By Ken Miller, VE7CTW
The following is a step by step procedure
used to call another station and then send that station a message in using
VOICE procedures. The station receiving here is VE7UBC
and the sending station is VE7CTW. As
you follow this text and the accompanying commentary, you will see that
the procedure is quite straightforward, and easy to learn. This example
should help to explain how a message is prepared by an originating station
and then sent on a point-to-point radio link. This procedure does not include
net procedures, and for the purposes of this document it is safe to assume
that both stations are already on their appropriate frequency either as
assigned by a net control station, or by prior arrangement (a "sked").
This document also does not include the procedures necessary to acquire
the data listed below, which will be covered in another document.
First establish that the stations in
question are on frequency and ready to receive the traffic. The following
call would do just that. This is then followed by the OVER
signifying that the sending station is done with the request and is awaiting
an answer. That call would be sent as follows:
VE7UBC THIS IS VE7CTW I HAVE 1 READY TO COPY
After the hearing the call the receiving
operator then answers the call by sending
VE7CTW THIS IS VE7UBC GO AHEAD OVER
This would then inform the sending
station that the receiving operator is ready to copy and that the sending
station should begin the transmission..
The sending stations' operator would then begin by sending the preamble of the message. The actual contents of the preamble are as follows:
46 W VE7CTW ARL 7 RICHMOND BC 0842
However, to insure corect transmission
of this message, standard voice procedures and International Phonetic Alphabet
would be used to send this preamble as follows:
COPY NUMBER FORTY SIX INITIAL WISKEY
GROUP HOTEL XRAY GOLF CALL VICTOR ECHO
SEVEN CHARLIE TANGO WISKEY GROUP ALPHA ROMEO LIMA FIGURE SEVEN RICHMOND I
SPELL ROMEO INDIA CHARLIE HOTEL MIKE OSCAR NOVEMBER DELTA RICHMOND GROUP
BRAVO CHARLIE FIGURES ZERO EIGHT FOUR TWO FEBRUARY FIGURE THREE
Before continuing with our example
it is first necessary to insure that the reader understands the meaning
and use of the Prowords (identified with the underline) in the above transmission
fragment. The first Proword is COPY NUMBER.
This tells the receiving operator that the message is immediately following
and that it will have the number that follows. Then the number is sent
as single digits and using the International Phonetic Alphabet. For a full
description of all the appropriate phonetics please refer to the "International
Phonetic Alphabet" document.
The next Proword sent is INITIAL.
This tells the receiving operator that a single letter group will be the
next thing transmitted. In the case of this message that is the W for message
Precedence. A more detailed definition of Precedence follows in the text.
The Proword GROUP
is next used to identify that the next element sent is a mixed group of
letters and/or numbers. This must be used whenever there is an unusual
abbreviation or contraction. Here it refers to the handling instructions
for this message, which are fully explained below. Following the Proword
GROUP, the sending operator would then "spell" out each individual letter
or number using the phonetic alphabet.
CALL is the next
Proword used. Although not really standard procedure from a military standpoint,
it does help identify that the next piece of information transmitted will
be an amateur radio callsign. Here too, the phonetic alphabet is used to
"spell out" the letters and numbers of the originating stations callsign.
FIGURE or FIGURES
the Prowords used to identify that the next piece of information is a number
or a group of numbers respectively.
The next identified Prowords are I
SPELL. This is used following the transmission
of a word that is unusual or has a unique spelling. The procedure is to
say the word, the say the Prowords I SPELL,
and then say each individual letter using the phonetic alphabet to "spell"
the word. Then say the word once again to confirm it to the receiving station.
Now that the methodology has been explained,
it is appropriate to discuss the makeup of the pieces of information that
constitute the Preamble of this message.
The first group, or block of characters,
is the message number. This Prowords are not copied down by the receiving
operator but is used to signify the start of a message. Then the actual
number of the message is sent.
The next group sent is the "Precedence"
or priority of this message. The available levels are R
for Routine, P for Priority, W
for Welfare and EMERGENCY. If the message
had been an emergency, then the word EMERGENCY is ALWAYS spelled out. In
this case it is a welfare message originating from within the disaster
area telling someone on the "outside" that all is well. If there had been
a problem and some form of assistance was being requested, then the Precedence
of this message would have been P for
The next group are the Handling Instructions.
