This Week’s 144.240 Net Report

7:15am Friday

Net control WB9LYH reported good signals to the south on Wed. night, with few stations on to the east.    The 14 check-ins were:  K9ILU, KD9BGY, N9JBW and K9CCL EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  WD9DCW EN52;  WB9YZU EN53;  N9RXM, NG9K and KC9OVD EN41;  WB0SWQ, WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40; and WB0YWW EN22.
The EN61, EN41 and EN40 check-ins have been consistently great — really appreciate the activity from Chicagoland and the Quad Cities and west-central IL.  Appreciate all our check-ins, everywhere.

As mentioned numerous times before, the 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  WB9LYH in EN54cl, central WI (near WI Rapids) is net control.  Mark has a big signal and gets out easily 300-400+ miles (to other stations with horizontally-polarized gain antennas and a clear horizon)  Scroll down to any other recent net report here at kc9bqa.com for more details.

Far as I know, WB9LYH’s schedule is clear and Mark expects to be on the air for the next several Wednesdays.  If I ever learn of a conflict ahead of time, I announce it here at kc9bqa.com.

This Week’s 144.240 Net Report

5:30am Friday

WB9LYH says that Wed. was a very quiet night.  There were 8 check-ins to the 144.240 net:  K9ILU, N9JBW and K9CCL EN61;  N9FEB EM69;  KC9OVD EN41 and WB0SWQ and WA9BNZ EN40.  Net control WB9LYH says there was also a station he copied at the end as WD9DC (W?) in EN53.  Mark couldn’t verify the last letter, the signal was very weak.  EDIT — 2/12/16  Sounds like this was WD9DCW in EN52.  Basing this on ‘DCW checking in again on 2/10/16.

WB9LYH expects to call the 144.240 net every Wed. going out several weeks.  If anything ever pops up, and there’s a switch, I mention it here at kc9bqa.com.

The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern by WB9LYH.  Mark is located in EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.  Eastern time zone is always targeted first.  Antenna pattern from central WI 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.  We always appreciate you spreading the word.
Please also remember that WB9LYH has a pair of long yagis and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH.  Mark gets out a long, long ways and he enjoys pushing the propagation limits.  You can help make the net more exciting by letting those stations 400, 500 miles or more from EN54 know that we’re out there on Wed. nights, looking for them.

I just checked the chat archives at www.on4kst.com (the real-time ham chat that 1000’s of hams worldwide enjoy, check it out for yourself — instructions to register are here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072 ) and I see no evidence that K8TQK’s 144.252 net was called on Monday night.  Bob needs rotor repairs and it’s winter — ’nuff said.   When I see/hear that the 144.252 net is up again, I will post it here at kc9bqa.com.

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR INFO ABOUT OTHER ACTIVE NETS…
Scroll down this main page to a post dated Jan. 3, 2016.

144.240 Net Report from last Wednesday

7:30am Monday

WB9LYH’s net report from last Wed. night said that conditions were good to the south, and there were few stations in other directions.  The 9 check-ins were:  KD9BGY, N9JBW and K9CCL EN61;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  KC9OVD and N9RXM EN41;  KC9CLM EN52 and WB9TFH EN53.
Net control WB9LYH also said that he expects to be on most Wed. nites in February.  As always, if a last-minute change comes up, we try to post about it here at kc9bqa.com.

The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern by WB9LYH.  Mark is located in EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.  Eastern time zone is always targeted first.  Antenna pattern from central WI 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.  We always appreciate you spreading the word.
Please also remember that WB9LYH has a pair of long yagis and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH.  Mark gets out a long, long ways and he enjoys pushing the propagation limits.  You can help make the net more exciting by letting those stations 400, 500 miles or more from EN54 know that we’re out there on Wed. nights, looking for them.

I believe K8TQK’s rotor hasn’t been repaired yet.  When it is, the 144.252 net on Monday nights at 8:30pm eastern will resume.  In fact, since tonight is Monday, look toward Ohio tonight and listen if there’s activity.

KC9BQA’s VHF Contesting School Articles

12:30am Thur.

This is the last of 3 posts tonight.  Start spreading the word everywhere about the ARRL  January VHF Contest, which is Jan. 30-31, 2016.  Scroll down this “front page” to a Jan. 3rd, 2016 post for more info about the contest itself.

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 5-6 years back, called VHF Contesting School.   I wrote these articles 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.

Post Your ARRL Jan VHF Contest Plans here

12:15am Thur.

As mentioned already in Jan 3rd, 2016 post here at kc9bqa.com, the ARRL January VHF Contest is the last weekend of January.  It starts at 1800 UTC time (1pm central) on Sat., Jan. 30th and run 33 hours until 0300 UTC time on Monday (which is 10pm central Sunday night)    All bands from 50 MHz on up into the microwaves are in play.  This is the first major VHF/UHF contest of 2016.   Other biggies are in June, July and September.   Here’s the link to the ARRL rules and info page: http://www.arrl.org/january-vhf

Talk up the contest and help get more signals on the air.  Refer hams to this blog, if they need more info.  For instance, check out the post above entitled VHF Contesting School Articles.   You are free to spread this info to hams everywhere.

