You’re on the wrong frequency!

Yesterday I spent some time on 20 meters. I called “CQ” a few times and, within a minute or so, an amateur from a former Russian republic answered to my call. “You’re on the wrong frequency”, a heavily distorted voice yelled at me. The audio was terrible. Connect an amplified microphone to a tranceiver (any tranceiver), put the mike gain at maximum, add a lot of compression and you’ll get the idea.

“Wrong frequency?” I asked, “what do you mean?” As it turned out, he expected me to be exactly on 14.180.000 and not, as was the case, somewhere in the neighborhood of that frequency. I use old ham gear, such as a Yaesu FT-7B, FT-101 and a FT-901. Tuning is not very accurate and somewhat of an art. I tune in to a voice, or I pick a clear frequency. That’s it. I don’t care what the display at the other end says.

I gave him a report, 2/9+20, which was a bit on the positive side. It pi**ed him off big time. “I own a FTDX-9000, he yelled. Very expensive! It can never be bad!”.

I rest my case.


2 comments on “You’re on the wrong frequency!

  1. Unreal… I am probably too new to ham radio to have an educated opinion but I have listened to HF and have participated in our states QSO and Field Day, which I think is enough to know that a frequency is not a specific point.

    I had a ham friend yesterday tell me to listen for him, and he usually hangs out around 14.250-14.270, he didn’t say 14.260.000000 only?

    I have a Lafayette HA-800B receiver, on loan, and I don’t know that I could actually tune in 14.180.000 if I wanted to. Oh well, everyone’s “amateur” understanding is different I guess. Great post, thanks. 73, KI4WLR

  2. And, of course, his 14.180.000 probably isn’t *really* that, anyway. Even if he’d just calibrated against, say, WWV, by ear the closest you can get is probably 10Hz (on a good day).

    When I first got my ticket, Novice licensees were all crystal controlled. We had no choice but to call CQ (or answer one) using the crystal we had. Since odds are that our contact wouldn’t have the same crystal, it was common to tune up and down maybe 5kHz. In essence, all Novice contacts were “split-frequency.”


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