The NCS Says So
Who's the Boss?
I think that, around my house, I might be the boss -- whenever my wife allows it. At work, the boss may be your supervisor or - if you're self-employed - a customer is in charge. It can be the traffic cop on the road, the director at the symphony, or the chairperson at the committee meeting. One thing's for sure. On any National Traffic System net session, the boss is the net control.
A Net Manager appoints a Net Control Station because the NM trusts the NCS. It's the NCS who must call up the net, make decisions about what to do first and how to do it. Once that net has begun, the NCS is indeed boss.
When the NCS says, "Net Stand by" or "QNE" -- that means everyone listens. There's no chatter. There are no additional check-ins. It is not a time for visiting, for informals, or for questions. "Net stand by" means -- do not transmit.
When the NCS directs a station to change frequency, to clear traffic on the net frequency, or to decide which is best, the station responds as the NCS directs. If an NCS says, "Please notify me if you leave the net," stations should request permission to leave. If the NCS says (as may often be necessary with poor band conditions), "We are moving this net to 40 meters. Please join us on 7.270 MHz." --- everybody moves. This isn't the right time for discussion. The decision has been made.
If an NCS asks stations to check in carefully to avoid doubling, stations should use this easy three-step procedure: (1) Give the call of the NCS (2) Listen on frequency (3) Then give your own call and indicate if you have traffic. Except for "perfect" doubles (Or maybe they're really not so perfect), this should make the job of the NCS easier.
Net Control Stations have some net savvy. They often know who can handle what traffic, who's a likely 9RN or WIN representative for taking out-of-state traffic, and if there may be an outlet on another net. They usually know which stations can be of assistance due to signal strength or location in the state.
If you're interested in serving as an NCS, just let the Net Manager know. There are plenty of opportunities. See the list of openings for each Wisconsin section net.
It isn't always stressful being an NCS, but cooperative stations checking in makes it a breeze - even when there's lots to do. Giving the NCS some respect -- listening and following directions -- can really make life easier. Come to think of it, that works when I do that with my XYL, too. 73 - Denny K9LGU / STM