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Surfin’: Got Traffic?

03/29/2013

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ remembers George Hart, W1NJM, and his National Traffic System.

My first professional job after graduating from college in 1977 was at ARRL Headquarters, working for ham radio legend George Hart, W1NJM.

George ran the Communications Department at the League. While I worked in the department’s Public Service Branch and reported directly to Bob Halprin, K1XA, we all reported to George, the father of the present-day National Traffic System (NTS)

George passed away at the age of 99 last weekend and I am dedicating this installment of Surfin’ to the man who kicked off my writing career in the world of Amateur Radio; I cannot think of a better way to honor George than to write about his NTS.

To tell the truth, when I started working at the ARRL, I had not handled one piece of traffic in my nine years as a licensed ham. But I learned fast: A year later, courtesy of the indoctrination I received from George and Bob, I started a traffic net in the historic blizzard that hit the Northeast in 1978. The last time I checked, the Western Connecticut Traffic Net (WESCON) was still up and running 35 years later on the 147.18 MHz repeater, passing traffic every night at 2030 local time.

Check out the ARRL’s NTS web pages for all the details on the National Traffic System. The National Traffic System (NTS) Primer, run by Bill Frazier, W7ARC, is a good introduction to the NTS. Jim Shultz, W5OMG, has put together a slideshow on history and operation of the NTS, and Keon Hays, KE3HAY, has a video on YouTube of a live session of the Baltimore Traffic Net.

Until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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