What is a YL? YL = Young Ladies. This is the Ham term for Ladies who are Licensed Amateur Radio Operators (aka Hams). YLs can be very young, young, old, older, or oldest – They can be Novices, Technicians, Generals, Advanced, or Extras — but all Licensed Female Amateur Radio Operators are always YLs.

What is an xYL? That is a term that has come into use in the past decades to indicate an YL who has gotten married. However xYL is technically not the correct term. The original term of YL , which is a CW (morse code) abbreviation, is the one that is technically the correct term to use.

What is an OM? Well, as you might guess, since there are YLs, there are also OMs. An OM is an Old Man. Nuff said.

What is EchoLink? It is an Amateur Radio system tht allows radio amateurs to communicate with other amateur radio operators using (VoIP) Voice over Internet Protocol technology on the Internet for at least part of the path between them. This is discussed in its own page on this site.

Can you talk on the YL Net or Any Net or Any Ham Radio Conversation if you are not a Licensed Amateur Radio Operator? NO

Are there any exceptions to this rule of having to be a Licensed Ham to talk on the radio? YES, there are slight exceptions to this rule — One is that in a true true emergency you can go on the air and call for help. Another is that at the Annual Field Day events there is usually a GOTA (Get on the Air) station where non-hams can talk BUT there must be a Licensed Ham at the station and in control of the station.

What does the term 73 mean? It is a Morse Code (CW) abbreviation. It had other meanings prior to 1908, but in about 1908, the term 73 acquired its current meaning of “best regards,” and is often used as a sign off ending to a conversation on Ham Radio.

What does the term 33 mean? This is another Morse Code (CW) abbreviation which means “love sealed with friendship and mutual respect between one YL and another YL.” It was coined by Clara Reger, W2RUF and adopted officially by YLRL (Young Ladies Radio League) in 1940.

What is a Directed Net? Often you hear the Net Control person say “This is a Directed Net”. What does this mean? According to this wiki website

A net or directed net, in radio-amateur operating procedure, is an organised meeting of multiple stations on a common frequency at a scheduled time. One station is designated to serve as net control; all requests to talk to and /or deliver message traffic to the net are initiated by sending an identifier (such as “Question” or “Comment” or your callsign to the net control station and then waiting for the Net Control Station to reply back and ask the station (you or whomever) before that station or you continues with what that calling station (or you) say or need or want to say..

The directed net structure reduces the number of message collisions, where multiple stations attempting to transmit simultaneously could otherwise cause unwanted interference to communication within the group. “

Said in simplier terms: “This is a Directed Net” means that all communications are directed to Net Control and stations should wait to be acknowledged — hence Net Control coordinates all communications instead of everyone just talking willy nilly.

What is an ELMER ? An Elmer is the name for a Ham, whether a YL or an OM, who can answer your questions, explain things, loan you equipment, help you with your radios or antennas or whatever, etc. Feel free to ask him or her for help, suggestions, etc. Elmers LOVE to help all hams whether they are newbees or not.

What is a SES (Special Events Station) — for the brief answer to this see Week 44 of the Weekly Net Topics (found on the drop down link above). And if you have back issues of the ARRL QST magazine, even more information is found on page 13 of the March 2016 QST magazine.

What is a RESISTOR and what do the markings on Resistors mean?

Recently we had a Soldering party during which we soldered resistors, capacitors, and other components. When looking at a resistor one sees many colored bands. What do these bands mean?

To answer this question, an OM sent us this very helpful link to both written and video explanations. Check it out. It is very helpful and informative.

HERE’S THE LINK to Resistors


Tell me More about Resistors, Capacitors, and etc. that were at your soldering party. Glad you asked — because shortly after that party we had a Training on our YL net which went into more detail about these components. Here is a cut and paste of the training that was presented by AC4HH on the YL Net which followed that event:

YL Lesson: Resistors, Capacitors, and Semi-Conductors


Tonight we’re going to go over the exercise about identifying resistors in your booklet that came with the soldering kit. But first, I thought I’d define some of the components in the kit.

First is the RESISTOR. The resistor as defined in the soldering practice kit is a “component used to control the flow of electricity in a circuit. It is made of carbon.” Definition from the Internet is: The resistor is a component that resists the flow of current. It is a passive device that doesn’t do anything actively in the circuit, but resistors allow you to have the current and voltages you want in your circuit. It goes back to Ohm’s Law beginning with the formula: I=E/R. Where (I) is the current – sometimes given as (P) for power – equals voltage (E) or (V), divided by resistance (R). The current is the amount of charge flowing through a certain point, and the resistor slows down the flow of the current or charge.

Now let’s talk about CAPACITORS. Our soldering kit booklet defines a capacitor as an electrical component that can store electrical pressure (called voltage) for release when needed. The Internet states that capacitors are energy-storing devices similar to a battery except the capacitor releases its energy much more rapidly. For example, a capacitor if fully charged, can release its energy all at once, such as in a flash bulb. You can charge a capacitor simply by wiring it up in an electrical circuit. When you turn on the power, an electrical charge gradually builds up on the plates – it contains a positive plate and a negative plate. Capacitors are often used as timing devices.

The last component for today is a SEMI-CONDUCTOR. Semi-conductors are like voltage regulators. They are made of a material (often silicon) that has an electrical conductivity falling between that of a conductor –metals, such as copper or gold and an insulator such as glass. Probably you have seen power poles with glass insulators near the top. The semi-conductor conducts current, but only partially.

Quick review: A Resistor resists the flow of current, allowing you to set the current and voltage you want in your circuit.

A Capacitor stores electrical current and can release it much more rapidly. It contains a positive and a negative metal plate.

A Semi-conductor acts as a voltage regulator. It conducts current, but only partially.

What is a TONE ?

When using a repeater on VHF and UHF, you are often asked to input a TONE. What does this mean?

The following was sent to us by an OM who was listening to the YLNet on Monday, July 23, 2018. He found this information on RadioReference.Com

The Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System, commonly referred to as CTCSS, has been in used in the land mobile radio arena from the late 1960’s. It is known by a number of different trade names such as Private Line® (PL) by Motorola, Channel Guard® (CG) by General Electric and generically as tone squelch.

It is a use of sub-audible tones that are transmitted along with the speech portion of the transmission which allows more than one agency (or fleet) to use the same radio frequency without causing undue interference to another agency on the that frequency. Receivers for agency XYZ are set to only open their audio squelch when the proper sub-audible frequency tone is part of the transmission.

Today the sharing of frequencies by agencies is less common than it once was, CTCSS is more commonly used by repeater systems to prevent noise or interference from causing the repeater squawk obnoxiously, and by receivers as an extra measure of squelch (for instance, to prevent engine noise from breaking squelch).

The land mobile industry started with some 38 sub-audible frequencies this has increased over the years to the more generally accepted 50. There is no generic standard tone number assignment or code letter to go with a particular tone; however, …(there are charts) of the commonly accepted 50 tones used at this time.

In addition to the standard tones, some manufacturers have made available additional tone frequencies specific to their own products, but not available to products from other manufacturers.