Simplex Day Operation

On the second Saturday of January, the Ohio Section of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) holds its annual "VHF+" Simplex Day. It's a Field Day style contest for making contacts at 50 MHz and up, with points awarded for various achievements, including extra points for contacts on the 6m band and for contacting stations with various ARRL appointments.

Simplex operations are critical to resilient message relay, so Central Ohio Traffic Net encourages participation—even if you're not a contester. Keeping track of your contacts, seeing where they are relative to your operation will help you to understand the "footprint" of your station and how well you'll be able to perform if the repeaters are unavailable.

Simplex Day hours are 1000–1600 local time. COTN will run nets that start at the top of each hour on our standard simplex frequency (with possible adjustments for avoiding interference or noise—hunt around a little if you don't hear us!) that begin with an abbreviated call-up for traffic, and then the net will turn to free, where any station may call any other station without permission from net control. The session will act as a spotter net, aiding in helping stations to find one another to make exchanges for points.

Net Control Instructions
Use the following script. Once you've changed the mode of net operation to free, any station is free to use the frequency and to make contacts. Be sure to identify the net and yourself every ten minutes during the session.

To open the net, use the following opening. (Drop carrier and listen for responses at every #.)

This is the Central Ohio Traffic Net, a part of the Ohio Section of the National Traffic System. We meet daily to handle traffic. This is a directed net and net control will control the net. Your net control is [CALLSIGN], my name is [FIRST NAME], and I am located at [LOCATION]. This net is participating in the ARRL Ohio VHF Simplex Day and will assist in spotting and supporting contest. See the web site for rules at ohsimplex.org. #

Any stations with emergency or priority traffic? #

Relays for emergency or priority traffic? #

Stations for the net? Indicate whether you have traffic. #

Relays for stations for the net? #

To ask for stations that can take traffic:

This is [CALLSIGN]. The net is listing traffic for [...list the destinations and quantity]. #

[After stating the listed traffic, ask for a volunteer for each one in turn. Don't ask "Volunteers for Whitehall or Bexley"—do it in two turns: "Volunteers for Whitehall?" and listen for replies, then move on to "Volunteers for Bexley?"]

To identify the net while it is a directed net:

This is the Central Ohio Traffic Net, [CALLSIGN], net control. This net is directed. #

To identify the net while it is a free net:

This is the Central Ohio Traffic Net, [CALLSIGN], net control. This net is free. #

To change the net from directed to free (or back the other way), just identify the net and its mode.

To relay traffic, have the receiving station call the station with traffic on the net frequency, and if they can hear each other, send them to another frequency. Usually best is up or down something large enough to avoid interference with the control channel but small enough to dial easily is the best bet—try something like 15 kHz. Many rigs will default to 5 kHz deviations for a click of the VFO on 2m, so three clicks away will avoid interference and be close, making it easy to return once traffic is passed.

Net control: K8RSO call W6RRI, this frequency. If you can copy well enough for traffic, move up 15 kHz and take Bexley, 1 then return to this frequency. #
K8RSO: W6RRI—this is—K8RSO—radio check—over #
W6RRI: K8RSO—this is—W6RRI—you are weak readable—radio check—over #
K8RSO: You are weak readable—going up to 147.525 MHz—this is K8RSO #
W6RRI: Going to 147.525 #

They might not be able to hear each other. If that happens, the stations will not get far enough in this process to move. Net control will have an opportunity task whether any station can hear both. If so, all three can be sent to the other frequency so the sender can transmit to the relay station, who will receive the traffic and then transmit it to the receiving station. Then all three return to the frequency.

Close the net at hour 59, so the next session can begin. If another net control station is not designated and you want to take it, or you have two sessions together, close the net and start it afresh at the top of the hour. Don't forget to submit your session report! Thank you!

This is the Central Ohio Traffic Net, thank you to all who joined in our special session for Ohio VHF Simplex Day. Find us on the web at cotn.us. [Callsign] out.

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