|Jul 11th 2012, 00:41|
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I wanted to share a thought I had about a possible way to increase the amount of radiogram traffic sent on traffic nets and the NTS with something I called “Radiogram QSO”. Basically, it would involve a Radiogram QSO website where amateurs could go and register to voluntarily be placed on a CQ listing or directory on the site indicating to other amateurs that they would like to receive a contact or QSO by radiogram. Other amateurs registered on the site could look through the CQ list and pick another amateur to send a radiogram to and make a Radiogram QSO. In the text of the radiogram you could maybe say something about yourself or your area like, “HELLO FROM THE BIRTHPLACE OF THOMAS EDISON” if you were from Milan, Ohio. You could also maybe ask a short question or query about where the receiving amateur lives at the end of the text. When the receiving amateur gets the radiogram they could respond with another radiogram back. After a Radiogram QSO or contact is made they can both log into the Radiogram QSO website and log their contact.
You could even make it your own personal goal to work all 50 states by Radiogram QSO or even something more local like working all 88 counties in Ohio. You could also possibly even have contests to see how many contacts by radiogram can be made. The contest periods would probably have to be relatively long like two weeks or even one month. Anyone handling a relay on the NTS of a Radiogram QSO contact could also be given points by logging the relay on the website. There could also maybe be a method of marking a radiogram as a QSO contact by putting "QSO" in either the text itself or maybe in the op note section after the address so the receiving station would know it is a response to calling CQ and then log the contact on the Radiogram QSO website.
On the Radiogram QSO website you would be able to log in anytime and put your CQ listing on hold if you would be on vacation for a while or just need to take a break from receiving Radiogram QSOs. In the CQ listing you could sort the list by state (or maybe by county within a state) to look for other amateurs making a Radiogram CQ. The site could also show the total number of Radiogram QSO contacts you have made as well as maybe the number of contacts by radiogram within the last month or 30 days. This would allow you to pick someone calling CQ that has not had many contacts recently or is new to the list. You could also maybe voluntarily provide your birthday to have it listed to see how many radiograms people can send to you wishing you a happy birthday or for a special club event.
One benefit of a system like this is that you would have a CQ listing of amateurs who are voluntarily asking for contacts to be made by radiogram. I know that many of the automated or bot radiograms are sent to amateurs that do not know the sender and maybe do not wish to receive a radiogram. These radiograms would only be sent to those asking for a contact by radiogram by calling CQ. I could see more people checking into traffic nets to send out Radiogram QSOs and also checking in to see if they received any Radiogram QSOs back. All the while they would be gaining traffic handling experience and possibly becoming more involved in traffic handling in other ways. I also know that contesting or just making contacts can also be a motiving factor for some individuals. It could also be another new and interesting method to make contacts for amateurs to get involved with, especially for someone with a technician license or someone who doesn’t have HF equipment or who only has an HT radio to be able to make contacts by radiogram relay around the country.
I would also eventually like to see the possibility of having registrations on the CQ listing be available internationally where you could make a Radiogram QSO to another county. I know most other countries probably do not have a traffic system like the NTS here, but maybe this would encourage an improved international traffic network to be formed, connecting to the NTS, so people could make Radiogram QSOs to another country (possibly one that they rarely have enough propagation to make a direct contact without a relay). The contacts would be amateur to amateur so you wouldn’t have to worry as much about international third-party traffic rules with QSO radiogram contacts. I think international traffic would be a good place for using digital relays with some of the sound card modes like PSK 31 (using the CW format for sending radiograms) or maybe using Fldigi and its radiogram form if it’s available to them.
As far as the NTS is concerned, a Radiogram QSO would be just like any other radiogram. It mainly would involve setting up a website to register a list of amateurs giving Radiogram CQs and for logging radiogram contacts. I’m not sure if this is something the ARRL would be able to do or if a site like QRZ could add a feature onto their site. I would probably like it to have its own domain name so it is not a feature hidden on another site that no one knows about.