CAP Communications
Orientation Class
Note:
This presentation does NOT contain any For
Official Use Only (FOUO) information.
Voice of Command
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
Developed by:
LTC Bruce Bream
Ohio Wing/Eagle Squadron
February 2006
1
Basic Communications Course Overview
• Licensing
• Operators and Radio Stations
• Call Signs
• Radio Communications Systems
• Equipment Familiarization
• Use of Repeaters
• Radiotelephone Operating Procedures
• Timekeeping and Date-Time Groups
• Prowords
• Phonetic Alphabet
• Radio Nets
• Message Forms
• Distress and Emergency Communications
• Radio Communication Practice
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
2
CAP Radio Operator Licensing
TWO Levels of Operator Licensing:
Communications Orientation
National Headquarters
Civil Air Patrol
Maxwell AFB AL 36112-6332
RADIO OPERATOR AUTHORIZATION
Name and address of operator:
JOHN E. DOE
CHARTER SER-AL-001
ISSUED: 05-03-95
• 2-3 Hour Class on:
– Standard Operating Procedures
Card No.:
Expiration:
AL-00123
ON MEMBERSHIP
– Local Operating Procedures
• Entitles CAP member to operate a CAP Radio
• Issued a Radio Operator Authorization (ROA) by Ohio Wing
Advanced Communications User Training
• 4-5 Hour Class
• Pass the Advanced Communications User Test, CAPF 119
• Entitles CAP member to be assigned a call sign for their radio
• Required as part of the Communications Specialty Track
The regulation for all CAP Communications is CAPR 100-1
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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CAP Radio Station Licensing
National Telecommunications and
Information Administration (NTIA)
Licenses Federal agencies
• Department of Defense
• Department of Homeland Security
• Civil Air Patrol
• FEMA, NASA, EPA, USPS, Etc.
Federal Communications
Commission (FCC)
Licenses Public radio stations
• TV, FM, AM commercial
broadcasters
• Amateur Radio, FRS, Citizens
band
• CAP is a considered a federal agency for radio licensing
• Federal agencies are not allowed to use services allocated exclusively
to the public sector for their business
• Amateur Radio and Citizens Band cannot be used for CAP business
• Family Radio Service (FRS)
– On ES missions: limited to communication with victims to expedite a
rescue
– May be used for all non-ES mission activities on a non-interference basis
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Types of Stations & Tactical Call Signs
Ohio Wing Call Sign Examples
GROUND & MOBILE
AIRMOBILE
CAPFLIGHT 3421
Columbus 104
Columbus 401
Ground & Mobile Reserved Call signs
Last digit assigned to command staff:
..1 Commander
(C 101)
..2 Deputy
(C 302)
..3 Chief of Staff
(C 1003)
..4 Communications (C 4)
..5 Chaplain
(C 705)
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
First two digits
are Wing number
Airmobile Call Signs
• CAP Corporate Aircraft are always
CAPFLIGHT except,
• CAPFLIGHT RESCUE used only during
actual missions
Member-owned aircraft
• Use assigned CAPFLIGHT for reimbursable
missions
• Otherwise, use tail number
5
CAP Communications Systems
CAP Frequencies
FAA Aeronautical Frequencies
HF - Long-range (50-1000+ miles)
• Uses FAA frequencies
• Communicate with all
radio equipped aircraft
Range determined by
time of day, frequency,
and sunspot cycle
VHF - Short-range (5-50 miles)
Satellite Digital Imaging System
(SDIS)
Capabilities
• Used for digital imaging
• Data relayed through satellite
ISR (Intra Squad Radios)
• Short range (2-3 miles)
Range determined by
“radio horizon”
HF Static
• Similar to FRS radios
Voice is the primary means of communication
Sounds
HF SSB
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Voice Operating Modes
SIMPLEX
Single Frequency - One Station at a Time
REPEATER
Two Frequencies - One Station at a Time
Frequency 1
Frequency 2
Input
R
T
Output
Your radio switches to Frequency 2
when you press the PTT switch
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Repeater Operational Advantage
Output
Input
Repeaters increase the range of mobile
stations due to the high profile location
typically covering a 20-50 mile radius
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Inside the Repeater
Repeater retransmits if it hears one of two sub-audible tones:
1) Universal Access Tone or
2) Repeater site specific tone
Input Channel
Voice
