On two meters lately, I have noticed a tendency of
people making a concerted effort to sound like a Lid (i.e.
poor operator). Since this appears to be the new style in
amateur radio, I thought I would present this handy guide to
radio nerd-dom. The following is what I call: "How to
sound like a Lid in one easy lesson."
1) Use as many Q signals as possible. Yes, I know they
were invented solely for CW and are totally inappropriate
for two-meter FM, but they're fun and entertaining. They
keep people guessing as to what you really meant. i.e. "I'm
going to QSY to the kitchen." Can you really change
frequency to the kitchen? QSL used to mean "I am
acknowledging receipt," but now it appears to mean "yes" or
"OK." I guess I missed it when the ARRL changed the
2) Never laugh, when you can say "hi hi." No one will
ever know you aren't a long time CW ragchewer if you don't
tell them. They'll think you've been on since the days of
3) Utilize an alternative vocabulary. Use words like
"destinated" and "negatory." It's OK to make up your own
words here. "Yeah Bill, I pheelbart zaphonix occasionally
4) Always say "XX4XXX (insert your own call) for I.D."
Anything that creates redundancy is always strongly
encouraged. That's why we have the Department of Redundancy
Department. (Please note that you can follow your call with
"for identification purposes" instead of "for I.D." While
taking longer to say, it is worth more lid-points.)
5) The better the copy on two-meter FM, the more you
should phonetically spell your name, especially if it is a
short and/or common one. i.e. "My name is Al...Alpha Lima"
or "Jack...Juliett Alpha Charlie Kilo." If at all possible,
make up unintelligible phonetics. "My name is
Bob...Billibong Oregano Bumperpool."
6) Always give the calls of yourself and everyone who is
(or has been) in the group, whether they are still there or
not. While this has been unnecessary for years, it is still
a wonderful memory test.
7) Whenever possible, use the wrong terminology. It
keeps people guessing. Use "modulation" when you mean
"deviation" and vice-versa. And even if the two-meter FM
amplifier you're using is a Class C type amp, and thus not
biased for linear amplification, be sure to call it your
"linear." Heck, refer to all FM-style amplifiers as
"linears." You'll be king of the "wrong terminology" hill.
8) If someone asks for a break, always finish your turn,
talking as long as possible before turning it over.
Whenever possible, pass it around a few times first. This
will discourage the breaker and, if it is an emergency, will
encourage him to switch to another repeater and not bother
9) Always ask involved questions of the person who is
trying to sign out. Never let him get by with a yes or no
answer. Make it a question that will take a long time to
10) The less you know about a subject, the more you
should speculate about it on the air. The amount of time
spent on your speculations should be inversely proportional
to your knowledge of the subject.
11) If someone on the repeater is causing interference,
you should talk about that person at great length, making
sure to comment on at least four out of six of the
following: (1) His mental state; (2) His family; (3) His
intelligence, or lack of same; (4) His sexual preference;
(5) His relationship to small animals; (6) His other methods
of self entertainment.
12) If you hear two amateurs start a conversation on the
repeater, wait until they are 20 seconds into their contact,
and then break-in to use the patch. Make sure that it's
only a simple routine phone call. It's also very important
that you run the autopatch for the full three minutes. This
way, once the two re-establish contact, they won't even
remember what they were talking about.
13) You hear someone on the repeater giving directions
to a visiting amateur. Even if the directions are good,
make sure you break-in with your own "alternate route but
better way to get there" version. This is most effective if
several other Lid trainees join in, each with a different
route. By the time the amateur wanting directions
unscrambles all the street names whizzing around in his
head, he should have mobiled out of range of the repeater.
This keeps you from having to stick around and help the guy
get back out of town later.
14) Use the repeater for an hour or two at a time,
preventing others from using it. Better yet, do it on a
daily basis. Your quest is to make people so sick of
hearing your voice every time they turn on their radio,
they'll move to another frequency. This way you'll lighten
the load on the repeater, leaving even more time for you to
talk on it.
