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Gerard VK3GER

When using telephony, particularly under adverse operating conditions, words and callsigns may be misunderstood because of phonetic similarity.


Many letters of the Roman alphabet, when pronounced in English, sound alike. It is often hard to tell “s” from”f”, “c” from “e”, or “p” from “b”.

Many ingenious phonetics have been devised and adopted  with various degrees of formality and informality but the current accepted and agreed upon standard alphabet on a world wide basis is the one promulgated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation ( the ICAO).

This alphabet is now universally used by the armed forces of the NATO countries and by the radio services of most of the countries of the world whose language use the Roman alphabet.

The ARRL also has a recommended phonetic alphabet for amateurs in the U.S. and Canada. Phonetics are valuable when properly used. Used improperly, they can be annoying, silly and often downright confusing.

An example of proper use is: “this is VK3FRC - Victor Kilo 3 Foxtrot Romeo Charlie”.

The ARRL version would be: this is VK3FRC - Victor King 3 Frank Robert Charlie”.

The ICAO and NATO version is the one recommended for use by ACMA.

But I will give you the ARRL  and Western Union substitute as well, just for completeness.


AR Phonetics
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Thanks to our club member.. Gerard VK3GER

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2 commentaires

Membre inconnu
11 févr.

I didn’t start my radio career as an amateur. I started, late 70’s as a cber. Whiskey Charlie Alpha 821 was my call. Then 1991 I became a ham. Victor Kilo 6 Mike Juliet Sierra was my call. Back then the phonetic alphabet was mandatory. Not an option. You did it or you got called on it. The reason was for clarity when calling. Not all countries speak English proper like. 😂 But every person no matter how bad their English might be, could get the phonetic alphabet. Even VHF and UHF should use it. Conditions can be marginal there.

And good job well done Gerard.

Membre inconnu
11 févr.
En réponse à

Good on you Stanley, love the history mate.. thanks for doing that !


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