+ Sub-audible
Tone
Receiver
Tone Decoder
Voice
PTT
Tone Decoder “listens” for
either the universal or site
specific tone on the
incoming signal
Transmitter
Output Channel
Voice
+ Repeater
“Mike Button” Sub-audible Tone
Tone Decoder “presses”
the Push To Talk (PTT)
button to turn on the
repeater’s transmitter
Radio must be set to the correct
1) transmit channel, and
2) sub-audible tone
to use the desired repeater
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Ohio Wing Voice Repeaters
Operating on CAP VHF-FM
Repeater Locations:
• Cambridge
• Carey
• Cincinnati
• Columbus
• Dayton
• Jackson
• Lafayette
• Lancaster
• Lima
• New Philadelphia
• Thompson
• Wauseon
If you are not sure which
repeater to select:
Use the Universal
Access Tone
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Airmobile use of Repeaters
• Primary mode of operation should be simplex
• Repeaters can be used if simplex not possible
• Selectively use a repeater through use of its
assigned sub-audible access tone
• Use of universal tone is prohibited since this will
bring up multiple repeaters
• The key is to limit use to a single repeater
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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FAA Aeronautical SAR Stations
• Air-Ground Communications on FAA aircraft frequencies
• Aeronautical Search And Rescue (SAR) ground stations operate on
two Aircraft Frequencies:
– 122.9 MHz - TRAINING Only
– 123.1 MHz - ACTUAL Missions Only
• Ground Station Call Signs assigned by geographical location
» “THIS IS Lost Nation Base OVER”
ELTs - Training & Actual
121.775 MHz
Training transmitters
121.5 MHz
Actual ELTs
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Basic Radio Station Operation Summary
Power (On/Off)
• Usually part of Volume control
• Battery powered radios should be turned off when not being used to conserve the batteries
Volume
• Set to easily hear stations but not annoyingly loud
• On portable radios the higher the volume, the more battery power is used and the sooner the battery
runs out
Squelch
• Adjusts the point where audio and noise (hiss) are suppressed (quiet)
• Adjust until noise is heard and then back off to just past the point where the noise stops
• Some newer radios do not have a squelch knob
Channel Selector
• Selects both receive and transmit frequencies
• Unless it is a corporate radio, there is no assurance that the frequencies are set the same on the
channel selector. Know the frequencies in use and how your radio is set up or programmed
• Consult the person who furnished the radio for the specific settings for the radio
Microphone
• Speak into the microphone using a normal speech level
• Don’t yell or whisper; Shouting does not increase intelligibility or range
Push to Talk (PTT) Switch
• Press the PTT when talking; Release PTT to listen
• Monitor the channel for a few seconds before you transmit to ensure that you don’t interfere with other
traffic prior to pushing the PTT
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Basic Radio Station Components
Power Sources
• 120VAC Power Supply
• 12VDC
• Generator
• Batteries
120 VAC
Outlet
Power
Supply
Ground
• Required
for
Electrical
Safety
1
V
S
C
Radio Transceiver
• Designed for a single or
multiple frequency band
and modes
• CAP VHF-FM
• CAP HF-SSB
• FAA VHF-AM
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
Antenna
• Frequency sets
relative size
• VHF-FM
• Magnetic Mount
• Fixed vertical
• HF-SSB
• 50 foot Dipole
• Fixed vertical
• Bumper mount
vertical
Antenna Coax
• Special cable that
connects radio to
antenna
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Radios you will see in CAP
CAP VHF-FM
NAT NPX-138
Tait 2020II
E.F. Johnson 5317
“Stealth” mobile
E.F. Johnson
5112 portable
Neutec SM-1645
CAP HF-SSB
FAA Aircraft VHF-AM
Intra Squad
Radio (ISR)
Motorola Micom-2
Tait T196
Icom IC-4008M
ICOM A-22
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Tait T2000II
CAP VHF-FM
Direct channel
number entry
possible with keypad
and enter key
Up / Down buttons
change the channel
Note:
• These Tait 2020 radios are factory-modified for CAP
• A standard Tait 2020 purchased on your own from other than
CAPMart will not be NTIA compliant
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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E.F. Johnson 5317 “Stealth”
