Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Running My First Net

I've been licensed for ham radio since 2001.  Over the years, I've heard many Net's conducted on the radio.  The once Net that I am most familiar with is the Lanierland Amateur Radio Club's Wednesday Night Net.  I've heard Mike-N4HGO calling that net for years. He's always calm and collected.  He has a very natural soothing voice and easily glides through the check-ins, announcements, swap shop, and the ragchew.

At a club meeting we discussed that Mike should get a break.  We asked for volunteers to run it once a month and I volunteered for April.  I was supposed to run it last week, but it fell on Spring Break and we were on a camping trip.  So the next Wednesday (4/24) it was my turn!

I talk on the radio fairly often.  I know most of the people that check into the Nets.  I've met most of them in person.  I speak at our club meetings and I often feel like I can talk to anyone.  So why was I nervous?  Early Wednesday, I started to realize that I was going to be stumbling through and forgetting what to say and the format we typically follow.  Mike had sent me our preamble and I decided to use it to write a script.

When it got close to time to call the Net, I opened my script on my computer on one screen.  On the other, I opened an excel sheet I had created that had columns for callsign, name, location, and traffic.  I felt pretty prepared.  Then I realized it was 8:28PM.  The Net starts at 8:30PM.  I felt my heart beating fast.  I was in a bit of a panic and thought "I'm going to run out of breath".

Alas, the time came anyway.  Ready or not it was time.  I struggled with myself for a few seconds and then I keyed the mic.  I read through my script and felt a little nervous.  As I read, it felt easier and more natural.  All those years of hearing Mike run the net with such skill had made it feel very natural for me.  There were a few mistakes and a lost my place a time or two.  Perhaps I rambled on.  Everyone that checked in was very kind and supportive.  Ed-KB4ZBM said that he wouldn't have known it was my first Net and there was nothing to be nervous about because I was among friends...and he was right.  What a great group of ham's we have here in North Georgia!

I was very proud to have run the Net and look forward to doing it again and practicing my skills as Net Control in the future!

73 de KG4LST (Net Control) sk

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