Ready to Copy - ARRL
National Traffic System - Message Management
Copyright 2014 - D. Lane Kendall WK4WC
This section covers the basic features of the application as well as the theory of operation.
Amateur radio operators have been handling NTS traffic since the founding of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). The Radiogram format is quite rigid and methods and practices for handling traffic are specified but each operator has his / her own system for recording and tracking messages (radiograms) received and sent. Traffic handlers are encouraged to produce a monthly Station Activity Report for their section traffic manager as part of their Public Service Honor Roll activities.
RTC is a software tool for traffic handlers. All NTS traffic is stored in a database so station activity reports are practically instantaneous. The most efficient way to use RTC is to type messages directly into the editor as they are received or generated. Using RTC as your system or record can eliminate paper radiograms altogether.
The RTC editor is free-form. You don’t have to tab from one text box to the next while you are taking traffic. You don’t have to worry about how many words you have typed in the message text or how many words are on a line, because the program will format and count them for you. You just type as you would in notepad with some minor format restrictions that will be explained in a later section.
Some users are not comfortable with typing messages on the computer. While testing the software we found that transferring paper traffic to RTC is not difficult and well worth the effort because there are many features and tools to help.
I would encourage all users to type messages directly into RTC. Try copying traffic off line, like you did when you started, and you may be surprised how easy it is to completely eliminate paper for your day to day traffic handling.
Interface with AirMail software
Setup and Static Table Maintenance
Ready To Copy is a desktop database management application. The underlying data platform is Microsoft’s Visual FoxPro.
The VFP data model is ultimately based on The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Display Information System (or JPLDIS) a file management program that was the inspiration and precursor to dBASE, arguably one of the most influential DBMS programs for early microcomputers.
VFP is inherently fast because of the enhanced “Rushmore Technology” used by the proven database engine. RTC is self contained and does not require other packages or DLL files to be installed.
RTC’s author is a self taught veteran of desktop database management programming. Since 1983, he has designed and implemented many databases and applications for multiple disciplines including but not limited to engineering and finance. Currently retired, his most recent position was with a major national financial institution.