Donate to keep this website alive

It takes money to keep websites alive. Please donate

Solar News

Oregon ARES/RACES web site

Oregon ARES/RACES has a web site with a lot of good information at the state level. You can visit them at Oregon ARES/RACES

Repeater Tips for New Hams (and Old)

New User Tips for VHF-UHF Operation

by Dave Schultheis WB6KHP
San José, California

Be sure the frequency (or “channel”) is “clear” before you transmit. Think howyouwould like it if someone interrupted your conversation.

  • Recommendation: when you turn to a repeater or a simplex frequency, listen for at least thirty seconds before transmitting.

Using Q-signalstoo oftenis bad form. Although Q-signals have a very valuable place in Amateur Radio, they are not universally accepted on F.M. voice channels. Using them during EVERY TRANSMISSION is really annoying.

  • Recommendation: use Q-signals sparingly. Once in a while. Not very often.

Using the phrase “clear and monitoring” is not really necessary. Neither term is required by the F.C.C. or anybody else. If you call another amateur, using his/her callsign and yours, and that person does not answer, it isnotnecessary to advise “clear.” You have already identified your station and any other identification is superfluous.

  • Recommendation: use “clear” only to mean that you are shutting down operation and will not be there to answer any subsequent calls. Under normal circumstances, when you are finished with a contact but will continue listening, it is sufficient (and just right!) to merely say your call sign.
  • Contrasting Recommendation: If you attempt to contact someone and there is no answer, you can notify others that you are finished by saying, “KF6xxx clear,” or “no contact, this is KF6xxx clear W6ABC repeater.” This allows someone who may have been standing by to go ahead and make his or her call.

Be sure to learn the usage, protocol and/or policies of repeaters you are using. Just because a repeater is “there” does not mean that you are welcome to switch to it and use it for long, extended rag-chews. Some repeaters welcome newcomers, some do not. A sensible person does not want to spend time where s/he is not welcome. Even though your license allows you to operate on any frequency within the bounds of your license class, a wise amateur avoids “closed” repeaters and repeaters that are operated by small, unfriendly groups.

  • Recommendation: listen to a repeater for a while before you make a decision to use it. You might even ask someone on the repeater if you are welcome to use it for occasional conversations.

Using the term “for I.D.” is not necessary. There should be no reason to transmit your call signother thanto identify your station. Identification is required every 10 minutes during a conversation and at the end of a conversation or series of communications. Conversations need not come to a halt while you identify. (“Stand by, everyone, while I say my call sign.”) Simply say your call sign once within 10 minutes.

  • Recommendation: while talking, say your call sign once every ten minutes. Don’t say “For I.D., this is KF6xxx.” Don’t say “For license preservation purposes, this is KF6xxx” more than once or twice per year. Identify properly, but do not over-identify.
  • Contrasting Recommendation: if you hear someone say “for I.D.,” they may be trying to gently remind you that 10 minutes have passed and you should identify your station. Take the hint and say your call sign the next time it is your turn to talk.

Long ago, F.C.C. rules required mobile hams to not only say their call sign, but to say where they were operating, giving both the city and the call sign area. You may hear some hams saying, “…mobile 6” or “…mobile 3” after their call sign. This means that they are operating “mobile, in call sign area 6” or “mobile, in call sign area 3.” This is no longer required but it is sometimes good to know. When leaving their home state, some hams will keep track of what call sign area they are in, and say, “…mobile 7,” or “…mobile 1,” or whatever.

  • Recommendation: it’s not necessary, but it’s not wrong.

Certain types of jargon are easily recognizable as being “CB” terms. “What is your personal?” when you mean “what is your name?” “I’m on the side,” when you mean you are “listening” or “monitoring.” Although there is nothing “wrong” with CB, these terms are neither generally used nor appreciated on Amateur Radio frequencies.

  • Recommendation: avoid CB-style jargon and terms. Generally speaking, plain English is better: “my name is xxxx, what is yours?”

