Best Operating Practices

I recently received a care package from the XYL containing recent issues of my favorite amateur radio magazines: WorldRadio, CQ, QST, as well as the FISTS newsletter. One of the QST column’s mentioned ON4WW’s website and his tips for good amateur radio operating practices. I’d like to highlight them – they make great sense and if everyone observed them, would make our quality radio time just that much more enjoyable.


Know the ‘Ham Language’. Get acquainted with the correct Amateur Radio Language. Don’t say ‘Radio four’, but ‘readibility four’. Master the phonetic alphabet, CW abbreviations, the Q code and the number code (73/88) as if they were a second mother language before getting on the air.
Always use the phonetic alphabet in a correct manner: A is Alfa, and not Alabama.

AD7MI: it always throws me when someone does not use the standard phonetic alphabet. But I will admit, with some DX stations where I have a hard time understanding their pronunciation, a substitution in the phonetic alphabet makes sense. I know the basic Q codes, but do need to brush up a bit.