Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Ask any hams that you know of to name one thing that they don't like in ham radio. Most likely that they will tell you it is "kerchunk". This happens mainly on 2m FM repeaters. Kerchunk is when someone presses the PTT button for a short while, triggering the repeater, but have no intention to talk to anyone. People who kerchunk are not necessarily those without amateur radio license, hams also kerchunk the repeater.

The first category are those who press the PTT when there is no one is talking on the repeater. They are lonely and they feel good when they hear the repeater's squelch tail or the courtesy beep. These people are trying to satisfy themselves. We can equate them to doing masturbation. However, the different is that when they press the PTT, they disturb other people who are monitoring. Some hope for kerchunk reply by another fellow kerchunker. Then, they will exchange kerchunks until one of them exhausted (their thumbs get tired).

After that, we have another type of people who kerchunk because they are "shy" or "timid". So, they kerchunk as a way to figure out whether their rig is working, and the repeater is working. It is too troublesome to call for radio check and to mention their callsigns. Maybe, some secret projects are in progress. They are doing this only when they do not hear anyone on air. A sub group of this, are those who test the SWR of their antenna using the repeater frequency with the tone set as well. This really annoys people.

The third group consists of those who kerchunk just immediately after someone tried to make a call. Their intention is to annoy the guy who try to make a contact. To the guy who made the call, it seems like someone is trying to reply him but failed. In actual, it was the joker who kerchunked the repeater. People will try to tell that they are not accessing the repeater well, and the joker will try to kerchunk again. They feel good because someone notices their key-up. On the other hand, some hams will refrain from answering the caller because they are afraid of being mistaken as kerchunkers.

The more annoying one will be those who make a key-up during the 3-second pause between QSO. This creates an impression that someone is trying to break into the QSO, or trying to join the QSO. It really disrupts the smoothness of the communication. Most hams are courteous enough to give breakers the priority. However, these cowards are misusing the chance given to them.

Besides those who kerchunk, there are also jammers. This group will just PTT whenever they like. Some feels good when they managed to jam someone's transmission. They do this as some kind of "revenge". Besides, some jammers are pressing the PTT to purposely jam others when they don't want something to be known to other hams. I mentioned this in the stray dogs post.

Someday, we can organize a kerchunk day (like a field day), and have the public to kerchunk the repeater as well. Another idea is to use repeater kerchunking as a 2 wpm CW. Maybe it could be a good idea to have the Kerchunk All Continent award, or KCC (kerchunked 200 repeaters) award as well. Haha... just kidding.

I heard the tuck shop has a 3-million truck but I really wonder whether they can really help tracking down these annoying kerchunkers. Come on, do something, the air will be cleaner when we can kick those who PTT and say "hello hello hello" off the band.