Courtesy of Joe Weiss W1HAI, former HHTN Net Manager

Since the mid-1970s, the Heavy Hitters Traffic Net has been on the air in the Boston area seven nights a week, now on the Minute Man Repeater Association network on Echolink and IRLP.

In the early 70s, traffic nets were primarily on CW and SSB on HF. Allan Bacon, K1BA, started bringing messages from those HF nets to the Waltham repeater on 146.64, handing them off to stations who delivered them by making toll-free phone calls. Back in those days, there were charges for making calls outside a small area.

During the mid-1970s, the Waltham Amateur Radio Association organized a softball team called Heavy Hitters that played the Malden repeater team and other clubs. Each member had the number 64 on their shirts. Around the same time, the informal message handling process evolved into the Heavy Hitters Traffic Net at 10:30 nightly on the Waltham 146.64 repeater.

Allan Bacon, K1BA, was the first Net Manager, followed by Rick “Bones” Palm K1CE from 1977 to 1979.

As a local Net of the ARRL National Traffic System, HHTN has had great support from Section Traffic Managers, Jim, WA1TBY and now, for many years, Marcia, KW1U.

In the mid-1990s the net expanded its coverage moving to the Minute Man Repeater Association network at 10:00 pm. Scott, N1SGB, started as net control in 1997 and has been a Friday night fixture for all these years.

The net uses today’s technology to keep net controls and stations connected from anywhere. It has expanded to include the Mount Greylock, Fitchburg, Gardner and Dennis repeaters. Now at 9:45 nightly, the Heavy Hitters Traffic Net carries on the tradition of using the Waltham 146.64 Echolink repeater to train traffic handlers and serve as the backup repeater, all in the name of that softball team of years gone by.