ARRL UHF Contest is This Weekend — Post Your Plans Here

7am  Wed.

If you’re looking for info about tonight’s 144.240 net, scroll down 2 posts.  N9XKH in EN52il should be tonight’s net control at 8pm central.

This post is about the ARRL UHF Contest.

Saturday at 1pm central is the start time for the ARRL UHF Contest.  It runs 24 hours until 1pm Sun.  (UTC times are 1800Z Sat. to 1800Z Sun).  All bands from 222 MHz on up are in play.  Talking 222, 432, 902, 1296, 2304, 3456, 5 gig, 10 gig and beyond, if you are into the whole laser deal.   You still have time to get ready and talk it up, please help spread the word.
Here’s the link to the ARRL rules and info page:  http://www.arrl.org/august-uhf

Like he has for years now, W0UC Paul in EN44 has created a Google spreadsheet where those of us in the Midwest/Great Lakes can post our UHF contest plans.  Before I pass the link along (with W0UC’s permission) a few guidelines.  Please read these.
1)  I know nothing about a Google spreadsheet.  I’m just the messenger.
2)  Notice on the lower left that there are tabs for both fixed stations and rovers.  Once again, AC0RA Wyatt is going to be a strong rover.  Many bands, good antennas and lots of energy — Wyatt activates many grids.   AC0RA has really made a positive impact these last few seasons.  Get on and help support the rovers.
3)  We kindly ask that with this sheet, the emphasis remains on WI and nearby states.  We’re NOT trying to create a nationwide sheet.  If you are more than say 300-400 miles from WI, considering doing something similar for your own area.  It would be a big boost to V/UHF contesting if there were similar listings for other parts of the USA and Canada.
4)  Please spread the word among your V/UHF buddies in WI and nearby states to list your ARRL August UHF Contest plans here:

www.tinyurl.com/UHF2015

 

K8TQK EM89je Calls His 144.252 Net Every Monday

6:30am  Monday

Don’t usually make posts on Monday, but since I’m here…

K8TQK calls a very wide-range net on 144.252 MHz Mondays at 7:30pm central/8:30pm eastern.  Bob has big antennas and power from a hilltop QTH, so he gets out 300-400+ miles easily.  If there’s one consistent station you will hear on VHF/UHF from southern OH, it is K8TQK.  Remind yourself to tune in on Monday nights and listen to how the bands sound.
K8TQK (like many of us lately) has had disruptions from thunderstorms lately.  His forecast has a chance of more storms tonight.  But rest assured if Bob can safely call his net, he will.  Swing your yagi his way tonight and see what you hear.

If you’re in WI or IL, remember that K8TQK wraps up his net by looking NW.  So our time for Bob is more toward 8-8:15pm (central)  His QTH is EM89je, which is south-central OH, near Chillicothe.  He starts his net out by looking N into MI and VE-3 land, then he moves NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45 minutes or so.

K8TQK posts his check-ins at the ON4KST.com real-time ham chat site.  Talking specifically the “IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz”.  If you have no idea what this ham chat is about, go here for full details:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072.  As of summer 2015, I see that over 5000 USA/VE hams have registered for this free and reliable service.

K8TQK ALSO HAS A LIVE AUDIO STREAM… More info about that is in a May 16th post at kc9bqa.com.  Here’s the specific link:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=8262

N9XKH Is 144.240 Net Control for July 22 and 29th.

6am  Monday —

WB9LYH has emailed to say that N9XKH (located in EN52il, on the WI/ILL state line, south of Madison, WI) will call the 144.240 net the next two Weds.   Start time is 8pm central/9pm eastern.  I assume that N9XKH will follow the usual pattern of looking NE first, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes or so.   Dennis’ QTH is nearly 3 hours south of WB9LYH’s, so adjust your beam headings accordingly.

