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18

You are going to have a very difficult time achieving the first 4 with any band on a low budget. But in general, I'll say a few words to get you started. You probably want to be able to use digital modes. Your best bet to get consistently across the country will be via digital modes, as they can add something like 20-30 dB effectively to your signal. Olivia ...


12

Part 97, section 119 covers this. "Use of a phonetic alphabet as an aid for correct station identification is encouraged". Most everyone has settled on the NATO phonetic alphabet, even though its elements have varying numbers of syllables (one to three!) and aren't comprised exclusively of trochees http://xkcd.com/856/. To put this another way, if you ...


11

First off, amateur radio isn't very strict. With few exceptions, nobody is going to be very upset if you miss out on something during a casual contact. If you mess up too badly, you'll be asked to provide the missing piece of information, be it a signal report, location, repeat your call sign because it couldn't be copied, or whatever the issue may be. So ...


11

Microphone technique has a good bit to do with clarity. Talk across the mic, not directly into it, unless it is a noise canceling type designed to be used that way. Speak no more than 2" away from the mic, even if it is a desk mic or a boom mounted type; many people make the mistake of thinking that just because they have a desk or boom mounted mic that ...


11

The choice of using phonetics ('alpha, bravo, charlie, …') versus plain alphabet sounds ('aye, bee, see, …') should be, and in my limited experience usually is, made based on how likely the recipient is to need them to understand. Here are two extreme cases: A contact made using a FM repeater at close range, among people who already know each other, does ...


10

First, some background on general amateur radio procedure: Field Day "is not a contest", but acts a lot like one. In any contest contact, the "exchange" is whatever information is communicated, beyond the call signs of the participants and the procedure of making and confirming the contact. In many contests, but not Field Day, the exchange is a signal ...


8

Since we are talking about the United States, the "phone" portions of each band are actually described as phone, CW & image. So it's not only legal, but it's perfectly acceptable to operate CW in that portion of the band. Contest rules generally confine contesters to the CW-only portion of the band making the rest of the band a viable option during CW ...


8

… Why don’t these unencrypted FM emergency services seem to use any call signs … ? They aren't required to and don't find it useful in their procedures. Also, they don't have call signs in the sense amateurs do — they may have names for different groups in a transmission ("Car #3" or whatever) which are call signs in the sense that they play the same role ...


7

This became clear to me after a bit of time to think, but it wasn't at all clear on initially jumping in. It helps to know the formal definitions of the codes used: CQ is “Calling any station”. The station is asking for (new) contacts from anyone. QRZ? is “Who is calling me”. The station is asking for a calling station to repeat their callsign. Only a ...


6

Why don’t these unencrypted FM emergency services seem to use any call signs or ham codes? They are required to identify periodically and they do. That is the Morse code you heard. Emergency services (police, fire, EMS) along with taxicabs, tow trucks, anything else that moves on land, is licensed under part 90, Private Land Mobile Service, of the FCC ...


6

It's not uncommon to use other words in place of the standard NATO Phonetic Alphabet. For example, my callsign is K7FOS, and I typically say Kilo Seven Foxtrot Ocean Sugar after saying the NATO style because it can often be easier to interpret "Sugar" over "Sierra". Use whatever works in order to get your message over the air effectively.


6

Based on the parameters given I would say 20M is the best band to aim for. There's usually a lot of activity, it tends to give reliable propagation, your antenna can be relatively small and there's a little bit of everything happening on it (CW, voice, digital and SSTV). From south-central Canada I've worked as far south as Cuba and as far east as Germany ...


5

The TL;DR; answer is No. The slightly longer answer is still No! - and listening to any pile-up will show it is not the case. As an example, QRN, QRM and QSB are often referred to as "Q R Nancy, Q R Mexico and Q S Baltimore respectively (not November, Mike and Sierra)... The point of any "code" is to make sure the recipient understands the transmission... ...


5

20m is the "go-to" band for long haul comms without a huge antenna, but it is by no means the only one. I've had 5000mi contacts on 20m, 17m, and 10m (using only 100W transmit power). With more space for antennas, 80m and 40m have even more potential for long distance. "unconditional access" is the hard one. There is no one band that will do that for you ...


