It would be helpful to walk through moving a piece of traffic, and to demonstrate this we will use the sample radiogram from before, which you will move.
When it is your turn to move traffic, the net control station will direct another station to contact you to take (“pick up”) your traffic. Moving a radiogram occurs in 3 sections: the header and address part; the text; and the signature. Just as the radiogram is structured, moving traffic in a structure helps streamline the process and helps with accuracy. Remember, our goal is for the message to arrive at its destination the same as it was originally written.
While traffic can move over Morse code (CW) digitally, and via phone on HF frequencies, for this discussion we will focus on traffic nets taking place on an FM repeater.
Moving this radiogram begins with net control calling a station, which for this example is John, TA4ES, to pick up this traffic from Aaron, K8AMH. In the conversation that follows, prowords are in bold to help highlight their use.
For this example, I placed periods in places you should pause while reading the radiogram. It is important to not only speak clearly, but to also speak slowly, as the other station has to write down what you are saying. If you speak too quickly, the other station will miss things.
This is net control. John, TA4ES, please call Aaron, K8AMH, and pick up his one to Wisconsin.
K8AMH, this is TA4ES, hello Aaron. I’m ready to copy.
TA4ES, this is K8AMH, good evening John. Please copy my number 7, routine, KILO EIGHT ALPHA MIKE HOTEL. ONE TWO. DALLAS TEXAS. OCTOBER 4.
Going to Jane. Doe I spell Delta Oscar Echo. Amateur call ALPHA ROMEO ONE TANGO. Address figures ONE TWO THREE. Amateur. Way. Sometown. Wisconsin. Zip figures ZERO ZERO ONE TWO ONE.
Phone figures THREE THREE ZERO. FIVE FIVE FIVE. FOUR FOUR TWO FOUR.
Email JANE. DOT. DOE. ATSIGN. EXAMPLE. DOT. COM.
Let’s take a moment to review what just occurred. When you read the header, you did not mention what sections of the header you were providing. There is no need to say, “Precedence routine, station of origin KILO EIGHT ALPHA MIKE HOTEL..” as these are already defined in the template, and the receiving station knows what to fill in.
For example, if this had a handling instruction of HXG, you would change how you provide the header to this:
Please copy my number 7, routine, HOTEL X-RAY GOLF, KILO EIGHT ALPHA MIKE HOTEL. ONE TWO. DALLAS TEXAS. OCTOBER 4.
Note the HOTEL X-RAY GOLF after routine. The fact you mentioned it is enough for the receiving station to know to fill this in (they would not fill in Station of Origin with HXG, or fill in the HX section with K8AMH).
There are a few items worth pointing out when providing the address section:
- First, we spelled out Jane Doe’s last name. It is a good practice to spell the last name as a way to make sure it’s spelled correctly on the receiving end. If the first name can benefit from spelling, such as Jon versus John, it should also be spelled out.
- Second, when we provide numbers, such as the check of “one-two” instead of “twelve” or the 123 in the address, they are always read one number at a time. We would not say, “One twenty-three,” as that is not as clear, especially if there is any noise in the amateur radio signal. This same thing goes for the phone number, each digit is read one at a time, pausing at natural breaks in the number.
- Last, for the email address, the periods in the address are written as the word DOT and read as, “Dot.” For this email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, we would write on the radiogram, and read it over the air, as, “JANE DOT DOE ATSIGN EXAMPLE DOT COM”, again for clarity.
Now that we reviewed, let’s pick up on moving this traffic. When you ended with, “Break,” and stopped transmitting, the receiving station may ask you to repeat certain information, as perhaps the signal faded or they missed writing something down. If they do, provide the information requested. Once the header and address information are set, they will tell you to go, go ahead, or go text. They all mean the same thing: provide the text.
Please say again zip figures.
Zip figures ZERO ZERO ONE TWO ONE.
Thank you, got it. Go text.
GREAT. SEEING. YOU. YESTERDAY. Initial X-RAY. HOPE. TO. GET. TOGETHER. AGAIN. SOON. Figures SEVEN THREE.
Again, at this point the receiving station may ask you for missing information. Once all is set, they will tell you to go ahead.
Ok, I need some fills. Please say again word six.
The receiving station is asking you to say word six again. This is as simple as counting six words in, which is hope.
Got it, hope. And word after AGAIN.
Thank you. Go signature.
Please sign that AARON amateur call KILO EIGHT ALPHA MIKE HOTEL. End, no more, how copy?
I roger your number 7. Thank you very much for the traffic. TA4ES.
Thank you for taking it. K8AMH back to net control.
Once you hand it back to net control, you have completed moving the traffic. Net control will acknowledge this:
Thank you John and Aaron for moving that traffic along.
Make sure to stay until the net concludes, because it is possible net control will route traffic your way. If so, you would receive it in this same fashion.
Record the traffic’s movement
At the bottom of the radiogram are Received (Rec’d) and Sent sections. Use this to track how your traffic moved. In this case, you sent it to TA4ES, so in the Sent section you would put:
- To: The station you sent it to (in this example, TA4ES)
- Net: The name of the traffic net, or an abbreviation
- Date: The current date
- Time: The current time
- You can use local time or UTC/Zulu time, but this should be consistent throughout all your messages, and the date should match as well. For example, it might be 11:05 PM Central Daylight Time on October 5, but if you use UTC it’s 04:05 on October 6.
The receiving station will fill in the Rec’d section with similar information, and will not fill in the Sent section until the message is relayed to another station or delivered to its destination.