Homework for the last class on Feb 25th. For those participating in the class, please print this out and peruse it at least once.
This is to try and make learning this stuff fun. You all will be getting PM's about this stuff, as well. Guys with wives in the class--Get this to your significant others, please! Prizes will be Chipotle "burrito" and "burritos for two" cards. There may even be gift certificates included!
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.
For Feb 25th, 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 ___. (Think of the H as indicating "Home")
- Can you acknowledge receipt? I am acknowledging receipt.
- 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.(N
atural interference such as electrical storms, etc)
- Is my transmission being interfered with? Your transmission is being interfered with.(M
an made interference such as someone operating near or on your frequency)
--Will you keep your station open for further communication with me? (Bruce's example of needing to stop to get a beer
—Love and kisses
—Calling any station(Seeking you)
—Variable Frequency Oscillator
—Continuous Wave(Morse Code)
—Single Side Band