Amateur Radio Operators, sometimes called Hams, have a long tradition of moving traffic (messages in the form of RADIOGRAMS) using the National Traffic System (NTS). Western Union just recently stopped its telegraph message service, but any Amateur Radio Operator can send or deliver a telegram's equivalent, the RADIOGRAM. Amateur Radio Operators are prohibited by law to accept payment for their services. Sending a RADIOGRAM is FREE.
Wireless voice comminucation began 100 years ago, in 1906. Your message will probably be handled by voice, but many RADIOGRAMS are still passed with Continuous Wave (CW) using Morse Code. Most RADIOGRAMS passed are routine in nature, thing like birthday greetings, well wishes, arrived safely and the like. However in emergencies, like Katrina, 9/11, the Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Floods and major Forest Fires, Hams pass EMERGRENCY, PROIRITY, and HEALTH and WELFARE traffic. Often their efforts save lives. Amateur Radio enthusiasts have adopted the motto, "When all else, there's Amateur Radio."
Whereas there is nothing to prevent you from logging the cache and not sending a RADIOGRAM, I encourage you to except the challenge! Once I receive your RADIOGRAM, I will post your Geocaching Name and message in My Radiogram Honor Roll. I will then send you an email telling you to go ahead and post your find, if you haven't done so already.
Our purpose here is to have fun and give Amateur Radio traffic handlers a different kind of message with which to hone their skills.
Step 1: Retrieve Cache
Step 2: Take Something, Leave Something
Step 3: Sign the log book
Step 4: Take one of the RADIOGRAM forms from the cache.
Step 5: Replace Cache
Step 6: Locate an Amateur Radio operator near you. Go to
Type in your zip code, or a zip code near you.
Click on the [Map Neighborhood] button.
The resultant map plots the location of Amateur Radio Operators in that Zip Code area.
Click on one of the pins to get a Ham's callsign, name and address. You can look up the phone number in your telephone directory.
Contact one of the Amateur Radio Operators and ask if (s)he will pass a RADIOGRAM for you.
HINT: Find an Amateur Radio Operator that will agree to move your message before your start your quest. Note that while any Ham can originate a RADIOGRAM not all have done so or may prefer not to. If you find this to be the case ask if (s)he can recommended someone or choose another. Or post a note in the Groundspeak GPS and HAM Radio Forum asking if anyone will take your traffic.
Step 7: Wait patiently and see how it takes for your message to get delivered to me. I will post the time and date I receive each logging on My RADIOGRAM Honor Roll
I will pre-address the message forms in the cache. In the event that no forms are present, Have the radio operator who is passing your traffic send it to
You can download your own Printable RADIOGRAM Forms in PDF format.
Basic RADIOGRAM Facts and examples
A RADIOGRAM consists of 4 parts the Preamble, Address, Text and Signature
Your Radio Operator will fill out the whole form. You decide what to put in the TEXT and what signature to use. I suggest your Real Name and your GEOCACHING name. Example: Mike McCardel / EMIKE
The TEXT of a message is limited 25 words or less, Note that the form has 5 columns and 5 rows, 25 lines to write a message
A word is any Letter and/or Figure (number) Group that has no spaces
MOUNT VERNON OHIO is 3 words
7405555555 is 1 word
740 555 5555 is 3 words
APT4B is 1 word
CU L8R equals 2 words
No punctuation is used, except that an X is used for a period (.) and counts as 1 word, the Word QUERY is used for a question mark (?) and counts as 1 word. The letter R can be used as a Decimal Point (.) when used within a figure group.
I FOUND THE CACHE THURSDAY MAY 6 X PLEASE LOG MY FIND equals 12 words (note use of X for period)
WILL YOU PLEASE LOG MY FIND OF RADIOGRAM QUERY equals 9 words (note use of QUERY for question mark)
MY GPS READING WAS 40 DEGREES 23 MINUTES 8 SECONDS NORTH 82 DEGREES 28 MINUTES 13 SECONDS WEST equals 18 words (D/M/S format)
MY GPS READING WAS 40 DEGREES 23R148 N and 82 DEGREES 28R218 W equals 14 words (DD MM.MM format used by Geocaching.com)(note use of R for decimal point)
GPS 40R3858N 82R4703W equals 3 words (DD.DDDD format)
Strive for brevity A suggested message might be
FOUND RADIOGRAM 23 MARCH X
GPS 40 D 23R148 N
82 D 28R218 W X
NICE CLUE GOOD FIND PRETTY
FOUND RADIOGRAM CACHE APRIL 2ND
WALKED FROM GAMBIER FOUND ROBERT
FROST ALSO X THANKS FOR
THE UNIQUE CACHE
For more information on how to originate a RADIOGRAM visit http://www.arrl.org/FandES/ead/teacher/kemp/appendixa.html
There is much more avaliable with Amateur Radio than RADIOGRAMS. To find out more about Amateur Radio or how to obtain an AmateurRadio License visit WWW.ARRL.ORG or ask a Ham near you!
Permission to place this cache was gratiously granted by the Mount Vernon, OH, City Parks Dept.
Visit My RADIOGRAM Honor Roll listing all who have sent me a RADIOGRAM
CAUTION Radiograms may contain SPOILERS!