ARPSC Regularly Scheduled Nets

The Oakland County ARPSC conducts regularly scheduled radio nets and accepts check-ins, for most nets, from any amateur radio operator within range of the W8OAK repeater. Nets serve many purposes and generally require no more than 30 minutes of a member's time. Our regularly scheduled nets serve a variety of purposes and include, but are not limited, to the following.

  • Regular testing of our members' radio equipment
  • Trains new members in appropriate net operations protocol
  • Provides a venue for sharing information and announcements
  • Testing of equipment at various facilities within the County
  • Provide training for designated Net Control Operators

All of the above activities serve to maintain a preparedness level necessary to communicate efficiently and effectively should it become necessary to activate an emergency net for Skywarn operations, hospital communications or other situations where County Homeland Security requests assistance from the ARPSC. All of the nets operated by the ARPSC are "Directed Nets". Under a Directed Net no transmissions are allowed without approval from Net Control.

Directed Nets

Directed Nets are particularly well suited for emergency communications. They are operated in a manner quite consistent with police and fire dispatch protocols. Under police and fire operations the dispatcher maintains control over all radio traffic. Similarly, the Net Control Operator maintains control over radio traffic of the Directed Net. Both Directed Net protocols and public safety radio operations provide the following benefits.

  • Maintaining control over radio traffic
  • Ensures efficient use of the frequency/channel
  • Ensures that operators calling in to net control/dispatch are acknowledged quickly
  • Prevents stations from doubling - two stations attempting to talk at the same time
  • Provides the ability to handle more traffic in a shorter amount of time

While all nets are similar in operating protocol, differences in protocol are common. With this in mind, it is advisable to listen to communications for a while before checking in. Most net control operators will provide specific instructions throughout the net that all operators are expected to follow. For example, most net control operators will request that stations wishing to check in provide their call sign in standard phonetics, their name, the city they are in and if they have any comments or announcements for the net.

An appropriate check in would be:

"This is Alpha Bravo 8 Juliet Romeo. My name is Jim in West Bloomfield and I will have announcements for the net."

An incorrect check in would be:

"This is KD9TPE in Holly."

This check in will slow the net down as net control have to come back with a request for name and if there are any announcements for the net. Net control will also have to ask the check in to repeat the call sign phonetically since the net operator thinks he heard KB8DPB.