Whether you’re a beginner in amateur radio or an expert, contact can be difficult. Finding topics you can keep the conversation going with is tough. More often than not, hams find themselves at a loss of words after contact is made.
It is important to recognize the different types of conversations you can have via amateur radio. Rag Chews are longer conversations with a lot of users and are usually about a certain topic. Nets are mostly special interest clubs. A QSO or contact is when you talk one-on-one with another ham.
Through this article, we will guide you through the examples of conversing in a QSO. If used correctly, QSOs are one of the most exciting parts of amateur radio.
Topics for Casual Contacts
Usually, Rag Chews and Nets have an agenda. The problem most amateur radio users face is maintaining an interesting QSO. Here are some conventional and unconventional topics to use the next time you’re stuck.
Firstly, the most common topic Hams engage in is about their equipment. The general conversation can be about what radio, antenna, or headsets they are using. Or, how much power they are transmitting with.
Talking about equipment is a great way to get input for expanding your set up! It’s especially beneficial for new users who are just starting. It’s a topic that is common between all HAM radio users, and thus, is the best place to start.
Weather and Location
Another common topic is the weather. Now we know this might sound boring. However, it is important to start with non-controversial topics. Discussing the weather is a wonderful start for the conversation to escalate.
From the weather, you can talk about their location. How it is to live where they live. An interesting question to ask is what would they recommend a tourist does while visiting.
Your personal interest
Thirdly, you can and should use amateur radios as a way to fuel other passions. Through QSOs, you can try to find a community of people willing to talk about a certain interest.
If you like history, you can ask your contact about the history of their land or community. If you like movies, art, or literature, you can find out more about their favorites.
Remember not to mention any controversial opinions. Try to keep an open mind when interacting with new people.
Hobbies and Advice
Lastly, you should try to ask them questions about themselves. You can discuss their hobbies, jobs, and personality. Try asking someone what got them into HAM radios. Keep the conversation going by being a good listener.
Finally, you can and should ask for advice! Expert users always like talking to and helping out beginners. It can be a great way for you to get some new perspectives on amateur radio.
Amateur radio is a great tool for you to connect with and make friends all around the world. As long as you keep in mind the proper etiquette, you will find yourself having a great time.
In the end, be courteous, be respectful, and keep it short. Try to keep the transmissions from overheating by not talking continuously for 4-5 minutes. Remember to use voice in short frequencies, and the proper code while on data modes.
Finally, make sure to send them a QSL card after the conversation. We hope you have fun exploring your HAM radios.