First Conversation!​

You have studied and passed the exam and you received the license and someone believes you can really do this and follow the rules.  You borrowed a radio or your station is set and now it is time to actually start talking on the radio.  Now, what do you say again?

You chose a local repeater frequency and dial it up on your rig. (Try the Scottsdale Repeater at 147.18.)  You just keyed your mike, gave out your call sign and now you hear……..your call sign and someone coming back to you with his call sign…..he unkeys and the repeater is waiting for YOU!

BRAIN LOCK SETS IN! “What do I do? What do I talk about? Will I remember all those rules, regulations, theory and all that other stuff I had to study?

The simple answer is…….probably not……but don’t worry!


Simple Radio Protocol

If you are calling and do not know who you will talk to

  • Have a pad of paper and a pencil or pen. Write down your call sign at the top so you can find it.

  • Push the mike PPT button and say “(your call sign) testing”.  This means I am testing and if you want you can answer back or you may not answer back. You probably will hear a repeater ID in Morse code or

  • Push the mike PTT button and say “(your call sign) radio check”.  This is asking for a short report of the how the signal sounds.

  • Sometimes you just get in the vehicle and call out “(your call sign) mobile and monitoring”.

  • When someone answers, write down the call sign and name if you can.   Explain you just are starting out in radios and ask how the signal is. Is its strong and quiet or too soft or full of static?  You may write down your call sign.  Many people forget what the call sign is.

If you have the other person’s call sign,

  • ·The protocol or model is to state other persons call sign first then your call sign.  Something like “KE7FSD this is (Your call sign)”.  Sometimes you can leave out the “this is” and simply state “KE7FSD, (Your call sign)” You must give some time for a reply.  The answer will be something like “go ahead this is KE7FSD” or “KE7FSD here”.

  • If you do not get a reply or you are finished then say, “(Your call sign) clear”.  This means I am all done and the frequency is open for others.

A great way to obtain practice and experience is the Tuesday night net at 7:00 pm.  You will test and learn good radio technique and you will test your equipment to make sure it is on correct frequencies and the antenna is working properly.  Have fun and learn good technique.  It will pay off as you travel around the country and world.


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