Posts Tagged ‘sillythings’

More silly things heard on the radio

This is a follow-on post to my recent post “Weird things heard on the radio“. If this keeps up, perhaps I’ll make this a series, though I’m not sure that “weird” is quite the right word. Silly is more like it, and I’ve adjusted the title of this post accordingly.

As I write this at about 18:30 GMT on 23 April,  I am attempting to work 9M2TO from West Malasia on 17m phone. He’s got a good-sized pileup and of course, there’s the usual guys who can’t figure out how to turn their VFO to tune up their amplifier off the frequency. For non-hams who might be reading, this sounds like a high-pitched squeal on the frequency, and is pretty annoying. Aside from it being rude, it’s in violation of FCC rules against intentionally interfering with ongoing transmissions. (I’m sure that it’s against the rules for amateur radio operators in any country, of course.) That’s not the silly part, that’s the annoying part.

Here’s the silly part: As usual, the DX Cops are present, and one of them said the following: “Hey, don’t tune up on the frequency”. Some of you will immediately know why this is silly, but I’ll elaborate: Under normal circumstances, when you are transmitting you are not receiving. Aside from the fact that the guy who was tuning up likely doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, he’s not going to hear the guy yelling at him. All it does to yell is to add to the noise, which is as bad as the guy tuning up.


More silly things heard on the radio

This is a follow-on post to my recent post “Weird things heard on the radio“. If this keeps up, perhaps I’ll make this a series, though I’m not sure that “weird” is quite the right word. Silly is more like it, and I’ve adjusted the title of this post accordingly.

As I write this at about 18:30 GMT on 23 April,  I am attempting to work 9M2TO from West Malasia on 17m phone. He’s got a good-sized pileup and of course, there’s the usual guys who can’t figure out how to turn their VFO to tune up their amplifier off the frequency. For non-hams who might be reading, this sounds like a high-pitched squeal on the frequency, and is pretty annoying. Aside from it being rude, it’s in violation of FCC rules against intentionally interfering with ongoing transmissions. (I’m sure that it’s against the rules for amateur radio operators in any country, of course.) That’s not the silly part, that’s the annoying part.

Here’s the silly part: As usual, the DX Cops are present, and one of them said the following: “Hey, don’t tune up on the frequency”. Some of you will immediately know why this is silly, but I’ll elaborate: Under normal circumstances, when you are transmitting you are not receiving. Aside from the fact that the guy who was tuning up likely doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, he’s not going to hear the guy yelling at him. All it does to yell is to add to the noise, which is as bad as the guy tuning up.


Weird things heard on the radio

As I was sitting next to my radio this afternoon, I had tuned to a frequency on 12 meters sideband where I’d seen a spot for a station in Madagascar (5R). I need 5R on 12m so I was listening to see if the station would build (grow in strength) to the point where I could attempt a contact. While waiting for that to happen, I heard another US station call him, giving his callsign properly. Although I couldn’t hear the 5R station, what I did hear was this (callsign changed mostly because I don’t remember exactly what it was, and to protect the not-so-innocent): “5R8UI, did you come back to my-callsign question mark?“. The US station literally said the words “question mark“!

Ok, while I can understand that had this happened on CW, the operation would have sent the code for “question mark”, but given that this was a voice contact, wouldn’t you think that the tone of voice and the fact that the sentence was actually a question would have been sufficient?

There’s been a lot written about the overuse of the CW Q-signals when using a voice mode, and while you can debate some of those (saying “My QTH is River Vale” rather than saying “I live in River Vale”), it just struck me as pretty funny to hear someone actually say the words “question mark“.

By way of explanation, the reason the Q-codes were invented was to provide a shorthand way to send information over telegraph lines and later wireless. It does make sense in particular on CW, where the operators at both ends of the conversation might not both be fluent in a common language. So on CW, it does make sense to say “QTH River Vale New Jersey” rather than spelling it out. It becomes, along with some other abbreviations, it’s own common language.


Weird things heard on the radio

As I was sitting next to my radio this afternoon, I had tuned to a frequency on 12 meters sideband where I’d seen a spot for a station in Madagascar (5R). I need 5R on 12m so I was listening to see if the station would build (grow in strength) to the point where I could attempt a contact. While waiting for that to happen, I heard another US station call him, giving his callsign properly. Although I couldn’t hear the 5R station, what I did hear was this (callsign changed mostly because I don’t remember exactly what it was, and to protect the not-so-innocent): “5R8UI, did you come back to my-callsign question mark?“. The US station literally said the words “question mark“!

Ok, while I can understand that had this happened on CW, the operation would have sent the code for “question mark”, but given that this was a voice contact, wouldn’t you think that the tone of voice and the fact that the sentence was actually a question would have been sufficient?

There’s been a lot written about the overuse of the CW Q-signals when using a voice mode, and while you can debate some of those (saying “My QTH is River Vale” rather than saying “I live in River Vale”), it just struck me as pretty funny to hear someone actually say the words “question mark“.

By way of explanation, the reason the Q-codes were invented was to provide a shorthand way to send information over telegraph lines and later wireless. It does make sense in particular on CW, where the operators at both ends of the conversation might not both be fluent in a common language. So on CW, it does make sense to say “QTH River Vale New Jersey” rather than spelling it out. It becomes, along with some other abbreviations, it’s own common language.



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