KC0ZAF, KC0YRM, KC0ZAB, KC0ZIC (Ray, the fella who chatted on his VX-7R) and KD0CLY, good to hear you guys on the radio. UB, you especially were talkative! I think it might be handy to record one of those for the class as a teaching exercise. We didn't do anything particularly wrong, but I think a couple of things might be good to point out with these semi-impromptu nets.
- Don't forget to ID your station periodically
- Reference call signs and names sometimes, it's nice to hear other people call your call sign
- Take turns talking
- Leave a quiet second or two before talking
I think #3 and #4 are the things we need to work on, i.e. how the talking station gets the table. We had a great lively conversation, but only one person can talk at a time. So try to remember to work around, where the first station calls the next station to talk. Last night KC0ZAF got in first, so Tim should have been the default net controller (or really starter), passing the TX torch to Kevin and he'd pass it to me and I would pass it along, etc. There is no hard-fast rule, but getting in a rotation means we get less doubles. But the first station on had the best idea of who's on the net, so as it's getting going he should recognize the first few stations and get things rolling. Once we're in a rotation, then nets tend to keep rolling around.
The #4 thing, by leaving a short period before talking you give a breaking station the chance to announce his call sign and join in. Then the station with the floor should recognize the breaking station, just say his call sign and that you heard him, finish your thought and typically pass the control to him next. If you are the station that wants to join, just wait for a break, say your call sign and wait to be called. If you didn't hear who's all in the net, pass control back to the station that recognized you or just throw it back to the group and who's ever next should go ahead. If you listen you will hear a beep. This is called a repeater tail and it's purpose is to remind you to leave a brief pause to allow another station to break. That beep is usually about a second after the last station unkeyed his mic and that gives a period where no one is transmitting for you to break in. Get in the habit of waiting until the beep to key your mic, that's just a courteous thing to do.
Not trying to be all serious, just some pointers to keep everyone in the net. At some points the conversation become just two people, remember to say your thought and listen to other stations until it comes back around. Sometimes one station will have a specific question and that's perfectly fine. Break the rotation, ask your question and when the one-to-one topic is done, pass the net to someone who has not talked for a while. Imagine how we sit around for beers after a meeting. Picture asking the member next to you to talk and he passes the table to the next guy and so on. Same thing, just done on the radio.