The first step which must be achieved in the creation of a "Short Wave Internet Replacement" consists of two parts. Like the internet, first there must be a "connection" between two points, then there must be a formal set of rules (protocol) which is followed by the two connected points. With the internet we connect two computers and they follow the rules of TCP/IP in order to "talk" to one another. At it's most basic level, the "Short Wave Internet Replacement" is connected by two transceivers operating on the same frequency, mode, and able to hear one another. The "set of rules" which the operators of these transceivers follow is based upon an existing system called "The National Traffic System."
Understanding this "set of rules" is absolutely essential to the ability of a radio operator to utilize, and participate in, the GCCS.
This Lesson, The National Traffic System, will be quite difficult and long. In addition, there will be a slight change in the way that the instruction material is presented.
First, we will use a Text Book. Fortunately it already exists on the WWW. It's called "ARRL Public Service Communications Manual." Section I: Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) will be the subject of a latter lesson. This lesson will cover all of Section II: National Traffic System (NTS).
This lesson will consist of 12 "concepts", one for each of the 11 Chapters of Section II, plus Appendix A.
The way we navigate through this lesson will be slightly different. As in Lesson 1, there will be a separate page for each concept. However, each concept page will reference the appropriate section of the Public Service Communications Manual by opening a new browser window for viewing the instruction material. When you have completed studying that material and are ready to move on, simply close that new window. You will then be returned to the concept page from which you came. At that point the normal navigation scheme will be in effect. You can try it by selecting the Public Service Communications Manual link above. Return here by closing the new browser window that opens.
Throughout this Lesson you will see reference to "ARRL Membership." ARRL and the NTS function only within the United States. In most instances, similar organizations exist within other countries. They may, or may not follow the model of the NTS. In any case, I personally strongly recommend membership in such organizations. There are many benefits to such membership which are explained by the organizations themselves.
Do you have to become such a member? Absolutely not!
The Lesson material we will be covering implies that an NTS Net participant is also an ARRL Member. This simply is not the case ... many active participants in NTS Nets are not ARRL members. However, one must be an ARRL member in order to be appointed to any of the Official Offices within the NTS.
GCCS Nets will operate identically to Official NTS Nets and message traffic originating on a GCCS Net can be relayed through any of the Official NTS Nets. GCCS Members are strongly urged to participate in the NTS for training purposes and as a public service. Members are requested to make monthly reports summarizing such participation. More about that latter.
Before moving on to the Lesson Concepts, you are strongly urged to read the Foreword and the Introduction to the Public Service Communications Manual. This will provide valuable background information. Be sure to check out the link to Figure 1 in the Introduction, as it provides a clear depiction of the relationship between the NTS and ARES, the Emergency arm of the ARRL Field Organization. Disregard any reference to RACES, as this service was abolished/combined into ARES as part of recent FCC changes to the laws governing Amateur Radio within the U. S.
The concepts to be presented in this Lesson can be reviewed by scanning the Section II Table of Contents. The time required to complete this Lesson is not yet known.