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Call for Volunteers: Red White & Boom

posted Jun 22, 2018, 3:00 PM by C. Matthew Curtin   [ updated Jun 22, 2018, 3:03 PM ]

COTN is looking for volunteers to operate during Red White & Boom. We need net control operators, traffic handlers, and relay stations to act as liaisons. We'll be operating a special session of COTN for the duration of the event.

Amateur Radio “Field Day” June 23–24, 2018 at Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security

posted May 29, 2018, 12:04 PM by C. Matthew Curtin

The Franklin County Auxiliary Communications Club (FCACC) will be hosting operators from the Franklin County Ohio Amateur Radio Emergency Service (FCOH ARES) and Central Ohio Traffic Net (COTN), as well as personnel from Ohio Military Reserve, during the 2018 American Radio Relay League (ARRL) “Field Day” Exercise on June 23-24, 2018.  The 24-hour exercise will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at FCEM&HS, 5300 Strawberry Farms Blvd., Columbus and will demonstrate the science and skill of Franklin County’s Amateur Radio capabilities.  This event is open to the public during certain periods.  Visitors are encouraged to attend from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM Saturday and from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM Sunday.

Amateur Radio, often called “ham radio,” is a worldwide community of licensed operators who use radio airwaves to transmit voice, data and pictures when normal infrastructure is offline.  The systems function completely independent of the Internet or cell phone infrastructure and can be set up almost anywhere in minutes.  Operators are trained in basic electronics and radio communications and licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.  The Franklin County Auxiliary Communications Club (FCACC) helps to ensure amateur radio communication capabilities for FCEM&HS in the event of an emergency or disaster in Franklin County. 

ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the United States and Canada.  On the fourth weekend in June, more than 35,000 radio amateurs will gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to demonstrate ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location.  During the 24-hour exercise, operators will communicate with as many other stations as possible and practice their emergency response plans. 

For anyone interested in Amateur Radio operations or becoming a licensed Amateur Radio operator, the event will also feature demonstrations on how to use the equipment and the opportunity for residents to send an actual message through the system.  Currently, there are over 725,000 licensed operators in the United States, ranging in age from as young as 5 and as old as 100. 

To sign up to operate or to visit, please register online at

April 2018 Issue of QNI Available

posted Mar 31, 2018, 4:50 PM by C. Matthew Curtin

The April 2018 issue of QNI is now available. Just take a look at the titles of the articles therein:

First Quarter Exercise
The Origins of the Radiogram
VEC Data Harvesting Program
Enlightened Leadership?
Delivering Radiograms
Restoring a Neutrodyne
Proposed Policy Governing Bulk
Registered Radio Operators to be Paired with REACT Units
WTSHTF: Why We Do This
Service Message Rehash
Traffic Load Distribution
ALERTEX-A 2018 Exercise Evaluation Report
RRI to Forgo Dayton Hamvention
RRI First Quarter EMCOMM Exercise
RRI Announces Mentoring Program

As always, QNI is available online at

Ohio Section ARES Conference: April 7, 2018

posted Mar 26, 2018, 12:38 PM by C. Matthew Curtin

The Ohio Section ARES Conference will be held on Saturday, April 7, 2018. As we demonstrated in the BLACK SWAN 17 exercise, and as we are seeing in the response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, handling third-party traffic is a critical skill for radio operators in an emergency. If we are going to be effective, we traffic handlers need to be able to understand and to work with our brethren in the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), as well as the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), in addition to the National Traffic System (NTS) and Radio Relay International (RRI).

The conference will be at the Marion Technical College / OSU Marion campus! Doors will open at 8am
and the meeting will start promptly at 9am. Just look at the topics to be covered. Be sure to sign up ahead of time to be sure that our hosts can properly prepare the venue. Register online at
















ARES Changes and structure








Ohio business / Ohio BETA








Ohio Training / DMR talk groups

Jim / Scott







Activities: NVIS – Black Swan








OHDEN / The Sarge

Gary / Richard







George Reidel

(Marion teardown)





On the State of Relay: Radio Relay International

posted Mar 9, 2018, 5:58 AM by C. Matthew Curtin

9 MARCH 2018—Radio Relay International (RRI) is an organization dedicated to the standardization, training, and support of relaying messages by radio. Especially when critical infrastructure has failed, the network of two-way radio stations able to originate, relay, and deliver messages with word-for-word and letter-for-letter accuracy is important.

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) was organized in part to coordinate the efforts of radio operators in what had become the National Traffic System (NTS). Over time ARRL has focused its attention on other programs including the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) without significantly including NTS capabilities. RRI was formed in 2016 to address the need to coordinate and to support radio traffic handlers.

