Digital Traffic Network Operating Guide

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DIGITAL TRAFFIC NETWORK

OPERATING GUIDE

INTRODUCTION

The Digital Traffic Network (DTN) functions as an independent digital network affiliated with Radio Relay International (RRI).

Central Area includes the following 3 regions:

Region Five ( AL, AR, LA, MS, OK, TN, TX )
Region Nine ( IL, IN, KY, WI )
Region Ten ( IA, KS, MB, MN, MO, NE, ND, SK, SD )


Eastern Area includes the following 6 regions:

Region One ( CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT )
Region Two ( NJ, NY, AE., NL, QC )
Region Three ( DE, MD, PA)
Region Four ( DC, FL, GA, NC, PR, VA, VI, AA )
Region Eight ( MI, OH, WV )


Western Area includes the following 3 regions:

Region Six (CA, NV, Pacific)
Region Seven (AB, AK, BC, ID, MT, OR, WA)
Region Twelve (AZ, CO, NM, UT, WY)



This Operating Guide has been developed to help assure DTN network effectiveness. It provides all digital network participants with a summary restatement of concepts, principles and practices relating generally to area digital operations; policies and procedures specific to DTN; disaster operation guidance; and related station operating tools.

Exhibiting good operating form on DTN not only helps digital stations run as efficiently as possible, it also builds esprit-de-corps among the DTN, and serves as an example to those who follow as traffic-handlers and future DTN digital stations.

DTN is managed by the Area Digital Manager (DM). The Assistant Area Digital Manager (ADM) assists the ADM with Questions about the DTN or inquiries into participation. These may be forwarded by radiogram, e-mail or telephone.

This Operating Guide is updated periodically and, upon approval by the active net operators, republished. Your suggestions and comments for improvement are welcome.


Best regards,

Chuck Verdun, W5KAV, Western Digital Manager DTN w5kav@comcast.net

David Struebel WB2FTX, Eastern Digital Manager DTN wb2ftx@optonline.net

Larry Jones WB9FHP, Central Digital Manager DTN wb9fhp@gmail.com


DTN – AN OVERVIEW

DTN is an independent digital system affiliated with RRI through this written Terms of Reference (TOR) document. The digital operations seek to cooperate with NTS facilities and other public service communication organizations.

The DTN governance and management structure is under development and will be integrated into an international plan to achieve 3 principle objectives: (1) the rapid movement of traffic from origin to destination, (2) train amateur radio operators to handle formal written traffic, and (3) participate in structured networks across all effective modes.

DTN digital networks operate twenty-four hours a day, three-hundred sixty five days a year.

DTN serves to complement and support other organized traffic circuits which provide valuable alternatives for serving the best interest of efficient message relay and delivery.

DTN may find it necessary to take temporary measures which will move traffic more effectively. At the area and region level, such actions shall only be considered after discussions with the Area Digital Managers and their region digital managers or alternates.

DTN principles, policies, practices and operational features have been developed over time and some have already been published. Updates to this Guide will summarize significant aspects contained in DTN and RRI publications as they relate to the operations of an Area-level net.

DTN participants should be generally familiar with DTN guidelines, and specifically with this Operating Guide.



PRINCIPLES OF OPERATIONS & GOVERNANCE

A. General.

Before being appointed as a DTN operator, the Area Digital Manager will expect they have basic skills and knowledge concerning operational policies and procedure. Additionally, new operators will be provided with this Operating Guide by their Region Digital Manager. This manual will assist them in developing a reliable digital system within the DTN.

B. Traffic Routing.

DTN will closely adhere to established routing protocol unless conditions require temporary alternative circuits. See the Policies and Operation in a Declared Emergency sections to follow and the Traffic Routing Guide.

C. Routing Deviations.

Frequent departure from normal traffic routings may result in traffic over-load for one or more stations not part of the digital network. In the interest of efficiency, sound organization, system credibility, training and morale of operators, use the DTN structure as it is intended to be used.

D. Alternate Routes.

Alternate Routing that will be used on a more extended basis will be approved by the Area Digital Manager in consultation with Regional Digital Managers and affiliated networks.

E. Area and Regional DTN Digital Hub Stations and Operators will deliver messages in their specific area rather than routing them through the DTN/RRI System.

