Ed Kwik AB8DF
There are still some folks whose signal I barely hear but am not able to check in due to procedural issues. I'd like to talk about net procedures in detail so that everyone who wants to check in can. Here we go:
Zero beating to my signal is ultra-important. The goal is to transmit on the same frequency that I am sending. If you have a "spot" button on your radio, it's easy.
Just push the button and compare my signal to the tone coming out of your radio. If you don't have a spot button, just send a few dits. Are your tone and my tone exactly the same? If not, you are off frequency from me. The result of being off frequency is that you may be outside, or nearly outside, the pass band of my radio and I won't hear you very well. The strongest part of a received CW tone is at the center of the radio pass band. The further your tone is away from center the weaker it is. Bottom line: If you want to be heard on low power, you have to zero beat the NCS' signal.
Our net is a "directed" net, which means you follow the instructions of Net Control and standard procedures are followed. It's important to follow these procedures in consideration of others. Everyone deserves an opportunity to check in and make some brief comments. Here's how it's supposed to go:
Step 1: Net Control (NCS) calls "QRL? QRL?" to see if the frequency is in use.
Step 2: Net Control sends an opening statement. It identifies the net, invites Hams to participate and describes the NCS. This is a good opportunity to zero beat NCS' signal.
Step 3: Net Control calls "MI QRP NET QNI?" That means it's time for stations to send their call signs for Net Control to copy.
Step 4: LISTEN for other stations first. When you don't hear anyone else trying to check in, then send "DE <space> YOURCALLSIGN". The space is very important. It's a way to listen again to be sure that someone else is not trying to check in at the same time. If NCS hears several call signs trying to check in simultaneously, (commonly called a "double"), he usually can't hear either station and has to ask "AGN PSE". This is especially troublesome with weak stations and bad conditions.
Step 5: When NCS hears your call sign, he will acknowledge it by repeating it. If he receives multiple call signs, he will repeat all that he has heard. Example: "N6TLU AS". "AS" means standby. The reason I say standby is that I will return to you LATER for comments. When I acknowledge your check-in the first time, that is NOT the time for you to make comments. If you do, you may be doubling with other stations trying to check in.
Step 6: Wait for NCS to call you again. Example: "N6TLU DE WQ8RP ES MI QRP NET K". This means NCS is calling you and only you. That doesn't mean it's time for more check-ins. Make some comments, say "73" if you wish, and end with "WQ8RP DE <YOURCALLSIGN> K".
Step 7: NCS will call the entire list of stations individually until everyone has had a chance to make comments. NCS will call "QNI K" and listen for more check-ins at the end of initial list. If you have not yet been acknowledged by Net Control, keep trying to call until NCS hears you but please wait for the "QNI K" from NCS. Remember: DE <space> YOURCALLSIGN." Please be patient. If NCS can't pull your entire call sign out of the noise, he will try to get it again. Example: "PSE?" or "AGN?" or "6 STN?" If anyone in the net happens to hear a station that NCS can't, please relay the station's call sign to NCS. We want to make sure even the weakest station can check in.
That's it. Thanks for your excellent participation in Michigan QRP Net. Keep up the good work.