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Radio Etiquette


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Short of profanity, you can do just about anything you want. Many people use their call sign with a custom suffix, as noted above.

If my son is expecting to hear from me, I just get on the radio and call him by name. "Hey Nick, are you there?"

On the repeater, you might get a response from the wrong Nick. So, appending call signs work great, since it ID's a specific group of licensed stations. So I would say something like "<call sign> mobile 2, this is <call sign> mobile 1, do you copy?*

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You are unnecessarily applying overly zealous ham etiquette to GMRS. Some hams tend to be a bit anal about using phonetics on callsigns and then only the Blessed ARRL approved phonetic list. Amateur radio is the only place you find this uselessly rigid behavior.

 

In GMRS, phonetic spelling isn’t required or expected. If someone has a hard time understanding your words or callsign, by all means, use phonetics. But if you say Tom instead of Tango or Apple instead of Alpha, nobody in GMRS land Is gonna bite your head off. We’re kinda laid-back and easy going about these things.

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Amateur radio is the only place you find this uselessly rigid behavior.

I have to disagree with you entirely on this.

 

The phonetic alphabet is used in many service, such as law enforcement, emergency medical, DOD, etc.

 

Additionally, its not useless. Even under the best of audio clarity and strongest signal strength, many letters sound the same, such as c and d, y and I, m and n, and so on. When you have a critical message and/accuracy of spoken letters matter, the phonetic alphabet is an extremely useful tool.

 

Taking those letters that sound the same and trying to distinguish them when the signal to noise ratio is 0.2:1, and it becomes even more useful.

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I was a police dispatcher and dispatch instructor for nearly 30 years In a large city/county combined dispatch center. We used a more common phonetic alphabet and taught it and its use to every new dispatcher In all three areas: police, fire, and ems. I am well aware of the value of the phonetic alphabet and its use under highly stressful conditions way beyond anything most hams will ever experience first hand.

 

I never said that a phonetic alphabet is useless. I did say that I disagree with the uselessly rigid behavior of some hams.

 

What I am not pleased with is the anal attitude of some hams regarding the whole issue. In their world, there’s only one phonetic alphabet and anyone who strays, even just a bit or accidentally, is ostracized and labelled a blasphemer.

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I was a police dispatcher and dispatch instructor for nearly 30 years In a large city/county combined dispatch center. We used a more common phonetic alphabet and taught it and its use to every new dispatcher In all three areas: police, fire, and ems. I am well aware of the value of the phonetic alphabet and its use under highly stressful conditions way beyond anything most hams will ever experience first hand.

 

I never said that a phonetic alphabet is useless. I did say that I disagree with the uselessly rigid behavior of some hams.

 

What I am not pleased with is the anal attitude of some hams regarding the whole issue. In their world, there’s only one phonetic alphabet and anyone who strays, even just a bit or accidentally, is ostracized and labelled a blasphemer.

 

I'm tracking you now.  I have to ask though, what is more common than the NATO phonetic alphabet (which is the 'official' phonetic alphabet used by amateur radio operators)?  That is used in over 180 countries, including non-English speaking countries, when interacting with European, American, and other NATO forces.

 

I have to say, I talk to people around the world on HF daily and very rarely hear amateurs use the NATO phonetic alphabet unless formal traffic is moving.  The rest of the time, I hear some pretty wild and funny stuff that breaks the mold.  I wonder if its just the area you are in and/or the people you have had experience with? 

 

I have to say, some people do take themselves too seriously.  It's really just a hobby for a vast majority of people.  There is no need for folks to make you or anyone else feel that way.

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We used a variation of the police phonetic alphabet: Adam, Baker, Charlie, etc. But I always told my students that they weren’t wrong to substitute another easily understandable word if they had a minor brain fart in the middle of a transmission Better to deliver the message smoothly without stumbling given the high volume of traffic our people dealt with all day long.

 

And don’t get me started on EMCOMM, ARES, RACES, etc. The cockeyed notion that hams are the only saviors in case of disaster just doesn’t cut it any more. Very few of them have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate under real emergency circumstances. You don’t develop that with weekly check-in net. You develop it with hundreds of hours of training and then thousands of hours real, continuous operations.

 

I’ve held a tech ticket for a few years now, but am not really accepted by the locals. At a public event, one of them popped up on a public safety channel using his ham call. I told the club president to get him off the channel and that if he did that again, I would have him escorted from the event.

 

I think you understand my position. Like I said, in GMRS land we’re kinda laid-back about these things.

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Must be a local thing. Listening to our local club nets they are pretty laid back. Last night there was only about 5 of the 35 check-ins that used the phonetic alphabet.

 

I wouldn't worry about it on GMRS, and if a ham guy can hear you well enough to complain about the phonetic alphabet you use, well, your message got across anyways.

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All this BS about phonetic alphabets is funny in a tragic way. I remember many years ago before the FCC redid call signs listening to what was then (and probably still is) one of the largest networks doing roll call. One of the stations did have a brain fart on their id and announced to the net they would be forever more known a KL7BJW - Kilo Lima 7 Baldy's Junk Wagon. Needless to say, that is how the station was known from then until it went silent as Baldy''s Junk Wagon or just asking if Baldy was on the air.

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...and my sign rolleth not trippingly from the tongue.)

Your callsign isn't all that difficult. Try mine on for size: WQWU626

 

I've lost count of the number of folks who question my THREE LETTER license, since the final "U" gets swallowed up by the second "W". What they "hear" is "WQW 626.

 

Or they think I'm stuttering!

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Your callsign isn't all that difficult. Try mine on for size: WQWU626

 

I've lost count of the number of folks who question my THREE LETTER license, since the final "U" gets swallowed up by the second "W". What they "hear" is "WQW 626.

 

Or they think I'm stuttering!

Good god... that is a a mouth full. 

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Your callsign isn't all that difficult. Try mine on for size: WQWU626

 

I've lost count of the number of folks who question my THREE LETTER license, since the final "U" gets swallowed up by the second "W". What they "hear" is "WQW 626.

 

Or they think I'm stuttering!

I think that one might actually be easier to say in phonetics than not...william-queen-william-union...

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