I had the job of calling tonight’s net for the Columbia Amateur Radio Club this evening, as I generally do once or twice a month. Last night, in talking with our club president about a potential topic for the net, he asked me if I would remind everyone listening that “kerchunking” is not an acceptable practice.
Kerchunking is the illegal act of keying up a repeater for a second or two and not identifying. It makes the characteristic “kerchunk” sound when the repeater comes online and establishes a carrier and then suddenly drops. According to Part 97 of the FCC’s law an operator must identify by callsign at the beginning and end of all transmissions. Part 97 isn’t some obscure piece of law; it’s the very foundation of the amateur radio practice, and as such, all amateurs should understand it. You MUST know portions of it to simply pass the technician exam.
I don’t really get bent out of shape at the occasional kerchunk — sometimes I’ve done it accidentally when I’ve grabbed the speaker mic — but seriously, how hard is it to say “KK4DSD testing”? If someone comes back and wants to chat and you aren’t in the mood for a ragchew, simply thank them, issue a 73 and get out.
So before tonight’s net started, multiple kerchunks came over the frequency. I started the net, but before I took check-ins, I mentioned the FCC’s stance on kerchunking. Sure enough, for the remainder of the net, some lid continued to kerchunk the repeater repeatedly in between transmissions as if to spite me.
I can already envision the culprit. Some crank who has just purchased a pair of Chinese “Wox-Uns” and is trying to figure out if they work. Note this individual probably isn’t licensed but is planning to “get his technician” because he’s heard that Chinese FM handhelds are going to be the key to his survival during an EMP or zombie attack. Good luck sir. I will happily sign your CSCE for you when that day comes. But until then, get the hell off my net.