Summer has officially begun. Field Day is this weekend and the traffic handlers have geared up for FD messages. Hopefully clubs operating Field Day take advantage of the extra NTS points and put the traffic handlers to the test.
If anyone is not finding their PSHR scores in QST for April and May, it is because my reports were late getting into ARRL. I do apologize and with your help in getting your reports to me by the 10th of the month I will be better able to get my report in on time.
Don’t forget the traffic handlers picnic Sunday August 6 beginning at noon in Concord MA. Traffic handlers throughout the region and anyone interested in learning more about message handling and net operations is welcome to attend. Hamburgers, hot dogs and Italian sausages will be provided. Bring your beverage of choice as well as anything else you might wish to share, and a lawn chair if you have one. I have a few if you don’t. More info forthcoming next month with a request for a head count in order to have enough to eat.
Also remember the Northeast HamXposition August 25-27. There will be an NTS Meet and Greet as well as a forum on “NTS Now and into the Future” and what’s been happening with the NTS 2.0 project you have no doubt heard about. Regarding this project you can now check out the website nts2.arrl.org for updated information.
Last month I mentioned our newest traffic handler Jessie KC1SLQ and just recently Jessie was awarded an Official Relay Station ARRL field appointment. Congrats Jessie and thanks for all your contributions to NTS. We wish you well on your travels and hope you will keep in touch.
Folks have asked me about international traffic, so here are a few considerations. As you know the US has some very antiquated but still in effect rules about third party message traffic. (It takes an act of Congress to change this rule!) There must be a third party agreement between nations in order to send a message via amateur bands to a third party in another country. These countries are listed on the ARRL website. However ham to ham messages are permitted to those who hold a valid amateur license and are able to control their own station. The Digital Traffic Network (DTN) is able to relay traffic to almost anywhere in the world. Keep in mind, however, not only the third party ruling but also know that outlets for non emergency traffic may be sparse. The US and Canada are generally the only countries accustomed to handling routine non emergency message traffic. International traffic can be routed via the KW1U MBO.
Last month I highlighted HHTN manager Joe Weiss W1HAI. This month I am highlighting Ralph Devlin N1LAH. Ralph is manager of the Massachusetts Rhode Island Phone Net (MARIPN) which is an ARRL section net serving the combined sections of Eastern and Western Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Ralph is also a regular on the Eastern Mass 2 Meter Net (EM2MN) as well as the First Region and Eastern Area nets. Ralph says, “My first callsign was KN1BKI, issued in 1957. Like so many others at the time, my novice license expired and I did not timely upgrade. Over the years my fascination with radio continued, monitoring
public safety activity, ham bands and aircraft. Back in the day I was active on citizens band and still monitor during bad weather. When a boat owner I routinely monitored and transmitted on marine VHF. In 1991 the “no code” technician license caught my 9 year old son’s attention. We studied together and got licenses. Shortly thereafter I upgraded to general and, eventually, upgraded to extra.” Ralph became an Official Relay Station (ORS) in 1992 and has been an NTS supporter ever since. Ralph was asked to re-activate the section phone net in 2015 and under his leadership the net which was then expanded to include Western Mass also expanded from three evenings a week to six, meeting nightly except Sundays at 5:00 PM on 3978 Khz. Ralph’s net has a regular group of friendly traffic handlers who invite any newcomers to come join the fun.
For my traffic tip of the month I have a few comments regarding making changes in a message text. We are taught to make no changes and to relay or deliver exactly as received! Yet we may observe misspelled words or typographical errors and be tempted to correct these. It is possible these apparent errors were intended by the originator but what do we do?. If you see what looks like an error such as a word misspelled or mistyped, after reading the word, say “I spell” and then spell phonetically as you received it. Then at the end of the message an op note with brief explanation can be added. For example a word may have been received as “relay” when you were sure it should have been “reply”. An op note might state that you believe the word “relay should be “reply”. You thereby take responsibility for what you think it should have been but leave the text intact.
Thanks to all for your continued participation and support.
73, Marcia KW1U, Section Traffic Manager