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Every formal radiogram message originated and handled should contain the following component parts in the order given

I. Preamble

a.Number (begin with 1 each month or year)

b.Precedence (R, W, P or EMERGENCY)

c.Handling Instructions (optional, see text)

d.Station of Origin (first amateur handler)

e.Check (number of words/groups in text only)

f.Place of Origin (not necessarily location of station of origin.)

g.Time Filed (optional with originating station)

h.Date (must agree with date of time filed)

II. Address

As complete as possible, include zip code and telephone number.

III. Text

Limit to 25 words or less, if possible.

IV. Signature

CW:The prosign separates the parts of the address. separates the adress from the text and the text from the signature. marks end of message; this is followed by B if there is another message to follow, by N if this is the only or last message. It is customary to copy the preamble, parts of the address, text and signature on separate lines.

RTTY:Same as CW procedure above, except (1) use extra space between parts of address, instead of ; (2) omit cw procedure sign to separate text from address and signature, using line spaces instead; (3) add a CFM line under the signature, consisting of all names, numerals and unusual works in the message in the order transmitted.

Packet/AMTOR BBS:Same format as shown in the cw message example above, except that the andprosigns may be omitted. Most amtor and packet BBS software in use today allows formal message traffic to be sent with the "ST" command. Always avoid the use of spectrum-wasting multiple line feeds and indentations.

PHONE:Use prowords instead of prosigns, but it is not necessary to name each part of the message as you send it. For example, the above message would be sent on phone as follows: "Number one routine HX Golf W1AW eight Newington Connecticut one eight three zero zulu july one Donald Smith Figures one six four East Sixth Avenue North River City Missouri zero zero seven eight nine Telephone seven three three four nine six eight Break Happy birthday X-ray see you soon X-ray loveBreak Diana End of Message Over. "End of Message" is followed by "More" if there is another message to follow, "No More" if it is the only or last message. Speak clearly using VOX (or pause frequently on push-to-talk) so that the receiving station can get fills. Spell phonetically all difficult or unusual words--do not spell out common words. Do not use cw abbreviations or Q-signals in phone traffic handling.


The precedence will follow the message number. For example, on cw 207R or 207 EMERGENCY. On phone, "Two Zero Seven, Routine (or Emergency)."

Emergency--Any message having life and death urgency to any person or group of persons, which is transmitted by Amateur Radio in the absence of regular commercial facilities. This includes official messages of welfare agencies during emergencies requesting supplies, materials or instructions vital to relief of stricken populance in emergency areas. During normal times, it will be very rare. On cw, RTTY and other digital modes this designation will always be spelled out. When in doubt, do notuse it.

Priority--Important messags having a specific time limit. Official messages not covered in the Emergency category. Press dispatches and other emergency-related traffic not of the utmost urgency. Notifications of death or injury in a disaster area, personal or official. Use the abbreviation P on cw.

Welfare--A message that is either a) an inquiry as to the health and welfare of an individual in the disaster area b) an advisory or reply from the disaster area that indicates all is well should carry this precedence, which is abbreviated W on cw. These messages are handled after Emergency and Priority traffic but before Routine.

Routine--Most traffic normal times will bear this designation. In disaster situations, traffic labeled Routine (R on cw) should be handled last, or not at all when circuits are busy with Emergency, Priority or Welfare traffic.

Handling Instructions (Optional)

HXA--(Followed by number) Collect landline delivery authorized by addressee within....miles. (If no number, authorization is unlimited.)

HXB--(Followed by number) Cancel message if not delivered within....hours of filing time; service originating station.

HXC--Report date and time of delivery (TOD) to originating station.

HXD--Report to originating station the identity of station from which received, plus date and time. Report identity of station to which relayed, plus date and time, or if delivered report date, time and method of delivery.

HXE--Delivering station get reply from addresses, originate message back.

HXF--(Followed by number) Hold delivery until....(date).

HXG--Delivery by mail or landline toll call not required. If toll or other expense involved, cancel message and service originating station.

HXV--Verify that message is correct by having it repeated to sending station. This is not official but put here in case one wonders what it is.

For further information on traffic handling, consult the Public Service Communications Manual or the ARRL Operating Manual, both published by ARRL.

ARRL QN Signals for CW Net Use

QNA*--Answer in prearranged order.

QNB*--Act as relay Between ______ and ______.

QNC--All net stations Copy. I have a message for all net stations.

QND*--Net is Directed (controlled by net control station).

QNE*--Entire net stand by.

QNF--Net is Free (not controlled).

QNG--Take over as net control station.

QNH--Your net frequency is High.

QNI--Net stations report In.*. I am reporting into the net. (Follow with a list or traffic or QRU).

QNJ--Can you copy me? Can you copy ______?

QNK*--Transmit message for ______ to ______.

