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

11:30am Thur.
Since it is Thursday, want to give a plug for a good net that’s on tonight and every Thursday — weather permitting.
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 Reports From Aug. 2nd and Aug. 9th

11am Thur.

The 144.240 Wed. night net from WI has had good turnouts recently.  Plus we continue to hear new check-ins, which is great for 2 meter SSB.
WB9LYH expects to be on next Wed., Aug 16th, at the usual time of 9pm eastern/8pm central.  Full details about the 144.240 net are at the bottom of this post.

Let’s get to the net reports.
Back on Aug. 2nd, net control WB9LYH in EN54 said in his emailed net report to me, “The antenna system works again.  Noise was low, the weather good and good signals.”
There were 19 check-ins on Aug. 2nd:  KC9RAP EN63;  N8XEW EN71;  WA9JML and N9NAQ EN51;  KC9PQT EN70;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9KKF, N9JBW and KC9RIO EN61;  N9RXM, AC0RA and KD0WTE EN41;  WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  N0JA EM49;  KB9MIV EM59;  WB9TFH EN53;  W9UIJ EN52 and K0DAS EN42.  What a great turnout — thanks everyone for checking in.
Want to welcome 2 new check-ins to the 144.240 net —  KC9PQT and K0DAS.  Thanks for stopping by and glad you’re on 2 meter SSB.

Last night, net control WB9LYH reported “No storm tonite, low noise and decent propagation.”  Check-ins were:  KB9IME EN54;  WA9JML EN51;  K9CCL, KC9RIO and N9JBW EN61;  N8XEW EN71;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9NDP EN62;  KB9MIV EM59;  KG0SJ EN21;  WV9E EN43 and WO0Z EN34.
I see several calls in that list that are old friends of the net, going back to 2008-2010, when we were getting started and I was still the primary net control.   Special hello to Harvey, Richard and Dave from KC9BQA — and hi Gil, from Aug. 2nd.
If you want to know about our net history, our story is at this link:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5363
That does it for the 144.240 Wed. net reports.

In case you’re new to kc9bqa.com and you don’t know about the 144.240 Wed. net, here’s more detail:  THE 144.240 WEDNESDAY NET is typically called by WB9LYH Mark in EN54cl.  This is central WI, near WI Rapids.  Start time is 9pm eastern/8pm central, year-round.
This net is informal.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and we appreciate you helping to spread the word.  The goal of the net is simple — to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.
From his central WI QTH, Mark starts out the net looking into the eastern time zone.  Within 5-15 minutes, he is edging SE, then S, SW, W, NW and N to finish the net.  A net can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on activity levels.
WB9LYH has stacked long yagis from a ridgetop QTH.  You do not need this kind of setup to enjoy 2 meter SSB, but it sure helps!  Mark can regularly work 300-400+ miles to well-equipped stations pointed his way, under flat band conditions.
WB9LYH loves to push the propagation limits, so please help us spread the word that he’s out there on 144.240 on Wed. nights, looking to find DX.   Of course, we appreciate all check-ins, and we really have some loyal ones going back many years.  But sometimes you get that rare night where someone checks in from 500, 600+ miles away and that’s exciting.

This is the best time of year for enhanced conditions on VHF/UHF, especially in the evenings, overnights and mornings.   Make sure to get on and call some of your own CQ’s, at any old time.  Don’t fall into the rut of just getting on for a half hour once a week.   The best recipe for a healthy VHF/UHF band is multiple stations in a wide area calling CQ, turning the yagis, looking for contacts.

WB9LYH Will Call 144.240 Net on Aug. 2nd

7:45am Tues.

Received good news from WB9LYH yesterday:

“Todd,
Damage to the half wave transformer between the feedline and antennas repaired.  I expect to be on Wednesday nite.
Mark”

Todd (me — KC9BQA) continues…
If you want more info about the 144.240 Wed. night net from Wisconsin, go to the bottom 2 paragraphs of the post directly below this one — dated July 28th — here at kc9bqa.com.

 

144.240 Net Reports Going Back to June 28th

11am  Fri.

There’ve been some interesting nets and one night with two new check-ins.

