Monday, 14 May 2012

Mic Clickers: Easy 3-Point Guide.

And I’m not talking about the clicking of computer mice here. I’m talking about the highly vexatious and irritating habit of jamming people, mainly on 2m FM by others. Sometimes this escalates to music-playing and verbal abuse. They are here and here to stay. Thankfully there aren’t many of them, but we’ve nearly all heard one from time to time. What to do?

Don’t worry! I’ve compiled a quick, easy and memorable 3-point guide on what to do if you encounter any wireless abuse. Feel free to print this out and place it above your rig:

1. DO NOT acknowledge any interference
2. DO NOT acknowledge any interference
3. DO NOT acknowledge any interference

Clear enough? Self-evident? One would blooming think so. However, I’ve regularly heard some less-than-fully-brain-QRV amateurs :

1. Acknowledge the interference, repeatedly
2. Provide the abuser with a useful and accurate signal report
3. Articulate ‘entertaining’ anger and frustration to encourage further abuse

Once you can grasp the simple, blinding reality that these abusers only do this to elicit a response – provide them with that response and they will continue, satisfied and emboldened. Deny them that response and they will, eventually, cease and desist. I promise you.

In my beloved country of Wales, we have a legend that the entire army of Owain Glyndŵr, rebel leader and last (Welsh) Prince of Wales (1400 – 1415 AD) lies sleeping in a hidden cave in the mountains, waiting for the call to defend the country once more. I have heard amateurs say on-air ‘that a group of detecting stations’ was out-and-about and would quickly track down the offender with their accurate yagis and Jedi-like triangulation skills. Oh. Would this mythical radio foxhunting elite be the band of 2m septuagenarians who only exit their shacks to eat, make tea and perform vital bodily functions, would it?

Owain Glyndŵr,
detection genius.
It’s equally remarkable and disturbing how some people even enter into one-sided psychological games with their abusers, labouring under the misconception that they are cleverer than the offenders who must be naturally stupid. They are not. Threats of ‘I know who you are’ (when you don’t), reports to government agencies (who don’t care or are too busy), Owain Glyndŵr’s sleeping detection-army – I’ve heard it all. Don’t rely on the fact that you’ve passed a foundation exam that a five year-old girl passed last month will guarantee you intellectual superiority in this case. The same goes for intermediate and advanced licence holders for that matter.

Break any of my 3-point guide rules and you’ve lost before you’ve begun.

In my next blog: How to deal with pesky competition stations…….


  1. Spot on Bob!

  2. Hi Rob,

    another entertaining , well written blog

    just a thought on the key clickers........

    maybe Ofcom should adopt Mr Glyndŵr's method of

    problem solving ....

    a quick swipe with a broadsword and swift kick in
    the coax ...

    then we could wish them all




    1. Ha! Thanks Chris! Speak soon on D-STAR or GB3WW. 73, Rob

  3. Rob, What worries me is that you have only been operating for a short while and you already think you invented the "ignore the interference" action. When I last looked, we were living in a free country and people including amateur radio operators were entitled to do what they wanted within reason. The issues you mention and the direct insult you have given to elderly amateur radio operators who like you are frustrated that a once gentleman's hobby is now a pissing contest both on air/contesting and through repeaters have taken the correct course of action. Those responsible for GB3WW have engaged OFCOM and they have through their radio surveillance department found out the person who causes the most interference and have warned him. He is a licenced operator but continues to cause interference. It's a hobby not a job or religious activity. When the interference takes place switch off or QSY to another channel. So rob less of the preaching of the bleeding obvious and stop insulting the elderly operators it's making you look ugly.Noswaith dda

    1. Well, I'm sorry you feel so strongly about an article that wasn't meant to offend. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to respond - and you have clearly given the matter a lot of thought.

      You have stayed anonymous so I don't know who you are or where you are, but my comments are flavoured by what I hear and experience in my area. The article is part of a public blog but not a sermon. However, if you think that everyone 'ignores the interference' then you are highly mistaken. I am still taken aback by the sheer stupidity of operators of all ages and experience in dealing with these matters. So to repeat your quote the 'bleeding obvious' isn't getting though is it?

      As for any 'ageism' I can count several local operators of senior years in my area who are absolute gentlemen, on and off the air. They set the standards by example and with access to the air easier than ever, new operators are looking to others for guidance. At least we agree that aggressive contesting isn't doing the hobby any favours.

      I used the image of elderly operators in the blog for humour in the style the whole article was written. You are clearly offended and I would sincerely apologise without reservation to yourself and anyone who thought this was a deliberate assault on this section of our community.

      Finally, I've been working in professional communications for 28 years. The last nine years, I've had a full amateur licence. So I have to correct you when you say I've been operating 'a short while'. If you have been operating longer (which we don't know) then fine, that's only relative.

      If you'd like to qualify your remarks (this is all in the public domain) with your call sign or name, that would appreciated.

      In any case, thanks for putting your point over. 73, Rob.

  4. re: chris , Swansea...

    forgot to add my callsign,

    it's GW0GVY ...

    keep up the good work ..your blogs are always a very good read ....

    just the right mix ...they are intelligent,humorous,factual and well balanced ..

    never boring ..

    if they were a cake .....

    I'd call them Delicious ....

    but , alas ...just like most things in life ......

    their to short ...

    all the best ,


  5. You're far too generous Chris! BUt thanks for the encouragement and I'll try to publish a little more often.

    I think my hotspot is running a little more reliably now after a break of a few months and I gather you have been the same. Looking forward to having a QSO with you again on DCS005B in the near future!

    Take care and 73, Rob.