Traffic net operations

A traffic net consists of a group of amateur radio operators who work together to relay messages. This structured exchange provides an efficient means for moving messages into and out of a local area, across the country, and around the world.

While traffic can move over Morse code (CW) digitally, and via phone on HF frequencies, for this discussion we will focus on traffic nets taking place on an FM repeater.

Participants

Generally speaking a traffic net has four sets of participants: the net managers, net control stations, liaison stations, and net participants.

Net manager

The net manager is responsible for overseeing the particular traffic net they manage. This includes scheduling net control stations, maintaining the net member roster, and providing monthly traffic reports to the Section Traffic Manager. A net manager may also select one or more assistant net managers to help with managing a traffic net.

Traffic net structure

Again, generally speaking, a traffic net has four sections: the preamble, check-ins, traffic movement, and postamble. There may also be a questions, bulletins, and announcements section.

Preamble

The net control station starts the traffic net by providing information about the net’s goals and details on how the net will operate.

Welcome to the traffic net. My name is Aaron, my callsign KILO EIGHT ALPHA MIKE HOTEL, and I will be your net control station. We ask that all stations use ITU phonetics and ID at the end of all transmissions.”