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Old 02-13-2017, 9:58 AM
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Question Long QSO's on Calling Frequencies

What is the accepted protocol for the use of VHF or UHF calling frequencies?

I routinely scan the designated VHF and UHF calling frequencies (146.520 / 446.000) in the event that someone might call for some type of assistance. Recently, however, several local hams have started using 146.52 (most frequently) or 446.00 (less frequently) for extended simplex QSO's. It seems to me that this effectively discourages any routine monitoring of these designated calling frequencies.

It has always been my understanding that once initial contact is made on a calling frequency, continued discussion should be moved to some other frequency. I'd be interested to know the opinions of others.

Thanks.

John AC4JK
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:13 AM
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Generally establish contact and QSY to another simplex frequency ,sitting on the national calling frequency is rude at the very least .

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Old 02-13-2017, 10:17 AM
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It depends on how people in your local area want to do things.

In my area there is a group that talks on .52 for hours at a time in the evenings. Nobody complains about it being only a calling frequency. If somebody is passing through they might at least be able to contact somebody on .52 because the repeaters are mostly dead and useless.
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:31 AM
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Been a problem in my area for years, especially on six meter FM. Many
People run converted commercial gear and only have a crystal for 52.525
so they can't move. 10 meter FM suffers the same problem.
I always kept a rig on 146.52 since I'm in a big tourist area and many
visiting hams would call for local info, but finally gave it up due all the
rag chewers and their failure to comprehend the calling frequency
concept.
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Old 02-13-2017, 11:51 AM
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I always make/answer a call on the calling frequency then move onto another freq that's not in use. Thus allowing others to make calls.
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Old 02-13-2017, 5:22 PM
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Anybody had any luck with the "ham detector" AKA voice alert on Yaesu and Kenwood products.

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Old 02-13-2017, 7:50 PM
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well if your afraid to interupt and ask a question or join in...........
we jibber jabber on the calling freqs all the time
and if somebody needs to make a call they are welcome to do so
and often get help finding the personages they are looking for
and if you had a emergency wouldn't you like to have you call for help heard by numerous people?

ive heard that in other parts of the country folks are rude and cliquish on the radio, but not around here
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Old 02-13-2017, 9:30 PM
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It does get to me sometimes how if new hams did this they would be told the proper use of a calling frequency. But if it is OM hams, that seems to trump everything. Oops probably shouldn't have used trump.

Banned for encouraging legal and proper use of the crappy band.
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Old 02-14-2017, 4:07 AM
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Default 52 simplex

Reading thru the thread, I'm gonna side with k9wkj.
Local qso's mean the frequency is not only being used, but also being monitored more than if no one was using it. Anyone needing information or assistance is ensured to have someone out there to lend a hand.
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Old 02-14-2017, 5:00 AM
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Calling frequencies are supposed to be just that - for calling, then QSY to another simplex frequency.

I don't agree with the thought that using a calling frequency for a QSO means at least someone is listening. What if someone keys down for an extended time without letting up every 10 or 15 seconds to listen to someone else? It happens ALL the time. That means no one else can break in with, potentially, an emergency.

There is plenty of space on the band to talk. There's no reason to sit on the calling frequency.

If people have regular QSOs, then why don't they have a regular frequency other than the calling frequency? It's just as easy to establish a regular, periodic contact on some other frequency as on the calling frequency.

It's rude behavior and gives the ham community in general a bad name.

73 - David, AG4F
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Old 02-14-2017, 6:12 AM
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While I tend to agree that the accepted norm is you establish contact on the calling frequency and QSY to an unused frequency for your QSO. There is another side to this, however. If everyone did that and the QSO is a roundtable where everyone moves, that would leave the calling frequency unmonitored so nobody would answer the call, perhaps an emergency call, and that wouldn't be good either.

If a large group of folks are holding a roundtable QSO and they pause to let others join or break in when they need the frequency, it could be a good thing that they remain on the calling frequency.so others can easily make their call for help or ask one of the users to QSY for a "private" conversation. Often 52 sits idle and calls go unanswered but if there's a roundtable QSO active (and folks are polite and allow others in), those calls would be answered.

The same thing can be said for folks tying up a repeater for their QSO when the contact could still be made using a simplex frequency. The counter argument to this is that others are often welcome to join them in the discussion, even if they're outside of simplex range. Similarly, many repeaters sit idle a majority of the time so there's no real harm in using the repeater even when simplex would work just as well for the two that initiated the contact.