N9XKH has a great QTH and at least one longer yagi up high.  I think he may have at least 150-300w output power by now, besides.   Get on the air Wed. nights and find out for yourself what Dennis is running.  I know he likes an active net with plenty of check-ins and signal reports.
N9XKH last called the 144.240 Wed. net on April 15th and May 20th.  His net reports from those nights are here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=8281

Dennis, thanks for pinch-hitting the next two Wednesdays.   Hope you have good conditions and lots of check-ins.
I imagine WB9LYH will be back in August.

WB9LYH Has a Big Net with Propagation to FM09

6:15am Friday

Don’t forget the CQ WW VHF starts tomorrow at 1pm central/2pm eastern.  Full details are available right below this post at kc9bqa.com.  With fog this morning and warmer, humid weather moving in, I suspect band conditions are still enhanced.  Get on the air and enjoy the possibilities this weekend.

WB9LYH reports “Finally propagation on a net night.  The propagation seemed shorter than the red on the map indicated.  Nevertheless, a remarkable night.”  (The map Mark is referring to can be found here:  http://aprs.mountainlake.k12.mn.us/ )
There were 22 check-ins to the 144.240 net on Wed. night — N0TTW EN32;  N8WNA and N8IEZ EN82;  K9ILU, K9CCL, N9JBW and K0PG EN61;  W8SOL and N9YK EN71;  WJ8L EN72;  N9NMS and KB9PSE EN52;  WB8ART EM79;  WB9TFH EN53;  W0KWZ EN34;  WA3EOQ in FM09 gets the DX prize, located in FM09, western MD;  KA9DVX EN51;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  KC9OVD and N9RXM and KG0SJ EN22.

WB9LYH also reports that he won’t be around the next two Wednesdays.  It’s possible that N9XKH in EN52il (WI/ILL state line, south of Madison, WI) may be able to pinch-hit.  If/when Dennis lets us know his plans, I will rebroadcast them here.  (EDIT, 6am July 20th, N9XKH plans on calling the 144.240 net on July 22 and 29th.  Details are in a July 20th post at kc9bqa.com)

K8TQK was unable to call his Monday night 144.252 net on July 14th.  Severe weather knocked out his power.  Weather permitting, expect Bob back on next Monday at the usual time of 8:30pm eastern.  For full details about the 144.240 Wed. net and the 144.252 Mon. net, scroll down to the 2nd half of a July 14th post at kc9bqa.com.
Please also remember that there’s plenty of scheduled activity on bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.  For instance, you have the 432.110 group on 7 nights a week at 8pm central, led by N4PZ in EN52gb, a good hour west of Chicago, and joined by 15-20 stations in a multi-state area.  They use the ON4KST.com ham chat extensively, so watch what’s going on and check in when you are ready.  (Talking about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz)
To see all your options, 7 nights a week, consult posts dated Oct 13, 15 and 17, 2013 at kc9bqa.com.  I discuss multiple nets and activity nights there.

CQ WorldWide VHF Contest is This Weekend + Post Your Contest Plans + VHF Contesting School Articles

1pm Tuesday

Starting at 1pm (central)/1800 UTC this Saturday, we have the 2nd major VHF contest of the summer.  CQ WW VHF is a lot of fun, especially if 6 meters opens up with sporadic E skip.

The CQ WW VHF is 6 meters and 2 meters only.   These are the foundation bands of VHF, and nearly every ham has one of these bands.   This is a great contest for newer VHF’ers, and plenty of veterans enjoy it, too.
It runs 27 hours.  Starts at 1800Z on Sat., July 18th and ends at 2100Z on Sun. the 19th.  Link to rules —
http://www.cqww-vhf.com/rules.htm

