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3 Big Don’ts for Ham Radio Newbies


If you’ve recently obtained your amateur radio license, odds are you’re chomping at the bit to set up your console and start connecting with other hammers. However, before you fire up your antenna and start sending out signals, it’s a good idea to review the basics of ham radio conduct. Failure to do so can result in you being actively ignored by other ham operators, thus defeating the purpose of acquiring your license. Fortunately, provided you avoid making the following blunders, your efforts to make friends on ham radio should prove very fruitful.

1. Holding Your Microphone Improperly

The manner in which you position your microphone can have a substantial impact on how clearly your communications come across. A staggering number of novice operators make the mistake of holding their mics too close to their mouths, resulting in copious amounts of hiss and static. Suffice it to say, this can be very unpleasant for any operators with whom you’re conversing. You can nip this problem in the bud by keeping your mic about half an inch from your lips when speaking into it. Equipping your console with a high-quality directional coupler can also prove conducive to smooth communications.

2. Speaking Too Loudly

When communicating with other ham radio operators, it’s important that you maintain an even tone of voice. Speaking too loudly or shouting directly into your mic will create a grating hiss that no one enjoys listening to. If you’ve had problems with personal volume control in the past, it may be in your best interest to practice speaking in the aforementioned manner attempting to make friends on ham radio.

3. Taking Troll Bait

Trolls existed long before the advent of the Internet. For as long as there have been social forums, there have also been people who thrive on stirring up trouble and inciting arguments. If you communicate with other ham operators on a consistent basis, you’re bound to encounter such individuals on occasion. When dealing with this type of person, it’s imperative that you avoid taking their bait. Doing so will only encourage them to continue hassling you and make you appear immature in the eyes of your fellow operators.

When attempting to connect with people in any capacity, it’s important to adhere to basic rules of conduct. However, for individuals who are new to ham radio, some of the intricacies of interacting with other operators may prove confusing. To ensure that you’re able to comfortably converse with your fellow hammers, take care to hold you mic in the proper manner, practice personal volume control and avoid answering the call of trolls.