Massachusetts – Rhode Island STM Report for December 2023

The Section Traffic Manager’s report for December 2023 can be found at https://ema.arrl.org/massachusetts-rhode-island-stm-report-for-december-2023-2/ .  Note a recap of 2023 stats and events, NTS participation in February 3 section SET, traffic tip on service messages and spotlight on KC1KVY.

(Note page 2 of report can be found by placing curser over bottom of the page and clicking on page 2)

Mass Rhode Island Phone Net expands to include Sunday sessions

According to Net Manager Ralph Devlin, N1LAH, effective Sunday January 7, 2024 the Massachusetts Rhode Island Phone Net will be adding  Sunday sessions to its regular weekly schedule. Look for the net daily at 1700 local time on 3978, +/- due to interference.  This net serves the three sections of East Mass, West Mass and Rhode Island with outlets to anywhere message traffic is legally permitted. All amateurs are welcome.

Section Traffic Manager Report for September 2023

The September STM report for the combined sections of Eastern and Western Mass and Rhode Island can be found here.  Note a history of HHTN thanks to Joe Weiss, W1HAI, and with special recognition to Scott Cassidy, N1SGB, for keeping the net’s continuity intact; how to sign up for future issues of the NTS Letter; using APRS to enter radiograms into the nationwide Digital Traffic System; getting creative with radiogram originations.

A History of HHTN – the Heavy Hitters Traffic Net

The Heavy Hitters Traffic Net has been around since the 1970’s and continues to provide a nightly outlet for National Traffic System messages. Through repeater linking and Echolink it currently  covers most of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with outlets to the rest of the country and beyond. Former net manager Joe Weiss W1HAI has written a history of this net. Find the link here and come see what it is all about. They welcome visitors and are happy to explain the NTS and how to become involved.

Massachusetts Rhode Island STM Report for August 2023

The Massachusetts Rhode Island STM report for August 2023 is now available at https://ema.arrl.org/massachusetts-rhode-island-stm-report-for-aug-2023/. Note recent NTS news in QST and On the Air magazines plus podcast featuring KC1OIP. Also upcoming NTS Letter, patterned after ARES Letter, soon to be sent to ARRL field appointees. ARRL members can subscribe to this monthly newsletter featuring NTS. Also spotlight on Michael Ford, WZ0C.

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Mass Rhode Island Digital Net Move

Net manager of the MARIDN Jon McCombie N1ILZ announces a slight move for this net in order to prevent interference to an ongoing CW net. The net will move down 500 Hz to 3582.5. It is a fun new net that is drawing more interest.  It currently uses the NBEMS suite of software. A Zoom chat precedes this net for informational purposes and can be used to help new folks get started. See N1ILZ@arrl.net for details.

Massachusetts Rhode Island STM Report for July 2023

Beginning this month you will see the Massachusetts Rhode Island STM Report, as your STM has been appointed as interim STM for Rhode Island. Rhode Island amateurs have long been included in our section traffic nets. Find the July report at https://ema.arrl.org/massachusetts-rhode-island-stm-report-for-july-2023/. Note there information on “Event Happenings”, “Net News”, “NTS 2.0 Update” and “Traffic Handler of the Month”, along with a peek preview of an upcoming initiative.

Massachusetts STM Report for June 2023

The Massachusetts STM Report for June 2023 can be found at  https://ema.arrl.org/massachusetts-stm-report-for-june-2023/ . Especially Note: Traffic Handlers Picnic Sunday August 6 beginning at noon at 44 Raymond Rd Concord MA. Anyone interested in traffic handling throughout the region is welcome. Hamburgers, hot dogs and Italian sausages will be provided along with a big shade tree. Bring your beverage of choice and a lawn chair. Please RSVP to KW1U@comcast.net so we have enough food. Also note upcoming HamXposition and NTS events, new field appointments and reporting clarification.

