are sent via a network of ham radio operators affiliated with either
Traffic System (NTS), sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, or Radio
organizations exist to meet two principle objectives:
Rapid movement of traffic from origin to destination.
Training amateur operators to handle written traffic and participate
nets operate daily and consists of four different net levels: AREA,
REGION, SECTION, and LOCAL
The four levels operate in an orderly time sequence to make a definite
flow pattern for traffic, from origin to destination.
Who can participate? -
Any licensed radio amateur with an interest
in traffic handling.
ARRL provides a standard form for all radiograms transmitted via the
NTS. This uniformity ensures that NTS operators can quickly
efficiently handle traffic.
Click here to download a fillable
PDF version of the Radiogram form.
radiogram message originated and handled should contain the following 4
|The Preamble includes
information used to prioritize and track the message and ensure its
includes the name, address, city, state, ZIP, and telephone number of
the intended recipient, as complete as possible. (Note that
punctuation is not used in the Addresss section).
message information, limited to 25 words or less if possible.
Normal punctuation characters are not used in the text. A
question mark is sent as QUERY, while DASH is sent for a
The letter X is used as a period, (but never afetr the last group of
the text), and counts as a word when figuring the Check. The
letter R is used in place of a decimal in mixed figure
For example (146R52 for 146.52).
name of the party for whom the message was originated. This
include additional information such as Amateur Radio call sign, title,
number, and so on.
- This indicates the serial number of the message. It is assigned by
the Station of Origin and never changed. Numbering is necessary because
hams may handle dozens of messages daily, and without a numbering
system it would be difficult to identify any given message.
- Determines the order in which traffic is passed. Assign
message a Precedence of R (Routine), W (Welfare), P (Priority) or
(Handling Instructions) - Optional, used only if a specific
is present. Handling instructions are detailed below.
STATION OF ORIGIN -
The call sign of the station originating (creating) the message.
- The number of words or word groups contained in the Body of the
message. (A word group is defined as any group of 1 or more
consecutive characters with no interrupting spaces).
PLACE OF ORIGIN
- The location (city and state) of the party for whom the message was
created and not necessarily the location of the Station of Origin.
- Optional, used only when the filing time has some importance relative
to the Precedence, Handling Instructions or Message Body.
DATE - The date the
message was filed.
|Any message having life and
death urgency to any person or group of persons, that is transmitted by Amateur Radio in the absence
of regular commercial facilities. This includes official
messages of welfare
during emergencies requesting supplies, materials or instructions vital
to relief efforts for the stricken populance in
emergency areas. On CW and digital modes, this designation
will always be
spelled out. When in doubt, do not use this designation.
as P on CW and digital modes. This classification is for
important messages having a specific time limit. Official
messages not covered in the emergency category, press dispatches and emergency-related traffic not
of the utmost urgency.
as W on CW and digital modes. This classification refers to
an inquiry about the health and welfare of an individual in
the disaster area, or to an advisory from the disaster area that
indicates “all is
well.” Welfare traffic is handled only after all emergency and priority
traffic is cleared. The American Red Cross equivalent to an
incoming Welfare message is DWI (Disaster Welfare Inquiry).
as R on CW and digital modes. Most traffic in normal times
will bear this designation. In disaster situations, traffic
labeled routine should be handled last or not at all, when circuits are
Instructions (HX) convey special instructions to operators handling and
delivering the message. The instruction is inserted in the
message Preamble between the Precedence and the Station of
Origin. Its use is optional with the originating stations, but
once inserted it is mandatory with all relaying stations.
(Followed by number). Collect
landline delivery authorized by adressee within _______
miles. (If no number,
by number). Cancel message if not delivered within ________ hours of
filing time; service originating station.
date and time of delivery. (TOD) to originating
to originating station the identity of station from which received,
plus date and time. Report identity of station to which
plus date and time, or if delivered, report date, time and method of
station get reply from addressee, originate message back.
by number). Hold delivery until __________ (date).
by mail or landline toll call not required. If toll or other
expense involved, cancel message and service originating station.
The name, call sign (if going
to a ham), street address or P.O. Box, city, state (abbreviated)
and ZIP code of the person the message is being sent to. Clear,
complete addresses are desirable. Include in the address of your
message all matter that is necessary to enable operators to identify,
contact, or locate the adressee.
