144.240 Net Report from 12/17/14

9:30am Fri.

Busy stretch here, so I’m going to post WB9LYH’s emailed report just like I got it.  I will probably add grid squares later on this weekend.
Very glad to report Mark had an active net, with a strong turnout of 19 check-ins.

Just so everyone’s clear, the 144.240 Wed. net from WI will be OFF on Dec. 24th and Dec. 31st.  It will be back Wed., Jan. 7th, 2015.  WB9LYH says his schedule for January looks clear so as of now, expect the net to be ON every Wed. in January.


Propagation was good to the east.  Checkins were N8WNA, AC8GD, WB8AUK, N8JGG, W8YXT, N9JBW, KD8NVC, K9CCL, KA9VDU, KC9CLM, KA9DVX, KC9OVD, W1JWS, W9BBP, WB0SWQ, WA9BNZ, N9DG, KB9PSE, and WB0YWW.

I will next be on the net the first Wednesday in Janyuary. Tnx for your support, and Merry Christmas.


KC9BQA Gear For Sale Update — Towers, Yagis, Coax and Rotors

11:30 am Sat.

This is the last of 4 posts today.  Make sure to scroll down thru the other posts dated Dec. 13th and you’ll be caught up.

If you haven’t visited in a very long time, you need to know that I’ve been selling off my first-rate VHF/UHF station.

Click on this link for my current for sale list:   http://kc9bqa.com/?p=7852   Within that link is 2 towers, multiple long yagis for 50 thru 2304 MHz, separate runs of hardline for each band, plus several rotors and control boxes.  It’s all explained in that link above.   Take some time and read all about it.
Actually, all the info in that post from June 27th is still current, as of Dec. 13, 2014.
Contact me directly if you’re interested.   My email is good at qrz.com.  If you can’t access it that way, you can also use my alternate email address of wi.todd (at) yahoo (dot) com   I don’t check Yahoo as often, but it works.

If you know of someone who would be interested, by all means, forward the info to them.

First VHF Contest of 2015 is Jan. 24-25th

11:30am Sat.

I wanted to make 4 posts today.  This is the 3rd one.  Make sure to scroll down for other posts dated Dec. 13th.  It’s especially timely to note that the bands have been open this morning, and may well be open at time the rest of the weekend and perhaps into Monday.  Get on the air and make contacts.

Want everyone to remember that the ARRL Jan VHF Contest is on the weekend of Jan. 24-25th, 2015.  All bands from 50 MHz on up thru the microwaves will be in play.   Visit here:  http://www.arrl.org/january-vhf  for all the details.   Check back toward mid-January and I’m sure I will have more info.  For now, just help get the word out to other VHF’ers.  Start making plans to get on for the ARRL January VHF Contest, on Jan. 24-25th, 2015.

Realize many readers might be enjoying the ARRL 10m contest this weekend.  Good luck there and have fun.

WB9LYH Will Call the 144.240 Wed. Net on Dec. 17th

11:15am Sat.

If you follow kc9bqa.com, you knew it was going to get quiet here for a few weeks.  I posted back on Nov. 20th that WB9LYH was going to be away from the net until Dec. 17th.

WB9LYH emailed me last night and asked me to help get the word out — that he will be back ON this week.  Look for the 144.240 Wed. night net – called by WB9LYH in EN54cl, Central WI — to be ON Wed., Dec. 17th, at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  From near WI Rapids, WI, WB9LYH starts out looking NE into the U.P. of MI.  Then he’s soon looking E and SE into MI/VE-3 and OH.  Then SE and S into IN and IL.   Then S and SW into IL/MO and IA/KS/NE.  Then W and NW and N into the Dakotas, MN and VE-4 if the band is open.

Remember that WB9LYH has stacked 17-element (horizontal) yagis and 500 watts from a ridgetop location.  He can make contacts out to 400+ miles with flat band conditions.  Plus Mark loves pushing the propagation limits.  He’s always looking to find those DX surprises in the 500+ mile range.  Help this happen by spreading the word in a very wide circle.  Also log into the ON4KST.com chat (specifically the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz) and you can get Mark’s attention there.

I’m assuming that WB9LYH will NOT be available on Christmas Eve, which falls on a Wednesday this year.  When I learn about his schedule for Dec. 31st and into January, I will share that info here.

VHF/UHF Bands Have Been Open This Morning, Perhaps All Weekend?

10:45am central, Sat.

