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Change in “2nd Alt” Operating Frequency

posted Aug 3, 2017, 5:40 AM by C. Matthew Curtin

COTN operates primarily on the 146.97 repeater, with an alternate of the 146.76 machine, where we have secondary priority behind Central Ohio Severe Weather Net. Both of these excellent machines are owned and operated by the Central Ohio Radio Club, and we are grateful for their support.

We have been operating on the 147.33 CORC machine as our "second alternate" frequency, for fallback when neither primary nor alternate machines are available. That machine, while also excellent, has a footprint that's significantly shifted to the east of our normal operating area.

Effective August 3, 2017, COTN has accepted the offer from the Capital City Repeater Association (CCRA) to make use of its 147.24 machine. After some testing conducted in May and June, we have decided to incorporate "24" into our operating schedule, as second alternate, in place of the "33" machine. Our fallback from second alternate remains simplex at 147.510 MHz.

Return of operations to the "24" machine is a bit of a homecoming for COTN, as that was the machine that supported operations for years. CORC has graciously hosted COTN as the CCRA system went through changes, and continues to do so for our primary and alternate operating frequencies.

Russ Ward W8ARD Appointed Training Officer

posted Jul 29, 2017, 3:53 PM by C. Matthew Curtin

I'm pleased to announce that Russ Ward W8ARD has accepted the position of Training Officer for the Central Ohio Traffic Net. He'll be joining a hard-working cadre of volunteers who make sure that COTN operates at least one session every day of every year. 

With our relationship with Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security, we need to ensure that we have a force of trained volunteers, ready to support the communication needs of the public and the agencies that serve them in times of emergency. Being a training net COTN is where many operators start their journey to become effective in critical functions like directed net operations and traffic handling. Russ will therefore be a critical resource. 

If you've got ideas, questions, or comments that can help us to develop and deliver effective training in support of our mission I'm sure that Russ will be happy to hear about it. Please join me in welcoming him to his new position at COTN. 

C Matthew Curtin KD8TTE 
Net Manager,  Central Ohio Traffic Net

July 2017 Issue of QNI Available

posted Jul 7, 2017, 12:07 PM by C. Matthew Curtin

See the July 2017 issue of QNI!

Volume 6, Issue 3
Summer Issue
  The Standardization of Time
  A Video Patch Bay
  Cliff Clavin Was a Ham
  ICS213—The Mythology that won’t die
  Unilateral Decisions
  Dayton Hamvention Report
  Local Programs Committee Formed
  Solar Power
  The Future is Here...and it’s the Radiogram
  Aviation-based Exercise Messages
  Local-State Traffic/EMCOMM Net Affiliation
  Community Outreach—National Communications Strategy
  ILN—The Illinois CW Net
  The Radiogram: Universal, Adaptable, Efficient!

Great work at Field Day!

posted Jun 25, 2017, 6:03 PM by C. Matthew Curtin

Thanks to everyone who came out for Field Day. Had a great time with a multi organization operation, exercising the ICS Unified Command to organize the efforts of representatives from Franklin County ARES, Franklin County CERT, Central Ohio Traffic Net, Central Ohio Severe Weather Net, and the Ohio Military Reserve. It was a great exercise, with a lot of capability to demonstrate, and lessons to apply. We had a great time working together, and had a respectable number of contacts made as we operated all throughout the night. All of the different skills and qualifications came together. Well done, everyone.

June In-Person Training Cancelled: Prepare for Field Day!

posted Jun 6, 2017, 4:08 PM by C. Matthew Curtin

June's in-person training is cancelled due to a schedule conflict. However, we've got a big training opportunity in June: Field Day!

Please join us on Saturday and Sunday, June 24 and 25, for Field Day! COTN will be working in support of the operation at Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security. We need traffic operators, as well as other radio operators.

Sign up to help, and we will be in touch to coordinate! Please indicate if you are interested in working specifically in the Traffic Unit, or if you are also interested in working as a radio operator during the course of the contest.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Register for Field Day, Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security!

posted Jun 4, 2017, 10:13 AM by C. Matthew Curtin   [ updated Jun 4, 2017, 10:15 AM ]

COTN will be joining the Field Day operation at Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security. We are looking for radio operators, as well as traffic handlers specifically. We'll be making contact with as many stations as possible on as many modes as possible for points. We will also have a "Traffic Unit" that is specifically tasked with the origination and relay of traffic from the site.

