Training Tips

1. Do not interrupt the NET CONTROL STATION unless you have emergency Traffic!  We are here to handle traffic only for a short time.  Keep non-traffic conversation to minimum. This can be conducted after Net. Thanks for your cooperation on this.

2. “73” is never used in the Signature of the radiogram, only in the text.

3. Use X (X-ray) in your text as a period, it is counted as a word, never used as the last word in a text, and it is introduced as “Intial Xray”, not Xray>

4. You should have on your desk for Net time, the following:

a. Blank radiogram and a blank ICS-213 form.

b. Copy of the Latest ARRL Numbered Radiograms. Can be found on this web site under radiogram. training.

c. Copy of the ARRL Handling instructions on this web site under radiogram training.

d. Telephone

e. Emergency phone numbers

f. Access to the Common Messages from this website

g. Plenty of pens or pencils.

5. Please learn to send your messages slow enough for the receiving station to be able to copy everything accurately. Some new receivers may not indicate they need you to slow down. Practice writing the word down with a pen or pencil as you send it. This will give you the correct speed.

6.Do not use extraneous words when relaying a message.  in the Preamble boxes, such as, Station of Origination, Check of, City of, State, Time, Todays Date. Just send the Data in the box, with a brief pause between boxes!

7.Do not use extraneous words when relaying a message in the Addressee, such as Going To, Address Figures, Direction WEST, NORTH, EAST, SOUTH, Sounds like, Same as, Zip figures, Telephone figures.
Telephone figures can be said if there is no Zip Code!

8.Do not use extraneous words when relaying a message  in the text, such as, Back stop, that’s 2 words, Break for text, Q signals are not sent. However Q signals are allowed in the text only. “Common Spelling” is never used or said on Emergency Nets!!  

9.Do not use extraneous words when relaying a message in the Signature, such as, Break for signature, Signed by, or the signature is!

10. Do use Prowords: 2.1.4 Such as, Number, End, Book of, Break, I spell, I say again, End more , End no more,  End Book no more Over, Roger, Affirmative, Negative, Go ahead, Charley.

These words are spoken to begin or end the message, indicate information for the receiving operator, or to seperate parts of the message or books. they are not counted in the check.

11. TRY AND USE Introductory Words: 2.1.5

Such as,

Initials, figure(s), Mix Group, or Mix Group Figure(s), Amateur Call Sign, (Introductory Amateur call sign not used in the preamble), I Spell, Email Address, Internet Address, Telephone Figures, used to introduce the telephone number in an addressee or signature when no zip code is used.  Introductory words are not counted as a word group in the text.

12. When you are sent off frequency to pass traffic please make sure the frequency is not being used.
Ask,  “Is the frequency in use”?

13.The letters ARL precede the check in messages containing ARRL numbered radiograms in the text. They are voiced as 3 letters without introduction, as in ARL 20: “ARL TWO ZERO” The letters ARL are customarily voiced without Phonetics, but may be so voiced in severe conditions.

ARL In the text: simply voiced as “ARL” Not spelled phonetically. The spelled out numbers of the radiogram are each spelled out phonetically using the introductory words “I Spell” Such as “ARL Sixty One”: ARL Sixty I spell SIERRA INDIA X-RAY TANGO YANKEE. ONE I spell OSCAR NOVEMBER ECHO.

14. Do not use Q signals on voice nets. Say it with words.The sign of a good Radio Operator, during drills, and an emergency situation will say it in plain language to get the message across fast and accurate on voice nets. If you do not have traffic, then say “NO TRAFFIC” NTS Manual Q signals are designed for CW only. Please do not confuse new operators that are coming aboard. I have many of them asking what the Q signals are. We do not use them on voice nets. Please say it with plain words on the phone nets.

Q signals can be used in the text of a message as initials.

15. Use The ITU Phonetics alphabet only. Some Amateur call phonetics are fun, but never used on an NTS net.

16. The Training Manual, “The Methods Practices and Guidelines” can be found at the link on the Membership and Training page of this site.

17. NO early checks-ins on ATEN. We start the net at the assigned time only. Early check-ins can delay the start of the net on time and confuse new-comers. If you have to leave early, check with the Net Control Station to see if any traffic is listed for your area. Our goal is to have stations available to take traffic for their area, not to just check in for the numbers.

18. Please keep the non net chatter to a minimum You can converse after net on any other subject.

19. Phone numbers in a text: counts as three groups or three words. Example: 928 123 4567

20. Dates in a text: are listed like, JAN 21 2008 three words or groups

21. Emails are listed in a text: as follows: kf7gc at arrl dot net, this email has five words or groups.

22. Love, sincerely, regards, take care, thanks again are used in the text only never in the signature

23. Examples of word groups:


x, 145R67 34TH 34TH/CMD SIXTY FIFTEEN 7035R7KHZ APR/22


X 73 555 5678 34TH CMD ARL SIXTY APR 22 7035R7 KHZ


THANKS X 73 301 555 3456 55 DASH 56XA ARL SIXTY SEVEN,


24. Note: 7035R7 means 7035.7. The period symbol is not permmitted. The letter “R” is used as a decimal point. So you can put it in the text as 7035R7, one word group, or 7035 decimal 7, which is three word groups.

