- Before making a call, listen to the repeater frequency for 10 seconds or more to make sure it isnt busy
- If you are going to test if a repeater is working in your place, just announce “your callsign, testing” “your callsign, monitoring”. Do not press the PTT and listen for its tail feedback (kerchunking).
- When joining a conversation, do not say “Contact, contact” that will make it harder for the stations on the repeater to identify you and arrange your station in a conversation, especially for mobile station. The correct way is to announce your callsign between the pause, or say “your callsign, join”.
- Most Important: When people pass the mic to you, do not immediately transmit. Wait for 2 seconds then continue your conversation. Failing to do so will prevent others to join your conversation, and will make other people uneasy with you when you are on a repeater
- When you heard a station requesting radio check on a repeater, then wait 2-3 second then respond. It is common courtesy to do so in order to help a fellow ham testing his setup. But you should only answer radio check when you are in a good position to do that yourself. See Below
- Avoid answering to radio check when you are operating in a less than desirable setup, such as operating on a moving vehicle behind mountains or tall buildings. Worst if you are operating from a moving vehicle with rubber ducky antenna
- Please give an honest report to a station when responding to a radio check. If the station can barely hold the repeater, just say so. Do not give a Q5 report on a Q2 signal. The station might be in false impression that it can established a good transmission between repeater and this going to create undesirable interruption during a conversation.
- Leave a conversation when the other stations are giving you a Q2 signal report, unless if its an absolute emergency. your signal would be too noisy to be readable by other stations it will disrupt communication.
Non Repeater specific
- When signing off, simply say “guys, I need to sign off because i want to attend some chores, waiting for your final“, then pass the mic. Avoid using Q-Code, especially the wrongs one. Some station even combine QRU, QRX and QRT together in conversation when signing off, this will create confusion to newcomer as well as old-timer as the codes were used wrongly in this type of situation.
- Using tons of Q-Codes simply to look cool, isn’t going to make you sounds cool . Using QSY as in “I’m going to QSY to Singapore tomorow” is not correct, QSY should only be use when you are changing frequency. Just say “I’m going to Singapore tomorrow”, sounds even better. Malay rendering would be like this, “Esok saya nak QSY ke Kuala Lumpur” versus “Esok saya nak pi ke Kuala Lumpur“. Notice the pronunciation “Q, S and Y” actually makes the conversation longer and harder to pronounce than a normal conversation. Try and think it over
Note that this post serve as a general reminder to myself as well to others when working on air, especially on a busy repeater. It is just a common sense guideline which I accumulated from old hams over time and it is a good advice to be practiced by all hams.