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 VHF 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.
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 September VHF Contest plans here:   http://tinyurl.com/vhfss2016
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.

17 Check-Ins to the 144.240 Net Earlier Tonight

11:45pm Wed.

May as well get the net report out early this week.
144.240 net control WB9LYH reported that conditions were good for this time of year.  Mark’s 17 check-ins were:  KD9BGY, K9ILU and K9CCL EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9FEB EM69;  N9NDP EN62;  W9BBP EN40;  KC9OVD and N9RXM EN41;  K0NY EN44;  KG0SJ EN22;  W0KWZ, AD0MV, KB0MDQ and KB0LYL EN34;  KC9CLM EN52 and KA8FFM EN56.
What a nice turnout from a wide area.  Plus it’s great to hear from 5 MN stations.  KB0LYL is a new all-time check-in to the net — welcome.  Glad you’re on 2m SSB.

As mentioned many times before, the 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern by WB9LYH in EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.   Mark has a strong signal from a great QTH, and gets out to other strong stations in that 400-500 mile range.  WB9LYH is always looking to push the propagation limits; help us find more and more stations to work.  We appreciate all check-ins, local, semi-local or DX.  The 144.240 Wed. net is open to all licensed amateurs.  The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB.

WB9LYH expects to call the net again next Wed., Jan. 27.  If anything ever changes, I post about it here at kc9bqa.com.

K8TQK’s 144.252 Monday net remains off the air due to rotor problems.  When I get word that Bob is back up and running, I will post it here.

 

144.240 Net Report from last Wednesday

4:30pm Tues.

Last Wed. there were 16 check-ins to the  Wed. 144.240 net.  Nice turnout from a wide area.  N8WNA EN82;  N9FEB EM69;  N9YK EN71;  N9EM and KA9VDU EN53;  KD9BGY, K9CCL and K9ILU EN61;  W8SOL EN71;  AA9MY EN50;  N9RXM and KC9OVD EN41;  WB8AUK EN80;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40 and N0IRS EM29.

WB9LYH in EN54cl (Central WI, near WI Rapids) plans on calling the net again this Wed.  Tune in at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Eastern time zone is always targeted first.  The antenna pattern from EN54 is NE to start, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  All licensed amateurs are welcome, the net is informal and the goal is to increase activity on 2m SSB.  Feel free to spread the word to interested hams everywhere and refer them to kc9bqa.com.

REMEMBER THE ARRL JAN VHF CONTEST IS ON JAN 30-31ST.  FULL DETAILS ARE 3 POSTS BELOW THIS ONE.  I should have a few extra contest posts before this weekend.  Check back here at kc9bqa.com.

KC9BQA For Sale List — Towers, Yagis, Coax and Rotors

7:45am Thur.  (Jan. 7, 2016)

The first phase of selling my station has been great.  Virtually all my rigs, amps and transverters are gone to good homes.    If you are wondering why I’m selling, see posts at kc9bqa.com dated March 15th, 2014.

I have been helping VHF/UHF for 8 years now.  I ask that you help me by spreading the word about my gear for sale.  Spread the word far and wide.  Not everyone follows kc9bqa.com, so help me get the word out.

From my 28-2304 MHz station, all that remains is a single Icom IC-575H, mated to a Heathkit SB-230.   The price is $500.  This is basically buying the 575-H and getting the amp thrown in for free.  I am very reluctant to ship rigs, so the 575-H and SB-230 will end up going to someone within a several hour drive.  I am definitely willing to drive up to 150-200 miles to bridge the gap.  I did this multiple times with the rigs I sold already.
I also have a few other rigs that need repair so they aren’t ready to sell at this time.  (A pair of Kenwood TS-850’s and an Icom IC-475H).

THE SECOND PHASE is primarily towers, yagis for 50 thru 2304 MHz, plenty of feedline, tower accessories, plus rotors and control boxes.
WHAT EXACTLY IS STILL IN THE AIR??

I have two towers — one is 100′ and the other is 70′.  ( I suppose HF’ers might be interested in these towers, too)  Both  towers are Rohn SSV and self-supporting.  No guy wires needed.   The 100′ tower has a wide, robust base and the 70’er is more of a straight stick.
Antennas on the towers are:
28 MHz:  5-element HyGain (bought new and installed June 2011)
144:  Pair 12 el K1FO design
222:  Pair 16 el K1FO
432:  Pair 25 el K1FO
The 144, 222 and 432 yagi pairs were bought new from C3i back in late 2003.
There is a very sturdy custom H-frame that holds the 222 and 432 yagis in perfect balance.

902:  Pair 33 el K1WHS (DirectiveSystems.com)
1296:  Pair 45 el K1WHS
2304:  Single 76 el “blowtorch”
These yagis were bought new and installed in the summer of 2005.
There is also a nice H-frame from Directive Systems that holds and balances the 902/1296 yagis.

