"...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


Many thanks to the Minuteman Repeater Association for the use of their linked repeater network and Echolink/IRLP nodes for Heavy Hitters Traffic Net.  The following information should be helpful in checking into the net.  Perhaps we may even get check-ins from far distant places! See you on HHTN.

Here is the list of repeaters and the  explanation on the best way to get into Echolink.
Marlborough 449.925
Mendon 146.61
Boston 146.82
Lowell 442.250
Burlington 446.775

At 9:55, the following systems link automatically into the above five and
remain that way until 11PM:

Burlington 146.715
Marlborough 147.270
Quincy 146.670
Marshfield 145.390
UHF PL is 88.5
2m PL is 146.2

New England Reflector Echolink: *NEW-ENG2*, IRLP node 9127

People who want to join via Echolink or IRLP need to connect to the reflector.
They will not be able to connect directly as our node will be busy since it is
already connected to the reflector.


The annual traffic handlers' picnic will again be held on the first Sunday in August.  Set aside the date August 2 and join us at the QTH of KW1U in Concord MA between 12 noon and 4 PM.  Since the Senior Center in Raynham saw fit to cut down the trees eliminating the lovely shade, I have decided to return the picnic to Concord where we used to gather in the late 80's and early 90's.  Hamburgers and hot dogs will be provided. Bring your own beverages and anything else you would like to share.  I suggest also bring folding lawn chairs.  I have a few for those who don't. I would appreciate hearing from you if you plan to attend so I can have an approximate idea of numbers.  All traffic handlers and anyone interested in traffic handling are invited.  It's a great opportunity to meet in person the folks you hear on the air each night.  The address is 44 Raymond Rd, off Plainfield Rd which is off Route 117 which runs between Routes I 95 and I 495Hope to see you there.

73, Marcia KW1U


The Heavy Hitters Traffic Net (HHTN) has a long history dating back to at least the 1970s.  It has seen many changes over the years, and last spring it lost it's most recent manager Dave Spalding N1LUM.  The net has continued since then meeting only on Friday evenings, thanks to the persistence of Scott N1SGB.  We are grateful to Scott for keeping the net operating during this transition time.

I am pleased to announce that Joe Weisse W1HAI of Natick has offered to take on the job as manager of HHTN effective July 1.  Joe has been involved in traffic nets for a number of years and I feel fortunate that he is willing to take on the rebuilding of HHTN.  The net will again meet three nights a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 PM on the Minuteman Repeater Association linked network.  This net has an excellent coverage area and Joe hopes to expand that as well as improve the participation.  If participation is there we will look at increasing to five nights a week.  I hope folks will give Joe their support.  For information on locations and frequencies of the MMRA repeaters see mmra.org.

73, Marcia KW1U



On Saturday June 13 a meeting was held in Farmnington CT hosted by Larry K1HEJ and conducted by Brian N1URO.  Many issues were discussed regarding Packet Radio and it's use for NTS/NTSD, specifically as it applies to southern New England.  Brian is working to establish a backbone which will allow for better more efficient exchange of trafficThis backbone would also extend into more far reaching areas.  Present from Eastern Mass were KW1U, KC1CIC, N1IQI, W1JT and N1OTC.


NTS Digital, or NTSD, is a digital network operating parallel to the NTS.  It operates 24/7 on both HF Pactor and VHF Packet.  Using  autoforwarding, messages are relayed throughout the US and Canada and now also between the US and Germany and Great Britain with potential outlets to other European countries.  Note however that due to FCC regulations, messages between the US and Great Britain and European countries can only be from one amateur to another amateurStation KW1U operates on both HF and VHF and amateurs are invited to use the station via either HF or VHF for relaying message traffic.

Greg KC1CIC has recently become a digital relay station (DRS) for this area, and now has experience in setting up a digital station for this type of relay.  Greg has written a great article on his experience and this can be found by clicking

Many thanks to Greg.  Check it out and join us on NTSD.

