Make It Easy – Log It!

NTS message traffic handlers are encouraged to file a Station Activity Report (SAR) monthly and a Public Service Honor Role (PSHR) report when qualified. These reports require you to know how many nets you checked into, how many messages you handled, and other detailed information about your networking and message handling activities. In addition, it is occasionally necessary to find a previously handled message and determine when and where it was sent or to resend it.

The easiest and best way to make these tasks easy is to maintain appropriate logs of all your network and message handling activity. I searched the web for something I could use and didn’t find any examples that I thought adequately fit my needs. So I did what any web user would do – I ‘borrowed’ what I found online, tweaked them a bit, and came up with my own forms.

I decided that the first log I would need would be to log the traffic nets that I checked into. This contains information about each net I check into, who the net control station is, date, time, and frequency of the net, and other relevant information. The net log I use is Station_Net_Log_04MAR2015. It is fairly self-explanatory how to use it. I generally write in the current year on each page below the word “Date”. I use abbreviations in the “Net” column for brevity. I use BNE for the early Buckeye Net and 8RNL for the Eighth Region Net late CW session, etc. Feel free to use whatever is appropriate for your purposes. I generally use the comment section to note that I’m 8RN TX rep or BN RX rep or whatever role I might be in the net. I keep my Station Net Log in a pocket folder along with net rosters, Q-signal lists, net schedules, and other working aids. This keeps it very handy when net time comes along.

The second log form I use is for messages I originate from my station. For me, this is mostly net reports, SARs, and PSHRs. The purpose for the Message Origination Log is to keep track of my message numbers, identify my messages, and show who I sent them to and when i sent them. The form I use is Message_Orig_Log_04MAR2015. It’s use is self-explanatory.

The third log I use is a Received Message Log. I log every message I receive into my station on this log. The log is divided into one section for information about the received message and another section for what I did with the message. Every message that you receive must have a particular disposition. If it’s a message addressed to me, then I check the “Self” column in the disposition section. If it is a message for me to deliver, I check the “Dlvd” column. If the message needs relayed to another net, I check the “Sent” column. If I can’t send or deliver it, and it’s not addressed to me, then I generate a service message and check the “Svcd” column. I then log the service message in my Message Origination Log and mark it sent in that log when I send it on. The Received Message Log I use is Received_Message_Log_2014.

I use the Message Origination Log and the Received Message Log to count the messages for the monthly SAR. Any messages that count as Originated will be found in Message Origination Log. Note that the service and report messages I generate on my own behalf are NOT counted as originated. They can only be counted as “Sent”. So, the Message Origination Log gives me a total number of “Originated” messages and part of my “Sent” messages. I then go to my Received Message Log for the remainder of my SAR message count. I count the number of messages marked as “Sent” and add that to the “Sent” count from the Message Origination Log. I count all the messages logged and this is my “Received” message count. I count the checks in the “Dlvd” column and that is my “Delivered” count. Add them all up and that is the message total for your SAR.

I keep the Received Message Log and Message Origination Log in their own file folder and file the messages, in log order, behind the log sheets. This makes it very easy to find information on every message that passes through my station quite rapidly, should the need arise. It also enables me to easily keep an accurate count of my message traffic handling. This, in turn, makes my station reporting accurate and easy to do.

Feel free to copy and use these log forms as is or modify them for your own use. I would be interested to hear any comments you might have about any of these forms. I can be contacted at wb8ylo@arrl.net.

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About wb8ylo

I was first licensed in 1976 as a Conditional Class licensee. I was grandfathered to General when the Conditional was discontinued. I upgraded to Extra in 1980 at the FCC Office in Detroit, MI. I operated as DA1NJ while stationed in Germany from 1975 - 1978. My MARS call was AE1NJ. I also have an FCC issued commercial General Radiotelephone Operator License.
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