QNL--Your net frequency is Low.

QNM*--You are QRMing the net. Stand by.

QNN--Net control station is ______. What station has net control?

QNO--Station is leaving the net.

QNP--Unable to copy you. Unable to copy ______.

QNQ*--Move frequency to ______ and wait for ______ to finish handling traffic. Then send him traffic for ______.

QNR--Answer ______ and Receive traffic.

QNS*--Following Stations are in the net. *(Follow with list.) Request list of stations in the net.

QNT--I request permission to leave the net for ______ minutes.

QNU*--The net has traffic for you. Stand by.

QNV*--Establish contact with ______ on this frequency. If successful, move to ______ and send him traffic for ______.

QNW--How do I route messages for ______ ?

QNX--You are excused from the net.*Request to be excused from the net.

QNY*--Shift to another frequency (or to ______ kHz) to clear traffic with ______.

QNZ--Zero beat your signal with mine.

* For use only by the Net Control Station.

Notes on Use of QN Signals

The QN signals listed above are special ARRL signals for use in amateur cw nets only. They are not for use in casual amateur conversation. Other meanings that may be used in other services do not apply. Do not use QN signals on phone nets. Say it with words. QN signals need not be followed by a question mark, even though the meaning may be interrogatory.

International Q Signals

A Q signal followed by a ? asks a question. A Q signal without the ? answers the question affirmatively, unless otherwise indicated.

QRA--What is the name of your station?

QRG--What's my exact frequency?

QRH--Does my frequency vary?

QRI--How is my tone? (1-3)

QRK--What is my signal intelligibility? (1-5)

QRL--Are you busy?

QRM--Is my transmission being interfered with?

QRN--Are you troubled by static?

QRO--Shall I increase transmitter power?

QRP--Shall I decrease transmitter power?

QRQ--Shall I send faster?

QRS--Shall I send slower?

QRT--Shall I stop sending?

QRU--Have you anything for me? (Answer in negative)

QRV--Are you ready?

QRW--Shall I tell ______ you're calling him?

QRX--When will you call again?

QRZ--Who is calling me?

QSA--What is my signal strength? (1-5)

QSB--Are my signals fading?

QSD--Is my keying defective?

QSG--Shall I send ______ messages at a time?

QSK--Can you work breakin?

QSL--Can you acknowledge receipt?

QSM--Shall I repeat the last message sent?

QSO--Can you communicate with ______ direct?

QSP--Will you relay to ______?

QSV--Shall I send a series of V's?

QSW--Will you transmit on ______?

QSX--Will you listen for ______ on ______?

QSY--Shall I change frequency?

QSZ--Shall I send each word/group more than once? (Answer, send twice or ______)

QTA--Shall I cancel number ______?

QTB--Do you agree with my word count? (Answer negative)

QTC--How many messages have you to send?

QTH--What is your location?

QTR--What is your time?

QTV--Shall I stand guard for you ______?

QTX--Will you keep your station open for further communication with me?

QUA--Have you news of ______?

Abbreviations, Prosigns, Prowords

CW--Phone (meaning or purpose)

AA--(Separation between parts of address or signature.)

AA--All after (use to get fills).

AB--An before (used to get fills).

ADEE--Addressee (name of person to whom message addressed).

ADR--Address (second part of message).

AR--End of message (end of record copy).

ARL--(Used with "check," indicates use of ARRL numbered message in text).  Listed below

AS--Stand by; wait.

B--More (another message to follow).

BK--Break; break me; break-in (interrupt transmission on cw. Quick check on phone).

BT--Separation (break) between address and text; between text and signature.

C--Correct; yes.

CFM--Confirm. (Check me on this).


DE--From; this is (preceding identification).

HH--(Error in sending. Transmission continues with last word correctly sent.)

HX--(Handling instructions. Optional part of preamble.) Initial(s). Single letter(s) to follow.

IMI--Repeat; I say again. (Difficult or unusual words or groups.)

K--Go ahead; over; reply expected. (Invitation to transmit .)

KN--Specific station answer only.

N--Negative, incorrect; no more. (No more messages to follow.)

NR--Number. (Message follows.)

PBL--Preamble (first part of message)

N/A--Read back. (Repeat as received.)

R--Roger; point. (Received; decimal point.)

SIG--Signed; signature (last part of message.)

SK--Out; clear (end of communications, no reply expected.)

TU--Thank you.

WA--Word after (used to get fills.)

WB--Word before (used to get fills.)

N/A--Speak slower.

N/A--Speak faster.


N/A--There is no CW equivalent.


Thanks to KY1F for this article. Thanks Daniel.






Numbered messages have been established for some of the more common texts sent during emergencies and holiday seasons. When this common text can be used, an ARL NUMBER is substituted for the text and sent. The delivering station reads the actual text to the address, not the ARL NUMBER.


