HOW TO SOUND LIKE A LID
by Rusty Bumpers N4LID
On two meters lately, I have noticed a tendency of people making a
concerted effort to sound like a LID (i.e. poor operator). Since this seems to be
the new style in amateur radio, I thought I would present this handy guide to
radio nerd-dom. The following is what I call "How to sound like a LID in one
Use as many Q signals as possible. Yes I know they were invented solely
for CW and are totally inappropriate for two-meter FM, but they are fun
and entertaining. They keep people guessing as to what you really meant.
i.e. "I'm going to QSY to the kitchen." can you really change frequency
to the kitchen? QSL used to mean "I am acknowledging receipt", but now
it appears to mean "yes" or "OK." I guess I missed it when the ARRL changed
Never laugh, when you can say "hi hi." No one will ever know that you
aren't a long time CW ragchewer if you don't tell them. They'll think you've
been on since the days of Marconi.
Utilize an alternative vocabulary. Use worked like "destinated" and
"negatory." Its OK to make up words here. "yea Bill, I pheelbart zaphonix
Always say "XX4XXX (insert your own call) for I.D." Anything that creates
redundancy is strongly encouraged. That's why we have the Department of
Redundancy Department. (Please note that you can follow your call with
"for identification purposes" instead of "for I.D." While taking longer to
say it is worth more lid points.)
The better the copy on two-meter FM, the more you should phonetically spell
your name, especially if it a short or common one. i.e. "My handle is
Al... Alpha Lima" or "Jack... Juliet Alpha Charlie Kilo." If at all possible
make up unintelligible phonetics. "The personal here is Bob... Billibong
Always give the calls of yourself and everyone who is (or has been) in the
group, whether they are still there or not. While this has been unnecessary
for years, it is still a wonderful memory test.
Whenever possible, use the wrong terminology. It keeps people guessing.
Use "modulation" when you mean "deviation" and visa-versa. And even if the
two-meter FM amplifier you are using is a Class C type amp, and thus not
biased for linear amplification, be sure to call it your "linear". Heck
refer to all FM-style amplifiers as "linears". You'll be the king of the
"wrong terminology" hill.
If someone asks for a break, always finish your turn, taking as long as
possible before turning it over. Whenever possible pass it around a few
times first. This will discourage the breaker and, if it is an emergency,
will encourage him to switch to another repeater and not bother you.
Always ask involved questions of the person who is trying to sign out. Never
let him get by with a simple yes or no. Make it a question that will take a
long time to answer.
The less you know about a subject, the more you should speculate about it
on the air. The amount of time spent on your speculations should be
inversely proportional to your knowledge on the subject.
If someone on the repeater is causing interference, you should talk about
that person at great length, making sure to comment on at least four out
of six of the following:
- His mental state
- His family
- His intelligence, or lack of the same
- His sexual preference
- His relationship to small animals
- His other methods of self entertainment.
If you hear two amateurs start a conversation on the repeater, wait until
they are 20 seconds into their contact, and then break-in to use the patch.
Make sure its only a simple routine phone call. It's also important that you
run the autopatch for at least three minutes. This way, once the two
re-establish contact, they wont remember what they were talking about.
You hear someone on the repeater giving directions to a visiting amateur.
Even if the directions are good, make sure to break-in with your own
"alternate route but better way to get there" version. This is most effective
if several other LID trainees join in, each with a different route. By the
time the amateur wanting directions unscrambles all the street names whizzing
around his head, he should have driven out of range of the repeater. This
keeps you from having to stick around and help the guy get back out of town
Use the repeater for an hour or two at a time, preventing others from using
it. Better yet, do it on a daily basis. Your quest is to make people so
sick of hearing your voice every time they turn on their radio, they'll move
to another frequency. This way you'll lighten the load on the repeater,
leaving even more time for you to talk on it.
See just how much flutter you can generate by operating at handheld power
levels too far away from the repeater. Engage people in conversations when
you know they wont be able to copy half of what your saying. Even when they
say your uncopyable, continue to string them along by making further
transmissions. See just how frustrated you can make the other amateur
before he finally signs off in disgust.
Give out wacky radio advice. When a newcomer's signal is weak into the
repeater, tell him he can correct the problem by adjusting the volume and
squelch knobs on his radio. Or tell people they are full quieting except
for the white noise on their signal. Or..... well, you get the idea.
Use lots of radio jargon. After all, it makes you feel important using
words ordinary people don't say. Who cares if it makes you sound like you
just fell off Channel 19 on the citizen's Band? Use phrases such as "Roger
on that", "10-4", "I'm on the side", "Your making the trip" and
"Negatory on that".
Use excessive microphone gain. See just how loud you can make your audio.
