Radio networks on GOBA are typically very busy with
emergency, priority, and time-sensitive traffic related to the health and
welfare of GOBA riders. Each day a net control station will operate
a directed net. The net control operator will determine the
operating procedures to be followed during the directed net.
Formal net operation will usually begin between 6:30 and
7:00 AM. Depending on the number of riders remaining on the
course, formal net operations will usually end between 4:00 and 5:00
PM. A GOBA staff member, especially one of the Communications
staff members, will be monitoring the net frequency before and after
the directed net. There may actually be two to three directed
nets in operation on a given day due to repeater coverage over
certain terrain and the distant being covered. See the frequency
list page or the frequency cards that are passed out during the meetings
for sag drivers and amateur radio operators first night in camp.
The net control station (NCS) is often able to monitor traffic on the
other nets and can pass traffic between the nets.
|Contacting the net:
Normally during a directed net, all communications on the
designated GOBA frequency should be directed to "Net Control",
usually by transmitting: "Net Control, this is [your call
sign]", or simply by transmitting your call
sign. After another station has cleared, wait for the "squelch
tail" of the repeater to drop before begining your contact.
This will allow time for stations having "Medical" or "Priority"
traffic to contact the net first. Non-essential traffic or
chit-chat should be kept to a minimum, bearing in mind that someone
may be trying to contact the net with emergency traffic. Bike
mobiles may have
difficulty reaching the net from certain
Unless the net control operator indicates otherwise you
should usually not transmit further until Net Control has acknowledged your call and indicated that you may
proceed with your radio traffic on the net. The NCS may
be busy on another net frequency or making an urgent phone call.|
with your traffic.
your traffic is not related to a Medical Situation or some other
matter of Priority to GOBA operations generally, Net Control may ask
that you "Standby"
|We use tactical call signs for net control and for our squads. When clearing a tactical call station don't forget to also clear with your legal FCC call sign as well as required by FCC rules. Also remember that under FCC rules there is to be no profanity or transmission of music over the air. If you have a radio on in your vehicle, make sure you turn the volume down before transmitting.
Important Procedural Words to Listen For
||Medical: In a
Medical Emergency: Transmit your
call and indicate that you are reporting a situation requiring medical
attention; e.g., "K8ZDA Medical" Net Control will acknowledge your
transmission and give it priority over all other traffic
If your traffic does not involve a medical emergency, but does requires
immediate attention to ensure the health and safety of GOBA riders, you might
indicate that you have "priority" traffic -- e.g., "N8TTF
Officials and other hams who have information that might help resolve
a question under discussion on the net might contact net control
indicating that they have "information".|
|| Repair: Although
of obvious importance to the rider to get back on the road, locating
a repair vehicle is not usually a priority for the net. This
procedural word may be used when the net is not busy to broadcast
a location to one of the repair vehicles working up the course.
Information to relay to the NCS would include rider number(s), type
of bike, and approximate mile mark or address on the course/nearest
intersecting road. The NCS operators are advised to not tie
up the net trying to locate a repair vehicle. Generally, riders
needing repair should be told to find a shady spot, wait for one
of the repair vehicles to come by and give a "thumbs down" gesture
to gain assistance or give the same gesture to a sag vehicle
to gain transport to the next snack or lunch stop where a repair
vehicle can be found more easily. See the Bicycle Repair
page for more information.
||Sag: Used to identify
riders needing transport to the next snack/lunch stop or into camp.
The same information as under the repair section above should be
given to the NCS for relay to the Sag Coordinator. Large bikes
such as tandems or quads or those with trailers may have to wait
longer for a suitable sag vehicle to transport. See the Sag Vehicle page.
||Additional details about handling typical
requests for assistance made to amateur radio operators, such as
requests for Rider
Density Reports, and Problems with
the Route Itself, is available on other pages.
||Information on amateur radio nationally may be found
at the ARRL homepage and in Ohio
may be found at the Ohio Section/Intercity
Original content by Jeff
Revised by Jeff Slattery, N8SUZ.