The LARG's Thursday Night HF SSB Net
Established on 3675.0 kHz on January 24, 2008
This is a Loudoun Count On Us Operation
Expanding To Technician & Novice Operators On 10-Meters
Norm Styer - AI2C de Clarkes Gap - Canby - Loudoun - Virginia

REVISION 8 Dated January 26, 2011 Replaces REVISION 7 Dated May 6, 2010 & REVISION 6 Dated August 20, 2009

(Revision 8, Purcellville, VA. January 26, 2011)  Historical Aspect. The Loudoun Amateur Radio Group has always conducted radio nets on HF. In the mid-1990's (1994 or so), the Group regularly met on 10-Meters in lieu of any 2-Meter FM operations. Eventually, we did go to 2-Meters and for many years the Sunday night 2-Meter Net was conducted on 147.480 MHz Simplex. But we also continued to operate on HF. We tried different bands and frequencies over the years; we were hoping to get more folks involved and to practice in-state communications for when we might be needed. We moved the 10-Meter Net to 15-Meters but we had few check-ins. Then we went to 40-Meters but again we could not keep up the attendance. Finally, around 2002, we moved to 75-Meters around first 3840 kHz and later 3766 kHz. These 75-Meter frequencies were always a hassle with too many other nets and folks who said the owned the frequency. Finally, in 2008 when the 3600-3750 kHz band was opened to voice operations, we moved to 3675.0 kHz. It has been an almost 'clear channel' net operation since then. We now enjoy a dozen or so check-ins most nights with several regular out-of-state folks joining us. We also added the capability to operate split frequency so we could listen above 3800 kHz and have General Class operators join us. Finally, we added Session II for our Novice and Technician Class operators. As equally important, this has become a nice training ground for net control personnel. The Group enjoys some twelve members who rotate net control duties.

Background. The Loudoun Amateur Radio Group conducts a SSB - Voice Net on Thursday nights at 8 PM local on 3675.0 kHz +/- the interference - QRM; tune around a little. Besides conducting the net on the primary net frequency, the Net Control Station (NCS) selects a somewhat clear frequency above 3803 kHz for General Class Licensed Operators to use to check into the net. The NCS announces this frequency several times before actually requesting stations to check in. This gives stations time to find the 75-Meters band secondary frequency and tune up accordingly. The General Class Licensed Operators transmit on the 3803 + kHz frequency but listen to the net on 3675.0. kHz. Other net members also tune up with a second VFO to receive the General Class Licensed Operators. This net operation technique has brought many new amateurs into the net over the years. This will continue on the 75-Meter band. This is Session 1.

SESSION 2. New 10-Meter Band Technician - Novice Net. Starting on Thursday, January 31, 2008, the Thursday Night net was expanded to a second session of the net on the 10-Meter band to check in Technician and Novice Licensed Operators. The NCS and other net members will finish net operations on 75-Meters frequency no later than 8:45 PM and move the net to around 28405.0 kHz for these stations. After listening to ensure that the a frequency is clear, the NCS will announce the actual 10-Meter frequency before closing Session 1. Technician and Novice stations should listen to Session 1 on 3675.0 kHz and be prepared to join the 10-Meter session when Session closes on 75-Meters.

Multi-Frequency Net Operation Identification Procedures. During Session 1, all net members should be aware of the need to properly identify the station they are talking at both beginning and ending a transmission. For example, the NCS would invite comments by saying, 'KI4TXP on 3862.5 this is AI2C. Good evening Jay. Thanks for checking in. Your signal tonight is 10 over 9. Your comments for the net. KI4TXP on 3862.5 this is AI2C on 3675 Over.' Jay would respond by transmitting on 3862.5 and saying, 'AI2C on 3675 this KI4TXP on 3862.5. Good evening everyone. Signals are very good here(his extended comments). Back to you Norm. AI2C on 3675.0 this is KI4TXP on 3862.5 kHz - Over.' We do this since not everyone really can figure out what's going on and we don't need any Official Observer Reports for broadcasting. It's also important to monitor your transmit only frequency to ensure someone didn't come up and start operating while you were listing to the Primary F1 Frequency. If this happen, the NCS will attempt to find a new secondary frequency.

The Net Frequencies. For those setting up for the LARG Thursday Night HF SSB Net, here are the frequencies:

SESSION 1 - F1: 75-Meter Band Primary Net - 3675.0 kHz +/- the QRM - sometimes we move 25 kHz either side.

