SUMTER COUNTY
Amateur Radio Emergency Services Association (ARES)

 Communications Forms - ARRL Forms

ARRL Message Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructions 

 
1. Preamble
 
The Preamble includes information used to prioritize and track the message and ensure its accuracy. 
 
(A) Number
Assigned by the Station of Origin and never changed. Begin with 1 each month or year.
Determines the order in which traffic is passed. Assigned each message a Precedence of R (Routine), W (Welfare), P (Priority) or EMERGENCY.
Optional, used only if a specific need is present.
(D) Station of Origin
The call sign of the station originating (creating) the message.
(E) Check
The number of words or word groups in the text of the message. A word group is any group of one or more consecutive characters with no interrupting spaces.
(F) 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.
(G) Time Filed
Optional, used only when filing time has some importance relative to the Precedence, Handling Instructions or Text.
(H) Date
The date the message was filed (If Time Filed is used, date and time must agree.
 
2. Address
Name, address, city, state, ZIP and telephone number of the intended recipient, as complete as possible. Note that punctuation is not used in the Address section.
3. Text
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 hyphen. 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 for 146.52).
4. Signature
The name of the party for whom the message was originated, May include additional information such as Amateur Radio call sign, title, address, phone number and so on.

GENERAL

Follows a description of the different parts of the Amateur Radio Message format. Some sections are OPTIONAL, and I recommend they not be used, unless needed. The use of this pre-printed message form from ARRL is NOT necessary for handling traffic. Use any paper you seem appropriate.

MESSAGE NUMBER (Mandatory)

This can be any number the originating stations chooses. Most start with 1 the first of each year. Once a message is numbered, that same number remains with the message until delivered. Example: NR 1

 

PRECEDENCE (Mandatory)

The Precedence of the Message determines what order the messages will be handled. Most of the time all messages are handled on every net session. The following four precedences are used in ascending order of priority:

ROUTINE (R on CW)

99.99% of all messages have this precedence. These messages will be handled last.

 

WELFARE (W on CW)

This message is either an inquiry to the health and welfare of an individual in a disaster area or a report of the health and welfare of an individual. These messages will be handled before ROUTINE traffic.

 

PRIORITY (P on CW)

These are messages have specific time limits. They are also for Official messages, not covered in the EMERGENCY category. This traffic will be handled before WELFARE or ROUTINE.

EMERGENCY (EMERGENCY on CW)

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 communication facilities. When in doubt, do NOT use this precedence. This traffic will be handle first and immediately.

Example:  NR 1 R (for Routine)

HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS (Optional)

Handling Instructions are sometimes used to tell the various stations along the way, what the desires of the originating station are. If not needed, it is best not to use. On phone: the sending station would say, "HANDLING INSTRUCTIONS n", n explained below. On CW: Send HXn.

HXA (Followed by a number)

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

 

HXB (Followed by a number)

Cancel message if not delivered within ... hours of filing time; service originating station.

 

HXC

Report the time and date of delivery to originating station.

 

HXD

Report to the originating station the identity of the station from which you received, plus time and date. Report the identity of the station to which it was relayed, plus time and date, or if delivered report time and date of delivery.

 

HXE

Delivering station get a reply from the addressee, and originate a 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.

Example:  NR 1 R HXG

STATION OF ORIGIN (Mandatory)

This is the call sign of the Amateur Radio Station generating (originating) this message. This call sign, along with the message number, serve as the "serial number" of this message. Any future reference to this message would be: "Number nn of CALL nn4nnn".

Example:  NR 1 R  K4IWW

CHECK (Mandatory)

This is a count of the number of words used in the TEXT (only) of the message. Words in the address or signature are NOT counted. Groups of figures, letters, combinations of figures and letters, and "X" are counted as words. This is the method that Amateurs use to make sure that the TEXT was received without error. Both the sender and receiver should end up with the same word count (CHECK).

PLACE OF ORIGIN (Mandatory)

This field is the City and State of either the Station of Origin or the person in the Signature. In most cases, this will be the same place.

Example:  NR 1 R  K4IWW  12  CARY NC

TIME FILED (Optional)

The time the message was originated. You may either use UTC or Local time. Examples: 1615Z or 1115 EST. Most messages do NOT use this field. It is only useful if the message has a short time value.

Example:  NR 1 R  K4IWW  12  CARY NC  1615Z

DATE (Mandatory)

This is the date the message was originated. In Amateur Radio, we use month and day. The year is NOT used. If the message is over a year old, it should be sent to the circular file.

Example:  NR 1 R  K4IWW  12  CARY NC  1615Z  DEC 20

ADDRESSEE (Mandatory)

The name(s) and address of the person to which this message is going. It looks like the address on an envelope used in snail mail. Include a phone number, if you have it. The more information here, the easier the delivery will be.

Example:
                 JOHN Q PUBLIC
                 1234 MAPLE AVE
                 ANYTOWN NC 27000

                 919 555 1234
Example:  NR 1 R  K4IWW  12

DELIVERING STATION INFO (Optional)

This section is rarely used. If the message is to be mailed or hand delivered, it is nice to put your (the delivering station) info here so the addressee can reach you if there is any question, or they want to send a return message. Most messages are delivered by phone.

TEXT (Mandatory)

Finally! This is the message you are sending for the signature person to the addressee. It should be short (usually less than 25 words) and in telegram style. No punctuation is used. The letter "X" is used (similar to STOP in telegrams) to end one idea and start another. Many messages do not even have an "X" in them. Example TEXT:

      ARRIVE      7PM      DEC      24       X
      LOOKING   FORWARD    TO     SEEING    YOU
         X        LOVE

The above TEXT has a count of 12. So the CHECK is 12. As Amateur Radio is non-commercial, the TEXT should have no commercial value. Each Radio Amateur is the judge of what is commercial and what is not.

SIGNATURE (Mandatory)

This is the name if the person sending the message. It may be the name or call of the originating station. However, it is usually the name of a "third party", for whom the originating station is generating the message.

RECEIVED (Optional)

This is for the handling station to write down whom they received the message from. This field is only for the book keeping of the handling station.

SENT (Optional)

This is for the handling station to write down whom they sent the message to. This field is only for the book keeping of the handling station

 

 Last Update:  09/12/2016    Copyright Sumter County ARES. All Rights Reserved.