Greetings All. You will note I have included Rhode Island beginning with the July report since I have been appointed Interim Section Traffic Manager for Rhode Island, appointed by Nancy Austin KC1NEK, SM. We look forward to increasing NTS activity in Rhode Island. Hams in RI have long been included in our section traffic nets and we hope to see even more activity.
If you missed the traffic handlers picnic on August 6 you missed a great time had by the 25 who attended from CT, MA and NH. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, with plenty to eat and lots of conversation including a summary on NTS 2.0 to date by our ARRL New England Director, Fred AB1OC. It’s always fun to get together and we hope to do so again next year.
The annual New England Division HamXposition (https://hamxposition.org/) is coming up August 25-27 with a very full program of interesting forums and other events. There will be three NTS forums on Saturday this year. (1) NTS 2.0 will be the topic of a forum at 11:00 AM where you can learn more about ARRL’s current efforts to improve and modernize NTS, including making it more available to suit the needs of emergency communicators. (2) At 12:00 Noon Peter KC1HHO, ASTM EMA, will conduct a training session on composing and sending an NTS radiogram. With increased interest in Amateur Radio preparedness for emergency messaging those who have yet to experience this important aspect of the hobby will want to attend this forum. If you listen in on EM2MN you may see how Peter makes this a fun and rewarding expeience. (3) At 3:00 PM there will be a Meet and Greet session where you can meet fellow traffic handlers from around the region and learn more about NTS activities going on within New England such as when and where nets meet, what nets offer training, etc.
The Big E is coming to Springfield MA September 15-October 1. Amateur Radio will again have a presence, which is a good opportunity to introduce this hobby to the public. The organizers are looking for help with the booth and more information can be found at https://nediv.arrl.org/project-big-e. Find out how you can help. This could be an opportunity to talk with members of the public about NTS and what it can offer them. You can also contact the organizer for this booth, Larry Krainson W1AST at W1AST@arrl.net.
We enjoy our voice and CW traffic nets and they are an important resource, but with more emphasis these days on digital messaging it is a good idea to explore how messages can be sent digitally. More operators are needed to be able to offer public service agencies the rapid messaging services they require. There is of course the Winlink Global Email Network which is being discussed in another forum. NTS, on the other hand, offers the use of a digital Store and Forward network with auto forwarding and auto calling, accessible 24/7 using Pactor, VARA and Packet, and is interoperable with voice and CW nets. Plus we have a new offering here in our area which uses the NBEMS or Narrow Band Emergency Messaging Software suite. The Mass Rhode Island Digital Net (MARIDN) operates on 3583 Khz at 6:00 PM every Tuesday evening with a Zoom session at 5:30 to help coordinate and offer any assistance/help needed. Anyone is welcome to join in. More information can be found on the ema.arrl.org/massachusetts-rhode-island-digital-net/ or contact Jon N1ILZ Net Manager at email@example.com.
Congrats to new Official Relay Stations Shawn Dodds N1CVO, Lem Skidmore W1LEM and Jon McCombie N1ILZ. Great to have the addition of these folks who have demonstrated good operating procedures and regular participation in NTS activities.
NTS 2.0 UPDATE:
Want to hear about what is going on with the NTS 2.0 project? There is now a web site at nts2.arrl.org where you can learn more about what the teams have been working on. There is also a tab to offer your thoughts and ideas. Do you have questions or think you have a good idea for the teams to consider let us know about it there.
TRAFFIC HANDLER OF THE MONTH:
Peter Doherty KC1HHO, manager of the Eastern Mass 2 Meter Net, has set a great example in volunteering as noted in a recent article in the ARRL’s July/August issue of “On the Air” magazine. Peter says he is a second generation ham radio operator who was licensed in April 2017. He became involved with NTS in the summer of 2017, was appointed an Official Relay Station in January 2018, and in March of that year became a net control station for EM2MN. In March 2019 he upgraded to General Class license and in August that year he was appointed as net manager of EM2MN. Peter has been very successful with his training program in message handling and net activity and in 2023 he was appointed Assistant Section Traffic Manager to help direct training of new traffic handlers. He serves on the NTS 2.0 team responsible for recruiting and training, and at upcoming HamXposition will be conducting a forum on composing and sending radiograms.
Outside of traffic handling Peter has recently become very active on HF, participating in Parks On The Air (POTA). He is a member of K1USN Radio Club in Braintree as well as The Great Hill Gang K1GHG in Weymouth, and more recently established the Quincy Radio Club. Peter’s other ham activities have included AMSAT, antenna building, APRS, SSTV and Go Box construction.
In future reports look for information on a new NTS/ARES Connection initiative. Michael WZ0C, ASTM is coordinating the planning for this venture within Eastern Mass. If successful this could become a model for other ARRL sections. Stay tuned.
Thanks to all for your participation and support. The July STM report is found below
73, Marcia KW1U