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How do I read figures for message number, check, and date in the preamble?

posted May 11, 2014, 6:10 PM by C. Matthew Curtin
MPG chapter 2 addresses the question directly.

Figures are given one at a time so the receiving station can hear easily and know how many figures should have been present.

Consider the preamble:

207  R  KD8TTE  ARL 11 Bexley OH  May 11

How about

Two oh seven K-D-eight-T-T-E A-R-L eleven bexley o-h May eleventh

No no no. The figures are read out one at a time.

Two zero seven kilo delta eight tango tango echo a-r-l one one Bexley Ohio May one one

Our message number is two-zero-seven, not two-oh-seven, and not two hundred seven. Certainly not two dollars and seven cents.

Check is also read as individual figures. In the event of an ARRL numbered radiogram, the check will have the prefix of ARL, read as A-R-L. This example is A-R-L-one-one.

That date is never May eleventh, May eleven, or the eleventh of May. That date is always read in the preamble as May-one-one.

When reading traffic on the air a station should use a normalized, easy to follow cadence. Thus gaps in the transmission are easily detected and the receiving station can ask for confirmation.

These details of traffic handling are important when striving for error-free transmission over a variety of operating conditions.