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Broken Calls/QSOs

[quote=“MM0FMF, post:20, topic:11061”]do not say them correctly[/quote]…and do not understand them even when they are pronounced(*) correctly. The use of alternatives is a pragmatic work-around that succeeds often enough to be useful.

(*) ICAO’s page at http://www.icao.int/Pages/AlphabetRadiotelephony.aspx helpfully gives exactly no information on pronounciation, but http://aviationknowledge.wikidot.com/aviation:nato-phonetic-alphabet is a bit more helpful, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet even has a sound file…

73, Rick Mnemonic Nought Llanberis Express Phoenix :wink:

Andy…you are completly right…
Franz ON9CBQ

Hi Andy,
Well I often listen to aircraft in communication with the ground and most of the call signs are undecipherable, especially amongst the trainees who come from all over the place. The air traffic controllers cope because the correct call sign appears on their big screen. Gabbling of call signs is not confined to amateur ranks. Add accents to that and I am amazed that the ground around airports isn’t paved in aluminium.

I blame the BBC which dropped its standards of speech way back, starting with that Michael Parkinson bloke. Most native English speakers then apparently gave up on careful enunciation. Local dialects have proliferated like Ebola and it seems the stronger the accent the more kudos you get. The DL ops are much easier to understand these days than UK stations because they aspire to BBC as she used to be spoken English…

73
Vincotto Kyopolou Thuree Ajika Fritessaus Worcestershire

A set of phonetics to relish - they don’t get much saucier/spicier than that.

Phonetics are not mandated, they are recommendations. You won’t be taken out and shot for using the “wrong” phonetics. Like most of us, I pragmatically abandon the regular phonetics (which I think of as “NATO”) when they do not work - rare, but it does happen occasionally.

I can still remember the first ham I ever heard, on tuning down past the Medium Wave on a one-valve TRF kit to Top Band. Golf three mike yoke charlie, ex Bomber Command and using the RAF phonetics that he used in the service. You rarely hear some of them now, but they worked then against the noise of four Merlin engines and on relatively primitive equipment (like the drifty T1154 and a carbon mike) and they would work now.

If it works, its good!

Brian

As Rick observes, it takes both ends to use phonetics effectively. There is a benefit in persevering with a standard set, though, as at least you know what you are listening for. Brain can quickly run the mush it is hearing past its cached lookup table :wink:

Adrian
G4AZS

I do not encounter any problems with phonetics on my callsign. However, I am quite often logged as “G3NNY” which is a result of carelessness (or perhaps dyslexia?) on the part of the receiving operator.

73,
Walt (G3NYY)

I’ve got that, often I either write it down the wrong way or repeat the callsign back with the letters mixed up but I usually manage to get them all correct eventually. It is always the suffix I get wrong, 3 letters and its amazing how often I repeat the middle letter first.
My biggest problem is the 2M0, I get M0, MM0 which are just when they write out their logs as they manage to get it over the air OK. I often have to say “The callsign is number two, two mike zero…” that is the best way I get the callsign over.

Neil

A lot of the problem is that people just do not listen!

From 1978 until 1991 I lived in Wales and was very active in HF contests as GW3NYY. In November 1991, I eventually moved to England and became G3NYY. For years afterwards, contesters would log me incorrectly as GW3NYY! They either “thought” they heard a GW prefix, or else they were convinced in their own minds that I should be “GW3NYY”. Almost 25 years later, they are just about getting used to the idea that I’m now a common-or-garden G3.
:smile:
Alas, the “G3” prefix has nothing like the DX-appeal of “GW3”.

73,
Walt (G3NYY … yes, really!)

I am stunned and shocked that you could suggest such a thing! Fancy people not listening. Or worse listening and hearing only the callsign spotted not what was being said over the air!

:smile:

The ICAO list works quite well on VHF aircraft channels where the S/N is high, and QRM/QRN/QSB is absent. NATO appropriated it as their standard. On HF, their effectiveness does go down … KILO SIX DELTA GOLF WHISKY often morphs into ALPHA GOLF WHISKY. GOLF is a really poor choice, one syllable. If ICAO doesn’t work, KILOWATT SIX DENMARK GERMANY WASHINGTON almost always nails it.