 

New Manager for Heavy Hitters Traffic Net (HHTN)

The Heavy Hitters Traffic Net will have a new manager effective August 1, 2023. Bob Sparkes KC1KVY has agreed to assume management of the net. Bob has been very active on HHTN as well as EM2MN and MARIPN, and has served as liaison to First Region Net and Eastern Area net. Bob has also been involved in training new traffic handlers while in his spare time generating confirmation radiograms to those he has worked in Parks on the Air. Bob is certainly well qualified and I know he will do a great job guiding HHTN. Thanks to Bob for taking on this responsibility.
 
We also thank Joe Weiss W1HAI for all he has done for HHTN in increasing activity to seven nights a week and expanding coverage to nearly statewide for the net. Joe assures us he will continue to be available to help with technical matters such as repeater and Echolink linking. Many thanks again to Joe for years of service to HHTN.
 
73, Marcia KW1U  STM

Massachusetts STM Report for May 2023

The Section Traffic Manager’s report for May 2023 can be found at the following link https://ema.arrl.org/massachusetts-stm-report-for-may-2023/ . Note upcoming Traffic Handlers’ Picnic in Concord MA Sunday, August 6 beginning at noon. Also note NTS Meet and Greet and NTS 2.0 presentation at HamXposition weekend of August 25-27, dates and times TBD. See also featured traffic handler of the month Ralph Devlin, N1LAH, and traffic tip of the month.

Update on NTS 2.0 Modernization Project

The following update on the NTS 2.0 modernization project was recently sent to all ARRL Section Managers and Section Traffic Managers for dissemination to traffic handlers in their areas. More information can be found on the new website nts2.arrl.org under the Standards and Procedures tab. Information on handling instructions and numbered radiograms is available now and information on the encapsulation radiograms for emergency communications will be there soon. There is also a tab To Contribute Your Ideas if you wish to contribute those.  
 
Greetings to all STMs and SMs, 
 
It was brought to my attention that little to nothing has been disseminated regarding progress on the part of the NTS 2.0 teams. My apologies for not keeping folks better up to date.
 
You are aware that we held briefings throughout the various ARRL divisions during the latter part of 2022, and enlisted the help of 35 to 40 volunteers. Each was assigned to one or more of five implementation teams who have met weekly since the beginning of 2023. We have been able to secure a page on the ARRL website to inform you of the ongoing projects, but it is only recently that we are now able to share some results of these teams’ work. 
 
1. An article on NTS has been published in the July issue of QST which you may have received already. We are grateful to the editors of QST for highlighting this program and look forward to more articles in the future.
 
2. Perhaps highest on the minds of most folks is an update to the Net Directory. This is a major undertaking as the current directory has not been updated in recent times and the software has not been felt by many to be very user friendly. While we don’t have a finished product to show you at this time, it is important for folks to know that one of our NTS 2.0 implementation teams has drawn up a set of requirements we think various groups will want to see implemented and this has been forwarded to the IT department at ARRL. Emergency manager Josh Johnston KE5MHV and the IT department have been pleased with our work and are now working with us to develop a product we hope you will find informative and easy to use. It will take a little time yet before you will see a finished product as the entire website at ARRL is in the process of being updated. We want you to know however that definite progress is being made, so we ask for your patience and hope you will be happy with the new net directory once it has been completed. 
 
3. In accord with renewed interest in emergency communications preparedness on the part of amateur radio and the ARRL in particular, several of our teams have been working on encapsulation of the forms used by emergency service organizations. Forms such as the ICS-213, ARC-213, HICS-213 and the Texas STAR Form originated by emergency personnel must be deliverable exactly as sent, and to accomplish this these forms must be encapsulated within a radiogram for transmission via the National Traffic System. A great deal of thought and testing have gone into this product which will be revealed on the ARRL’s website (nts2.arrl.org). Documentation and training will be provided. While we recognize such emergency traffic will likely be sent via digital means where available, we feel it is important that voice and CW circuits must be capable and practiced in the event they are needed.
 
4. Because of the above mentioned use of emergency type traffic, there are some additional requirements which are important. You will find these on the above noted website as additional handling instructions and ARRL numbered radiograms.
 
