What is a NET ? A “HAM RADIO NET” is defined as: An “on-the-air” gathering of amateur radio operators.
For Ham Operators, the use of NETS has been an integral part of the hobby, since we began communicating with each other over the airwaves.
The majority of NETS, take place on the HF (High Frequency) bands. There are of course, many local nets that run via repeaters, or via VHF or UHF frequencies.
The content of the nets is as varied as the Ham Operators who participate in them. There are Traffic nets, for handling messages being sent via ham radio all around the globe. There are Worked All States Nets, for those attempting to contact and confirm QSO’s with all fifty states. Similarly, there are DX Nets, where participants can check in, and attempt to communicate with DX stations around the world. There are also many casual, “rag chew” nets, where participants join in, and share events in their lives or the hobby, which each other.
The NET itself, is an organized event, with one operator serving as the Net Control station, and keeping things running smoothly. Most NETS are “directed” events, using a Net Control Stations, or an NCS. Net Controls are a critical part of a successful net. Especially for Public Safety Nets, like the Hurricane Net.
As mentioned, the area of focus of the numerous NETS, is amazingly diverse, and far beyond the ones mentioned above. They differ in MODE: SSB, CW, AM, DIGITAL. They vary in GEOGRAPHY: World Wide. They have a WIDE variety of topics and areas of interest, from Antique Equipment to YL International.
If you have an area of interest, there is most likely a NET you can check into, or simply listen to, that meets your interest.
Below are some links where you can peruse a list of HF NETS by Topic, Time, Frequency and location. Have fun, and if you don’t find one that meets your particular area of interest, start one !! Also, if you GOOGLE Ham Radio Nets, there are several video demonstrations, where Hams actually conduct on the air examples of how NETS operate.