"...The National Traffic System plan is a means for systematizing amateur traffic handling facilities by making a structure available for an integrated traffic facility designed to achieve the utmost in two principal objectives: rapid movement of traffic from origin to destination, and training amateur operators to handle written traffic and participate in directed nets. These two objectives, which sometimes conflict with each other, are the underlying foundations of the National Traffic System.

NTS operates daily, even continuously with the advent of the advanced digital links of today.

The personnel consists of operators who participate for one or two periods a week, and some who are active daily. The National Traffic System is an organized effort to handle traffic in accordance with a plan which is easily understood, is basically sound, and which employs modern methods of network traffic handling in general acceptance today..." —ARRL Public Service Communications Manual

RESOURCE FOR TRAFFIC HANDLING AND NET OPERATION

Looking for information on message handling and net operation?  We are fortunate to have a very comprehensive resource document on the ARRL's website called "Methods and Practices Guidelines" or "MPG".  It was compiled with the help of very experienced traffic handlers and contains many examples of the best operating practices.  While it is lengthy and not designed as a training course,  it is well indexed for finding what information you may be looking for. 
Chapter 6 on digital messaging has been updated and contains information on "radio email", a valuable tool for emergency communications and one that can be used by NTS and ARES alike. This updated chapter is not yet found on the ARRL website, but can be found on a link given below.  I encourage all traffic handlers to refer to and use the information on both sites.

For MPG Table of Contents Click here or search for PSCM (Public Service Communications Manual) Appendix B on arrl.org

For information on MPG revised Chapter 6 including Digital and Radio Email click here

TRAFFIC REPORT FOR EAST AND WEST MASS MAR 2014

Thanks to all the traffic handlers for your support of the nets.  I was invited to attend the New Hampshire ARES Academy in March and was pleased to see the interest in message handling and in NTS and NTSD in particular.  It was pointed out that the primary function of Amateur Radio was the handling of messages. Handling record traffic with it's accountability is an especially important skill.  Being able to run an efficient net is another important skill.  Both are practiced regularly by you folks who support the nets.  Keep up the good work, and encourage others to learn and practice these skills.

73, Marcia KW1U

 

MASS STM REPORT Mar-14
NET SESSIONS QTC QNI QTR NM
EM2MN 31 166 202 752 N1SYC 145.23 8 PM Daily
MARIPN 10 1 10 20 N1LKJ 3918 Khz 5:30 PM M-F
WARPSN 4 11 64 N/A N1IQI
HHTN 19 22 57 238 N1LUM MMRA Rptrs 10PM MWF
CITN NO REPORT N2JWW 147.375 7:30PM Daily
MARI 31 107 133 572 KW1U 3565 Khz 7PM Daily
CM2MN 18 17 81 184 KK1X 146.97 9PM Daily
WMTN C1 26 6 200 320 N1QOV 146.91 10AM Daily
WMTN C2 20 3 161 192 N1YCW 146.91 1PM M-F
WMEN 4 0 119 N/A W1JWN 3944 Khz 8:30AM Su
NEPN NO REPORT N2JWW 3945 Khz 8:45 Su
SAR ORG REC SENT DEL TOTAL BPL
N1IQI 0 336 566 0 902 X
KW1U 0 337 267 1 605 X
N1TF 1 94 113 5 213
K1YCQ 0 91 76 22 189
N1UMJ 5 76 24 3 108
KB1WXC 1 37 40 5 83
W1PLK 0 12 6 11 29
N1LKJ 0 64 16 0 80
PSHR 1 2 3 4 5 6 TOTAL
N1UMJ 40 40 20 40 0 10 150
KW1U 40 40 30 0 0 20 130
N1IQI 40 40 10 30 0 10 130
KB1WXC 40 40 0 35 0 0 115
N1TF 40 40 20 5 0 0 105
N1LKJ 20 40 20 0 0 0 80
BPL = 500 POINTS EARNED
MARCIA FORDE STM -MA

 


*** MASS RHODE ISLAND CW NET UPDATE ***

The MARI CW Net has now expanded to seven evenings a week, all on 3565 Khz at 7:00 PM.  The net has been gaining in participation and it is hoped this will allow those who work during the week to be able to check in on the weekends, in addition to providing additional outlets for traffic.  The net continues to run at slow speeds, but if anyone needs NCS to slow down, the appropriate "Q" signal is QRS.  Anyone wishing information or help with CW net operation can contact Marcia KW1U@arrl.net.  Also for help with CW skills, check out the CWOPS (http://www.cwops.org/cwacademy.html).  It's a lot of fun!

PRODUCTS WITH NTS LOGO

Hello folks,  These products used to be available and now are available once again.  Want to help others to hear about NTS?  The notice below is from Steve Ewald at ARRL HQ.   73 from Marcia KW1U

 

Hello, everyone.

The ARRL National Traffic System supply items are now ready and available via the ARRL Store at ARRL Headquarters.

You’ll find the items listed as a group in the “What’s New” section on the homepage of the ARRL Store,

http://www.arrl.org/shop/National-Traffic-System-NTS-Supplies, as well as listed individually in the “Pins, Patches, Supplies” category.