W0UC in EN44 has once again created a Google spreadsheet where you can post your contest plans.  Your plans don’t have to be etched in stone; just an indication that you will be on is fine.  Also note that there’s a separate tab on the bottom for rovers.
I know nothing about Google spreadsheets, I’m just the messenger.  Also W0UC kindly asks that the emphasis remain on areas within 300-400 miles of EN44.  This is NOT a nationwide resource.  It would be great if other parts of the country developed their own contest “sign-up” sheets.
The link to the CQ WW VHF 2015 Google spreadsheet is:

www.tinyurl.com/CQvhf2015

ALLOW ME TO SHARE TWO OTHER LINKS HERE:
1)  If you’re looking for a Summer 2015 VHF/UHF Contest Calendar, consult my post dated May 28th at kc9bqa.com.  Here’s the specific link:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=8279

2)  If you (or a ham buddy you know) isn’t sure about VHF/UHF contesting,  I can help.   Several years ago, I wrote a series of articles that I hope will educate and motivate hams to get on the air for the friendly and laid-back VHF Contests.    Visit this link for KC9BQA’s VHF Contesting School articles   http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5931   You are free to share those articles with hams everywhere.

WANT TO ALSO ADD…
As of July, 2015, some of the info I’m sharing in those articles may be outdated, in the areas of scoring or rules.  Refer to the ARRL or CQ websites for current info.

144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

8am Tuesday

Pleased to report that the 144.240 Wed. net celebrates its 7th anniversary this month.  First net was called by me back on July 9, 2008.
The net has evolved over time, but WB9LYH has been a consistent and strong net control for over 5 years now.  If you want our net control history, it’s here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5363

Because it is Tuesday, I will once again mention 222 Tuesday, the national activity night for the 1.25M band.  Go to this post dated June 30, 2015 at kc9bqa.com for full details about 222 Tuesdays — http://kc9bqa.com/?p=8313   And help make this work by spreading the word in your area and monitoring via the ON4KST.com ham chat.  If you have no idea what the free ON4KST.com ham chat is all about, go here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072  I see there are now over 5000 registered users; very happy to see that.

 

ON TO THE NET REPORTS…
On Wed., July 8th, WB9LYH had 15 check-ins to the 144.240 net.  Mark reported that there was red on the (APRS Mountainlake) map, but the enhancement was a lot shorter.  Check-ins were:  VE3ZV EN92;  KB9PSE and N9NMS EN52;  KF6A EN73;  W8SOL and KC8ZJL EN71;  K9CCL and N9JBW EN61;  WJ8L EN72;  WB0SWQ, WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  WB0YWW EN22;  N9RXM EN41 and K0SIX EN35.   Nice group and from all directions.
*WB9LYH EXPECTS TO BE ON TOMORROW NIGHT, AS USUAL,  AT 8PM CENTRAL/9PM EASTERN*
The 144.240 net is called every Wed. by WB9LYH in EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.  Again, start time is 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Antenna pattern from EN54 is NE to start, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes or so.  All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The net is informal and the goal is to increase activity on 2m SSB.  DX is always encouraged to give it a try.  WB9LYH has stacked long yagis on a ridgetop with 500 watts and he gets out a very long ways.  Plus Mark enjoys pushing the propagation limits.   Please help us spread the word in a very wide circle surrounding the Midwest and Great Lakes.

On Mon. July 6, K8TQK had 20 check-ins to the Monday night 144.252 net.  They were:  N8WNA EN82;  K8GDT EN91;  AC3L/M FN00;  K4SAN FM05;  N4TLL EM87;  WA4NJP, W4IMD, W9BN and W4VAS EM84;  KC4AAW and WD4NMV EM85;  AG4KJ EM88;  NR8O and WB8ART EM79;  N7CZ EM69;  KB8GUE EM89;  KD9BGY and N9JBW EN61;  W3IP FM19 and W8SOL EN71.
Last night, July 13th, there was no 144.252 net as K8TQK was out of power, due to severe thunderstorms.

