How to Write Formal Traffic ...
Writing Formal traffic is easy. Follow the steps listed below and you'll
be sending and receiving traffic in no time at all:
NR 21 HXG R KT4ST 15 BLOOMINGDALE GA MAY 20
123 MAIN STREET
ANYWHERE GEORGIA 31412
FONE 111 222 3333
NICE TO HEAR YOU ON THE NET X HOPE TO WORK YOU AGAIN SOON 73
ARNIE / KT4ST
The first part of a message is called the Preamble, which
contains the message number, handling instructions, message status,
originating station call sign, word count, city and state of origin,
and message date.
MESSAGE NUMBER ... This number identifies the message as originating from
the station identified after the handling instructions. Most hams start
January first with number 1 and add sequentially through December 31. The
number 21 indicates that this is KT4ST's 21st originated message this year.
HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS ... Some messages contain handling instructions. These
instructions tell the station receiving the message how to handle it. The
HXG instruction tells the receiving station: Delivery by mail or
landline toll call not required. If toll or other expense involved, cancel
message and service originating station. Handling instructions are
optional and most stations do not use them.
MESSAGE STATUS ... This identifies the type of message being sent. All
traffic sent during Non-emergencies should be sent as Routine .
The other status types are W-Welfare, P-Priority, and EMERGENCY.
ORIGINATING STATION ... This is the Call Sign of the station originating the
traffic. If you write a message to send to someone else, YOU are the
WORD COUNT ... The word count is the number of words in the TEXT
portion of the message. When writing a message do not use a period,
separate thoughts with an X. Count the X as a word. In the above message,
there are fourteen words and one X, for a total word count of 15.
CITY and STATE of ORIGIN ... The City and State of origin is the location
where the message originated. If you live in Main City, GA and you go to
Central City, GA and originate a message, The Origin will be Central City GA.
There is no comma placed between the city and the state.
MESSAGE DATE ... The Message Date is the date that the message was originated.
It is written as Month (three letters) then day.
The next part of the message is the ADDRESSEE. The Adressee is the
intended receipient of the message. Always include a full address and phone
number, if possible.
TEXT comes next. This is the information part of the message.
Try to keep the Text part of a message to 25 words or less.
The last part of the message is the SIGNATURE. The Signature tells
the receipient who the message is from. This could be the same
as the Originating Station, but it doesn't have to be. If your friend
wants to send a message to his wife, then he is the signature on the message.
Try to keep the Signature part of a message to three lines or less.
The message is now ready for relay to a receiving station for either further
relay or delivery. When sending a message, remember to Always
separate the parts as follows:
Send the preamble then pause for a second or two, then send the Addressee.
Do not send a Break (BT) between the Preamble and the Addressee.
Send the prosign (AA) after each line of the addressee, then send a Break
(BT) before starting to send TEXT.
Send the TEXT, then send a Break (BT) before the Signature. Send the
Signature, (AA) after each line if needed. Then send the prosign (AR) This
means you have completed the message. Finally, send either an "N" or a "B".
The "N" means there are NO more messages to follow. The "B" means there are
still other messages to be sent. An optional number may be sent after the
"B" to indicate how many more messages are left.
After you have sent the message, the receiving station
may ask for fills. Fills are bits of information that the
receiving station may have missed while you were transmitting, due to
static or other types of interference. The following is a list of some
of the standard fills.
WA ... Word After __________
WB ... Word Before _________
BN ... Between _______ and ________
AB ... All Before _________
AA ... All After _________
CFM .. Confirm __________
I have sent you the above message, and at the end you send: WB SOON (BK).
My answer will be WB SOON AGAIN (BK) meaning the word before Soon is Again.
If you want to confirm that something you copied is correct, send CFM, then
the word or words to confirm. (example CFM 123 Main Street).
Once all fills have been taken care of, the receiving station should send
QSL NR(the message number) which means they have received the message and
are now ready to relay or deliver it.
For further information on the National Traffic System (NTS), consult
the Public Service Communications Manual which is available through the ARRL,
either on the web or through written correspondance.