My wife just realized today is 12/13/14.  That looks cool in print.  Just had to toss that nugget into this post.   :)

Actually I’m going to make a few posts this morning.  Stay tuned.


This post is about band conditions.  W8IO in western MI reported that earlier this morning, the 2 meter band was open from MI down into GA, TN and KY.  So turn on the rig and make noise.
As long as we’re in the milder weather, there’s a good chance for enhancement.  This could continue into tonight, tomorrow morning, maybe even into Monday.  But none of it means a thing unless guys get on the air and call CQ.  Swing the beams around, look around, see who’s out there.  Get something started.  If 50 guys in different states and grids are all at their rigs, but “just listening”, how many contacts get made?

Once you’re in a QSO, please take it off the calling frequency (144.200) and let others have a chance.  It’s good to have an active call freq., for sure.  You just don’t want to monopolize it.  Common sense.   If you were at a grocery store and 4 check-out lines were open, but 7 people were all standing in the same line, would you stand behind the others like sheep or go to an open lane?  There’s all kinds of bandwidth between 144.150 and 144.260.  Use your VFO.

If you’re newer and don’t know about a few websites that can help you stay on top of potential openings, here you go:
1st would be this:  http://aprs.mountainlake.k12.mn.us/  It’s not a perfect indicator.  It sometimes has false openings, and it’s even more important to remember that 2m SSB/CW has a standard range of 200-400+ miles under flat band conditions.  Don’t fall into the habit of only trying when that map looks good.  You will miss little mini-openings that pop up under the radar, so to speak.
2nd would be this:  http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo.html   This site attempts to predict band openings for days in advance.  Like weather forecasters, the forecasts here are not always accurate.  But I still feel the Hepburn site has value.  It’s very seldom that a major, widespread tropo event doesn’t show up here,  a few days in advance.  Make sure you update this site every day in the early afternoon, when Mr. Hepburn updates his forecasts.
3rd is fading in importance but is still alive, at least:  http://dxworld.com/144prop.html   By now, most VHF’ers are getting way more out of the real-time ham chats at ON4KST.com.  (More about that next) but this old 144 MHz Propagation Logger has been around a long time and is still up and running.

I promote the www.on4kst.com ham chat websites often.  They are part of my “permalinks” (called “essential posts”) at kc9bqa.com.  (Look toward the middle right of my website).  All the info you need is at that permalink.  But if you can’t find it that way, here’s the link that explains what the ON4KST.com ham chats are all about.  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072
I imagine there’s been plenty of live chatter this morning about any band opening.  Specifically, at the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  Over 4,000 USA and Canadian VHF’ers are registered for this free and no-BS ham chat.  Visit the link directly above if you want more info.

Now on to the next post… WB9LYH will be back with the 144.240 net on Wed., Dec. 17th, usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Look toward EN54cl, Central WI.

This Week’s 144.240 Net Report

10am Thur.

WB9LYH reported poor propagation last night (no surprise, given the cold, lousy weather)  and a short list to the east, but better numbers of check-ins to the south.
Mark’s 12 check-ins last night were:  N8WNA EN82;  K8CRD EN73;  N9JBW and K9CCL EN61;  W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  W1JWS EN50;  KA9DVX EN51;  K0SIX EN35;  KC9CLM EN52 and WB0YWW and WB0YNA EN22.

WB9LYH will be *OFF* until Wed., Dec. 17th.
No 144.240 net from WI on Nov. 26th, Dec. 3rd or Dec. 10th.
Next 144.240 net from WI (WB9LYH net control in EN54cl) will be on Wed., Dec. 17th at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.

IF someone wants to step up and make noise on 144.240 the next 3 Weds. by all means, do so.  I’m sure many would appreciate it.

I saw no mention of K8TQK’s 144.252 net this past Monday night.  I consulted the ON4KST.com ham chat archives (talking the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz) and saw nothing.  Imagine something came up, or perhaps a weather problem.

If you need more info about either of these nets, or about a variety of nets and/or activity periods, consult the post directly below this one, dated Nov. 13, 2014 at kc9bqa.com.

This Week’s 144.240 and 144.252 Net Reports

   9:15am Thursday

   This will be the last post for today.  Make sure you visit the Michigan VHF-UHF Society’s website at http://mivus.org/ if you haven’t already.  Made a separate post about them 20 minutes ago, just scroll down the page.  In fact, I made an updated post about all the VHF/UHF Clubs in WI, MN and IL. 

