What IS Proper Radiotelephone Practice?

prcguy

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With the crowd I hang around with I use alcohol phonetics like Amaretto, Bourbon, Chianti, etc.

I announce my call as N3 Victor Mike Yankee. When I'm on simplex with the locals I'll say N3 Very Mellow Yellow. On International contacts I'll always use the NATO phonetics. BTW made a 20mtr contact on 2/13 around 0845L to YL2SM in Latvia; 17 & 20mtr bands were open. My only pet peeve, even though it's just hobby radio, is when someone gives their id when required then says "for id".

Rich
 

Will001

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+1 on the useless phonetics. When I was first licensed, I thought when operators used "Kilowatt" in their callsign, it meant KW instead of K.

My callsign is KN4IMX. Now, if i checked into a net as "Kilowatt Neutron 4 Industrywide Mortgage Exchange", it would be a mess. In my humble opinion, the phonetic alphabet is a beautiful thing when used correctly

 

k6cpo

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<snip>

Also, someone saying their callsign on a repeater may not necessarily intend to call someone specific. For example, just a few minutes prior to that another amateur may have been calling for that person and they were not on the air/monitoring at the time. It is a bit odd to say "listening" or "monitoring" as it is sort of obvious you have your radio on, so I usually just say my callsign as well as what repeater, or system I am on. Many of us scan various frequencies and it is very welcome to know which repeater a person is on when not close enough to see the frequency it stopped on.
I'm President of a club in a city to the south of San Diego. Until we went to virtual meetings because of the pandemic, I used to announce myself on the club repeaters when I left home just in case someone needed to contact me prior to the meeting. I never expected a reply to my announcement.
 

Cognomen

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Sometimes the "cute" phonetics can be beneficial. While working a field day using the club callsign, I was attempting to give the other (American) station the callsign, Victor Echo Seven Bravo Alpha Romeo. He got the VE7, but couldn't get the BAR. After a couple of repeats, I finally said Victor Echo Seven Browning Automatic Rifle. He replied, "Oh, B A R, got it!" lol
 

SurgePGH

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I announce my call as N3 Victor Mike Yankee. When I'm on simplex with the locals I'll say N3 Very Mellow Yellow. On International contacts I'll always use the NATO phonetics. BTW made a 20mtr contact on 2/13 around 0845L to YL2SM in Latvia; 17 & 20mtr bands were open. My only pet peeve, even though it's just hobby radio, is when someone gives their id when required then says "for id".

Rich
Why the hell else would anyone give their call sign? For I.D. That drives me nuts when they do that. I usually respond with my call followed by "for the only reason anyone would state their call."
 

alcahuete

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I am a phonetic purist. I use them every day for a living. Even listening to the police Adam, Baker nonsense just grinds my gears.

That said, I have noticed specifically with foreign amateur radio operators that non-standard phonetics can be MUCH easier for them to understand, after they don't get the normal ones a couple times.
 

jwt873

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Which is not the NATO, nor ICAO, standard pronunciation.
Where does it say we have to use NATO or ICAO pronunciations? (The thread is about proper radiotelephone practice). Ham radio exists at the pleasure of the International Telecommunications Union.
 

AK9R

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§97.119 Station identification.
(b) The call sign must be transmitted with an emission authorized for the transmitting channel in one of the following ways:
(2) By a phone emission in the English language. Use of a phonetic alphabet as an aid for correct station identification is encouraged;
The FCC rules for amateur radio say "a phonetic alphabet" but don't specify which one.
 

rescue161

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My call sign (KE4FHH) is terrible. The double H gives people the hardest time. Phonetics, NATO or otherwise, don't ever seem to help. I had the same problem when I was stationed in Japan and my reciprocal callsign had double characters. 7J6CDD.

It is amatuer radio. I learned long ago to not get wound up. People are going to be different and do different things and that is okay. You'll be much happier when you come to that realization. It took me a long time to figure that out and I still have to work on it.
 

jwt873

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The FCC rules for amateur radio say "a phonetic alphabet" but don't specify which one.
All the major ones (ICAO, NATO etc) us the same Alpha, Bravo, Charlie... for letters. It's just the ITU version that has the stupid number pronunciations.. And as it states on the ITU document I linked to in a previous post, they are optional.
 

jhooten

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I am a phonetic purist. I use them every day for a living. Even listening to the police Adam, Baker nonsense just grinds my gears.

It was fun having a signal MOS in the Army and being a reserve police officer. Spend two weeks in the field doing alpha, bravo, charlie then jumping in the patrol car. Fortunately the dispatchers knew and were most accommodating.
 

Hit_Factor

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It was fun having a signal MOS in the Army and being a reserve police officer. Spend two weeks in the field doing alpha, bravo, charlie then jumping in the patrol car. Fortunately the dispatchers knew and were most accommodating.
When I was a cop, creative phonetics was a badge of honor - routine patrol items only.
 

MStep

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Having dispatched for many different agencies, I know that there is no one "standard" that reaches across all agencies. Even the "recognized" international phonetic alphabet can get screwed up by professionals who listen to a host of different agencies. The most important thing is that they all understand what each are saying, even when the words are not the same. The intent of the message gets through.

"Lingo" has quite a history of evolution. And a little dispatch "trickery" as well. For example, "Be advised......". That is a stall tactic that a dispatcher can use to give units in the field an extra second or two to grab that pad and pencil to take a note.

And the field units understand why the "fluffery" is sometimes there. It is very hard to describe its exact purpose under each and every circumstance, especially to those who have not been on both sides--- the "dispatch" and the "unit" ends of the conversation.
 

jazzboypro

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Well, if you don't know who's listening, it is kind of hard to call them. Would you prefer someone call "CQ" on a *repeater*?
To add to that, i am newly back in the hobby and i don't have any friends/buddies in the hobby so i often announce myself saying I'm monitoring the repeater, TG etc in hoping that someone will engage in a conversation with me since i have nobody to call specifically
 

Hit_Factor

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To add to that, i am newly back in the hobby and i don't have any friends/buddies in the hobby so i often announce myself saying I'm monitoring the repeater, TG etc in hoping that someone will engage in a conversation with me since i have nobody to call specifically
Sounds like good technique to me.
 

rescue161

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As another poster pointed out, it is a place holder to allow officers to grab a pen and paper and prepare to write. Scanner listeners don't have to worry about making sure that they remember everything a dispatcher says, so it is easy for us to armchair critique, but when an officer hears keywords, they know to be prepared to copy details down. Anything to make it easier for the folks in the field also makes it easier on the dispatcher so they don't have to keep repeating the same thing over and over again.
 
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