Phonetic Alphabet - quit saying "Kilowatt"

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KE0GTU, May 10, 2017.

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  1. KG5UN

    KG5UN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually it is not.
    Look it up.

    Approved by whom? Are we beholden to a certain entity and required to use their phonetics?
    We can get upset by the minutia of life or we can take it all in stride and just enjoy our hobby.
    N0TZU, KU5Q, AG5CK and 2 others like this.
  2. SM0XHJ

    SM0XHJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, it's definitely not one of the major problems we have in this hobby, I'll give you that. But the bottom line is that only if both the sender and receiver is trained in the same phonetics will you have the full benefit. That's why military, marine (GMDSS) and other services specify what phonetic alphabet to use (not only the words, but also the pronunciation).
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  3. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    "Kilowatt" is definitely NOT 2-words!

    I have been using "kilowatt" as a phonetic for right at 6-decades and there has not been a single time when the other station got my call as KW9STH! However, if I had a dime for every time "kilo", "sierra", "tango", or "hotel" has been incorrectly received, I would be driving a Rolls Royce instead of a Kia Soul and living in a multi-million dollar house.

    Glen, K9STH
    KU5Q, WD3N, W7UUU and 3 others like this.
  4. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Kilowatt is one word. Like kilogram, kilohertz, megawatt, centimeter, millimeter, deciliter, and many others.

    Even a 100% CW op like me knows phonetics....
    N0TZU, WD3N, W7UUU and 1 other person like this.
  5. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    And no supernatural (one word) intelligence required.
    N2EY likes this.
  6. AG4RT

    AG4RT Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Where does that leave the amateur radio operator? I doubt there are very few, if any, hams that have had formal training in radio phonetics as a consequence of them being hams. Why not do what gets the message across the best? Sometimes the ICAO phonetics are not the best.
    N0TZU likes this.
  7. WW2PT

    WW2PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Pedantic is one word as well, and it perfectly describes this entire thread. :D
    N1YR, K4PIH, WZ7U and 5 others like this.
  8. SM0XHJ

    SM0XHJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nowhere really. You can hope that the other station is trained in ICAO phonetics and use ICAO and get that added benefit, or you can use some other phonetic and hope the other station is trained in that. My guess is more people are trained on ICAO than any other phonetics today, but that's my guess.
    I have no problem with that (unless your local regulations state otherwise). You may have to repeat your signal an extra time for me but that's all (or worst case I'll log you with the wrong call sign).
  9. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    At least in this country, considerably more people are trained in the APCO phonetic alphabet than the ICAO phonetic alphabet. The APCO system is used by virtually every public safety organization.


    Since this phonetic alphabet is used by public safety organizations, a goodly number of public works departments also use the APCO system. Since 1971, there has been an effort to get public safety organizations to use the ICAO phonetic alphabet. However, that has just not happened and public safety has retained the old system.

    Also, especially in South America, non military organizations use one of several phonetic alphabets that utilize Spanish words.

    Glen, K9STH
  10. KJ5T

    KJ5T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Whatever works, use it.

    73 -- Kilowatt Japan Five Tokyo (a personal favorite when running JA's).
    N0TZU and WZ7U like this.

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