"...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


It reads:


Message to be sent would read:





It reads:


Message to be sent would read:



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

NTS Role In Disaster Response

New Cape and Island Net Manager

New Net Manager for Cape & Islands Traffic Net.

Mike Wilbur N2JWW has been appointed Net Manager for the
Cape & Islands Traffic Net effective November 1, 2004. Mike
is an expeirenced Traffic Handler working both local and HF
Traffic Nets. Mike is a resident of Marstons Mills and is active
with local radio clubs. We welcome Mike to his new position
and ask everyone to support him and the Cape & Islands Net.

NCS Openings on Cape & Islands

Monday Open
Thursday Open
Saturday Open
Wednesday -N2JWW


From the Section Traffic Manager

Jim Ward, N1LKJHello to all. I want to bring to your attention some of what’s going on with the Traffic Nets.

First off, we want to welcome N1OTC back to the Net’s. Jack Boles underwent Heart surgery in December which was very successful. Jack is now back up and running again on the phone and CW Nets. It is good news.

We also want to welcome KC1ML Mark Loring to the Traffic Nets. Mark has been on the local VHF Nets and just recently joined the CW Nets under the tutelage of Marcia KW1U and Jack N1OTC.

We also welcome Marino Coppoleti N1PVP into the Traffic ranks. Marino will be working the CW Nets and will certainly be a welcomed there to fill a big need.

Also rejoining the Traffic Nets will be NG1A, Fred Butts a seasoned Traffic handler who
took some time off to visit Germany and move into a new house. Good to have Freddy
back. Freddy is also a member of the CW Nets and VHF Nets.

We all are aware of the problems with the Boston Repeater. The window washing equipment blocking our antenna. Since this has happened all the far out stations have not been able to get into the repeater, myself included. I have suggested to Jack N1TPU to move the net to the Waltham repeater until further notice. The Waltham repeater is having some problems too, but I think it will be better than Boston for the time being. Let us hope the winter passes quickly and things will get back to normal.


A Thought for Message Handlers

A Thought for Handlers.
Just a suggestion which may help a few of you:

When delivering a message to a non ham who doesn't know you it's
particularly important to give the info most important to the recipient
first. The mechanics of how the message got to him/her is secondary. Start

I have a message from (name) in (place) for (name).

That way they know you're not a telemarketer and they may want to hear more.
Then you can say that the message came via ham radio if the text doesn't
have that info. You're starting with a name they know and saying that you
have info from him/her. I have never gotten a negative response from this.
The mechanics of the transmission process is of interest to us but not to
our public. In the case of ham to ham spam, I agree with the prior comments
that blindly going from unedited lists of calls is not the best practice,
but how often do we hit a silent key? Also, perhaps the next of kin might
like the fact that somewhere, someone, has made note of the prior existence
of the loved one? And like it or not we do need the traffic during periods
of low activity of "real" messages. A traffic net can't exist without

In the"Sirens of Titan" it turns out that life and technology over the
course of 5000 years were speeded up by an alien whose intergalactic
spacecraft made a forced landing on Titan (a moon of Jupiter) and needed a
part which required a developed planetary technology. At the end we find
that his mission was the delivery of a message from the president of his
galaxy to the president of another. His route took him through our galaxy.
The content of the message proves to be trivial. Thus the medium is the
message. Even our spamgrams are of greater importance. But the fact remains
that delivering the message is an end in itself.

The Future of NTS/ARES

Hello everyone:

There are some comments in Gil's letter below that I find very disturbing.
In particular, the comment about "handing the whole show to ARES." Having
served as an EC, NM, STM, and SEC, as well as having dealt with ARES and
RACES organizations from the other side of the fence (as a Professional
Emergency Manager), I feel I have a fairly unique perspective.

On one hand, I agree that there is no harm integrating the Internet and
automated digital protocols into ARES and NTS. This is simply evolution and
progress. It needs to be done. However, it should be noted that these are
simply additional communications tools, whereas NTS is a methodology.
Please bear with me while I illustrate with an example:

During a recent bioterrorism response exercise in Central Michigan, the ARES
group repeatedly entered the Emergency Operations Center requesting
etiological information and other data from State and Federal public health
officials. In each case, the served agency representative asked some very
simple questions:

* "How's requesting this information"
* "What time did he request it?"
* "What facility is he located at"
........and on and on.

Finally, the local Emergency Manager walked into the ARES room, handed them
a book of radiogram blanks, and demanded they use them. He's not a radio
amateur. As an exercise evaluator, I asked him what his reasons were for
doing so. The response was straightforward: "NTS format will insure we get
all of the necessary information in a consistent manner."

As one who has had to rely on ARES and RACES groups to send messages at
HAZMAT scenes, during major disasters, and so forth, I can say without
equivocation that Amateur Radio has serious deficiencies. These may be
summarized as follows:


Born June 28, 1926 in Jamaica Plain. Graduated from St. Ann's School Neponset June 1939. Graduated from Mechanic Arts High School (now Boston Tech) June 1943. Served US Army Air Corps as a bandsman and also a broadcaster on the base Armed Forces Radio Station at Fort Pepperell Newfoundland, August 1945 to December 1946. Played the trombone in the Army and also locally with American Legion Bands, but I was a lousy trombone player.

Upon return to civilian life I worked for phone company 1947 - 1949. Joined the City of Boston Public Works Dept. in 1950 and later the Boston Water and Sewer Dept. until retirement in 1996. The last 15 years of which I served as their Radio Dispatcher and was responsible for keeping their repeaters in operating condition, working with FCC licensed contractors.

Joined the ranks of amateur radio June 10, 1959 as a tech and operated six meter AM. Upgraded to General Glass and Advance class a few years later. At that time Hams took their exams in the FCC Office at the Custom House Building in downtown Boston. Joined EM2MN back in the days when it was on 145.800 using AM emission before we had FM and repeaters. Had to use Beam Antennas to communicate and pass traffic. That was back in 1978.

Have been NCS on EM2MN on Friday nights for 25 years.

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