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AO-27 Etiquette

In a message dated 9/11/99 11:51:50 AM Mountain Daylight Time, 
Builderick@aol.com writes:

> I don't want to make the rules. And I don't want a flame war. 

I feel the same way.  I've often thought that AO27 might benefit from a 
loosely defined protocol.  I am also new to satellites so you can take these 
observations for what they are likely to be worth.  

I think a reasonable goal for AO27 would be to maximize the number of 
successful exchanges per pass and to encourage new folks to use it as a 
stepping stone to amateur satellite communications.  To achieve that goal 
requires that people be brief in their communications.  It's not a ragchewing 
machine, unless you find that there are no other stations trying to get into 
the bird.  Believe it or not, this occasionally happens during western 
passes.  But it can be really irksome to hear some folks talking about the 
weather for several exchanges when it's obviously a busy pass.

Here are some observations I've made in the time I've been using AO-27 that 
could make some of the exchanges a little briefer:

1.  There's no need to give one's gridsquare on each and every exchange, 
especially if you're at home and that information is available and correct on 
the callsign lookup servers.  

2.  Please do not give the full six characters the gridsquare. It's hard 
enough remembering the first 4, the last two letters just seem to add 
confusion and are of little value.

3.  If your city has a unique name, you probably don't need to add your 
state.  For example if you're in Albuquerque or Phoenix, adding New Mexico or 
Arizona it is probably not necessary.   

4.  I have no specific objections to APRS Mic-e, as long as some of the 
packets are successfully being decoded.  If it is at least 1 in 10, it's 
probably OK.  If it's 1 in 100, then it's QRM.

5.  If you hear someone call another station, give the guy a few milliseconds 
to respond before joining the fray.

I have no objection to someone saying 'Hi Bud from Bob'  which is very brief 
and if you're a regular, people generally recognize your voice and know 
you're out there and listening.  They may use it as an opportunity to 
acknowledge your presence and give them a chance to throw their callsign up 
onto the bird.   

I don't know what other people's expectations are with AO27.  I'm sure they 
are as varied as the personalities of the people using it.  I suppose some 
people think of it as a good way to hunt for gridsquares to add to their life 
list and others as a kind of meeting place for satellite folks.   I like AO27 
because it requires very little equipment to use it and you can 'take it with 
you' and operate on the road.   There's an element of competition to it and 
it's fast paced which I'm sure that appeals to some hams.  I demonstrated it 
for a ham the other day and he seemed put off with the fast-paced nature of 
the exchanges...but then again, he's not yet discovered DX contesting :-).

73,  Lee Devlin,  K0LEE
Greeley, CO
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