Message Forms

Message Forms CountyEC Tue, 07/16/2019 - 14:25



There are different forms that can be used to send and receive messages. The most widely used form used by amateur radio operators is the radiogram. If a message needs to be sent for a served agency, the ICS 213 form will likely be used. The Red Cross has forms they like to use and there are several other forms depending on what organization the amateur radio operator is woirking with. A good way not to get overwhelmed by all the different forms is to think of the forms as message formats.

If you want to tell a friend the following message:

“Everyone is OK. Can you send your backhoe and dump truck? We need to repair the driveway. “


If you write a friend a letter and mail it to them using a stamp and envelope, you may use this format to write the letter.

John Doe
123 State Street
Mytown, OH 12345
July 25, 2019

Jane Smith
123 Green Street
Friendtown, OH 12345

Dear Jane,

Everyone is OK. Can you send your backhoe and dump truck? We need to repair the driveway.

Best Regards,



If you are sending an e-mail the message may look like this

Subject: Storm

Everyone is OK. Can you send your backhoe and dump truck? We need to repair the driveway.


In both of these examples, the message is the same. The form of the message is different.  The first one uses the street address and is formatted to use the Postal Service. The second one is formatted to use electronic mail. When reading an e-mail, you would not expect to receive one formatted like a the first example and when getting a letter delivered by the post office, you would not expect it to look like the second example.
Organizations that use organization specific forms expect to receive messages using their preferred format, For example served agencies would expect the message to be on an ICS 213 form. A traffic handler taking traffic on an amateur radio traffic net would be expecting to see a radiogram form, The Red Cross would expect the message to be using their form. If a served agency needs to send a message using a ICS 213 form on a traffic net, the header from a radio gram can be used as the header on the ICS 213 so traffic handlers on the net will know where to send the message and a reply back to it over the National Traffic System.

Messages or Traffic can be sent using different methods over amateur radio. 

  • Digitally using fldigi
  • Voice
  • CW
  • Email using winlink

The next sections will focus on filling out a radiogram form, the ICS213 form and a modified ICS213 form for the National Traffic System.

Traffic Handling

Traffic Handling CountyEC Wed, 05/22/2019 - 21:01

Here is some information about traffic handling and how the traffic system works. FSD3 is a list of ARL numbered radiograms. Feel free to open the fillable radiogram form and use it to follow along with the videos.
KD8TTE has put together several videos about message handling on his youtube channel. Please visit his youtube channel to view them. 

The Central Ohio Traffic Net is a training net. It is a good place to get your feet wet when learning how to handle traffic. COTN meets daily at 7:15pm on  -146.97 tone 123.0Hz. Please visit their website for additional information and resources