Two new handling instructions are being added. One is HXI which indicates an encapsulated message is included which must be relayed so as to be deliverable in a particular format. The second is HXR, which requires the delivering station to notify the originator of the message confirming that the recipient has personally received the message. This is a frequent requirement from served agencies. This is different from the HXC instruction, which is sent by the delivering station instead to the station of origin, whose call sign is in the header. Where HXC notifies the station of origin of delivery (such as the message being deposited in a mailbox) of their Radiogram, HXR confirms to the sender that the recipient has the message in-hand.
 
A new ARRL numbered radiogram has been added as “ARL FORTY ONE”. This is to be used with an HXD handling instruction where tracing a message is important to find any possible breaks in the relay chain. You will find a number of blanks to be filled in a service reply. This standardization of the HXD reply will allow for more efficient tracking and better understanding of the process. 
 
While we understand change can be hard, we hope you will find value in the above. The teams continue to work diligently to make improvements and we welcome feedback from the NTS community. Please share with net participants in your sections.
 
73, Marcia KW1U
NTS 2.0 Implementation Teams

Heavy Hitters Traffic Net (HHTN) -Time Change – effective immediately

Per Net Manager Joe Weiss W1HAI, effective tonight Monday, June 5, the Heavy Hitters Traffic Net will meet 15 minutes earlier, at 9:45 PM local, on Sundays through Fridays. For now the Saturday session will continue to meet at 10:00 PM. HHTN can be accessed via the Minuteman Repeater network, Mt Greylock, Fitchburg and Gardner repeaters and Echolink New-Eng2 Conference Node 9127.

Massachusetts STM Report for March 2023

The Massachusetts STM report for March has been posted and can be found at MASSACHUSETTS-STM-REPORT-FOR-MAR-2023.pdf.  Note upcoming dates to mark on your calendars including annual traffic handlers picnic Sunday August 6 in Concord MA, forums of interest at NE HamXposition, and help request for possible NTS involvement at Big E. Also note special recognition of Bob Sparkes KC1KVY as well as the Cape and Islands Traffic Net,

Massachusetts STM Report for February 2023

A belated report for February 2023 has been posted at https://ema.arrl.org/massachusetts-stm-report-for-february-2023/.

Please note new appointment of Peter Doherty, KC1HHO, as Assistant Section Traffic Manager (ASTM) for Training. Peter has created a training program in message handling and I believe will be a great asset for the section. 

Also note training is beginning in handling of the ICS 213 form as adapted for transport via the National Traffic System. A special session will be conducted Tuesday, April 4 at 7:00 PM on the Boston 145.23 repeater. Note that this format has been in a testing phase before formal documentation is adopted. Traffic nets will be seeing more of this type of messaging in the weeks and months to follow. Come learn what it’s all about.

First Region Net time change to 2:45 and 4:30 EDT

The First Region Net (FRN) Cycle 2 which meets on 3950 Khz daily has changed net times to accommodate the change in local time for Eastern Area Net. EAN meets daily at 1930 UTC throughout the year. However with the change to Daylight Savings Time this net meets at 3:30 EDT (with the exception of Monday, Wednesday and Friday when it meets at 3:15 EDT).   Therefore FRN will now meet at 2:45 and 4:30 EDT daily per K1EIC, net manager. 

Loren, N1IQI, Presented Certificate of Recognition at Whitman Club for Contribution to NTS

On February 1st, Peter, KC1HHO, Manager, Eastern Massachusetts 2 Meter Traffic Net was the guest of the Whitman Amateur Radio Club during their monthly meeting.  

Peter delivered a presentation about the National Traffic System (NTS).  Information about how the system works, NTS training, and how amateur stations, group or clubs can get more involved was presented.  Many great questions were asked from the club members. 

Telling the story of NTS and how it can benefit all amateur radio operators has of course been stifled by recent events. The opportunity to get out and speak to the members was much appreciated. 

Peter was able to present, on behalf of himself and Section Traffic Manager Marcia KW1U a Certificate of Recognition to club member Loren N1IQI  for his “30 years of amateur radio service and exemplary performance and dedication to the National Traffic System”. 

If your group is interested in having a NTS presentation at an upcoming meeting please contact Peter KC1HHO.