NET net

by | Sep 23, 2017

The Neighborhood Emergency Communication Training net (NET net) meets every Sunday evening at 8:10 P.M. local time on the K7RPT 147.040 MHz repeater. That repeater has a positive 600 kHz offset and a tone of 100.0 Hz.  Our purpose is to provide practice with and exchange information about amateur radio use by NETs (Neighborhood Emergency Teams) and CERTs (Community Emergency Response Teams).

We refer to ourselves as the NET net, and our primary audience is those with little or no experience on the air.  Those not associated with NETs and CERTs are also invited to participate.

There is also now a “practice” net just for new NET amateur radio operators on the K7NE 443.300 MHz repeater.  That repeater has a positive 5MHz offset and a tone of 100.0 Hz.  Instead of a directed net, like the NET net — with its presentation format and limited opportunity for discussion — the practice net is a place where new hams have a chance to meet, try out their radios, and talk with each other about topics of their choosing.  The practice net will begin at 7:00 PM, just an hour before the regularly scheduled NET net.  Remember that the NET net has now moved to the same K7RPT repeater.

How can I listen to the NET net if I am not a ham already?

It’s easy. Buy a $25 Baofeng UV-5R handheld radio from Amazon. You do not need to be a licensed operator to buy a ham radio or to listen. After you get the battery charged and the antenna screwed on, turn it on. A voice in radio will announce either “Frequency Mode” or “Channel Mode.” If the radio is in Channel Mode, you need press the conspicuous orange button on the front of the radio, marked VFO/MR, to toggle it into Frequency Mode. Then press the following keys on the keypad: 1,4,7,0,4,0 one at a time. That’s it! You are now able to listen to the NET net.

Of course, you cannot hit that push-to-talk (PTT) button on the side until you get your FCC amateur radio license, but you can listen in as much as you wish! Even if you did hit the PTT button, however, you could not talk to us. I have not given you enough instruction here to program the HT to “light up” the repeater we use. When you take your PBEM NET ARO training, we will make sure you can do that and a lot more.

Rest assured, your little Baofeng is a good investment if you plan to become a ham. This radio will be all you will need to fully participate in any NET ARO events, Amateur Radio Emergency Services, or anything else you will want to do, probably for several years. We will also be talking on the NET net about inexpensive modifications you can make to your Baofeng to increase its range and signal quality significantly.

NET net Program Schedule

Our discussions change week to week.  Many times, we will choose to discuss a recent incident involving Portland NET members, such as an exercise or deployment.  Absent that, below is a link to a list of topics we will explore on the NET net program.  Each of these comprise about an evening of discussion, but some of them will extend over multiple programs.

Curriculum for the NET net (updated 6/23/2017)

Please let know if you have any ideas for improvements.  We can chat on Sunday evening, or you can reach me by cell phone (you have the number) or by email (AE7XP@ARRL.net).

If you would to serve as net control for the NET net, we welcome your participation.  Below is a link to the preamble for the NET net, basically the standard script a net control would follow.  Send an email to Michael (AE7XP@ARRL.net) to arrange your turn.

NECTN Preamble 170317 (updated 9/23/2017)

NET Simplex Test Results

The NET Simplex net exercise instructions and results now have their own page, accessible under NET net on the menu. Go to Get Ready on the horizontal navigation menu at the top of the page. Then go to Radio Communication > NET ARO > Portland ARO Simplex Tests.

Download Links

Periodically, we will post files and presentations we will discuss during the show.

An Example of an IRLP Contact

One of the topics discussed on the NET net is the many alternative modes and services available through amateur radio.  One such service is the Internet Radio Linking Project or IRLP.  Using this service, an operator with Technician License and low-power hand-held radio can hold conversations with people around the world using repeaters linked by ethernet.  While this is not considered a reliable emergency communications service, it is fun and another way to enjoy this hobby.  IRLP is introduced to new hams in the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual (Level 1: Technician).  A complete description of how to use the service is beyond the scope of this brief post, but that is why we have the conversation forum that is the NET net.

The following is an audio recording of AE7XP linking to and unlinking from an IRLP repeater (“node”) in California from an IRLP repeater in Portland.  Please note two items that are not pointed out in the audio recording:

  1. To disconnect (initially and at the end of the node connection), I am keying the digits 73, which is typical for IRLP usage
  2. I am holding down the push-to-talk (PTT) or transmit button before and while I am keying the digits to control the IRLP node

Remember that the codes to access and control any IRLP-enabled station are determined by the owner of the station.  It is good practice and may be required that you contact the owner before using a local node to obtain permission and to get the codes.  The owners are identified in the principal resource for IRLP node information: www.irlp.net

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