   Last night, WB9LYH in EN54cl had another well-attended 144.240 net.  Mark reported “usual winter band conditions”.  There were 17 check-ins:   K8RS EN72;  W8IO EN63;  K8CRD EN73;  KB9PSE and KC9CLM/M EN52;  K9CCL and N9JBW EN61;  W8SOL EN71;  W9SBE and KA9DVX EN51;  W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  KC9RJI and KC9OVD EN41;  WB9TAE EN53;  WB0YWW EN22 and K0SIX EN35. 
    I see we have a new all-time check-in to the net last night.  Welcome to W9SBE and thanks for stopping by, Sandy. 

   WB9LYH expects to be on 144.240 next Wed. at the usual time of 8pm central/9pm eastern. 

   The 144.240 net is called every Wed. by WB9LYH in EN54cl (Central WI, near WI Rapids) at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  The net now starts at the same time year-round.  All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB.  We appreciate you helping us spread the word.  Antenna pattern from Central WI is NE to start, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  
   WB9LYH gets out 300-400+ miles with his big signal.  He is always looking to push the propagation limits, so DX is welcome to give the net a try.  If you have a decent long yagi up in the clear, fed with low-loss coax and you use at least 50-100w output, you can also work stations beyond 150-200 miles, even with flat band conditions.   This is not science fiction;  it’s been happening going back to the 1940′s and 50′s on the SSB and CW portions of VHF/UHF bands.  

    We also encourage hams to start their own activity.  Don’t fall into the rut of checking in with a net, then turning off the rig until the next net.  Start calling CQ on your own, at various time, in different directions.  This is the recipe for a truly healthy band.   We need more CQ’ers.  Too many hams are “just listening”.  If everyone is “just listening” all the time, then NO signals will be heard. 

    K8TQK calls an active, well-attended net on 144.252 MHz every Monday at 8:30pm eastern from EM89je, south-central OH.   Bob also has a whopping signal.   His QTH is 391 miles from mine ( I live 40 miles north of Milwaukee) and when I was on the air, I was able to work him armchair copy at least 90% of the time via SSB, provided our antennas were pointed at each other.    

    K8TQK had 19 check-ins this week from many different states and grid squares:  VE3ZV EN92;  VA3ELE/M FN03;  W2UAD FN13;  AC3L/M FN00;  KB3TNZ FN11;  K4SAN FM05;  KD8DJE and W8PU EM89;  N1GC EM95;  WB4IXU EM86;  WA4NJP, W4VAS and W4IMD EM84;  KA2KQM EM74;  WB7PMP EM88;  KB9RDS, N8XA and WB8ART EM79 and K8CRD EN73.  
    Bob’s net is also informal and all licensed amateurs are welcome.  His antenna pattern from south-central OH is N to start, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N. 

    There are many fine nets and activity periods on bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.  To find out your options in and around the Great Lakes, consult posts dated Oct 13, 15 and 17, 2013 at kc9bqa.com.  And as always, spread the word to other hams.

Listing of VHF/UHF Clubs In or Near WI

   9am Thursday

   Last made this post on June 11, 2014.  What follows is a repost, with the addition of the new weak-signal VHF/UHF club out of Michigan — http://mivus.org/  

   As of November 2014, I now 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.  If you want more info, go to the website or contact me.  
   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
   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, OH or IA.  If I’m mistaken, someone set me straight.

New VHF/UHF Club in Michigan — http://mivus.org/

   9am Thursday

   Happy to report there’s a new VHF/UHF club out of MI.  
   The Michigan VHF-UHF Society has a website here:  http://mivus.org/   They have a nice, clean website with various links to info.  Take a few minutes and check it out.     
  Very glad there’s now a weak-signal VHF/UHF club in MI.   Well done, gentlemen.

KC9BQA Gear For Sale Update — Towers, Yagis, Coax and Rotors

  Click on this link for my current for sale list:   http://kc9bqa.com/?p=7852   Within that link is 2 towers, multiple long yagis for 50 thru 2304 MHz, separate runs of hardline for each band, plus several rotors and control boxes.  It’s all explained in that link above.   Take some time and read all about it. 
  Actually, all the info in that post from June 27th is still current, as of Nov. 5, 2014.  
  Contact me directly if you’re interested.   My email is good at qrz.com.  If you can’t access it that way, you can also use my alternate email address of wi.todd (at) yahoo (dot) com   I don’t check Yahoo as often, but it works.

   If you know of someone who would be interested, by all means, forward the info to them.