Help Support 222 MHz Tuesdays

7:45pm Thur.

This will be the last post for today.   I hope to make several more useful posts next week.

If you’re looking for the recent 144.240 net reports, they are halfway down this front page here at kc9bqa.com, dated Feb. 14th and 15th.

ABOUT 222 TUESDAYS
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.  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 MHz 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 was 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.  As of early 2018, it’s possible there are other options for getting on 222 SSB, but since I’ve been out of hamming since 2014 I wouldn’t know.
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 2018 to get more signals on 222 MHz. Start spreading the word to VHF-curious ham buddies. Encourage them to use this fine band.

N4PZ EN52gb 432.110 Net Mondays @8pm Central

1:15pm Thur.

The 432.110 net is on Mondays at 8pm central. Net control is N4PZ Steve in EN52gb, which is about 100 miles west of Chicago or just SW of Rockford, IL.
Not only does N4PZ run the net, but he has other guys in his area who look around and help find check-ins too. As I’ve said before, good high-gain yagis on 432 tend to be very pointy so be patient and flexible. This group uses the real-time ham chat at www.on4kst.com. You can follow along there. If you want more info about the ON4KST.com real-time ham chat, click here: http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072
Here’s some more info in N4PZ’s own words:
I start looking SW at 8 PM CST. Then S, Then SE, E, NE, N, NW, and West. It takes about one hour. So by that you can sort of guess when I am looking your way. About 8:40 I look at NW. It all depends on activity.

KC9BQA wants to add… I’m not aware of any other regularly scheduled 432 MHz activity within several hundred miles of S WI/N ILL. We’re fortunate that N4PZ puts his big station on the air to promote 432. Many new 432MHz stations and signals are on the band as a direct result of this net.
N4PZ runs his own email list for the 432.110 net. Contact him directly at N4PZ (at) live.com if you want more info.
“Look up” N4PZ at www.qrz.com and you can see lots of useful info and pictures there.

Finally, if you’re new to 432, or want to know more about it, here’s a few helpful hints:
On 432 MHz, N4PZ has 4 yagis up high and he runs QRO or high power. Talking 1500 watt amps and he can get out 400-500 miles (and he’s also a big advocate of CW, which is how you work the really weak ones, out 500-600 miles)
Don’t expect anything close to this if you’re running a single short yagi, especially if it’s not high up in the clear, if you’re using low power or using lossy coax (coax losses increase greatly as you go higher in frequency)
BUT… at the same time, get on with what you have and see what you can hear. Don’t worry about what Big Guns have. There are many hams with the N4PZ group the last 4-5 years who now have nice stations on 432, as they’ve made improvements over time to their antennas, feedline and power levels.

As of Feb. 2018, N4PZ is asking around about starting a 1296 MHz net.   Think he’s just gauging general interest, no times or nights have been proposed yet.

K8TQK EM89 Calls 144.252 Net Mondays @8:30pm eastern

1pm Thur.

If you’ve been visiting kc9bqa.com for some years, you already know about many of the nets and activity nights we’ve been promoting since 2009.
But time passes, and (hopefully) we get new visitors, so I like to repost info and keep it fresh.
There’s a big 2 meter SSB net on Monday nights. It’s called by K8TQK Bob, who’s located in EM89je, or south-central OH. Starts at 8:30pm *eastern*. It’s on 144.252 because K8TQK has a big birdie right on 144.250. Bob has long yagis and good power from a hilltop QTH and he gets out forever. When I was on the air, I could work him on a 392-mile path (from my QTH just north of Milwaukee) even under flat conditions 95% of the time.
The antenna pattern from K8TQK’s south-central OH location is North to start, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes. All times estimated, never know which direction might be busier on a given night. As with any net, be flexible and patient. Typically K8TQK is looking NW toward Chicago and WI about 8-8:30pm *central* time.  Our Wed. 144.240 net control WB9LYH (EN54 Central WI) can make contact with K8TQK regularly on a 475+ mile path.
There’s a lot to listen to on Monday nights.  I will post about N4PZ’s 432.110 group next.

144.205 Morning Group is Active 7 Days a Week

12:45pm Thur.

Expect more posts this afternoon…

VHF’ers everywhere need to know about the 205 Morning Group. In one form or another, this has been going on for 7+ years.
If you’re in the Midwest, look east toward MI, OH and IN for activity on 144.205 every morning. Start looking anytime after about 6 or 7am central.   Or start making more noise yourself around WI/IL/IA/MN and expand the 144.205 activity.
There’s far more info about the 144.205 Morning Group here: http://kc9bqa.com/?p=6073 Or visit: http://205morningreport.com/ to go straight to the source.
You can also log into the ON4KST.com real-time ham chat (IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432MHz) and “watch” the 144.205 activity any morning.

Have You Used the ON4KST.com Ham Chat?

12:30pm Thur.

I’m in the middle of making multiple posts today.  Want to make separate posts about different nets and activity periods that are alive and well in the Midwest/Great Lakes.