25. OP Notes may be inserted after the signature, and are relating to a reply or servicing of the message information. Op notes inserted after the addressee are for delivery of the message information. Op Notes are optional and are not considered part of the message. They are for traffic handlers use only.

Example: (Signature) Diana OP NOTE Reply Via N1ABC QRZ.COM phone 234 333 4567

26. When returning to the net after passing or receiving traffic off frequency, you do not have to tell the net control station in detail what you did unless asked. Just tell the NCS that you are back, “traffic passed“, or “mission accomplished,” The NCS has a record of who brought and recieved the traffic. If you did not pass or receive traffic then you check back into the net saying “NO JOY” No Joy means the traffic that was listed was not passed.

27. No letters, dashes, or leading zeros in the radiogram message number. EXCEPTION: SVC” precedes the message number for Service messages see Common Messages for example.

28. Book Traffic: Can be used if you have the same Addressee or the same text in multiple messages. See Common Messages page for an example.

29. The first BREAK after the addressee is voiced “BREAK” and is before the start of the text, and at the
beginning of each “variable” part of a book message. THIS REQUIRES A STANBY OR PAUSE AFTER SAYING THE WORD “BREAK” TO LISTEN FOR FILL REQUESTS!  2.2 4.2
The second BREAK after the text is also voiced as “BREAK” followed immediately, without a standby
for fills, by the signature! sub 9. Fills can be completed after the signature.

30.  STATION OF ORIGIN – This is the first station that wrote or helped write the message and bring to a NTS Net for relay.

31.  PLACE OF ORIGIN – This is the actual place where the message started from, not necessarily the location of the Station of Origin. For example, if the station of origin is in Phoenix, creating a message for a person in Tucson, the place of origin would be Tucson in the preamble.  It is the City of the
person named in the signature.

32.  Canada Addresses for Radiograms
Postal Codes in Canada are a six Character String Consisting of three
Letters and Three Digits
Remember letter O and Zeros are not interchangeable. The correct postal code is in the format. One example is M5V 3L9
Letter Number letter,space, Number Letter Number for another example:  B1P 6J4.
If you see the letter O instead of a Zero in one of the number locations you will know that it is wrong, and it cannot be forwarded with an invalid postal code.




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Instructions on how to Originate a Service Message 

Messages encountered anywhere in the NTS system that can not be relayed or delivered are NOT discarded.   A Service Message back to the originating station must be generated.  There are only three things that an operator can do with a message:


1.  Relay it

2.  Deliver it

3.  Service it 

Generating service messages is the responsibility of the station holding the message.

Please keep messages for your records for at least one year.  You do not need to advise Net Control what you did with the message. This information is for your records only.  Once you accept a message, its yours to do one of the three above.

 The following is a typical Service Message FROM HXC, CANNOT DELIVER:

SVC 26    R    WA9HYM   ARL    8    Chino Valley AZ    May 15

  Loren S. Pimentel N1IQI

5 Evan Rd.

Pembroke MA 02359    (or the address of any one else, some as below)

781 293 3861 


ARL        Sixty        seven        3214        wrong

phone        number       73


Henry   WA9HYM

End No More


The following is a typical Service Message FROM HXC, reporting your delivery.

SVC 27      R       WA9HYM    ARL 9     Phoenix AZ      Nov 20



KINGSPORT TN 37660-3942 

433 245 3391 


ARL        Forty        Seven        3216        Wiiiiams

Nov          19          0200Z         73


Henry WA9HYM


We had a Disaster Drill on May 11, 2007 on ATEN. KF7GC was Net Control. The drill went on without a hitch and everyone had a good learning experience. We had 37 stations checking into the net to help with the handling of radiograms and ICS-213 messages

The Net handled 23 messages, consisting of Priority, Welfare and ICS-213 Traffic. Time 65 minutes. Some difficulty getting Priority traffic into the Phoenix Area.

Joe, W7LUX, DEC, from the Coconino County ARES organization had organized ARES, SATERN, some RACES members, to join us in the NTS, and wrote well over 20 Welfare, Priority, and ICS-213 messages for the drill, thanks Joe. We appreciate all your time and effort.

The drill had activated ATEN to provide Emergency Communications in response to fires south of Flagstaff with two Red Cross shelters in Flagstaff for those evacuated from the affected area. The drill was realistic.

The following stations not only checked into the net but sent, received, and or delivered traffic for the drill:

W7FSX Gene, Chino Valley

AB7NK Mary, Prescott Valley

KD7OED Lee, Sierra Vista

NN7D Rich, Flagstaff

W7JSW Bill, Scottsdale

W7VNO John, Payson

W7LUX Joe, Flagstaff

KE5PZ Jim, Vernon

WA6NWE Jim, Williams

K7PGT Paul, Casa Grande

N7SWI Fred, Las Vegas

WW7J Jim, Tucson

KE7HPI Bob, Flagstaff

K0LQB Bob ,Yuma

KC7PRC Dan, Flagstaff

Thanks, to everyone who took it upon themselves to join in the Drill and helped prepare the net for any future Emergencies that may come up. You Hams are the ones that will join with us in helping our Country, our families, and our community in a time of need. Thanks for a great job! We hope there will be more of you next time.