of my life it would appear to be bragging which I wouldnt want. A fairly low profile suits me well.

And based on your mention of your Navy background, I'd bet you'd enjoy my WWII and submarine books if you have not read any of them yet.

** Should I come across any at the .25 shelves at the local senior center or at the by the pound bins at Goodwill I'll be sure to get them.

 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by G3RZP on November 1, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Dave, N4KZ said;

>Lately, there's been several operators who then begin calling me while the guy I am working is still transmitting. And I mean they call and call and call -- 20 seconds or more. All on top of my fellow QSO partner who is still transmitting.<


That is common in DX pile ups. Maybe such guys think that you have simultaneous transmit and receive facilities as they apparently believe DXpeditions must have. But it is probably a hangover from DX pile ups where the standard of operating has dropped over the years and there are now operators with over 50 years experience using these anti-social tactics.

All of which is why I mainly operate CW.....
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K9MHZ on November 1, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Looks VK4FFAB is quite the wise and accomplished Aussie (F Class) ham.....

http://www.wia.org.au/licenses/foundation/about/

Where did you get that cool helmet and scooter, OM? OK, I get it.....Aussie chicks dig it. You ARE the man.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by VK4FFAB on November 1, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
K9MHZ said: Insult insult insult, troll troll troll.

Dude you should seek some help, internet stalking, trolling and insults all because you are bereft of ideas and are afraid of Education and Training. Way to take stupid to > 9000. I bet you make your Mum proud.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K9MHZ on November 1, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I thought you announced that you were going QRT, OM.

BTW, the next time you want to post something like this from your worthless drivel above....

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qwXUEN9bFVQ/UOKdaFJuezI/AAAAAAAAAOI/wfCp5MoMq1Y/s1600/430776_587387351287884_415815203_n.png

Maybe it's also helpful to note this as well...........

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-global-universities/rankings

My son goes to one of those shown, while disgusting pigs like you would never even dream of doing the same. Instead, you choose to find some dork who hates the U.S., and you post the link on a U.S. website, and then act incredulous at any pushback.

You really are pathetic. Do something with yourself, maybe like upgrading your license for starters.
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by E51AND on November 2, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I think the real key is the REASON for joining the conversation. If it is an interesting topic and you can contribute -- by all means throw in your call (NOTE the timing comments above) HOWEVER, if the station is "rare" DX and you just want it in your log -- wait until the conversation is over and take your chances in the queue.

I am E50A -- one of only three active resident hams in the entire country -- the Cook Islands -- For any of us it is difficult to have a conversation with friends without CONSTANT interruptions -- including many of the "you are 59 in Timbuktu" kind. Sadly, once one person has interrupted it seems to open the door to many more who are clearly not LISTENNG! This type of behaviour has already driven my wife E50K off the air and, while she will occasionally make a sked with a YL operator, nowadays she will simply not go on the radio any more.

I am fortunate in that I have an extremely effective device for dealing with the interruptions -- sad to say I have to use it several times a week -- it is, of course, the "OFF" switch.

So, if you are listening to a group chatting, have something useful or interesting to contribute -- go ahead and throw out your call.

Just want a QSL card? Be polite and wait for the station to call CQ or say QRZ.

Many folks, in their desire to "snag the rare one", forget that, except for the hard core DXpedition folks, the rest of us are ordinary hams who want to rag chew with new or old friends . . . . PLEASE treat us the way you would like to be treated and be patient and courteous. THANKS. Andy
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KM1H on November 3, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Excellent post Andy but get your wife back on the air and with some TLC she may even enjoy an occasional pileup!

Having operated as a guest at some fairly rare locations over 5 decades I can fully sympathize and operating courtesies havent changed over that time.

Carl
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K9MHZ on November 3, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
>>>>by E51AND on November 2
I am E50A -- one of only three active resident hams in the entire country -- the Cook Islands --<<<<

THAT is very cool! Who/where is your licensing handled?

+1 on the great post, BTW.

 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by W4AJA on November 5, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Enjoyed this. Would like to add a comment about those that appear socially awkward or don't seem to have a clue about proper operating etiquette. I've had some personal and work experience with people on the Autism (or Aspergers) spectrum and many who are very technically sharp will have this very issue. What they need in many cases is for someone to check their initial anger or frustration, take them to the side in some way, and explain some of the fine points. They just don't know and don't have the wiring to see it, but once explained to them, sometimes more than once, they usually get it.

Would also add that people on this spectrum do have feelings that can be hurt, even though it may seem like they don't.

