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Ham Radio....Getting the Message Through!
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Beginner's Simplified Radiogram Procedures
1. NUMBER - Station of Origin's message serial number, starting each year with 1 and counting up.


  • Emergency [EMERGENCY] Spell out in full (Life or death). Handle as quickly as possible.
  • Priority [P] - (Urgent). Handle after EMERGENCY traffic.
  • Welfare [W] - Inquiry or report as to health or welfare of an individual in the disaster area.
  • Routine [R] - (All other messages). Handle last.
3. HX (Handling Instructions) - if any:

HXA followed by a number - Collect telephone delivery authorized by addressee within ___ miles. e.g. HXA100

HXB followed by a number - Cancel if not delivered within ___ hours of filing, and advise the originating station. e.g. HXB36

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

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

HXE - Delivering station to get reply from addressee, and originate message back to station of origin.

HXF followed by a number - Hold delivery until ___ (insert date). e.g. HXF21

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

4. STATION OF ORIGIN - This is the station that first wrote the message.

5. CHECK - Actual number of words, number of character groups and separators (X) in TEXT. See Item 11. Relay operator can correct your count by adding a corrected count.

6. 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 you originate a message for a person in a town that is not your own, use the person's own town. Otherwise, use your own location.

7. TIME FILED - Time the message was written. Not necessary for Routine traffic but should be used for Emergency or Priority traffic. Time should be UTC, not local time.

8. DATE - Date the message was written. Date should be correct for UTC time.

9. TO - Get complete info from person for whom you are sending the message. Name, and complete address are necessary to get the message to the right person as quickly as possible.

10. TELEPHONE NUMBER - If possible a number including area code should be included.

11. TEXT - The text is what the sender wants to tell the addressee, and should sound like a telegram - clear and concise and written so the meaning cannot be misconstrued. Text should be limited to 25 words and be NON-COMMERCIAL in nature. Phone numbers are broken into area code, exchange and number and are counted as three words. Periods are noted as X (X-Ray) and there is no X at the end of text. Each separator or X (X-ray) counts as 1 word. Closings such as “Love” and “Best Regards” are counted as words of text. When sending, a “Break” precedes and follows the text. These simplified procedures omit usage of standardized ARL numbered radiograms, the handling of book messages, and other less frequently seen message requirements.

12. SIGNATURE - The signature identifies the person sending the message. Additional identifying information may be added to the signature. Not counted in word count.

Above based on an initial compilation by Jean Whitcomb - VA3FW