"...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

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


 

NEW SECTION MANAGER

NEW SECTION MANAGER

Phil Temples K9HI has become the new SM effective January 1, 2011. Phil has served
in this position in the past and we certainly welcome him back. Phil has always been a
supporter of NTS and is already laying the ground work for finding ways to increase
participation in our Traffic Nets. This would include training sessions and working with
Ares and Races in ways that will benefit all. I know you will all give your best support to
Phil in the coming months. Happy New Year to all.
Jim Ward N1LKJ  STM-EMA

 

ARL SIXTY SEVEN


It reads:

ARL SIXTY SEVEN:
YOUR MESSAGE NUMBER ___ UNDELIVERABLE BECAUSE OF ___. PLEASE ADVISE.

Message to be sent would read:
ARL SIXTY SEVEN 123 WRONG PHONE NUMBER

Gil W1GMF

 

 

ARL FORTY SEVEN

It reads:

ARL FORTY SEVEN:
REFERENCE YOUR MESSAGE NUMBER ___ TO ___ DELIVERED ON ___ AT ___ UTC.

Message to be sent would read:
ARL FORTY SEVEN 123 N1ABC FEB 22 2100

Gil W1GMF


 

Originating Third Party Message Traffic

"Trump's Traffic Trilogy" - by Ed "FB" Trump, AL7N
"Getting down to the nitty-gritty of actually doing it."

Special care is required when preparing written third party message traffic for transmission over the amateur NTS traffic networks. What is third party traffic?
The generally accepted definition is "written or voice traffic between the control operator of one amateur station (first party) and the control operator of another amateur station (second party) on behalf of another person (third party)”. Usually it amounts to short written noncommercial messages between people who are not necessarily amateur radio operators".


The objective of the NTS is to cause these written messages to transit the system, word for word, character for character, and be able to be handled without alteration via any of the common modes of transmission currently in use such as CW, SSB, VHF-FM or PACTOR. It is important to reproduce the message at the far end of the system exactly as it was initially sent, regardless of mode transition en route.

The main source for any volume of such traffic is usually either of two occurrences.
1. An unplanned event, which forces people to use the Amateur NTS traffic networks due to failure or overload of normal regular commercial facilities or,
2. A planned event, such as a convention, fair or other public gathering that encourages use of the amateur traffic networks more or less as a novelty.
In either case, the average person will need help in composing their messages so they can be properly and expeditiously handled by the NTS network operators. This will be especially so with Health & Welfare traffic coming from disaster shelters in times of emergency.

Heavy Hitters Traffic Net Moves

I am proud to report that on Jan 01, 2006 the Heavy Hitters Traffic Net will be operating on the MMRA repeater system. I am very happy that the MMRA officials came forward and offered the use of their system for our nets. This will offer us a wider range of RF coverage with the hopes of getting more people interested.

The nets will be held at 2200 hrs Monday thru Friday. The list of repeaters involved are listed on the HHTN page on this site. The link is in the left column on this page under EMA Nets.

Remember to wait 2 seconds after keying to speak. This allows the links to come up so you will be heard.

I would like to thank the Boston Amateur Radio Club for the use of their Boston repeater for our net for the past year. It has been a great repeater and it is a great service to the radio community.

Hope you hear you on the nets.

Byron Piette K1YCQ
HHTN Net Manager

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