Message Handling Procedures

RAYNET is a communications organisation and as part of its work must pass formal written messages on behalf of its User Services both inland and potentially overseas. The organisation has always had a procedure for such formal messages but this is constantly under review both to incorporate best practice and ensure compatability between emergency communications groups where ever they might be.

The Emergency Planning Team has revised the Voice Message Procedure for use by all RAYNET groups to incorporate aspects of the IARU Region 1 HF Emergency Procedure, which is in itself compatable with message procedures used (for example) by the ARRL.

While the technology we use advances there is always a need for a basic, reliable method of getting a message through. The Voice Procedure is effectively the lowest common denominator in message handling since if any traffic is generated by other nets ( e.g. CW or DATA ) they may have to pass through a voice net at some point on their journey to their destination.

Two further procedures are available for CW and Data use to ensure some consistency in approach across the various modes.

How to use the Procedures

The Voice procedure covers both ‘tactical’ i.e. non-formal as well as Formal, written messages. Most groups may never handle formal messages in their day-to-day operations but since emergencies could happen at any time then Groups are encouraged to practice formal message handling during nets or on-air sessions. Many User Services have their own message forms but these are frequently intended for use within offices or for telephone/fax usage. The RAYNET Message form presented here is useful for those areas where existing forms are not available or do not exist. Also where messages have to be handled through intermediate points where facilities are not available.

The form is broadly similar in content and layout to the ARRL message form and it is hoped that this will aid international message handling either via HF or VoIP links where the ARRL format is most common. Two versions of the form are available, a simplified form presented ‘2 up’ on an A4 sheet for easy printing along with an A5 version which contains more prompts for operators unfamiliar with the message format. An A4 version of this style will be available soon.

Download the documents here

The simplified message forms are presented ‘2 up’ on an A4 sheet for download here;

The A5 form containing more prompts for use is downloadable from;

If you have any query or issue related to these procedures or suggestions for future revisions, you may contact the Team, or send correspondence to:

RAYNET Emergency Planning Team
9 Conigre
OX39 4JY

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