May 2017 Meeting Moved to Thu 18 May

posted May 5, 2017, 4:29 PM by C. Matthew Curtin   [ updated May 14, 2017, 4:14 PM ]

COTN's monthly in-person training and planning meeting will move to Thursday, May 18, 2017, to accommodate schedules at Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security.

Please join us on Thursday, May 18. We'll start gathering at 6 P.M., and get our training kicked off at 6:30 P.M. We'll consider the topic of net control, with emphasis on recordkeeping, check into the Ohio Single Sideband Net, and then the Central Ohio Traffic Net regular session. We'll also hold our own special session for the evening where we'll all have an opportunity to practice simplex operations.

Looking forward to seeing you at Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security, 5300 Strawberry Farms Blvd Columbus, OH 43230 on Thursday, May 18, 2017!

Radiogram Web Application: Organize Your Traffic

posted Apr 16, 2017, 4:41 PM by C. Matthew Curtin

Traffic handler Aly Badawy, N2SHO has released a web application called Radiogram to help traffic handlers organize and manage their traffic. It requires no local installation, just an Internet connection and a web browser. Naturally you'll want to maintain proficiency with lower-tech management methods so you can operate should the emergency that causes you to operate without Internet access come your way, but for day-to-day traffic handling, the application addresses many common problems.

Not only can you keep your radiograms but you can keep track of the status—what is and isn't relayed—and at the end of the month you can use it to generate your station activity report.

Take a look at

April Training: The ICS-213 Compliant Radiogram

posted Apr 2, 2017, 3:18 PM by C. Matthew Curtin   [ updated Apr 2, 2017, 3:25 PM ]

As FEMA's promulgation of the Incident Command System (ICS) leads to more organizations making use of the system, the "General Message" form (ICS-213) becomes more commonly encountered. As we find that our service of relaying third-party traffic can support not only members of the public but official communiqués of government agencies, we need to be able to transmit these messages. After all, the universally-recognized form helps people to understand what they're seeing. What's not to love?

Earlier forms, including the humble radiogram, have assumed transmission of the document to get it from one place to another. As such, those forms include critical information such as routing and handling instructions, as well as accountability for the process of getting the message to its addressee. Attaching an ICS-213 to email allows for accounting of where and when the message has gone, since email provides that kind of information. But how do you transmit an ICS-213 by radio?

Radio Relay International has introduced its Form 1703-ICS, an ICS-compliant radiogram form!

The most important thing to remember is that we should not confuse form with format. Critically, common format is what allows for interoperability, while form will allow for presentation. It turns out that by recognizing what elements are part of the ICS-213 format and what is needed by the radiogram format, we can combine those elements to create a means to transmit an ICS-213 by radio, while providing the accountability that we look for when handling third-party traffic. (The separation of form from format is what allows the Internet to work: whether you type your message into a form presented by Microsoft Outlook or Google's Gmail, both will go into the Internet Message Format for transmission. We can do exactly the same thing here.)

In our April 2017 training, we will discuss the ICS-213 in detail. We will consider its uses, and we will then look to the Radiogram at the particular features it provides that we need to provide excellent service in transmission by radio. We will conduct examples of originating ICS-213-compliant messages, transmitting them, and delivering them.


April 13, 2017. Join us at 18:00 to meet everyone and get settled. Training will start at 18:30, sharp! We will conclude after about two hours.

Bring your HT, and some printouts of the RRI 1703-ICS!


As usual, we'll hold the training at Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security, 5300 Strawberry Farms Blvd., Columbus, Ohio.

Ohio ARES Conference: "The Changing Face of Traffic Handling"

posted Mar 30, 2017, 2:59 PM by C. Matthew Curtin

ARRL Ohio Section will hold its ARES Conference on Saturday, April 1, 2017. (No joke!)

Starting at 8 A.M., Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) volunteers from around the state will gather at Marion Technical College / OSU - Marion Campus, 467 Mt. Vernon Avenue, in Marion. With a program getting underway at 9 A.M., we will consider topics ranging from training to technology, and operations to messaging.

Our own net manager, C. Matthew Curtin KD8TTE will present "The Changing Face of Traffic Handling." In that presentation we will consider handling third party traffic and its role in emergency and disaster response. We will also hear from the president of the Ohio EMA Directors Association on how amateur radio and EMAs can help one another.

If you're interested in attending, please register at

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