Tonight I took my own Coronavirus Quarantine advice and participated in the the 3905 Century Club net on 7268. It took me a few minutes to find the net at the appointed 8pm hour as it had moved down to 7258, but I emailed club VP Bob, KN4EUK and he set me straight as to the where and when.
This was my first net in 20+ years. As a teenager, I participated in a traffic net (and was even occasionally a net control), the Granite State FM Net. It was nightly on the W1ALE repeater in Concord NH (146.94?). I’m talking like 1994 here.
A year or two later, I regularly participated in the 14.247 DX Net on 20m SSB. It was raucous affair in the mid 90s. I remember working some great DX on the net like Mayotte and some missionaries in the Cameroon on the net. As a teenage ham, this was BIG DX. Sadly, I haven’t kept any of my log books or QSL cards – so these contacts are floating at the edge of my memory….
Why do I mention this? Well, I think it means that I am ok with award and DX nets and I submit my history as evidence along with the following facts:
- I am a terrible rag chewer. I get bored with the pro-forma exchanges while also recognizing I don’t like talking to people I don’t know (a bad combo) – but I’m from New England what do you expect? We’re not social.
- I like to make a lot of contacts. I enjoy contesting. I like using the radio
So what is the 3905 Century Club? Well, apparently it’s a big deal. Ham radio is endlessly interesting because their are some many sub-communities doing their own thing. This is one such community. These guys and gals chase paper (QSL cards) trying to get all sorts of different awards they list on their website, like Worked All States
I checked in. Gary, K9GWS was net control. He was assisted by Ralph, KG8WL. They took checkins by call area. There were about 75 in total. At check-in, everyone is assigned a sequential number (1-75). When your number gets called by net control a bit of a game ensues and you signal your intention to net control to make one of these choices: You can call any station, let those that want to call you make a try at it (“up for grabs”), or pass. Basically, you’re just completing a basic QSO exchanging signal reports and net control verifies the contact.
As a net rookie, I was flattered to get many calls in the first pass through. It was a pretty chill environment and even though I didn’t quite know every element of protocol, everyone was polite and welcoming. I made about 9 contacts in total. When my turn came up, I opted to call the loudest station I could hear, Donnie, KG4ZOD in North Carolina. I didn’t want to blow it and call someone that couldn’t hear me.
On their website, they list other nets on 75m SSB and some nets on other bands and even stuff on RTTY, PSK31 and CW. I’ll have to check it out.