Back on June 28th, 144.240 net control WB9LYH reported, “Some contacts tonite despite terrible conditions.  The storms south of us were very noisy but appeared to create some enhancement to the St. Louis area”  Check-ins were:  KC9RAP EN63;  K9ILU, K9CCL, N9JBW and N9KKF EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9NAQ EN51;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40; N0JA EM49 and KB9MIV EM59.

On July 5th, WB9LYH said in his emailed net report, “Good conditions tonite and the storms were localized to the SW.”  (KC9BQA adds that storms in the Upper Midwest on Wed. nights feels like a pattern that goes back several years now)  Check-ins were:  KD9BGY, K9CCL, N9IYV and N9KKF EN61;  N9NAQ EN51;  WB8LNG EM79;  W8SOL EN71;  N0JA EM49;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40 and KC9WIK EN54.

On July 12th, Mark’s net report stated, “Thunderstorms all around and rain, some really enhanced prop (propagation) through all the noise.”  Mark added, “I did not make it all the way around (to the W and N, presumably) because of the weather.  Check-ins were:  N9ZWL EN62;  WA9JML EN51;  KC9RAP EN63;  K9ILU, K9CCL, KD9BGY and KC9RIO EN61;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ; WB0SWQ and W9BBP EN40;  W9JLF EN53;  WA9OEX EM59;  N9ABR EN51;  N9QH EM49 and AB9QH EN62.  17 check-ins on a night with rough weather — that’s amazing.  Thanks to everyone who got on and safely operated.
Had 2 new check-ins to the 144.240 Wed. net on July 12th.  N9QH and WA9OEX both made the trip from downstate IL.  Welcome to the net and enjoy 2 meter SSB.
*Note — Mark’s net report had “N9OH”, which comes back to a ham in SC.  I’m making an educated guess that he meant N9QH in EM49 because that’s where he was looking and others were checking in from that area.*

On July 19th, N9XKH was all set to take his turn as backup net control.  Then a squall line with damaging winds roared thru his area right at net time.  Of course — it’s Wednesday!!  So there was no net on July 19th.

2 nights ago, the 144.240 net was a fluid situation.   WB9LYH explains, “Tonite, I started the net, contacted by WB9TFH (EN53) and KC9RAP (EN63) and closed down because of very high SWR.  Apparent wind damage.  I hope to be up again by next week.  I called Dennis (N9XKH) and he will complete the net tonite.  Tnx Dennis.  I will get in contact (with me, KC9BQA) when things are repaired.”
Once again, very grateful that N9XKH can pitch in when we need a hand.  If I get an emailed net report from Dennis, I will share it here.

THE 144.240 WEDNESDAY NET is typically called by WB9LYH Mark in EN54cl.  This is central WI, near WI Rapids.  Start time is 9pm eastern/8pm central, year-round.
This net is informal.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and we appreciate you helping to spread the word.  The goal of the net is simple — to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.
From his central WI QTH, Mark starts out the net looking into the eastern time zone.  Within 5-15 minutes, he is edging SE, then S, SW, W, NW and N to finish the net.  A net can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on activity levels.
WB9LYH has stacked long yagis from a ridgetop QTH.  You do not need this kind of setup to enjoy 2 meter SSB, but it sure helps!  Mark can regularly work 300-400+ miles to well-equipped stations pointed his way, under flat band conditions.  Guys have been doing this for 50+ years on 2 meter SSB/CW, there’s no secret or mystery.   What you need is some sort of horizontally polarized antenna up in the clear, (yes a yagi is better and the longer the better, but get on with what you can) decent low-loss feedline, at least 25-50 watts out (again, more output power will help you be heard better) and the patience to listen carefully for quiet signals.

N9XKH in EN52il Might Be 144.240 Net Control Tonight

10:30am  Wed.

