The National Traffic System is a means for
systematizing amateur traffic-handling facilities by making a
structure available for an integrated traffic facility designed to
achieve the utmost in two principle objectives.
Rapid movement of traffic from origin to destination.
Training amateur operators to handle written traffic and participate in directed nets.
Traffic activities in a section are coordinated
and overseen by the ARRL Section Traffic Manager who is appointed by
the ARRL Section Manager.
Amateur Operators from the three Florida ARRL
Sections (Northern, West Central, Southern Florida) participate in
several unified State wide traffic net on 40 and 80 meters on a
daily basis. This has been done by mutual agreements for over
fifty year. Sumter and Lake counties are in the Northern
Florida NTS Net on HF
||Florida Phone Traffic Net (FPTN)
|0730 (Saturday Only)
||ARRL Information Net (AIN)
||North Florida ARES Net (NFAN)
||3950 LSB (Alt 7242 LSB)
||Florida Mid-Day Traffic Net (Mid-Day)
||Tropical Phone Traffic Net/FAST
||3940 or 7242 LSB
||Florida Medium Speed Net
||3651 or 7051 CW
|1830 (Winter), 1930(Summer)
||Northern Florida Phone Net
||All Florida CW Net (QFN)
||3547 or 7051 CW
||All Florida CW Net (QFN)
||Florida Amateur Sideband Net-LATE
Florida NTS Net on VHF/UHF
|| SPARC Daily Net (St
|| Eagle Net
ARRL Information: NTS
System and how it operates (web)
ARRL PowerPoint Tutorial (ppt)
NTS Traffic Handler
Individuals who would like
to handle traffic are encouraged to apply for the Official Relay
Station (ORS) Appointment. Contact the Section Traffic Manager
or the Section Manage for more information on becoming an QRS.
Local nets are those which
cover small areas such as a community, city, or county. They
usually operate by VHF at times and on days most convenient to their
members. Some are designated as emergency" (ARES) nets that do
not specialize in traffic handling. Local nets are intended mainly
for local delivery of traffic.
procedural lines begin to tighten at the section net level.
Coverage of the section may be accomplished eith by individual
stations reporting, by representatives of NTS local nets and nodes,
or both. Ordinarily, all section amateurs are invited to take
part; however, in a high-population section representation may be by
liaison station plus stations in lighter populated areas.
NTS: Operation During
The National Traffic System
is dedicated to communications during disasters on behalf of ARES,
as well as the daily handling of third-party traffic. When a
disaster situation arises, NTS is capable of expanding its cyclic
operation into complete or partial disaster operation depending
entirely on the extend of the disaster situation and the extent of
In a situation like this,
the ARRL Emergency Coordinators in disaster areas determine the
communications needs and make decision regarding the disposition of
local communications facilities, in accordance with the need and in
coordination with agencies to be served. The Section
Emergency Coordinator, after conferring with the affected EC's,
makes his recommendations to the Section Traffic Manager and/or NTS
managers at section and/or region levels.
While the County EC, is, in
effect, the manger of ARES nets operating at local levels, and
therefore makes decisions regarding their activation, managers of
NTS nets at local, section, region, and area level are responsible
for activation of their nets in a disaster situation, at the behest
and on the recommendation of ARES or NTS officials at lower levels.
When and Where to send a
- Local Traffic
(In-town/county), send it:
- During a Net on your local repeater
- Anytime on the repeater or via local telephone
- Out of town or
- During any Net on your local repeater ask for a station
who may take "traffic" for the area it needs to go into.
- Check with your Local Net Manager or Emergency
Coordinator for stations who take relays oftraffic for other
areas and countys.
- Long distances within
- During a Net on your local repeater, see if there are
any relay stations to the HF Nets operating within the state
that can pass to a "Higher Net"
- If you have the privileges, check in to one of the state
wide nets and pass traffic to a station who is local to the
- Check with your Local Net Manager or Emergency
Coordinator to find who is the Local Liaison for HF Nets if
you do not have the privileges or the equipment. (A Liason
is an operator who has agreed to help pass NTS traffic for
- Out of State or
- Pass it to an NTS Net that you have the privileges for
- Pass your traffic to the Local Liaison via repeater or
- If the message is going out of the Country, check to
ensure that the US has a third party agreement with the
country it is going to. If not sure, check with your
Emergency Coordinator or your local Net liaison.
IV. METHODS OF PASSING "TRAFFIC"
RADIOGRAMS may be passed via any means available to an Amateur Radio
Operator . . .voice, phone. Repeaters, simplex, VHF, UHF, HF, as
long as you have the privileges to operate on a frequency, you can
pass messages there.You may use:
- Phone (Voice) anywhere
it is legal for you to operate.
- CW. NTS messages can be passed using CW on VHF, UHF, HF, any
frequency that the operator is authorized to use
- Packet. VHF
and HF are the most common. Packet can be the ideal means of
passing formalized message traffic in certain circumstances. It
is especially useful when a "secure" method is necessary to
safeguard the privacy of disaster victims. It is also very handy
whenever a "hard copy" is needed for record keeping.