Having been through this myself face-to-face I can imagine this is even more difficult over the radio.

And while I'm still on this topic, some people on the spectrum are much more comfortable and attracted to radio than face-to-face interactions because it's far easier for them to interact and filter.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K9MHZ on November 6, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah, that's been the case with the hobby since day one. Just pick a hamfest anywhere, anytime, and it reinforces what most people privately think. You're right, the hobby is very attractive to them for some reason.....the technical aspects, the equipment gives them some feeling of control and order in an otherwise chaotic world, etc.

I think the rub though, is their unvarnished manner of speaking that comes across as very direct and unnecessary, even in the most casual of settings and conversations. They can't seem to understand social conversation, as that's unnecessary.....conversation is for exchanging information, after all.

A friend in my reserve unit managed a developmental engineering unit (EE) for a major electronics manufacturer that supplied new gizmos for the auto industry. He commented that he thought his entire team was afflicted with Asperger's to some degree, and it strangely was desirable since they worked like mad, hyper-focused and unrelenting until their projects were finished. He said they were generally uncaring of their levels of income, and they had zero interest in career progression, since that involves managing people and isn't linear and clearly defined.

Interesting.
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by JOHNZ on November 6, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Case in point, in Asheville NC, there is a fantastic amateur radio museum, located on the campus of a junior college. A couple of the docents are older retired gentlemen with broad backgrounds in commercial broadcasting, engineering, the corporate world, and ham radio. Talking with them is a rewarding experience, along with viewing the contents of the museum.

Unfortunately, Asheville area hams use the museum as a gathering point for informal chit chat. As a result, the usual rude behavior of most hams is on parade.

Socially retarded hams butt into conversations which visitors are having with the docents, and the noise level from screaming hams reaches the point where normal conversations are obliterated. The result of which is a ruined visit for out-of-town museum visitors. One such loud mouth inserted himself into a conversation I was having with a docent about early commercial broadcasting and attempted to change the subject to some contest and how his "dapo" (dipole) antenna cut through all the QRM. The poor guy seemed genuinely puzzled, when I politely informed him the conversation he just butted into was about early broadcasting and not about contest "dapo" antennas.

Why does the museum staff tolerate this behavior from local hams? I don't know. The XYL wanted to go visit the Biltmore Estate, so I never had time to ask that question.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by K9MHZ on November 6, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
Crazy, isn't it?

Another anecdote.....sit through any forum at Dayton, and note who still has their HT turned on and at high volume. Yes, it's always that stereotypical goober. Thankfully, the rest are becoming intolerant of these people (I like the gist of this thread topic), who are inconsiderate for whatever reason....Asperger's or not. When told by many to shut off their gear, the clueless and incredulous looks by these goobers is very telling.

BTW, thanks for mentioning the ham museum in NC. We'll stop by sometime.





 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by WD4ED on November 11, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
"After 38 years as a ham I found it best to just stay out of existing qso's, to ignore dx checkin nets and to stay away from 10-10 international nets etc.

When I tune across an already in progress qso I learned years ago that it's best to keep spinning the dial until I find a dx station calling cq simply because most existing qso parties don't want unsolicited interruptions from outsiders.

Treat them just like you would conversations of surrounding patrons in a restaurant, ignore them unless specifically directed to you."

This is pretty much how I see it. The only possible exception is that if I'm listening to a conversation and I simply have so much to contribute that I'm wetting my skivvies. Otherwise I just listen or move on.

Thanks,

Ed
WD4ED
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KK4PNS on November 13, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I am a real newbie in Ham radio, in particularly the HF bands. I would certainly not advocate for the FCC to dictate rules governing protocol on the amateur bands, however I do think that some guidance is needed in this field. Several HF nets do state some suggestions as regards conduct on the applicable bands and I support this. As has been said many times simple courtesy and patience will usually suffice. Regrettably, there are hams who are lacking in knowledge of simple courtesy, etc. Thankfully, they are few in number.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KK4PNS on November 13, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I am a real newbie in Ham radio, in particularly the HF bands. I would certainly not advocate for the FCC to dictate rules governing protocol on the amateur bands, however I do think that some guidance is needed in this field. Several HF nets do state some suggestions as regards conduct on the applicable bands and I support this. As has been said many times simple courtesy and patience will usually suffice. Regrettably, there are hams who are lacking in knowledge of simple courtesy, etc. Thankfully, they are few in number.
 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by VK4FFAB on November 13, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
by KK4PNS on November 13, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I am a real newbie in Ham radio, in particularly the HF bands. I would certainly not advocate for the FCC to dictate rules governing protocol on the amateur bands, however I do think that some guidance is needed in this field. Several HF nets do state some suggestions as regards conduct on the applicable bands and I support this. As has been said many times simple courtesy and patience will usually suffice. Regrettably, there are hams who are lacking in knowledge of simple courtesy, etc. Thankfully, they are few in number.


