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Milnet.ca => Communications & Electronics => Topic started by: ixium on November 19, 2014, 14:00:11

Title: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: ixium on November 19, 2014, 14:00:11
There is an issue at work. It seems like the stupidest thing in the world. But it is actually an issue that someone wastes their time on.

When talking on the radio (specifically HF if that matters at all, which I know it doesn't) what is the response to:

Any traffic for me?

No traffic for you at this time
or
Negative traffic for you at this time

I've always said it the second way, and for years and it has never been an issue. In the ACP125 is has in the box beside NEGATIVE it says "No. "In any NATO standard document it says the same information.

I literally got the response "I'm the senior radop here and I make the decisions" for the explanation as to why it must be done. Then tried to say that NEGATIVE is a proword and that is why it isn't used. And in the same breath told me you can't say "correction" on an ARTY net.

I could even use the argument that with shitty comes "negative" is easier to understand than "no" as that short word could be scrambled or not sound as clear in some situations.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: George Wallace on November 19, 2014, 14:06:56
Would the response then be:

"Positive traffic for you at this time."  if there was traffic for them?

Next question:

Why would anyone be asking if there is any traffic for them on a Net?  They should be monitoring the Net.

Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: ixium on November 19, 2014, 14:19:30
I would just pass the traffic, or say standby for traffic.

It's for planes, they don't really monitor the whole time they are up and just do hourly check-ins.

All the pilots also use negative in the same situations, so this isn't the "oh it is just silly airforce" thing.

Edit: I'm not saying that I must be right, I like to just be able to understand reasonings for minor things. Obviously it's part of my job to do what I'm told but I'm not going to not ask questions on things that seem silly like this.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: c_canuk on November 19, 2014, 15:30:10
Iirc, from what I was taught in 99, that although down south they use positive/negative, we aren't really supposed to because the meat of the words are the same:

Pos-i-tive

vs

Neg-i-tive.

2 out of 3 syllables are the same, which could in theory cause confusion.

Also consider that Yes and No are single syllable words, and thus take only 1/3rd the time to tx them, brevity being key.

In reality I don't think it makes much difference, since everyone knows what is intended.

Outside of Sigs, VP as per the ACP125 seems to be more of a suggestion and different trades have different styles that work for them.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: George Wallace on November 19, 2014, 16:06:41
Outside of Sigs, VP as per the ACP125 seems to be more of a suggestion and different trades have different styles that work for them.

Hate to say it, but some of the worse VP I have ever heard has been made by Sigs.  Even when corrected from across the floor of the CP, their arrogance was insulting. 
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Fishbone Jones on November 19, 2014, 16:35:35
I had one arguing over the air with me that Roger, Over was not a proper response to a radio check. ::)
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Loachman on November 19, 2014, 17:25:21
All the pilots also use negative

I'm a Pilot, and I've never used "negative" on any radio, because:

Yes and No are single syllable words, and thus take only 1/3rd the time to tx them, brevity being key.

Never use a big word when a diminutive one will do.

I've always favoured plain English over jargon and faddish buzzwords and cliches. When I become God-Emperor, use of "transition", especially in the place of a real verb, will carry the death penalty.

Hate to say it, but some of the worse VP I have ever heard has been made by Sigs.  Even when corrected from across the floor of the CP, their arrogance was insulting.

And the best, in my experience, was always Armoured Recce (except then-Major Rick Hillier's Brit 2IC who, while highly entertaining, was a Soviet EW guy's wet dream), with Arty as a close second.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Not a Sig Op on November 19, 2014, 18:41:50
Negative is not a pro-word.

There's no more to it than that.

Whenever people start using radios, they try to sound all radioee (100% genuine real term for it). This often results in a mixture of genuine pro-words, stuff they heard in movies, and random trucker CB talk.

Clarity is the most important factor when using a radio, followed by brevity.

Crap like "be advised", "call me via lima-lima" and other nonsense are just that, nonsense.

