Chapter Eleven: On Getting More Traffic
A concern has been expressed that the addition of digital stations will "rob" traditional NTS nets of their lifeblood, traffic. A look at the current net statistics will show that many region nets are handling only a few messages per session. There is no question that without traffic, NTS nets will starve and die.
Each and every one of us, therefore, must do our part to support the origination of more traffic:
- Each Section or Local NTS net in the section should sponsor a message fair at a public place or event once or more a year. Nets should coordinate their scheduling of events throughout the year. This may be a good project for even a Region Net, that could sponsor a message booth at a large, regional exposition, for example. Not only would this program of public contact generate more traffic, but it would also provide a great social event for Net members themselves, resulting in closer bonding and higher morale.
- Each Official Relay Station appointee should be encouraged to originate a minimum of 10 messages per month.
- Each traffic handler in the section should be encouraged to bring at least one message per Net check-in. Checking in QRU is to be frowned upon, akin to going to a pot-luck supper without your contribution of a dish! "Each one, bring one," should be every net's motto.
- Section Traffic Managers should install Local NTS Nets on repeaters to gain access to new Technicians. New traffic handlers mean more traffic. A side-benefit is that there will be new candidates for upper level liaison and NCS functions following service of their apprenticeships at the Section level and below. Far too many Region Nets, for example, rely on one or two Net members to carry the workload over the majority of sessions per week.
- PBBS software should be incorporated on NTS-cooperative boards to prompt/teach users on how to originate/send a message in radiogram format. A separate, stand-alone program should also be developed for use "off-line" to accomplish the same function.
- Basic educational/motivational articles should appear more regularly in QST and other League publications. Send your contributions to HQ for use in QST.
- The traffic handling community are encouraged to take advantage of the NTS awards program (PSHR, BPL, etc.) sponsored by ARRL.
- NTS Officials are to be encouraged to put on traffic handling seminars for new hams at conventions, hamfests and club meetings to generate interest in our activity.