When my standard november six juliet zulu tango does not work I use november six japan zanzibar tango. That usually does the trick, I have found that tango works almost 100 percent of the time.
73 Hal N6JZT

If you log a station with the wrong call, or do not copy it correctly, or completely, or you are not sure he got your call, and you verify the contact with an email, then you have not made a valid contact.

Why not just log everything you hear without working it…close enough right? You know you could work it, so why not just log it? Just like being “close enough” to the activation zone of a SOTA summit and claiming an activation.

Nope…u need to be in the zone, and you need to make valid contacts.

There really is nothing here to argue about. We all know what a valid contact is, and we all know what a valid activation is. Let’s just follow the rules.

Pete
WA7JTM

4 Likes

Walt, Pete, I agree: busted call = no valid contact. If some information is missing due to QRM, QRN, QSB, …, repeat it or have it repeated until it is confirmed to be correct, or cut your losses, say “sorry”, mark the QSO as incomplete and move on.

Busted calls, however, are not only a question of phonetics, but occur often enough in telegraphy as well. Some people just seem to stick to what they want to hear … There was this Italian a few years ago who thought I was a New Zealander, and I am still not sure whether I managed to convince him that I was not one ;-). Some others seem to insist they hear a D where there is an L, or shorten an H, not just to an S, but to an I, or simply keep changing the order of the letters in the suffix, and no matter how often I say “no” every time and repeat my callsign, they still get it wrong. Well, then it is not my problem any more.

Regarding summit references: While they are not required for a valid QSO, I believe it is still a good idea for operators of any portable stations to repeat their location at least every few QSOs. For instance, I have got some entries in my log of which I know that they were SOTA contacts, but because the operators did not tell their location, I cannot enter them in the database until I get their QSL cards - if I get them at all.

73, Jan-Martin

Hi Jan-Martin,

You can look up an activator’s logs in the database - if he/she has uploaded them - and that will tell you his/her SOTA reference. Log in to the database and go to “View Results” and “Activator Roll of Honour”. This also enables you to check that you are in the activator’s log.

73,
Walt (G3NYY)

Interesting this

Some times the voice gives it away on air and M0MDA certainly has one of those voices I recognise on air now as well two certain Spanish chasers and couple other UK chasers also. And of course couple certain European lady of Goats, I tend to mix up as there similar but wording things slightly different I have learnt.

Man band condition’s must have been well poor.

Karl

If you log a station with the wrong call, or do not copy it correctly, or completely, or you are not sure he got your call, and you verify the contact with an email, then you have not made a valid contact.

Why not just log everything you hear without working it…close enough right? You know you could work it, so why not just log it? Just like being “close enough” to the activation zone of a SOTA summit and claiming an activation.

Nope…u need to be in the zone, and you need to make valid contacts.

There really is nothing here to argue about. We all know what a valid contact is, and we all know what a valid activation is. Let’s just follow the rules.

Very well put. Sadly, to some, the desperation to be as high up the SOTA ladder as possible to boost their ego, overrules common sense. Not long ago I received a QSL card from a station who claimed to work me on one of my activations. I tried several times without success to get his call sign, therefore he didn’t go in my log. I sent him an email on the email address that was on qrz telling him that the contact was not valid, unsurprisingly I got no reply and the qsl card went in the bin.

73 Chris M0RSF

1 Like

I know, in some cases I have even done it in the past, but it is a fairly roundabout way of doing things, and as you wrote, the log must be there in the first place. I’d rather not have to rely on the database to fix things. It is good, but it is no cure-all.

Anyway, it did not sound to me as if the operators in question had no time to state their location, but they chose not to do it for an unknown reason. Even worse are other (generally non-SOTA) portable operators who insist on saying their name in every QSO, but must be asked for the location, and even then do not always tell it. Why, then, operate portable at all? But I digress from the original topic.

Back to broken calls: In some countries, many amateurs have obtained shorter callsigns in recent years. Is this perhaps a reason why some operators tend to ignore the last letter in a three-letter-suffix upon replying?

73, Jan-Martin

Hi Jan-Martin

I find the opposite is true. I frequently have difficulty persuading callers that there are only two letters in my suffix :unamused:

73 de Paul G4MD

:slight_smile: Well, short callsigns are nowadays (still? Who knows what will happen?) a rarity in the UK, unlike in Russia, the USA, and some other countries.

73, Jan-Martin