Reply: FCC Part 97.119(a) requires amateurs to ID with their amateur callsign every ten minutes and at the end of a contact. Although this is very clear, sometimes there is confusion over what is required in a net operation.
A NET does not require every station checked-in to ID every ten minutes for the duration of the event. Think of a net as a SERIES of individual contacts, coordinated by a net control station.
Example: at the end of a contact using tactical calls with the Amateur call: "Base Camp, this is Fire Watch Three, W1AAA, out"; "Base Camp, W5JJJ, out".
For short contacts, some organizations tighten the procedure even further, using the amateur call as they would the word "out".
Now, a longer example: A station has many formal messages for an EOC,to be passed on a disaster traffic net. Contact with the EOC is made at 2003 hours, and the traffic is all handled by 2026 hours. How many times will the originator of the traffic ID?
Three times. At 2013 and 2023, under the ten minute rule. 2026, under the end-of-contact rule. Remember, those listening on the sidelines need not ID at all, nor is there any provision for a net control to ID on their behalf.
We hope this clarifies the requirements for use of the amateur callsign. A discussion of the proper way to use tactical callsigns is available in the file TACCALLS.ASC at many amateur radio related FTP sites and packet BBS's.
Written by Bob Calkins, WA7NUU, Communications Officer, Emergency Coordination Agency, Edmonds, Wa.