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HAM etiquette and ethics.

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HAM etiquette and ethics.

My dear New HAM,
Congratulations! You've got your new Amateur Radio license and can't wait to start operating on HF /VHF/ UHF.. However, you're not certain how you want to conduct yourself. After all, there are few if any mandated rules. Most hams have developed good operating practices and etiquette simply by listening to more experienced hams and you will as well. Here are some of my ideas for your consideration.

Depending on your radio and license you may have to decide on where and how you want to begin operating. If you are using a hand-held transceiver you may begin through a local repeater or direct (simplex) on the VHF and UHF bands.
It may seem obvious but you need to know your call sign before you begin. You might also want to review the appropriate phonetics in case someone asks you to clarify your call sign

The Radio Amateur is ..
  1. Considerate: He never knowingly operates in such a way asto lesson the pleasure of others.
  2. Loyal: He offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other radio amateurs, Local clubs, the affiliated IARU radio society (presently ARSI in India), through which Amateur Radio in his country is represented nationally and internationally.
  3. Progressive: He keeps his station up to date. It is well built and efficient. His operating practice is above reproach.
  4. Friendly: He operates slowly and patiently when requested; offers friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kind assistance, cooperation and consideration for the benefit of others. These are the marks of the Amateur (HAM) spirits.
  5. Balanced: Radio is a hobby, never interfering the duties owe to the family, job, community etc.,
  6. Patriotic: His station and skills are always ready for the services to the country and community.

The above Radio Amateur's code is adapted from the original amateur's code, written by Paul M. Segal in 1928.

To Initiate a Call
  • 1. Press the mike (PTT) button and say "VU3JYT listening." Of course you would use your own call sign. That might be all you need for a response. But if there is no response (which is quite likely) then you might try again but this time say "VU3JYT listening for a call. QRZ?"
  • You get a response something like "VU3JYT this is VU3JYU in Whitefield returning. My handle is Jegan Back to you. VU3JYU". At this point you want to wait for the repeater's tone to indicate it is okay to proceed

    If you have a really good communication receiver like the Sony ICF range of radios, you can actually decode SSB reception. But don't worry, we can actually manage with a normal short wave radio. For listening to an SSB signal you will have to make a (Beat Frequency Oscillator).

  • 3. Press your mike button and respond. At this point the discussion can be whatever you make it. Give your name and location and any other information you wish to Phil and when you are ready say "Over" or "Back to you." It is a good idea and the law to give your call sign frequently so after a longer transmission you would say "VU3JYU this is VU3JYT. Over." The use of the terms "over" or "back to you" are a courtesy that lets the other operating know that you are finished talking and are turning the operation back to him or her.
  • At the end of the contact you would finally say goodbye or 73 and sign off by saying "VU3JYU, QRU, 73, this is VU3JYT clear..
To Respond to a Call
  • To respond to a call over the repeater you would take on the role of the opposite person in the above discussion. You hear VU3JYU calling on the repeater so answer as follows after the repeater tone drops:
  • . "VU3JYU this is VU3JYT. Good morning my name is RAJAN and my location is HOSEKOTE. Over to you." Always use the approved phonetics
  • . Basically the exchange would proceed as discussed above. Be sure to identify your station occasionally and identify yourself at the end of the contact as explained above
Note: The foregoing tips are just the opinion of one ham that is me. As such, they are intended to be nothing more than a "shopping list" of suggested guidelines presented almost entirely from the perspective of a "rag chewer". . In any event, it is hoped that this list may prove somewhat useful especially for new operators. The overriding theme is common sense and courtesy to others. Let's always remember what a privilege it is to operate on the ham bands! This will help avoid doing anything that might impinge on the enjoyment of our hobby for others.
73, VU3JYT, Rajan