Detailed Form Encoding Rules

Intent

  • The intent is to provide reasonably unambiguous and reasonably efficient encoding of forms for transmission through the National Traffic System
  • The goal is to be able to deliver a close facsimile (information is correct although there might be slight differences in format) of the original form
  • The traffic may be pass through the National Traffic System using: voice, CW, or digital modes
  • The initial effort is to encode the ICS-213 form, and the approach is heavily influenced by the design of the ICS-213 form, although it is believed that the approach, used judiciously, can be applied to most forms
  • It is important to note that then encoding is as human effort of judgement: there are potentially multiple satisfactory approach for any given form. We will establish the NTS 2.0 efforts standards for an initial set of forms

Basic Encoding Approach

  • The Texas EMA STAR form is a good example of the initial approach
  • For every distinct field, a field identifier (usually numeric) is applied which will be the identifier for that field. Each field must be a clear separate field of data, usually clearly separated in the form itself
  • Some forms, the ICS-213 form for example, already has the fields numbered. The ICS-213 form is an example. In this case the numbering of the form should be used.
  • There are two basic types of fields. Combining these fields into one can be problematic
    • Free form text fields
    • A stand alone check box which is essentially a logical field and is  typically either Yes or blank (and omitted in the radiogram if blank)
  • So for forms such as the HICS-213 form where field 8 contains a check box and pure text, the pure text becomes field 8. To differentiate the check box, and maintain the numbering of the form, the check box is given a field identifier of 8A
  • Any field in the form which is blank is not included in the radiogram
  • all complex forms use the handling instruction HXI
1066 R HXI AB1PH 82 WALPOLE MA 1421Z MAR 10

Example with an ICS-213 form

We will use an ICS-213 form which was used initial testing for our example

ics-form-213-Initial-Message-to-Fred-202303100921L v1

This can be encoded into an ARRL radiograms as follows.  The first field is a reply reference for the message which is the year, month, day, and time for the original message itself, not the radiogram.  This is followed by each filed starting with the field number.  If there is a voicing pause (period) this is encoded with X (XRAY).  Fields which are blank (e.g. field 9 and 10 for replies are blank in this example.  There are special rules for sending an ICS-213 reply (which will be discussed later).

 

1066 R HXI AB1PH 82 WALPOLE MA 1421Z MAR 10
FRED KEMMERER ARRL
HOLLIS NH 03049
AB1OC ATSIGN ARRL DOT NET
BT
20230310921L
1 ICS DASH 213 TEST PROGRAM
2 FRED KEMMERER ARRL
3 WALPOLE CERT TEAM ICS DASH 213 REVIEW COMMITTEE
4 INITIAL SIMPLE TEST OF ICS DASH 213 THROUGH NTS
5 MAR 10
6 0921L
7 THIS IS A SIMPLE
ICS DASH 213 TEST MESSAGE
FROM THE WALPOLE ICS DASH
213 CERT TEAM X WE
HAVE TRIED TO AVOID SYNTACTICAL
AMBIGUITIES BUT ARE TRYING TO
TEST THE FULL FUNCTIONALITY X PLEASE
REPLY WITH COMMENTS ON SUCCESS
OF EFFORT
8 WALPOLE CERT COMMUNICATIONS
BT
DON ROLPH AB1PH
AR

 

For the ICS-213 and similar forms for which there is a sender and or recipient which are included in both the ICS-213 form and the radiogram, fields 2 (To) and 3 (From) can be omitted.  In this case field 2 is the same in the radiogram and the ICS-213 form and field 2 can be omitted.  The resulting radiogram is:

 

1066 R HXI AB1PH 78 WALPOLE MA 1421Z MAR 10
FRED KEMMERER ARRL
HOLLIS NH 03049
AB1OC ATSIGN ARRL DOT NET
BT
0230310921L
1 ICS DASH 213 TEST PROGRAM
3 WALPOLE CERT TEAM ICS DASH 213 REVIEW COMMITTEE
4 INITIAL SIMPLE TEST OF ICS DASH 213 THROUGH NTS
5 MAR 10
6 0921L
7 THIS IS A SIMPLEICS DASH 213 TEST MESSAGE
FROM THE WALPOLE ICS DASH 213 CERT TEAM X WE
HAVE TRIED TO AVOID SYNTACTICAL AMBIGUITIES BUT ARE TRYING TO
TEST THE FULL FUNCTIONALITY X PLEASE REPLY WITH COMMENTS ON SUCCESS
OF EFFORT
8 WALPOLE CERT COMMUNICATIONS
BT
DON ROLPH AB1PH
AR

 

This is a saving of four words.

