The ACMA

Radio

Marine, amateur and CB radio

Operating practices for HF users

The following are the recommended operating practices for users of high frequency (HF) radiocommunications.

Choose the lowest licensed frequency that is likely to be effective. If unsuccessful, try the next higher frequency. Listen before transmitting to ensure the channel is not already in use. Transmit using the call sign of wanted station and your own call sign. For example:
"VXX Charleville base this is VXX 400 Mobile 1234" (Repeat call if necessary) Keep conversation brief and to the point. Avoid offensive language. Use the word "OVER" at the end of each part of a conversation. This indicates to the other station that it is their turn to transmit. Use the word "OUT" at the end of your communications. This indicates to other stations that the channel is free. Do not respond to calls not intended for your station. Use selective calling facilities with discretion. It may be annoying to other users, and has no priority over other traffic. Use telephone interconnect facilities responsibly. Use the phonetic alphabet and speak slowly when communication is difficult. Accuracy is important.

  • Any broadcasts made from base stations about road and weather information should concern a localised area only. Lower frequencies ought to be used and broadcasts should be kept as short as possible.

Remember:

Choose lowest licensed frequency. Listen before you talk. Identify yourself. Make calls correctly. Use channels properly. Use appropriate language. Be brief at all times.

The phonetic alphabet 

Letter to be transmitted

Code word to be used

Spoken as*

A

Alfa

AL FAH

B

Bravo

BRA VOH

C

Charlie

CHAR LEE

D

Delta

DELL TAH

E

Echo

ECK OH

F

Foxtrot

FOKS TROT

G

Golf

GOLF

H

Hotel

HOH TELL

I

India

IN DE AH

J

Juliett

JEW LEE ETT

K

Kilo

KEY LOH

L

Lima

LEE MAH

M

Mike

MIKE

N

November

NO VEM BER

O

Oscar

OSS CAH

P

Papa

PAH PAH

Q

Quebec

KEH BECK

R

Romeo

ROW ME OH

S

Sierra

SEE AIR RAH

T

Tango

TANG GO

U

Uniform

YOU NEE FORM

V

Victor

VIK TAH

W

Whisky

WISS KEY

X

X-ray

ECKS RAY

Y

Yankee

YANG KEY

Z

Zulu

ZOO LOO

* The syllables to be emphasised are underlined

Approximate guide to frequency bands and ranges 

Approximate Distance

Day

Night

Less than 300 km

3–4 MHz

2–4 MHz

Between 300 km and 750 km

5–6 MHz

3–7 MHz

Between 750 km and 1,500 km

5–9 MHz

6–10MHz

Between 2,500 km and 5,000 km

10–18 MHz

8–15 MHz

Between 1,500 km and 2,500 km

8–12 MHz

7–11 MHz

*This table is a guide only.

More information is available from:

Last updated: 01 November 2013

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