We will be discussing some net protocol and procedures, and more specifically prowords and their correct usage.
Prowords are words or phrases used to provide efficient communications between radio stations.
Here’s an explanation and example of when and how to use this proword. The proword OVER is used at the end of a voice transmission when a reply is expected from another station. When you are communicating with another EmComm station, there may be several exchanges between you and the other station. If a reply or more information (i.e., the communication is expected to continue between you and another station), your transmission is concluded with the proword OVER. Do not forget to maintain legality and sign out with your amateur radio callsign also.
Upon checking into a net you may state:
W8RIT: "THIS IS Whiskey 8 Romeo India Tango, for the St. Clair Co. ARPSC staging net, please check in with your phonetic callsign, name, current city location, and whether or not you are RACES certified, please call now. OVER”
AA8K: “THIS IS Alpha Alpha 8 Kilo, Mike, Pt. Huron Charter Twp. RACES, OVER.”
W8RIT: “THIS IS Whiskey 8 Romeo India Tango, net control recognizes Alpha Alpha 8 Kilo, Mike, Pt. Huron Twp. RACES, OVER.”
*Notice that Mike did not respond back with any pleasantries (“hope you’re having a good day”, or “Hi Dave”), and he only stated what was asked for IN THE ORDER IT WAS REQUESTED. Please do this, as it will make the net control duty easier. The NCS most likely has a sheet of paper with that information in a column across the sheet. This way NCS will not have to move back and forth among the column disrupting his “flow” with many stations checking in and a lot of information coming from “all sides at once.” It will make the NCS much happier if you do it his way. Remember, he is Net CONTROL.
If, on the other hand, you do not expect a reply to your transmission, and communications has ended between you and the other station, we use the proword OUT. The use of this proword indicates to all concerned that the immediate communication between you and whomever you have been talking with has concluded – NO REPLY IS EXPECTED. This does not mean, though, that by using the proword OUT that you have concluded operations on a net. You are expected to remain on the net until the net is terminated, or you ask for and are granted permission to be excused (secure your station). Regarding the usage of the proword OUT, if the station that you have been communicating with has a need for more communication with your station, he or she may continue with that further communication and would continue as though you had said OVER instead of OUT.
Here are some examples of the usage of and differences between the prowords OVER and OUT. These two prowords, OVER and OUT, despite the hundreds of Hollywood movies you may have seen, are NEVER used together (there is no such phrase as “OVER AND OUT”).
In this example, AA8K wants to know how well his new antenna is working. He makes a call and is answered by W8RIT. The following exchange takes place:
“ANY STATION THIS FREQUENCY, THIS IS Alpha Alpha 8 Kilo. RADIO CHECK.
“Alpha Alpha 8 Kilo, THIS IS Whiskey 8 Romeo India Tango. LOUD AND
“Whiskey 8 Romeo India Tango, THIS IS Alpha Alpha 8 Kilo. ROGER. OUT”
exchange was brief, professional, and to the point. Note the use of the prowords
OVER and OUT.
another example. In this case, AA8K is the NCS of an EmComm net. W8RIT is
checked into the net. AA8K wants to know if W8RIT is the designated station to
take traffic to the state packet digital system. The following exchange takes
“Whiskey 8 Romeo India Tango, THIS IS Alpha Alpha 8 Kilo. ARE YOU THE OUTBOUND
PACKET TRAFFIC REP? OVER”
“THIS IS Whiskey 8 Romeo India Tango. AFFIRMATIVE. OVER.”
“THIS IS Alpha Alpha 8 Kilo. ROGER. OUT.”
note that the communications was concluded with the use of the proword, OUT. The
end of communications is always indicated by the proword OUT. If the station
that you called does not respond a second transmission should be made as
follows: “THIS IS Alpha Alpha 8 Kilo. NO STATION HEARD. OUT”.
“Whiskey 8 Romeo India Tango, THIS IS Alpha Alpha 8 Kilo. ARE YOU THE OUTBOUND
PACKET TRAFFIC REP? OVER”
AA8K: “This is Alpha Alpha 8 Kilo, NO STATION HEARD, OUT.”
