HAM Radio 101

Word of the Day (Phonetic Alphabet): Why You Should Use the Phonetic Alphabet for HAM Radio Communication

When you’re communicating on the air, using the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, recognized by most Hams worldwide, can help avoid confusion that results because many letters sound alike. Phonetics are words that are said in lieu of a letter (e.g., Alpha for A, Zulu for Z). It’s a good idea to become familiar with standard phonetics and use them when operating in SSB (single sideband) mode. For example, N8DXE would identify herself as November 8 Delta X-Ray Echo. Always stick to standard phonetics that will be familiar to the DX station. Neptune 8 Denzel Xavier Euphrates won’t cut it! This is particularly important when DXing. Give yourself every advantage possible by using words the DX station will be listening for.

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