How often must I identify?
Too many HamSphere operators OVER-IDENTIFY. It simply isn’t necessary to identify yourself at the beginning and end of every single transmission. Identifying too much is a poor operator practice. Identifying too much is a waste of time and, for some, annoying.
HamSphere is a privately-owned Internet entity. It is a simulation of the real ham radio world. No governmental regulatory body dictates how HS operators shall identify. There are no published rules in the HamSphere Manual about how often you must identify. Thus, common sense is the guiding policy here.
So…looking at identification with a HamSphere slant in comparison to real Ham Radio identification, it seems sensible to identify yourself:
a) When you start a conversation, when you end a conversation and every 5 to 10 minutes during the conversation.
b) When you want to clearly indicate which operator in a roundtable conversation is to speak next.
Did you know that you almost NEVER have to identify the other party or parties in the conversation during most of the chat?
When you start a conversation: “99HS9999, This is KB4T. Thank you for the call. My name is…”
When you want to pass the conversation to a specific operator in a group conversation: “…and that’s the story here. I believe it’s Bob’s turn now. 99HS9999, this is KB4T. Over to you, Bob.”
If there are only two of you in the conversation, it isn’t necessary to identify with every OVER. Just say, “Go ahead” or “Over to you” or simply “Over.” “…so tell me Bob, what’s the weather like over where you are? Over.”
If there are more than two people in the conversation, it is VITALLY IMPORTANT and top notch operator practice to clearly indicate who is next to speak: “It’s Bob’s turn now. Pick it up, Bob. Over.”
When ending the conversation: “Thank you for the call and the conversation, Bob. It’s been fun. 73. 99HS9999, this is KB4T, Frank in Florida. Take care.”
Some operators feel compelled to identify when they start every transmission and again when they end the transmission. This is simply not necessary. During a conversation it simply isn’t necessary to identify the other operator(s) in the conversation. You only need to identify yourself.
There is a peculiar practice being used on HamSphere that defies logic and is definitely not typical Ham Radio practice. Some operators will give their callsign followed by “responding to” and then the callsign of the party to whom they are speaking. This is confusing and contrary to typical ham radio practice. In the United States and many English-speaking nations, recommended practice when fully identifying both stations is to always give the other party’s callsign first followed by “This is” and then your callsign. It’s always best to give the other party’s callsign first, then yours.
Consistent, sensible, logical, standard operating practices are the hallmark of a top notch operator. Identify yourself when it makes sense to do so. Avoid over-identifying. Give the other operator’s callsign only when it’s necessary to do so. Set a good example for others and especially the newcomers to HamSphere by using standard, sensible identifying practices.