All forms of radio communications require that the participants observe good operating practices in order to achieve a successful contact. If good practice is observed, everybody participating in the contact will get the best out of it and nobody will lose out.

Repeaters, particularly internet-linked systems, require a higher than normal level of operating discipline in order to ensure that the system operates at its best. If good operating procedure is not followed then persons wishing to join an existing net, or even those already participating, may not be able to make themselves heard.

Where Simplex nodes are involved on a network, and these are connected to the Island's system from time to time, users must allow time for those nodes to drop carrier and then allow more time for a user accessing via such a node to press the transmit button and make himself known. This can take a couple of seconds.

I have received a number of comments from simplex node users that people using the repeaters are not waiting long enough to allow them an opportunity to call-in. This is very frustrating for those individuals and the problem doesn't just apply to local nodes; it applies equally, if not more so, to any node (or nodes) that may form part of an extended, linked network.

For this reason, the delay between a repeater user dropping carrier and the repeater sending a "pip" has been extended slightly on GB3IM to about 3 seconds. The intention is that repeater users should wait at least as long as that in order to give simplex users a chance.

I therefore respectfully ask ALL repeater users to respect the presence of, and wait for the "pip". It's not called a "Courtesy Tone" for nothing! If you are working through Snaefell (GB3IM-S), wait for the second pip. Failure to observe these timing delays is inconsiderate and discourteous.

I cannot think of anything that can be discussed on the radio that is so urgent that a short gap cannot be left between "overs" so, please, think of others and leave a gap between all transmissions.

It has also become apparent that the RSGB are advocating the use of "CQ" calls. There is some simple, real-world, advice for new operators who have been taught this - don't do it!

CQ calls are best used on HF bands as a means of extending a general call so that people can tune-in to the transmission. This is entirely unnecessary on repeaters and is a waste of breath. It is FAR more useful to give your callsign a couple of times. For example:

"This is GD0ABC.... Golf Delta Zero Alpha Bravo Charlie... Listening through GB3XX"

The "This is" may be considered superfluous, but it creates a small gap at the start of the transmission which will help to ensure that the repeater network has fully woken up. Until you are more familiar with the behaviour of the network, it is advised that you follow this format.

Above all - Speak Plain English! There is way too much jargon used in voice traffic that is unnecessary. My favourite "pet hate" is the phrase "The Personal Name is......" Everybody's name is personal. Just say "My Name is....."

Q-Codes and other abbreviations (like "WX" for weather) all have their place in radio, just not on repeaters.

If you wouldn't say it in a face-to-face conversation, don't say it on the radio - simple!