Tips for Beginning Net Control Operators

Taken from the ARES e-Letter for January 20, 2016

occupations_ham_radio_0Here in northwest Ohio, we have acquired many new hams and encourage them to operate as net control station (NCS) for various routine nets to gain them experience, providing us with a pool of competent net controllers in the event of an emergency/disaster. Here are some of the basic tips we convey to our novice net control stations for a smoothly running net:

  • Get a glass of water or something to drink.
  • Make yourself comfortable. Sit in a good location with plenty of room on a desk or table to write.
  • Have a good writing instrument and a back-up along with an extra piece of paper in case you need to jot down notes.
  • Take your time; go at your own pace. Remember, you are in control of the net and the frequency.
  • Don’t worry about making mistakes; there are no mistakes to be made.
  • To handle the crowd that is trying to check in, you will develop your own way.
  • Stop stations from checking in (“Let’s hold it for a minute”) until you are caught up.
  • Weak stations and stations who give their call signs too fast, are always a problem — skip them at first. Go back later for repeats.
  • Write your log as you see fit. You are the one that has to read it.
  • Headphones are a good idea — they help you focus on what you are hearing and help keep you from getting distracted.

As I mentioned before, there are no mistakes, only experience. When you’ve finished the net that is what you will have. — Steve Bellner, W8TER, Maumee, Ohio

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