Recently I was listening to an SSB section traffic net and heard a region net representative passing inbound traffic to another station for local delivery. Conditions were good and the two stations seemed to have no trouble hearing each other. The region net representative sent the entire text like this (this was not the actual message I heard):
WITH THE STORM SEASON APPROACHING MAKE SURE YOUR SKYWARN TRAINING IS CURRENT X CHECK WITH YOUR EC OR SKYWARN COORDINATOR WITH THE STORM SEASON APPROACHING MAKE SURE YOUR SKYWARN TRAINING IS CURRENT X CHECK WITH YOUR EC OR SKYWARN COORDINATOR
No, that’s not a typographical error. The region net representative sent the entire text and then immediately sent it again, without warning.
When reception is good, this kind or repetition wastes time, which could be a real problem during a period of high volume (e.g. after a disaster). Even in poor conditions, it’s rarely necessary to repeat an entire message. We instead wait for the receiving station to request “fills” (parts of the message he missed or was unsure of) and repeat only the needed information.
In addition, the ARRL NTS Methods and Practice Guidelines (MPG) provide a procedure a sending station should use when the operator feels unrequested repeats are necessary for clarity:
18.104.22.168 I SAY AGAIN, (use #1) To REPEAT FOR CLARITY Say the group(s), then “I say again”, repeat the group(s), and then continue. It is wise to limit repeats for clarity to one group at a time to avoid confusion with use #2 below. In bad radio conditions, however, repeating phrases or whole lines of a message can increase the chance for correct copy.
“WHISKER I say again WHISKER … ”
Note that the MPG indicates that all such repetitions should be introduced with the phrase, “I say again.” The region net rep I heard did not use that phrase, so the copying station probably thought the first word of the repeat (“with”) was actually the next word of text. Note also that the MPG indicates that the most a sending station should repeat at a time is a “line of a message,” not the entire text.
Let’s all model best practices, as outlined in the MPG, when we pass traffic, especially if we’re serving in official capacities such as region net representative or net control station. Our failure to do so is one way that less experienced operators learn bad habits.