Rules of Operation That My Elmer Taught Me

As I get older in this hobby, I am finding lessons that were taught to me as a teenager by my elmer ( SK W0NAZ) are repeated as I am now assuming the role as an elmer.

When I was first entering the hobby, there were digital modes but the due to the cost of a tnc and a computer with a serial port, CW was my only option.

Today we are seeing a revival of the hobby since the barrier of entry to the hobby has been decreased with affordable and easy to use technology.

A common question I see asked is what mode do we use, how do we use it, and when do we use it?

This is where I always end up repeating the rules of operation that my elmer taught me.

The rules are simple since there are not that many.

1. Follow the FCC rules and laws. 
2. Learn how to use your radio!
3. Listen before you transmit.
4. Use the modes common to that frequency (aka a band plan) 
5. Ask if the frequency is in use. 
6. Use only the amount of power that you need.
7. Monitor your signal, if you can't, ask someone about your signal while saving up to buy the equipment needed to monitor your signal.
8. Ask someone about your signal.
9. Give time in-between transmissions to let other people talk. 
10. Yield control of the frequency to those who need it more than you do.
11. If someone needs the frequency more than you do, ask them how you can help.

This is how my elmer taught me to operate and it has served me well over the years no matter how much the technology has changed.

73  de KB0FHF aka TechnicalSkeptic