So who do you propose should shoulder the responsibility for ensuring or teaching new ops some basic level of operation?

I really dont see what all the problem is with the FCC as part of its examination process ensures that operators have some competence in basic operating procedures.

I mean they test you on resistor colour codes, on ohms law, transistor types and a whole lot of other electronic theory to ensure that you have competence not to hurt yourself, so why not make sure you have some basic understand of how to operate on air as well.

Its not like the FCC is coming to take your radio if you forget the difference between an NPN or PNP or JFET or the correct biasing networks needed to use these devices in class A mode, so surely how having how to make a 3x3 cq call, answer a cq call and the like as non enforceable training elements just like all the electronic theory is, on the exams is a no brainier.
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by GRIDLESS on November 28, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
It seems the current hams are not as friendly as hams 20 or 30 years back. When I was a kid, I met a few hams that would bend over backwards to help you learn & build. I would watch them instruct new (over air) users to help with protocols & were more welcoming to new people joining a conversation, much like at a club or a bar.
Today, they seem much more "you need to go read" or "you need to google it" "it was hard for me to learn so I'm going to make it hard for you". They also seem quick to judge or condemn for faux pas or "What's your call sign!"
Personally, I got into radios to connect with people on a more personal level. When you're off the grid, getting a radio going is easier than trying to get some internet thing working over radio. If I wanted to google something, I would.
Whenever I hear someone ask for help, regardless of their proximity to me, I will help if I am able. the hams that just want to police the air waves should go police their roadways (after all, you have a license to drive, so that should give you a license to police roadways)...

From reading the posts here - it seems a lot of folks are helpful, but those that are not are militant about following the rules, and if you don't know the rules, that's your problem.
I am considering selling off my radios because I haven't found friendly hams to converse with, moreover their anger towards someone joining a conversation or asking/needing help to learn make it a hostile environment.

I wish more hams would go back to wanting to help and return to connecting with other people; giving up policing the airwaves & bragging about their gear. I hope new hams embrace that hams are people not just equipment & rules.
 
When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by W8LV on December 1, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I just say my call sign... now they know who I am, plain and simple! If the other parties acknowledge my call, I join in. If they don't, it's either because they can't hear me, or because they don't want me to join their conversation. I am not always welcome...fine. If they can't hear you, why generate noise that will make their conversation difficult?

You WILL find rudeness. I won't forget the nastiness I encountered on a certain 80 metre frequency. Worse yet, I had a young person in my shack, who I was introducing to Ham Radio. For the First Time. We were both speechless! But that's what the tuning knob is for, and I showed him THAT, so to speak.

You have to learn to move on in life, even in a hobby. There are a lot of angry people out there. Luckily, less so in ham radio. I don't know if it is actually getting worse or not.

But I am sure that mixing alcohol...or WHATEVER...with Ham Radio isn't the wisest idea in the world. You can fry a rig, with a false move with just a setting or two, or YOURSELF very easily.

Have you ever attempted to reason with a Drunk (or Stoned) Man, in any setting OUTSIDE of Ham Radio? Why on Earth would you think that the outcome would be positive on the radio?

Just move on, and Enjoy. Life isn't too short for QRP OR QRO, but it's way too short for a futile effort. You won't have an intelligent conversation or learn much from such an individual anyway, let alone a Round Table of them!
 
New URL for my CW streaming site  
by W3TTT on December 14, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
New URL for my CW streaming site:

Please try out my Morse code streaming internet station: http://w3ttt.radiostream321.com/

Thanks 73,
Joe
W3TTT

 
RE: When is it Okay to Join a Conversation on Ham Radio?  
by KA4NGW on December 16, 2015 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with the original post & I have read most of the replies.
What has happen to the camaraderie of ham radio? I agree to not just break in on a conversation, but sometimes a Ham needs the info. Better to ask about your signal then be told its not good.
I can remember a time when pratically every Ham was a Elmer and willing to help out whether on the air or off.
If I need a check on a mic, antenna or freq. I wait for the proper time and say Contact.
What is more inportant are the people who disregard the rules and/or regulations. I don't work 80 meters or portions of 20m just because I find some guys rude and in complete violation.
Just my comment,and thanks for letting me reply
KA4NGW
 
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