My take on the issue is if you use a frequency, be polite and allow others in, either to join the conversation or to make their call and quickly handle it on frequency or QSY if the conversation becomes longer than expected. If necessary (say, one of the folks can't QSY for some reason - a crystal controlled rig or programming issue - be prepared to move your QSO. This goes for simplex or repeater operation (unless there's only a single repeater available, which is the rare exception now days).

The old saying remains true today, listen before you talk and if the frequency is in use (and your conversation isn't urgent), wait your turn. If you can't wait, politely break in and explain your needs and make your quick call as appropriate. After all, the person you're trying to contact may not be on frequency, but someone who is in the group currently using the frequency may very well be able to assist you. "Sounds like Joe isn't on frequency. Hold on a sec and I'll call him on my cell and tell him to get on frequency."
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Old 02-14-2017, 4:26 PM
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How many radios are incapable of monitoring a freq other than the one you're talking on?

Set your B side to .520 or 446 and QSY to another freq for your rag chew.

Seriously, people forget to breath when it's their turn to talk, so you rarely get the 15 seconds necessary for someone to break in without doubling, even on a repeater.
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Old 02-14-2017, 7:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KF5ZIS View Post
How many radios are incapable of monitoring a freq other than the one you're talking on?

Set your B side to .520 or 446 and QSY to another freq for your rag chew.

Seriously, people forget to breath when it's their turn to talk, so you rarely get the 15 seconds necessary for someone to break in without doubling, even on a repeater.
My two newest radios have a "B" side (and only one allows the "B" side to be on the same band as the "A" side), but the vast majority of mine only monitor a single frequency at a time. Most of my radios are single band radios and while they allow some scanning, once you're fixed on a channel for transmitting, you're on that channel only. Even my dual band HT only has a single receiver so only one channel at a time can be monitored when in a QSO. I guess I need to get rid of my Motorolas and purchase some of those cheap Chinese junk instead so I can talk on simplex.
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Old 02-15-2017, 6:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n5ims View Post
My two newest radios have a "B" side (and only one allows the "B" side to be on the same band as the "A" side), but the vast majority of mine only monitor a single frequency at a time. Most of my radios are single band radios and while they allow some scanning, once you're fixed on a channel for transmitting, you're on that channel only. Even my dual band HT only has a single receiver so only one channel at a time can be monitored when in a QSO. I guess I need to get rid of my Motorolas and purchase some of those cheap Chinese junk instead so I can talk on simplex.
My reply was not intended to be acerbic, I'm doing a LOT of business writing at work (technical procedures), so my apologies if it came across that way.

Aside from the fact that you're missing features that are common on all of the amateur radios from the Big Three (not just ChiCom garbage), I'm no fan of Motorola (the company). I understand their radios are bullet proof. But their bullying of retail outlets and harvesting the info of the outlet's customers that weren't Moto customers left me wanting nothing to do with them.
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:29 AM
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Wow!... Many points of view here and lots of food for thought.

To clarify, my original concern was related to the monitoring of the calling frequencies, not necessarily the desire to use one already in use by others. As I mentioned, I attempt to monitor the calling frequencies as much as possible. And since my rig does allow me to monitor or scan two separate sets of frequencies, I am often able to do so.

My circumstance is such that once a QSO starts up on one of the calling frequencies, I will hear it if I am near the radio (and I usually am). If the QSO is fairly short, I just listen. But if the QSO goes on and on, I will usually disable the channel and hope to remember to re-enable it sometime later.

In some cases, however, the "sometime later" might inadvertently become "days later", and the locked-out frequency is not being monitored for that period of time. Not a crisis, to be sure. But if this happens routinely around the country, it seems to me that any value of having designated calling frequencies would be minimized or lost entirely.

Any additional thoughts....???

John AC4JK
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Old 02-15-2017, 4:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chief21 View Post
My circumstance is such that once a QSO starts up on one of the calling frequencies, I will hear it if I am near the radio (and I usually am). If the QSO is fairly short, I just listen. But if the QSO goes on and on, I will usually disable the channel and hope to remember to re-enable it sometime later.

In some cases, however, the "sometime later" might inadvertently become "days later", and the locked-out frequency is not being monitored for that period of time. Not a crisis, to be sure. But if this happens routinely around the country, it seems to me that any value of having designated calling frequencies would be minimized or lost entirely.
I totally understand your issue. The problem is not just isolated to the "calling channels", but also on repeaters. We have a few around here that have lots of nets. While many of those nets serve a very useful purpose and many are quite interesting (if I have the time to devote to them), they do tie up a repeater for long periods of time. Most run half an hour or more, some run over two hours long. Another issue is repeaters that are linked to distant areas via the internet. We have one that has a near permanent link to a group of repeaters in California so the discussion generally has little to do with us here in Texas.