"Negative" and "positive" are neither correct pro-words, nor are they wrong to use. They are however, longer than required, and less clear than "yes" and "no".

Also, recceguy. you can tell him to shove section 308 up his ***, as it clearly states that "roger" is an acceptable alternative in lieu of strength and readability when the reception is loud and clear.

Source: I kept a copy of ACP-125C in my bathroom for reading for many years.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: ixium on November 19, 2014, 18:53:20
I understand the single syllable argument. On perfect comms it could even be better.

But when you're dealing with planes that are half way around the world talking on the radio isn't the clearest.
Even today, when told to stop using the word "negative" I started getting the response "confirm NO traffic" with emphasis on the "No" part. If 3 of the 5 times I had to re-confirm then the saving time and brevity argument goes out the window.

I've rarely (never say never...) had that response saying "negative traffic"

@Loachman, you're right I shouldn't have said all of them use that, but I'd for sure say that I've heard it more often.

@c_canuk, I'd agree with the USA/CAN argument if I didn't answer radio checks with 5x5 every day, and a million other "Americanisms" that are used.

Even when I was at 1 Brigade at HQ & Sigs and a couple of the out units I don't think I heard the word "no" used much, it was usually "0 this is 11 - negative - over"
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Not a Sig Op on November 19, 2014, 18:57:33
Just because more than one person is doing it wrong doesn't mean it's not wrong.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Old and Tired on November 19, 2014, 19:47:22
As to the original question, it's a bad habit carry over from the das when we did mixed traffic nets on HF. we would run Voice/CW/CRTTZ all on a common freq as a "Directed Net".  I don't have my Q and Z signal book handy but that's where it started.  The NCS directed the net would ask each station in turn if the had traffic to pass.  The answer would be either AFFIRMATIVE or NEGATIVE, if voice, the Appropriate Q or Z signal if MORSE or RTT.

Operating on a VHF radio with Squelch Noise filters a simple yes or no is entirely acceptable.  The Aim is always Clarity, then Brevity of the Message.  Some of the older members here would probably remember some of the Brevity Codes that we used to use.  No Security at all just meant to speed things up as we all new what a give code meant.  The same applies to "ROGER'" to answer a R/C.  It's perfectly acceptable.  ACP-125 even says this.

Sigs are, quite possibly, the absolute worst offenders when it comes to VP.  Tankers/Crewman are generally about the best I've heard in over thirty years as a Sig for generic radio traffic.  Gunners are really good as well, and when conducting Fire Missions either on the FSCC net or Regt Ring Nets, they are truly impressive for the speed and accuracy of what they do.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Flatliner on November 19, 2014, 21:28:54
Just because more than one person is doing it wrong doesn't mean it's not wrong.


I feel like this statement can be used in so many different parts of life. Well put.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Occam on November 19, 2014, 22:01:19
Coming at things from the Navy side of the house (and my experience is a little stale), the whole idea of a NCS asking members of a voice net if they have traffic is a completely unnecessary voice transmission.  If I'm a member of the net, I'll call the NCS and tell them I have traffic to send, otherwise the net is silent. 

Same went for RATT.  Do up a call tape to the shore station, "CFH DE CYWM ZPR 2P R K".  Shore station responds "CYWM DE CFH ZBZ4 ZAI4 K" (your printability is good, send your traffic).
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Brasidas on November 20, 2014, 08:41:51
Why would anyone be asking if there is any traffic for them on a Net?  They should be monitoring the Net.

Coming at things from the Navy side of the house (and my experience is a little stale), the whole idea of a NCS asking members of a voice net if they have traffic is a completely unnecessary voice transmission.  If I'm a member of the net, I'll call the NCS and tell them I have traffic to send, otherwise the net is silent. 

