When sending traffic, be mindful that certain words may sound the same but have two totally different meanings. In some contexts, the wrong word doesn’t fit, but in some, they can change the meaning. For example: Would/Wood, For/Four, To/Too/Two, etc. When coming across those words, it may be best to spell them to make it clear which word applies to the message being sent.
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.
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.
Example1: WE HAD A GREAT TIME X WHY IS IT THAT WE ONLY VISIT IN FALL QUERY
Example2: 146R52 IS THE CALLING FREQUENCY
Example3: WWW DOT GOOGLE DOT COM
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 handlers reference material packets are available by mail for those who may be interested in tangible documents. Requests can be made by sending a postcard with your callsign, name and address to OCTEN at PO Box 216, Hinckley NY 13352. Packets are provided free of charge as a public service, courtesy of WA2U.