Different repeaters handle emergency communications in different ways. A general guideline is this: if you are on an unfamiliar repeater and you have emergency traffic,say so!Example: “Can someone help me contact the Highway Patrol?” or “I need help contacting the Fire Department.” Asking “is anybody monitoring?” may sound like an attempt to start a casual conversation. On many repeaters, you could be ignored. However, if you state that you have emergency traffic, people on many repeaters will drop what they are doing to help you. Note: if you are monitoring a repeater and someone asks for emergency assistance and youcannothelp,BE SILENT!There are few things stupider than someone breaking in to say that theywouldhelp except that they forgot the codes, or that they left their radio with the Touch-Tone ™ pad at home, or that their home phone is busy so they can’t make the call for you.

  • Recommendations:
    • If you have emergency traffic, say so immediately.
    • If you can help, please do.
    • If you cannot help, do not transmit.

In this day of scanners, scanning mobile radios, scanning portable radios, dual-, triple- and quadruple-band radios and multiple radios in the car or shack, you could miss making contact with someone because your radio is scanning several channels or bands. If you know that the person you are calling is sitting next to the radio waiting for you, you can make your call very simple: say his/her call, then your own. However, if your friend has a scanning radio or listens to several radios, it is possible that he/she could miss your call. You should call twice: say the other station’s call twice, then your own. Pause for a half-minute or so and try again. It might also be a good idea to try again in 4 or 5 minutes, in case the called person’s scanner was stopping on a long, drawn-out conversation. And if you know that the called station is listening to more than one frequency, you can call and say “on [such-and-such] repeater” to give them a hint as to which microphone to pick up or which band to select.

  • Recommendation: call twice.

You may hear people using the term “73,” meaning “best wishes.” There is no “s” in the salutation “73.” (Other hams may use the term “88,” meaning “love and kisses.” Typically used between husbands and wives.) These shortcuts were developed years ago as a way to communicate common thoughts quickly. You will hear others saying “73s” and “88s” (wrong!) You might even hear someone saying [cringe!] “threes and eights and all those good numbers!” Yecch! Negative!

  • Proper usage would be similar to this:
    • Voice: “OK, Dan, seven-three and I will talk to you later. (pause) WA7AII.”
    • Voice: “73 for now, WB6KHP clear.”
    • CW: “W2EOS de K8JW CUL OM 73 SK.”
    • CW: “N6xxx de KB6xxx 73 88 SK.”

There is no specific requirement for keeping logs of the use of your amateur radio station except for International Third-party Traffic. However, a good way to keep track of your communications is to use a Log Book, available at some amateur radio dealers.

  • One method is this: make an entry in the “date” column for each day you operate your station. Each time you contact a “new” station, make entries for call sign, name, frequency, mode and any other information you think necessary or interesting. You probably have no need to make log entries for people you talk to every day, with the possible exception of logging emergency traffic that you may handle for others.

Sometimes while talking to another station, it is necessary to ask the other person to “stand by.” This may be caused by (a) a driving situation needing immediate attention to avert a crash, (b) a spouse or child walking into the “shack” with a message, (c) placing your order at a drive-up window, etc. The proper response, when requested to “stand by,” issilence.Generally it will only take a moment and the other station will be back. If you feel it necessary to say something, then say, “[call sign] standing by.” If you respond to “stand by” with a long, drawn-out acknowledgement, it servesno purposeand the person asking you to “stand by” is not listening anyway.

Keep in mind that when you are operating in a noisy environment, you donothave to be able to hear yourself talking. There will be those instances where you are helping with emergency communications for a disaster, or communications support for a parade, or you are at an airport or other noisy place. If you shout into the microphone loud enough to hear yourself, you are distorting the signal so badly that the person on the other end may not be able to hear or understand you. Instead, practice speaking into the microphone in a normal tone. It can be very difficult to operate under these conditions (loud background noise), but it is a skill that you would do well to learn.

One of the most important things for new hams to learn is to “K-H-T.” That is “key, hesitate, talk.” You must consciously learn to push the microphone button, pause slightly, and then begin speaking. If you push the button and speak simultaneously, the first word or the first part of a word may be cut off. This does not facilitate effective communications. Hopefully, if you learn to do it correctly from the first day, it will become subconscious and you will do it automatically. If this is the case, you will earn the respect and admiration of your peers. If not, you will be forever labeled as a sub-standard operator.