Before final delivery of, in this case the ICS-213 form, the form should be reconverted into its original format as shown below:

ics form 213 Initial Message to Fred 202303100921-v2 deliverable

Voicing of message via voice net

Wile the fields are easily recognized in a digital form of the radiogram, special voicing is required during voice transmission of an ICS-213 message encoded in a radiogram.  See below (voicing between the curly brackets {}:

1066 R HXI AB1PH 82 WALPOLE MA 1421Z MAR 10 
FRED KEMMERER ARRL 
HOLLIS NH 03049 
AB1OC ATSIGN ARRL DOT NET
BT 
202303100921L
1 ICS DASH 213 TEST PROGRAM {next field}
2 FRED KEMMERER ARRL {next field}
3 WALPOLE CERT TEAM ICS DASH 213 REVIEW COMMITTEE {next field}
4 INITIAL SIMPLE TEST OF ICS DASH 213 THROUGH NTS {next field}
5 MAR 10 {next field}
6 0921L {next field}
7 THIS IS A SIMPLE ICS DASH 213 TEST MESSAGE (wait for receiver to request fills or say go}
FROM THE WALPOLE ICS DASH 213 CERT TEAM X WE (wait for receiver to request fills or say go}
HAVE TRIED TO AVOID SYNTACTICAL AMBIGUITIES BUT ARE TRYING TO (wait for receiver to request fills or say go}
TEST THE FULL FUNCTIONALITY X PLEASE REPLY WITH COMMENTS ON (wait for receiver to request fills or say go}
SUCCESS OF EFFORT {next field}
8 WALPOLE CERT COMMUNICATIONS
BT
DON ROLPH AB1PH 
AR

Note that the voicing within the brackets is implied by the written message and is not included in any text version of the message nor does it count in the word count of the radiogram message body.

Sending via CW net

Wile the fields are easily recognized in a digital form of the radiogram, a special pro sign (AA) is required during CW transmission of an ICS-213 message encoded in a radiogram.  See below:

1066 R HXI AB1PH 82 WALPOLE MA 1421Z MAR 10 
FRED KEMMERER ARRL AA
HOLLIS NH 03049 AA
AB1OC ATSIGN ARRL DOT NET AA
BT 
202303100921L 
1 ICS DASH 213 TEST PROGRAM AA
2 FRED KEMMERER ARRL AA
3 WALPOLE CERT TEAM ICS DASH 213 REVIEW COMMITTEE AA
4 INITIAL SIMPLE TEST OF ICS DASH 213 THROUGH NTS AA
5 MAR 10 AA
6 0921L AA
7 THIS IS A SIMPLE 
ICS DASH 213 TEST MESSAGE 
FROM THE WALPOLE ICS DASH 
213 CERT TEAM X WE 
HAVE TRIED TO AVOID SYNTACTICAL 
AMBIGUITIES BUT ARE TRYING TO 
TEST THE FULL FUNCTIONALITY X  
PLEASE REPLY WITH COMMENTS ON SUCCESS 
OF EFFORT AA
8 WALPOLE CERT COMMUNICATIONS 
BT
DON ROLPH AB1PH 
AR

Note that the pro sign AA is implied by the written message and is not included in any text version of the message and  it is n ot counted in the word count of the radiogram message body.

Sending Reply for ICS-213

The ICS-213 form and similar forms support sending an attached reply.  This provides a way for the served agencies to retain context between the original message and the reply.

The resulting ICS-213 example would look like:

ics form 213 Initial Message to Fred 202303100921 deliverable with reply

 

This can be encoded directly as:

1082 R HXI WZ0C 101 HOLLIS NH 1536Z MAR 12 
DON ROLPH AB1PH
WALPOLE MA 02032 
AB1PH ATSIGN ARRL DOT NET
BT 
202303121036L 
1 ICS DASH 213 TEST PROGRAM 
2 FRED KEMMERER ARRL 
3 WALPOLE CERT TEAM ICS DASH 213 REVIEW COMMITTEE 
4 INITIAL SIMPLE TEST OF ICS DASH 213 THROUGH NTS 
5 MAR 10 
6 0921L 
7 THIS IS A SIMPLE 
ICS DASH 213 TEST MESSAGE 
FROM THE WALPOLE ICS DASH 
213 CERT TEAM X WE 
HAVE TRIED TO AVOID SYNTACTICAL 
AMBIGUITIES BUT ARE TRYING TO 
TEST THE FULL FUNCTIONALITY X  
PLEASE REPLY WITH COMMENTS ON  
SUCCESS OF EFFORT 
8 WALPOLE CERT COMMUNICATIONS
9 MESSAGE WAS RECEIVED SUCCESSFULLY 
THROUGH NTS X THANK YOU 
FOR TESTING
10 FRED KEMMERER ARRL MAR 12 1036L
BT 
MICHAEL FORD

Note that the message would receive a new message reply reference, in this case 202303121036L, to match the new message.  However, since this is an addendum to the original message IF one is confident that the receiving communication center can collate the reply to the original message, the message can be shortened to only the new fields 9 and 10 as follows with the linking to the original message being established by the original reply reference, in this case 202303100921L as shown below.

1082 R HXI WZ0C 30 HOLLIS NH 1536Z MAR 12 
DON ROLPH AB1PH
WALPOLE MA 02032 
AB1PH ATSIGN ARRL DOT NET
BT 
20230310921L 
4 INITIAL SIMPLE TEST OF ICS DASH 213 THROUGH NTS 
9 MESSAGE WAS RECEIVED SUCCESSFULLY 
THROUGH NTS X THANK YOU 
FOR TESTING
10 FRED KEMMERER ARRL MAR 12 1036L
BT 
MICHAEL FORD

The receiving station is responsible for collating the original message with the reply.  The delivered message would then look like:

ics form 213 Initial Message to Fred 202303100921 deliverable with reply deliverable