In this Repeater Talk article we will focus on the topic of Nets and how the DVRA is pioneering the use of Digital Technologies.
The beginning of the year 2016 found the DVRA kicking off a new DIGITAL net. But before we dive into the new net we should touch on the general concept of Nets.
Nets are groups of HAMs with a set purpose of communications. This can come in different forms – Planned / Scheduled Nets or On Demand nets that are activated for a purpose such as emergency support. Beyond those types, another characteristic can be that nets can be directed or open roundtable types.
The DVRA Digital 440 Net is a directed net that is regularly scheduled for Tuesday evening at 2000 hours local Trenton NJ time. We have a Net Control station that reads the nets Preamble and manages the nets activities. The Preamble states the purpose of the net, how it will be controlled and gives the name of the Net Control Station Operator. Beyond that the Net Control calls for “short timers” and mobile stations first. This is done in an effort to allow HAMs that can’t stay on for the duration to check in and for the mobile stations that may have challenges making a solid signal to the repeater. After that the net control station opens it up for other stations to check in.
Once all have checked in the Net Control Station repeats the stations ID’s and first names of the HAMs to catch any missing or mistakes. Once that is done the Net Control calls on each station and they contribute to the discussion topic of the week in turn. The fun goes on until everyone has exhausted their thoughts or runs out of time! This is the point when a couple of relevant club announcements are made for the benefit of the Hams gathered. The closing statements are made and the repeater is returned to normal amateur use.
One thing that is always important is that if ANY STATION calls with EMERGENCY TRAFFIC all discussion stops until the emergency is resolved. The Net exists as a secondary use of the machine and all yield to Emergency traffic or stations.
We had 7 stations check in to the first DVRA digital net on the January 5th. N2GJ Jerry, KC2TGM Mark, K2GW Gary, W3TEC Ed, N3DD Dom, WA2EHL Dick and Net Control NJ3U Rory.
The topic was getting to know other HAMs using Fusion Digital Technology and after a great round-table we switched topics and went to a live back and forth demonstration of sending pictures and text messages to each other and the group. This is one of the major benefits of C4FM Digital technology the ability to send metadata and data files.
Next week the DVRA Digital Net will meet again on Tuesday evening January 12 th @ 2000 hours on the 442.650 repeater for a Digital Only Net. The topic planned is advanced messaging – so load some standard messages into your fusion radio and join in to learn and have a good time with other Fusion users.
Stay tuned to this feature column Repeater Talk for the latest on our DVRA/W2ZQ System Fusion repeater upgrade.