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Making the National Messaging Layer Work For All

posted Apr 29, 2020, 4:48 PM by C. Matthew Curtin   [ updated May 3, 2020, 6:14 AM ]
Amateur radio operators have equipment, skills, and privileges that make it possible to communicate across town, across the world, next door, and into space. We often hear the phrase "when all else fails," and sometimes even tell others that "ham radio saves lives."

What does that mean in practice? How can someone who is not an amateur radio operator communicate when there is a failure of communication infrastructure?

With the help of his son Thomas, the Central Ohio Traffic Net, and Chris KV8Z, Matthew KD8TTE was able to discuss this problem and demonstrate a solution to a Boy Scout troop yesterday evening. Presented via Google Meet, the scouts were able to see and hear Thomas talk with Matthew by FRS "walkie-talkie" radio, who was able to originate a radiogram, then the scouts saw Matthew relay the radiogram to a station that was out of the affected area but could be heard on Matthew's radio. Scouts then heard delivery of the message by phone to a concerned relative, played by a scoutmaster.

To lay some foundation and to provide visual aids to illustrate what was happening, the presenter used the following slide deck. We hope that this demonstration of the National SOS Network and the Neighborhood Hamwatch relates to the National Traffic System (NTS) and one means that NTS supports those who need to communicate "when all else fails."

Thank you to everyone who participated!
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