Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the Alpine Fault Net page on our web site for the operating schedule.

It is vital that certified amatuer operators throughout New Zealand get involved with the Alpine Fault Net.

When a magnitude 8 earthquake strikes, it is likely that the South Island will have little or no business as usual communication between cities and towns, as well as to the North Island and beyond.

Your north island station with Internet and phone services working could be a vital link into a small South Island town with no comms other than HF radio and some satellite services.

Of course! The Alpine Fault Base station ZL6EQ is available for test calls on most days at different times. Simply contact us to arrange a personalised sked.

The NZART HF Band Plan assigns 3595 - 3605 KHz and 7105 - 7115 KHz for civil emergencies (any mode).

We have selected 3605 KHz (80M) and 7115 KHz (40M) for the following reasons:

  • They are within the NZART band plan for civil emergency use.
  • To the best of our knowledge, are not used for regular HF nets conducted for other purposes.
  • There are radios within our network without a VFO, and need to be programmed to use particular frequencies in advance.
  • We need frequencies that everybody knows to use, without the need to scroll up and down the band looking for the Net.
  • Both 40M (day) and 80M (night) are required to provide 24/7 coverage.

We have selected LSB rather than USB (which is sometimes used for emergency comms) because:

  • All HF radios designed for the amatuer service default to LSB on both 80 and 40 metres.
  • Most stations participating in the Net will be low power (QRP), so if we use USB, co-channel interference from stations using LSB and not participating in the net may prevent communication.

You can participate by calling into the Alpine Fault Net as often as you like. The nets are short and suscinct, intended to prove that your equipment is working and can reach others participating. Of course, there is always an opportunity after the net to talk to other certified amateur operators about your station if you wish to interact more.

There is a daytime and a nighttime net every month. You are not obliged to participate in either or both. It's up to you.

Base station participants are welcome to call into the Alpine Fault Net provided they are operating on battery power at the time of the call. If your station is mains powered with battery backup, simply turn off the power before calling.

If your base station can only operate on mains power, please install a battery and solar charging system before calling in. The purpose of the net is to test our preparedness for a natural disaster. It is of limited value if our test does not simulate real world conditions. We must anticipate power failures.

You only need to be a certified amatuer radio operator. There is no requirement to be a member of any club or organisation to participate in the Alpine Fault Net.

Not at the moment. We have a project commencing soon that will create a bridge between HF and VHF using a short term special purpose (STSP) repeater based in Canterbury. This will allow VHF base and mobile stations in Christchurch City to join the Net. HF stations will be able to talk to VHF stations and vice versa.

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