This is an optional entry but it is good practice to include it so that
the relaying stations in the network can act appropriately for the delivery
or relay of the message. The available Handling Instruction values are:
HXA- (followed by a number)
Collect landline delivery authorized by addressee within (number) miles.
If no number is supplied then authorization is unlimited.
HXB- (followed by a number)
Cancel message if not delivered within (number) of hours of filing time
and then send a service message back to the originating station noting
HXC- Report date and
time of delivery back to the originating station.
HXD- Report to the originating
station, the identity of the station from which this message was received
along with the date and time received by return radiogram. In addition,
report the identity of the station to whom this message was relayed also
with the date and time. If the receiving station is also the delivering
station, then report the date and time of delivery as well as the delivery
HXE- This is a request
by the originating station that the delivering station get a reply from
the addressee and originate a message back to the originating station.
This is the same as including an ARL SEVEN message in the text.
HXF- (followed b a number)
Hold delivery until (number) date.
HXG- This tells the delivering
station that delivery by mail or landline toll call is not required, and
that if this is the necessary case for delivery then cancel the message
and send a radiogram back to the originating station of this.
The next group is the callsign of the
station where the message originated, which in this example is VE7CTW.
The next group sent is the check number.
The check is the number of words in the text portion of the message. it
is interesting to note that punctuation IS considered to be a word. For
the purposes of radiograms, the only punctuation that should be use is
the letter X, which can be used to signify a break in thoughts which replaces
The place of origin, which includes
the city and state or province is the next group sent. Also, there is no
comma between the city and state or province.
The last groups in the preamble are
the filing time values which may include the optional local standard time
in 24 hour, military time format, and then the required month and day.
Following the preamble, the next block
transmitted is the addressee information. At the completion of each line
of address information, the Proword BREAK
is sent signifying that that is the end of that line in the address field
and to continue on the next line. At the end of the entire address, the
Prowords BREAK FOR TEXT is
sent signifying that that is the end of the address and that immediately
following will be the text of the message. For more explanation of the
other Prowords used, please refer to the previous descriptions in this
The actual text appearing on the message
blank is as follows:
105 Anyold Road
Fairbanks AK 99999
Tel 907 555 1234
To properly send this to the receiving
station, the sending station would transmit:
JOHN DOE I SPELL DELTA OCSAR ECHO DOE
FIGURES ONE ZERO FIVE ANYOLD I SPELL
ALPHA NOVEMBER YANKEE OSCAR LIMA DELTA ANYOLD ROAD BREAK
FAIRBANKS I SPELL FOXTROT ALPHA INDIA
ROMEO BRAVO ALPHA NOVEMBER KILO SIERRA FAIRBANKS GROUP ALPHA KILO
NINE NINE NINE NINE NINE BREAK
FIGURES NINE ZERO SEVEN FIVE FIVE FIVE
ONE TWO THREE FOUR BREAK FOR TEXT
With all the address and record keeping
now sent, it is finally time to send the text of the message. Our message
here has only seven words, but it does provide an adequate example. The
text for this sample message contains mostly ARRL Numbered Radiograms as
that is all that is needed to convey the information. In addition, since
these are "canned" texts, sending them in this manner is much more efficient
than sending the entire text. A full description of all of these messages
is contained in the ARRL Numbered Radiograms document. Also, at the end
of this document is a "decoded" version of this message as it would be
delivered to the recipient. The actual text for this message would appear
on the message blank as follows:
ARL ONE ARL FOUR ARL SEVEN LOVE
The properly send this the sending
operator would then transmit
GROUP ALPHA ROMEO LIMA ONE I SPELL
OSCAR NOVEMBER ECHO ONE GROUP ALPHA ROMEO LIMA FOUR I SPELL FOXTROT OSCAR
UNIFORM ROMEO FOUR GROUP ALPHA ROMEO LIMA SEVEN I SPELL SIERRA ECHO VICTOR
ECHO NOVEMBER SEVEN LOVE I SPELL LIMA OSCAR VICTOR ECHO LOVE
BREAK FOR SIGNATURE
Here, the Prowords BREAK
FOR SIGNATURE are used to identify the end of
the text section of the message. It is also important to note that when
sending ARRL Numbered Radiograms, that the entire word which designates
the message "number" (in this example 1, 4, and 7) are spelled out completely.
