The EARS (Ellijay Amateur Radio Society) club hosts a Net Checkin each Monday
night at 7:30. The purpose of the Net Meeting checkin is to allow you to pass
traffic and promote fellowship. It also provides you with a convenient method to
test & check your equipment weekly. You can compare this weeks checkin, with
next weeks after you’ve made changes / corrections to your equipment and or
antenna. Checking in can possibly be accomplished using a simple HT (Hand Held
Talkie, radio having just a “rubber duck” antenna (very short antenna) It just
depends on your location relative to the repeater. Sometimes, just moving a
couple feet or turning in a different direction will make a big difference.
It can even be simpler using your cell phone or computer most any where in the world without the need for a radio using “Echo Link”! More on this below.
If there is lightning in the area, the net meeting will be postponed until the following week.
Your 2 meter (VHF) radio needs to be tuned to the our W4HHH repeater frequency setting of 145.170 with a minus (-) offset and a PL tone of 100. If you only want to listen, you need only tune your radio to 145.170. This is the transmitting frequency of the repeater (If the offset and tone are not applied, you won’t be able to activate the repeater, but still will be transmitting).
The net control operator reads a script. The same script is used every week and read by whom ever is the net control operator for that month. Script link is here.
We open by listening for any emergency traffic, followed by anyone with an announcement. We then allow “short timers” to check in, or rather those who won’t be able to stay on for a period of time. We then let those on “Echo Link” check in. More about Echo Link below. Then we allow everyone to check in. There isn’t any order, it’s just a matter of waiting for a pause in transmissions. Please, don’t try to be first... Sometimes several people key their mike at the same time. When there appears to be a pause in transmissions, key your mike and say, ‘This is”, un key your mike and listen for a second, if there’s still silence, key your mike again and say, “This is (Your call sign), then say your call sign phonetically, then your first name, then the area in Gilmer county where you live. As an example, This is KK4NTC, KILO KILO 4 NOVEMBER TANGO CHARLEY, David, Just off Big Creek Rd. No traffic.
Again, it’s important to key up and say “This is” and then pause.
Please use the standard, recognized phonetics when giving your call sign. You can find the standard phonetic library on several websites. Here is a link to one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet. It’s very important to speak clearly and slowly. The net control operator has to write down each check in. Following the check ins, the net control operator will go back through the list asking each person who checked in for any comments. Typically these are about the weather, having installed a new antenna, or what ever. Many will say “I have nothing to report tonight”. Please be brief! Following acknowledgement of all the check ins, we open our “Swap Shop”. This is to allow anyone to offer a piece of related Ham Radio equipment for sale or trade, or perhaps state you are looking for a specific, used piece of equipment. Many times, nothing is heard.
Following the swap shop, we close the net.
The Monday night EARS net is followed by the Gilmer ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services) net (same settings). You are welcome to listen in and learn more about the ARES organization. Quite often various drills and exercises are conducted during the ARES net, or discussions might be about upcoming events. Often, digital modes of communication tested, like “FLDigi”. FLDigi is an interface with a computer and ham radio allowing for real time text communication, not using the internet. Winlink (Text messages using a combination of RF & Internet) and “D-Rats” on VHF or just the computer are other modes experimented with.
ECHO Link - If you are interested in ECHO Link, start by investigating this website: http://www.echolink.org/. You’ll need to download and install a free program to set up and activate it. Some smart phones have this capability. It’s description & usage would make this email too long. Several of us use echo link or have at least experimented with it.
You do not have to be a member of the EARS club to check in.