ALWAYS USE ONE OF THESE TWO PROSIGNS AT THE END OF ALL OF YOUR TRANSMISSIONS.
More info on this proword will follow at a later traffic handling training session. Please note that on some nets, for example MID-CARS on 40M, this proword indicates an emergency or other priority. We do not use this proword for that function, use the proword “EMERGENCY.” That leaves no doubt of whether that proword was intended as a “SOS” priority call, or a break in text for traffic handling. This proword is ambiguous. When this proword is used for traffic handling, it denotes a separation of text from other elements of a piece of message traffic, like the header and/or the signature.
If NCS or another station is looking for an answer, and it may take a bit of time for the other station or NCS to find the answer, but you know the answer or other guidance, use this proword followed by your callsign. That way NCS will know what station has the info. Be careful not to interrupt or interfere. Perhaps patience from you may be needed. If you state only “INFO and your callsign” (or your callsign and INFO) it is brief. Don’t immediately without being requested from NCS expound on your information. You may be doubling with another station for an extended period of time on the radio. The NCS may not understand either one of you, leading to a loss of time and efficiency. Let the NCS state to you specifically to go ahead with your info.
AA8K: "INFO AA8K OVER"
NCO: "AA8K, THIS IS NCO (stations's callsign), YOUR INFO OVER"
AA8K: AA8K PROVIDES HIS INFO TO NCO
Use this proword, again preceded by or followed by your callsign at an appropriate time in a net, to ask a question from net control.
AA8K: "QUERY AA8K OVER"
NCO: "AA8K, THIS IS NCO (stations's callsign), YOUR QUERY OVER"
AA8K: AA8K PRESENTS HIS QUERY TO NCO
Use this proword, (Hey!!! You guessed right….either preceded by or followed by your callsign) to notify net control that you wish to relay a callsign or other message from a station unheard by net control. You will probably know that the station is unheard by NCS when they use the proword “NO STATION HEARD.” Again, please be patient if you think NCS does not hear a station, they may be busy writing or receiving information to pass on a net and have heard the station but just not responded back to them.
This proword may not be used frequently on a repeater unless you are requesting to relay another station that NCS cannot hear. For example, you may hear another station on the input frequency of a repeater when that station is not readable into the repeater.
AA8K: "RELAY AA8K OVER"
NCO: "AA8K, THIS IS NCO (stations's callsign), PLEASE RELAY (specified callsign, or UNHEARD STATION) OUT"
AA8K: AA8K Makes contact with station and obtains message to be relayed: "(specified callsign) THIS IS AA8K OVER" He can also add that he is relaying for the NCO, but this info may not always be necessary as the other station may already know that.
(specified callsign): "THIS IS (specified callsign)...and he makes his transmission...OVER"
AA8K: "THIS IS AA8K, I WILL RELAY YOUR MESSAGE TO NCO OUT" This is done after AA8K has concluded his communications with the (specified station). AA8K will need to relay the message EXACTLY as it was sent to him. Remember ACCURACY is vital. If need be AA8K should write down this message he is to relay.
AA8K: "NCO (station's callsign), THIS IS AA8K OVER"
NCO: "AA8K, THIS IS NCO (station's callsign) GO AHEAD OVER"
AA8K: AA8K provides the message he is relaying exactly as it was sent to him. "THIS IS AA8K, [content of relayed message], OUT"
NCO: Obtains any fills of the message he needs using the standardized NTS PROWORDS; The NCO may choose for one of the following actions: NCO may choose to respond back with an answer; the NCO may also request more info and have AA8K relay again; the NCO may arrange for transfer of the message to be passed to another station.
Use this proword in an emergency situation dealing with life & death matters. State: "(your callsign) EMERGENCY OVER"
AA8K: "AA8K EMERGENCY OVER"
NCO: "AA8K GO WITH YOUR EMERGENCY OVER"
AA8K: AA8K states his emergency traffic. All stations should pay the utmost attention and not interrupt.
You are correct. What you have sent is correct. Yes.
AA8K: "THIS IS AA8K AFFIRMATIVE OVER" Depending on the flow of communications he could also have used the proword "OUT".
