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National Traffic System. History & Operation Jim Shultz W5OMG Former Manager DFW Early Metroplex Traffic Net. Introduction. We will be discussing history, logistics and how message traffic is handled

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national traffic system

National Traffic System




Jim Shultz W5OMG

Former Manager

DFW Early Metroplex Traffic Net

  • We will be discussing history, logistics and how message traffic is handled
  • Thanks to KB5YAM, Former N Texas Section Manager & K5NHJ, Former DFW Metroplex Late Traffic Net Manager for the basis of this presentation
message firsts
Message Firsts
  • First telegraph message:
  • “What hath God wrought.”
  • First telephone message:
  • “Watson, come here. I want you.”
  • First radio message:
  • “Look, ma, no wires!”
public service communications
Public Service Communications
  • Always done it
  • Spontaneous
  • Individual basis
need for organization
Need for organization
  • Results were chaotic
  • Organized trunk lines and net systems
  • Later came ARES and NTS
part 97 basis and purpose
Part 97 – “Basis and Purpose”
  • “Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary non-commercial communications service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.”
  • Between 1914 & 1917 Range increased dramatically
  • By the end of 1917 over 600 Amateurs had been designated ORS
  • Prestige amongst The Brethren came not from the number of messages handled, but from the accuracy & reliability
what is traffic handling
What is Traffic Handling?
  • The means of getting a message from sender to recipient in the shortest amount of time as sent
  • Most needed in times of disaster or other emergency
  • We may all be needed at one time or another to “get the message through”.
principles of nts operation
Principles of NTS Operation
  • Keep the QRM level down
  • Monitor established disaster frequencies
  • Avoid spreading rumors
  • Authenticate all messages
  • Strive for efficiency
  • Select the band and mode to suit the need
  • Use all communications channels wisely
  • Don’t “broadcast”
nts net levels
NTS Net Levels
  • Local Nets
  • Section Nets
  • Region Nets
  • Area Nets
  • Trans-Continental Corps




dfw nets
DFW Nets
  • Metroplex Early Net - 1830 local time - 146.88 MHz repeater (DARC)
  • Metroplex Late Net - 2230 local time - 145.19 MHz repeater - 110.9 PL tone (Billy McDonald)
hf nets
HF Nets
  • Daytime Texas Traffic Net 7285
  • 7290 Traffic Net – Morning (M-Sa)
  • 7290 Traffic Net – Afternoon (M-F)
hf nets14
HF Nets
  • Texas CW Net 3643
  • Texas Traffic Net 3873
  • Panhandle Emergency and Traffic Handling Net 3933
  • Region Five Cycle Four 3650,7052
  • Texas Slow CW Net 3719
  • Central Gulf Coast Hurricane Net 3935
  • Southwest Traffic Net 3935
digital stations
Digital Stations
  • HF Digital NTS Operations
  • APLink system
  • NTS Digital Stations
  • VHF Packet Radio Bulletin Boards
  • Major PBBS can be a “net”
message form
Message Form
  • Preamble
  • Body
  • Signature
  • Status Line
  • Number
  • Precedence
  • Handling Instructions (optional)
  • Station of Origin
  • Check
  • Place of Origin
  • Time (optional)
  • Date
  • Name
  • Call (if any)
  • Address
  • City, State & Zip
  • Phone Number (necessary, if at all possible)
message body
Message Body
  • ARL Numbered Radiograms
  • Number spelled out
  • Phone number counts as three words
  • “Love” and “Yours truly” are part of message body
  • Web site (url) counts as one word
  • Name of person sending the message (not necessarily the operator)
  • Any other description of the sender

Callsign, FISTS, OOTC, EOC Mgr., Hospital Administrator

status line
Status Line
  • Who did you get it from and when?
  • Who did you give it to and when?
delivering the traffic
Delivering the traffic
  • Attitude-You are representing all HAM radio operators
  • Make the call
  • Identifying yourself
    • Non-HAMs
    • HAMs
  • The Message
    • Radiogram vs. Telegram
      • Hardly ever bad news
other formats
Other formats
  • Whatever your boss specifies
    • City/county/state/federal
    • Support
      • Medical format for personnel and supplies
  • What’s coming to the DFW VHF nets
    • Radio to radio
      • This is normally what we do in an emergency unless you are a liaison
        • EOC’s
        • Hospitals & Hospital Council
net operations
Net Operations
  • Local Nets
    • Usually more informal, because they’re normally not under time constraints due to volume of traffic
  • HF Nets
    • Usually more formal and structured, do have higher volumes of traffic
public service honor roll
Public Service Honor Roll
  • Checking into a traffic net (with or without traffic)
  • Acting as a Net Control or Alternate Net Control Station
  • Acting as a Liaison to another Public Service Net
  • Delivering Messages to a third party
  • Originating Messages from a third party
public service honor roll 2
Public Service Honor Roll, 2
  • Serving as a Field Appointee from ARRL
  • Providing communications during a public service event, such as a bicycle ride, walk-a-thon, marathon, etc.
  • Providing a digital station for purposes of traffic handling via packet
  • Speed (with efficiency)
  • Accuracy
  • The real fun is in delivering traffic to the public!
additional information
Additional Information
  • ARRL
  • Public Service Communications Manual
  • Net Directory
  • Operating Manual
  • Listen and/or check in to a net