As we near the “official” beginning of fall, temperatures are cooling, leaves are beginning to change colors, and it seems summer propagation is beginning to improve. In late August we enjoyed a great New England and Hudson Divisions HamXposition. It was nice to see a good turnout for the Traffic Handlers Meet and Greet forum, which joined forces with the NE-ECAPS (New England Emergency and Public Service) group. It is always fun to see in person those with whom we handle traffic on the air, and one of the main topics was a very informative presentation by ARRL New England Division Director Fred Kemmerer AB1OC concerning the ongoing work on the revitalization of NTS, also known as NTS 2.0. The NTS subcommittee of the ECFSC (Emergency Communications and Field Services Commitee) continues to extend briefings to other ARRL Divisions across the country, with a goal of establishing implementation teams by some time in November. During the first part of the year we hope to see some actual results coming from these teams applied to message handling. Stay tuned.
Message traffic has been keeping us busy. The Mass Task Force (MATF) sent out two other group of messages to its leaders regarding readiness for deployment. (Thanks to Charlie W1CPR). Also Phil K9HI sent out thank you radiograms to presenters at HamXposition as well as to those who responded to the convention survey. Traffic handlers seemed to welcome such messages and did a great job of getting them delivered.
As I write this, the BigE Fair is ongoing and amateur radio has a major presence there. Be sure to check that out. Information is available on the ema.arrl.org website. While there is no traffic handling going on at this event this year, we will be looking into the possibility of reviving this tradition next year.
As for traffic tips, I invite folks to review my notes from the past year. I covered information on the ICS 213 formatted radiograms, message originations, date time and place of origin in the header, suggestions for delivery of radiograms to new hams, how to properly count Station Activity Reports (SAR), and punctuation This month I would like to add a bit more on punctuation, specifically regarding email and url addresses. I recently observed email addresses on radiograms as ‘W1ABC@gmail.com’. Since we do not use punctuation symbols in NTS radiograms other than X for a period or the word query for a question mark, any other punctuation must be spelled out. In the case above we should see ‘W1ABC atsign gmail dot com’, five word groups instead of one. A URL example might be ‘https://ema.arrl.org/national-traffic-system/’. This should be written as ‘https colon slash slash ema dot arrl dot org slash national hyphen traffic hyphen system slash’, 16 word groups instead of one. While in digital communication this may not seem necessary, but remember any NTS message may at some point be relayed via a voice or CW traffic net as well as the Digital Traffic Network (DTN), so it is important to follow the above protocol on any NTS/RRI radiograms.
The August STM report link is below. Thanks to all for your participation and support of the traffic nets.
73, Marcia KW1U
STM EMA / WMA