CAP VHF-FM
Channel / Group Knob
• Toggles its function
each time you press
it in
• Turn to select
channels or groups
• There are 16 memory
groups with 10
channels per group
• Groups and channels
are labeled with text
names
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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E.F. Johnson 5112 Portable
CAP VHF-FM
On-Off-Volume
and Squelch
PTT
Channel Selector
Microphone
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Neutec SM-1645
CAP VHF-FM
It is important to note
whether the PRI light is
on or off
The display only shows a
number, so you must have
a list or card of how it is
programmed
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
Check channel
card attached to
top of radio
Selects one
of 16
numbered
channels
Pressing the PRI button
gets to a second bank of
16 channels - It is NOT a
priority button
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NAT NPX-138 Radio Operation
CAP VHF-FM
Features:
• FAA accepted for aircraft use
• 100 pre-programmed channels
• Same channels in all aircraft
• Operates from 138-174 MHz
• “Guard” channel monitor
• Use with CAP as well as Coast
Guard, State Highway Patrol,
and local Police
Controls:
MN
Main Volume & On/Off - (Channel activity light to right of MN knob)
GD
Guard Channel Volume (Leave CCW)
SCAN/NORM/GDTX Leave in NORM
GD1/GD2 Guard Channel Select GD1=Repeater (Ch 1) GD2=Air/Ground (Ch 4)
DISP
ID=Channel Name, RX=Receive frequency, TX=Transmit Frequency
CHAN
+/- Step up/down through programmed channels
BRIGHT +/- Change display brightness
EDIT
Don’t move this switch!
SQ
Push to open squelch to check volume and weak signals
Operation:
Powers up with other radios as shown above
Turn on (if necessary), Set Channel, Adjust Volume, Check Squelch, Set Audio Panel
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Motorola MICOM-2
CAP HF SSB Radio
• Channels are switched via the up/down buttons
• Function button toggles between various displays including
the frequency and the channel number
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Intra Squad Radio (ISR)
• Similar to FRS radios but on shared-use federal government frequencies
• Designed for ground team use and large functions like encampments and
schools
• Not issued to individuals - issued in deployable packages
• Won’t talk with CAP VHF-FM radio system
• NHQ furnished radios and cases, but no batteries
• Cost of ni-cad battery and charger almost equal to cost of radio itself
• Ni-cads available run 10 hours before needing recharge
• Alkaline AA batteries last 30 hours max before requiring replacement
• Commanders, and ES Officers should plan for readily available batteries
• Incident Commanders and Mission Coordinators should anticipate battery
expenses for actual and practice missions
• ISR battery costs are reimbursable on CAPF108 if mission/SAREX is
reimbursed (with receipts, complete forms, etc.)
• Project Officers for encampments and training activities should anticipate
and plan for battery costs
• Flight-line supervisor should use VHF-FM (Ch4) to marshal pilots in
aircraft
• ISR frequencies are shared with other DOD agencies
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Zulu Time is Standard Time
• Known as Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) based on an accurate
atomic clock
• Similar to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) - based on mean earth rotation
Zulu time is the same,
no matter what time
zone you are in
Standard Time Zones:
EST Eastern +5 = Z
CST Central
+6 = Z
MST Mountain +7 = Z
PST Pacific
+8 = Z
1 hour less for
Daylight Saving Time
EDT +4 = Z
WWV Time Broadcast
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Date-Time Group
16 0218Z APR 01
Date
Time
Month
Year
Date and Time in ZULU
Don’t forget to
account for
change in day,
month or year
ZULU - Means that time is UTC
(Coordinated Universal Time)
Z = EST + 5 hours
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
Z = EDT + 4 hours
A DTG
specifies one
minute in a
century
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Date-Time Group Practice
Practice making a DTG for the following times/events:
• Right Now
• July 7, 1997 3:07 am
• Apollo 11 Moon Landing, 7/20/1969, 4:17 EDT
• April 15, 2001 9:18 pm
• ELT Heard: Feb 28, 2005 7:21 pm
• What local date/time is 010459Z JAN 05?
