This is a brief guide to participating in a LIDS QRS CW Net. Skeds can be arranged by tweeting @lids_cw with a suitable hashtag (#sked or #net). We don’t have any particular frequencies but 40m and 2m are probably the best bet.
A CW Net is a fun way to get experience of live CW, and a QRS Net keeps the speed down so that everyone can participate and enjoy it while also building confidence. Keep it simple and remember to send QRS repeatedly until the Net slows down to your pace.
Here’s your guide to how the net will operate. Thanks to Rob M0KCP (LIDS #048) for allowing us to adapt this from the Essex CW Club QRS Netiquette.
Listen for the Net Controller on the agreed frequency (or close by if the frequency is busy).
CQ CQ LIDS CW NET LIDS CW NET = QRG 7035 7035
CQ CQ LIDS CW NET LIDS CW NET DE M0LCW = OP ALEX ALEX K
When the ‘K’ is sent, this is your opportunity to check-in. If the invitation is too fast for comfort, simply reply with QRS and the Net Controller will send the invitation again at a slower speed.
Keep this a very simple exchange of name and signal report. In the following example, your callsign is G0ABC.
M0LCW DE G0ABC G0ABC K → You send your callsign to M0LCW.
G0ABC DE M0LCW GE OM UR RST 5nn 5nn K → The Net Controller confirms you in the Net by sending your report.
M0LCW DE G0ABC GE OP JOHN JOHN UR RST 5nn 5nn K → You reply with similar information.
TU JOHN QRX = CQ CQ LIDS CW NET LIDS CW NET K → The Net Controller asks you to standby and invites other stations to join.
It is very important that you don’t send at a faster speed than the Net Controller. This is a QRS net and it runs at the speed of the slowest operator (and that may be the Net Controller). Practising sending and receiving CW is an important aspect of the net and everyone should be working to copy as much traffic as they can, even if it is not their turn. The LIDS motto is “Leave no OP behind” and it is important that everyone feels able to participate in the net, regardless of ability.
Please do not ask the Net Controller to send faster. The purpose of the net is to build confidence, not speed. If the net is running too slowly for you then you are free to drop out at any time but please consider staying to help those new CW operators who will surely appreciate your patience and experience.
The Net Controller calls each station in turn, just like a simple QSO. Overs will be kept short. You can leave the Net at anytime, however you may wish to wait your turn and say 73 to everyone.
G0ABC DE M0LCW K → The Net Controller calls in the station
M0LCW DE G0ABC = WX IS RAINY = HOWS THE FAMILY? = QRU K → Station sends message
G0ABC DE M0LCW = FAMILY FINE JOHN TNX FER ASKING = QRX K → Net Controller replies and requests the station stands-by.
Remember to send ‘QRU’ when you have nothing more to say otherwise the Controller may pass it back to you again, especially if the Net is not very busy. Once everyone has had an over, the Controller calls CQ again to invite more stations to join.
LIDS is not a traffic-handling net but it would be great to get a ‘full mesh’ so that all net members get a chance to work other stations directly. Any ideas and suggestions for the best way to run this would be warmly welcomed.
At the end of the Net, the Controller thanks everyone for taking part and closes down the Net.
R R LIDS CW NET CLOSING = QRU QRU = TNX ES CUAGN 73 73 DE M0LCW QRT VA
QRG = Your exact frequency is … kHz. Can simply mean frequency. E.g. QRG 7035
QRQ = Increase speed (to … wpm). Used to speed up the net (use of WPM is optional). E.g. QRQ 15 15
QRS = Decrease speed (to … wpm). Used to slow down the net (use of WPM is optional). E.g. QRS QRS
QRT = End of transmissions, the net is closing down. E.g. TNX ES 73 QRT
QRU = I have nothing further for you. Also used as a question, e.g. QRU?
QRX = Please standby. Used to request station stop transmitting. TNX OM QRX PSE
QSY = Change to frequency … kHz. Used to advise stations on the need to change the net frequency, perhaps due to local interference. E.g. PSE QSY 7032 7032