You are incorrect. Not received. No.
AA8K: "THIS IS AA8K NEGATIVE OVER" Depending on the flow of communications he could also have used the proword "OUT".
Use this proword to ask a station to repeat his last transmission.
AA8K: "THIS IS AA8K SAY AGAIN OVER"
“I SAY AGAIN”
I am repeating the transmission or portion indicated. I will repeat my previous transmission.AA8K: "THIS IS AA8K I SAY AGAIN [stated his last transmission again] OVER"
An error has been made in my transmission. Correction transmission follows.
W8RIT: " THIS IS WHISKEY 8 RADIO....CORRECTION...ROMEO INDIA TANGO OVER"
This transmission is in error. Disregard it.
AA8K: "THIS IS AA8K DISREGARD OUT"
“MORE TO FOLLOW”
Additional message traffic will follow.
AA8K: "THIS IS AA8K MORE TO FOLLOW OVER"
This is used to call a station that you did not hear clearly. The first item that the unknown station is to supply his callsign, AND make sure that you have good communications with him. If he does not have good communications with you, then there is no point in him speaking to you directly since you can not hear him well enough. In that case a station may relay.
NCO: "UNKNOWN STATION, UNKNOWN STATION, THIS IS (your callsign) SAY AGAIN OVER" would be the reply back to a station you did not hear clearly.
The station called did not respond.
NCO: "THIS IS NCO (your callsign) NOTHING HEARD OUT"
Message received satisfactorily. This proword does NOT indicate agreement and is NOT a replacement for the word "YES"
AA8K: "THIS IS AA8K ROGER OVER"
If this were a piece of NTS traffic, he would state "...ROGER (NTS message #) OVER"
Verify entire message (or a portion indicated) with the originator and send the correct version..
That which follows is verified per your request.
I will spell the next word phonetically. Used to clarify homonyms, difficult words or names. The word is said, then spelled phonetically, and then said again.
W8RIT: " THIS IS W8RIT, I NEED YOU FOR TRANSPORTING SIX OARS, I SPELL, OSCAR ALPHA ROMEO SIERRA, OARS FOR THE COAST GUARD STAGING AREA PERSONNEL OVER"
A group of one or more numerals. The numbers are said by each numeral. "12" is not "twelve", but "FIGURES ONE TWO".
A group of one or more characters, the first of which is a letter, follows. This proword is used for acronyms such as DHS, or combinations of letters & numbers, such as "FT-101E". Used for abbreviations.
This proword is used for a short pause between your transmissions. Perhaps you have dropped your pencil or you need to find the next message to pass in a stack of papers. It means, I must pause, do not transmit.
W8RIT: " THIS IS W8RIT, I NEED YOU TO BRING............WAIT"
W8RIT: " THIS IS W8RIT, I NEED YOU TO BRING SIX OARS TO THE FOOT OF THE BLUE WATER BRIDGE OVER"
This proword is used for a longer pause between your transmissions. You may have a matter to attend to that will take longer than a couple of minutes, possibly from a request of another station you were in communications with. For example, the other station may have asked you to verify how many feet of coax are on a spool in a different room. In this case the net can continue. It means, I must pause for a period of time, continue with the net and I will call again later.
W8RIT: " THIS IS W8RIT, I NEED YOU TO BRING............WAIT OUT"
NCO: NCO continues with net.
Communication is difficult. Transmit each word, group, or phrase twice.
The word I need a fill of is the word after ______.
The word I need a fill of is the word before ______.
The portion of the message to which I refer is that portion which follows ______.
The portion of the message to which I refer is that portion which precedes ______.
I have received and will comply with your last transmission. The meaning of "ROGER" is included in "WILCO", and the 2 prowords are never used together. REMEMBER that in emergency communications, amateur radio operators may not in all cases have the knowledge or authority to comply with directions that are issued and sent to served agency officials. That will be their decision to make, NOT yours! You are a private, not a general. If you respond incorrectly, you may be a major...a major confusion.
Read back this message exactly as received.
Relay this message through ________(specified callsign)