Print several of these forms out and have them on hand during the Net for
taking formal NTS traffic and for helping others originate formal NTS traffic.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR HANDLING NTS TRAFFIC AND USING THE RADIOGRAM FORM
Follows a description of the different parts of the Amateur Radio Message format. Some sections are OPTIONAL, and I recommend they not be
used, unless needed. The use of this pre-printed message form from ARRL is NOT necessary for handling traffic. Use any paper you seem
MESSAGE NUMBER (Mandatory)
This can be any number the originating stations chooses. Most start with 1 the first of each year. Once a message is
numbered, that same number remains with the message until delivered. Example: NR 1
The Precedence of the Message determines what order the messages will be handled. Most of the time all messages are
handled on every net session. The following four precedences are used in ascending order of priority:
ROUTINE (R on CW)
99.99% of all messages have this precedence. These messages will be handled last.
WELFARE (W on CW)
This message is either an inquiry to the health and welfare of an individual in a disaster area or a report of the health and welfare of an
individual. These messages will be handled before ROUTINE traffic.
PRIORITY (P on CW)
These are messages have specific time limits. They are also for Official messages, not covered in the EMERGENCY category. This traffic
will be handled before WELFARE or ROUTINE.
EMERGENCY (EMERGENCY on CW)
Any message having life and death urgency to any person or group of persons, which is transmitted by Amateur Radio in the absence of
regular communication facilities. When in doubt, do NOT use this precedence. This traffic will be handle first and immediately.
Example: NR 1 R (for Routine)
HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS (Optional)
Handling Instructions are sometimes used to tell the various stations along the way, what the desires of the originating
station are. If not needed, it is best not to use. On phone: the sending station would say, "HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS
n", n explained below. On CW: Send HXn.
HXA (Followed by a number)
Collect landline delivery authorized by the by addressee within ... miles. (If no number, authorization is unlimited).
HXB (Followed by a number)
Cancel message if not delivered within ... hours of filing time; service originating station.
Report the time and date of delivery to originating station.
Report to the originating station the identity of the station from which you received, plus time and date. Report the identity of the station to
which it was relayed, plus time and date, or if delivered report time and date of delivery.
Delivering station get a reply from the addressee, and originate a message back.
HXF (Followed by number)
Hold delivery until ... (date).
Delivery by mail or landline toll call not required. If toll or other expense involved, cancel message and service originating station.
Example: NR 1 R HXG
STATION OF ORIGIN (Mandatory)
This is the call sign of the Amateur Radio Station generating (originating) this message. This call sign, along with the message number, serve as the
"serial number" of this message. Any future reference to this message would be: "Number nn of CALL nn4nnn".
Example: NR 1 R K4IWW
This is a count of the number of words used in the TEXT (only) of the message. Words in the address or signature are NOT counted. Groups of
figures, letters, combinations of figures and letters, and "X" are counted as words. This is the method that Amateurs use to make sure that the TEXT
was received without error. Both the sender and receiver should end up with the same word count (CHECK).
Example: NR 1 R K4IWW 12
PLACE OF ORIGIN (Mandatory)
This field is the City and State of either the Station of Origin or the person in the Signature. In most cases, this will be the same place.
Example: NR 1 R K4IWW 12 CARY NC
TIME FILED (Optional)
The time the message was originated. You may either use UTC or Local time. Examples: 1615Z or 1115 EST. Most
messages do NOT use this field. It is only useful if the message has a short time value.
Example: NR 1 R K4IWW 12 CARY NC 1615Z
This is the date the message was originated. In Amateur Radio, we use month and day. The year is NOT used. If the
message is over a year old, it should be sent to the circular file.
Example: NR 1 R K4IWW 12 CARY NC 1615Z DEC 20
The name(s) and address of the person to which this message is going. It looks like the address on an envelope used in
snail mail. Include a phone number, if you have it. The more information here, the easier the delivery will be.
JOHN Q PUBLIC
1234 MAPLE AVE
ANYTOWN NC 27000
919 555 1234
DELIVERING STATION INFO (Optional)
This section is rarely used. If the message is to be mailed or hand delivered, it is nice to put your (the delivering station)
info here so the addressee can reach you if there is any question, or they want to send a return message. Most messages are
delivered by phone.
Finally! This is the message you are sending for the signature person to the addressee. It should be short (usually less than
25 words) and in telegram style. No punctuation is used. The letter "X" is used (similar to STOP in telegrams) to end one
idea and start another. Many messages do not even have an "X" in them. Example TEXT:
ARRIVE 7PM DEC 24 X
LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU
The above TEXT has a count of 12. So the CHECK is 12. As Amateur Radio is non-commercial, the TEXT should have
no commercial value. Each Radio Amateur is the judge of what is commercial and what is not.
This is the name if the person sending the message. It may be the name or call of the originating station. However, it is
usually the name of a "third party", for whom the originating station is generating the message.
This is for the handling station to write down whom they received the message from. This field is only for the book
keeping of the handling station.
This is for the handling station to write down whom they sent the message to. This field is only for the book keeping of the handling station.
ARRL Numbered Radiograms
The letters ARL are inserted in the preamble in the check and in the text before spelled out numbers, which represent texts
from this list. Note that some ARL texts include insertion of numerals .Example: NR 1 R W1AW ARL 5 NEWINGTON
CONN DEC 25 DONALD R. SMITH (Would have the following in the text: ARL FIFTY ARL SIXTY ONE)
For additional information about traffic handling, consult The ARRL Operating Manual, published by ARRL.