SESSION 1 - F2: 75-Meter Band Secondary Net - Above 3803.0 + kHz as announced by NCS during the opening of the net. Please note that the band edge for Generals is 3800.0 kHz and you need to be at or above 3803.0 kHz to be within this sub-band segment.

SESSION 2 - F3: 10-Meter Band Primary Net - 28405.0 kHz   +/- as announced by the NCS during the opening of the net on F1.

NOTE: Actually, General Class and higher Licensed Class Operators may check in on F2 or F3.

Net Operating Procedures

Prior To Net Time, the NCS will check the bands for clear frequencies and note them. At net time, if F1 is not usable, the NCS will quickly identify and announce the frequency where the net will begin. The net generally goes down on 3-kHz increments until a clear frequency is found.

The Net Preamble
:   "Is this frequency is use. This is Loudoun, this is Loudoun, this is Loudoun, this is - your call sign - calling the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group Thursday Night SSB - Voice Net from Loudoun County in Northern Virginia. We will operate on this frequency and also check in General Class Operators on a frequency above 3803 kHz. Tonight we will listen on - give the General Class F2 frequency. No later than 8:45 PM we will close this 75-Meter First Session of this net and move to 10-Meters at about 28405.00 kHz for our Technicians and Novice licensed stations. Now, stations on this frequency please check in."

The NCS takes check in and rechecks several times for additional check in on F1. The NCS them repeats this check in call for stations on F2. Sometimes the NCS will take a single round of comments on F1 before checking in stations on F2.

When All Are Checked In, the NCS lists all stations in the roster. He notes their frequency if not on F1. The NCS then asks each in net roster order to make comments and pass it on to the next station in the roster. Sometimes stations do not hear each other very well and the NCS will assists with these stations and those on F2.

All stations should maintain the net roster and be prepared to act as Alternate NCS or the NCS. The NCS will try to have stations make comments in turn and quickly move the net along.

Following the first round of comments, the NCS will call for additional stations to check in. Each frequency will be called in turn.

All stations should monitor for weak signal stations and relay their check in and/or comments.

The NCS or other monitoring station may repeat check in calls and the comments made by other stations that are not copied by all and/or operating on F2.

At least two rounds are comments are made. Sometimes stations hang around after the net to continue specific discussions.

The Closing NCS Statement
:   "This is - give your call sign - thanks for checking in tonight. We had X stations. Best regards to all.' (Note use words; 73 is a CW signal - Hi.) - Also, make any final comments - then,

'The Loudoun Amateur Radio Group operates five weekly nets:

(1) Session 1 of this HF Net here at 8 PM on Thursdays at 3675.0 KHz,,

(2) Session 2 of this Thursday Night HF Net on 28405.0 kHz (after we close this session),

(3) Our VHF FM Net on Sundays at 8:30 PM local eastern time on the W4DLS/R Repeater located in eastern Loudoun County on 145.310 MHz with a PL of 77 Hz during 'ODD NUMBERED MONTHS' and on WA4TXE/R Repeater located in Leesburg, VA. on 146.700 MHz with no PL during 'EVEN NUMBERED MONTHS.'

(4) Our HF Digital Net on Sundays at 7:30 PM on or about 3582.750 kHz.

(5) Our HF CW Net on Tuesdays at 8 PM on 3545.0 kHz.

If you would like to know more about the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group then check our World Wide Internet Site at WWW.K4LRG.ORG. Be sure to check out our Announcements Page. Come join us in our many activities. This is - give your call sign - from Loudoun County in Northern Virginia closing the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group Thursday Night HF SSB - Voice Net. This is - give your call sign - Good Night Everyone.

Lessons Learned. Comments and observations by members monitoring or unable to successfully join this HF Net may be posted to the LARG's 'QST de K4LRG' eMail Reflector. We look for signal reports, band propagation conditions and information on your receiving and transmitting antennas and equipment.

Additional Net Control Stations
. All members of the Loudoun Amateur Radio Group are encouraged to qualify themselves and stations and be prepared to act or volunteer to be the NCS. The Net Manager will list those stepping forward on the Yearly Net Roster on the Announcement Page at . All should develop the best antenna system that they can and learn how to operate on multiple split frequencies. Assistance may be requested with a post to our 'QST de K4LRG' Reflector.

Hope to meet you on HF.


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