Wednesday, September 13, 2017

National Traffic System

I have not posted much this past week as work has kept me very busy. I am definitely looking forward to taking a little time off in October! Tonight I checked in and participated with my very first CW net, so I thought I would share that experience here.

The net I checked into is called the Indiana Slow Net. From what I have been able to gather the Indiana Slow Net was originally created to help teach amateur radio operators in Indiana how to check into a net and also how to pass traffic, also known as Radiograms.

ARRL Radiogram

The history of passing traffic can be dated back to 1914 when Hiram Percy Maxim from Hartford Connecticut attempted to send a message to a ham radio station in Springfield Massachusetts. Unable to do so, Hiram remembered that he knew an amateur radio operator that was located about half-way and reached out to him instead. Hiram's message was then forwarded to the station it was intended for in Springfield. At this time, the maximum range for a station was just a few hundred miles so Maxim realized that there was a great need for an organized relay system for amateur radio operators.  Later that year, Maxim and others went on to establish the American Radio Relay League which was originally created for the purpose of passing traffic.

Hiram Percy Maxim / Co-Founder of the ARRL

Participating with the National Traffic System (NTS) not only sounds like another great way of helping to preserve the history of amateur radio, but it also sounds like a lot of fun too. Tonight's net was on 80 meters and my 5 watt QRP signal was heard across the state. I will admit, I was a nervous wreck checking in. It was almost like my first CW QSO in a way, but somehow I managed to work through the nervousness and complete my check-in. I had a blast and I look forward to continuing to participate in this net and hopefully the Indiana Traffic Net one day as well.

The icing on the cake this evening was hearing my friends and elmers join me by checking into the net as well. I took advantage of the fact that one of my good friends and elmer Brian - KB9BVN was on 80m as well tonight. Brian and I were able to QSY to a different frequency after the net and complete a local QSO which was very cool. Brian lives about 26 miles away from me as the crow flies and I'm excited to now have a reason to send him a QSL card. Brian is a fellow blogger known by many and a legend in the QRP world. You can read more about Brian by checking out his blog, just CLICK HERE to check it out for yourself.

Well, I guess that is it for tonight. I need to fill out several QSL cards and get them in the mail. To date I have 26 confirmed QSO's (via QSL card) in my WAS QRP CW effort.

Until next time, 72 de W9ODX


  1. Mike your fist is EZ copy buddy...keep it up and the speed will come. I always slow down cuz I can't speed up! Thanks for the QSO and welcome to the Indiana Code Net!

  2. Mike,
    I use to do 2m phone nets when I lived in MA. There were 3 nets every night and I would usually check in to all 3. I passed a lot of message back then and felt like I was doing something worthwhile. There are no traffic nets here in VT so have not done any traffic for 3 years now. Keep the stories coming. I love it!!

    BTW I used my Baofeng UV5R with a Slim Jim antenna most of the time.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, I was wondering if anyone actually read the blog. 72 de W9ODX