The 144.252 net is called every Monday at 8:30pm eastern.  Net control is K8TQK Bob in EM89je.  This is south-central OH, near Chillicothe.  K8TQK also has a big station on a high hill and gets out forever.  His antenna pattern from EM89je is N to start, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes.
I still publish K8TQK’s check-in lists because for several years, Bob partnered with us on Wed. nights, helping to spread 2m SSB activity across most of the eastern and southern US.  Again, our Wed. night net history is here, if you are interested.   http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5363

 

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

8:30pm  Thur.

Short net report this week.
WB9LYH had 9 check-ins last night:  N8WNA EN82;  K9CCL and N9JBW EN61;  N9NMS and W9CL EN52;  N9RXM EN41;  W9BBP EN40;  KA8FFM EN56 and WB0YWW EN22.
As far as I know, net control WB9LYH in EN54cl (Central WI, near WI Rapids) will be ON 144.240 MHz next Wed. at the usual time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Antenna pattern is NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes (depending on how much activity there is).
If you want more detail about the net, scroll down to the June 18 and June 16 posts.

The 144.252 net was OFF this past Monday.  Net control K8TQK in EM89je (south-central OH) had thunderstorms at net time.  Look for the 144.252 net next Monday at the usual start time of 8:30pm eastern.  Antenna pattern is N, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and N over the next 45-60 minutes (again, give or take, we can never predict how busy a given net will be)

Help Support 222 (MHz) Tuesdays

7am Tuesday
This post was originally made on Feb. 23, 2015

I haven’t made a specific post about 222 Tuesday in quite a while.

Occasionally when I review the chat archives at the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz at www.on4kst.com, I look to see how 222 Tuesday is doing.  Well, it looks like it is holding its own, which I’m glad to see.

If you’re wondering what 222 Tuesday is, let me explain.   If you already have 222 gear, you can skip down below these next 3  paragraphs.
Back in the heyday of weak-signal VHF/UHF, guys had an informal agreement that Monday was 144 MHz night, Tuesday was 222 MHz night and Wednesday was 432 MHz night.
222 MHz is a great band with a low-activity problem.   I had 222 for years and it *always* was an S-unit or 2 better than my 144, and I had the same antenna gain, height and power levels on both bands.  Plus 222 is quieter.  So if you are serious about enjoying weak-signal VHF/UHF bands, you really should do yourself a favor and step up to 222 MHz.
The reason some guys don’t get on 222 is because it’s hard to find commercially-available gear for 222 SSB.  You basically have 2 paths:  1)  step up to a transverter.  I’m the last guy to talk intelligently about transverters because quite honestly, I am an appliance operator.  But a good transverter will do the best job, from a specs standpoint.  Ask other experienced VHF’ers or start poking around on Google.  The #2 path) is to find used Yaesu FT-736R’s that have the *OPTIONAL* 222 MHz module installed.   Look around hard enough at various ham classified forums and you will eventually find FT-736R’s.  You also have the rare Icom 375H or 375A rigs, but they are very pricey, if you can even find one for sale.

On to how 222 Tuesday works…
222 Tuesday is a general activity night.  It is not a directed net and if you sit around and “just listen” you may or may not hear a thing.  It is far better if you actually get on/near 222.100 and call some CQ’s in various directions, to get something started.
222 Tuesday starts about 8pm eastern/7pm central and I suspect it would be busiest during the first 30-60 minutes.  BUT… get on when you can, make some noise and look around in different directions.  Also consider following along at the ON4KST.com ham chat.  Talking specifically about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  There are guys in different states posting who they’re working and where they are looking, which really helps perk things up.  If you are diligent about playing along on 222 Tuesdays, and you let others know where you are and that you are looking for contacts, you could get some nice momentum going in a few weeks.

FOR THE FM’ERS…
I would get on/near 223.500 FM simplex and see what you can stir up.  No reason 222 Tuesday can’t include all modes.  It’s just that you get superior range on 222.100 SSB.

Resolve in 2015 to get more signals on 222 MHz.  Start spreading the word to VHF-curious ham buddies.  Encourage them to use this fine band.