Number: Be sure to include the area code and double-check the
Note - Digital and Packet NTS messages are routed via ZIP code.
This Radio Message was Received at: Your station
The message information, limited to 25 words or less, if
possible. Normal punctuation characters are not used in the text. A
question mark is sent as QUERY, while DASH is sent for a
The letter X is used as a period (but never after the last group of the
text), and counts as a word when figuring the CHECK.
The letter R is used in place of a decimal in mixed figure groups.
Example: 146R52 instead of 146.52
is no “Signature” field. Just write it in below the text;
and call sign of author - include phone number if not a ham or if not
known on an NTS net.
Call sign or
individual from whom you received the message and date and time of
receipt. Time may be either your local time or UTC time. Make
sure the date agrees with the time. (Remember UTC time is ahead of
EST and can cause the
date to roll forward).
Call sign you sent to or passed the message to, or to whom you delivered it, with
date and time. Also good to note delivery method for your
own reference. (i.e., via phone or left on voice mail).
Always leave your call back number if message was left on
radiograms are an efficient way to convey common messages.
letters ARL are inserted in the preamble in the check and in the text
before spelled-out numbers. Note that some ARL texts include
insertion of information.
For a complete list of Numbered Radiograms, click here.
to Deliver a Radiogram
ICS-213 Message Format
operating phone, it is customary to use introductory words such as
"figures" prior to sending numbers, "mixed figures" or "mixed group
figure" before sending a combination of letters and numbers, and
"initial" prior to sending a single letter, such as I or A.
helps the receiving station to copy the message more clearly and with
- Via telephone or hand delivery
to leave on voicemail or answering machine
comfortable you have reached the right person.
Radiogram postcard may be mailed if the receipient cannot be reached by
originating station to inform if you cannot deliver the message, or if
they requested confirmation.
In the example below, you'll learn how these are used in an actual
of a message sent by
voice (From the ARRL Public Service Manual)
26 R N3XYZ 17 BANGOR ME JUL 24
JOHN R SMITH
I WILL ARRIVE TOMORROW AT 6PM X CAN YOU PICK ME UP AT THE AIRPORT QUERY 73
“.” = word pause, “.. ” = group pause, “.. .. ” = copy pause, (//)
= release of PTT, (/.../)
required listening pause.
Prowords, operational words
and introductory words are shown lower case. Try sending the prowords
words in a slightly higher pitched voice, the introductory words in a
slightly lower pitched voice,
or vice versa. TX is the sender, RX the receiver, on a net frequency.
(See STATION OPERATIONS for
details on off frequency calls.)
“W3RX ready to copy”. (In severe conditions the RX station may ask the
repeat each group 2 or 3 times and/or use letters or phonetics to spell
“W3TX” (Optionally informs RX of quantity and if listening between
“number.. TWO.SIX.. ROUTINE..
NOVEMBER THREE X-RAY YANKEE ZUZU.. ONE.SEVEN.. BANGOR.. MAINE..
JULY.. TWO.FOUR”.. ..
“JOHN.. initial.ROMEO.. SMITH I spell SIERRA MIKE INDIA TANGO HOTEL.. .. figures TWO THREE.. OAK I
spell O.A.K.. DRIVE.. .. PHILADELPHIA.. .. .. PENNSYLVANIA.. figures ONE
NINER ZERO THREE FOUR.. .. figures TWO ONE
FIVE FIVE FIVE.. TWO THREE FOUR FIVE.. break” (/.../) (interruption
“initial.INDIA.. WILL.. ARRIVE.. .. TOMORROW.. AT.. .. mixed group
figure SIX PAPA
MIKE.. initial X-RAY.. CAN.. YOU.. .. PICK.. ME.. UP.. .. AT.. THE..
QUERY.. figures SEVEN THREE.. break.. BILL I spell BRAVO INDIA LIMA
“ROGER.. W3RX” (or “ROGER.. 73 W3RX”, etc.), or asks for fills, and
message when done.
“W3TX” (or “THANKS 73 W3TX”, etc.); (The exchange is complete.)