It will pay to be flexible with the 144.240 Wed. net tonight and next Wed.  The 144.240 net may have a guest net control tonight.  In last week’s net report, WB9LYH advised me that his schedule is uncertain for the next 2 Weds.  When Mark can’t call the net, N9XKH Dennis has helped out the past few years.
N9XKH is located on the WI/ILL state line, a little NW of Rockford.  Dennis has good yagis up high and puts out a decent signal.  What Dennis doesn’t have is a lot of time for ham radio.  So when he is able to be net control, he really appreciates a lot of check-ins.  This gives him a good idea of how well he’s getting out.
If I were trying to check-in tonight, I would look toward N9XKH and the middle of the WI/ILL state line first.   I trust that N9XKH (roughly) follows the usual rotation of looking northeast into MI first then gradually swinging E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N to wrap up the net.

144.240 Wed. net always starts at 9pm eastern/8pm central.   All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The net is informal and the goal is to increase activity on 2m SSB.

I have three weeks of net reports to type up.  Hopefully I can get to those later today or tomorrow.

144.240 Net Reports from 6/7, 6/14 and 6/21

9am
Weather permitting, the Wed. 144.240 net will be on tonight at the usual time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.
Net control is WB9LYH Mark, located in grid square EN54cl, right in the middle of WI.  Mark has a big station and enjoys pushing the propagation limits.  We appreciate our regulars and DX is always encouraged to listen in.   Please help us spread the word.  We continue to get new check-ins even after 9 years — very pleased by that.  Thanks to all who help increase activity on the SSB/CW portions of V/UHF.
The 144.240 net is informal and the goal is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.  All licensed amateurs are welcome.   Net control starts out looking northeast, east and southeast into the eastern time zone.  From there, WB9LYH looks S, SW, W, NW and N at the end.  A typical net can take from 30-60 minutes, depending on activity levels.

ON TO THE NET REPORTS
Back on June 7, net control WB9LYH reported there was decent propagation.  There was a strong turnout with 16 check-ins:  KC9RAP EN63;  KD9BGY, KC9RIO, K9CCL, and N9JBW EN61;  WA9JML and N9NAQ EN51;  WB8LNG EM79;  AB9QH EN62;  N9ARB and W9UIJ EN52;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40; W1JWS EN50;  N0JA EM49 and N9RXM EN41.
Had 2 new all-time check-ins to the Wed. 144.240 net.  Pleased to welcome N9NAQ and N0JA.  I enjoyed N0JA’s write-up on qrz.com.  50+ years of ham and life history, with a strong VHF presence thru the decades.

On June 14, net control WB9LYH reported, “An abbreviated net tonite.  Terrible noise to the south from weather.”  Glad 8 signals made it thru the noise:  KC9RAP EN63;  WA9JML and N9NAQ EN51;  KC9RIO, N9JBW and N9KKF EN61;  WB0SWQ and WA9BNZ EN40.   Thanks, Mark, for calling the net despite difficult conditions.

Last Wed. WB9LYH reported, “Good conditions tonite”  There were 12 check-ins:  WA9JML and N9NAQ EN51;  KC9RAP EN63;  N9ILU, K9CCL, N9JBW and N9KKF EN61;  KB9MIV EM59;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  W1JWS EN50 and N9RXM EN41.

Post Your June VHF Contest Plans Here

2pm Sunday

As mentioned below in other June 4th posts here at kc9bqa.com, the ARRL June VHF Contest is on June 10-11.  Rules link is here:  http://www.arrl.org/june-vhf   Make plans now to get on and tell all your ham friends and clubs.

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 June VHF contest plans.  Before I pass the link along (with W0UC’s permission) a few guidelines.  Please read these.
1)  I (KC9BQA) know little about Google spreadsheets.  I’m just the messenger.
2)  Notice on the lower left that there are tabs for both fixed stations and rovers.
3)  Even if you’re part-time or you don’t know exactly when you can be on, post your general intentions anyway.  This is fun, not a legally binding contract.  :)
4)  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.
5)  Please spread the word among your V/UHF buddies in WI and nearby states to list your ARRL June VHF Contest plans here:   http://tinyurl.com/JuneVHF2017
6)  Because this is an interactive spreadsheet, remember to check back from time-to-time and view updated plans from both fixed stations and rovers.

ARRL June VHF Contest is June 10-11, 2017

1:50pm Sunday
I will have one more post after this one.

