Ah spring is here! Warmer temperatures are bringing out the beauty of multi-colored flowers and the re-greening of trees. This reminds me that this is a good time to get that antenna work done before the tree branches are full of leaves.
March also brought a major influx of message traffic to our nets. Thanks to AB1OC’s thanks to attendees for their participation at his Town Hall in February and to W1CPR whose messages from the MA Task Force to over 200 of their members kept our traffic nets quite busy and brought a sense of purpose to them as well. The folks at MATF were quite impressed with the work you all accomplished. Kudos to all involved!
Speaking of nets and messaging with a purpose, especially with all the uncertainties in this world today, we could be seeing more upcoming exercise traffic, and what better a way to learn, practice and be prepared for any unforeseen events in the future than to participate in these nets.
If you want to see/hear a great endorsement of NTS by a prominent figure in emergency communications check out this link to a presentation on YouTube given by Craig Fugate, former administrator of FEMA. He speaks of the importance of amateur radio in emergency communications, and at approximately minute 37 he speaks especially of the role of NTS.
If we are to be involved in such an unforeseen event it is imperative our messaging be accurate and clear. With this in mind I would like to review a couple points.
Date and time: As you know the time field in the header is optional and we rarely use that in routine precedence messages unless there is good reason for it. However in higher precedence messages this could be critical. It is encouraged that we use universal or zulu time in this field as a message could be crossing more than one time zone. However it is permissible to use local time IF you add the time zone in which the message originated, for example 2100 EDT. Furthermore, the date of the message MUST agree with that time. For example, if you originate a message on Wednesday evening April 13 at 2100 or 9 PM you might record the time filed as 0100Z but the date would actually be April 14 according to UTC time and not April 13.
The other point I would like to clarify deals with messages you as a “station of origin” format for a third party in order to transmit over the air. If you recall, the “place of origin” in the header should agree with the location of the person whose name is in the signature, which may or may not be you as “the station of origin”. Now if you are a delivering station of such a third party message, it is important to distinguish between a reply to the sender or signer of the message and a “service message” to the “station of origin” who formatted the message with his/her own reference number. If you are replying to an HXC handling instruction, or are unable to deliver a message, or perhaps need some further clarification of a message, address these to the “station of origin” and if you don’t know the location of that person, you can look it up in an online database such as QRZ.com. Possibly that person may have added an op note letting you know where to send such a service message.
Understanding these concepts can avoid a lot of confusion and potential misinformation. Any questions can be addressed to me or found in the Methods and Practices Guidelines (MPG) Chapter 1 on the ARRL website.
March report can be found below. Thanks again to all for your great support. See you on the nets.
73, Marcia KW1U
STM EMA / WMA
|MASSACHUSETTS STM REPORTS 2021||Mar-22|
|MARIPN||27||166||185||729||N1LAH||3978 KHz||1700 M-Sa|
|MARI||31||191||122||684||KW1U||3565 KHz||1900 Daily|
|HHTN||27||76||143||623||W1HAI||MMRA Rptrs||2200 Su-F|
|WMEN/HF||4||0||119||80||N1CPE||3944 KHz||0830 Su|
|Note: HHTN also accessible via Mt Greylock 146.91 repeater and Echolink New-Eng2 Conf and IRLP 9127|
|SAR||ORG||REC||SENT||DEL||TOTAL||BPL||BPL = 500+ points|
|PSHR (Min 70 Points)|
|Marcia KW1U, STM|