Welcome to the North American Traffic and Awards Net! We’re glad you found us and welcome you to our net. Here are some basic FAQs for newcomers which we hope will help you get started with NATA.
HOW DO I CHECK IN?
You can check in on the air during the pre-net or during any of the frequent breaks the net control operator takes for check-ins. You can also check in by joining us on the Nata 40m Net on NetLogger. Download the app here> NETLOGGER APPLICATION. Be sure to click the AIM Window in the Top Menu, to send and receive messages, ck in, etc.
HOW DO I QSL FOR NATA CONTACTS?
You can QSL via any means you are comfortable with. We highly recommend signing up for eQSL and Logbook of the World but also encourage you to consider exchanging “hard cards” (printed cards). Some net participants specifically ask for “no hard cards”. If in doubt, check the online net roster in the QSL Info column.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “GO UP FOR GRABS?”
Going “up for grabs” is like calling CQ and taking calls from whoever answers. To do this, say “This is [your callsign] in [your state], UP FOR GRABS!” You will get stations giving their callsign in response, pick up to two stations to answer and exchange signal report with for your log. Sometimes NCS will offer you the opportunity to go up for grabs again to accommodate a large number of stations wanting to work you.
WHAT’S A SIGNAL REPORT?
We exchange signal reports using the RS scale (Readability and Strength). We use reports in the range of 2-2 to 5-9. Here’s a brief explanation of the numbers:
- READABILITY – From 2 (barely readable) to 5 (perfect copy)
- STRENGTH – From 1 (barely registering) to 9 (strongest signal)
A signal report of 5-9 is used when you have perfect copy with a very strong signal being received. You can also add things such as “plus 10” or “plus 20” to a 59 report, but it should only be logged as 59 in your log.
A signal report of 2-2 is the minimum acceptable signal report that we will accept for a validated contacts. In difficult band conditions it is always best to avoid mixing report numbers (i.e. 5-4 4-7, 2-3, et sim) but use “double numbers” (i.e. 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5 then 5-6 up through 5-9)
Some common slang for the most commonly used RS reports are…
- 22 – Rifle Shot or Bang-Bang or Minimum
- 33 – Triplets
- 44 – Magnum
- 55 – Nickels Nickels or Speed Limit
- 56 – Pick up sticks
- 57 – Heinz Variety
- 59 – Maximum or Max
WHAT DOES “GIVE HIM A LONG STRING” MEAN?
When a station is trying to hear you in rough conditions they may ask you to “send me a long string”. They are asking for you to send ONLY the signal report numbers several times. We recommend giving the report 5 to 7 times slowly and use the slang terms as well. Often you can complete a “good contact” by using this method. DON’T give callsigns again at this point, just send your signal report numbers 4 or 5 times and wait for a roger from the other station or a “good contact” from Net Control.
WHAT IS A “GOOD CONTACT”?
This is a term used by Net Control or a relay station to let you know that both sides of the contact have each other’s signal reports properly logged. This is how we validate contacts made on the net. In order to ensure that you get a good contact we ask that you repeat the report you received and then give your report of the other stations signal. Here’s an example:
“KC9LGW this is ND8F. Roger the 5 and 9. You’re also 5 and 9!”
Please note that relaying signal reports is not allowed on our nets. If you can’t hear them, you can’t log them… We WILL, however, be happy to relay a callsign, name, or location for you!
We are always happy to help newcomers so don’t by shy about asking questions on the air or on the Live Web App! You will find the folks that participate in the NATA net to be extremely friendly and helpful! We’re all glad you’re here!