Newsletter 3, 4 May 2019

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

Monthly net report

We’ve just completed our first calendar month of operation on the NZ Net (Monday-Friday at 9pm on 3535 kHz) and, as promised in the last newsletter, we have our first monthly report.

This report was shared first on the NZ Net (here’s the audio), but for those who weren’t on hand to copy it, here it is:

NR 26 R ZL1NZ 41/38 AUCKLAND 0930Z 20APR19
=
NZ NET
=
APRIL QNI ZL1NZ 22 ZL1PC 1 ZL2GD 14 ZL2JU 1
ZL2LN 2 ZL2OM 1 ZL2WT 2 ZL3RX 1 ZL4CU 2
ZL4FZ 5 ZL4KX 5 ZL4LDY 8 ZL4OL 4 VK3DBD 1
VK3DRQ 15 VK3ADT 1 TOTAL 85 QTC 17
=
ZL1NZ

So that’s 16 stations, with a total of 85 check-ins and 17 messages exchanged.

Traffic handling is just one aspect of the net. There’s always the weather to talk about! With the recent drop in temperatures, Barry ZL2LN in Motueka claimed ‘coldest spot on the net’ one night this week. ?

Dave ZL4LDY has been having some technical problems controlling the remote station , so here’s hoping he can get that sorted out soon and join us again on the net.

Bede ZL4KX has become a welcome “regular” and Grant ZL2GD worked overtime last night, helping to relay messages to and from Australia in tough conditions.

If anyone would like to try their hand at Net Control duties, please let me know.

3535

It’s nice to hear some ragchewing around 3535 before and after the net.

One of my rigs is a simple little 3-valve transmitter with a crystal for 3535.3 kHz, so if you hear me calling CQ slightly off the usual frequency, give me a shout. The rig puts out about 20W, so anything farther than Hamilton I will consider to be DX.

Net tip: BN

The newsletter tip this time round is for ops who’d like to get better at handling messages. The subject is “asking for fills.”

Suppose you’ve copied most of a message but some nasty QRM obliterated part of it. You’ll need to ask the sending op for a “fill” and there are various ways to do that, such as using WA (Word After) and WB (Word Before).

But WA and WB only work if you’re sure you missed just one word. So, in our QRM example, where we probably aren’t sure how many words were missed, a better choice would be to use BN (“between”), like this:

BN [last word copied before QRM] [first word copied after QRM]

Another occasion for BN is with a message that has lots of repeated words, such as the monthly net report. Here it is again:

NR 26 R ZL1NZ 41/38 AUCKLAND 0930Z 20APR19
=
NZ NET
=
APRIL QNI ZL1NZ 22 ZL1PC 1 ZL2GD 14 ZL2JU 1
ZL2LN 2 ZL2OM 1 ZL2WT 2 ZL3RX 1 ZL4CU 2
ZL4FZ 5 ZL4KX 5 ZL4LDY 8 ZL4OL 4 VK3DBD 1
VK3DRQ 15 VK3ADT 1 TOTAL 85 QTC 17
=
ZL1NZ

Let’s say you didn’t copy ZL2WT in the second line of the text above. You got the number 1 before and the number 2 after, so the pattern of the message makes it clear that you missed one word only.

But you can’t ask “WA 1” because there are several “1s” in the text and the other op won’t know which one you are referring to. Same problem with “WB 2”.

The solution is to use BN, like this:

BN ZL2OM ZL3RX

The sending station would reply with

ZL2OM 1 ZL2WT 2 ZL3RX

The sending op will always repeat the first and last words you copied so you can be sure you’ve missed nothing else.

Want to learn more? Here’s info about message formatting.

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!