Last Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

6:30am  Tuesday

The 144.240 Wed. night net is called @8pm central/9pm eastern by WB9LYH in EN54cl, which is Central WI, near WI Rapids.  This July will mark our 7th year of operation.   The net has evolved over time, but WB9LYH has been a consistent and strong net control for over 5 years now.  If you want our net control history, it’s here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5363

WB9LYH reported variable propagation last Wed. night.  Mark also said he’s waiting for long propagation on a net night.  Always remember that WB9LYH has stacked 17B2’s and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH and he gets out a very long way.  Plus he enjoys pushing the propagation limits.  Always appreciate guys from 500+ miles away listening along, just in case the band is enhanced.

The net had 14 check-ins last Wed.:  KA8FFM EN56;  VE3ZV EN92;  KD9BGY, K9ILU, K9CCL and N9JBW EN61;  WJ8L EN72;  KC8ZJL EN71;  W9BBP EN40;  KC9OVD and N9RSM EN41;  WV9E EN43;  KG0SJ EN22 and KC9PEG EN45.   Nice group from all corners of the compass.

WB9LYH expects to be around tomorrow night as usual.  If you want more detail about our nets or other nets, please read thru the 2 posts directly below this one.

Back on Monday, June 22nd, K8TQK had 10 check-ins to his 144.252 net.  I continue to type up net reports because for a few years, K8TQK was affiliated with us on Wed. nights.
Bob’s list for June 22nd had:  WB8AUK EN80;  WD4NMV EM85;  W4IMD and WA4NJP EM84;  WB7PMP EM88;  KY4MRG EM77;  KB9RDS and WB8LMG EM79;  KC9CLM EN52 and WB9LYH EN54.

More info about K8TQK’s Monday net is available in the June 16 post, 2 posts below this one at kc9bqa.com.

I also want to give a plug for 222 Tuesday, look for a separate post about that shortly.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

11am  Thur.

In his emailed net report, WB9LYH reported more folks on the band last night.  Might have had something to do with the contest this past weekend, might have had something to do with an Eskip opening that apparently got all the way up into 144 MHz yesterday late morning/early afternoon.   I would check out the chat archives at www.on4kst.com  (talking about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz) if you want to read more about what happened.   If you have no idea what the ON4KST.com free ham chats are all about, go here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072  To access the chat archives, use the dropdown menu on the upper left.  Ton of options available there.

Back to the net reports…  WB9LYH had 15 check-ins last night:  W8SOL and KC8ZJL EN71;  K9CCL, KD9BGY and N9JBW EN61;  K8TQK EM89;  KD8PA EN72;  N9RXM and K9FYU EN41;  KA9EEM, W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  KC9VHD EN62;  W9HQ and WV9E EN43.   That’s a really nice list, with several new calls and a few old friends stopping by from EN43, La Crosse WI area.
Want to welcome KA9EEM and KC9VHD to the 144.240 Wed. net.  Thanks for stopping by and glad that you’re on 2m SSB.
**Also — WB9LYH expects to be around the next few Weds.  If there’s ever a time where Mark can’t make it, I mention it here at kc9bqa.com**

Back on Monday night, K8TQK had 13 check-ins to his 144.252 net.  WM8I EN80;  W2UAD FN13;  KC4AAW EM85;  WA4NJP, WD4NMV, W4VAS and W4IMD EM84;  KB9RDS, WB8ART and N8XA EM79;  KB8GUE EM89;  N9RXM EN41 and WB9LYH EN54.

I have complete info about both the 144.240 Wed. and 144.252 Mon. nets in the post directly below this one.   Plus, if you want a much more complete listing of nets and activity periods on multiple bands on different nights, visit posts dated Oct 13, 15 and 17, 2013 at kc9bqa.com.   You are free to distribute this info to hams everywhere.  The whole reason kc9bqa.com exists is to get more signals on the SSB/CW side of the VHF/UHF bands.