Summer is approaching with time for outdoor activities, but also time to take a break from the heat, come into the shack, cool off with a cold beverage, and operate ham radio. Our traffic nets continue to operate daily and our traffic handlers are ready and happy to take your message traffic.

Field Day is coming up June 24 and 25. Support your local clubs to get those extra points for NTS messages. All traffic handlers can encourage and help your fellow club members to get those radiograms into the system. If a club needs help, check with KW1U or any of the NTS net managers who would be happy to assist. Want more info on digital traffic? Check with KW1U or WZ0C. While Winlink is generally available, remember the Digital Traffic Network can handle messages anywhere it is legal. Support your NTS by using DTN.

I want to remind folks about the annual traffic handlers picnic in Concord MA on Sunday August 6 beginning at noon. Save the date! Anyone interested in traffic handling is welcome. We always look forward to seeing each other in person, exchanging stories of ham activities. Expect updates on the NTS 2.0 project. More info to follow.

Peter KC1HHO reports a new traffic handler on the EM2MN. Jessie Kneeland KC1SLQ, has been through Peter’s training program and has been doing a great job of handling traffic. Nice job Jessie. Happy to have you join our traffic handling community.

I would like to highlight our dedicated traffic handlers and this month I have chosen Joe Weiss W1HAI who has done a fantastic job with the Heavy Hitters Traffic Net which meets at 10 PM nightly on the Minuteman Repeater Network. Under Joe’s leadership HHTN has expanded to cover most of the state with current link-ups with repeaters in Fitchburg, Gardner and the Mt Greylock repeater in western Mass, as well as Echolink. Joe was first introduced to amateur radio by an uncle and received his Novice license in 1966 as a teenager. He went on to receive his Extra class license and has been quite involved in amateur radio ever since. He is a life member of ARRL and currently serves not only as net manager of HHTN but has served as NCS on the Central Mass 2 Meter net, Skywarn nets and the monthly ARES net. In addition to traffic, Joe is Publicity Coordinator for the Framingham ARA and served for many years as a Public Information Officer for a state agency. He has had experience in both radio and cable TV. Joe says he “appreciates every aspect of Amateur Radio and enjoys making contact with Ops from down the street to around the world.” Thanks to Joe for all his contributions to ham radio and especially to NTS.

As a traffic topic for this month I would like to offer a few guiding principles about book traffic. What do we mean by “booking traffic”? Two or more messages with fixed parts such as fixed addresses, fixed texts, etc. can be transmitted by sending the “fixed” parts once followed by the variable parts. In other words, if multiple messages are going to the same recipient the address portion of the message can be sent only once. If the same text with the same signature is going to multiple recipients, those parts can be sent only once, each to be followed by the variable parts.

Sending “booked traffic” is not mandatory, but rather an option on the part of the sending operator in order to save time in transmission. The decision to book or not to book is generally dependent on the size of parts that would otherwise have to be repeated. Sending a book with too many variable parts gets very confusing to the one who must sort it all out before relaying or delivering. Booking traffic is generally done by the more experienced traffic handler. Just remember however that those just beginning to copy radiograms may need a bit of help in understanding the process.

The April STM report follows. Thanks to all for your participation and support of NTS.

73, Marcia KW1U