Units on the move where comms on the move is impractical. HF rear-link might have great comms with Winnipeg, but fair at best with a forward group of LOSVs'138 manpack during a halt. Yes, they'll be doing a radio check, but I see nothing wrong with them jiggling the 3am relief operator's arm to make sure they remember to pass on outstanding messages that the CP's been trying to push to them. That 3am operator may not be sharp enough to remember his changeover brief. 
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Not a Sig Op on November 20, 2014, 09:11:14
"Directed net"
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Loachman on November 20, 2014, 13:26:27
Sigs are, quite possibly, the absolute worst offenders when it comes to VP.

I'd say second-worst, to Tac Hel Pilots since we lost the Kiowa.

There was a huge difference between the Kiowa and Slug (Twin Huey) sub-communities even then. We worked with Recce and Arty lots and had pride (the original definition of that word, not the current "progressive" colloquiallism). The slug guys drove bus routes and treated radios like an audio version of Facebook.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Greymatters on November 20, 2014, 13:54:18
In theory, it doesnt matter whether you yourself are saying 'no' or 'negative' - what matters is what is everyone else saying in your net?  Everyone should be using the same words, so that an opposing force monitoring your net doesnt hear the word 'negative' and use it as an intelligence indicator; i.e. that guy who says 'negative' all the time is associated with Unit x.





Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: George Wallace on November 20, 2014, 14:00:18
In theory, it doesnt matter whether you yourself are saying 'no' or 'negative' - what matters is what is everyone else saying in your net?  Everyone should be using the same words, so that an opposing force monitoring your net doesnt hear the word 'negative' and use it as an intelligence indicator; i.e. that guy who says 'negative' all the time is associated with Unit x.

Wow!  You just dated yourself.   >:D
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Greymatters on November 20, 2014, 14:03:44
Surprisingly, the concept is still out there in some handbooks; I'll have to see if I can find a recent example.

Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: George Wallace on November 20, 2014, 14:08:28
Oh.  I know exactly what you are talking about.  I think that once we got Freq Hopping and Crypto (capability integrally installed on all sets) the fear of many newer members that their VP could be used against them disappeared.   

Example:

LdSH(RC) CP operators commonly used the terms "Sun Up" and "Sun Down" to indicate to all on the Net that the CO was in or out of the CP. 
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Greymatters on November 20, 2014, 14:10:22
Oh, I remember one; during a strike monitoring contract three years ago, we got the lecture at the start on 'uniformity of language' on the comms net from the boss of the operation; members of the operation came from military, police, and private security backgrounds and all had different procedures; however, it was more about professionalism as the client was monitoring our comms, not so much the strikers monitoring our comms; the boss was an old dog too.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Greymatters on November 20, 2014, 14:13:35
LdSH(RC) CP operators commonly used the terms "Sun Up" and "Sun Down" to indicate to all on the Net that the CO was in or out of the CP.

A unique one I recall was 'stars and bars online', meaning a high-ranking officer was listening in to the conversation and we should cut down on the humor any unprofessional comments.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Shamrock on November 20, 2014, 14:55:18
Is there a manual for text procedure via that IRC program we use?
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: PuckChaser on November 20, 2014, 16:35:48
Is there a manual for text procedure via that IRC program we use?

Transverse? I doubt it, other than unit-level SOPs. Our NDSIs were effective 1999 and still reference magnetic tapes.... we'll see a transverse SOP in 2050.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Shamrock on November 20, 2014, 16:44:44
So... in keeping up the spirit, a thumbs down smiley is the most economical way to communicate no/negative

 >:D
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: George Wallace on November 20, 2014, 16:48:33
Transverse? I doubt it, other than unit-level SOPs. Our NDSIs were effective 1999 and still reference magnetic tapes.... we'll see a transverse SOP in 2050.

By then your great, great grand kids will have forgotten what a radio looks like.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: PuckChaser on November 20, 2014, 17:08:00
So... in keeping up the spirit, a thumbs dwon smiley is the most economical way to communicate no/negative

 >:D

I would say that absolutely falls under brevity and clarity.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on November 20, 2014, 18:35:19
First of all, the opposite of "Negative" is not "positive", it is "Affirmative", at least in Naval NATO radio comms which we use in canada (don't know about what the Airforce uses).

