NTS stands for National Traffic System. It is a way of relaying messages through amateur radio operators, kind of like a radio telegram. All one has to do is to locate an amateur radio operator and give them a message and who you would like it delivered too. They will in-turn relay that to another operator, and so on until it is relayed to one that is close to the recipient. They will then contact them and deliver the message.
In times of emergency, this can be the only way of communicating information to and from affected areas. It has been used during emergencies after the tsunami and after hurricane Katrina. They are able to send messages to coordinate relief efforts, and messages of goodwill to love ones. During non-emergencies, amateur operators regularly send messages to and from any body of any type. There are even competitions to see who handles the most messages by awarding points for messages handled.
There is a catch to sending and NTS message. An un-licensed person can not operate a radio in the amateur band. That's no problem for those who are not licensed. All you have to do is find a licensed operator and they will be more than happy to help you send a message. There are also some restrictions on countries that participate in 3rd party traffic. That is a message that is sent from a non-licensed person to a non-licensed person.
Canada has concluded agreements or arrangements with the following countries to permit the transmission by Canadian amateurs of international communications on behalf of third parties:
Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Israel, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
If for some reason you are visiting from a country that does not have a current treaty with Canada, special arrangements cane be made.
For more information go to http://www.rac.ca
Bellow are some examples of messages that can be sent through the system.
- Need accurate information on the extent and type of conditions now existing at your location. Please furnish this information and reply without delay.
- Wish we could be together.
- Report at once the accessibility and best way to reach your location.
- Medical emergency situation exits here.
- Anxious to hear from you. No word in some time. Please contact me as soon as possible.
- Please advise your condition and what help is needed.
- Many thanks for your good wishes.
- Really enjoyed being with you. Looking forward to getting together again.
- Victory or defeat, our best wishes are with you. Hope you win.
- Have a wonderful time. Let us know when you return.
- Help and care for evacuation of sick and injured from this location needed at once.
- Temporarily stranded. Will need some assistance. Please contact me
- Establish Amateur Radio emergency communications
- Only slight property damage here. Do not be concerned about disaster reports.
To find the cache you will have to figure out the coordinates from the above. Try and send an NTS message to me. My call sign is VA3UPL. Make sure to include your geocaching name.
Bonus points will be awarded to who ever can get a message sent from the farthest distance. The message contains the location of the originating station so I will be able to track how far the message has traveled.
||Feb 11, 2006
||Belleville, Ontario, Canada
||Feb 11, 2006
||Toronto, Ontario, Canada
||Apr 9, 2006
||Hillsboro, Oregon, USA
||Apr 19, 2006
||Orillia, Ontario, Canada
||Apr 21, 2006
||Plano, Texas, USA
||Aug 26, 2006
||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
||March 22, 2007
||Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada
You can check your answers for this puzzle on Geochecker.com.