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Prowords heard on MMSN

The use of prowords is VERY STRONGLY encouraged.  From time to time we communicate directly with Coast Guard stations, military stations and other official agencies that DO NOT understand normal ham-speak.  It is imperative that we use language that is clear to them and all stations monitoring the emergency.

The use of Q-signals on the net is VERY STRONGLY discouraged as they were intended as CW abbreviations, not for SSB.  Use plain language and do not ask a station for his “handle and QTH.”  It is not clear language to non-hams.  Ask the station for his name and location.  Everyone understands that.


Commonly Used Prowords

AFFIRMATIVE
Yes or Permission granted.  PLEASE, DO NOT USE QSL!!!

ALL AFTER
“Say again all that part of your transmission after _______”

ALL BEFORE
“Say again all that part of your transmission before _______”

BREAK
When reading bulletins or advisories, some of which can be very long, the proword BREAK should be used, un-key the microphone, listen for any emergency traffic.  Then key up, use the proword “CONTINUING,” and carry on with the material.  Example: “...OF THE LARGE EYE MAKES LANDFALL.  MORE TO FOLLOW, BREAK.  (pause)  CONTINUING.”  Another example: to indicate that you have finished with one station and are moving onto the next “...W2ABC, thank you for checking in.  BREAK.  W4XYZ, call your traffic, OVER.”

BREAK-BREAK
Contrary to popular belief, a station calling “Break” or “Break-Break” is NOT an Emergency call.  The total misunderstanding of this proword is from the CB band.  Over the past number of years, there has been a huge influx of operators from the CB Band.  Unfortunately, they have not been taught, or Elmered, that this is not the proper usage of this term.  At the same time, unfortunately, many perators have taken hold of this proword to mean that there is indeed an emergency.  It may be.  However, Emergencies are properly identified by “MAYDAY” or “EMERGENCY” and no other words.  PLEASE, Do Not dilute the internationally established method of declaring this status.  Responding “Breaking station, go ahead” will result in all break stations responding and now you have to sort them out.  Do not respond to break stations, instead, reply with “call signs only please.”

CONTACT
This indicates that a station has heard a particular station or a station in a particular area that they wish to contact.  The NCS will acknowledge a station using the pro-word “contact” and allow it time to call the station and arrange to change frequency.

“Contact” takes priority over regular check-ins.  Call the contact station first.

CORRECT
You are correct; that is correct.

CORRECTION
We all, occasionally, make errors in our transmissions.  When an error is made, the proword CORRECTION should be communicated, followed by the correct information.  Example: “WHISKEY FIVE CORRECTION WHISKEY EIGHT ALPHA INDIA.  (pause)  MORE TO FOLLOW, BREAK.”

FIGURES
Routinely, in handling messages, we encounter groups of numbers such as telephone numbers, latitude and longitude indications, street addresses, and so forth.  In order to let the operator on the other end of the communication pipeline know that what we’re about to transmit is a group of numbers, or, a mixed group containing both numbers and letters but beginning with a number, we use the proword FIGURES.  Here’s how it works:  We need to transmit this telephone number:  800-374-7279.  We transmit that information as FIGURES EIGHT ZERO ZERO DASH THREE SEVEN FOUR DASH SEVEN TWO SEVEN NINER.

FROM
The originator of this message is indicated by the designation immediately following.

INCORRECT
You are incorrect; that is incorrect.  The correct version is...

INITIAL
A single letter or initial follows.

I READ BACK
The following is my response to your instructions to read back, meaning, I read back everything exactly as transmitted.

I SAY AGAIN
I am repeating transmission or portion indicated.

I SPELL
Here again, we rely on the International Phonetic Alphabet.  Many words in the English language sound alike but have entirely different meanings.  To, too, and two, for example, sound exactly the same.  In order to make certain that the recipient of information understands what word we’re using, when we encounter words we cannot pronounce, words that sound like other words, or uncommon words, we phonetically spell them out.  In order to use this proword, we SAY THE WORD, SPELL THE WORD PHONETICALLY, and then, SAY THE WORD AGAIN.  Here’s how it sounds in practice:  “I AM GOING TO I SPELL TANGO OSCAR TO SEND YOU TWO I SPELL TANGO WHISKEY OSCAR TWO FORMS COMMA TOO I SPELL TANGO OSCAR OSCAR TOO PERIOD.”

