Monday, August 09, 2010

R is for Readability

A couple of times I have been told by a station I was in contact with that my signal was "Radio Five". I was a bit offended. As a classical music lover I would have preferred to have been "Radio 3", or at least "Radio 4" which is the BBC's highbrow channel with news, arts and current affairs programming. But joking apart, what were they trying to tell me?

I don't want to sound like one of those curmudgeonly old farts who believe that it would have been better if newly licensed hams had never been born in the first place. I'm well aware of how such an attitude can, and has, put off newcomers to the hobby, and don't wish to discourage someone who might just have plucked up the courage to make their first QSOs by telling them they are doing it wrong. At the same time, I'm afraid that if one does nothing, says nothing, these nonsensical phrases will slip into common usage like a virus as others hear them on the air and think that's what they are supposed to say too.

So let's set things straight. The only "Radio" you need to mention during a contact is the make and model of the box you are talking to me with. If you are giving me a report on how well you are receiving my signal then the term is READABILITY.

9 comments:

S.o.a.I said...

You're double nickle old man. Wall to wall and tree top tall.

What operators need to realize is two things. One what might be slang in your part of the world might be total gibberish in another. Second, the "cute" stuff ain't so cute when conditions are bad and you're trying to get a report. Our ears are trained to hear set things in a QSO. You can pull out 51, 45, 55, etc way easier then you can some silly phrase. I have pretty poor hearing but my wife is amazed at times when I can hear some report thru the static. That comes from listening to static for a long time and knowing whats coming.

And while I'm rolling... I love it when you have to give your call 10 times and you get a 59 report. How in the world can I be 59 when I had to say it 10 times? It won't hurt my feelings if you get me something other then 59.

Jay aka KD8EUR

Tjeerd, PA3GNZ said...

You're right. I think The term of "radio" is from the CB world.

Dick said...

You won't hear "radio 5" in cw. The cute=stupid phraseology is, well, stupid.

Wally PA3BTT said...

I think that when you have to give your call 10 times, you should at least receive a 510 report.. hi

Wally PA3BTT said...

When you have to give your cal 10 times, you should at least receive a 510 report .hi hi

Wally

Wally PA3BTT said...

Hmm double post...sorry for that

Wally

Theodore said...

This is the reason I stick to digital modes - most ex cb'ers can't click the mike button quick enough to modulate a psk31 signal.

Ed N4EMG said...

There is a local ham (extra class license) who I can't help but hear on 20m SSB almost weekly. He insists on using non-standard phonetics that surely make no sense to non-English speaking hams. Considering the number of times he has to repeat his callsign you might think he would eventually realize that he's simply causing his own problem, but he stubbornly keeps plugging on.

Steve GW7AAV said...

Yo good bud yur Red Sauce is Heinz 57 varieties you copy?