MARCO members are encouraged to check into the CW net convening on 14.307 MHz one-half hour before Grand Rounds. This is intended to be a slow-speed net open to all interested participants. Danny Centers, W4DAN described the net operation:
CW interest has increased within the last six months among many of the MARCO members. The number of check-ins before the SSB net on Sunday mornings has increased. There are several more that listen, but are reluctant to check in because their comfortable CW speed is slightly slower than many that are regular and have checked in for years. While interest in CW is on the upswing, and we have the potential of increasing participation in the CW net, maybe it is time to organize net procedure to accommodate all comers equally. If a formal roll call is implemented at the beginning of the net to recognize everyone that wants to check in, an efficient and orderly net will result. After all have checked in, then declare it a free net for comments. To oblige those that prefer slower operation, care should be taken to call the net at a slower than usual speed until everyone eventually gets up to speed. This would encourage more check-ins. After a fashion those new to CW net operation will become confident and comfortable with higher speeds. Of course, late check-ins should be listened for and permitted even after a free net has been declared.
There is a good potential of having a very successful CW net, but maybe we should have a little organized direction. VE3OQM has served as CW net control for many years. WB6OJB has done a great job of picking up the net when Bob was not on frequency or could not be copied. I would suggest that Bob could call CQ MARCO de VE3OQM QNI. As soon as he has taken all stations he can hear, Arnold would call CQ MARCO QNI. Because of their locations, most on frequency should hear one or the other of them.
Each station wishing to check in should reply with their call sign followed with QRU if they have no messages or QTC if they have a message. Net control should recognize the traffic and allow the message to be transmitted to the desired station. After everyone has checked in and been recognized, net control could send the QNF signal which declares the net free or uncontrolled. At that time individual stations could call each other and QSO at will.
CQ MARCO, CQ MARCO, de VE3OQM VE3OQM QNI QNI K
VE3OQM de N6DMV QNI QRU K
VE3OQM de WB6OJB QNI QTC K
VE3OQM de KD4GUA QNI QRU K
…………. until all have checked in that VE3OQM can hear
VE3OQM recognizes each check in by sending QNS and listing all check ins,
he then asks WB6OJB who he has traffic for. When WB6OJB says he has traffic for KD4GUA, then VE3OQM requests that KD4GUA call WB6OJB to receive the traffic. Then Warren sends WB6OJB de KD4GUA QRV K. Then WB6OJB tells KD4GUA what he has to say.
After this takes place, VE3OQM calls WB6OJB to take QNI. WB6OJB then takes check ins in the same manner as described above. After the QNS by WB6OJB, then Arnold can declare the net free by sending QNF.
I am not saying that it is best to use the Q signals. This could be done without using Q signals by the net control station(s) formally taking check ins and recognizing them. I really see no problem with that, as long as there is a quick and orderly fashion of everyone getting checked in. Remember to slow down, so that everyone participating can copy and recognize all the calls.
As stated above, I thought this should be brought up for discussion because I know for a fact that there are members that listen but are reluctant to participate because they are presently not confident to operate at faster code speeds. Lets give everyone a break. Encourage as many to check in as possible and we could very well have one of the most successful CW nets on the air. I see interest growing. To do this, I would suggest the CW net begin at 9:30 EDT and try to have QNI over by 9:45 EDT so the free net can be enjoyed as usual.