MIXED GROUPS
You will, from time to time, encounter groups of letters and numbers that, taken together, represent a single group.  Ham call signs are a very good example.  The rule for transmitting mixed groups by voice is very simple:  If the group starts with a letter, use the proword I SPELL.  For example:  “I SPELL WHISKEY FIVE ALPHA BRAVO.”  If the group starts with a number, use the proword FIGURES.  Example:  “FIGURES SIX ONE FOUR SIX ALPHA.”

MORE TO FOLLOW
I have more messages, traffic, or information for you.

NEGATIVE
No or Permission not granted.

OUT
This is the end of my transmission to you.  No response is required or expected.  The proword “OUT” is similar to hanging up the telephone…the conversation between the parties has ended.  Example:  “THIS IS VICTOR ECHO THREE INDIA INDIA.  NOTHING FURTHER.  OUT.”
In addition, NEVER SAY OVER & OUT!!!

OVER
This proword is used at the end of a transmission when additional communication is expected with another party.  For example, Tom, VE3II, is communicating with Rene, K4EDX.  Example:  “KILO FOUR ECHO DELTA X-RAY, THIS IS VICTOR ECHO THREE INDIA INDIA.  DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING FURTHER, RENE?  OVER.”

Tom’s use of the proword OVER indicates that he expects a transmission from Rene.  An NCS asking for check-ins to a net would also use this proword to end his/her transmission:  ADDITIONAL STATIONS FOR THIS NET, OVER.

Note:  “Come now” is NOT a substitute for Over!

RECHECK
This indicates that a station has returned to the Net after changing frequency with another station and was unable to establish contact with that station on the other frequency.

The appropriate response from the NCS would be “The station calling RE-CHECK call your lost station.”  If the second station is not on the frequency, advise the re-check to stand-by on frequency and to call “CONTACT” when he hears his station return.

Re-check takes priority over regular check-ins...call the re-check station first.

ROGER
I have received your last transmission satisfactorily (it does not mean “OVER”).  This is not to be confused with answering a question in the affirmative.  If you are asked a question and the answer is in the affirmative, use YES, or AFFIRMATIVE - not ROGER.

SAY AGAIN
In a perfect world, all communications would be understood by all parties on the first attempt.  Alas, the world is not perfect (nor is 20 meter propagation), and repeats or fills of transmitted information will be required.  The prowords SAY AGAIN and tell the other operator that you need a fill or repeat of information that was previously transmitted.  If you are copying formal traffic, other prowords may follow.  For example, “SAY AGAIN ALL AFTER xxxx” tells the other operator that you need him or her to repeat everything in the message after a certain word or group of figures (xxxx).  For example, you might transmit, “SAY AGAIN ALL AFTER SCHOOL, OVER.”  If you only missed a word or two or a short phrase, you can transmit the prowords, “SAY AGAIN FROM xxxx TO xxxx.”  This tells the other operator that you need all the information contained in the message FROM the word (xxxx) TO the word (xxxx).  For example, “SAY AGAIN FROM ELEPHANT TO MONKEY, OVER.”

THIS IS
This proword is self-explanatory.  THIS IS should precede your call sign in every transmission during a DIRECTED NET operation.  For example, W9FX replies to the net control station (NCS), K7JAD: “THIS IS WHISKEY NINER FOXTROT X-RAY.  ROGER, etc.”

WAIT
There are two forms of use of this proword WAIT, or WAIT, OVER is used when an operator experiences a brief delay.  For example, if you drop your pencil or have to reach into a drawer to retrieve a piece of paper or pen, transmit the proword WAIT or WAIT, OVER.  The transmitter can be either be un-keyed or remain on the air during the delay.  If, however, the delay is anticipated to be longer than a few seconds, transmit the prowords WAIT, OUT.  Circumstance that might dictate the latter use of this proword includes a visitor in the radio room, a telephone call, or other disturbance.  In any event, the proword WAIT is similar to putting someone you are talking to on the telephone on hold.  Just as you must take the person on the phone off hold to conclude your conversation, do not forget to finish your communication with the station to which you transmitted WAIT.  If you are not acting as NCS and you have used the prowords WAIT, OUT, be sure to once again obtain the permission of the NCS to resume your communications with the other station.  By using the proword OUT, you terminated whatever communications were earlier taking place.  “WAIT, OUT,” releases the frequency for use by the NCS and other net members.

WILCO
I have received your signal, understand it, and will comply.  To be used only by the addressee.  Since the meaning of ROGER is included in that of WILCO, the two PROWORDS are never used together.