Try to keep your language polite. Profanity and discussions of bodily functions should be off limits – not because of government rules, but because it’s the right thing to do. Generally, other hams and their family members do not want to hear conversations that are not of the “G-rated” variety.


ITU Phonetic Alphabet

ARES uses the International Phonic Alphabet so here it is for you to learn


American Red Cross Looking for Amateur Radio Operators

The American Red Cross (ARC) has asked the ARRL for assistance with
relief efforts in Puerto Rico. ARC needs up to 50 radio amateurs who can
help record, enter, and submit disaster-survivor information into the
ARC Safe and Well system. In the nearly 75-year relationship between
ARRL and ARC, this is the first time such a request for assistance on
this scale has been made. ARRL now is looking for radio amateurs who can
step up and volunteer to help our friends in Puerto Rico.


There are very specific requirements and qualifications needed for this
Due to the nature of this deployment you will need to process in as ARC
volunteers. This includes passing a background check. The ARC has
indicated that it will cover all expenses for transportation, lodging,
and feeding while on deployment. ARC will also provide liability
coverage for volunteers. The only out-of-pocket expense to the volunteer
would be personal items purchased during deployment.
ARRL and ARC will require training for volunteers being deployed. ARC
will provide general deployment training and advanced training in
working in austere environments. ARRL will provide to ARC training on
Amateur Radio equipment and modes to be used, reporting guidelines, and
operating guidelines.
Deployment will be for up to 3 weeks.

General class Amateur Radio license or higher
Familiarity with WinLink, HF voice, and VHF simplex communications
Strong technical skills
Ability to work under difficult conditions
Ability to deploy for up to 3 weeks
Ability to work as part of a team
Helpful Skills

Spanish language skills
Previous experience in disaster response
Previous or current work as a Red Cross volunteer
Previous experience with shelter operations
If you feel that you meet these qualifications and would like to be
considered for this deployment, please contact ARRL Emergency
Preparedness Manager Mike Corey, KI1U (860-594-0222), who will make the
introduction of qualified volunteers to ARC.

ARRL Northwestern Division
Director: James D Pace, K7CEX

The Oregon Eclipse Information Net

ARRG Solar Eclipse Net



Oregon Section News August 1 2017 – Solar Eclipse

The Great Oregon Solar Eclipse is coming August 21st and a lot of people
will be traveling to see this one-in-a-lifetime event! From Lincoln to
Malheur County, Oregon Amateur Radio operators will be on the air either
participating in the national Solar Eclipse QSO party sponsored by ARRL
(details in the August 2017 QST, Page 94) or supporting their County
Emergency Managers. 

In general, Emergency Managers are concerned about heavy traffic
congestion both before and after the eclipse as well as fire danger,
especially in Eastern Oregon. Many of Oregon major highways within the
path of the eclipse are expected to be crowded with vehicles pulled over
to the side of the road. This is especially true along Oregon Highways
20 and 22 (from the Willamette Valley over Santiam Pass to Central
Oregon), along Highway 97 in Central Oregon and along Highway 26 from
Redmond east to John Day.  Roadways in Marion County will also be

 Outside of the Willamette Valley where cell phone service is poor or
nonexistent, ARES units will be on duty providing situational reports to
their Emergency Managers.  Within the Willamette Valley, Polk County
ARES will be monitoring traffic conditions on Highways 22, 99 and 213.
They report that most timberlands will be gated to discourage campers
and hopefully lessen fire risks. 

Marion County ARES will have an operating base at the Detroit Ranger
Station on Highway 22 which will be set up on August 18th and remain
active for nearly a week. Portable repeaters are being deployed. Just to
the south on Highway 20, Linn County ARES will be covering the Santiam
Pass / Hoodoo ski area with assistance from Lane County ARES.