All phasing harnesses, power dividers and H-frames are part of the deal, along with two very stout mastpipes in the 15-20′ range.
Besides the towers and yagis, there’s hundreds of feet of coax on those towers.  Rough guess is 400-500′ of 1″ hardline (in 4 separate runs), 250-300′ of 1.5″ hardline (in 4 separate runs) and several hundred feet of 9913.   I also have a spare piece of 1 1/2″ hardline in the shed, guess-timating about 60-70′.   All feedline is also included in the prices below.

SO WHAT’S THIS ALL GOING TO COST, TODD?
The price for both towers, all yagis, all feedlines, phasing harnesses, power dividers, H-frames and 2 very sturdy long mast pipes is $6000.   Someone who can take them down safely would get a credit of $1000.  Someone who bought everything at one time would get another $500 credit.  This means the soup-to-nuts price is $4500.  If I know you to be a dedicated VHF’er, I will gladly knock another $500 off because in a perfect world, this all goes to a good home.  If you are a pleasure to deal with, that’s worth another $500 to me.  :)  So now we’re down to $3500 for 2 self-supporting towers, good long yagis for 28, 50, 144, 222, 432, 902, 1296 and 2304 MHz (stacked pairs on 144 thru 1296, by the way) and individual feedline for each band — at least 8 separate runs of 1 to 1.5″ hardline.
If this sounds like something you want, email me, we can exchange phone #’s and find a time when you can visit and inspect everything for yourself.   My everyday email is good at qrz.com.  I also use wi.todd (at) yahoo.com, but I don’t think to check it very often.
Here’s more info …
I should add that there’s no real deadline to the tower takedown.   If it takes a few years, I’m OK.    BUT… if someone has serious interest we should talk.    A guy could have everything this spring (of 2016) summer  if he’s ready to move.

I gratefully acknowledge 5 hams (so far) who have offered to do some tower work in exchange for some of the items up in the air.   The tricky part is figuring out the timing and details.   This may take some time.   How quickly the towers/yagis/rotors and feedline come down will be determined by how motivated a buyer is.  And how well they can streamline the process.   A single buyer (or crew) who can do it all will save the most money.

Rotors will be a separate deal, as will the control boxes.  I’m not quite ready to inventory and price those yet.  Plus they have to come off the tower and I won’t sell them until I’m sure they are working 100%.  I will have a pair of Prosistel PST-61D’s, plus a pair of CATS RD 1800’s, and an old Ham IV that I bought in 2002 from W9NAW and never used.  There’s 3 control boxes — a Green Heron RT-21 and a pair of CATS DPU 1800-D’s.  Just found a Yaesu G-800 rotor and a pair of G-800 SDX control boxes in a corner.  Not sure if those Yaesu pieces are working or not.   I retired those about 2006-7 and upgraded.

 

 

Last Night’s 144.240 Net Report

7:30am Thur.

WB9LYH said that last night started with interesting conditions.  The 12 check-ins were:  WB8LNG EM79;  K9ILU, KD9BGY and K9CCL EN61;  N9RXM, NG9K, KC9OVD and KC9RJI EN41;  WB0SWQ and WA9BNZ EN40;  WB9TFH EN53 and KA8FFM EN56.

Mark also reports that he expects to be on regularly this month.
The 144.240 Wed. net is called by WB9LYH in EN54cl, Central WI, near WI Rapids.  Start time is 8pm central/9pm eastern.  The net is informal and the goal is to increase activity on 2m SSB.  All licensed amateurs are welcome.
WB9LYH has a pair of long yagis (horizontally polarized, as is the custom on the SSB/CW side of VHF/UHF bands) and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH.  Mark gets out a long way and always loves pushing the propagation limits.   Please help us spread the word in a very wide circle surrounding the Midwest and Great Lakes.
The eastern time zone is always looked at first with the 144.240 net.  From Central WI, WB9LYH’s antenna pattern is NE to start, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes, depending on activity levels.

K8TQK is still off with the 144.252 Monday net called at 8:30pm eastern from EM89je, south-central OH.  Bob needs rotor repairs and he will advise when they are done.

ARRL January VHF Contest is Jan. 30-31, 2016

7:15pm Sat.

The ARRL January VHF Contest is in 4 weekends.  In 2016, it runs on Jan. 30-31st, which is a wise choice as it doesn’t bump up against the NAQP SSB contest on HF, nor does it run into the NFL playoffs.  That should help enhance activity.
Here’s the link to the ARRL rules:  http://www.arrl.org/january-vhf     In the central time zone, the contest starts at 1pm on Sat., Jan. 30, and runs 33 hours, until 10pm on Sun., Jan. 31.   All bands 50 MHz and above are in play.
This is the first major VHF/UHF contest of the year, others will follow in June, July and September.  Start telling your ham buddies to get ready to get on the air with whatever you have.   An important thing to remember about VHF/UHF contests is that they are far mellower than the ones on HF.  At least that’s the case in the Midwest/Great Lakes.   You don’t have to worry about having a killer station, or every band, or making a big score.  Get on and hand out some points.  Believe me, when I was actively contesting (2004-2012) I appreciated every contact, loud or quiet.