"Moans and Groans"

Here I am going to be quite blunt about what really annoys me - if you are of a sensitive predisposition maybe you should follow this link instead.

This page has been shortened (March 2016)

QRM Splatter

The biggest radio problem for me is QRM from people who either have a narrow filter and do not use it, or who produce too much QRO splatter, or both. There is little excuse with modern transceivers and online manuals, let alone common sense.

Poor audio

Some people evidently take a new mic out of the box and fail to set it up on their radios effectively.

They seem offended when they receive comments that their audio output is not crisp and clear. There is also a popular infatuation with Big Name Germanic sounding headsets with fancy inserts that are little better than a basic mic (but costing 10 times more so must be good). I cannot tell a Heil 1234 Super XYZ from a fist mic . .  but I can tell good transmitted audio from bad.  I use a microphone: it works.


He's a nice man trying to appear to be a plonker and succeeding admirably.

Lost Dogs

In Italy - possibly Spain too - there are lots of lost dogs. Everyone is whistling for them - sometimes for hours on the same frequency. I wonder if their dogs have receivers or transponders? Quite often I tell them that their dog is in the next street, but they never thank me.

The whistling is from people tuning up their linears, or simply ensuring their dentures are in place - but both are quite anti-social behaviours.

Having tuned their antennas or linears, and fixed their dentures, many do not then speak, but they continue to tune up. This is clearly intended to 'jam' people who they do not wish to listen to. There is an easier way to do this, you rissoles . . . QSY, or go and crawl back into your snug little 1960s ham dream-world.

"Again, again, again  . . .  5 and 9"

The usual "again" . . "again" . . . "again" then "5/9" is everywhere, especially from eastern Europe. Adding a 1500W linear without improvements to the RX is idiotic.

There is no shame in giving or receiving a 2/2 report - there is no cudos giving everyone a "59" report.

"Five and Nine QRZ" Rubber Stamping

It seems that the people who used to collect the numbers of locomotives - train spotters - simply to write those number in a notebook and file the book away in date order, have all come to Amateur Radio.

They  now sit on a 20m frequency and give out "59" but rarely ever announce their own callsign, name or location. Maybe their language skills are limited to numbers. Just using numbers makes life easy when ordering a Szechwan Pickled Duck's Legs in Batter in Chinese restaurant, but on Amateur Radio "What is the point?"

Contests  - Arrggggh!

I will say very little about contests, except that absolutely loathe, detest and abhor them, they are totally selfish and an abomination, and I would happily pay to see all contesters hung out on their towers to feed vultures.It's not that contests are inherrently bad, the point is that there are too many and they occupy almost all of the 40m band. They do cause more splatter than 'regular' activities because contesters use lots of power and appear not to understand about filters.

IOTA, SOTA and Fauna and Flora Obsessives

People who will not say which island (amongst many) or summit they are on - just EU12345, or "Details on QRZ.com" - are infuriating. Often they are  contravening their licencing conditions too. This is not helpful to /P and /M stations. Getting grumpy with a caller who asks for a location is rude.  Many of these OTA activities are contests in disguise.

Special Event Stations - some, but not all

People running Special Event Callsigns that do not give any information about their purpose clearly do not understand the purpose of the S.E.S.  A Special Event Station is not a contest station, and the need to 'work' as many as possible is somewhat against the spirit of the S.E.S. (See next gripe).

"All information on QRZ.com"

In my humble opinion, anyone who declines to give their location or basic information, on the air, is unworthy of having an Amateur Radio licence.

Okay, QRZ.com is a great resource which can provide additional information about a particular radio station, especially if you have a computer in the shack, but bloody useless if you don't, or if you are operating a portable or mobile station with no broadband access.

No gaps

QSO's that do not leave a pause for a 'QSK' and who then consider the "breaker" to be rude for busting in on a "private" chat - arrgghhh!

Pompous Asses

'Recently' a British Pompous Ass was heard to make derogatory comments about a newly licenced operator (but only while the latter was transmitting) because the 'novice' said Whiskies instead of Watts. The comments were "He should go back to CB where he belongs" and the like. In Northern England this is called being a Gobshite.

That Pompous Ass would not give his callsign (a clear breach of UK Regulations) and he did not have the 'balls' to make his comments face to face, so to speak. Such arrogance - or cowardice -  shows that the Pompous Ass Syndrome is still alive and kicking and in need of psychotherapy or anti-depressants, etc.

Old Farts' Nets

I do not care much for nets; they become very long-winded affairs which bore me to tears. But the most wind-baggy nets on 40m and 80m are those involving old farts who mostly recite a long list of the signal reports they have noted for the other dozen people on the net, and who then relate their own medical conditions in gruesome detail.  These sorts of nets are often depressingly unfunny, although sometimes sadly hilarious.

It is generally recognised that the 'Medical Band' (160m) is the best place to hear Old Farts, but in the UK 2m can be good hunting ground too.

Callsigns ~ or lack of . . .

Some people just do not know what a callsign is for. Some do not use them sufficiently and others risk wearing them out through overuse.

Two likeable and very knowledgeable old farts near me fall in both categories, each one giving both callsigns (which are similar, rushed and unintelligible) at the start and end of every 'over'. It is as though they never read their licencing conditions and never speak to anyone else. This is on 2m VHF !

Also . .  two or more other guys near me use a VHF and a UHF frequency for a cross band 'natter' most nights. In 4 years I have never heard a callsign. These guys are full of opinions about amateur radio and they are never short on ego, so they don't need a callsign, they are much too important to need to use one .

A notorious 2m band pirate here in the UK used to say (with increasing rage): 

People tell me to get a licence.
I don't need a licence!
Radio waves travel just as far
without one!


Other hates

Fauna & Flora - they know *** all about where they are.
Special Event Stations with uninformed and uninformative operators.
Muppets on 2m who waste electrons and cause global warming (hot air).
People who call CQ, CQ, CQ, fifty times and their callsign only once before switching off.

If you have been genuinely offended by any of the above remarks you probably need to re-evaluate why you are a Radio Ham.

This link is to a website which gives factual guidance to radio hams on operational protocols:
Guidance for Radio DXers