M. le Guido says:

> Does yours lack the security codes?  With 14 channels and
> 38 sub-codes, this creates 532 possible combinations,
> which cuts out nearly all of the chatter.

That's fine for receiving.  At Killington on a weekend, it's tough to find
a gap of silence to transmit without getting stepped on after about 9:30 in
the morning.  Two or three years ago, it wasn't an issue but it seems that
every 14-year-old got an FRS as a stocking stuffer this year.

The way I think you "should" use an FRS is as follows:

1- Press the "monitor" button and verify that nobody's on frequency for
about 5 seconds.  Most radios have some sort of display you can look at
instead but I prefer to listen-in to see if it's going to be hopeless.  If
I hear a steady stream of Spanish or a conversation straight out of Beavis
and Butt-Head, I usually give up and power down my radio for the day.

2- Transmit but keep it very brief.  I usually use the marine VHF hailing
protocol of "Fred, Fred, Fred.  This is Geoff, over".

3- From then on, I tend to listen with the monitor button pressed so I have
a clue if "Fred" is getting stepped on.

Since you have your radio buttoned up in your coat, you probably have no
way of knowing if you're stepping on people when you transmit.  Some might
call you an ill-mannered lout for your lack of etiquette. ;-)  That might
work just fine at a fine uncrowded establishment like Le Jjjay Pique or
some beach in Sarasota but it won't be very effective at K-Mart.


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