Here are the specific product order numbers for each item and the cost of each item.

NTS Pin -- ARRL Order No. 2606, $5

NTS Patch -- ARRL Order No. 3170, $3

NTS Sticker -- ARRL Order No. 3850, $2

NTS Mug -- ARRL Order No. 4445, $10

============================

73,

Steve Ewald, WV1X

Supervisor, Field Organization Team

ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio™

860-594-0265

sewald@arrl.org

NTS Traffic Handlers Picnic Photos

Shown here: Photos from the August 5, 2012 annual Traffic Handlers Picnic for EMA at the Raynham Senior Center picnic area in Raynham MA. Photos courtesy KW1U. (Click on thumbnails to enlarge.)

 

The East Mass traffic handlers picnic was enjoyed by all. Weather was great, food was great thanks to master grill chef Jack N1OTC. My thanks to all who attended and to those who contributed goodies for all present. For those who couldn't attend we missed you and hope to see you next year.
73, Marcia KW1U

K1YCQ K1YCQ
KB1WWC_KB1WWE KB1WWC and KB1WWE
N1IQI, N1TF and N1LKJ N1IQI, N1TF and N1LKJ
N1OTC N1OTC
N1UMJ with James and Jessica N1UMJ with James and Jessica
N1WCO and N1UMJ N1WCO and N1UMJ
N2JWW N2JWW

 

TRAFFIC TIPS: MESSAGE DELIVERY

To those who are new to message handling, delivering messages is one of the more important aspects of traffic handling since it is an interface between amateur radio and the general public, educating people on the public service ham radio provides.  Messages to other hams also provide an opportunity to introduce message handling and traffic nets to those who may not be familiar with this aspect of our hobby.  It is also fun, meeting new people, sharing messages to them from family, friends and other hams around the country, and in the case of other hams, perhaps talking with them about their interests in the hobby as well as yours.  This is a skill however, one that improves and becomes more comfortable with practice. 

Begin by making sure you copied the message accurately, requesting fills as needed and making sure the  check in the preamble matches the number of words in the text.

When calling introduce yourself as a ham radio operator with a radiogram for (addee) from (name in signature) in (place of origin).  This helps them to know you are not a telemarketer.  You might explain that the message is sent as a free public service so they know you’re not going to ask for money.  If you have ascertained that you are speaking with the addee, go on to read the message.  If the addee is not home ask the person answering if they wish to copy the message or when would be a good time to call back.  If you get an answer machine leave your name and phone number and a brief explanation why you are calling and that you will call back.  Some will call you back.  If you don’t hear back try again another time.  If after three tries you still get no response, send a service message to the originator.  This will be covered later.

When delivering a message you will only read the text and signature.  Remember most people will not know about arl numbered radiograms, so make sure you are prepared to read the corresponding text for the specific arl number.  (See nts.ema.arrl.org for list of these texts)  Any use of the initial “x” corresponds to a period and the word “query” represents a question mark, so these are generally not read in the text.  Most folks are very appreciative of the messages we deliver.  However you may get someone on a bad day who will react accordingly.  Remember we are ambassadors for amateur radio and conduct yourself accordingly.

Notice any handling instructions (HX’s in the preamble).  If there is an HXC send originator a radiogram with date and time of delivery.  If there is an HXE, attempt to get a reply to send back to the sender.  An HXF followed by a number means hold message for delivery until  that date.  If a message is undeliverable send a service message back to originator explaining reason for non delivery.  If phone number is incorrect, disconnected or not in service, include number you called in the text of your service message since sometimes phone numbers you received may have been garbled along the way.

Sound complicated?  It really is not.  The important thing is to relax and have fun, and know that you are getting practice in performing a public service

Notes from the Section Traffic Manager

Greetings Eastern Mass traffic handlers, 

It is with great sadness that we have lost a fellow traffic handler and friend in Gil Follett W1GMF.  He will definitely be missed.  Gil’s passing has not only left us without that booming voice on the nets and a lot of traffic, but he was also sysop for the N1XTB BBS, our local digital outlet for traffic and helped maintain the NTS page on the ema.arrl.org website.  Phil N1XTB has agreed to keep the BBS operational for our use, and Loren N1IQI, who has helped keep us busy with his traffic, has also, along with K1YCQ and N1LUM, been monitoring the BBS for traffic to make sure it gets cleared.  Thanks to all you folks and others who take traffic from the BBS for delivery.  It is much appreciated.

Your STM is about to learn how to post information on the website, so you can look for the monthly report and any other traffic notes which I hope to put up there.  If anyone has any traffic related articles they would like to see posted there please let me know.

It is great to see all the new folks checking into both the two meter nets, taking traffic and taking on net control.  Just a reminder that not only does the 8:00 net meet daily on the Boston repeater, but Heavy Hitters meets regularly at 10 on the Minuteman linked repeaters Monday, Wednesday and Friday as well as Tuesday and Thursday when  NCS is available.  Dave N1LUM has been running most nets along with Scott N1SGB on Wednesdays.  This net has been growing, but I’m sure Dave would appreciate help with NCS duties. 