Central Ohio Traffic Net (COTN) has associated itself with RRI, as have several of the regular operators. Our current net manager C. Matthew Curtin KD8TTE is the trustee for RRI's callsign W6RRI.

RRI is the topic of episode 394 of Ham Radio Now, with founders Joe Ames W3JY and James Wades WB8SIW. Hear the development of RRI, what's happening now, and what to look for in the future.

Robert B. Zimmerman, W8OLO (SK)

posted Feb 13, 2018, 4:24 AM by C. Matthew Curtin

I am sorry to report that our own Bob W8OLO has passed away. Thanks to WA3EZN for bringing the announcement from OSSBN. Funeral arrangements are as of this writing incomplete. Details should be available at

Bob was a traffic handler not only on COTN, where he often served as CW liaison, but also OSSBN—and could often be heard checking into the net mobile from his truck as he drove throughout the state and region. He was also net manager of the Ohio Slow Net. Patient and supportive of new operators, Bob helped me (KD8TTE) become a CW operator. We will miss him.

Net Control and Liaison Stations Wanted

posted Jan 16, 2018, 6:15 PM by C. Matthew Curtin

The Central Ohio Traffic Net (COTN) is a training net. We train in the art of originating, relaying, and delivering messages by amateur radio—as well as in the business of operating nets.

The Net Control Station (NCS) is responsible for establishing circuit discipline while the net is in operation. NCS calls up the net, takes check-ins, directs traffic, and sees to it that the business of the net is handled.

Because not all traffic is from a local person to a local person, we have a need for Liaison Stations, the traffic handlers that can take messages from COTN to wider-area nets. We're interested in phone, CW, and digital operators to ensure that we maintain good liaison to the Ohio Section traffic system as well as the Digital Traffic System.

If you think that you might be interested in serving as one or both of these roles one session per week, please let us know. If you don't know how it's done or are not comfortable, don't fret. We still want to talk to you, and can get you connected to our training officer and the schedule for our conduct of in-person and on-air training to make sure that you're competent and confident before taking your turn at the mic.

Please indicate your interest by advising our Operations Officer, Mike Walker AB8MW.

December 2017 QNI Available

posted Dec 16, 2017, 2:47 PM by C. Matthew Curtin

The December 2017 (Volume 6, Issue 5) issue of QNI is available online at

In this issue:
Grand Old Party, Grand Old Morse
Case for Common Denominators
The App Mentality
Old Fashioned Paper and Pencil
Training Column: It’s Your System
ShakeOut Section Emergency Test
A Call for Unity
The First Police Radio System
Training Manual Released
Please Register Your Net

Find all issues of QNI online at

QNI Mission Statement
QNI is dedicated to promoting genuine emergency communications preparedness.

Our newsletter is independently published and distributed free of charge to the Amateur Radio and emergency management community. The opinions contained herein do not reflect the policies or opinions of any particular net or emergency communications organization.

Our mission is to provide a forum for EMCOMM volunteers throughout North America. We operate on the premise that Amateur Radio public service volunteers should be, first and foremost, communicators and technicians. If you share this vision, please support QNI. Submit your news and articles for publication.

The Radio Relay International logo is a registered service mark and is used with permission.

KD8TTE Elected Net Manager 2018

posted Dec 14, 2017, 10:54 AM by C. Matthew Curtin

At the close of the nominations time we had one nominee for the COTN Net Manager, C. Matthew Curtin, KD8TTE. Matthew graciously agreed to serve another year. In as much as there was only one uncontested nomination, KD8TTE was declared the winner of the election. Thanks to Matthew for his willingness to continue his excellent leadership of the net.

Stan Sutton KD8KBX
COTN Teller, 2017

COTN Election Process Underway

posted Dec 5, 2017, 4:10 AM by C. Matthew Curtin   [ updated Dec 5, 2017, 7:08 AM ]

Our annual COTN Net Manager election process is underway. Our bylaws call for appointment of a Teller for the election. Stan Sutton KD8KBX has been appointed for to this position this year. Nominations for net manager per the bylaws is to run from December 1 through 7, but due to a scheduling problem we actually made the first call for nominations on December 4. We'll therefore in keeping with the spirit of the bylaws, hold the call for nominations open through December 10.

Our election will be held on December 11 through 18, and Stan will announce the winner on December 19.

If you are interested in nominating a Net Manager for 2018 please send a radiogram with your nomination to Stan KD8KBX on or before December 10. (E-mail, U.S. mail or phone messages will be accepted.) Votes for the net manager should also be made by radiogram.

Thanks to everyone for their participation!

C Matthew Curtin KD8TTE
COTN Net Manager

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