Traffic Tips #7

When checking into any formal net, which most traffic nets are… It is important to determine if you are going to be there a while. If for some reason you are unable to stay or pick up traffic and you simply want to ID yourself to the net controller, it is okay to check in as “in and out” or “short time” which signals the net controller to either move critical items your way, release you from the net or find an alternate route for traffic. Keeping in that same spirit, if you check in and then decide that you must leave, it is best practice to notify the net controller that you are checking out of the net. This helps the net controller keep track of who is still available and who is not.

S E T Weekend

Simulated Emergency Test (SET) weekend is upon us. Time to dust off your HT radios, spare batteries, generators and other off-grid methods for powering communications equipment. Test your emergency regularly and remember to follow safety protocols when operating equipment with off-gas or emissions.

Traffic Tips #6

How do I use a period/dot in a radiogram? That depends! How do you want to use it? When finishing a thought or changing subjects in a radiogram message, use “X” to end the statement or thought as in Example1. When referring to a decimal point, use “R” in place of the period/dot as in Example2. When referring to an email or website, use “DOT” written out as in Example3.




Traffic Tips #5

Punctuation in a radiogram is simple. No punctuation such as commas, periods, colons, hyphens, question marks, etc. are permitted in a radiogram. Instead, other characters or words are used in their place. For example, “X” is used to indicate a period (but should NOT be used as the last group in a radiogram) and the word QUERY is used in place of a question mark. Hyphens or dashes should be left out, unless they are necessary, then should be written as HYPHEN or DASH.

Traffic Tips #4

When building a radiogram including a telephone number, it is important to remember that phone numbers are split into either two or three groups, depending on if an area code is necessary and/or included. The NTS Methods & Practices Guide, section 1.2.4 indicates that with an area code, a telephone number is split into three groups – 3 digits, 3 digits and 4 digits.

Traffic Tips #3

When correcting check errors the original check should be maintained in the message and the corrected check should be noted. In the radiogram the original and corrected check should be noted with a “/” which on voice would be read as corrected to. This also applies to missing ARL designator in messages where ARRL Numbered Radiograms are used. Example1: A check of 15 that was corrected to 14 should be noted as “15/14” which would be read as “one five corrected to one four“. Example2: A message which starts out with ARL Fifty and has a check of 14 should be noted as “14/ARL 14” and should be read as “one four corrected to A-R-L one four“.

Traffic Tips #2

It is best practice to indicate initials as initials versus taking them for abbreviated words. Changing some word-groups can change the check of the message, while some simply imply that a word is written out; but both change the message, which should always be avoided. One example of this is changing NJ by reading it as “New Jersey” instead of “initials november juliette” or “initial group november juliette” which would change the word count as well as alter the original message. Another example of this is changing KHZ by reading it as “kilohertz” instead of “initials kilo hotel zulu” or “initial group kilo hotel zulu” which, while minor, alters the original message that was sent, which should always be avoided.

Traffic Tips #1

When sending a message by radio there are many factors that may change the way a message is heard by the receiving party. This is especially true of numbers. It is best practice to indicate “figures” and voice each number in a group of numbers as a single digit. For Example: 14 should be sent as “figures one four” because the word “fourteen” may be misheard or believed to be written out with letters.

Traffic Packet (mailed)

Interested in receiving information about the NTS and traffic handling in paper form mailed to your door? Send a postcard to: PO Box 216, Hinckley, NY 13352 requesting a traffic packet to include your name and address and one will be mailed to you at no charge. This free service is courtesy of WA2U & WV1X.

NTS/Radiogram Training Online

Thanks to Aaron K8AMH for providing this service.

Training is key! Aaron K8AMH Northern Texes (NTX) Section Traffic Manager (STM) provides an in-depth look at the National Traffic System or NTS as well how to properly complete a radiogram and send traffic.

Categorized as Training