Honestly, to stay on top of all this activity, a VHF’er should be logged into that ON4KST.com ham chat. Specifically talking about the “IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz”  (There are many other useful chat “rooms” for different ham bands at ON4KST.com, but kc9bqa.com focuses on the SSB/CW side of VHF/UHF.)

This morning I logged in and saw that after 8.5 years, there are now 6600+ VHF’ers who have registered for this free and no-BS resource.   Of course, the vast majority lurk, and you are free to simply observe, as well.
The chat is very active every morning and most evenings, too.  Many active nets and activity periods in different parts of the country announce their presence via the chat.  There are also VHF’ers looking around for other stations to make contact with.   Plus hams just talking antennas, radios, band conditions, the whole 9 yards.   This is such a valuable tool to help connect VHF’ers who might not otherwise know what’s going on.

If you need more info about getting hooked up to the ON4KST.com ham chats, click here: http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072

Q5 Net in Chicago is on 144.220 Thur. at 6:30/7pm Central

12:15pm Thur.

Since it is Thursday, want to give a plug for a good 2 meter SSB net that’s on tonight and every Thursday.
For many years now, N9JBW in EN61, south side of Chicago, has been calling a friendly net on Thursdays on 144.220MHz. It’s called the Q5 net and they get out a long ways. Under flat conditions, they can get check-ins from IL, IA, (eastern) MN, WI, MI, IN, OH, VE-3, MO and at least far eastern KS. Probably KY and TN, too, if anyone down there looks north.
Many of the Q5 net regulars also check-in to our 144.240 Wed. net. We appreciate this and wish their net well.
The Q5 net on 144.220 has earlybird check-ins at 6:30pm every Thursday and the regular net starts at 7pm. As net control N9JBW John likes to say, “Check it out!”

144.240 Net Report From Last Night

Noon Thur.
144.240 net control WB9LYH emailed his net report from last night.  In it, he said, “A thin crowd tonight, not great prop., but we were able to communicate over moderate distances.  Checkins were KC9TNK EN44;  KC9RAP EN63;  WA9JML EN51;  K9CCL EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  KR8U EN72;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40 and AB9QH EN62.”

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about other VHF/UHF nets or activity periods that are alive and well.   I want to get caught up today and tomorrow.  Check back at intervals and you will see new posts go up, starting with a net you can reach tonight on 144.220 out of Chicago.

Wed. 144.240 Net Reports Going Back to Jan. 10th

9am

Just spent 45 minutes typing up a nice report, was about to post it, hit some odd button on this keyboard and POOF! it disappeared.   Haven’t done that trick in a very long time.  Alrighty then, let’s get restarted.

Since it is Wed., the 144.240 net is ON tonight at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  All licensed hams are welcome to the 144.240 Wed. net; please help us spread the word.  The net is informal and the goal is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.
144.240 net control WB9LYH advises that he expects to be on, as usual, in February. The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern. Net control WB9LYH is located right in the middle of WI, grid square EN54cl. Mark has a big signal and enjoys hearing from locals and especially DX.  WB9LYH loves pushing the propagation limits.  Let others in DX range know that Mark’s on 144.240 Wed. nights with stacked 17B2’s and 500 watts.
If you’d like more detailed info about the Wed. 144.240 net, scroll down to the 2nd half of the post dated Nov. 16 (2017) at kc9bqa.com.

NET REPORTS –
Back on Jan. 10th, net control WB9LYH emailed, “The warm weather brought propagation to the south.  Checkins were WA9JML, KD9GJB and N9ABR EN51;  K9CCL and K9ILU EN61;  W9BBP, WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  N9ARB and KC9KCR EN52;  N0RWR EN42 and N8XEW EN71.”
Want to welcome KD9GJB to the net.  Always grateful to have more signals on 2 meter SSB.

I have no net report for Jan. 17th.  I believe N9XKH Dennis helped out that night because WB9LYH was called away.  N9XKH fills in every now and again when Mark needs cover — thanks Dennis.

There were 18 checkins on Jan. 24th.  WB9LYH said, “Good propagation south, more stations on.  Checkins were KC9RAP EN63;  K9CCL and N9KKF EN61;  AB9QH and KC9VHD EN62;  W8SOL and N8XEW EN71;  WB8LNG EM79;  KC9TNK EN44;  WA9MJL EN51;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  N0JA EM49;  N0RWR EN42;  N9ARB EN52 and WB9TFH EN53.”
I (KC9BQA) want to thank the EN40-area guys for being such great, regular checkins.  It feels like a few of you have been with us right from the start in 2008.  And others have joined in over time.  Plus it’s great having regular checkins from a good distance away because you can learn a lot about band conditions week-to-week.

Another strong net on Jan 31st with 17 checkins.  Net control WB9LYH shared, “Up and down propagation tonite, but lots of enthusiasm.  Checkins were KB9IME EN54;  KC9RAP EN63;  N9ZWL, AB9QH and KC9VHD EN62;  WA9JML and N9ABR EN51;  K9CCL, N9IYV and N9KKF EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  WB9TFH EN53;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  N0RWR EN42;  N9RXM EN41 and KC9TNK EN44.”
Want to also thank WB8LNG for checking in often from EM79, SW OH.  It’s at least a 400-mile path from WB9LYH to WB8LNG.  There’s another example of how far you can get out on 2 meter SSB.

