In October AmRRON conducted experimental nets during the 1st/3rd net weeks, involving both National and Regional Rolling nets.  The criteria was:

  1.  Move the National Nets on Tuesdays (as opposed to Wednesdays) on 20m band, with Voice at 1900Z and digital at 2000Z.
  2. Eliminate the National 40m Voice and Digital evening nets, and instead running 40m Rolling Regional digital Nets.
  3. Conduct Rolling Regional nets using Digital nets on Tuesdays, and Voice nets on Thursdays.
  4. Conducted all Digital nets at 900 Hz on the waterfall (as opposed to the usual 1000 on the waterfall).
  5. Deliberately exchanged Vara mode traffic at 1500 on the waterfall with a handful of volunteer stations to assess the degree of interference (if any) between the two digital mode signals operating simultaneously.

Here are the results:

1. Did you like the separation of Digital and Voice on different evenings?

Loved it. 7

Doesn’t matter to me. 15

Prefer both on the same evening. 4


2. How did the Tuesday and Thursday Schedule work for you?

Worked great for me! 21

I’m not available on either days in the evening. 1

I’m only available Tuesdays 3


3. Did the (6pm) time of the nets work for you?

6pm Local worked just fine. 12

7pm would be much preferred. 7

8pm would be much preferred. 5

6pm is too early. Not home yet/just getting through the door. 5


4. Digital Net: Did you have difficulty copying traffic at 900 on the waterfall?

Worked just fine at 900 on the waterfall. 22

Too close to my band pass edge. Seemed to miss some data. 3

Was not able to copy traffic well at 900 on the waterfall 1


5. Digital Net: Interference from adjacent digital mode signals?
We had volunteer stations intentionally pass traffic at 1500 on the waterfall, simultaneously to the traffic being passed at 900 on the waterfall.  This was a test to gauge the level of interference, if any, to stations receiving traffic at 900.

Received net traffic just fine. No interference. 17

Received minor interference from the adjacent signal 3

Missed some portions of the data, but may have been band conditions. Cannot attribute to adjacent signals. 5

Significantly interfered with my ability to receive net traffic, even at 900 on the waterfall. 1


So, what does it all mean?

We are working on Signals Operating Instructions Version 5.0, and we continue to evaluate AmRRON operational guidance.  Our goal is to increase our efficiency and effectiveness, and identify best practices, modes, and schedules for emergency communications.

Survey results like this one helps to give us a clearer picture as we experiment and establish new goals.

Thank you all who participated!