On Doing the Right Thing
The net should have started four minutes ago. There are stations on frequency, waiting to list or receive traffic. The net control is missing. You call up the net and either turn it over to the regular NCS when he shows, or simply run the show yourself. If you don't, the National Traffic System isn't much of a system.
The skip is too long. The net members aren't hearing each other. The traffic can't even be efficiently relayed. As NCS, you announce a new frequency and move the whole net to a better band. If you don't, the net can't function.
Tonight you are NCS, but there's a QSO going on net frequency and it's time to call up the net. You know you could ask for the frequency or just turn on your amplifier, but what impression would that give of your net operation? Politely, you move up the band a few KHz and start the proceedings.
There's traffic listed for Podunk Hollow, which you can handle via a local two-meter repeater. You volunteer. If you donít pick it up, it will be listed a few times and be serviced to the originating station without delivery.
It's time to send a message, so you prepare it in ARRL format, including the check. This way, the receiving station can be more certain that the text is right - and it serves as a good example to others listening. Counting isn't all that hard and the famous pink card (FSD-218) has all you need for the details of the format. If you don't, there's danger of error and a missed opportunity for some easy training.
You are busily passing traffic, when the receiving station asks you to speed up (QRQ) or slow down (QRS). You value the other operator's time, so you comply. If you don't it may mean more fills or repeats or a lesser chance that the receiver will want to take traffic from you again.
It's another one of those generic messages from someone who doesn't really know the addressee. Instead of complaining about it, you take and deliver the traffic, meet a nice person on the phone, and make a note to originate some not-so-generic traffic yourself to keep the NTS in tune. Without traffic, it will fade.
Someone has traffic for Ninth Region Net and no regular rep has checked in to the net. You graciously volunteer to take the traffic from our section net to the next level. If you don't, the system breaks down.
You remember it's a hobby. You try to keep nets and all of your Ham activity in perspective. You know the nets need your participation, and so does your family. You choose to keep a balance. If you don't, something suffers.
You see, when you eliminate the choices with less positive results, only the right thing is, er, left. 73 -- K9LGU/STM