The Net Control Station (NCS) is in charge of the net. This person controls the flow of messages according to priority and keeps track of where messages come from and where they go. The NCS also keeps a current list of which stations are where, their assignments and what capabilities they have. In a busy situation, the NCS may have one or more assistants to help with record keeping.
The ARRL Operating Manual suggests some recommended traits in a NCS.
- Be the boss but don’t be bossy
- Be punctual
- Know the area the net is taking place in
- Keep your antenna and equipment in good operating condition
- Keep a log of every net session
- Understand how to prioritize communications traffic
Communication is affected by numerous factors including personal operating skills, method of communication, noise or interference, skills of net participants and adequate resources. The most important skills of communication are those possessed by the Net Control Station.
Listening is at least 50% of communication. Listening means avoiding unnecessary transmission. A wise ham once said, “A ham has two ears and one mouth. Therefore a good ham should listen twice as much as he/she talks.