If you’re here, probably, you’ve got your hands on your first ever Ham Radio. Congratulations on joining the club.
And obviously, you’re trying to make your first call using it. But like any radio system, whether that may be the CB radio or walkie-talkie, there are some etiquettes that you’ve got to know to make the call.
If you don’t know them and want to know how to make your first call on Ham radio, then keep on reading.
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Making the First Call on Ham Radio
You’ve got your radio out, tuned it, and suddenly voices came out saying “CQ” “CQ” “CQ,” and you are not sure what you need to do. Don’t worry that just the other person letting you know he had made the call. That’s like the Hello equivalent on your phone.
Unlike using those words, you use call signs using letters such as A, C, or V as they are easy to hear than you saying Alpha, Charlie, and Victor.
These might be confusing to you at first. But the more you get used to the Ham radio, the more it will come to you as second nature.
Now, if you’re planning to make calls on Ham radio, you then got to be familiar with the alphabets. You’ve already got some idea about it by now with the ACV. But as you know, there are 26 letters in the English alphabet, so there are few others left for you to learn about still.
Go through the list below of these keywords, and you will get ready for making those Ham calls in no time.
- A – Alpha
- B – Bravo
- C – Charlie
- D – Delta
- E – Echo
- F – Foxtrot
- G – Golf
- H – Hotel
- I – India
- J – Juliet
- K – Kilo
- L – Lima
- M – Mike
- N – November
- – Oscar
- P – Papa
- Q – Quebec
- R – Romeo
- S – Sierra
- T – Tango
- U – Uniform
- V – Victor
- W – Whiskey
- X – X-ray
- Y – Yankee
- Z – Zulu
Ok, the terms won’t be that hard for you to remember. These are some of the common words consisting of places, games, names, and other stuff. Even if you’re not a Yankee fan, you’ve got to remember, that’s what the code is. You can change the Yankee for Yorkshire.
While operating the radio, like earlier, if you hear someone saying the term “CQ,” you now know what the code is—Charlie Quebec. To respond to that, you’ve got to say AC6V; this is Delta Foxtrot two Alpha. Repeat it thrice and say over at last. This is something you’ve got to do while responding. Telling thing 3-times and over is something that you say on the radio to let people know you’ve finished talking.
I know it might not make any sense to you. But when you’re pressing your mic button saying AC6V followed by the DF2A. You’re actually telling him something that means thanks for your call.
If you’re using a repeater with your Ham radio, in that case, you can say a thing once instead of repeating thrice as you won’t have trouble with a connection.
While doing the process mentioned above with your radio, you’ve made your first call. I know you don’t feel like doing a lot, but that’s the beauty of Ham radio, and that’s what separates it from your regular phone calls.
Practice it, learn about it more, and you’ll get fluent in it.
Morse Code Calls
But that’s just the beginning of the journey on your Ham radio calling. You can even do the talk using morse code with the radio.
Maybe, the noise is too much, and it is hard for you to communicate using the letters above. Instead of spelling out each message, you will be dots and dashes to perform the same thing.
One example is like this:
_ . _ . _ _ . _ _ . . . . . . _ . . . _ _ _ _ . . . _ _ . .
That’s a call sign saying the same CQ sign of your radio for another radio user to read. To explore more about it, you can check here the complete list of Ham radio codes.
Besides the morse code and alphabets, you’ve got abbreviations too that you use to make the communication a bit easier.
Some standard abbreviations that get used quite often by Ham radio users are:
- ANT – antenna
- BK – Break
- BTW – By the way
- CFM – Confirm
- 73 – Best regards
There are many more like this about which you can learn if you want to truly make your Ham radio’s best use.
For amateur Ham radio users, learning the Q-codes is quintessential. It is something that gets used most often as sentences get exchanged using the codes.
Let me give you some idea about it.
Let’s say you want to tell the other person to change frequency. Instead of saying the words, you will just use a simple Q-code “QSY.” It stands for change frequency. Or if you want to know who is calling you? Instead of asking that, you will use just a combination of three letters, “QRZ.” No doubt, it makes things easier for the other end-user to hear over the noise and static over the radio.
If you want to learn it, you can do that too from here.
Setting Up Ham Radio
I hope this part is already sorted by you. However, for some reason, you don’t know how to set up the radio for calling, let me give you a quick brief.
- You need to know how to switch between simplex and duplex mode within your Ham radio.
- Got that, OK, then you need to access the tone and set it to use it.
- Using the DCS is a big part of communication, so knowing how to change it should be on your list of things.
- After doing all that, if you can’t store the radio settings, you might do this every time you use it. So, learn to keep the settings.
Also Read: How To Get Ham Radio License Easily
You now know how to make your first call on Ham radio. It is hard to get started, as you can see. But the more you keep doing it, the more you will fall in love with it. It is immensely rewarding. Trust me.