5

As said by other answerers, it's typically the station announcing 'I'm ready for more contacts at this time.' It doesn't necessarily have to be a DX station, but any station that is attracting a lot of traffic during contests. It is kind of informal usage, as Kevid Reid mentioned, the official QRZ definition is 'who is calling me?', and CQ means 'calling all ...


5

During contests, a popular station (say DX) has a pileup with lots of stations trying to make contact. A station will often merely say QRZ for picking up someone from the pileup. Thus, in this I am agreeing with the previous answer but with the following comment. I believe that this method of saying QRZ is now so popular in this pileup situation (that is, ...


5

Eric Scace, K3NA wrote a two part article for the NCJ a few years back on all the adjustments you can make to your audio chain to improve it's quality. While the article focuses on audio quality for contesting, I think most of the points are relevant "regular" phone contacts. He has 6 main areas that he addresses: Operator training — Things like ...


5

Signal reports are sent because the contest may require them. Every contest I can think of requires some exchange of information, and a signal report may or may not be among the required information. For example, the ARRL 10 meter contest specifies signal reports must be exchanged: 4. Contest Exchange: 4.1. W/VE stations (including Hawaii and Alaska) send ...


5

"If the report never changes, why do contest rules still require signal reports, when cutting out phony reports would speed things up?" This question comes up frequently, among contesters (e.g. on CQ-Contest, an email reflector for contesters) as well as among those who criticise contests. Reasons for the signal report often include (in no ...


4

who would know I wasn’t just some emergency/government service? There's national regulations agencies that monitor the spectrum, and come when someone notifies them of an interference. They can fine you! (And: Typically will fine you if they find you in intentional abuse of spectrum.) Also, be a bit careful about not accidentally using a military allotment....


4

if a number of these devices are transmitting on a specific channel, will a receiver walkie talkie be able to hear all the signals coming from the ground sensors? The exact result depends on the modulation used, but in no case will it be all that useful. If they use FM (almost certain for any modern off-the-shelf equipment), you will hear mostly the ...


4

In fact, hams use phonetic alphabet for their call signs (and also QTH) most of the time. The reason is simple - when you are establishing a QSO you don't know how well the other operator hears you. Maybe your signal is weak on her side, or maybe there is a QRM or QSB. During an established QSO phonetic alphabet is used by two reasons. Firstly, you make ...


4

The answer is very simple: a contest station "running" a frequency calls "QRZ?" because it is faster than calling CQ and giving the call sign. The station running the frequency isn't trying to get only people who have called before to call when he or she sends "QRZ?". The station running the frequency can't call "QRZ?" forever, because soon new stations on ...


4

Nowhere in FCC Part 97 does it specify you have to use your natural voice. And, as many commenters have noted, there are lots of places where you don't. I will add to that list: I am the control operator for an unlicensed (or lower class) user Anyone other than the trustee operating a club station. Using my XYL's voice to record CQ macros for contesting ;...


4

You might already know about this, but the Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) system has similar goals and might be what you're looking for.


4

Frequency and wavelength of a wave are related: the frequency times the wavelength equals the speed of the wave, in this case the speed of light. For HF, the frequency in megahertz times the wavelength in meters equals 300. Modern radios display the frequency. Bands are referred to by their approximate wavelength for historical reasons. If the frequency ...


3

Your automated system would require a PC of some kind to evaluate the beacon reception so SDR, especially cognitive radio, looks like the way to go. I'd suggest getting familiar with GNU Radio and Kali Linux as well as SDR-Radio and SoftRock to work out the band-and-frequency selection process, using the aforementioned beacons as a starting point. Once ...


3

For long range voice contacts that work all the time, day or night, you need a satellite phone. Especially if you are considering emergency use, that is your best bet. If you want to do the same thing on amateur bands, you need high power, high gain antennas for several bands, and several years of intensive practice. You could set up an Elecraft K-line ...


3

QRZ seems to be commonly used to mean “Someone other than the station I just worked, please call” This is the way I always understood it. but while trying to research this answer I found one document claiming that it is appropriate only for “could not copy previous call” and not for “I want someone else from the pileup now” — but I also found a ...


3

Yes, the standard phonetic alphabet is used by radio amateurs. Of course, some people use alternatives in some circumstances - but we are required to know the standard phonetic alphabet.


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