The TAG (TN, AL, GA) Net

TAG YL Past Topics

Here, you can find archives of the past topics that have been posted to our web page..

All YL’s everywhere are welcome and encouraged to join us!  And OM’s, we appreciate your support and behind the scenes help, so please keep listening in!!  Have something you want to see posted here, let us know!

 

Why participate in a net? (2020-03-08)

 

We hear about them all the time, they seem to be rampant everywhere (virtually one for any day of the week). But why should we join the nets?
Of course I’d be interested to hear your perspective on why to join a net. Don’t hesitate to email your comments to me and if I receive enough feedback I’ll post a follow up.

  1. Learn Proper Technique
  2. Check the Range of Your Equipment for Prolonged Communications
  3. Build your Network
  4. Camaraderie
  5. Share knowledge

Learn Proper Technique

Many hams participate in the hobby to be able to assist in emergency communications and some are in the hobby for the shear joy of the science and technical geek factor. Regardless of why you are in the hobby, it is important to operate your station correctly. Nets provide operators with an environment to learn a variety of skills: how to operate their radios, speaking effectively for a good transmission, the errors of quick keying, traffic handling, how to break into a QSO, how to report information and the ability to listen and record important information. (Just to name a few.)

Check the Range of Your Equipment for Prolonged Communications

Many people report when the bands are open, or good conditions for propagation on the nets, but have you ever thought about how many times communications are necessary under the perfect condition? It’s Murphy’s Law that communications are most essential and reliant on ham radio under adverse conditions. Nets provide an opportunity for operators to experiment with reaching Alaska, Australia, locally and wherever net’s operate via many modes of communication. Testing your capability in regular participation of nets will help the operator determine where the communication opportunities are and evaluate the range and capability of their equipment. Programming radios, tones, talk groups, time slots, or antenna requirements and adjustments are just a few examples of things that can be done in advance of a crisis to ensure that equipment will be ready when needed. Participating in a regular net ensure that not only did you reach the intended communication hub once, but you can regularly connect to the hub and your signal can be clearly received.

Build Your Network

If you have ever listened to a hurricane net, you’ve noticed that people who know the Net Control Operator are usually received as priority traffic. They are a known source of reliable information. ARES and SKYWarn nets are a way for operators to build their network and become familiar with the other operators and their locations prior to a crisis so that during an emergency they know where operators are and know they can communicate effectively and reliably. However, building a network is important at other times. Maybe you have just the right piece of knowledge that another operator needs (you’ve been there and done that). Or you have a problem that just has you scratching your head and someone can save you the heartburn of hours trying to figure it out. Nets are a great wealth of information, as well as providing a community of like minded individuals that are interested in similar gadgetry.

Camaraderie

There’s nothing like participating in a net and being surrounded by friends. It is a very rare thing indeed for all operators not to feel welcome during a net. Maybe I’m just super lucky in the Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee Region, and my home roots in Chicago, but the best people in the world seem to be ham radio operators. It seems that meeting up regularly on a net establishes a repport that causes people to actively look for each other at Hamfests or on the frequency at off times for a QSO. While the rest of the world may not understand what makes an operator tick, fellow hams get it and encourage it! This is one aspect of joining a net that really shouldn’t be minimized. The connections you make today during the net, could be the connection that saves you hours of trouble shooting, or provides an opportunity for an extra set of hands putting up that tower, or encourages you to come out to field day, or just gives you a break and provides that bit of fun or that laugh that we all need in a day.

Share Knowledge

Most nets have a purpose whether it’s emergency communications, technical topics or socializing. There are even nets for those interested in camping, the paranormal or specific tools of the hobby. Regardless of what interests you there’s a net for it (and if not, create it! You probably aren’t the only one). Nets provide a forum for people of all interests and knowledge levels to meet and exchange a wealth of information. Google has nothing over a net. There’s usually someone representing a wealth of information over a variety of topics. Nets provide an opportunity for all operators to gather and share their knowledge. (Including you!) Being relatively new to the community, especially compared to the operators that have been licensed for more years than I’ve been alive, I’ve found that just listening I’m absorbing a variety of information that I seem to draw on when I come across a problem or opportunity. There’s even been a time or two that I’ve been able to help solve a problem because of something I’ve heard or been able to direct one operator to another for help. Nets can be our own ham radio live Encyclopedia, if we learn to leverage the resource to its fullest potential.