What’s an Amateur Radio Net?
A radio net is a round-table discussion with amateur radio operators from all over, managed by a Net Controller. The Net Controller coordinates the conversation; they typically have a topic in mind, take a roll call or check-ins, identifies who speaks next, and often logs the event.
Radio nets can serve many purposes including:
- Swap-nets or a form of yard sale over the air
- ARES, RACES and SKYWARN exercises for emergency preparedness
- Club meetings over the air, especially for clubs that cover a vast rural area
- Topical discussions, like the Newcomer’s Net where new hams check in and learn about the hobby
For new or aspiring operators, nets are a good way to learn how amateur operators communicate, and start to learn who their peers are and their voices. All it takes is a scanner or cheap handheld transceiver to get started!
More information can be found on Wikipedia.
So, how does one listen or join in? You’ve got to be at the right place (or frequency) at the right time!
VHF and UHF nets
Below, you’ll find a calendar I put together of all of the VHF / UHF nets that I’ve come across from a variety of sources, and verified as currently active. These nets are accessible to all Technician class amateurs and above, and for anyone with a handheld scanner or Internet access to listen in on. If any are missing, please let me know!
There are numerous nets running all hours of the day and night, too many to stuff on a calendar. Feel free to look at the Other Resources below, or this short list of nets I have personally attended or eavesdropped on:
- Maine Public Service Net – 9:00 am EST, Sundays on ~3940 khz
- Virginia Fone Net – Daily at 4:00 PM and 7:30 PM EST on 3.947 mHz
- Old Man International Sideband Society – See schedule on website
Here are some other resources that list radio nets.
- Androscoggin Radio Club
- Maine Ham Radio Society (N1EP, Milbridge, ME)
- Radio Relay International – Comprehensive list of North American HF nets
- Link on page may need to be copy/pasted.
- Current copy is http://radio-relay.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Traffic-Nets-15-Jan-2019.pdf
- Yarmouth Radio Club