Keep your hands free with a headset and mic. Yamaha makes a really comfortable one for only $59.
When you get most headsets you loose the PTT button. You can purchase adapters for almost every radio out there from a guy on ebay K6VHF. He makes high quality adapters and is very responsive to emails. They run about $20.
Please send comments to:
When you start getting active on one of the HF nets or even a 2m net, you might want to try being Net Control…or at least think about it. There's some things you can practice.
Try logging on paper, who has signed in and out. This will give you good practice for when you try to do net control yourself. Doing it on paper means YOU get to decide what order you want/need and what information you want to collect. It's good practice, too, to learn to write down a call sign quickly.
I don't know if you've noticed, but when ladies first check in, there's a delay of many seconds, usually because Net Control is writing everything down. Once they've got everyone logged in then they can run the net the way that it feels natural for them. If Echolink, should happen to hide someone (there is a limit to the number of logins it shows), NC still knows about them because they're on NC's piece of paper.
From our MINOW Net Controller:
My first net control experience was our local 2m YL net on Wednesdays. This was before Echolink so I just created my own log sheet (I've since gone to a paper log book, but the computerized ones are OK, also) to keep track of everyone.
Net control looks a lot more complicated than it really is. For a social net I take on the job of facilitator. My job is to keep the conversation going and make sure everyone has a say. I don't have to be involved in every conversation and in fact I enjoy sitting back and listening. At some point I will sense that the topic is either coming to an end or is going to a place where it shouldn't. That's when I step in, give out my call sign (we need to do that AT LEAST every 10 minutes, which means I can do it after 2 or 3 minutes if I wish), then either ask for more check-ins or go to the next person on the list.
Practicing Net Control and writing all the check-ins down can really help your everyday Ham experience by helping you remember those strange call signs.
Our MINOW NET on Thursday night is a great place to play at being Net Control. Margaret will be glad to help you along and give you pointer. Join us and give it a try.
QST, QST, QST. This is the MINOW Net which meets every Thursday evening at 7:30 pm Pacific time on Echolink node 286905 and every Friday morning at 8:30 AM on 3.812 or thereabouts.
This is (your call sign), net control for today, Thursday, ________________________ (date).
My name is (your name) and my QTH is (your location).
Any licensed YL is invited to check in. This is an informal net for all YL’s to get together and chat. I will take check-ins, comments, and other traffic. Emergency traffic has priority and will be handled immediately.
We would like to thank ALARA for the use of this node. This is (your call sign) and I am ready for check-ins.
This is (your call sign) closing the MINOW Net at (time) Pacific Time. I would like to thank all who checked in and we would like to thank ALARA for the use of their Echolink node.
QST, QST, QST. This is the MINOW Net which meets every Thursday evening at 7:30 pm Pacific time and every Friday at 9AM on 3.812 or thereabouts.
This is (your call sign), net control for today Friday, ________________________ (date).
My name is (your name), my QTH is (your location).
Any licensed YL is invited to check in. This is not a traffic net but arrangements can be made to handle traffic off frequency. Please listen for break-in stations and give net control time to pick them. Please let me know if you are on short time.
This is (your call sign) and I’m ready for check-ins.
This is (your call sign) closing the MINOW Net at (time) Pacific Time.