Net Control Stations

The 7.272 Ragchew Net is a group of FCC-licensed amateur radio operators who meet on 7.272 MHz, seven days a week, to exchange information and enjoy the fellowship of amateur radio.  Net times are currently from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon (U.S. Eastern time) every day, 365 days a year!

Our mission is to provide amateur radio operators with a friendly atmosphere in an “all operators welcome” HF net.  We have:

• No membership numbers
• No dues or fees
• No bylaws
• No rules, other than common courtesy

Becoming a member is simple: just check in once to become a member for life!

At the top of every hour on our net, we rotate a different Net Control Station (NCS) into place to act as the “master of ceremonies.”  Our NCSs are located all over the eastern half of North America.  We encourage you to check in with each one, even if you’ve already checked in during a previous hour.  That’s what a ragchew net is for!

Checking in on the Chew

Please wait until the NCS calls for check-ins before announcing yourself. To make it easier to sort out all the calls in the pile-up, most of our NCSs will ask that you announce only your callsign suffix at that point. Speak slowly and clearly, and use phonetics. It’s a lot easier for the NCS to grasp “Charlie Sierra Zulu” than “CSZ”!

Spread ’em out! There’s a natural inclination to key down within the first three nanoseconds after the NCS lets off the mic, which often means that no one gets heard. You’re actually much more likely to get onto the list if you wait until after the initial pile-up.

Let us know if you’re mobile, portable, or operating QRP. You’ll be put at the top of the list so we don’t lose you. Most of our NCSs will make also a special call at the top of the hour just for mobile, portable, and QRP stations.

“Contact!” means you’d like to make direct contact with another net participant who just finished talking. Feel free to use it that way. You’ll be recognized and allowed to go with a brief contact. If you need to have a prolonged one-on-one discussion, though, use the contact to agree to QSY to another frequency. Please don’t use “Contact!” for just checking in.

Help out with relays if you can. The NCS might ask for a relay if unable to copy a weak station. If you can hear better than the NCS, your help will be greatly appreciated. Just say “Relay!” and your callsign.

Why Is It Called “Ragchewing”?

Unlike “ham” — an old but etymologically disputed term for amateur radio operators — the origins of “ragchew” are fairly clear. The phrase “chewing the rag” is known to have  been used as far back as the late Middle Ages. “Chew” was slang for “talk,” and “rag” is derived from “fat” or is a reference to the tongue. “Chewing the rag” thus became a phrase referring to conversation, frequently while sitting around a meal. Hams picked up that usage from telegraphers.  Because most of ham radio is, in fact, conversations, it has been a part of radio from its earliest days.