To keep the nets working well, we could use some more Net Control
Stations. Lots of times the regular NCS just can't be there, has rig
trouble, thunder storms, or the like. On both our phone and CW nets, we
could use more Net Control Stations -- not only to run the nets and keep
the system functioning, but to add to the pool of experienced operators
from which to draw in times of need. So here's how to prepare yourself
ahead of time so you'll be ready when the time comes.
(1.) Become familiar with the other stations on the net. Knowing correct
call signs, names, and locations is a good idea. Even if you never
perform as an NCS, it's always good to know with whom you're working
and where they live. Check out the Routing Guide at Eboard.com (enter
(2.) Make some notes. Pay close attention to the stations that go off
frequency to pass traffic. What frequencies does the net use to move
traffic? Up to 95? Down to 77? UP 4? DWN 5? Usually the NCS knows
the open spots, where adjacent nets are, etc. You'll get a feel for the
NCS action by keeping track of what's happening.
(3.) Try to guess what the NCS will do next. Sometimes, different types
of traffic will appear on a net and the NCS will have to rank them in
importance. For example, you may notice that out-of-state or "thru"
traffic gets higher priority than a message bound for a city usually
represented on the net. Of course, formal traffic will take precedence
over "informal" exchanges.
(4.) Notice the order of things. Who's asked to check in first?
Emergency and priority traffic holders? 9RN representative? Listen for
the jargon, the pacing, and the phrases that make things flow.
"Additional stations please call . . ." "NEED MKE, LAX, QNI K" Under
poor conditions, hear how the NCS has the station holding the traffic and
the receiving station establish contact on the net frequency before
When the time arrives, you'll be ready to be a good NCS. Please QNG.
73. -- K9LGU/STM