Net Check Ins...FAIL!

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Net Check Ins...FAIL!


Post by KX6D » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:21 pm

The following is my opinion based on years of experience checking into and running various VHF and HF nets for Amateur radio and the military. Your mileage may vary...

I have listened to this net on and off for the last couple of years. I usually turn it off before the net topic even starts due to the long and arduous check in procedure. For a net of this type, having a roll call is just a huge waste of time! If you must have a list of net participants, then take check ins; Alpha thru India, Juliet thru Romeo, Sierra thru Zulu. Afterall, we don't really care who is not here, only those who are.

I would argue that you don't even need check ins at all, but I can understand their usefulness at times.

I would bet the attrition rate is pretty high each week. A simple poll would prove me right or wrong.

So there you go! Stop the roll call madness and let's get to the topic at hand! Oh, and let's learn how to talk into our microphones...its really not that difficult!
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Re: Net Check Ins...FAIL!


Post by DaveK » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:58 pm


You raise some valid points but I must repsectfully disagree, in part. As we grow, (and we certainly are doing so) we will have to address the increasing amout of time that is required for check-ins. We are now having to face this need and we will come up with a solution, in short order, to preserve as much time as possible for the net topic.

Having said that, I do not believe that it is a total waste of time. There are a multitude of good reasons why we do check-ins and why we feel that it is a good idea to contunie doing so. While it is not necessary to list them all, I would suggest that these reasons include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. For many hams, it is important to check out their equipment on a regular basis and having a short conmversation each week, where feed back is offered as to their signal quality, is an important part of making sure that their gear is working and ready for emergencies.
2. Checking in each week gives us a chance to get to know who is in our audience, what their interests are, and bring them into the conversation.
3. Also, for many Hams, net check-ins are a means of being part of the Ham community, promoting a feeling of belonging.
4. For us, as Net Control Operators, it gives us a rough means of gauging the interest in our nets.

So, for us, it's not madness. I hope you can understand and appreciate the topics we discuss, and why we feel it is important to check-in.

On the microphone issue you have raised, it would be most helpful for you to speak up during the nets and let us know which Net Control Operator is difficult for you to hear. We have many NCOs and I doubt that they all are microphone challenged. A helpful comment during the net would be appreciated as would an understanding that we are not perfect.

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Re: Net Check Ins...FAIL!


Post by FishPOET » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:20 pm

I have very little experience with nets either as a participant or net controller. I do know that calling 53 call signs and only have 7 check ins is frustrating for everyone. Out of the first 27 call signs tonight (those that have checked in at least 3 times in the last 4 weeks) 20 responded with only 7 silent. Fantastic. The problem arises with the next 53 call signs (those that have only checked in once or twice in the last 4 weeks). Only 7 of the 53 checked in. As more and more folks reach us via IRLP and/or the western reflector from all over the country it seems to me that many of them will be testing our net for a fit. Why should we be calling these call signs for 4 weeks after 1 check in? IMO call the folks who have checked in 3 or 4 times out of the last 4 weeks. Beyond that let everyone else check in en mass or check in in some organized fashion without taking all the time calling 53 call signs with only 7 check ins.

I don't know if It was me that microphone challenged tonight or not. If it was me I really needed to be told on air so I could take steps to fix the problem.
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