F. Special Liaison Methods.

In consultation with the Regional Digital Managers, the Area Digital Manager may arrange special methods to facilitate routing of traffic in the event additional digital station resources need to be considered.

G. Participant Recognition.

DTN requires dedicated, skillful operators to make it run smoothly. Digital managers will stress appropriate recognition to include digital certificates and endorsements as well as RRI/DTN special awards. Volunteer recognition is an important means to recognize volunteer contributions.

H. Area Digital Manager Functions.

The Area Digital Manager (ADM) will be elected by the Area, Region and Alternate Sysop digital operators and serve a three-year term (no term limits). The ADM will appoint an Assistant Area Digital Manager, who will coordinate with the ADM and inter-area digital region managers.

I. Assistant Area Digital Manager (AADM)

Serves in the absence of the ADM, retains the latest software upgrades, and shares them with DTN operators. RRI/DTN assumes DTN operators have a basic understanding of digital operations and procedures.

J. Regional Digital Managers (RDM).

Serve as primary Hub operators for a region. There may be additional regional hubs for the same region, and the RDM is responsible for managing them in cooperation with the ADM and/or AADM.

K. New DTN operators

All new DTN operators will be provided with this Operating Guide to assist in furthering their digital operational skill. It is the policy of DTN that normal digital operations on Area frequencies are not training grounds for new operators. It is not the place to hone and develop sound operating and traffic-handling skills and judgment. New DTN operators will be restricted to regional level operations until such time as the ADM and the RDMs have determined the new operators are trained and have the requisite skills to operate as part of the Area digital operations.





POLICIES

A. DTN SOFTWARE

It is the DTN policy that the Area & Region automated digital stations along with all the alternate digital hubs operate the best possible automated software possible that can provide an audit trail across the entire DTN system. The standard for all DTN automated Digital Stations at the Area or below is to use the BPQ32 software package. It is also recommended that all automated DTN digital stations run some type of software that can be attached to their digital system that can handle attachments to messages and also for their personal mailbox.

B. Digital Frequencies.

The DTN operates on designated frequencies within the amateur automated sub-bands of 80, 40, 30, 20, and 15 meters. Consult the DTN guidelines on http://www.nts-digital.net for specific operational frequencies.

C. Digital Connect Policy.

Participation in the DTN is restricted to designated digital region or section representatives within their respective areas. Automated DTN Regional Digital Hub Stations (DHSs) should operate automated digital software with carrier detect. Digital Traffic Stations (DTS) should listen on frequencies used by the DTN make sure they are clear before transmitting.

D. Limited Load Capacity.

“Overflow” routine traffic must not be held over and routed through alternative circuits such as another DTN region digital hub within the same area or an alternate hub in an adjoining region. This policy permits area, region, and section stations or others acting as back-up representatives to keep traffic flowing.

E. Regional Hub Stations.

Each DTN region is led by a primary DTN regional Hub station sysop assigned to a region by the ADM. The Region Digital Manager (primary Hub) should appoint an Alternate Digital Station to serve as a backup and aid the operations of the region in their absence or due to station outages.




OPERATIONS DURING DECLARED EMERGENCIES

A. General Operation Considerations

DTN is dedicated to health and welfare communications during declared disasters, as well as the daily handling of third-party formal written traffic. When an emergency circumstance arises, DTN will expand routine operations if needed to fit the situation as it evolves.

B. Region Digital Manager Functions

During and after a disaster, the primary functions are:
1. Maintain a high awareness of disasters in the area and in regions adjoining their Area. Notify the Area Digital Manager and all the regional digital managers within their area.
2. In the event that high precedence cross-area traffic is involved, contact the area, all region digital managers and inter-area directors to assist in making arrangements to clear the traffic.
3. Contact the area digital manager so that they may contact the other area digital managers to confer on the need for additional assets, digital or otherwise.
4. Maintain close contact with all regional digital managers in the Area and make decisions about overall operations in consultation with them.


