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I'm familiar with VHF/UHF repeater-based nets and the general concept of how nets work (net controller that you check in with, net controller says who talks, people send it back to the controller after talking, and so on).

But how do HF nets work? Unlike VHF/UHF repeater-based nets where everyone can hear everyone, the nature of HF means it's pretty likely that not all people will be able to hear each other. Presumably you're required to be able to communicate with net control to be able to participate, but what happens beyond that? You hear who you hear and whoever happens to hear you hears you? Or do HF nets limit their membership to people who can hear everyone (or mostly everyone) in the regular crowd and keep out/refuse to acknowledge everyone else?

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  • $\begingroup$ HF nets are not too different from uhf/vhf simplex nets. There's a few more rules of formality sometimes. $\endgroup$
    – user10489
    Nov 1 '21 at 11:14
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You nailed it in your supposition: you hear who you hear. For those with a steerable antenna, they may reposition depending upon who is transmitting to try to hear it all.

Compared to a net on the local repeater, the function of the Net Control in an HF net that has participants who cannot hear each other is more critical for managing and relaying communications. As @user10489 mentioned in his comment, HF nets can be very similar to simplex nets on VHF and UHF... and quite fun IMHO!

Additionally, HF doesn't always mean DX: there are more than a few "local" nets on the lowest bands whose participants are relatively local to each other and can hear each other. When this is the case, round-robin style control can be effective too.

Finally, people are going to be people for good or ill. There are absolutely going to be pockets of people/nets that treat a frequency as "theirs" and won't acknowledge other operators who aren't in the "in group." I see this as a feature of humans that happens from time to time on all areas of the spectrum, and not a feature of HF nets in particular.

I wouldn't describe it as acceptable behavior. (My personal experience is that those "exclusive" groups who don't acknowledge me are doing me a favor, as I don't tend to subscribe to their view of acceptable behavior in other areas of life either.)

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