15) See just how much mobile flutter you can generate by
operating at handheld power levels too far from the
repeater. Engage people in converations when you know they
won't be able to copy half of what you're saying. Even when
they say you are uncopyable, continue to string them along
by making further transmissions. See just how frustrated
you can make the other amateur before he finally signs off
16) Give out wacky radio advice. When a newcomer's
signal is weak into the repeater, tell him he can correct
the problem by adjusting the volume and squelch knobs on his
radio. Or tell people they're full quieting except for the
white noise on their signal. Or....well, you get the idea.
17) Use lots of radio jargon. After all, it makes you
feel important using words average people don't say. Who
cares if it makes you sound like you just fell off of
Channel 19 on the Citizen's Band? Use phases such as "Roger
on that," "10-4," "I'm on the side," "You're making the
trip," and "Negatory on that."
18) Use excessive microphone gain. See just how loud
you can make your audio. Make sure the audio gain is so
high that other amateurs can hear any bugs crawling on your
floor. If mobile, make sure the wind noise is loud enough
that others have to strain to pick your words out from all
19) Be as verbose as possible. Never say "yes" when you
can say "He acquiesced in the affirmative by saying 'yes'."
(No kidding, I actually heard that one.)
20) Start every transmission with the word "Roger" or
"QSL." Sure, you don't need to acknowledge that you
received the other transmission in full. After all, you
would simply ask for a repeat if you missed something. But
consider it your gift to the other amateur to give him
solace every few seconds that his transmissions are being
21) When looking for a contact on a repeater, always say
you're "listening" or "monitoring" multiple times. I've
always found that at least a half dozen times or so is good.
Repeating your multiple "listening" IDs every 10 to 15
seconds is even better. Those people who didn't want to
talk to you will eventually call you, hoping you'll go away
after you have finally made a contact.
22) Give out repeater FM signal reports using the HF SSB
R-S system ("You're 5 by 9 here"). Sure it's considered
improper for FM operation and you may even confuse some
people, but don't let that spoil your fun!
23) Always use a repeater, even if you can work the
other station easily on simplex -- especially if you can
make the contact on simplex. The coverage of the repeater
you use should be inversely proportional to your distance
from the other station.
24) If you and the other station are both within a mile
or two of the repeater you are using, you should always give
a signal report. ("I'm sitting under the repeater and I
know you can see it from there, but you're full quieting
into the repeater. How about me?")
25) In the same vein as the previous step, when
monitoring a repeater, you should always give signal reports
as if the repeater didn't exist. ("Yep, I'm right under the
repeater. You've got a whopping signal. You're S-9 plus
60. That must be a great rig.")
26) On repeaters with courtesy tones, you should always
say "over." Courtesy tones are designed to let everyone
know when you have unkeyed, but don't let that stop you.
Say "over," "back to you," or "go ahead." It serves no
useful purpose, but don't worry -- it's still fun.
27) Think up interesting and bizarre things to do to
tie-up the repeater. The goal here is not to facilitate
communications, but to entertain all the scanner listeners
out there. Do something original. Try to hum CTCSS (PL)
tones. Sing pager tones. You're getting the idea.
28) Use the repeater's autopatch for frivolous routine
calls. While pulling into the neighborhood, call home to
let them know you'll be there in two minutes. Or call your
spouse to complain about the bad day you had at work. After
all, the club has "measured rate" service on their phone
line, so they get charged for each autopatch call. Your
endeavor is to make so many patches in a year that you cost
the club at least $20 in phone bills. That way you'll feel
you got your money's worth for your dues.
29) Never say "My name is....". It makes you sound
human. If at all possible, use one of the following
A) "The personal here is...."
B) "The handle here is...."