These messages may NOT be sent as simple numbers.
The final section of the message is
the signature block. The text in our example is:
It would be sent as follows:
BOB I SPELL BRAVO OSCAR BRAVO BOB SMITH
SPELL SIERRA MIKE INDIA TANGO HOTEL SMITH END OF MESSAGE
NONE TO FOLLOW OVER
The Proword END OF
MESSAGE is used to identify the end of the signature
block and the end of the message.
In our example, there was only the
one message to send, thus the sending operator needs to tell that to the
receiving operator using the Prowords NONE TO FOLLOW.
If there had been more messages to send, then the sending operator would
send the number of messages remaining instead of NONE TO
by the Proword OVER signifying
that the sending station is done. Continuing this example, the receiving
operator then sends back:
VICTOR ECHO SEVEN CHARLIE TANGO WISKEY THIS
IS VICTOR ECHO SEVEN UNIFORM BRAVO CHARLIE CONFIRM RECEIPT NUMBER FOUR
If the receiving operator had copied
all of it perfectly, then he would send back confirmation of that fact
through a call like the one above. All receiving operators should also
count the number of words received in the text and verify that it is the
same as the number that was identified in the "Check" of the message. If
there is a discrepancy, call it to the attention of the sending operator
and go over each word again to make sure that it is correct. If the Check
was wrong, then change that as appropriate. A confirmation begins with
the call of the station which sent the message followed by the ProwordTHIS
IS and the call of the receiving
station. This is then followed by the words CONFIRM
RECEIPT meaning "I acknowledge
receipt for" followed by the number of the message that is being acknowledged.
Then finally to return control to either the sending station, or any other
station wishing to use the frequency, the receiving station would then
send the Proword OUT. When the
sending operator receives this, he can then mark on his message blank,
the one that contained the original message, that the message was received
by VE7UBC and the current standard time and date. This is referred to as
servicing the message. Now that the message has been sent and serviced
the procedure is complete and the sending station has completed the transfer.
If however, the operator at VE7UBC
had missed the last word of the text due to static, fading, etc. instead
of sending the above he could send the following :
VICTOR ECHO SEVEN CHARLIE TANGO WISKEY THIS
IS VICTOR ECHO SEVEN UNIFORM BRAVO CHARLIE SAY AGAIN
WORD AFTER SEVEN BREAK
This tells the sending station to send
the "Word After" the word SEVEN in the text again. The sending station
should then respond with the following:
I SAY AGAIN WORD AFTER SEVEN
LOVE I SPELL LIMA OCSAR VICTOR ECHO LOVE BREAK
signifies that the other station can begin to transmit immediately and
not to resend the called and calling station callsigns. The text sent is
a repetition of the request followed by the word in question. The sending
station the turns control back to the receiving station by sending the
Proword BREAK once again. This
allows the receiving station to ask for any other missed or questionable
text on their copy of the message. If the receiving station now has the
message correct, then they would send the confirmation to the sending station
and the transfer would now be complete and the sending station should then
"service" the message at that end.
Now here is a copy of the message as
it would appear on the typewriter or message blank at station VE7UBC
46 W HXG VE7CTW ARL 7 RICHMOND BC 0842 FEB
105 ANYOLD ROAD
FAIRBANKS AK 99999
907 555 1234
ARL ONE ARL FOUR ARL SEVEN LOVE
When this message is delivered to the addressee, the ARL message numbers would be converted back into their respective text and would be read as follows:
"… Everyone safe here. Please don't
worry. Only slight property damage here. Do not be concerned about disaster
reports. Please reply by Amateur Radio through the amateur delivering this
message. This is a free public service. Love Signed Bob Smith."
by Ken Miller VE7CTW
published by K7BFL 11/18/97