73, Marcia KW1U



Due to the passing of Dave Spalding N1LUM, HHTN currently has no manager and only one NCS who has been running the net on Friday evenings. Scott, N1SGB has faithfully been covering Friday evenings for some time and would like to see the net continue and hopefully rebuild.  Until further notice, this net will run only on Friday evenings on the MinuteMan Repeater Association linked repeaters at 10 PM.  If we can rebuild the net, we will increase the sessions accordingly.  HHTN has been in existance for longer than I can remember (and that is a long time).  It would be a shame to see it disappear altogether.  Please support Scott and check in on Fridays.  Hope to see you there.

73, Marcia KW1U, STM


It is with great sadness that I relay to you that our Dave Spalding N1LUM suffered a heart attack and became a silent key on March 3, 2015.

Dave was an active participant on the two meter traffic nets, serving as net control and message relay station, as well as manager of Heavy Hitters Traffic Net (HHTN).  He was also active on VHF packet handling messages via that means as well.  Dave was 55 years old. It was a great shock, and he will be sorely missed.  May he rest in peace. Below is a link to his obituary.

73, Marcia KW1U, Section Traffic Manager



"QNI" is an independent newsletter published by James Wades WB8SIW, who has worked as a professional telegrapher, and who has had a wealth of experience in message handling and emergency communications.  He has dedicated many years to NTS.  In September 2012 he began the "QNI" newsletter at the request of a group of traffic handlers and has published it approximately quarterly ever since.  This newsletter is dedicated to promoting NTS and genuine emergency communications preparedness.  In addition to NTS he has included very informative articles on NTSD, the digital side of NTS as well as "radio email", a valuable tool for emergency communication.

I am including here a link to the Texas NTS Net Home Page http://www.k6jt.com/ which contains archives of all these newsletters.  When accessing this website just scroll down a short ways to find links to all the issues.  I encourage all readers to check out this very interesting and informative newsletter.  You may also find other articles of interest on this website which is maintained by W6JT the Central Area Staff Chair. If you wish to receive "QNI" as it is published, contact the editor James Wades at jameswades@gmail.com.

Happy New Year and happy reading.  See you on the nets.

Marcia KW1U

Good Food, Good Conversation: 2014 NTS Traffic Handlers Picnic

Marcia Forde, KW1U writes:

The rain held off, at least until 3 PM and the cloud cover kept the temperatures comfortable as a good group enjoyed good food and good conversation at the 2014 Traffic Handlers picnic at the Senior Center in Raynham MA Sunday August 3. The day was only dampened by the news that one of our most regular attendees was and will be greatly missed as we learned that Byron, K1YCQ became a Silent Key. A moment of silence was held in honor of Byron.

Those present included KW1U, N1OTC, N1TF, KB1WXC, W1HL, WA1LPM, N1LKJ, N1UMJ, N1IQI, N1WCO, K9HI, KA1OCF, KB1ZWZ plus a few harmonics. We were sorry to miss Dan, KC1AXR who arrived shortly after we had all left due to the arrival of raindrops. I want to especially thank Jim, N1LKJ for obtaining permission to use this fine facility, and Jack N1OTC who was again the master grill chef and did a superb job. Thanks also to all the others who brought all kinds of goodies. Jack was also the winner of the drawing for the new Amateur Radio Handbook, and Bob, N1SYC won the new Public Service Handbook, both donated by our Section Manager Phil, K9HI. Many thanks to Phil. Those of you who were unable to attend missed a good time. We hope to see you next year.

Photo (left-right): KW1U, N1SYC, N1LKJ, WA1LPM, N1TF, N1IQI, N1OTC, N1UMJ



It is with great sadness that I pass along the news that Byron Piette K1YCQ became a Silent Key this morning (August 3).  Byron had been quite ill for several weeks.  He was a very active traffic handler in addition to his work with ARES/RACES and the Hospital Nets and was a friend to all and a mentor to many.  He will be greatly missed.  May he rest in peace.  73 Byron  from KW1U and all your many friends.

Following are arrangements for wake and funeral:

Arrangements are:
Sullivan Waring Funeral Home
833 County St., Somerset, MA
Wednesday Aug. 6th, 4-7pm


Mass will be at St. Patricks Church, Thursday 10AM.

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