Group One--For Possible "Relief Emergency" Use
ONE Everyone safe here. Please don't worry.
TWO Coming home as soon as possible.
THREE Am in _____ hospital. Receiving excellent care and recovering fine.
FOUR Only slight property damage here. Do not be concerned about disaster reports.
FIVE Am moving to new location. Send no further mail or communication. Will inform you of new address when
SIX Will contact you as soon as possible.
SEVEN Please reply by Amateur Radio through the amateur delivering this message. This is a free public service.
EIGHT Need additional _____ mobile or portable equipment for immediate emergency use.
NINE Additional _____ radio operators needed to assist with emergency at this location.
TEN Please contact _____. Advise to standby and provide further emergency information, instructions or assistance.
ELEVEN Establish Amateur Radio emergency communications with _____ on _____ MHz.
TWELVE Anxious to hear from you. No word in some time. Please contact me as soon as possible.
THIRTEEN Medical emergency situation exits here.
FOURTEEN Situation here becoming critical. Losses and damage from ____ increasing.
FIFTEEN Please advise your condition and what help is needed.
SIXTEEN Property damage very severe in this area.
SEVENTEEN REACT communications services also available. Establish REACT communication with _____ on channel
EIGHTEEN Please contact me as soon as possible at _____.
NINETEEN Request health and welfare report on _____ . (State name, address and telephone number.)
TWENTY Temporarily stranded. Will need some assistance. Please contact me at _____.
TWENTY ONE Search and Rescue assistance is needed by local authorities here. Advise availability.
TWENTY TWO Need accurate information on the extent and type of conditions now existing at your location. Please
furnish this information and reply without delay.
TWENTY THREE Report at once the accessibility and best way to reach your location.
TWENTY FOUR Evacuation of residents from this area urgently needed. Advise plans for help.
TWENTY FIVE Furnish as soon as possible the weather conditions at your location.
TWENTY SIX Help and care for evacuation of sick and injured from this location needed at once.
Emergency/priority messages originating from official sources must carry the signature of the originating official.
Group Two--Routine Messages
FORTY SIX Greetings on your birthday and best wishes for many more to come.
FORTY SEVEN Reference your message number _____ to _____ delivered on _____ at _____ UTC.
FIFTY Greetings by Amateur Radio.
FIFTY ONE Greetings by Amateur Radio. This message is sent as a free public service by ham radio operators at _____.
Am having a wonderful time.
FIFTY TWO Really enjoyed being with you. Looking forward to getting together again.
FIFTY THREE Received your _____. It's appreciated; many thanks.
FIFTY FOUR Many thanks for your good wishes.
FIFTY FIVE Good news is always welcome. Very delighted to hear about yours.
FIFTY SIX Congratulations on your _____, a most worthy and deserved achievement.
FIFTY SEVEN Wish we could be together.
FIFTY EIGHT Have a wonderful time. Let us know when you return.
FIFTY NINE Congratulations on the new arrival. Hope mother and child are well.
*SIXTY Wishing you the best of everything on _____.
SIXTY ONE Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
*SIXTY TWO Greetings and best wishes to you for a pleasant _____ holiday season.
SIXTY THREE Victory or defeat, our best wishes are with you. Hope you win.
SIXTY FOUR Arrived safely at _____.
SIXTY FIVE Arriving _____ on _____. Please arrange to meet me there.
SIXTY SIX DX QSLs are on hand for you at the _____ QSL Bureau. Send _____ self addressed envelopes.
SIXTY SEVEN Your message number _____ undeliverable because of _____. Please advise.
SIXTY EIGHT Sorry to hear you are ill. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
SIXTY NINE Welcome to the _____. We are glad to have you with us and hope you will enjoy the fun and fellowship of
* Can be used for all holidays.
ARRL Recommended Precedences
Please observe the following ARRL provisions for PRECEDENCES in connection with written message traffic. These
provisions are designed to increase the efficiency of our service both in normal times and in emergency.
EMERGENCY--Any message having life and death urgency to any person or group of persons, which is transmitted by
Amateur Radio in the absence of regular commercial facilities. This includes official messages of welfare agencies during
emergencies requesting supplies, materials or instructions vital to relief of stricken populace in emergency areas. During
normal times, it will be very rare. On CW/RTTY, this designation will always be spelled out. When in doubt, do not use it.
PRIORITY--Use abbreviation P on CW/RTTY. This classification is for a) important messages having a specific time
limit b) official messages not covered in the emergency category c) press dispatches and emergency-related traffic not of
the utmost urgency d) notice of death or injury in a disaster area, personal or official.
WELFARE--This classification, abbreviated as W on CW/RTTY, refers to either an inquiry as to the health and welfare of
an individual in the disaster area or an advisory from the disaster area that indicates all is well. Welfare traffic is handled
only after all emergency and priority traffic is cleared. The Red Cross equivalent to an incoming Welfare message is DWI
(Disaster Welfare Inquiry).
ROUTINE--Most traffic in normal times will bear this designation. In disaster situations, traffic labeled Routine (R on
CW/RTTY) should be handled last, or not at all when circuits are busy with higher precedence traffic.
Note--the precedence always follows the message number. For example, a message number may be 207R on CW and
"Two Zero Seven Routine" on phone.