A “net” or network operation is a formalized gathering of hams on a repeater frequency for some particular purpose such as message handling and training, emergency preparedness, community event support, socializing, swap meets, or news and information exchange. Generally, most nets are open to all licensed amateur radio operators, but some nets focus on particular interest groups or topics. Most nets are freely open to visitors while some may strive for a more defined audience. Spend time listening from the beginning before deciding to join in.

A net control operator coordinates communications by opening the net at the scheduled time with a preamble stating the purpose of the net and its procedures. Net control will then announce a sign in period and will ask for “check-ins”, usually by call suffix groups, or by regional divisions.

At the appropriate time, inject your call and any other information requested. Net control will then acknowledge calls by groups. After check-in, net control will announce other activities and may request responses. To respond or request use of the repeater during the net, transmit your call sign and wait for permission to proceed. After finishing, return control to the net director by announcing “W7AND back to net”.

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