AmRRON Regional Nets Switch to 80 meters for Primary (40 meters to be used as Alternate)
**First and third Wednesday National Nets Remain on 20m and 40m**In the spirit of being resilient, adaptable, and overcoming, AmRRON will be switching over to the 80 meter band for all regional nets and placing 40 meters on the back burner for the time being. This will apply to regularly-scheduled practice nets as well as SOI (Signals Operating Instructions) Nets. Due to the peak solar cycle we are in, the 40 meter band (our normal summertime band) has continued to behave such that it is not practical for reliable short/medium range HF communications. As many have commented and we've all observed, "40 meters is the new 20 meters." In other words, the 40 meter band is simply going too long and skipping over stations within our own regions. Effective beginning 18 June 2018, we will NOT be using the 40 meter band frequencies as the primary frequencies for practice, training, or real-world emergency nets. Net Control Stations, please make a note of this and pass the updates to your local and regional nets. The 20 meter nets schedules will not change. Please change your communications plans, and make a note in your Signals Operating Instructions, to use the 80m frequencies for both voice and digital communications. This change will continue indefinitely until we can assess the bands. We expect the solar cycle to continue having the current effects for as long as the next two years. Band conditions DO change. Be prepared to adjust. Q. What if I don't hear anything on 80 meters either? A. Just like you normally would, scan the band up and down twenty kHz from the designated frequency for a couple of minutes. The net may have had to move due to interference. If after 5 minutes into the net you still hear no AmRRON net taking place, THEN QSY (change frequency) to the AmRRON 40 meter frequency and mode for that time period. Q. What's wrong with the 40m band A. There's nothing 'wrong' with the 40m band. It is simply going LONG. Generally the 40m band was good for about 100 to 500 miles or so. Now we are regularly making contacts 1000 to 1500 miles on 40m, and skipping right over stations in our own regions which could regularly make reliable contact with a year or two ago. This is due to the solar cycle. Q. Can we not use 40m band frequencies if we want to? A. Of course! If the 80m band has deteriorated and the 40 meter band is working, then by all means. But until further notice, all 40m AmRRON Nets should start off on 80m instead of 40m in the summer Q. When should the 40m band be used, if at all? A. The 40 meter band has been working very well for stations 500 to 1000 or more miles apart who have arranged to meet on that band. Use 40m when you have prearranged with other stations. Also, the bands can and do flip, meaning 80m could deteriorate while the 40m band becomes perfectly usable. Be flexible. Also, listen to the NCS. He/she may direct the net to another band. Whenever switching to another band during a net, the NCS should announce it, and all other stations should acknowledge by repeating the announcement stating they are following NCS and QSYing to the band/freq that NCS has instructed the net. This helps ensure other stations are informed of the move (the QSY) so they can also move and rejoin the net. Again, be sure to help spread the word so all AmRRON members are informed. It may be beneficial for an NCS to designate a station on the net to hop over to 40m to make a quick QST announcement for anyone who may not be aware of the change. Make a note of the change in your SOI. Thanks everyone for training and for being patient and flexible.