Spring is in full bloom and ham activities are following suit. With life returning to somewhat normal after Covid, more and more clubs are meeting in person and public service events including ham participation are abounding. As amateur radio operators and particularly as message traffic handlers we strive to be of public service to the community. One way to do this and get the word out about ham radio is by participating in public service events. Check both ema.arrl.org and nediv.arrl.org for ongoing information. Better yet sign up for emails of daily postings on both sites. Great information!
A couple upcoming events deserve special note. HamXposition 2022 comes to Marlborough MA August 26-28. Check out details at https://hamxposition.org/. This year New England division and Hudson Division will be joining forces. As we have done in the past we hope to have an NTS Meet and Greet session. Get to know fellow traffic handlers and participate in a discussion of topics of interest.
The other major upcoming event is the Big E. Project Big E is a 17-day amateur radio exhibit to be held at the 2022 Big E from September 16-October 3, 2022 in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Check out https://nediv.arrl.org/project-big-e/ for more information. In past years traffic handlers from across New England participated by taking radiograms from the public and getting them out to the traffic nets or digital network. It was a major project and was discontinued due to lack of personnel to man the booth. I’ve been asked if we would be interested in reviving this tradition, but I need to know if there is enough support. Please contact me with your thoughts. I will be seeking input from other sections as well.
More on the subject of ICS 213 radiograms, I have heard of instances (not in MA or New England) of such radiograms being refused by some traffic handlers. I want to remind folks that we can expect to see more of these types of radiograms in the future. In fact MA Task Force is currently sending out more of these to their members in our area. I have reproduced here an image of such a form from the Winlink/RRI group from which these are originating. Perhaps this will give you a better idea of the types of information contained in these messages. Note the addition of “position” after the “To” and “From” fields and also information from the “From” field is being moved to the location of the usual radiogram signature following the text. The call signs following the signature refer to routing information similar to the “Rcvd from” and “Sent to” fields on a radiogram form.
We have a rather dire need here in MA with message traffic coming into MA via the Digital Traffic Network (DTN). I need help getting this traffic off the MBO and onto the traffic nets. This can be done via VHF Packet or HF VARA. VARA is a sound card mode not requiring an expensive modem to get appropriate speed of transmission as well as being good at detecting weak signals. If this is of interest to you please let me know. I will get help for you as needed. Bernie KC1MSN has also offered use of his packet station, located in Milton MA, for remoting into the KW1U MBO. For more information on this option contact KC1MSN or KW1U.
As for a traffic tip for the month, we see a lot of messages to new hams. Are we just delivering those messages to a voicemail or email address or are we making an effort to offer help to such individuals. I am told many new licensees fail to get on the air, having many questions and not knowing how to do it. We have an opportunity to reach out with information regarding clubs or offers of help. I know some are taking full advantage of these opportunities with good success. Great job!
One last thing: our annual traffic handlers picnic is a tradition generally held on the first Sunday in August. I would like to do this again this year so set aside Sunday afternoon August 7 from noon on for a picnic in Concord MA. More details to come.
The April report can be found below. Thanks to all for your support.
73, Marcia KW1U
STM EMA / WMA