So here are things to help keep it interesting during class. As we learned last week from Barbara and Bruce, HAM radio enjoys a rich and colorful history. While most of this culture surrounding HAM radio will not be on the test, here starts the things that will help each one of you become a better operator.
We will start with pro-signs. Pro-signs are basically abbreviations for words or phrases that are used to keep the communication as short and concise as possible. Most of these pro-signs have origins in early telegraphy, where every letter or number cost the sender money to send. For instance, if each letter in a message cost 1 dollar to send via western union telegraph, look at the following message and the difference in cost:
Please confirm Single Side Band schedule text tomorrow, Thanks.
This line cost $55, including punctuation. Same line using pro-signs:
PSE CFM SSB SKED TXT TMW TNX
The pro-sign line cost $22, less than half. They say money drives innovation, and this is a very good example. How the terms became standard is a history lesson in of itself. They also translate into shorter Morse Code messages with regards to DITs and DAHs. Less letters means faster speeds.
For Feb 18th, these few pro-signs you will be required to learn and will be quizzed on them at random times throughout the class. This is not for a grade, it is for fun. The idea is to try and get everyone into the habit of using pro-signs when they apply, and also to use them to keep the communication as short and concise as possible. That way, just like the FCC wants us to use the minimum amount of power to get our signal to the intended receiver, we also should keep our communication to as minimum as possible to still facilitate the message.
The biggest point to remember about being a good operator is to L-I-S-T-E-N. Listen first, and then transmit. Operators will best learn how to enter a conversation by listening. When it is time to speak, speak clearly, across the mike and know what you want to say.
- What is your location? My location is ___.
- Can you acknowledge receipt? I am acknowledging receipt. (I understand)
- Shall I change to another frequency? Change transmission to another frequency
- Who is calling me? You are being called by ___
- Are you troubled by static
? I am troubled by static.
- Is my transmission being interfered
with? Your transmission is being interfered with.
—Love and kisses
—Calling any station(Seeking you)
—Variable Frequency Oscillator(Tuning dial)
—Continuous Wave(Morse Code)
—Single Side Band
Be prepared to use these pro-signs in response to questions in the next class. There may even be prizes for those who do.
Guys, get your gals this info so they too can participate!!!!