Second, brevity is a key concept: It means don't repeat yourself uselessly.

Therefore, both original answers proposed by the OP are wrong: If the question over the air is "any traffic for me?" then the answer should be IMO "Negative, Out" (or "No, Out" if that is what everyone uses) in a directed net. There is no reason to add the words "traffic for you at this time" to either reply: They ask specifically for any traffic and you said no - they know it refers to traffic, and since you are answering them this very moment, they already know it is "at this time".
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Occam on November 20, 2014, 20:42:44
OGBD, It's been so long I can't remember if it's in the ACPs, or simply a best practice, but in a directed net, the NCS is normally the last to transmit.  (A is NCS below).  I can't think of a place where it's appropriate to simply respond with a Roger Out other than in Beadwindow procedure.

B this is A, do you have traffic for me, over
This is B, negative, over
This is A, roger, out.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Greymatters on November 21, 2014, 02:54:50
Well, the wording debate seems to be resolved - Im still confused as to why the 'senior radop' would be asking for traffic; wouldnt someone be monitoring his callsign while he was away?  If he's mobile why doesnt he have his radio with him? 
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: ixium on November 21, 2014, 10:51:41
No, he isn't monitoring the net. People under him are.

The net isn't a normal net, it is for aircraft who don't monitor it 24/7 and different flights are up all the time, so different call signs all the time.

The majority of calls coming into my station are them asking for traffic from wing ops or rescue control center.

Comms aren't clear most of the time because of the vast distance (like anywhere from 5km to 10 000km).

A this is B, radio check
A, we have you 4x4 (or whatever they are)
B, we are ops normals in sector 8 can we get selcal check on XXXX and any traffic from RCC?
A, rogers ops normal, standby for selcall on XXXX
A calls RCC for traffic
A sends selcal XXXX
A this is B, selcal checks send traffic
A, negative traffic (no traffic)

What's the difference between the last line?
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on November 21, 2014, 17:36:39
OGBD, It's been so long I can't remember if it's in the ACPs, or simply a best practice, but in a directed net, the NCS is normally the last to transmit.  (A is NCS below).  I can't think of a place where it's appropriate to simply respond with a Roger Out other than in Beadwindow procedure.

B this is A, do you have traffic for me, over
This is B, negative, over
This is A, roger, out.

I agree with you here. It's just that my understanding from the OP and early response led me to believe that the Op was the net director. But glad you agree with me that all this extra "traffic for you at this time" is superfluous.
Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: mark-space on November 25, 2014, 07:32:23
"...When talking on the radio (specifically HF if that matters at all, which I know it doesn't) what is the response to:

Any traffic for me?

No traffic for you at this time
or
Negative traffic for you at this time

I've always said it the second way, and for years and it has never been an issue. In the ACP125 is has in the box beside NEGATIVE it says "No. "In any NATO standard document it says the same information..."


Sounds like the kind of "picking fly **** out of pepper" argument Jimmies are prone to have while on mids at a MACS station!

I suspect that discussions about "directed nets" and sermons from the Book of Radiotelephone Procedure for the Canadian Forces (Land Environment) hold as much interest for your customers as they ever have...ideally, a "senior radop" would be able to recognize that an aeronautical land station is not the same as a BG/Bde/Bn CP and adjust accordingly. Maybe tuning a reciever to Gander or Shanwick or flipping through RIC-21 would help him/her see VP from a Pilots' perspective. After all, isn't the objective to provide efficient communication to aircraft stations...?

A quick viewing of Appendix B of the RIC shows that your use of the word "NEGATIVE" is proper. If that isn't good enough for him/her, maybe a lucky shift supervisor or CCO should be asked to provide final judgement... >:D

 

Title: Re: I feel like I am crazy - VP related
Post by: Bucky on November 29, 2014, 21:34:15
Is there a manual for text procedure via that IRC program we use?

Actually, yes!

Your IMO has likely published a copy on sharepoint.

(Yay! I knew a thing!)