Rep COTN To Buckeye Net Mixed
COTN has a designated liaison position. The liaison represents COTN (all of our listening and working area) to the Ohio Section, which is why the liaison is also sometimes known as a "rep."
The designated rep goes to a Section net on behalf of COTN, so any messages coming into, say, Columbus, can be picked up by COTN's rep to that Section net. The rep will then come to the COTN session and pass the message to another station that will relay or deliver the message. Also, COTN could have some messages going out of the area, in which case, the rep would take those messages and head back to the Section net. Thus, the rep because the glue that ties COTN to the rest of the traffic system.
Historically, COTN has maintained liaison with the Ohio Single Sideband Net (OSSBN). On the other hand, getting to an OSSBN session might be difficult for some operators, so going to the 75 Meter Interstate Sideband Net (75M ISBN) might be more sensible. Operators that can work CW could likewise go to the "early" Buckeye Net session to take incoming messages, and then bring any outgoing messages to the "late" Buckeye Net session.
With the advent of the NTS Digital (now Digital Traffic Net, DTN), we've started to develop some more options for how to route, and in the past few years we've developed still further options: liaisons for specific agencies like EMAs.
Now in the Ohio Section we have a Mixed-Mode (or Multi-Mode) traffic net that can serve the needs of ARES groups and the agencies they serve using the Narrow Band Emergency Management Software (NBEMS), including fldigi, flamp, and flmsg. This comes with the advantage of being able to move directly without radiogram encapsulation, and with built-in error detection and correction. This type of message (known generally in NTS as "radio email" or "type 4") cannot relay directly via OSSBN, 75M ISBN, or the CW sessions of Buckeye Net.
As the Ohio ARES District 7 net, COTN needs to be able to handle both traditional NTS radiograms and arbitrary format messages using NBEMS. Our connection to the rest of the Ohio Section for this type of messaging is the Buckeye Net Mixed-Mode (BNM). We recently made a call for reps for this position specifically.
How does the Buckeye Net Mixed-Mode work? Generally, you call in and hear the net controlled by voice but transmission of messages takes place digitally, often on another frequency or even another band. There's an Internet email list to help you follow what's happening on the net, to ask questions, and to come up to speed, and a slide deck that walks through a net session to give you an idea of how these parts fit together and how to work the net.
See: QTC Internet Email Group https://groups.io/g/QTC