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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PROWORDS
Special words used for
Clarity and Brevity in communications
Most commonly used prowords:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
THIS IS
ROGER
OVER
OUT
WAIT
SAY AGAIN
CORRECTION
WILCO
AFFIRMATIVE
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
Preface to your call sign
Last transmission received OK
I’m done, go ahead
I’m done, bye
I will be back in a few seconds
Say that again
Oops! I really meant to say
ROGER and I will comply
Yes
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Phonetic Alphabet & Numbers
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
Alpha
Bravo
Charlie
Delta
Echo
Foxtrot
Golf
Hotel
India
Juliet
Kilo
Lima
Mike
(Al fah)
(Brah voh)
(Char lee)
(Dell tah)
(Eck-oh)
(Foks trot)
(Golf)
(Hoh tell)
(In dee ah)
(Ju lee ett)
(Kee loh)
(Lee mah)
(Mike)
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
November
Oscar
Papa
Quebec
Romeo
Sierra
Tango
Uniform
Victor
Whiskey
X-Ray
Yankee
Zulu
(No vem ber)
(Oss cah)
(Pah pah)
(Keh beck)
(Row me oh)
(See air rah)
(Tang go)
(U nee form)
(Vik tah)
(Wiss kee)
(Ecks ray)
Pronunciation
of Numbers
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
0
Wun
Too
Tree
Fo-wer
Fife
Six
Seven
Ate
Niner
Zero
(Yang kee)
(Zoo loo)
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Contacting Another Station
• To Establish Contact
– “Columbus 40
THIS IS CAPFLIGHT 3421
OVER”
• Response from the Ground Station
– “CAPFLIGHT 3421
THIS IS Columbus 40
OVER”
• No need to use call signs until communications are
complete
• Say “OVER” before releasing PTT on mike
• On Closing the Contact
– “… CAPFLIGHT 3421 OUT”
 Always end a transmission with OVER or OUT - NOT BOTH!
 Do not use “Roger Wilco” instead of Wilco. “Roger Wilco” means “Last
transmission received OK last transmission received OK and I will comply.”
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Radio Net Operation
A Formal Net controls flow of traffic on a single radio channel
• Net Control Station (NCS)
– Maintains net discipline by controlling who is talking
– Must be contacted first for permission to contact another station:
“Columbus 10 THIS IS Columbus 404 with a Priority message for
Columbus 710 OVER”
• Sample Net Check-in (C10 is the NCS):
“Columbus 10, THIS IS Columbus 404 with no traffic, OVER”
• Acknowledging readiness to receive traffic:
"THIS IS Columbus 710, GO AHEAD with your traffic OVER"
• Acknowledging receipt of a message:
"THIS IS Columbus 710, ROGER your message OUT"
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Radio Nets - Contacting another Station
“Columbus 10,
THIS IS Columbus 401
with traffic for
Columbus 404 OVER”
C 10
NCS
“Columbus 401,
Contact Columbus 404
with your traffic, OUT”
“Columbus 404,
THIS IS Columbus 401,
OVER”
C 401
C 404
3rd
All transmissions must receive permission
from the Net Control Station (NCS)
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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I SPELL / FIGURES / INITIALS
• Use “I SPELL” for pronounceable words
– Example: LODI
» “I SPELL LODI LIMA OSCAR DELTA INDIA LODI”
• Use “FIGURE(S)” AND “INITIAL(S)” for non-words
– Example: N516F
» “INITIAL NOVEMBER FIGURES FIVE ONE SIX INTIAL FOXTROT”
CORRECTIONS
Use proword “CORRECTION”
Example:
“… Turn right at next corner … CORRECTION Turn left at next
corner…”
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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SENDING NUMBERS
Prowords: “FIGURES”, “DECIMAL”, “TIME”, “INITIALS”
Digit-by-Digit Not
“Seven Fifty”
750
“FIGURES SEVEN FIVE ZERO”
Niner
Not Nine
849
“FIGURES EIGHT FOUR NINER”
Decimal
Point
14.5
“FIGURES ONE FOUR DECIMAL FIVE”
Z Time
1635Z
“TIME ONE SIX THREE FIVE ZULU”
Initial And
Figures
E21
“INITIAL ECHO FIGURES TWO ONE”
One Figure
and Initial
3-A
“FIGURE THREE DASH INITIAL ALPHA”
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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CAP RADIO MESSAGE FORMAT (CAPF 105)
Message Heading
• Precedence (Urgency)
• Date-Time Group (DTG)
• From (Originator)
• To (Addressee)
• Info (Other Addressees)
Message Text
• When read, separate from
heading and end by the
proword “BREAK”
Receipt Block
• FROM or TO Call Sign
• DTG received or sent
• Initials of radio operator
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Message Precedence
Other Precedence you may
hear but not used by CAP.
