Dos and Don’ts when Operating on a MCARES Net

by Eli W7ELI on 2020-05-21


  • Listen to Net Control’s instructions and check in as instructed, giving all information asked for, and nothing else.
  • Check in with your call sign phonetically. After this, you do not need to give it phonetically.
  • Especially on repeaters: PTT – inhale – talk; on linked repeaters: PTT – count to three – inhale – talk.
  • To eliminate doubling with someone else, listen before you talk.
  • If there is a double that doesn’t involve you, wait for net control to straighten it out and acknowledge those involved in the double.
  • If net control makes a mistake in acknowledging your call sign, say “correction” and then wait to be acknowledge before giving your correction.
  • Be forgiving. Be patient.
  • GO SLOWLY when transmitting anything the receiving station is writing down. Go even slower if asked to repeat.
  • Learn and use ITU phonetics.
  • Be efficient. Use pro-words and “short talk” such as: “with traffic”, “I say again”, “correction”.
  • If asked to repeat something, repeat it and spell phonetically.
  • If you are talking for more than two minutes, unkey the mike momentarily to let the repeater reset.
  • After check-ins, if you have something to say, give your call sign and wait for net control to acknowledge you before continuing.


  • Don’t challenge net control on the air.
  • Don’t try to check in before net control opens the net.
  • Don’t check in early; OK to check in late if you got lost in a double or simply joined late.
  • Don’t use Q codes.
  • Don’t sign in and say “no traffic.” Just say “with traffic” if you do have traffic to relay.
  • Don’t say “I pause,” or “I’ll let this drop”, etc. when you unkey the mike.
  • Don’t follow along and break protocol if you hear others doing so.
  • Don’t leave before the end of the net without signing out.
  • Don’t check in again if you are not recognized immediately. Instead, wait for net control to acknowledge the next group of check-ins. If you are not recognized then, try again in the next group or at the end of check-ins when net control asks for “late or missed stations.”

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