A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO CW QSO PROCEDURES part1
By Bernard G3PNH
The following is an example of a typical "rubber stamp" QSO. This format is generally used by CW (Morse) Amateur Radio operators as an opening gambit but can constitute an entire and complete QSO for beginners who wish to start CW without worrying about what to say next!!!
1 Assuming the TX is tuned and the aerial is matched to the TX you must search the band you wish to use for a clear frequency (QRG).
2. When you have found a clear frequency proceed as follows.
3. Adjust your TX to a suitable power output. Do this quickly!! Now you can transmit the following signal QRL? QRL? QRL? This signal means "is the frequency in use?" It is important that you do this, there may be a station on the frequency that you cannot hear but his contact may become audible when it is his turn to transmit, you should therefore listen for a short while to ensure the frequency really is clear of any other traffic.
4. If there is no reply then proceed to transmit the following signal.. CQ CQ CQ de G3XXX G3XXX CQ CQ CQ de G3XXX G3XXX CQ CQ CQ de G3XXX G3XXX AR SK
5. AR SK means end of message and invites a caller (any caller) to transmit to you. A reply to your CQ may not be exactly on your TX frequency! You need to use the Rx RIT (receiver incremental tune control) to listen either side of your TX frequency just in case (Yaesu call the RIT control the CLARIFIER). Do not adjust the main tuning dial on your TX/RX to search or tune in an off frequency replying station ... always use the RIT.
6. A reply will most likely be in the following format G3XXX G3XXX de W4YY W4YY W4YYKN KN is the signal for a nominated station to reply ...in this case you. Some stations simply call with their own call sign and if you are not sure he is actually calling you, send QRZ QRZ DE G3XXX K
7. When you are sure that you are being called, your reply is...SN (all received) W4YY W4YY de G3XXX G3XXX bk (dahditditditdahdidah) MNI TNX FOR UR CALL OM bk UR RST IS 589 589 bk MY QTH IS LONDON LONDON ES (and) MY NAME IS FRED FRED bk HW CPY ? W4YY de G3XXX ARKN
Information such as name and QTH is sent twice simply because most overseas operators will not be familiar with English names and place names and of course vice versa. Information about rigs and aerials is common knowledge world wide.
8. He will reply with a call sign exchange as above but may not send the call sign twice (you and he already know them so there is no need to waste time on repeats). His text will follow very closely to yours viz; QTH NAME . He may send ...HR WX RAIN (or sunny etc) TEMP 26C (some USA stations send the temperature in Fahrenheit so be prepared!continued....part 2