Monday, December 10, 2007
Simple As Simplex
After an amateur has made a contact on a repeater, it is proper to move the conversation to a simplex frequency if possible. A repeater is not meant to be a soapbox. Others who may need to use the repeater will not appreciate you tying up the repeater unnecessarily. The easiest way to determine if you are able to communicate with the other station on simplex is to listen to the repeater input frequency (on reverse). This is the frequency the other station uses to transmit to the repeater, and if you hear his or her signals there you should be able to use simplex. Many amateur radios include a reverse feature. With a push of a button an amateur can listen on a normal transmit frequency. This is a very useful feature for checking to see if you can operate simplex with the another station.
If you want to perform an on-the-air test of a pair of handheld radios, you should select an unoccupied simplex frequency. This way tests can be performed without interfering with repeater users.
The function of a repeater is to provide communications between stations that can't otherwise communicate because of terrain, equipment limitations, or both. Therefore, stations that are able to communicate without a repeater should not use one. This way, the repeater is available for stations that need it. Another plus to using simplex rather than a repeater is that communication on simplex offers a degree of privacy impossible to achieve on a repeater. On simplex you can usually have extensive conversations without interruption.
Remember to select a frequency designated for FM simplex operation or you may interfere with stations operating in other modes without realizing it. Each band has a designated national FM simplex calling frequency, which is the center for most simplex operation.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
CONSIDERATE . . .
Never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.
LOYAL . . .
Offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and the ARRL, through which Amateur Radio in
PROGRESSIVE . . .
With knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach.
FRIENDLY . . .
Slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advise and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interest of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.
BALANCED . . .
Radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school, or community.
PATRIOTIC . . .
Station and skill always ready for service to country and community.
The following basic guidelines are a starting point towards being a good emergency communicator:
- Listen before transmitting.
- Use standard ITU phonetics.
- Use 24-hour time format.
- Accuracy is the first priority, rather than speed.
- Be clear and concise by not using unnecessary words.
- Talk across the FACE of the microphone.
- Transmit messages exactly.
- Always transmit FACTS rather than hearsay.
- Stay alert -- take breaks when needed.
- Always know your location.
- Avoid using Q-signals or 10-codes in voice transmissions.
- Speak slowly and clearly, with little emotion in your voice.
- Use tactical call signs whenever possible.
- No wisecracks or jokes on an emergency net.
- Never transmit the names of deceased individuals over a voice channel.
- Read every message before transmitting it. If you have questions about what is being communicated, get clarification from the originating party. A good message will never require the recipient to ask for additional information.
To facilitate efficient communications, the following procedural words, or "pro-words", were developed for use in emergencies, and by other communicators, such as air traffic controllers.
- AFFIRMATIVE means "Yes" or "I agree" or "Permission granted."
- BREAK means you have emergency traffic that must be passed immediately.
- CHECK BREAK means you are pausing to verify that the receiving station has copied your message. An appropriate response from the receiving station would be "COPY."
- CLEAR or OUT means your transmission is completed and no answer is required or expected.
- CLOSE means you are shutting down your station and can no longer be contacted.
- COPY THAT or ROGER means you have received the transmission satisfactorily.
- CORRECT means you acknowledge what was transmitted as correct.
- CORRECTION means an error has been made and the transmission will continue with the last word correctly transmitted.
- DECIMAL indicates a decimal point.
- DISREGARD means an error has been made in the transmission that is in progress and you are to completely ignore this transmission.
- FIGURES means that the following words are to be copied as numbers.
- I SPELL means you will spell the following word(s) phonetically.
- NEGATIVE means "No" or "I disagree" or "Permission denied."
- OUT or CLEAR means your transmission is completed and no answer is required or expected.
- OVER means you are finished with your transmission and the other station is expected to reply.
- ROGER or COPY THAT means you have received the transmission satisfactorily.
- SAY AGAIN means you want the last message to be repeated. You may include a modifier to have part of a message repeated, as in the following examples:
- "Say again ALL AFTER __________"
- "Say again ALL BEFORE _________"
- "Say again WORD AFTER _________"
- "Say again WORD BEFORE ________"
- STANDBY or WAIT means you are not yet ready to copy. You may include a time modifier, such as "Standby one."
