Every radiogram has a station of origin; the call sign of the ham who first transmitted it on the radio. That means if another ham gives you a message via telephone and you transmit it on the radio, the radiogram’s station of origin is your call sign, not his. We transmit the station of origin phonetically, without introduction. For example, “number one five, routine, alpha bravo nine zulu alpha,” not “number one five, routine, station of origin A-B-9-Z-A,” and not “number one five, routine, amateur call alpha bravo nine zulu alpha.” Next week: How to send a check.
(This is the fifth in a series of short traffic-handling columns I submitted to the Kosciusko County ARES newsletter.)
ARRL Form FSD-218 defines seven possible handling instructions, each represented by one of the letters, A through G. Not every message has a handing instruction. When present, we send it after the precedence. We introduce it with the phonetics “hotel x-ray” and then we give the letter phonetically. For example, we say, “routine, hotel x-ray charlie,” not “routine, charlie.” When a number is involved, we say it one digit at a time. For example, “number one two, routine, hotel x-ray alpha five zero,” not “number one two, routine, A fifty.” Next week: Station of origin.
(This is the fourth in a series of short traffic-handling columns I submitted to the Kosciusko County ARES newsletter.)
After we transmit a radiogram’s message number, the precedence is next. “Precedence” is the word we use to describe how urgent a message is. It also determines which messages get sent first. Possibilities include “routine,” “welfare,” “priority” and “emergency.” Definitions of each appear in ARRL Form FSD-3. Experienced traffic handlers know that the precedence always immediately follows the message number, so we don’t introduce it, we just say it. For example, we don’t say, “number one five, precedence routine.” We instead say, “number one five, routine.” Next week, we’ll cover handling instructions.
(This is the third in a series of short traffic-handling columns I submitted to the Kosciusko County ARES newsletter.)
A radiogram’s number is the first thing we send. If a receiving station has indicated, “ready to copy,” the next word out of our mouths should be “number.” Not “please copy,” not “message follows,” just “number.” It’s what experienced traffic handlers expect to hear.
Next, we say the number itself, one digit at a time. So, if the message number is 12, say “number one two,” not “number twelve.” If the number is 131, we say “number one three one,” not “number one thirty-one” and not “number one hundred and thirty-one.” Finally, we say “zero,” not “oh” in numbers like 101.
(This is the second in a series of short traffic-handling columns I submitted to the Kosciusko County ARES newsletter.)
|SKYWARN Spotters receive training at the Allen County Public Library, February 26, 2013|
They want you to send everything in just the right order and just the right way. Why? Adhering to standard message transmission procedures helps ensure message accuracy, because the receiving station always knows what to expect, when and how. That’s why the NTS has very specific directions about exactly what you should say when you transmit a radiogram. That includes things like when to say “break” (and when not to), how to transmit an acronym, etc.
This is the first of a series of short columns on traffic handling that I’ve submitted to the weekly Kosciusko County, Ind. ARES newsletter. Kosciusko County Emergency Coordinator AB9ZA invited me to provide the information and I figured I could kill two birds with one stone and post the same article here!
In the December issue of Allen County HamNews, I hinted at a possible change in reporting criteria for SKYWARN spotters. During a conference call with leaders of IMO SKYWARN, NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist Michael Lewis discussed a goal for spotter reports. Lewis wants reports to be based more on weather impact than on measurements such as wind speed or hail size. For example, if the weather does damage or causes injury, Lewis wants to know about it, even if conditions do not meet traditional reporting criteria.
- Why to report
- What to report
- How to report (including telephone, ham radio, etc. and new tools like social media)
- Where to obtain the reports of others (for situational awareness)
- Skywarn Spotter Training — https://www.meted.ucar.edu/training_course.php?id=23 — (a two-module course including modules on the role of the spotter and basics of convection)
- Northern Indiana NWS SKYWARN Information Web page (http://www.crh.noaa.gov/iwx/?n=nwsnorthernindianaskywarnpage)
- “Role of the SKYWARN spotter” from The COMET® Program (http://www.meted.ucar.edu/spotter_training/spotter_role/)
- “SKYWARN Spotter Convective Basics” from The COMET® Program (http://www.meted.ucar.edu/spotter_training/convective/)
- “Spotter Report Data Quality” from the NWS Warning Decision Training Branch (http://wdtb.noaa.gov/modules/spotters/player.html)
- “Storm Spotter Training” from the Des Moines, Iowa NWS office (http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/presentations/spotter-training/NWS-Spotter-Training_files/v3_document.htm)
- Spotter Network (www.spotternetwork.org)
- SKYWARN Weather Spotter’s Field Guide (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/brochures/SGJune6-11.pdf)
- Education. By learning all we can about meteorology, we can assure that all our reports are valid and valuable.
- Technology. By becoming familiar with and using other technologies to supplement ham radio (e.g. tweeting photos from smart phones), we can provide a more complete service while demonstrating our ability to stay on the “cutting edge.”
- Procedures. By insisting on sounding as professional as possible when we communicate, we can build credibility among any IWT members who monitor or receive our reports.