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History of Kentucky Nets


THE HISTORY OF PHONE NETS IN KENTUCKY

BY TOM LYKINS

The first formal net in Kentucky was during the 1937 flood.
While there were phone operations on 160 meters, phone was not permitted on 75-meters at that early date.

Messages were passed via CW during this period.

In 1940 a phone net was established on 160 meters and lasted until December 7, 1941 when the FCC ordered all amateurs to cease all transmissions until further notice.

At the conclusion of the war the band plan changed and phone was permitted on 75 meters.

It should be noted that 40 meter phone was not authorized until 1953.  This was strictly a CW band until then.

As far as the Morning Kentucky Phone Net which it was called and the Kentucky Phone net, both started in 1949.

Throughout the years the nets were on different frequencies on 75 meters.  First, 3.810, then 3.945 and finally 3.960.

In the early days there was an Early Morning Kentucky Phone net. It should be remembered that the primary purpose of all nets back in the day was to pass third party messages back and forth.  Many people did not have a phone and passing traffic which it was termed was more expedient than using the postoffice.  However, if an operator either could not or did not want to deliver the radiogram he/she sent the radiogram via Snailmail  It should be noted there was no "spam traffic" in those days.  People took pride in both receiving and sending messages accurately whether on Phone or CW.  If you needed a fill on a message you asked for it.  You "never, never" assumed anything concerning the messages.  Some were life and death at times of emergencies.

The purpose of the Early Morning Kentucky phone Net was to take traffic from the late CW net known as KYN and bring it to The Early Morning net. 
Traffic was passed and the remaining traffic was placed on the Morning Kentucky Phone Net to be passed.

The net  in the evenings would take traffic either from the morning net or other traffic and pass it as necessary.

In the old days there were no "short timers."  You did not just check-in for the count.  If you checked into the nets you were
expected to handle messages at least for your local area.

This was the protocol set up by the late Harry Flint, W4SZB of Burkesville.  He along with other net pioneers established the
original Nts protocol that we use today although it has undergone some changes through the years.

In 1968 the Early Morning Kentucky phone Net was no more.  The Net manager got into a dispute with the Section Communications Manager and the net members decided to form what would be known as The Kentucky Rebel Net.

The Rebel net was not a traffic net as such but if someone brought a piece of traffic they would try to pass it.

The Rebel Net ran until late 2000.  Sad, but true, it ended for a major dispute on 3.960.

The format of the nets have changed back and forth as how they would be called throughout  the years.  Traffic was always handled first.

The manner of Check-ins was different too.

The nets were either called by the cities in Kentucky and surrounding states. Not every city and state was on the list.  This was determined by who checked in to the net and their location.  Each Ncs had his/her own callup list.

The evening net which later became the Kentucky Traffic Net  or KTN used to be called by callsigns in alphabetical order.  If there was a lot of traffic the net could last for two hours or more.

Time and space does not permit for this webpage to list all net managers and net control stations but a few will be mentioned.

Should you desire to learn more details I will be happy to provide them to you personally if contacted.

The first Net managers were W4Bej and his wife Helen K4cgw.

They were active in the nets up thru the 60's.  Others in no particular order as Net Managers were:  W4eon, Wa4agh, K4aml,
W4hkt, W4aun, Wa4avv, W4szb, W4baz, N4gnl/Nb4k, Wa4swf,W4cid, K4dzm, Kb4vks Wd4bsc/K4gil, Ka4gbz, Wd4rwu/K4lid and so many more.

The net had problems during the Am and Sideband wars.  Also, a former Net Manager, Harry Flint, W4szb tried to get a professor of Berea College's schedule changed so he could call the net.

Harry wrote the President about the issue.  Sad to say, Chuck, W4bas,  never got his schedule changed.

Harry Flint wanted the Net to stay on AM rather than phone.  He did not get his way.  The net members bought him a Heathkit HW12 so he could operate on Sideband.

 Another cornerstone on our nets was Otis K. Wolfe known as Friday, W4ado.

I could go on and on about what I know and maybe should write a book.  If anyone wants to help let me know.

Tom Lykins  K4lid.  Email k4lid@panix.com.