An amateur radio net (ham-speak for network) is an organized gathering of at least three hams on the air for a specific purpose. It is usually on a regular schedule (e.g., 9pm local on Wednesdays) and specific frequency (e.g., 146.900 repeater). Nets are organized for various reasons, usually conforming to one of two categories: hobby/pleasure and utilitarian. Nets may be impromptu and unscheduled, such as during severe weather when a net may be quickly organized, or following a local emergency or disaster.
While there are CW (Morse code) and voice (phone) nets on the HF bands, most ham nets are found on VHF/UHF repeaters to serve area organizations such as a club or emergency communication group. EmComm organizations such as ARES typically have weekly training nets so it’s likely that one is in your area.
Radio nets can be formal or informal. You are most likely to encounter formal nets which have a more structured feel.
When joining a more formal net, you are likely to hear the phrase, “directed net.” This means that one operator is in charge of the net, and this person is Continue reading