C. Self-Alerting Operators.

1. DTN operators should be self-alerting to emergency conditions that might require their services. At the area net level, the immediate need will be for DTN liaison to the area and region nets.
2. DTN digital stations and their alternates will monitor their scan frequencies to ensure message traffic is flowing correctly and for coordination with the other digital managers. Special assignments may be required since some operators may have additional responsibilities.
3. Operators with highly specialized skills or equipment may be sought for “hot line” assignments by or through the Area Digital Manager. Flexibility and assignment certainty are keys to effective communications support during emergency operations.

D. Health and Welfare (H & W) Traffic

H&W inquiries into a disaster area should be originated through served agencies and should be held to allow stabilization of disaster area communications. They can be forwarded once search and rescue operations have been stopped by the incident commander. Then such traffic to and from a disaster area should be handled in order of its precedence.




Traffic Routing Guide

State/Province Abbrev Region Area
Alaska AK 7 WESTERN
Alabama AL 5 CENTRAL
Alberta AB 7 WESTERN
Arizona AZ 12 WESTERN
Arkansas AR 5 CENTRAL
British Columbia BC 7 WESTERN
California CA 6 WESTERN
Colorado CO 12 WESTERN
Connecticut CT 1 EASTERN
Delaware DE 3 EASTERN
District of Columbia DC 4 EASTERN
Florida FL 4 EASTERN
Georgia GA 4 EASTERN
Guam GU 6 WESTERN
Hawaii HI 6 WESTERN
Idaho ID 7 WESTERN
Illinois IL 9 CENTRAL
Indiana IN 9 CENTRAL
Iowa IA 10 CENTRAL
Kansas KS 10 CENTRAL
Kentucky KY 9 CENTRAL
Labrador LB 2 EASTERN
Louisiana LA 5 CENTRAL
Maine ME 1 EASTERN
Manitoba MB 10 CENTRAL
Maryland MD 3 EASTERN
Massachusetts MA 1 EASTERN
Michigan MI 8 EASTERN
Minnesota MN 10 CENTRAL
Mississippi MS 5 CENTRAL
Missouri MO 10 CENTRAL
Montana MT 7 WESTERN
Nebraska NE 10 CENTRAL
Nevada NV 6 WESTERN
New Brunswick NB 2 EASTERN
New Hampshire NH 1 EASTERN
New Jersey NJ 2 EASTERN
New Mexico NM 12 WESTERN
New York NY 2 EASTERN
Newfoundland NL 2 EASTERN
North Carolina NC 4 EASTERN
North Dakota ND 10 CENTRAL
Nova Scotia NS 2 EASTERN
Ohio OH 8 EASTERN
Oklahoma OK 5 CENTRAL
Ontario ON 2 EASTERN
Oregon OR 7 WESTERN
Pennsylvania PA 3 EASTERN
Prince Edward Island PE 2 EASTERN
Puerto Rico PR 4 EASTERN
Quebec PQ 2 EASTERN
Rhode Island RI 1 EASTERN
Saskatchewan SK 10 CENTRAL
South Carolina SC 4 EASTERN
South Dakota SD 10 CENTRAL
Tennessee TN 5 CENTRAL
Texas TX 5 CENTRAL
Utah UT 12 WESTERN
Vermont VT 1 EASTERN
Virginia VA 4 EASTERN
Virgin Islands VI 4 EASTERN
Washington WA 7 WESTERN
West Virginia WV 8 EASTERN
Wisconsin WI 9 CENTRAL
Wyoming WY 12 WESTERN
APO/FPO AE 2 EASTERN
APO/FPO AA 4 EASTERN
APO/FPO AP 6 WESTERN
Labrador LB 2 EASTERN
New Brunswick NB 2 EASTERN
Newfoundland NF 2 EASTERN
Nova Scotia NS 2 EASTERN
Ontario ON 2 EASTERN
Prince Edward Island PE 2 EASTERN
Quebec QC 2 EASTERN


Region One
CT ME MA NH RI VT
Region Two
NJ NY AE NL
Region Three
DE MD PA
Region Four
DC FL GA NC PR VA VI AA
Region Five
AL AR LA MS OK TN TX (NFL Optional)
Region Six
CA NV PACIFIC
Region Seven
AB AK BC ID MT OR WA
Region Eight
MI OH WV
Region Nine
IL IN KY WI
Region Ten
IA KS MB MN MO NE ND SK SD
Region Twelve
AZ CO NM UT WY