Missouri Section Net (MON) Procedures Primer

by Kent, K9ZTV

WN0X asked for a summary of CW net procedures, and this is what I came 
up with off-the-cuff this afternoon.  I'm sending it to a couple of 
others who have expressed interest in CW traffic handling.

First, check into the net at whatever sending speed you yourself can 
comfortably and accurately receive.  No speed is too slow! We will 
ALWAYS slow down to YOUR speed, and we will always use plain text 
instead of Q-signals if you aren't comfortable with them.

Second, the NCS (net control station) will periodically send: "MON MON 
MON de K9ZTV QNI"  which means he is inviting anyone who wishes to check 
into the Missouri CW Traffic Net, and that he is the NCS for that 
session.  When he completes the above, merely send a short character or 
BK to get his attention (I always send a "Z" -- many traffic men use the 
first letter of their calls).  NCS will then respond exactly to whatever 
you sent, thus letting you know he has heard you and not someone else, 
and is listening for your check-in.

Third, send the following:  "K9ZTV de WN0X  GE  QNI  QRU   K"   (QNI 
means you are wishing to check-in; QRU means you have no traffic).   If 
you DO have traffic, in place of QRU you would send, "QTC  CHILLICOTHE 1 
or some such thing.  If your traffic is for outside Missouri, you would 
send, "QTC  TEN 3"  which means you have 3 pieces of traffic for the 
Tenth Region Net which is the next NTS level for out-going traffic.

Fourth, the NCS will respond:  "WN0X  GE  NAME ES QTH PSE  BK"   
(self-explanatory ... respond with "RICH JEFFERSON CITY"   NCS will then 
likely welcome you and beg you, on bended knee, to come back again.  He 
will then send, "TU AS"    meaning,  "thank you, please wait"  (AS is a 
prosign with the dits and dahs run together to form one character)

Fifth, if you DO have traffic and there is someone on the net who can 
handle it, at some point the NCS will send:  "WN0X ES W2RRX U4 
CHILLICOTHE"    meaning, you and W2RRX are to QSY up 4 kilocycles and 
you are to pass your traffic for Chillicothe to him.

IMPORTANT . . . the receiving station ALWAYS finds the frequency and 
calls the sending station.  Without this rule, both of you could be on 
different frequencies (in poor conditions or on a crowded band) calling 
the other with neither of you finding each other.  Again . . .  the 
Receiving station ALWAYS calls the sending station.  You tune for him, 
he doesn't tune for you.  And he might not be exactly Up 4 either, 
depending on QRM and whether the frequency is already in use.  He will 
continue to call you until the two of  you establish contact, or until 
several minutes of trying has passed, in which case he will return to 
the net frequency.  During high QRN periods this does happen and 
sometimes you have to go back to the main frequency.  NCS will usually 
ask you to try passing the traffic on the main frequency with himself 
acting as a relay (QSP) if he has decent copy on you both.

Sixth, once you find the receiving station, you send . . ."W2RRX de WN0X 
 GE  ORV?"  meaning, Good Evening, are you ready for me to send?"  He 
will reply, "GE RICH (if he knows your name) QRV  meaning, I'm ready, go 
ahead and send.  You would then send, "QSK"  meaning you have full 
break-in capability and he can break you in the middle of words 
(characters, even) for repeats.  If you don't have QSK capability, send 
 "NO QSK"  so he will know he can't break you until your VOX drops out. 
 If you don't have full QSK, you should let your VOX drop out 
occasionally to check whether he needs a fill.

Seventh, you send your message according to NTS format as amply 
discussed in various ARRL publications.

Eighth, after sending your message to him, he will either send "QSL"  or 
else ask for fills or confirmation that he copied a particular word or 
phrase correctly.  Then you say your goodbyes (73, etc.) and both return 
to net frequency.

Ninth, when you return to net frequency, you wait until NCS does his 
"MON de K9ZTV QNI"  bit.  You then send "WN0X" to let him know you are 
back.  He will then dismiss you by saying, "R QRU QNX 73 GE"    meaning, 
the net has no further traffic for you, you are excused from the net. 
 You reply, "TU 73 VA DE WN0X GE"  with VA (a prosign run together, 
sometimes interpreted also as SK) meaning you will no longer be 
transmitting.  GE  of course means, Good Evening.  GA means Good 
Afternoon.  GM Good Morning.  GN Good Night.

Just do it a few times and you'll get the hang.  The only intimidating 
part is assuming you can't use plain words.  YOU CAN!  AND DON'T BE 
AFRAID TO DO SO if the Q-signals confuse you.  We've used them for so 
long we don't even think about them being confusing anymore.  Plain 
language is ALWAYS acceptable.  We will always slow down as much as 
needed to make you feel confident you know what is going on.

Your mission, should you chose to accept it, is to be on 3.585 at 7 p.m. 
and/or 9:45 p.m. any night of the year.