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Author Topic: How long is a typical welfare message?  (Read 1714 times)
N7USR
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Posts: 56




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« on: December 14, 2006, 09:16:40 PM »

I am still learning packet but had this question.

How many lines, or characters, is the typical welfare message?

I have seen the NTS format for messages but have not seen any information regarding how many characters, words, or lines can be contained within one message. I understand that several messages could be pieced together if necessary.

Can anyone shed some light on this subject?

Thanks and 73's de GReg  N7USR
 
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W0IPL
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Posts: 410


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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2006, 12:25:24 AM »

http://www.coloradoares.org/NTS.htm

"If possible" restrict the word count to a maximum of twenty five.

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/nts-mpg/
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KG4RUL
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Posts: 3081


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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2006, 06:07:31 AM »

Per the Public Service Communication Manual (PSCM), Appendix B NTS MPG-Message Format:

Page 1-13, Para 1.3 TEXT PART:

....
The text is divided in word "groups", five or ten to a line for easy counting, and is usually limited to 25 words or less.
....

This practice is reflected in both the example message forms depicted in the PSCM and the ARRL Radiogram Form.  Additionally, for the specific purpose of passing Health and Welfare traffic, a form utilizing ARL Codes is available.

The following related documents are availabe from the ARRL Web Site: http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/forms/

ARRL Radiogram Form - Two versions available in PDF format:
    * Original version (2 copies on a page)
    * Printer friendly version (no black stripe on form)

FSD-3: ARRL Numbered Radiograms - Includes both relief emergency and routine message radiograms, in addition to the precedences to use in emergency, priority, welfare and routine situations.

FSD-218: Amateur Message Form - Guidelines for originating and handling formal radiogram messages, including precedences, handling instructions, QN signals, Q signals, abbreviations, prosigns and prowords.

FSD-220: Handy Operating Aid - This handy operating aid contains five useful references including the UTC time conversion chart, the ITU phonetic alphabet, guidelines to using the RST System, communication procedures and good phone operating guidelines.

FSD-244: Amateur Radio Disaster Welfare Message

Dennis KG4RUL
Berkeley County South Carolina ARES, Information Officer
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KE4SKY
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Posts: 1045


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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2006, 07:15:21 AM »

If using packet for welfare traffic, it would be advantageous to use an applications which would brijng up a template of the standard Red Cross Disaster Welfare Inquiry form so that you just have to fill in the blanks, bundle, store and forward the messages in your BBS program.  There are a number of software packages which do this, or if you have a resident geek your local chapter can customize one if they haven't already.

While NTS practice is to try to limit messages to 25 groups, this may  slide a bit, particularly in digital routing.  Using the numbered radiograms helps.

I would recommend that W traffic be put on packet whenever possible to keep your voice and CW nets free for operations support.  If your nets are not busy, it's OK to handle some W traffic on voice nets for training purposes, but once you are actively involved in an incident, W messages would fall to the bottom of the pile.
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NA4IT
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2006, 08:34:08 PM »

I had made up some forms I was using during Katrina which basicly amounted to having the Name, Address, and Phone of the person information was sought for and the name and phone of the requesting party, with ARL19 in the body. I think just about all the traffic handlers I heard were doing the same.

NA4IT
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