State of the Net 2011

Dave W6OAL

 Those of you who are new to “the net”, Monday Evenings at 8:00 PM on 144.220 or the Rocky Mountain VHF+ web page, (http://www.rmvhf.org) we welcome you. Our running roster contains the call signs of over 350 stations that have checked in to ‘the net’ through the years. The RMVHF+ Group is not a new net or group. My association with it Started around 1984 when I came to Colorado, this was even before the group was named the RMVHF+ Group. We have come a long way to the point that we are considered the best and most active Two Meter Net in the nation by staff members of the ARRL.

Anyone living in the Rocky Mountain Region is automatically considered a member with just a single check-in. The Group functions quite well with the requirement of no dues, no meetings (at least formal ones), no President, VP’s, Secretary or Treasurer. The net is directed by five net control stations; one for each Monday or the month plus a “‘safety” that handles the fifth Monday of months when they occur. Any changes, additions or deletions in operating procedure or format is discussed among the net control operators and then put out to the membership for comment and solidification to the majority’s satisfaction.

The purpose of the net is to provide a place and time on the two meter band where likeminded folks can congregate for the purposes of camaraderie, DXing, grid chasing, idea exchanges, comments about their projects, help and/or just friendly exchanges. The net is and has been a bit formal in its procedure and for good reason. Because of our altitude here around the “Mile-High-City” we have an advantage of a much greater radio horizon than most states in that the two meter band very adequately covers our state from Wellington to Trinidad and Grand Junction to Burlington. We have little trouble communicating even with Colorado’s seven surrounding states.

Should an emergency arise (local or national) our practice of good net procedure will allow us to be an asset to emergency services and personnel. We offer an article on our web site outlining good net procedure and practices with the hopes that all members have read it and that prospective members will read it – honor, respect and follow the established good operating habits and procedures.

All in all the net is very healthy and growing. There have been some changes in the Net Control Operator Cadre but we finally have five net control station on board again. First Monday of the month, W6OAL – Dave, second is N0POH – Wayne, third is W0EDW – Dave (operating from K0MLM), fourth is Doug – W7IJN and the fifth Monday when they occur is our recently appointed (Shanghaied) “Safety”, Tony – W0SBS.

We are continuing our certificate program which awards certificates for VHF/UHF Contest participation. The information is on the web site. We support five radio beacons; 2M, 1.35M, 70cm, 33cm and 23cm. The frequencies for them are on our web site. The beacons are located near South Park just south of Jefferson, CO and almost in the very geographical center of the state. Please use these for propagation study and as distant signal sources for tune up and equipment evaluation. We meet at each hamfest throughout the year from Loveland to Monument at an RMVHF+ table where fliers and the latest information can be garnered and also a chance to meet the net control operators. The table is manned by Dave – W0EDW who also keeps a “rogues gallery” of members and pictures of a few of the net control operator’s stations. Please drop by and say “Hello” and make yourself known.

In closing I’d like to issue a very Happy and Prosperous New Year from all the net control operators of the Rocky Mountain VHF+ Net/Group.