In Central Oregon, huge crowds are expected for the eclipse! Deschutes
County ARES will be supplementing communications from a central command
center at the Redmond Airport. Heavy cell phone use may overload the
cell system’s limited capacity. Deschutes is planning a 24/7 multi-day
activation during the eclipse. All of their 25 ARES members will be
fully engaged.

To the East of Central Oregon, both Wheeler (population 1,300) and Grant
County (population 7,100) are expecting a major influx of eclipse
viewers that far exceeds their normal population. Both Counties will be
using Amateur Radio operators to report conditions back to their
Emergency Managers. Assistance from Western Oregon ARES members may be
needed as both counties have few operators. Both are working hard to get
new repeaters into position. In Malheur County, a joint Oregon-Idaho
effort is being planned.
Overall, I expect to see about 5 ARES units activated and several other
providing operators and equipment to the Eastern Oregon Counties. That
should total about 100 active volunteers. Many will be involved for
several days. Look for ARES Eclipse HF nets to be active on 40 and 80
meters, relaying traffic from remote locations to their County Emergency
Operations Centers and Oregon Emergency Management.

Finally, if you’re among the thousands traveling for the eclipse,
please drive carefully and be prepared for traffic delays. Enjoy the
eclipse knowing that many Oregon Hams are doing important public service
work (and having fun doing it). If you’d like to get involved in
Oregon ARES, contact your County Emergency Coordinator. They are all
listed on the website. Have a safe and fun Oregon

ARRL Oregon Section
Section Manager: John E Core, KX7YT

Welcome to the New Oregon ARES District 1 EC

Oregon ARES District 1 would like to welcome Ed Bodenlos W7EWB as the new District 1 Emergency Coordinator.


Fun with Scouting

Hal (KC7ZZB), Debbie (W0DSF), and Kevin (W0KCF) spent the day talking to Scouts that were camping at Trojan Park near Rainier. Russ (N7QR) was the control operator at the scout camp and Chuck (W7HDF) suppied the communications trailer.

IMG_5139 IMG_5141

We made contact with 52 scouts through out the day. The scouts asked many great questions, and a few expressed a high level of interest in getting their Tech license. It is events like this that really promote Amateur Radio. We would like to thank Amateur Radio Relay Group, Inc. for the use of the 147.32 repeater and the Amateur Radio community for allowing the contacts.

NEW NTS Website

Northwest Oregon Traffic and Training Net now has a website. If you are new to National Traffic System traffic and how to format and send/receive traffic this is a great site. If you are a old hand at traffic handling, you can refresh you knowlege and see the stats of the NTTN. Please visit it at

Digial mode Training

We did some info and training on digital modes. the info was provided by Jim Beischel WB8NUT
and his website is at




hope to see you on digital soon

Tips for Beginning Net Control Operators

Here in northwest Ohio, we have acquired many new hams and encourage them to operate as net control station (NCS) for various routine nets to gain them experience, providing us with a pool of competent net controllers in the event of an emergency/disaster. Here are some of the basic tips we convey to our novice net control stations for a smoothly running net:

· Get a glass of water or something to drink.

· Make yourself comfortable. Sit in a good location with plenty of room on a desk or table to write.

· Have a good writing instrument and a back-up along with an extra piece of paper in case you need to jot down notes.

· Take your time; go at your own pace. Remember, you are in control of the net and the frequency.

· Don’t worry about making mistakes; there are no mistakes to be made.

· To handle the crowd that is trying to check in, you will develop your own way.

· Stop stations from checking in (“Let’s hold it for a minute”) until you are caught up.

· Weak stations and stations who give their call signs too fast, are always a problem — skip them at first. Go back later for repeats.

· Write your log as you see fit. You are the one that has to read it.

· Headphones are a good idea — they help you focus on what you are hearing and help keep you from getting distracted.

As I mentioned before, there are no mistakes, only experience. When you’ve finished the net that is what you will have. — Steve Bellner, W8TER, Maumee, Ohio

From: The ARES E-Letter for January 20, 2016

These are all good pointers. Remember you are in control of the net, run it how it works for you.


For net participants remember net check ins are not a race, Listen, Listen then check in.

Happy Hamming