Net QSY Policy | Clearing the Frequency for Oncoming Nets (White paper)

Effective 01 May 2023

Statement of Purpose:
To establish policy for scheduled AmRRON nets to QSY (change frequencies or bands) in order to clear the frequency for an upcoming scheduled net.

As AmRRON continues to grow, and participation increases, digital mode nets in particular are extending for longer periods of time. They are typically slotted for up to one hour. Increasingly, one net is scheduled to start while an ongoing net is continuing to pass traffic and take late check ins, leaving the NCS to hurry to try to close the net on time, or running over. This also prevents the incoming net (and NCS/ANCS) from making “upcoming net” announcements, identifying and confirming the ANCS, taking early check ins (if applicable), and other pre-net business if there is any. And most importantly, it prevents the scheduled net from starting on time. It also creates confusion for stations tuning in to the scheduled net, and unwittingly attempting to check in to the ongoing net which is trying to close.

General Procedure:
Net Control Stations (NCSs) are responsible not only for starting and ending their nets on time, they are also responsible for knowing what other nets are scheduled prior and after their nets.

Normal digital mode nets are slotted for up to one hour. However, in the case of Rolling Regional Nets, there are considerations we have to factor in, such as another upcoming net. We want to help out our fellow patriot radio operators be successful in their nets. This means making every effort to make sure the frequency is clear for him.

If an NCS is running a net and it is apparent the net will run up to, or beyond one hour, he/she should begin preparing to QSY (change frequencies or bands) ten to fifteen minutes prior to the upcoming scheduled net. The sooner, the better.

New policy will require the frequencies to be cleared no later than five minutes prior to the start of the next net, either by closing the net or changing frequencies.
However, guidance (not policy, but strongly recommended for ‘best practice’) suggests either closing the net, or changing frequencies no later than about ten minutes prior to the upcoming net.
NCS and ANCS already have established contact with the stations on their net, and therefore have control of the net and its participants. It is much easier, and logical, that the ongoing net would move, rather than an incoming NCS and ANCS attempting to move their net, which they haven’t even gained control of yet.
The QSY process should be completed in about five minutes, giving the incoming NCS and ANCS adequate time (approximately five to ten minutes) to begin preparing for their upcoming net (announcing the NCS and ANCS, the 5-minute and 1 or 2 minute warnings, taking early check ins, etc.).

As a general practice, the nets will drop two kilohertz, +/- QRM when they QSY.

10 to 15 minutes prior to the upcoming net:
NCS of the ongoing net to announce:
“QST QST AmRRON xxxx Regional Net. Prepare to QSY to xxx.xx frequency in five minutes. We will resume the net there, take late/missed check ins, and relay any traffic or block fills then.”

ANCS should repeat this announcement. The NCS (or preferably, the ANCS) should drop down 2 (two) kHz to confirm the frequency is clear there (if not, then find an alternate frequency, make a note of it, and announce the new frequency after returning to the net.

When NCS and ANCS have both made the announcement, then at the ten minute mark (prior to the start of the next net), NCS and ANCS announce that ‘the net will QSY to xxx.xx frequency NOW’.

Band SOI Freq. QSY to:
80m Net 3.588 –> 3.586
40m Net 7.110 –> 7.108
20m Net 14.110 –> 14.108

After the SOI net frequency is clear, then the incoming NCS should introduce himself, announce the upcoming net in xx minutes, and begin pre-net procedures (securing an ANCS, periodic 5-min/2-min warnings, and take early check-ins if he normally does so, or wishes).

Changing frequencies is only required if there is a follow-on net scheduled to begin at the precise time the ongoing net is scheduled to end. However, NCSs may QSY their net as a matter of introducing or reinforcing the practice for the sake of QSY proficiency.

These changes will remain in effect takes place until further notice.

Net QSY Policy V2.0

JJS – AmRRON WP 01 May 2023

The downloadable PDF version of this white paper can be found HERE