Last Wed., Feb. 7th, WB9LYH noted, “The usual winter propagation tonite.  Checkins were KC9RAP EN63;  AB9QH and KC9VHD EN62;  WA9JML EN51;  WA9HIR and K9CCL EN61;  WB9TFH EN53;  WB8LNG EM79;  W9BBP, WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  N0RWR EN42 and KC9TNK EN44.”

144.240 Net Reports Going Back to Nov. 29th, 2017

9:15am Tues.

Let’s get caught up with net reports this morning.
First, 144.240 net control WB9LYH advises that he expects to be on, as usual, in January.  The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Net control WB9LYH is located right in the middle of WI, grid square EN54cl.   Mark has a big signal and enjoys hearing from locals and especially DX.
If you’d like more detailed info about the Wed. 144.240 net, scroll down to the 2nd half of the post dated Nov. 16 (2017) at kc9bqa.com.  All licensed hams are welcome; please help us spread the word.

OK,  here are the net reports…
Back on Nov. 29th, WB9LYH emailed “Good to be back at it.  Conditions were decent but no long propagation.”   There were 15 checkins:   WA9JML EN51;  WB8LNG EM79;  K9CCL, N9JBW, WA9HIR, W9SUS and N9KKF EN61;  KC9VHD and AB9QH EN62;  KC9KCR EN52;  N8XEW EN71;  WB0SWQ, WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40 and N9RXM EN41.

On Dec. 6th, there were high winds (on Dec. 5th actually) over much of the Midwest/Great Lakes.   It was still breezy on 12/6.   WB9LYH reported, “Nasty weather here, but no antenna damage.”  There were 12 check-ins:  KD9BGY, N9CCL and N9KKF EN61;  K9LQZ EM68 (nice 400+ mile path from SW Indiana);  AB9QH and KC9VHD EN62;  KC9RAP EN63;  WA9JML EN51;  N9EM EN53;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40 and a new all-time checkin to the 144.240 net — KR8U EN72.  Thanks for saying hello and glad you’re on 2 meter SSB.

On Dec. 13th, Mark noted, “A short net, few on.”  KC9BQA remembers this as being a snowy day, esp. in the northern portions of our territory.   The 7 checkins were:  K9CCL and KD9BGY EN61;  WJ8L EN72;  W8SOL EN71;  N9ABR EN51 and WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40.

On Dec. 20th, N9XKH on the WI/ILL state line (grid EN52il) filled in as net control.  Dennis does this occasionally when WB9LYH has other obligations.   N9XKH doesn’t email net reports, so I have nothing to share.  As mentioned before, we really appreciate N9XKH helping and I hope Dennis got lots of activity.

On Dec. 27th, I don’t have anything to report.  It’s possible that N9XKH called the net again.

ON TO 2018!  Let’s make this a great year for hamming and specifically for VHF/UHF.  The 144.240 net will celebrate it’s 10th anniversary in early July.  First net was July 9th, 2008.  You can read the whole history here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5363    

Last Wed., Jan 3rd, 144.240 net control WB9LYH said, “Happy New Year!  Tough conditions tonight and not a lot of guys on the bands”   There were 13 checkins:  KC9PQT EN70;  K9ILU and K9CCL EN61;  KR8U EN72;  KB9MIV EM59;  WA9GNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  N0RWR EN42;  KC9VHD and AB9QH EN62 and W8SOL EN71.
KC9BQA is pleased to report another new all-time checkin to the Wed. 144.240 net.  KC9PQT in EN70, east-central Indiana.  Welcome and help us spread the word.
Also was pleased to see EN42, Dubuque IA area on the list.  A long time back, when I was calling the net (talking 2008-10 — I’ve been off the air since 2014 now) we’d have regular activity out of the Dubuque area.  I just thought of W0FAY Bill — glad when my memory still works!  Anyway, thanks for saying hello Donnie, glad you’re still on 2 meter SSB.

AGAIN — The 144.240 net is on every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Net control is WB9LYH.  Mark is located near WI Rapids, WI, right in the middle of WI.  Grid square EN54cl.   Mark’s antenna pattern is to start out looking ENE, then steadily moving clockwise over the next 30-45 minutes.  Talking E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and ending up looking north at the end of the net.    More info about the 144.240 net can be found at the 2nd half of a post dated Nov. 16, 2017 at kc9bqa.com.

144.240 Net is OFF on Nov. 22nd — Happy Thanksgiving

11am
144.240 net control WB9LYH wants everyone to know that he won’t be calling the net next Wed., Nov. 22nd.   Both Mark and I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and send our appreciation to the 100’s of you who are helping to keep the “weak-signal” (meaning SSB/CW basically) side of VHF alive and well.

Please check into the 144.240 net on Wed., Nov. 29th at the usual start time of 9pm eastern/8pm central.

If you’d like to read about the 9+ year history of the 144.240 Wednesday net out of WI, along with some of the changes over time, please enjoy this:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5363