Operating Ethics

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W0VRA, Jan 18, 2018.

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  1. W0VRA

    W0VRA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Kinda new to all this, and I wanna be polite.

    Is this a good start?


    Some things seem fussy. I shouldn't use ham radio about what's for lunch? What's chewing on rags all about then?

    Some things seem essential, like always use your whole call.

    Others were helpful, like the QSO script, and how to work contests.
  2. AC0TP

    AC0TP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Welcome to amateur radio. Yes, we have our own jargon, and rag chewing is one of them. It is a slang term for talking, and more specifically long-winded, chatty conversations.

    There are a lot of things to learn so that you fit in with others in this hobby.

    DX (speaking to another amateur radio station over long distances) best practices http://www.dxuniversity.com/showpage.php?id=25
    Don't be a lid (poor operator) http://www.qsl.net/dl4tt/w5vsr.html
    The ARRL even has a book for best amateur radio practices: http://www.arrl.org/shop/ARRL-Operating-Manual-11th-Edition/
    K9ASE and AC1CX like this.
  3. KD6VM

    KD6VM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I found some of the document to be contradictory. It says you shouldn't talk about anything that has nothing to do with the ham radio hobby. Then, it states you can talk about your profession as long as you don't advertise for business.

    Early ARRL operating guides suggested a normal QSO might include two hams talking about gardening over the air.

    I don't think I will waste any more time reading that "document".
    WD4IGX, K9ASE and K1OIK like this.
  4. KS2G

    KS2G Subscriber QRZ Page

    WA7PRC likes this.
  5. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was wondering where the misuse of the AR prosign in CW was coming from. I should have known, the ARRL. The AR prosign has been used for years indicating "end of text" meaning the content of the transmission NOT end of transmission. Some ignorant doofus at the ARRL is trying to say HIS understanding is the standard.


    "....blah blah blah blah so back to you" AR W1AW DE KY5U K.
    W3JJW likes this.
  6. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    A bit of clarification:

    1. "Rag chewing" or "chewing the rag" is an old, olde term, meaning long term conversations, NOT necessarily long-winded. The term pre-dates amateur radio, but has been adopted into Amateur jargon.
    It applies to most contacts that are more than the RS(T) report and then moving on to the next ultra-short contact, with only exchange of call signs and required info, ala contest contacts. (IMHO, contests sponsor "contacts," but not true QSO's. But that is what contests are for, for better or worse.)

    2. DX has different contexts On MF/HF, depending upon the band in question. On strictly MF/HF (1.80 MHz through 29.999 MHz) it usually applies to transcontinental contacts, although AK (KL7, etc.) and HI (KH6,) etc an often qualify. On VHF (50 MHz and above) and higher DX can be considered as anything more than a few thousand miles. SO, a contact from Wrong Beach, CA to a station in Maine could be considered DX, but a contact from "Sandy Ago" CA to Tijuana MX, despite crossing international boundaries, wouldn't be considered DX at VHF or above. On MF/HF, location (sometimes referred to as "QTH") is given as State, or nearest city name, indicating the country if necessary. (YES, Moscow is NOT just in Russia!) On VHF and above, the Ma9idenhead "Grid Square" is more commonly used. That is more specific than just "State" or country.

    Good luck, and WELCOME to the Amateur ranks.
  7. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    You bring up an interesting point.

    Here's the instruction from the guide:

    "Repeaters should not serve to inform the XYL that you are on your way home and that lunch can be served... Contacts through amateur radio concern primarily the technique of radio communications."

    A few comments first...

    The document is overall VERY good and I didn't know it existed. As my son is now studying to become a ham, I will ensure he's aware of it.

    Having said that, I think two things about this:

    1. It is kind of sexist...presuming the ham is male and has a wife and that the wife needs some sort of permission or information to serve lunch... yes, of course this can happen but...the example seems dated at best.

    2. To address the actual radio part of this...I get the spirit of the advice. The spirit is to generally not expect or use ham radio as a replacement for other means of normal communication. That's partly why, for instance, business use is prohibited. So using a repeater to call home to an unlicensed relative to discuss practical family matters... yeah, that's not really what its for, and when using a repeater, the repeater is now unavailable to others during that discussion. I get that.

    However, "lunch" is certainly NOT a forbidden topic and you shouldn't misconstrue the guide in this way. For instance, it would be entirely permissible (and encouraged) if you're setting up for field day and using handhelds to communicate...and lunch comes up. Here, the bigger purpose is radio-related, specifically field day. Lunch is just a piece of that puzzle.

    Further, you can and should chat with radio friends on the radio - that's just fine. And if you happen to chat about lunch, that's fine too.

    In summary, you touched on a case where the scenario they chose was kind of 'on the edge' and it isn't perfectly clear WHY that example is considered bad practice. It isn't the lunch per se, rather the move of normal family comms onto ham radio, without any backing 'radio purpose.' I agree with the guide, I just think the example is a little too close to the edge.

    Hey - welcome to the hobby and by finding/reading that guide, you're already in the top 1/2 of the class! Hope to meet you on the air someday.
    73, Jay
    WD4IGX, N2EY and KE5OFJ like this.
  8. W0VRA

    W0VRA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for all the helpful info. I should call our local used bookstore and check for ARRL manuals.

    What's the etymology of "lid"?
  9. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Consider the source.:rolleyes: Many of the ARRL staff are "noobies" themselves, and/or had poor or no Elmering, and don't know better. If they don't know something, many of them would rather" make up" a response than say "I dunno" or researching a subject.
    K3XR likes this.
  10. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is just one man's opinion. Now, some of this is right on...but some is a little weird (maybe in part due to it being a translation) and contradictory. ANYWAY if you want to be a good ham, you can basically skip most of the blah-blah-blah in this document and just read and heed The Amateur's Code. It's short and sweet and if you follow it you'll operate in such a way that you will enjoy the hobby and so will everybody you "meet" on the air.
    W5TTP and AC0TP like this.
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