Both are handled before
Priority or Routine Traffic.
PRIORITY (P)
• Used For Messages Where “Routine”
Isn’t Fast Enough
• Processed Ahead Of Routine
Messages, not to exceed 6 hours
ROUTINE (R)
• Most Used; Delivered In Order
Received, no later than beginning of
next duty day
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
FLASH
• Highest Priority
• Handled as fast as possible,
ahead of All other messages
IMMEDIATE (O)
• Messages related to situations
gravely affecting the security
of the Nation
• Requires immediate delivery
not to exceed 60 minutes
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Distress and Emergency Signals
MAYDAY
PAN
SECURITE
Distress
Urgency
Safety
}
Supercedes all
Priority or
Routine Traffic
Operator Responsibility
#1
#2
LISTEN
Be Prepared to Assist
Do NOT Transmit
unless your services are needed
or contact is requested
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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PROHIBITED Operating Practices
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Violation of Radio Silence
Personal Conversation
Use of given names or nicknames in place of call sign
Excessive tuning and testing
Profane, indecent, or obscene language
Interruption of scheduled net activities in progress
Transmitting in a Net without permission of NCS
Leaving a directed net without the permission of the NCS, except in
emergency situations or equipment failure
Other discouraged practices
• Use of 10 codes or Amateur Radio Q Signals
• Transmitting radio frequency info over the air (FOUO)
• Use of Amateur Radio or Citizens Band frequencies for CAP
business
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Good Radio Operator Habits
• Always listen before transmitting
• Listen for your callsign; Other stations may have traffic for
you
• Speak clearly and slowly
• Annunciate your words
• Speak clearly and in a normal voice when transmitting
• Remain calm no matter what happens -- “Don’t Panic”
• THINK -- “Use Your Head”
• Read the message as written
– If you don’t understand it, ask the Originator
– ONLY the Originator can change the message
• Keep your traffic short and succinct
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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Radio Signal Reports
Signal Strength
LOUD
GOOD
WEAK
VERY WEAK
FADING
Your signal is very strong
Your signal strength is good
Your signal strength is weak
Your signal strength is very weak
At times your signal strength fades to such an extent that continuous
reception cannot be relied on
Readability
CLEAR
READABLE
UNREADABLE
DISTORTED
WITH INTERFERENCE
INTERMITTENT
The quality of your transmission is excellent
The quality of your transmission is satisfactory
The quality of your transmission is so bad that I cannot understand you
Having trouble understanding you because your signal is distorted
Having trouble understanding you due to interference
Having trouble understanding you because your signal is intermittent
Example: “Loud and Clear, Over”
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
Reports such as:
“Four By Four”
“Five By Five”
“20 Over S9”
will NOT be used
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Radio Operation Practice Messages
• Mission sortie assignment
• Mission status report
• Radio signal report
• Ground Team position report
• Takeoff / Landing time and airport report
• Reporting a clue or find
• Passing information or directions
• Request relay to regain communications
"I am often asked how radio works. Well, you see, wire telegraphy is like a very long cat.
You yank his tail in New York and he meows in Los Angeles. Do you understand this?
Now, radio is exactly the same, except that there is no cat.“
Attributed to Albert Einstein
CAP Basic Communications Orientation Course (Feb 2006)
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CAP Communications Orientation Class