Introducing NetFinder - The Definitive Ham Radio Net Directory
April 18, 2023
NetFinder is an online directory of Ham Radio nets designed to help Hams discover new nets and connect with other Amateur Radio operators.
A comprehensive and easy to use directory of Ham Radio nets is a project that I've thought about for years and recently spent the past 18 months building. This project is intended to fill what I see as a gaping hole in the hobby: A central place to easily find a net and get on the air.
NetFinder accomplishes this goal through the following tools:
- Simple search by name: If you know the name of a net but need more information, simply search by name and results appear instantly.
- Browse nets by mode: Only interested in DMR or CW nets? Nets are grouped by a variety of categories for easy browsing.
- Nets happening now: NetFinder lists nets in progress during the current hour and nets coming up in the next hour.
- Search by location: (Coming soon!) If you're out of town and looking for a net to join on a local repeater or curious about which nets operate in your area, this tool will provide the answer.
- Community sourced: NetFinder is driven by the Ham community meaning nets can be added and edited by anyone.
Aren't there other ways to find net information online? Yes, but they each fall short.
Several months ago I conducted a survey asking Hams what tools they use to discover new nets and the answers were all over the place. The survey verified the lack of a central source for good net information. NetFinder attempts to consolidate several use cases on to a single platform.
The ARRL has a net directory, but the user experience is poor and there's not an easy way to find local nets. NetLogger is a great site for finding nets on the air right now, but only surfaces nets using their net management software. Search engines like Google are hit or miss. There are many spreadsheets floating around the internet that attempt to provide a comprehensive list, but those aren't scalable and are a poor experience as well.
Think of NetFinder as the RepeaterBook for nets.
With that said, I invite you to take a look around and see what you think. Feeback is welcome. It is early days and a lot more is still planned for this project. The number of nets in the directory is still small, but it's enough to show the potential of this tool. I hope you'll join me in cataloging the nets of the world, and helping other Hams find ways to connect on the air.