Net Control Procedure

Paducah Amateur Radio Association

Net Control Procedure

Net Control Procedures

The control of an ARES net is a skill best learned through practice.  For this reason, periodic training nets are conducted to provide operators with experience.  Although it is understood that a real emergency will give rise to special needs for the Net Control, some basic fundamentals can be practiced through drills.


Calling the Net

1. All nets start with an announcement by the Net Control Station (NCS) of the commencement of the NET, its purpose, and any critical information (such as if the net is being conducted simplex or if relay stations will be needed).

2. A general call for Emergency or Priority traffic should be made so as not to delay this material.  Request stations to forward this traffic as necessary.

3. Tell stations that if other Emergency traffic should arise during the net, they can break into the net at any time using the call “BREAK BREAK”, followed by their call sign.

4. Make a call for Routine or Health and Welfare Traffic and forward as before.

5. Read any official bulletins or announcements of interest to the area.  Request any stations having additional bulletins/announcements to deliver their information.

6. Take general check-ins and initial information from stations.  Ask for relays for weak stations or when operating simplex (you might not hear everyone).

7. If the net is to close, pass thanks and closing info and return the frequency to normal amateur use.

8. If the net is to remain in session, minimize communications, but announce the net every 10 minutes or so to ensure people do not forget the net is active.  Graciously instruct stations transmitting out of turn (or without request) that a net is in progress and would they please carry on their conversation elsewhere.

9. All announcements to the net are by permission of the NCS.  Stations may be requested to pass their information directly to the net, but the NCS is always in charge.  Don’t be rude, but stay in control.

Training Nets

1. Training nets are conducted using a format similar to that shown at the end of this section.

2. Prior to the net, the NCS should attempt to determine a training topic and obtain copies of pertinent bulletins or announcements.  See QST magazine for a list of W1AW bulletin station times or use packet/Internet to screen on QST listings.

Severe WX Net

1. Declare the net as normal and announce the specific weather (WX) emergency as well as specific geographic areas of concern.

2. Notify stations to break into the net at any time to report significant sightings (like tornadoes).

3. Proceed immediately to check-ins, obtaining location for each.

4. Explain to the net the type of information needed to be reported:

Tornadoes, wall clouds with rotation, funnel clouds, hail, high (45 MPH+) winds, heavy rain (2+ inches per hour), storm caused damage, frequent lightning.

5. Collect information and relay this to the NWS station operator (or directly to NWS by phone, if there is no operator) using one of the following repeaters: 147.06 (Paducah), 146.880 (Herrod), 147.285 (Salem).  Normally, the NWS station will be listening on one or more of these.

Emergency Net

1. Follow the general instructions for calling a net.

2. Take check-ins from stations performing liaison for served agencies or other nets first.

3. Write everything down.

4. If at all possible, conduct only initial contact and critical communications on the tactical net.  Pass stations that need to conduct point-to-point discussions to other frequencies (simplex).

5. Be flexible. The net will likely evolve as the emergency progresses and the served agencies activate.

Training Net Text (example)

Good evening, this is <call sign, first name> now calling the Purchase Area Emergency, Weather, and Traffic Net into session.  At this time no emergency exists, so this net is being convened for the purpose of training.  This net meets each Sunday night at 9:00 PM local time, and all amateur radio operators are invited to check-in.

We will handle formal traffic first.  Are there any stations with Emergency or Priority traffic?

<handle as necessary>

Stations are encouraged to check into the Kentucky Section nets.  The Kentucky Emergency Net, which performs training for stations in preparing for local or statewide emergencies, meets each Monday at 6:30 PM Local Time on 3.972.5MHz.  You may also access the Paducah Fusion link to the Princeton room via 147.120 KD4DVI when operational, or by DMR on the 31211 Talk Group.

I have the following bulletins and announcements:

<read them, remembering to ID and let the repeater drop out occasionally>

The Paducah Amateur Radio Association meets the 2nd Monday each month at 7:00pm local time at the WKCTC Emerging Technology Building Rm 109 Conference Room. Our next meeting will be ____________________ .  The Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) meets the 3rd Thursday each month at 7:00 pm local time at the Emergency Operations Center at 3700 Coleman Rd. in Paducah.  The next meeting of ARES will be __________________.

Are there any stations with other bulletins or announcements for the net?

<handle in order>

This is <call sign> with the Purchase Area Emergency Weather and Traffic Net.  In session for weekly training. <OPTIONAL> Tonight’s training topic is ______________.

<do the training now, which may be lecture (rare), prepared traffic handling, emergency plan discussion, WX spotting, etc.>

We will now begin our check-in procedures, whether or not you have a comment for the net, you are invited to check-in.  It is a directed net, please check-in in the order of the first letter of your callsign suffix… that is the letter following the number.

Please sign-in one at a time, and I will acknowledge your callsign to be sure it is correct.  Once you have checked-in, be sure to inform me if you must leave so that I may check you out.  If you do not wish to be called on for comments, please state this at the time you check-in.  Stations checking in and out are encouraged to keep listening until the check-in phase is complete in case another station has traffic for you.

We will begin with mobile and time priority stations, mobile and time priority stations please check-in now…

<depending on priority and location of mobile stations, take their comments now>

We will now have Echolink stations check-in, please call now

We will now call our regular stations – Alpha through Echo… please call now

Moving to our next group, stations Foxtrot through Lima …please call now

Our next group is Mike through Sierra… please call now

Our final group are stations Tango through Zulu…please call now.

This is <call sign> with the Purchase Area Emergency Weather and Traffic Net.  Are there any late stations wishing to check-in?

This is <call sign>.  That completes the check-in.  We will now take comments from <top of list>.

<continue comment phase, remembering to ID if it runs long>

<handle as necessary>

Are there any stations with any regular message traffic?

<handle as necessary>

Is there anything I can do for anyone before I close the net?

I would like to thank all <num. of check-ins, including net control> stations for checking into this week’s session of the Purchase Area Emergency Weather and Traffic Net.  Please come again next week when the net meets again at 9:00 PM. Your net control next week will be _____________

In the event of an actual emergency or severe weather warning, please monitor this frequency for further information, with the 147.12 KD4DVI repeater as a back-up.  If the repeaters are not functioning, meet on 147.06 simplex.  The HF frequencies for Kentucky traffic are 3.972.5 & 7.228 MHZ and in Illinois are 3.905 or 7.230 MHZ.

I will now close the Purchase Area Emergency Weather and Traffic Net and return the frequency back to normal amateur use.  This is <call sign> clear.