Our Section Emergency Coordinator, Arc-W4CPD is issuing a challenge to all hams within our section to send at least one Radiogram each month. This challenge serves a couple of purposes: first to exercise the traffic system and nets in our section and secondly to collect information for our various exercises throughout the year. The National Traffic System is a vital part of emergency communications and the ability to pass traffic is an extremely useful skill.
Ways to inject traffic into the National Traffic System
There are several ways to get a Radiogram transmitted via the National Traffic System including nets (voice & CW) and digital methods such as Winlink (or coming soon JS8.)
You can use phone/voice over one of our local or section nets. Whether it be via a local net in your city/county or one of our section level nets such as the morning NFL ARES Net at 8A CDT/9A EDT or NFL Phone net at 6:30P CDT/7:30P EDT, both on 3950KHz. Matt-KD8TTE has some excellent training videos on his YouTube site to help you create and send your first Radiogram.
Some of the feedback we received during the month of March is that many operators know how to fill out a radiogram form, but some aren’t aware of where to find a net to transmit it on or how to read them on the air. We conducted an online training session during April with our Section Traffic Manager and Matt-KD8TTE from Ohio. The video is available via this link.
Winlink is one of the easiest ways to get a Radiogram injected into the National Traffic System. The Winlink software natively has a form built in for sending a Radiogram and allows you to select the region to which the Radiogram will be delivered to, so it gets closer to its destination. Check out this document on the step-by-step process to send a Radiogram using Winlink.
October 2022 Challenge
Due to Hurricane Ian, we will not have a challenge this month.
September 2022 Challenge
September’s challenge is to send W4CPD a Radiogram to share with me how you would find out if your help was needed during an emergency if all normal communications methods such as cellular, internet, and landline service were down.
August 2022 Challenge
August’s challenge is to send me, W4CPD, a Radiogram to share with me what your number one fear or concern of something that could go wrong during an emergency activation and what you would do to remediate that concern. Whether it be something like not having enough batteries or an antenna breaking, what concerns you and what would you do to help prevent it.
July 2022 Challenge
July’s challenge is to send W4CPD a Radiogram to share with him what your go to antenna for quick deployment in an emergency. This could be one that you like to use in the field or one that you would deploy at your home or EOC if your primary failed. You may send your Radiogram via a voice net or utilize Winlink.
June 2022 Challenge
June’s challenge is to send W4CPD a Radiogram to share with him the name and location of a hospital or emergency room in your county. You may send your Radiogram via a voice net or utilize Winlink to send your Radiogram but it must be sent as a Radiogram via NTS. If you utilize Winlink, please send the message using the Region 4 liaison, not directly to me. We want to ensure that the NTS is still getting utilized while also practicing your Winlink skills.
May 2022 Challenge
May’s challenge is to send W4CPD a Radiogram to share with me the name and location of an evacuation shelter in your county. This month, in addition to using a voice net, you may also utilize Winlink. If you utilize Winlink, please send the message using the Region 4 liaison, not directly to me. We want to ensure that the NTS is still getting utilized while also practicing your Winlink skills.
April 2022 Challenge
April’s challenge is to send Arc, W4CPD, a Radiogram via a voice net to share with him the name of a road or highway that commonly becomes congested during high traffic times or an evacuation in your county. Please be sure to include your county name.
March 2022 Challenge
Sometime, within the month of March, send Arc-W4CPD, a Radiogram, using a voice net, to share with him the name of a local historical or tourist landmark within your city or county. Please include the city and county it is in along with any additional brief information you would like to share.