August 2018 NABRC Monthly Newsletter #email

K4NAB <club@...>

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August Meeting

WHEN: Monday, August 13, 2018
6:30 PM - Fellowship
7:00 PM - Meeting

WHERE: Aiken Regional Medical Center (6th Floor Classroom A & B)
University Parkway
Aiken, SC

TALK-IN: 145.350 Mhz (-) (PL tone: 156.7)

Program: The program for this meeting will be a Youtube video about the Bouvet Dxpedition - Presentation 3Y0Z by K4UEE - Narrated PowerPoint presentation recently presented at the DX Forum at Dayton Hamvention and W5DXCC/HamCom. Includes a summary of the 3Y0Z DXpedition with stunning pictures, our Vessel vetting process, what we learned, planned refund of remaining funds, another attempt, and some personal observations of K4UEE.

I will also be collecting $20.00 cash from each member that desires to participate in the kit build for the September meeting. Here is a link that describes the 12 vdc PowerPole distribution kit we will build:

Upcoming Events

September 16, 2018 - Bike run that benefits the Aiken Special Olympics. See Dave, WB5NHL (dave@...) to sign up. T-Shirt and lunch provided.

October 6, 2018 - 10 AM to 3 PM - Science Education Enrichment Day at USC Aiken. If you have not signed up to help, please see Kent, KQ4KK (kq4kk@...) to do so. You get a great shirt and boxed lunch for participating. Over 4,000 kids and parents come by and learn a little about Amateur Radio. This is a great chance to spread the word about our hobby and to demonstrate our craft.

Checking into a net (or calling another station!)

Contrary to intuition and some practices, there is NO requirement to identify the station that you are CALLING. Let’s think about this for a moment. If you are SPECIFICALLY calling a station while you are NOT on a net, then identifying the station to whom you are directing your transmission not only makes sense, but is necessary for that station to know that you are calling them.

However, when checking into a directed net, such as the SCHEART Thursday morning nets, or the Sunday evening ARES nets, it is NOT necessary to state that you are calling the Net Control Station, or NCS. The reason is that the NCS has stated in his opening statement that “THIS IS A DIRECTED NET, AND ALL TRAFFIC MUST BE DIRECTED TO THE NET CONTROL STATION”. So, when checking into a directed net, it makes no sense to call “Net Control…..Net Control”, since ALL transmissions are implied to be directed to the Net Control Station. Calling “Net Control” unnecessarily takes up net time. What you WANT to do is to identify yourself in the manner prescribed by the NCS.

Many stations check into the SCHEART or SCARES net using the following statements:
“Net Control”……(pause for 3 seconds)……and once again call ”Net Control, this is KA4XX, etc etc”. Calling “Net Control” not only once, but twice during an attempted check in, is not necessary and wastes net time.

The “pause for 3 seconds” is an INSTRUCTION to each station by the Net Control based upon the PHYSICAL requirements and restraints of the SCHEART system. The pause is VERY IMPORTANT for any net using the SCHEART linked repeater system. The system consists of 16 VHF repeaters and 15 UHF repeaters, each of which must “link up” or “connect” to the main system. There are several different methods and equipment designs used depending on the location and vintage of each repeater in the system, each of which take varying amounts of time to link into the main system. The 3 second pause is not an arbitrary number, it was established to specifically allow each repeater time to link into the system. If you do NOT wait 3 seconds between keying your microphone (sending your signal to your local repeater and subsequently to the system), whatever you say BEFORE the 3 second delay may not be heard by other stations, INCLUDING the Net Control Station! 3 seconds does not mean 1 or 2 seconds. Get into the habit whenever using the linked SCHEART repeater system of keying your microphone, then counting to yourself “one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three” BEFORE any words travel from your vocal cords to the microphone.

It is very good practice to assure that you are not trying to check in at the EXACT time that another station is trying to do so. That is called “DOUBLING”. Here are two alternative methods to check into the net.

One method is to simply state “THIS IS” (then unkey and wait 3 seconds to see if any other station is doubling with your check in). Then rekey and say the required information to check into the net. You do NOT need to repeat the words “THIS IS”!!
Example: “This is”……pause 3 seconds……”WA4XXX…..(continue with check in information that is requested by NCS, Name, Location, Affiliations, etc)….No traffic, OVER.”

Another method is to simply state your call sign “AX4XX” (then unkey and wait 3 seconds to see if any other station is doubling with your check in). Then rekey and say the required information to check into the net. REMEMBER, there is NO REQUIREMENT, especially during net check-in, to identify the station you are calling if that station is the NCS.
Example: “AX4XX” (then unkey and wait 3 seconds to see if any other station is doubling with your check in”)…..Then rekey and say your call phonetically “Alpha Xray Four Xray Xray”, then state your name, location, and other information requested by NCS. Remember to add if you have traffic or information for the net before turning it back to the NCS with the procedural sign “OVER”.

For the SCHEART Thursday morning net, you should identify yourself with your Amateur Radio Call Sign, your first name (or nickname), your County where you are located, and if you are affiliated with a Hospital Radio Response Team, or a member of the Medical Reserve Corps. The SCHEART NCS does NOT ask for, nor record affiliations such as ARES, RACES, AUXCOMM qualifications, and so on, so there is no need to state them.

For the ARES Sunday evening net, you should identify yourself with your Amateur Radio Call Sign, your first name (or nickname) and the County where you are located. You do NOT need to identify any other affiliations such as AUXCOMM qualifications, hospital response teams, and so on, unless you want to, Your qualifications are (or should be) listed in the ARES database.

There is no such thing as “IN and OUT” in a directed net. That terminology is used for informal type nets and mean that you want to check in but also want to check out at the same time, because you have nothing for the net. This terminology has NO USE in a directed net. When checking into a directed net, you are expected to remain on frequency and ATTENTIVE to the NCS until you are excused either individually, or by invitation from the NCS. If you must leave the net, you are expected to call the NCS and request that you be granted permission to secure your station. The reason for this protocol is that the NCS may have a specific assignment for your station, or may have traffic or information for your location. Remember that when you check into the SCHEART or the SCARES nets, that they are TRAINING NETS held in order to prepare you for incidents or emergencies when your communications skills will be needed.

Lastly, it is NOT appropriate to check in for another station. Each station should and must check into the net separately using their own assigned call sign and identification. The reasoning is the same as stated previously, that the NCS may have assignments or information for any station that is checked into the net. Each station that checks in is expected to be available to listen to the instructions and/or assignments by the NCS.

As a special note to operators using YAESU equipment: BE SURE THAT YOUR “WIRES” MODE IS NOT ENABLE BEFORE CHECKING INTO A SCHEART NET. The reason is that the WIRES mode places a series of tones on your signal, and your voice can not be heard at the same time these tones are being sent by your transmitter.

These guidelines are meant to assist you, the operator, in accepted procedures, and following them will help the nets to run smoother and more efficiently.

By Steve Czaikowski, W8SC.


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