The National Traffic System (NTS) is an organized network of amateur radio operators sponsored by the American Radio Relay League for the purpose of relaying messages throughout The United States and Canada. It has evolved from a collection of stations using Morse Code to an expanded system using Morse Code, voice and digital modes.
Amateur radio operators send hundreds of messages each month using the phone and digital modes, during different conditions: summer heat, ice storms, rain, wind, etc. Normally, the messages are routine greetings (“Happy birthday Aunt Mary”) to keep the NTS operators active and well practiced in the event they are needed. When there is an emergency or disaster, The NTS works closely with the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) to provide emergency communications. The most common type of disaster-related messages are “health and welfare” inquiries and notifications into and out of the area affected by a disaster. In a time of disaster, it is easy to expand the system by simply creating additional meeting times for the nets with high volume, or by setting up a specific “trunk line” between two points. One such trunk line system is known as Hamshack Hotline. It is a network of phones, connected to The Internet, using voice over Internet protocol (VOIP).
In order to be better prepared, my fellow operators and I would appreciate messages of 25 words or less. All that is needed is the message, a phone number and/or email address, plus the destination town and state. A street address is optional. You may initiate a message by sending the required information to email@example.com.
The Western Pennsylvania Phone and Traffic Net meets daily on 3.918 MHz LSB at 2200 UTC and will begin meeting at 2130 UTC on August 1, 2021.
I regularly check into the Digital Traffic Network (DTN) hub, and into WinLink, to send and retrieve NTS messages.