MMI Technical Resource
   Updated 5 March 2003 New Ham Help   

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  • Are you a new ham that just does not know how to "ham it up"? Here are some suggestions that might help you out on VHF and UHF repeaters.:

  • Do not call "CQ" on FM repeaters.
  • Listen to your local repeaters for a while to see what the protocol is for their use.
  • Say, "(Your Callsign) monitoring" or "listening" only once. More than that gets annoying to listeners.
  • Speak clearly and not too fast.
  • Make sure that you or the people you call don't say stupid things over the autopatch.
  • ID every 10 minutes and at the end of conversations.
  • ID at the beginning and end of autopatches.
  • ID at the beginning and end of other activities.
  • Only break into others' conversations when you have to.
  • When you do break into others' conversations just say your callsign, not "break".
  • Don't use "codes" on FM that are usually used on CW.
  • Don't use "10 codes" at all.
  • Don't say "over" on FM.
  • Don't kerchunk the repeater a whole bunch of times and ID when you do.
  • Don't play songs over the air using your Yaesu portable's musical keypad.
  • Don't link two repeaters together using your crossband radio (trust me).
  • Don't over modulate*.
  • Don't send MCW** using your DTMF*** pad.
  • Most importantly, just be nice, and be yourself.

    All these rules might sound harsh, but believe me, they'll help you out alot when you're just starting out in amateur radio (FM communications).

    *Over modulating (talking too loud) will cause distortion. This is because your radio's IDC (instantaneous deviation control) kicks in and flat tops any audio signal that tries to peak over a preset level. This is why you can't really over deviate (unless you alter your IDC setting), you just over modulate when you're talking too loud.
    **Modulated CW. This is when you send morse code with a tone on AM or FM.
    ***Dual Tone Multi-Frequency aka TouchTone™.

    Don't know what some words mean? Go to the Technical Terms page.
    © 2003 MMI Technical Resource