We have an Eastern Mass section net which currently meets Monday through Friday at 5:30 on 3918 Khz.  Participation on this net has not been very good.  Currently this is our only section net, and liaises with the region nets to get traffic beyond the section.  Is anyone on HF who could help out with this net?  Please see Jim N1LKJ or KW1U for more information.  If we had more participation we would like to return to seven days a week. 

Anyone interested in CW traffic handling?  We have had no CW section net for awhile now due to lack of participation.  There is an excellent CW training net and I would be happy to provide more information about that to anyone interested.  Not feeling good about your CW skills?  I would be glad to get on the air for some code practice.  I haven’t tried CW on two meters, but can set up some practice time on HF if anyone is interested.

Enough for now, but see you on the nets.  Thanks again to all for your participation.

73, Marcia KW1U, STM EMA Section

TEN COMMANDMENTS OF NTS TRAFFIC OPS

TEN COMMANDMENTS OF NTS TRAFFIC OPS

1) THOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER DUTIES BEFORE YOU THAN TO DO EVERYTHING IN YOUR POWER AS A LICENSED AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR TO SERVE THE PUBLIC GOOD WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE NATIONAL TRAFFIC SYSTEM. (I know that this may seem extreme; after all, we have jobs and families. Right? But, we're having fun here, so… What are jobs for, except to buy more radios and build bigger and taller antennas with which we serve the public good?)


2) ONCE YOU HAVE VOLUNTEERED TO TAKE A PIECE OF RADIOGRAM TRAFFIC, YOU BECOME RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS ACCURATE AND SAFE HANDLING UNTIL IT IS EITHER RELAYED OR DELIVERED. THOU SHALT KEEP A RECORD OF ALL TRAFFIC THAT HAS BEEN INTRUSTED TO YOUR CARE. THOU SHALT NOT KILL A RADIOGRAM.


3) THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE (UNTRUE TO THE ORIGINAL) RADIOGRAMS. THOU SHALL DO EVERYTHING TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE THE CONTENT OF THE ORIGINAL RADIOGRAM. YOU MUST SEE TO IT THAT THE RADIOGRAM TEXT IS DELIVERED EXACTLY AS IT WAS ORIGINATED TO ITS INTENDED RECIPIENT AS RAPIDLY AS POSSIBLE.


4) THOU SHALT NOT CONCERN THYSELF WITH ANYTHING BUT THE LEGALITY OF THE CONTENT OF A RADIOGRAM. WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE MESSAGE IS NOT TO BE CONSIDERED. THOU SHALL NOT COVET "REAL" RADIOGRAMS.


5) THOU SHALT NOT MISUSE THE NAME OF THE NTS. THOU SHALL ALWAYS BE AS POSITIVE AND OPTIMISTIC AS POSSIBLE IN ALL YOUR COMMUNICATIONS CONCERNING THE NTS.


6) THOU SHALT BE COURTEOUS AND COMPASSIONATELY OFFICIAL IN ALL YOUR COMMUNICATION WITH THE RECIPIENTS OF RADIOGRAMS.

NTSD Available for Field Day Messages (And Beyond)

NTSD – The National Traffic System Digital network runs alongside the traditional NTS nets and covers the entire United States with liaison into Canada. Message traffic placed into the NTSD is relayed via scanning HF Pactor 2 and Pactor 3 MBO’s throughout the country which operate 24/7 and are accessed regularly by assigned digital relay stations who remove traffic from the MBO’s for local relay or delivery. The system is managed by area digital coordinators. Station KW1U in Concord MA operates a 24/7 MBO on HF with a VHF link on 145.09 Mhz via W1JOE-7 into the N1XTB-4 BBS.

For Field Day messages in Eastern Mass, it is best to put messages on the N1XTB BBS which will then forward to KW1U for relay on HF as needed. See instructions on the ‘nts.ema.arrl.org ‘website under ‘packet procedures’ for help. If you are unable to access this BBS, station KW1U can be accessed via HF Pactor 1, 2 or 3 on one of the scanning frequencies below, all given in center frequencies: 3591.9, 3593.9, 7100.4, 7102.4 10140.9, 10142.9, 14095.9, 14097.9, 14112.4. For help contact Marcia at kw1u@arrl.net or kw1u@winlink.org.

Good luck with Field Day, and keep those messages coming!

73, Marcia KW1U

MARCIA KW1U APPOINTED EASTERN MA SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER

NEW EMA SECTION TRAFFIC MANAGER


On February 06, 2011 Jim N1LKJ turned the reigns of Section Traffic Manager over to Marcia KW1U. After many years of didicated work to the section and to NTS in general Jim has found it necessary to back off of some of his many duties do to health and personal situations. Jim has worked very hard and making NTS the best that it can be and has been loved by all that ever came in contact with him. He will surely be missed but he says he isn't leaving. Whew!.


Marcia KW1U is a long time native of Concord, MA and a devoted NTS operator. She is involved in all aspects of NTS holding many offices and job and it is only an extreme pleasure to have her now working again with the Eastern Massachusetts Traffic Section. I hope we can serve you as well as you have served everyone you have touched over the years.

EMA Traffic Handlers


 

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