Often, especially if I'm on a different radio or doing something that requires close attention, during these long running conversations I will simply turn down that radio so I don't get sidetracked into the net's conversation (as I said, many are interesting). While much of the time I do remember to turn the radio back up to standard monitoring volume, many of the times I don't and my monitoring of that repeater isn't being done for long periods, as in your case, this may be days. During that period, I won't hear any calls on those frequencies (simplex or repeater) and be able to provide assistance.
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Old 02-15-2017, 4:52 PM
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Not sure this will add to the already well thought out replies, Chief 21- but here's another --
.

The nice thing about ham radio is that its formless- the operating practices are made to fit the circumstances, and not set officially in stone. “52” is consider’d the National Calling Frequency, but this can vary all over the country. Unlike, say Marine Channel 16, which is used for distress and calling- there, once a contact is establish’d, the government regulations say you move to a working channel…. 2 metre’s is nothing like that
.
.
But even on regulated frequencies outside the ham bands, the conventions can deviate a lot from what is official and what is locally accepted. Many, many times, while outside of ’civilisation’ I will chat along for hours on government frequencies not at all designated for such use. But that’s because we know no one else is there- or cares….and we would relinquish the frequency to other users if that ever became necessary.
.
Others have stated it well… use the calling frequencies with courtesy. Short 52 conversations, to me, are fine- longer ones? (whatever that means) - take some breaks…. asking “is there anyone out there that wants the frequency?” If not- continue your QSO. If you are getting uneasy with hogging 52, especially in areas you know a lot of people maybe monitoring- move to another channel. If you get tired listening to others talk- remember the volume control-- just turn it down.
.
Personally I seldom ever move off of 52- vehicle, or home. And I also seldom hear anyone, anyway, ---so if I do talk, I talk! Very often these QSO’s turn into great round tables, as other “monitoring” stations join in.
.
Chief 21, I wouldn’t be concerned about your use of the calling frequencies; just be courteous, friendly- keep a sense of humour by remembering this is a hobby.
.
.
……………………..CF

Last edited by Coyote-Frostbyte; 02-15-2017 at 4:59 PM..
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Old 02-15-2017, 9:49 PM
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Around here there are good sized group of people 6.52. We can get pretty chatty at times, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings. We are usually pretty conscientious about leaving breaks, and almost always respond to any station calling, even during a long QSO. Except for a few unlicensed trolls that try to jam us, it's never been a problem.


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Old 02-15-2017, 11:51 PM
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And QSOs on the calling frequencies is the major reason why I no longer monitor 146.52 I got tired of hearing the same old thing night after night. When and if these people stop their QSO, I hope that some of them stay to monitor the calling frequency as I seldom go there any longer.

Encouraging proper use of two-way radio spectrum including CB.
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Old 02-22-2017, 10:47 PM
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God forbid someone actually talk for more than ten seconds on the sacred calling frequency. Heck, if people actually used the frequency, then there might be someone around to hear someone call huh? How long will most monitor a frequency that is dead or nearly dead every day? If someone wants to talk while others are, we have a system for this. Wait for a pause and throw your call out. Or if you just can't stand to wait, break. How is it that people talking stop others from using the frequency?

Around here there is a ".52 group" that rag chews, and a lot of new hams have found this group and gotten into the hobby because of it, after being turned off by the snobbery on local repeaters. But of course the hams who just can't stand to hear people rag chew on 52 employ tactics to make the people using it miserable. Tactic one is coming on and lecturing, and when that fails tactic two is to interfere with / jam the rag chewers....to teach them a lesson you know...

In my neck of the woods the repeaters are mostly dead silent, but are otherwise stiff, dry and snobby. There are the regulars in the clique, and the baofeng guys who get a radio, get excited, and then get on to find that most people have no interest in talking to them or getting to know them.

HF gets old for a lot of younger people who try it, since there are only so many times you can tell someone you are hearing them well, and they you...only so many times you can tell people what gear and antenna you are running.

Simplex calling frequencies are the one place you can have a real-life light hearted conversation with / meet a wide variety of people, including those who are not "typical" ham radio guys. But over time enough complainers lecturing people about not using these frequencies have pretty much driven people from them as well. Now repeaters and simplex are both mostly dead. Brilliant!!
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