Showing posts with label Amateur Radio Ethics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amateur Radio Ethics. Show all posts

November 27, 2022

What happened to GlobalQSL? Unused credits? Were QSL cards actually sent?

Many years ago, when I first learned about GlobalQSL, I found the proposition immediately compelling.  For a relatively low cost, you could upload your QSL data and GlobalQSL would print double-sided full-color QSL cards, of your own design, and mail them to anywhere in the world.  It seemed like a good value which greatly simplified sending international QSL cards.  I bought credits and began using the service for all my international QSL cards.

Somewhere along the way the company seems to have stopped keeping their end of the bargain.  The GlobalQSL website is no longer functional and customer credits have apparently vaporized.   Customers are left wondering what happened to GlobalQSL?  What happened to the unused credits?  Did the company actually send QSL's or simply pocket the money?  Why no communication to customers explaining what happened?

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

April 10, 2021

Amateur Radio Wilderness Protocol

Radio amateurs spending time in the backcountry with their radios are asked to follow The Wilderness Protocol to potentially help someone in an emergency.  Communication capabilities in an emergency situation are extremely important.  Backcountry locations are often without mobile phone service and out of reach of amateur radio repeaters.  

Light-weight low-power amateur radio transceivers (handy-talkies) are easy to carry and provide the possibility of simplex communication in an emergency situation.  However, amateur radio in the backcountry is useful for summoning help only when there is someone listening.  The Wilderness Protocol is described in the ARRL ARES Emergency Resource Manual encourages radio amateurs to listen:
The Wilderness protocol calls for hams in the wilderness to announce their presence on, and to monitor, the national calling frequencies for five minutes beginning at the top of the hour, every three hours from 7 AM to 7 PM while in the back country. A ham in a remote location may be able to relay emergency information through another wilderness ham who has better access to a repeater. National calling frequencies: 52.525, 146.52, 223.50, 446.00, 1294.50 MHz.
The above frequencies are FM simplex calling frequencies in the the US.  It is a good idea to listen on all the prescribed frequencies that your radio is capable of receiving, even if your radio doesn't necessarily transmit on those same frequencies.  You may intercept a call for help and be able to relay it to another station on a frequency your radio does transmit on.

The Wilderness Protocol schedule of listening times are all local times.
  • 7:00 AM to 7:05 AM
  • 10:00 AM to 10:05 AM
  • 1:00 PM to 1:05 PM
  • 4:00 PM to 4:05 PM
  • 7:00 PM to 7:05 PM
California backcountry

It is also a good idea to transmit your call sign once or twice so that others will be alerted to your presence.  Someone experiencing an emergency may hear your transmission and be prompted to respond by asking for your help.
The Wilderness Protocol is simply a recommendation that those outside of repeater range monitor standard simplex channels at specific times in case others have priority or emergency calls. -- FM & Repeaters”, June 1996 QST, p. 85.
As radio amateurs, we can make a difference by using our radios, knowledge, skills, and The Wilderness Protocol.  Now that you know about The Wilderness Protocol, be sure share this information with others including your family, your ham friends, your child's scout troop, your fellow amateur radio club members, and others in your circle.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

November 30, 2012

DX Code of Conduct

  • I will listen, and listen, and then listen again before calling.
  • I will only call if I can copy the DX station properly.
  • I will not trust the DX cluster and will be sure of the DX station's call sign before calling.
  • I will not interfere with the DX station nor anyone calling and will never tune up on the DX frequency or in the QSX slot.
  • I will wait for the DX station to end a contact before I call.
  • I will always send my full call sign.
  • I will call and then listen for a reasonable interval. I will not call continuously.
  • I will not transmit when the DX operator calls another call sign, not mine.
  • I will not transmit when the DX operator queries a call sign not like mine.
  • I will not transmit when the DX station requests geographic areas other than mine.
  • When the DX operator calls me, I will not repeat my call sign unless I think he has copied it incorrectly.
  • I will be thankful if and when I do make a contact.
  • I will respect my fellow hams and conduct myself so as to earn their respect.

November 13, 2012

Bad Behavior

The pileups on PT0S (DX Expedition to Saint Peter & Saint Paul Rocks) this weekend were a mile tall.  A friend jokingly referred to it as a, "pigpile".  Maybe "pachyderm pile" would be more descriptive.  It was huge at times.

Anarchy reigned at moments with unruly lids running wild while the "radio police" attempted ad-nauseum to clear the DX frequency with shouts of "up up" or "get it together" or "he is working split tuner-upper" or "shut up" or "why the heck do you guys call on frequency?" or "split expletive-deleted".  Do the radio police interfere more than the hams that call the DX on his frequency?  There are three steps to avoiding the transgression of calling a DX station working split:  listen, listen, and then listen.

There was an unusually high degree of malicious ankle biter interference.  It didn't amount to much and tended to be weak, feeble, and ultimately impotent.  The DX kept tossing out calls and "599" and the hams just kept dropping their calls into the cacophony.  The whole DX operation ran like a big machine right over the top of the malicious ankle biters.

An apparently disgruntled ham came on the frequency (3.780 MHz) to complain about being interfered with on a nearby frequency.  This ruse was of course designed to get a response and create a feedback loop of interference.   It did seem to draw in a few and a useless shouting match ensued.  For many, it was embarrassing to listen to their own countrymen behaving so badly.  The DX station never missed a beat while dishing out a rapid fire stream of signal reports through the entire episode.

The correct response to malicious interference of any kind is to ignore it completely.  Malice driven interference runs on an ego-powered AAA-battery.  Starved of attention the egoist and his petty interference withers and fades away.

What does all this bad behavior mean?  If you are in the glass-is-half-empty camp then perhaps this is yet another indicator of the steady decline of our civilization.  However, if you are a glass-is-half-full person then perhaps you enjoy the challenge of cracking such a chaotic pileup.  If you are in the glass-is-all-full-because-it-is-full-of-air-too camp then you perhaps recognize the incredibly superb job the PT0S DX Expedition did.

Nothing says thank you to a DX Expedition more than a donation to fund the costly endeavour.

Good DX and 73,


© Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Michael W. Maher and NJ2X.COM with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

December 26, 2011

The Thoughtful Radio Amateur

The thoughtful radio amateur is:
Responsible - using courteous operating practice, complying with regulations and accepted technical standards;

Progressive - striving to develop and improve operating and technical skills;

Helpful - offering assistance, support and encouragement to other Amateurs, especially beginners; and

Public Spirited - offering use of station, knowledge and skills as a public service whenever possible.

Text by Bill Wilson, VE3NR (SK 2010)
The Canadian Amateur 1997 12

Related article: The Amateur's Code

December 3, 2011

The Amateur's Code

The Radio Amateur is:

CONSIDERATE...never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.

LOYAL...offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.

PROGRESSIVE...with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach.

FRIENDLY...slow and patient operating when required; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others.  These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit. is an avocation, never interfering with duties owned to family, job, school, or community.

PATRIOTIC...station and skill always ready for service to country and community.

-The original Amateur's Code was written by Paul M. Segal, W9EEA, in 1928