- THIS IS means the transmission is from the station whose call sign follows.
- WAIT or STANDBY means you are not yet ready to copy. You may include a time modifier, such as "Standby one."
The meaning of "break"
The word "Break" has four different and very specific meanings in amateur radio. Break should never be used when you simply want to join a conversation in progress. Use your callsign for that.
1. The first use of the word break is separate parts of one message, such as separating the address from the text, during the same transmission. E.g., "VE6XXX, this is VE6YYY, message from EOC to Foothills. BREAK. Ambulance will arrive at 14:55. BREAK. Over."
2. The second use of the word break is to terminate a message with one station and start a message to another during the same transmission. E.g., "VE6XXX, message received. BREAK. VE6YYY, has the helicopter arrived?"
3. The third use of break is to interupt an ongoing conversation with traffic of a higher priority. The frequency should be released immediately to the station calling break. E.g.,
"VE6YYY this is VE6XXX, what was the final score?"
VE6YYY should then transmit "Station calling break go ahead," and wait with the score until later. VE6YYY must not simply say "I acknowledge the break," then finish his/her conversation before relinquishing the frequency.
"VE6YYY this is VE6XXX, go ahead with your results."
VE6YYY should then transmit "Station calling break break go ahead, VE6YYY standing by.
Repeaters are meant to be used for communicating with two or more stations that are not close enough to each other to be properly heard by all stations on a simplex frequency. Peak repeater times in cities are normally during rush hour. During this time more stations are on during a very short time frame, so your transmissions should be kept shorter to allow everyone a chance to speak.
- Listen on the frequency for more than a few seconds before initiating a call. The repeater may be busy with someone momentarily standing by.
- If the repeater is not busy and you wish to establish a conversation use the phrase "VE6ZYX monitoring." After releasing the PTT anyone wishing to speak with you will come back with their callsign. If no one comes back to your call you, do not continue repeating your callsign. This is redundant and very annoying. There may be many people monitoring who don't wish to speak with you at this time. You may try your call again later in case someone else comes on to monitor that may wish to speak with you.
- Identify yourself at the beginning and end of a contact, and every 30 minutes during a contact. Remember to use full callsigns, partial callsigns are illegal.
- In general, give mobile stations priority over base stations, especially during rush hour. The mobile station may be asking for directions or reporting traffic congestion.
- Wait for a "squelch-tail" or "go-ahead tone" after each transmission. This allows time for another person to join in the conversation as well as allowing for the repeater "time-out timer" to be reset.
- If you want to join an established conversation don't use the word "Break", which has specific meanings (see the meaning of "break" above). To enter a conversation insert your full callsign between transmissions. This will then be acknowledged by those using the repeater.
- A repeater that is in use during a public service event or during an emergency situation should not be accessed while this is in progress. If necessary, contact net control or designate for permission to call for your station and move them to another frequency. Keeping the repeater frequency clear during these events can make the difference during life threatening situations.
- Profane or obscene language is not permitted, and will not be tolerated by Industry
and other radio amateurs. Canada
- 0n voice repeaters voice procedures should be used. This also applies to all voice frequencies within our amateur bands. The use of "Q" codes (e.g., QSL, QSO, QTH, QRT, etc.) should be reserved for CW conversations and CW nets. It is much easier to say what you really mean in the first place.
- When checking into voice nets don't use the word "Break" unless you have higher priority or emergency traffic. Also don't use check, recheck, contact, etc. All that is required for getting the net controller's attention is a simple transmission of your callsign. Net control now knows immediately who you are.
- Never check into a net and then leave without first notifying net control of your intentions. Net control may have traffic for you at a later time. It is most frustrating when net control calls you and you've left the frequency.
- Repeaters with mail box facilities having subscribers should not have priority over traffic to access their mailbox. Try to access your mailbox when the repeater is not in use.
- Last but not least, let us have fun on our amateur radio repeaters. They can become very useful during emergencies, as well as bringing much enjoyment to new amateurs traveling through our cities.