These proverbs can provide words of wisdom, shed light on institutionalized knowledge, remind of often-overlooked facts, and resolve tradeoffs that must be made.
- "If the noise on a given band is strong enough to move your S-meter then you don't need a preamplifier. There's no point in amplifying noise." (from YARC)
- "Antennas before amps; you can't work a station you can't hear." (also from YARC)
- "Height is might." This is a common proverb that applies to VHF, UHF, and HF in different ways. On the former two bands, where line-of-sight communication predominates, height determines which stations can easily "see" you and thus hear you. Local topography is both a blessing and a curse here, since mountains will block one's signal but also offer an opportune location for stations and repeaters. On HF, the predominance of ionospheric propagation makes this irrelevant but the longer wavelengths of HF frequencies make it important to significantly elevate horizontal antennas in order for their radiation patterns have high horizontal gain. Similarly, because of the relatively long wavelengths of HF bands, efficient vertical antennas (1/4 wavelength long at the center frequency) must be relatively long.
- "The best deal is one where you don't have to spend any money at all." (modified from a YARC message)
- "Rule #1 of anything radio related is to RTFM: Read the Fucking Manual"
These proverbs often derive their humor from stating the exact opposite of the truth in a credible and pithy manner. As such, the inexperienced amateur is warned not to take these proverbs seriously.