Normally, handles are for suitcases, but it's OK to use them
anyway. Don't forget, this has worked just fine for CBers
30) Use 73 and 88 incorrectly. Both are already
considered plural, but add a "'s" to the end anyway. Say
"73's" or "88's." Who cares if it means "best regardses"
and "love and kisseses." Better yet, say "seventy thirds."
(By the way, 70 thirds equals about 23.3.)
31) Make people think you have a split personality by
referring to yourself in the plural sense. When you're in
conversation and are alone at your radio, always say "We're"
or "We've" instead of "I'm" or "I've" (i.e. "we've been
doing this...", "we're doing that...", "we're clear").
Everyone knows you're by yourself, but when they ask you who
is with you, make up somebody important like Arnold
Schwarzenegger or Bill Clinton.
32) Always attempt to use the higher functions of the
repeater before you have read the directions. Nothing will
work, but you'll have great fun and get lots of people to
give you advice.
33) Test repeater functions repeatedly (that's why they
call it a repeater). Test your signal strength from the
same location several times every day. Concentrate on
testing the things that really matter, like the number of
time the repeater has been keyed-up. That stuff is fun to
track. Test the outside temperature as often as possible.
The farther the temperature goes from the norms, the more
often you should test it. Also, if you get a pager set to
the repeater's output frequency, as soon as you receive it
set it off every 30 seconds or so until the battery runs
down. Better yet, interrupt conversations to test it.
34) If the repeater is off the air for service, as soon
as it's turned back on complain about the fact that it was
off the air. Act as though your entire day has been ruined
because the repeater wasn't available when you wanted to use
35) Find ways to get around the "no business" rule on
autopatches. Your plan is to try and fool the repeater
control operators. Invent code words your secretary at work
will understand to disguise any business talk so it sounds
like personal chatter. Or get to be friends with the local
Domino's Pizza manager. Make it so that when you call him
on the patch and ask him to bring over the "floppy disk" you
need to your house, he shows-up 30 minutes later with a
piping hot large pepperoni and sausage pie. The
possibilities are endless....
Just using a few of these easy steps should put you well
on the way to Lid-hood. I hope these helpful hints will
save you some time in your quest to sound like the perfect
Rusty Bumpers, N4LID
P.S. "Rusty Bumpers" is a pen name. He maintains
anonymity so he can sit peacefully at club meetings and
avoid the wrath (and breath) of the uninformed.
17 Nov 2003
A REWARD OF 500 MICROFARADS IS OFFERED FOR THE INFORMATION LEADING TO THE
ARREST OF HOP-A-LONG CAPACITY. THIS UNRECTIFIED CRIMINAL ESCAPED FROM A WESTERN
PRIMARY CELL WHERE HE HAD BEEN CLAMPED IN IONS AWAITING THE GAUSS CHAMBER.
HE IS CHARGED WITH THE INDUCTION OF AN 18 TURN COIL NAMED MILLI HENRY WHO WAS
FOUND CHOKED AND ROBBED OF VALUABLE JOULES. HE IS ARMED WITH A CARBON ROD AND IS
A POTENTIAL KILLER. CAPACITY IS ALSO CHARGED WITH DRIVING DC MOTOR OVER A
WHEATSTONE BRIDGE AND REFUSING TO LET THE BAND-PASS.
IF ENCOUNTERED, HE MAY OFFER SERIES OF RESISTANCE. THE ELECTROMOTIVE FORCE
SPENT THE NIGHT SEARCHING FOR HIM IN A MAGNETIC FIELD, WHERE HE HAD GONE TO
EARTH. THEY HAD NO SUCCESS AND BELIEVED HE HAD RETURNED OHM VIA A SHORT CIRCUIT.
HE WAS LAST SEEN RIDING A KILOCYCLE WITH HIS FRIEND EDDY CURRENT WHO WAS
PLAYING A HARMONIC.
A bit of humor written by Mr. Mark Bushnell, Director of Engineering at CCA
Electronics, the transmitter people.
01 Nov 2003
01 Nov 2003