AskDefine | Define radiogram

Dictionary Definition



1 a message transmitted by wireless telegraphy
2 a photographic image produced on a radiosensitive surface by radiation other than visible light (especially by X-rays or gamma rays) [syn: radiograph, shadowgraph, skiagraph, skiagram]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A message, like a telegram, transmitted by radio rather than wires.
  2. An entertainment device that combined a radio and a record player.

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Extensive Definition

A radiogram is an instance of formal written message traffic routed by a network of amateur radio operators through traffic nets.
It is a plaintext message, along with relevant metadata (headers), that is placed into a traffic net by an amateur radio operator. Each radiogram is relayed, possibly through one or more other amateur radio operators, to a radio operator who volunteers to deliver the radiogram content to its destination.


A radiogram template, which comfortably fits on half of a standard US Letter-size sheet of paper, facilitates a standard protocol between amateur radio operators, allowing much faster relay of radiograms. It does this by always having the message headers in a certain order, allowing operators to read and understand the headers without explicit verbal labels. This is especially important in hectic and stressful environments such as during a disaster, when many parties call upon radio operators to quickly transfer messages in and out of the affected areas.
The template has a place for the plaintext message, as well as for several headers that are important for routing the message to its proper destination in a timely manner. These fields include the message's priority, the callsign of the station of origin (the amateur radio operator who placed the message onto the message net), the date and time of origin, contact information of the message's recipient, as well as the callsign of the station that delivered the message.
The headers' purpose and order is logical and intuitive enough that many amateur radio operators have memorized it and can transmit and receive radiograms without referring to the template. Of course, this is very useful in times of crisis.

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