A National (US) Military/Veterans Net

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W7RJR, Feb 21, 2016.

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  1. W7RJR

    W7RJR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Some years ago I proposed and started such a net on HF. It was called the National Veterans Ham Radio Club. It generated a lot of interest from veterans. I've had a few inquiries over the years asking what happened to it?
    A lot of things have changed in ham radio! It is becoming more and more difficult for ops to put up a good antenna due to CC&R's and other restrictive codes and laws, not to mention the wrath of some neighbors who worry about you causing interference or restricting their "view". The next obstacle is that we are running out of sunspots and the predictions seem to indicate that this may last for a long time.
    My last attempt at this failed much because of these problems which only seem to be worsening. local nets are conducted quite successfully on VHF/UHF repeaters, but nets conducted long haul across the entire nation are difficult on HF.
    I know many are opposed to the so called "telephone" modes and anything less than all RF is not real ham radio. My purpose isn't to discuss the worth or value of these modes but to note that these modes, while perhaps not completely real radio, do offer an opportunity for licensed hams to conduct solid and reliable nationwide nets. I've known about echolink for some time. It's free and it works, but the quality of the audio leaves something to be desired. If you have tried D-STAR then you can appreciate just how much better "digital" audio is! D-STAR is proprietary to ICOM, yes. And there are alternatives.
    Getting into D-STAR is not cheap. You can buy a D-STAR ICOM radio, or you can buy a Dongle that hooks up to your computer, use a DVAP or build something called a rasberry pie device. Usually you can find a way to get on D-STAR for $200-$300.
    I am simply trying to find out the level of interest (if any) in pursuing another attempt at a NATIONAL veterans net on D-STAR?? Some of the things that might be accomplished beside a check in (or roll call) is exchanging of military service info (what you did, what service you were in, what conflict, are you looking for an old buddy), do you need help with the VA or getting your disability claim approved.

    I would appreciate your thoughts and comments, both positive and negative. You can often find me on 18.145 +/- QRM many days around Noon-2 PM pacific time. I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

    73, Bob, W7RJR
    Founder, Agent Orange Survivors Group on Facebook
    Founder, Vietnam Era Radio (http://vietnameraradio.com)
    email: bob@vietnameraradio.com
    Vietnam service 1967-68
    100% disabled P/T Agent Orange
  2. NL7W

    NL7W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    This is a great idea. Please consider an HF SSB net, if not just for Vets to check in and say hello -- to show camaraderie and solidarity. That, in itself, would mean much to so many.

    20 meters or 40 meters would be fine with me (Are there nets on 17M?).

    If you start it, I believe it would grow into something reasonable and enjoyable.

    Just do it. I may be able to help with 20M check-ins from my standoffish Alaskan QTH running a tri-bander and a kilowatt.

    Good luck!

    Steve, NL7W
    Palmer, AK
    USAF Retired
    N3AWS likes this.
  3. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I don't do nets so it wouldn't be of any interest to me. There are veteran forums on the INTERNET that I have seen once in a while.

    I'm sure some Vets would like a net on a particular band. I think it is a great idea for those who want to participate.
    N3AWS likes this.
  4. K6PGH

    K6PGH Ham Member QRZ Page

    K4PIH likes this.
  5. K7WFM

    K7WFM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I know W6VAH runs a weekly net on 14.225mhz. I checked in with them once as a mobile contact and received a neat QSL card.
    W4IOA and WB1E like this.
  6. NL7W

    NL7W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    By the way...

    Bob, if you've visited the medical clinic at Fairchild AFB, you've may have run into my #1 son, David Gehring, KL7SH. David is a Medical Lab Tech there. He mostly works in the back, running lab tests, but sometimes stands in at the counter or draws blood.

    He's getting out in a few weeks, after 4 years, to finish a bachelor's degree. The Air Force is fully paying for that. He's a great young man -- just picked up Volunteer of the Quarter for the Fairchild AFB Wing. He'd like to return to a branch as an officer. He's also thought about being an Alaskan State Trooper. Thankfully, he has the right temperament; far better than my own. :)

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
    N3AWS likes this.
  7. W7RJR

    W7RJR XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the replies, thus far! Yes, an HF SSB net would be better, but I wonder how well propagation will support it, just like my first attempt. I know the vast majority of hams are not interested in D-STAR or any of the "internet" chat type modes (I understand!). Your replies are helping me make a better decision. Thank You.

  8. KD5AT

    KD5AT Ham Member QRZ Page

  9. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think there would be good success with the western reflector on 2m/70cm. HF is too limited for propagation to be a functional national net. Of course, if you could have some big guns who are willing to relay or take charge of the regional calls.
  10. KC4YLV

    KC4YLV Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is what Echolink/IRLP/Allstar excel at, in my opinion. Topic specific reflectors/conferences that may not have the 'critical mass' to be worthy of a daily all-RF net. No problem with it! I just can't stand it when people pull up the Alaska reflector just to hear how cold it is.

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