PTT releases (//) are not shown in this example. On fast VOX or PTT
operation, release or
listen after every group or phrase. The expected interruption pause
(/.../) is shown.
On FM repeaters, due to audio delays and receive site delays, it may be
impractical to break after groups without loss of audio.
In this case, the PTT switch is released only at the customary expected fill breaks. When
sending long messages or batches the receiving operator may be forced to say “go ahead” by
saying “over” at the break point between messages, thus confirming continuing good copy. Keep
the repeater transmission time limiter in mind also.
message form is the standard format used by FEMA and
EmComm organizations. The General Message (ICS-
213) is used by incident dispatchers to record
incoming messages that cannot be orally transmitted to the intended
recipients. The ICS-213 is also used by Incident Command Post
and other incident personnel to transmit messages (e.g., resouce order,
incident name change, other ICS coordination issues, etc. to the
Incident Communications Center for transmission via radio or telephone
to the addressee. The form is used to send any message
or notification to incident personnel that require
The ICS-213 may be initiated by
incident dispatchers and any other
personnel on an incident.
Distribution - Upon completion, the ICS-213 may be delivered to the
addressee and/or delivered to the incident Communication Center for
Another variation of this form is the ICS-213RR,
which is specifically used for Resource Requests.
name assigned to the incident. (Optional)
||To (Name and
the name and position the General Message is intended for. For all
individuals, use at least the first initial and last name. For Unified
Command, include agency names.
||From (Name and
the name and position of the individual sending the General Message.
For all individuals, use at least the first initial and last name. For
Unified Command, include agency names.
the subject of the message.
the date (month/day/year) of the message.
||Enter the time (using the
24-hour clock) of the message.
||Enter the content of the
message. Try to be as concise as possible.
name, signature, and ICS position/title of the person approving the
intended recipient will enter a reply to the message and return it to
the name, ICS position/title, and signature of the person replying to
the message. Enter date (month/day/year) and time prepared (24 - hour
Severe Weather Report Form
Severe Weather Report form is a standardized form adopted by the
National Weather Service Forecast Office in Gray, ME, and other
forecast offices, for use during SKYWARN severe weather activations.
The form is used to send any report of severe weather or damage.
The first line of the preamble contains the Date, Time of Occurence,
and Call Sign of the Reporting
The second line is for the Source
of the report, which may include: Personal
The third line is for the location of the Reported Event.
All other lines are for a description of the severe weather or damage
that was observed.
Local, Section, and Regional Traffic Nets
Maine Public Service Net
Maine ARES Net
Maine Slow Speed Net
Pine Tree Net
Twelve County Net
SKYWARN Training Net
Granite State Traffic Net
NH ARES Net
VT - NH Traffic Net
1st REGION (New
Afternoon (Cycle 2)
Afternoon (Cycle 2)
Evening (Cycle 3)
RRI Evening (RRIE)
Evening (Cycle 4)
EASTERN AREA NET (EAN)
Afternoon (Reg 1, Cycle 2)
Afternoon, (Reg 1, Cycle 2)
Afternoon, (Reg 2, Cycle 2)
Maritime Mobile Service Net
Mon - Sat
Mon - Fri
Mon - Fri
9 AM local
6:30 PM local
6 PM local
7 PM local
9:30 AM local
7:30 PM local
System (2 meters)
147.090 (+ / 100)
KQ1L System (2 meters)
KQ1L System (2 meters)
146.940 (- / 114.8)
3973 kHz (7273 kHz Alt)
3552 kHz (7052 kHz Alt)
Wide Emergency Net
Net Control: KJ6JBH
Emergency Traffic & Weather
Traffic & Weather
Net Control: W2GPJ / WE1U
ARRL Net Directory –
Excellent NTS reference with net listings by state
($5 from ARRL).
Online version is accessible free at the
ARRL web site.
NTS Manual –
reference on NTS message handling ($1 from ARRL ), also
available on ARRL web site.
Policies (Cycle Time Schedule)
Third-Party Operating Agreements
on ARRL website, provides all
the information you’ll need to
with traffic handling, including the Policy Manual, and updated net
Wireless Society of Southern
Maine, P.O. Box 6833, Scarborough, ME 04074