W.A.B. Nets Page Last Updated: 10 May 2015
Guidelines for participating in W.A.B. Nets:
Nets come together at various times dependent upon propagation and often involve mobile stations travelling through W.A.B. Squares. In order to ensure the smooth operation of the nets, you are asked to observe the following simple guidelines:
(The following has been collated from various comments received - good and bad. They are not aimed at any particular station(s), and will hopefully assist in easing the smooth running of nets)
- All nets are controlled by one station acting as Net Controller, who may occasionally appoint backup controllers. Note the one station as net controller. The system of appointing a backup has been shown to work to good effect. Chipping in to "Help" often does not.
- Only call into the net when the controller asks for check-ins. Unfortunately, experienced WABers sometimes call in during a run-down. This is not really a good example for the newcomer to follow. On very busy nets, check-ins should be asked for once. It is very frustrating if you are a mobile waiting to be picked up if check-ins are asked for three or four times for the previous mobile.
- Ensure that you are netted on to the net controller's frequency. This is very important at all times.
- Do not give your W.A.B. information when you work a mobile that is being run down the net. The mobile will want to move on to the next square as soon as possible.
- Always repeat back the report given to you by the station you are working. This is a check that you have received your report correctly. Signal reports cannot be relayed but other information can. This applies to all W.A.B. activity. There have been occasions when this has not happened. It is more often than not the casual visitor or the newcomer to the net. It doesn't take lot to point this out tactfully and it only needs to be done once. Please don't guess at reports, it is not a valid QSO. Please do not ask the net controller if a report was correct, for example "Was that a 5 & 7?". You should QSL a report, the net controller will tell you whether you have it correct or not. If you are given a report back that is identical to the one you sent, for example "You are also 3 & 3" please do not reply, "QSL the also". This does not acknowledge the actual report, given.
- The report has no minimum acceptable value. However, signals can never be zero.
- Always make a list of stations in the net so you know which station to pass transmission to, after working the station that is being run down the net. This is very important for a good flowing run down. Once the run down is started, there should be no need for it to come back to net control, unless it's due to poor propagation between adjacent net members. This can sometimes be rectified by a slight re-ordering of the list.
- Do not take offence if the controller misses you out in error. Mistakes do happen and remember you could take over net control.
- Never break in while a mobile is being run down the net. The controller will ask for check-ins at the end of the list. See the comment point 2 above.
- Mobiles take preference over fixed stations, especially those that have given prior notice of the intended activity. Mobile stations often have a schedule and should not be delayed. Portable stations also take preference over fixed stations. There may be occasions where a portable station should take priority over a mobile due to their physical working conditions. Such circumstances may be due to weather, tides, battery power, limited time availability etc. Which station takes priority is the decision of the net controller, having given due consideration to the circumstances.
- Do not ask a mobile about the square. The net controller will give the square at the beginning and end of the list.
- Each net member is allowed two attempts at exchanging reports with the station being run down. If this proves unsuccessful, the station will be allowed a further attempt at the end of the list. Signal reports must be received without assistance. Assistance includes on the air QSPs, relays by any other means (e.g. phone, email, texts etc.), and the use of repeaters, satellites, remote SDR receivers and remote station operation. It is quite important to stick to this on a busy net with several mobiles. Often a mobile has to get somewhere, sometimes for business, sometimes for pleasure. They don't want to wait around. The net controller may use their discretion to allow further attempts on a less busy net, if it is OK with the mobile. Please remember that the more attempts that are allowed, the more likely it is that the report will be obtained by chance.
- When there is a gap in mobile activity, the controller will pass down the list to allow members to make calls with other net members. Two calls are generally allowed. If you do not wish to make a call always give your W.A.B. information for the benefit of any S.W.L.s who may be listening.
- Never waste time with idle chat unless all the other net members have worked the stations they wish to call. This often happens at the start of a time-limited award. Everyone will want to work everyone else and this should take precedence over chat. There will be plenty of days to come when the net controller will be grateful for a bit of waffle to hold the frequency.
- Remember that above all W.A.B. is a hobby designed to give enjoyment to all. Be prepared to do a spell of net control, log for mobiles and use your local knowledge to navigate mobiles.
Guidelines for W.A.B. Net Controllers:
Being the controller of a W.A.B. Net is a responsible position. By following guidelines, however, it need not be onerous and can be enjoyable. We suggest that you use these guidelines in conjunction with those already published under the heading of W.A.B. Nets - "Netiquette" as we like to call them.
- In common with all net members, you should have a full list of the net. If you do not, if taking over the running of a net from another station, please try and obtain it from them.
- Give consideration to appointing a back-up controller. This can be a great help to you if, for instance, the skip between you and the activating station is not good. Other net members may be in a position to hear them better.
- In conjunction with the above, do not try and do everything yourself. For instance, if a mobile is in need of navigation, ask someone else to do it to leave you able to concentrate on running the net.
- It is the controller's responsibility to oversee the exchange of reports to make the contacts valid. If for some reason you cannot hear them properly, defer in the first instance to your back up. Do not let the "chippers in" take control; be firm but polite with them. They will soon get the message.
- This point is included in "Netiquette" but is worth repeating. Each station is allowed two attempts at a contact with the activating station on the run down and a further one at the end of the list. Unless the activator is willing and there are no other activators waiting, this should be adhered to.
- If a station is absent for two consecutive run-downs, they should be removed from the list. If they call in again later, they will assume a position at the bottom of the list.
- When taking check-ins, please listen carefully for all callers. There may be some weaker stations underneath the stronger ones you heard initially. It is far more efficient to take all the callers at once, rather than keep asking and running one or two at a time.
- Do not try to do a marathon session, it can be very fatiguing. The hobby is meant to be enjoyed. There are many capable of doing net control. If no volunteers are forthcoming when asked, deploy the off switch! There is no use complaining about it after the event.
The above points are meant to be helpful guidelines but in the main, in order to run a successful net, they should be adhered to where possible. Enjoy the hobby but do it right.
Net Control Trophy:
Each year at the A.G.M. a trophy is normally presented to the
person who has provided exceptional net control or has been the most helpful to
net control during the year. Nominations may be made to the committee.
On the following frequencies, W.A.B. activity can
generally be found. Remember these frequencies may be occupied by other QSOs
already in progress. If that is the case please be prepared to move either up
or down the band before forming a net. If no activity is heard then try calling
yourself, you may be surprised at the response.
WAB Net Frequencies
Weekly 2m nets run on Friday evenings at 2030 hours (UK local time) and Sunday mornings at 1030 hours (UK local time).
Happy W.A.B.-ing !!
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