Technician: Correct Copy of Voice Traffic

Technician: Correct Copy of Voice Traffic

What should be done to insure that voice message traffic containing proper names and unusual words are copied correctly by the receiving station? [T2C03]

A. The entire message should be repeated at least four times
B. Such messages must be limited to no more than 10 words
C. Such words and terms should be spelled out using a standard phonetic alphabet
D. All of these choices are correct

Let’s look at our possible answers and see if we can’t play a little elimination game.  A. The entire message should be repeated at least four times.  If you’re thinking that’s pretty inefficent and a general waste of time, you’re right.  B. Such messages must be limited to no more than 10 words.  That’s sort of the opposite end of the spectrum.  Limiting traffic to 10 word phrases is quite impractical.

So what do we do? If you find yourself needing to use words that may have unusual spelling, or names, or words that sound similar to other words that would confuse the meaning of your message, you need to fall back to spelling them out using a standard phonetic alphabet.

Now, there are several different types.  The “old school” one that you’ll hear used in, for example, old war movies.  The “police” one that is still used today by departments everywhere, and the one that is the nearly universally accepted standard in amateur radio, the NATO Phonetic alphabet.

That’s not to say you won’t hear different “soundings” of letters on the air, just realize that the correct way to do this is with the NATO alphabet.  Using “America” for “A” might sound nice, but could be confusing to somebody who doesn’t speak English and only uses the NATO alphabet.

The answer then, is C. Such words and terms should be spelled out using a standard phonetic alphabet.

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