Newsletter 1, 6 Apr 2019

This is a fortnightly newsletter about the New Zealand Net.
If you would like to subscribe, please contact ZL1NZ.

The NZ NET has arrived!

It’s been two weeks since we kicked off the NZ Net, which runs Monday-Fridays at 9pm on 3535 kHz. Thank you everyone who has checked in, and thanks to Dave ZL4LDY for helping with the net control duties.

Now it’s time to spread the word beyond our small group, so please feel free to forward this message to anyone you think might be interested.

The 80m band can sound pretty quiet some times, but now there’s the glorious sound of CW on at least one frequency five nights a week!

The net is fully prepared for formal traffic handling, but you do not need to be a traffic handler to join in. All we ask is that you follow the directions of the net control station. There’s lots of info about net operations on the NZ Net webpage. If you don’t recognise some of our abbreviations, however, just send “?” and we’ll explain. We aim to be the “formal, but friendly” CW net.

Congratulations to Grant ZL2GD who sent two pieces of formal traffic this week, one of which was relayed to Australia the same evening via the 40m VK-ZL net.

NZ Net to stay at 9pm local time

I originally proposed that the net be held at 0800 UTC, i.e. 9pm during the summer, then changing to 8pm local time during the winter. After canvassing the stations checking into the net during the first two weeks, however, it became clear that the preference was to stay at 9pm year-round.

I realise that some ops go to bed before 9pm, so I apologise if this means you cannot join the net. If anyone is interested in organising an earlier session (or “warmup” session) please feel free to do so!

Net control

The usual Net Control stations are:
• Mon-Wed: ZL1NZ (Neil, Auckland)
• Thu-Fri: ZL4LDY/2 (Dave, Blenheim)
but we’re quite flexible, and if one of us isn’t there, the other will step in.

It would be great to have more stations capable of assuming Net Control, so please let me know if you’re interested.

Net tip: the prosign <AS>

One of the things you’ll hear quite often on a CW net is the prosign <AS>, meaning “Please wait”. Here are some typical situations:

After you have checked in, Net Control will generally ask you to wait, since there could be messages for you from stations that have not yet checked in. Also, we might need to call on you as a relay station.

If you check in with traffic, Net Control will still usually ask you to wait. Ideally we want to get everyone checked in, then those who are not sending or receiving traffic will be excused from the net (although welcome to stay and listen). Then the stations with traffic do their exchanges. That means other stations don’t have to stay on frequency if they have other things to do.

The prosign <AS> is also used in traffic handling. If you send me a very simple message, for example, I will probably respond with QSL (“Message received”). But if it’s not so simple, I will ask you to wait, by sending <AS>. I will then read through your message to make sure I haven’t missed anything. I will count the words and compare them to the Check number in the message preamble. Only when I am 100% certain that I have the message perfectly copied, will I send QSL.

Want to learn more? Here’s a list of CW Prosigns.

Suggestions?

If you have suggestions on how to make the net better, or things you’d like to see covered in these updates, please contact ZL1NZ. You might even like to write something for the newsletter.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you soon on the NZ Net!

And don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour Saturday night.