Make sure the audio gain is so high that other amateurs can hear any bugs
crawling on your floor. If mobile, make sure the wind noise is loud enough
that others have to strain to pick your words out from all the racket.
Be as verbose as possible. Never say "yes" when you can say "He acquiesced
in the affirmative by saying 'yes'" (No kidding, I actually heard that one).
Start every transmission with the word "Roger" or "QSL". Sure, you don't need
to acknowledge that you received the other transmission in full. After all, you
would simply ask for a repeat if you missed something. But consider it your
gift to the other amateur to give him solace every few seconds that his
transmissions are being received.
When looking for a contact on a repeater, always say you're "listening" or
"monitoring" multiple times. I've always found that at least a half dozen
times or so is good. Repeating your multiple "listening" ID's every 10 to 15
seconds is even better. Those people who didn't want to talk to you will
eventually call you, hoping you'll go away after you have finally made a
Give out repeater FM signal reports using the HF SSF R-S system ("You're
5 by 9 here"). Sure it's considered improper for FM operation and you may
even confuse some people, but don't let that spoil your fun!
Always use a repeater, even if you can work the other station easily on
simplex ... especially if you can make the contact on simplex. The coverage
of the repeater you use should be inversely proportional to your distance
from the other station.
If you and the other station are both within a mile or two of the repeater
you are using, you should always give a signal report ("I'm sitting under
the repeater and I know you can see it from there, but you're full quieting
into the repeater. How about me?").
In the same vein as the previous step, when monitoring a repeater, you should
always give signal reports as if the repeater didn't exist ("Yep, I'm right
under the repeater. You've got a whopping signal! You're S-9 plus 60.
That must be a great rig!")
When on repeaters using courtesy tones, you should always say "over".
Courtesy tones are designed to let everyone know when you have unkeyed but
don't let that stop you. Say "over", "back to you" or "go ahead". It
serves no useful purpose but don't worry, it's still fun!
Think up interesting and bizarre things to do to tie up the repeater.
The goal here is not to facilitate communications, but to entertain all
the scanner listeners out there. Do something original. Try to hum CTCSS
(PL) tones. Sing pager tones (You're getting the idea).
Use the repeater's autopatch for frivolous routine calls... especially
during morning or evening commute times. While pulling into the neighborhood,
call home to let them know you'll be there in two minutes.... or, call your
spouse to complain about the bad day you had at work. After all, the club
has "measured rate" service on their phone line so they get charged for each
autopatch call. Your endeavor is to make so many patches in a year that you
cost the club at least $20 in phone bills. That way you'll feel you got your
money's worth for your dues!
Never say "My name is ....." It makes you sound human. If at all possible,
use one of the following phrases:
- "The personal here is ..."
- "The handle here is..."
Use "73" and "88" incorrectly. Both are already considered plural, but add
a "s" to the end anyway. Say "73's" or "88's". Who cares if it means "best
regardses" and "love and kisseses." Better yet, say "seventy thirds"! (By the
way, seventy thirds equals about 23. .
Make people think you have a split personality by referring to yourself in the
plural sense. When you're in conversation and are alone at your radio, always
say "We're" or "We've" instead of "I'm" or "I've" (ex. "we've been doing
this...", "we're doing that...", "we're clear"). Everyone knows you're by
yourself, but when they ask you who is with you, make up somebody important
like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Bill Clinton or better yet, tell them your royalty.
Always attempt to use the higher functions of the repeater before you have read
the directions. Nothing will work, but you'll have great fun and get lots of
people to give you advice. This works even better after a six-pack of beer.
Test repeater functions repeatedly (that's why they call it a repeater!) Test
your signal strength from the same location several times every day.
Concentration on testing the things that really matter, like the number of
time the repeater has been keyed-up. That stuff is fun to track. Test the
outside temperature as often as possible. The farther the temperature goes
from the norms, the more often you should test it. Also, if you get a pager
set to the repeater's output frequency, as soon as you receive it, set it off
every 30 seconds or so until the battery runs down. Better yet, interrupt
conversations to test it.
If the repeater is off the air for service, complain about the fact that it
was off the air as soon as it's turned back on. Act as though your entire
day has been ruined because the repeater wasn't available when you wanted to
Find ways to get around the "no business" rule on autopatches. Your plan is
to try and fool the repeater control operators. Invent code words your
secretary at work will understand to disguise any business talk so it sounds
like personal chatter. Or get to be friends with the local Domino's Pizza
manager. Make it so that when you call him on the patch and ask him to bring
over the "floppy disk" you need to your house, he shows up 30 minutes later
with a piping hot pepperoni and sausage pie. The possibilities are endless!