New Zealand Net News Nr 16, 2 November 2019

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

Highlights

NZ Net stats

Hello again. As you can see from the graph above, we have set a new record for monthly check-ins to the NZ Net, with a total of 176 in October. We also set new records for the number of stations checking in during the month (19) and for check-ins during a single net session (11).

Thanks everyone for supporting NZ Net, and here’s the monthly report for those who were not on the net last evening to copy it.

NR62 R ZL1NZ 47/44 AUCKLAND 0800Z 1NOV19
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NZ NET
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OCTOBER QNI ZL1AJY 8 ZL1AZ 1 ZL1NZ 23 ZL1PC 5
ZL1RD 9 ZL1RED 8 ZL2GD 18 ZL2LN 5 ZL2MS 8
ZL2WT 12 ZL3DMC 4 ZL3RX 18 ZL4CU 5 ZL4FZ 3
ZL4KX 15 ZL4LDY 10 VK2IOW 1 VK3DRQ 22 VK4PN 1
TOTAL 176 QTC 7
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ZL1NZ

David ZL2WT checked into the net this week using his vintage Marconi ships station. Some of David’s gear came from the former Radio Officer training room at Wellington Polytechnic, which you can learn about on this webpage.

New QNIs

Newcomers to NZ Net this past month are Peter ZL2MS in Clive, Pat VK2IOW in Millthorpe and Sava VK4PN in Pelican Waters. Welcome guys!

NZ Net goes to Eastfest 2019

Grant ZL2GD gave a presentation about NZ Net at Eastfest in Methven on Saturday 19 October, with assistance from Richard ZL4FZ. Here’s Grant’s report:

“I decided at the last minute (Thursday night) to do a demo live with help from Richard ZL4FZ, rather than use a Powerpoint with net recordings. Richard was great – he even brought his rig along and transmitted into a dummy load. I had my IC7300 there sending on the monitor and it sounded quite realistic.

Grant (left) and Richard doing a simulated NZ Net at Eastfest
Grant (left) and Richard doing a simulated NZ Net at Eastfest

“We ran through a typical net session, stopping along the way to have some fun with the audience and explain all the Q codes. I was NCS with your message NR60 addressed to the Eastfest attendees and Richard was a check in. I directed the QTC to him and he did a QNG1 for me. We even managed to get Rob ZL3RX up on stage to do a QNI. It was fun. There were about 45 hams present. All bar three put their hands up as owning a morse key, five hands stayed up when asked how many actually used their key on a regular basis.

Some of the audience for the NZ Net presentation. Rob ZL3RX, who checked into the simulated net, is in the front row at far right.
Some of the audience for the NZ Net presentation. Rob ZL3RX, who checked into the simulated net, is in the front row at far right.

“Needless to say my short presentation ran overtime a bit, but I have had lots of nice comments, met some really nice people and the weather was FB. I had a lot of questions after the session and if nothing else, we have spread the word about CW and the net.”

Big thanks to Grant and Richard for putting on this demonstration. It certainly looks like people enjoyed it.

Signal Reports vital to good communication

Dave ZL4LDY sent me this note on 23 Oct:

“I copied two check-ins at once last night. The humour in it came when I was telling the XYL about it this morning. She thought I caught two chickens at once, but I digress. To quote an old tobacco ad: “They said it couldn’t be done…” hi hi.

“Perhaps some others may have accomplished it as well. The occasion did surprise me a little, because it is the first time I have done it in 42 years of hamming.

“Doubles are not particularly unusual on a check-in opportunity. However, what is more common is that one signal in the double is usually stronger than the other, so that you focus on that one that is strongest. Great job, Rob and David. For me, at least, the gods of propagation were smiling on me.

“Grant’s net last night provided another mini-event worthy of note. Grant gave ZL2LN a report of 559, and asked for his QTH. The query is logical given the 559 report, because Barry was 599 to me.

“The difference we were seeing there is everyone wasn’t experiencing the same propagation. If nothing else, that experience proves the importance of including signal reports in our net practices. Often there isn’t much difference in the signal reports we report, but seeing the difference last night sure is convincing that it is worth it.

“Perhaps some may wonder why a few of us still use radio. I believe the answer to that query is easy to explain. As last night proves, you just can’t know what will happen, and that is the magic and wonder of it, comparing to the boring old internet.”

ZL3DMC visits ZL1NZ

NZ Net member and NZART Infoline Editor Don ZL3DMC was in Auckland on Labour Weekend and found time for a visit to the ZL1NZ shack. We had a good chat about the Net and CW. Don is doing the CW Ops / CW Academy training and tells me he’s really enjoying it, but you have to do your “homework.” If any or you are thinking of doing some CW upgrading, I’m sure Don would be happy to tell you more about CW Academy.

Don ZL3DMC tries out the key at ZL1NZ
Don ZL3DMC tries out the key at ZL1NZ

Straight Key Night just one month away!

Summer SKN is fast approaching. Make sure you’ve got your key ready for Sunday 1 December. If you don’t have a straight key, you could even make one in time for SKN!

Net tip – getting more out of the net

If you’ve been part of the NZ Net for a while, you’ll be very familiar with the routine stuff, such as checking in, giving a signal report and a QRU, and then probably just listening until the net is finished.

But you can use the net to do much more. Say, for example, that ZL1XYZ hears ZL3ABC on the net and would like to have a chat. ZL1XYZ can get the attention of Net Control by sending their full callsign or sine at any opportunity. After being acknowledged, ZL1XYZ could send something like:

QSO ZL3ABC U2 AFTER NET PSE  (i.e. I would like a contact with ZL3ABC up 2kHz after the net.)

Then, Net Control would send

ZL3ABC QSL?

If ZL3ABC confirms, then the QSO is booked, and both stations can QSY U2 immediately after the net finishes, or as soon as they are both are excused. In fact, NCS will probably excuse them before excusing other stations so that everyone is clear what is happening, e.g.

ZL1XYZ ZL3ABC QNX QSY U2 73

This can save the two stations a lot of time waiting for 3535 to become clear if many other people are jumping in to chat after the net, or if the net has not closed (i.e. is still handling traffic).

Suggestions?

If you have suggestions on how to make the NZ 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!

Neil Sanderson ZL1NZ, Net Manager
New Zealand Net (NZ NET)
3535.0 kHz at 9pm NZT Mon-Fri