How to Answer
Last month, we considered what the sending station says when
checking in to a net, listing and passing traffic. So what happens if you
can handle the traffic listed for Somewhere?
The first statement you will say can be when you check in or after the
NCS asks who can handle traffic for Somewhere, Wisconsin. You give
your call followed by, "I can take Somewhere." The NCS will give you
instructions -- either to handle the traffic on frequency or to move. For
example, the NCS might say, "K9LGU, call N9BDL and pick up one
Somewhere." You will call the station with the traffic on net frequency,
check the copy if necessary, tell him to go ahead and begin to copy the
If the NCS says, "K9LGU, call N9BDL and arrange," you (the receiving
station) suggest a frequency and move. You know best where you have
a TV birdie or how badly the splatter down the band is affecting your
reception. You pick the spot, ask if the frequency is in use, and call the
station with the traffic.
Chances are, the sending station will break often during the sending of
the message, so you can interrupt and ask for clarification or repeats. If
not, when the sending station completes the message and stands by,
you can ask for fills. There are some easy ways to do it. You might just
say, "Please repeat the message number," or "Please confirm the
phone number as 920-563-2439." If you're uncertain about the spelling,
you might ask "Please spell phonetically the word after…"
The prowords included on the famous pink card, ARRL Operating Aid
FSD-218, can be very helpful. Some of them are, "All after…, All
before…, Break (the separation between addressee and the text or the
text and the signature), Confirm…, Say again…"
Sometimes a sending operator tends to speak a little too fast for the
neophyte receiver. If the sender writes out the message as he sends it,
this is less likely. The request, "Please speak slower," is always
honored. The idea is to get the message through -- accurately.