View Full Version : Politeness on Air
Tue 20th Apr 2010, 09:50
Though having been a SWL for some 60 years after failing an attempt at the RAE many years ago, I managed to summon up the energy to attempt just the Foundation stage and pass it around last September. Even so in spite of all those years tinkering with all manner of radios, TVs and other electronics, I still managed to fail a couple of semi trick questions, such as in assuming they were asking technicalities, and not about housekeeping. I always suspected my failure to pass the RAE was largely due to my inability to regurgitate the regulations parrot fashion, combined with the examiners inability to understand English well enough to appreciate there are many ways to express an answer to a question.
The problem now is the rapidly falling interest in Amateur Radio largely due to the many alternative much easier modes of communication, much of which even a halfwit can understand. This probably explains why many of the few who do occasionally use our local Repeaters resort to treating them like a form of free mobile phone.
However being a Secretary of our local Radio Club I tend to take our hobby seriously. So what I am asking is when I hear these clowns talking on a repeater or simplex and NEVER quoting a callsign, even after the regulated 15 minutes, can we assume the parties are not interested in talking to anyone else? As such there is no point in attempting to chip in with the polite ‘ M3YHX listening by ‘.
Tue 20th Apr 2010, 11:15
Repeaters tend to be VERY clicky, not all. The ones around London are a no no, mostly taxi drivers and commerical users who have a set in their car. No doubt they are licensed but they use it every day and thus it sounds more like CH 19 sometimes. 70Cms is often better, I would start there. I know the Brighton repeater are full of taxis, but Newhaven is quite good as is Portsmouth. We have some busy repeaters our way but some get hammered by fixed stations or "stitched up".
If your at home, why not use simplex, esp on 70cms and 6m its much better than 2M which is getting more and more like CB as the years pass, one reason I rarely use it now! But you are right, activity (IMHO) is at its lowest I've ever known since I was first licensed in 1996.
Tue 20th Apr 2010, 18:38
You just need a Yagi and a nice linear, that is, if the users are not sitting in the repeater carpark (like GB3WL) ;)
Thu 22nd Apr 2010, 06:40
Yes I agree. In fact I have far more QSOs on 2m Simplex than either Repeater 2m or 70 cm repeater. Also the irony is I find it easier to have them across the water from Hastings to Eastbourne than only a mile away around Hastings due to the hills.
Buy what I am asking as a M3 newbie do you agree it is prbably a waste of time attempting to make contact with the usual ' M3YXH listening by ' with guys who are never quoting call signs, probably because they do not want to identified.
Thu 22nd Apr 2010, 11:25
They might be very friendly fully legit regulars, but the fact your unsure its prolly best to do some CQing. There are lots of channels and bands to try without all sitting on one repeater. Try calling on 70cms or 6M simplex, contacts will be far harder, but you'll BOTH be chuffed when you do make a QSO. Plus, you might encounter a lift, so you never know where the other person is when they call back. :)
Thu 22nd Apr 2010, 11:34
Repeaters were originally intended solely for /M operators when they were set up in the 1970s. Unfortunately, possibly due to the ease now with which licences can be obtained, (e.g. no City & Guilds), a minority have got the ticket and simply transferred the bad manners of CB into the VHF bands.
Previously a repeater would be switched off if there were signs of bad operating procedures and the culprits could be fined and have their equipment confiscated. (Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949) However this Act has been repealed and whereas the Post Office which then supervised Amateur Radio controlled it effectively, OFCOM doesn't appear to have the same interest.
Thu 22nd Apr 2010, 13:23
Yes I remember before in the days when I lived in SE London of the notorious ever active Crystal Palace repeater and the missuse. I think we in the Clifton Club had a band of dedicated guys with VHF DF gear who would get together to track down pirates, and inform the GPO.
Thu 22nd Apr 2010, 18:15
guys who are never quoting call signs
The sad fact is, those individuals spend so much time on the repeater, they expect everyone else to know their callsigns...
Fri 23rd Apr 2010, 06:32
Yes the irony of it again is I am trying to drum up more interest in VHF in our club at http://www.radioclubs.net/herc/ by producing a list of the few QCOs I had since February for our News Letter. Trouble is folk give their call signs so quickly I doubt if I have logged them all correctly, and we cannot guarantee to verify them all on the QRZ site.
But it amuses me when they ask me being a M3 new boy to read mine out phonetically !!
Fri 23rd Apr 2010, 10:04
I agree about the gabbled callsigns. the licence states that they should be clearly stated! I remember the problems I had with a certain G4... who gabbled his call. Unfortunately it sounded like G4RS (Royal Signals) and being a member of that organisation I wanted to contact G4RS. I called repeatedly thinking it was my command station. When I did get through I realised it was the G4... he still gabbles his call!
Sat 24th Apr 2010, 01:12
Unfortunately, these things you talk about also happen on this side of the pond. It's faily clear that those who garble their callsign on 2m simplex or the local repeaters have never operated HF DX or contests.
Tue 5th Oct 2010, 22:12
Repeaters tend to be VERY clicky, not all. The ones around London are a no no, mostly taxi drivers and commerical users who have a set in their car. No doubt they are licensed but they use it every day and thus it sounds more like CH 19 sometimes.
Don't know the rules in the UK but the American FCC specifically forbids "pecuniary interest" ie, business traffic, on the ham bands. This protects the ham bands from being invaded by commercial users. In any event, some years ago we had a fair amount of VHF and above licensees ("Technician level license") who got licenses just to use repeater autopatches for telling spouses they should buy some milk at the store. Nowadays, cell phones are the preferred device for this. And taxis use cell phones for their comms to their dispatcher nowadays rather than bother with 2 way radio systems. I don't know what cell phone service costs in the UK, but it's fairly cheap in the USA so there's no real reason to misuse the 2m ham band for that.
Wed 6th Oct 2010, 15:52
Oh to actually have some form of activity on a repeater...
The lack of using call signs is just poor operator procedure, but at least your repeaters are getting used.
Many are just dead.
I've just programmed up a commercial UHF PMR transceiver with a bunch of South East repeaters (and some simplex channels...), and I regularly journey down towards Brighton, Hastings and Dungeness during the week. I shall have to make more of an effort to place a call through the 70cm repeaters while in that neck of the woods.
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