HAM RADIO 101
Don't Be a Lid
by Tony, N3KTA
What, pray tell, is a lid you may ask? Well, the word lid is ham jargon for an amateur radio operator who exhibits poor operating practices. Intentional, incidental, or otherwise...if you make a procedural mistake, it is almost certain that someone listening will label you as a lid. And yes, it is an insult.
I think we are all guilty of some level of "lidness" at one point or another in our amateur radio practices. Some of us get past it, some of us don't, and some of us just plain don't know that we are being lids. Many hams have no tolerance for lid-like behavior and get quite irate at even the simplest of liderations. I truly believe that a great majority of these poor operating practices are not overt acts. They are simply derived from the ignorance of proper procedures. People will list various causes of lid behavior but I am not going to delve into that field. I believe that you learn proper operating procedures in at least 3 simple and effective ways:
So I will offer some simple elmering tips in an effort to help try to curb common lid mistakes. Hey, I am not perfect. I have had my fair share of lidness so I will pass on some things I have learned (and am learning) along the way. Like my dad always says, "You learn something new everyday". Amen.
'Don't Be a Lid' Tips of the Week
January 6, 2009
W60AR had a 80M CW QSO with ZD8UW @ 0513 UTC on 07 Jan 09. ZD8UW was transmitting on 3509 KHz and listening on 3510.4 KHz. SO W6OAR transmitted on 3510.4 KHz and listened on 3509 KHz. See how that works?
This is a common practice with many DX stations...especially rare ones. So if you hear/see a DX station working a pile up but don't hear anyone coming back to him/her on that frequency, there is a good chance they are working split. So DON'T transmit on their calling frequency. Instead, tune around a little bit (a few KHz up) to see if you hear stations calling the beloved DX.
A great way to see how this works is to monitor DX spots on sites like DX Watch. The usually friendly ops will normally post a QSX frequency along with the spot.
January 12, 2009
73 de N3KTA SK