It has been an active few months and the traffic nets have been busy. There were thank you radiograms to all the presenters at the HamXposition, followed by those to attendees at the Division Town Hall Zoom presentation. Then there were the radiograms that went out from the ARRL Manager of Emergency Communications at ARRL to leadership throughout the US. There was a huge response to the HXD handling instructions which generated a lot of traffic as well. And most recently we experienced the Eastern Mass Simulated Emergency Test (SET), in which NTS played a part. A VHF net was held on the MMRA repeater network with W1HAI as NCS, and an HF net was conducted on 75 meters with our Section Manager Elect N1ILZ as NCS. In addition a special session of the East Mass 2 Meter Net was held on the Boston 145.23 repeater, with net manager KC1HHO as NCS. Thanks to Peter for a great job, especially on such short notice. He reports 10 stations checking in and 11 messages passed plus a Skywarn report. We hope to build on this in future exercises with ARRL’s emphasis on emergency communications and with the help of our new ASTM NTS/ARES liaison WZ0C.

The revitalization of NTS project continues with a wrap-up this month of briefings with leadership and traffic handlers from all 15 ARRL divisions. We now begin to move into the implementation stage with teams being formed. It’s exciting to see the interest on the part of the ARRL BoD along with traffic handlers throughout the US. It is a big project, one that will take some time to complete, but the work has begun. Results from the ARRL radiogram project mentioned above are not yet available. With 165 radiograms each with multiple HXD returns it is a big job to sort out, but it is in the works at this time and should produce some useful information. Also many have asked why there has been nothing in QST about NTS. I have learned we can look for an article in QST on NTS in the next few months. Many have also complained about the lack of updated information in the ARRL Net Directory. The staff at ARRL is currently aware of the problem and I think we can look for changes there in the near future. The NTS subcommittee of the ECFSC committee at ARRL thanks all those who have contributed with their thoughts, comments and offers of help.

With the current emphasis today on emergency communications, I believe the bottom line for those of us who regularly participate in traffic nets, is that this is something we enjoy doing. Being prepared for emergencies gives us a sense of purpose. Practicing a skill and doing it well gives us a sense accomplishment. Meeting friends on a regular basis gives us a sense of belonging. With all of this considered, and remembering that this is a hobby, I think the most important part of what we as traffic handlers do is that we have fun.

And now as we move into the holiday season I would like to make a pledge to myself that I will generate some holiday greetings to friends and family, something besides an email, a letter or a store-bought card. Maybe others can do the same? I for one find it gratifying not only to handle messages like that but to receive them as well. Happy Thanksgiving to All.

73, Marcia KW1U  STM EMA/WMA

Massachusetts STM Report for Oct 2022