Next weekend is the first all-band VHF/UHF contest of the 2017 summer season.
The ARRL June VHF contest starts at 1900 UTC time (1pm central) on Sat., June 10th and runs 33 hours until 0359 UTC time on Monday (which is 9:59pm central Sunday night, June 11th)    All bands from 50 MHz on up into the microwaves are in play.
Other big VHF contests are in June, July, August and September.  Remember that in late spring and summer, 50 MHz (6 meters, AKA “The Magic Band”) frequently comes alive with sporadic E skip propagation that makes for a lot of excitement.

The link to the ARRL June VHF contest rules page is here:  http://www.arrl.org/june-vhf

Links to KC9BQA’s VHF Contesting School Articles

1:45pm Sunday

Start spreading the word everywhere about the ARRL  June VHF Contest, which is June 10-11, 2017.   Other posts dated June 4, 2017 at kc9bqa.com promote the contest itself, and give publicity to the 5 known VHF/UHF contest clubs in and near Wisconsin.

If you want to know more about what a VHF/UHF contest is all about, I humbly refer you to a series of articles I wrote about 7 years back, called VHF Contesting School.   The goal of these articles are to get even casual VHF’ers, and hams in general, more confident about playing in a VHF contest.

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.  The whole reason KC9BQA.com exists is to increase on-air activity on bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.

Please don’t think that only the big guns get on for VHF/UHF contests.  The contests are a lot more fun if even the guys with just a few bands, or limited time, stop by and call some CQ’s, let others know they are out there, and make the airwaves more active.

WANT TO ALSO ADD…
Because those articles were written back in 2009 or 2010, some of the content may be outdated, in the areas of scoring or rules.  Refer to the ARRL website for current info.

Listing of VHF/UHF Clubs in or near Wisconsin

1:35pm Sunday

This is the first of several posts today.  I periodically repost this info when a VHF/UHF contest is near.

With the 2017 summer VHF contest season starting (ARRL VHF on June 10-11), this is a good time for readers to join one of the regional VHF/UHF contest clubs, if you haven’t already done so.

As of late 2016, I know of 5 VHF/UHF clubs in and near WI.  When I say “VHF/UHF Club”, I’m talking about clubs where the emphasis is on SSB/CW/Digital modes on bands like 50, 144, 222, 432 MHz, clear on up to microwave bands like 902, 1296, 2304, 3456 MHz, and even into 5 and 10 Gig and beyond.
If you are even a casual VHF’er, but would like your contest scores to go toward a club total, consider joining any of these clubs.  All the info you need to get started is below.

1)  My club is the Badger Contesters.  Their website is at www.badgercontesters.org.  If you are within 175 miles of Oshkosh, WI, you are in the BC circle.  A graphic showing our territory is available at:  http://www.badgercontesters.org/club_area.html  The BC’ers are a low-key, low-stress, no-dues club.

2)  NLRS stands for Northern Lights Radio Society, which covers MN, and probably adjacent parts of W and NW WI and N IA.  Their website is at www.nlrs.org.

3)  SMC stands for Society of Midwest Contesters, based in IL and parts of adjacent states.  SMC is a very active HF club, with a decent number of V/UHF contesters, too.  Their website is at www.w9smc.com   SMC has done some amazing things, getting their HF contesters to try 6 meters in the June ARRL contest (when sporadic E skip usually opens up 6m across the country)

4)  CVVHF stands for Chippewa Valley VHF and they are pretty much centered on EN44.  I’m sure their territory covers most of NW WI and plenty of the U.P. of MI.  CVVHF’s website is at www.k9cvc.org.   EDIT — June 4, 2017.  I tried going to both k9cvc.org and cvvhf.org and neither address worked.

5)  As of late summer, 2014, Michigan is now represented here.  Several motivated guys got together and have created the Michigan VHF-UHF Society or MIVUS.  Their website is at http://mivus.org/  Check them out.

If you enjoy V/UHF contesting, these clubs would like very much for you to join and then submit your contest scores as part of the club’s  aggregate score.

I am not aware of any active V/UHF clubs in IN or IA.  If I’m mistaken, someone set me straight.