The letters ARL are inserted in the preamble in the check and in the text before spelled out numbers, which represent texts from this list. Note that some ARL texts include and in the text before spelled out numbers, which represent texts from this list. Note that some ARL texts include insertion of numerals or words.


Group One -- For Possible "Relief Emergency " Use


ONE-- Everyone safe here. Please don't worry.


TWO-- Coming home as soon as possible.


THREE-- Am in _______ hospital. Receiving excellent care and recovering fine.


FOUR --Only slight property damage here. Do not be concerned about disaster reports.


FIVE-- Am moving to new location. Send no further mail or communication. Will inform you of new address when relocated.


SIX-- Will contact you as soon as possible.


SEVEN-- Please reply by Amateur Radio through the amateur delivering this message. This is a free public service


EIGHT-- Need additional ______ mobile or portable equipment for immediate emergency use.


NINE-- Additional ______ radio operators needed to assist with emergency at this location.


TEN-- Please contact _______. Advise to standby and provide further emergency information, instructions or assistance


ELEVEN-- Establish Amateur Radio emergency communications with ______ on _______ MHz.


TWELVE-- Anxious to hear from you. No word in some time. Please contact me as soon as possible.


THIRTEEN-- Medical emergency situation exits here.


FOURTEEN-- Situation here becoming critical. Losses and damage from _______ increasing.


FIFTEEN-- Please advise your condition and what help is needed.


SIXTEEN-- Property damage very severe in this area.


SEVENTEEN-- REACT communications services also available. Establish REACT communication with _______on channel _______.


EIGHTEEN-- Please contact me as soon as possible at _______.


NINETEEN-- Request health and welfare report on _______. (State name, address and telephone number.)


TWENTY-- Temporarily stranded. Will need some assistance. Please contact me at _______.


TWENTY ONE-- Search and Rescue assistance is needed by local authorities here. Advise availability.


TWENTY TWO-- Need accurate information on the extent and type of conditions now existing at your location. Please furnish this information and reply without



TWENTY THREE-- Report at once the accessibility and best way to reach your location.


TWENTY FOUR --Evacuation of residents from this area urgently needed. Advise plans for help.


TWENTY FIVE-- Furnish as soon as possible the weather conditions at your location.


TWENTY SIX --Help and care for evacuation of sick and injured from this location needed at once.


Emergency/priority messages originating from official sources must carry the signature of the originating official.


Group Two -- Routine messages


FORTY SIX-- Greetings on your birthday and best wishes for many more to come.  


FORTY SEVEN-- Reference your message number ______to ______ delivered on ________ ________ at ______ UTC.


FIFTY-- Greetings by Amateur Radio.


FIFTY ONE-- Greetings by Amateur Radio. This message is sent as a free public service by ham radio operators at _______. Am having a wonderful time.


FIFTY TWO-- Really enjoyed being with you. Looking forward to getting together again.


FIFTY THREE-- Received your _______. It's appreciated; many thanks.


FIFTY FOUR-- Many thanks for your good wishes.


FIFTY FIVE-- Good news is always welcome. Very delighted to hear about yours.


FIFTY SIX-- Congratulations on your _______, a most worthy and deserved achievement.


FIFTY SEVEN-- Wish we could be together


FIFTY EIGHT-- Have a wonderful time. Let us know when you return.


FIFTY NINE-- Congratulations on the new arrival. Hope mother and child are well.


*SIXTY-- Wishing you the best of everything on _______.


SIXTY ONE-- Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


*SIXTY TWO-- Greetings and best wishes to you for a pleasant _______ holiday season.


SIXTY THREE-- Victory or defeat, our best wishes are with you. Hope you win.


SIXTY FOUR-- Arrived safely at _______.


SIXTY FIVE-- Arriving _______ on _______. Please arrange to meet me there.


SIXTY SIX-- DX QSLs are on hand for you at the _______ QSL Bureau. Send _______ self addressed envelopes.


SIXTY SEVEN --Your message number _______ undeliverable because of _______. Please advise.


SIXTY EIGHT-- Sorry to hear you are ill. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.


SIXTY NINE-- Welcome to the _______. We are glad to have you with us and hope you will enjoy the fun and fellowship of the organization.




*Can be used for all holidays.


From: FORM FSD-3 (Revised 2/94) ARRL updated: 10-06-94


Phonetic Alphabet
Alpha Kilo Uniform 0   Zero
Bravo Lima Victor 1   Wun
Charlie Mike Whiskey 2   Too
Delta November Xray 3   Tree
Echo Oscar Yankee 4   Fower
Foxtrot Papa Zulu 5   Fife
Golf Quebec   6   Six
Hotel Romeo .   Decimal 7   Seven
India Sierra .   Stop 8   Ait
Juliet Tango   9   Niner