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Net Operating Procedures

Standard Operating Procedure and Operating Schedule for SKYWARN and Red Cross Nets

***Version 1/29/2006***

Purpose of the Net Operations

The Hellgate Amateur Radio Club (HARC), in the interest of public service and safety, and at the request of three Missoula Agencies, the National Weather Service (NWS), the American Red Cross and Missoula County Emergency Services is operating regularly scheduled very high frequency (VHF) and high frequency (HF) nets. We will only operate at their offices upon receiving their direct invitation. Agency requests for HARC participation at their office are made to HARC members per a pre-agreed call up list. Volunteers are expected to respond within one hour when requested.

SKYWARN

At the request of the NWS, the Hellgate ARC is becoming an integral part of SKYWARN for the NWS Missoula office. SKYWARN was established to promote cooperation between the National Weather Service (NWS) and local communities. The emphasis is collection of weather information from trained weather spotters for the NWS. Another part of SKYWARN is to distribute NWS information to outlying areas. (http://www.skywarn.org/) HARC personnel should respond to the National Weather Service office only after being asked to do so by the National Weather Service.

Red Cross

HARC is a communication resource for the Red Cross in times of emergency or disaster where supplemental communications are necessary. HARC personnel should respond to the Red Cross office only after being asked to do so by the Red Cross.


HARC involvement includes:

  1. Establishing regularly scheduled nets from the two Agency locations to maintain operator proficiency, familiarity with the Agency locations, procedures and officials, conform to the National Traffic System, and insure amateur radio equipment is ready and functioning.
  2. Be prepared to establish a net when requested by the NWS or Red Cross in times of severe weather, emergency or disaster.
  3. Participate in annual SKYWARN and other training events.


HARC Agency Contacts (communications unit leaders, COML)
Served Agency Callsign Name
National Weather Service NN8A or Byron Van Alstein
  W7XY Donny Fort
Missoula County NN8A Byron Van Alstein


Rules at the National Weather Service Office

  1. Introduce yourself as a HARC member, and state the name of the person inviting you to the office and the purpose of your visit. Try to arrive as a group and state the one person in charge. Announce if other members will be arriving later.
  2. Sign in at the front desk when you arrive and sign out when you leave.
  3. Be courteous. We are guests of the National Weather Service. Avoid loud & disruptive conversation, and distracting working employees. Use only the assigned equipment for HARC members and not any of the Agency equipment. Use appropriate language, dress and etiquette.
  4. Stay in the assigned areas. No wandering the buildings.
  5. Respect the wishes and follow the instructions of Agency officials.
  6. The Radio Operator , first on the list is in charge. Please obey their instructions.
  7. Snacks are not free. Please pay for what you use.
  8. Operators not following these rules will be asked not to return for these nets and may jeopardize HARC’s future involvement with the Agency.


Rules at the Red Cross Office

  1. Introduce yourself as a HARC member, and state the name of the person inviting you to the office and the purpose of your visit. Try to arrive as a group and state the one person in charge. Announce if other members will be arriving later.
  2. Be courteous. We are guests of the Red Cross. Avoid loud & disruptive conversation, and distracting working employees. Use only the assigned equipment for HARC members and not any of the Agency equipment. Use appropriate language, dress and etiquette.
  3. Respect the wishes and follow the instructions of Agency officials.
  4. Stay in the assigned areas. No wandering the buildings.
  5. The Radio Operator, first on the list is in charge. Please obey their instructions.
  6. The Radio Operator, first on the list is responsible for locking the office.
  7. Operators not following these rules will be asked not to return for these nets and may jeopardize HARC’s future involvement with the Agency.


Net Schedule

VHF nets begin at 9 PM local time. Radio operators listed in the first column may be in charge of that net session. All participants at local Agency offices should read the ARRL Public Service Communications Manual.


Process for the Nets

  1. Check-out the radios and operating position including safety for personnel and properly configured radios including power supply polarity and antenna matches.
  2. Activate the Net with the Preamble
  3. Complete the roll-call
  4. Maintain required written logs
  5. Close the net
  6. Properly secure the radios and logging equipment including grounding or disconnecting the antennas
  7. Clean-up the operating area and store all equipment and forms
  8. Turn-in any required forms to the Agency representatives
  9. Thank Agency representatives for the opportunity to use their facility
  10. Promptly exit and secure the office as appropriate


Net Preamble
Very High Frequency (VHF) Nets

QST, QST, QST This is:

with (Your Call) as net control calling the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club Wednesday Night Net. This is a directed net. If you do break the net, please break with the word Break and your call. List informal traffic during the roll call. The net is called alphabetically by suffix and visitors are always encouraged to check in. When checking in, please use your call phonetically, and only state if you have traffic plus any requested information.

The purpose of this net is to practice proper protocol when assisting organizations like the National Weather Service, the Red Cross and Missoula County.

Is there any formal written traffic for the net?

Before we start with check-ins, are there any QST’s or Bulletins for the net?

Are there any emergency or mobile stations?

We will start from:

(Then go onto Alphabetical Check-ins.)

Are there any late or missed check-ins Alpha through Mike?

Are there any Late or missed check-ins November through Zulu?

Is there any further business for the net?

At this time I will close the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club Wednesday night net and return the repeater to normal amateur use. This is

(Your Call) saying 73’s and good night.

 

Footnote

Traffic should be in form of written traffic according to the NTS system,

QST’s or Bulletin’s should be a notice of a happening or event. Just a greeting to everyone can be done when checking in and kept short.

We don’t get much traffic on this net but should call for it because the idea of having a net is to practice handling traffic and get people use to it.

Early check-ins do anything for the net so don’t worry about them or take them. They can only help to pass traffic or help the net if they are there at the time of the net.

Please log start and finish times of net, mark check-ins, total of check-ins and total of traffic items handled on roll call sheet.


High Frequency (HF) NETS

QST QST QST This is

with (Your Call) as net control calling the Hellgate Amateur Radio Club Emergency HF Net. The net control will state what information is wanted from check-ins during roll call if needed. Please give your call, if any traffic and the requested information only during roll call. Any informal discussion can be conducted after roll call.

The purpose of this net is to practice proper protocol when assisting organizations like the National Weather Service, the Red Cross and Missoula County.

Is there any formal written traffic for the net?

Before we start with check-ins are there any QST’s or Bulletins for the net?

(Optional) Please give __________________________ when checking in.

Roll will called by:

Roll Call

Start from:

Are there any late check-ins Alpha through Mike?

Are there any check-ins November through Zulu?

Is there any further business for the net?

At this time I will close the Hellgate Emergency HF net and return the frequency back to normal amateur use. This is

with (Your Call) as net control saying 73 and Thanks for your Help.

Footnote

As the roll call is developed then the way it is called by town or call sign can be decided.

Traffic should be in form of written traffic according to the NTS system,

QST’s or Bulletin’s should be a notice of a happening or event. Just a greeting to everyone can be done when checking in and kept short.

Early check-ins doesn’t do anything for the net so don’t worry about them or take them. They can only help to pass traffic or help the net if they are there at the time of the net.

Please log start and finish times of net, mark check-ins, total of check-ins and total of traffic items handled on roll call sheet.


Reports