Santa Clara County ARES®/RACES
Home Services Operations Data Credentials Training & Events Reference About

Message Passing

Course Description and Materials


Overview: This class will review message passing skills and work up through tips and techniques for accurate and clear communications. It includes numerous exercises for practicing learned skills and techniques.
Intended Audience: Hams who want to learn or improve their message passing skills.

Note:  The above prerequisites are not strictly enforced. But in order to get the most out of this course, you should have previously attended the above courses. If you have not yet attended one or more of the prerequisites, you should carefully review the course materials for the missed prerequisites prior to attending this course. Then, be sure to attend any missed prerequisites at your earliest opportunity.

Length: 3 hours
Pre-Class Homework:

Students are expected to perform the following pre-class homework:

  • Study SCCo ARES/RACES Message Handling Procedures (PDF) [updated 07/11/2022]
  • Learn the ProWords and techniques. Practice until you know them well. (It's not hard. But it does take time and must be done before class.)
  • Our class work will assume you know all of the ProWords and techniques covered in that document.
Students should bring:
  • Copy of course materials (see below)
  • Pen/pencil and pad of paper
Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Accurately and effectively pass operator-to-operator and 3rd party message traffic
Topics Covered:

The course agenda includes:

  • ProWords and Basic Techniques - Review Homework
  • Message types
    • Operator-to-Operator vs. 3rd party (spoken and written)
  • Radio Routing Information
  • Common Procedures
    • Announcing, Sending, Logging
  • Form-specific Exercises
  • Relaying Messages
  • Problem Solving
  • Lots of in class exercises and practice
Scheduling Info:
Course Materials:

Classroom presentation (Last revised 15-January-2024). This can be paper or electronic format as desired.

Print out and bring the following to class as paper copies:

Additional reference material:

Our message passing procedures are based on the ARRL National Traffic System (NTS) Chapter 2. If you desire more background you can review these documents, however some of it is not applicable to EmComm message passing (you do not need to print it out for this class).

  • ARRL NTS Chapter 1 - The ARRL Message Format  (PDF - 97 KB)
    • Chapter 1 deals with the NTS message form. It has little value for our local EmComm efforts but does provide some information on the NTS systems used in other areas.
  • ARRL NTS Chapter 2 - Sending Messages on Voice  (PDF - 187 KB)
    • Chapter 2 defines how to voice various types of message content, such as numbers, initials, addresses, etc. Some of this document is not applicable to EmComm traffic since it does not address our sending 3rd party traffic on behalf of our served agencies, but does provide some background to our procedures.

Web Site Home Page

This page was last updated on 03-Feb-2024