Changing of the Guard

Post date: Jan 1, 2015 3:23:34 PM

Please join me in welcoming Art Richardson W8ARR to the Net Manager position. In accordance with our bylaws, the Central Ohio Traffic Net selected Art as Net Manager through an election. I would like to thank Howard Luxhoj KD8TVB for acting once again as Teller for nomination and election processes.

As I took the helm from the capable hands of John Fick KD8EEK one year ago, I had an agenda that I put forth to ensure that we continue our operation as one of the more active local nets around the country, meeting daily, while also working to increase our coordination with other organizations that can be supported by the mission of the National Traffic System.

Happily I found that the operators of COTN were supportive of this goal. We presented NTS and demonstrated its operation to our local sister organization of the ARRL Field Organization, COARES. The Central Ohio Radio Club (CORC), which provides access to repeaters for us, ran an article we authored on NTS and how it works within the structure of other volunteer organizations. We were added to the Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security list of organizations to be called upon in a time of need, recognizing our ability to get messages through reliably and accurately even when infrastructure has been damaged, overloaded, or otherwise unavailable. We moved our online presence to a modern high-capacity system with options to subscribe to news and training tips by email, RSS feed, or browsing of the site.

During our annual Simulated Emergency Test (SET), we conducted sixteen nets in which we moved approximately more than 100 pieces of traffic while maintaining connections to the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), the State of Ohio Emergency Operation Center (EOC) station W8SGT, Franklin County EOC, Franklin County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), operating both on the repeater infrastructure and in simplex.

We have conducted experiments with digital message exchange using fldigi and flmsg applications. We conducted a number of special event nets to support presentations to students at The Ohio State University, to move traffic to and from the Columbus Hamfest, and some of our operators have worked with other traffic nets throughout the state and country as their travels have afforded.

We have done a lot of good work this year and I am grateful to everyone who has checked into a net, who has brought traffic, taken traffic, or worked with us in maintaining readiness to provide critical public service for when the need arises. I want also to give special thanks to Art W8ARR who acted as Assistant Net Manager for the past year, as well as the COTN board Tony Fabro N8RRB, Denny Allemang WA8EYQ, and Howard Luxhoj KD8TVB for helping me to ensure that we kept operations in harmony with our mission, objectives, and governing documents.

I look forward to working with all of you as Art W8ARR leads us through 2015.

C. Matthew Curtin, KD8TTE, COTN NM 2014