Packet BBSs provide a looser structure for getting messages from
the sender to the area of destination. This looseness has its
advantages and disadvantages. An advantage is that participants
can have more flexible schedules - one does not have to set
aside a specific time for a regularly scheduled net. A
disadvantage is that the sender, does not know if there is a
human-receiver on the other end that will deliver the message.
For the system to work efficiently, each BBS should have someone
(or some group) responsible for delivering NTS messages.
HF is the most common. Another digital mode(s) available for
passing of traffic
Traffic NetsThere are
specific times, days of the week and a variety of frequencies
available for formal "Traffic Nets". Check with your local Net
Manager, Emergency Coordinator or Net Liaison to find out when and
where they meet. The ARRL Net
Directory is a good
source of information. We have also included several Appendices at
the end of this manual which are lists of various nets at different
During a Club Net, ARES Net, District Net, etc. is the perfect time
to pass some traffic, even if just for practice. You can usually
locate someone who will receive the traffic and will also work with
you on your technique.
Don't worry about getting everything perfect. Practice makes us all
better. If you listen to an NTS net for ten minutes, you will hear
some of the old-timers make some blunders. It's no big deal! The
most important part is to listen to how the traffic is handled and
passed, then practice what you know is correct out of what you hear.
People who are involved in the NTS nets welcome newcomers. Just tell
them you are new to the system and they will coach you. Of course,
there is always the net "Grump". Don't worry about him.
If you never learn any more
than this about the Radiogram, you will do just fine passing traffic
in the NTS with what you have learned so far. By the time you
compose and send 10 or 12 messages, the Radiogram form, these simple
procedures, and what to say, will be permanently imprinted on your
We will now go into a little more depth and examine some of the
IV. SOME MORE ADVANCED STUFF
THE NTS STRUCTURE - How it
Reminder: The NTS is made up of several associated, yet totally
separate Nets held on various levels.
- Local Nets. This
is the Lowest level NTS Net.These Nets usually meet on local
repeaters and are the first level of the NTS system. This is
where traffic will be passed between cities, counties and
sometimes within Districts or multi county areas. If the traffic
needs to go any further or to the next step, it may be passed on
to an operator who will take it to the next level Net, the
- Handling of Local
MessagesThese are usually within your own county,
city or within reach of your local repeater. If you receive
the message, follow the delivery instructions to the party
intended. If it is out of your area for phone delivery or
you are the originating Amateur, try to find a station on
the repeater who can deliver the message and send the
traffic to that station. You will find repeaters to be
excellent resources for passing NTS traffic locally. Try
during a Club Net or an ARES/RACES Net on the repeater if
there is not an official NTS Traffic Net held on your local
repeater, this is usually an excellent time to catch someone
in the area where the traffic needs to go.
- Section Nets. A
Section is an area designated by the ARRL (Amateur Radio Relay
League). Each Section will have a, or several, NTS Nets
established for the purpose of transferring this traffic or
messages. This traffic is normally stays within that Section and
is received by stations in the area where it is intended to go.
If the message is to go to the next level Net, it is usually
received by a designated operator to relay to the Region Nets.
- Handling of
Section MessagesThese are to be delivered within
the ARRL designated Section. This usually means that the
best way of delivering it would be to go to one of the
Section/State NTS Traffic Nets that are in place. These are
found on HF usually, but a few are found on wide coverage
repeaters. If you do not have the ability or privileges to
transmit the traffic yourself to the HF Net, ask your
Emergency Coordinator who the NTS liaison is within your
county and deliver the traffic to that operator for relay to
the Section Net.
- Region Nets .
These Nets cover a much larger area. A representative from each
section takes the messages to this Net that are intended for
parties outside of the Section but within the Region. Traffic
intended for parties outside of the Region will be passed on to
operators designated to take them to the next level Net which is
the Area Net.
- Handling of Region
MessagesThese are intended for a party within an
ARRL designated Region The traffic will usually start off in
a Section Net and be transmitted to the Region Net by the
operator with that responsibility. Follow the same
procedures as the Section Messages.
- Area Nets.
This is the top level Net of the NTS.It covers the available
world. Representatives from each Region will bring traffic to
these Nets to be passed around the designated Area or into other
Areas. Each of these Nets has one basic item in common; each
will have an appointed Manager to oversee the operation of each
level. These will all be covered in greater detail later in this
- Handling of Area
MessagesThese are intended for a party within one
of the designated ARRL Areas. Normally it will be passed
from Local to Section to Region to Area Net until it gets
delivered to the intended party, regardless of where they
are. The procedure on your end is the same, you introduce
the traffic by the best means you have available. If you can
take it to the Section Net, do so yourself. If you do not
have the privileges, utilize the procedures drawn out above
for the other Nets.
- Handling of
Out-of-U.S. (Country) Traffic. Remember to verify
that the U.S. and the receiving country have a Third Party
Agreement. A Third Party Agreement means that the U.S. and
the other country have a legal agreement allowing U.S.
Amateurs to pass traffic into that country.