WB9LYH said last night was really tough. The 12 check-ins were: AC8GD and W8YXT EN71; W8KX EN72; K9CCL EN61; W9YZU EM69; N8WNA EN82; W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40; KB9KLD EM58; WB0YWW EN22; N9DG EN53 and KD9AXR EN43. Looks like KD9AXR is another all-time new check-in to our net. Welcome and thanks for getting on 2m SSB.
Mark did report hearing someone off the back of his antenna toward the end of the net, when he was looking west, but no contact was made. He thought the call sounded like WB9FBO. Try it again, next Wed., whoever you are.
Net control WB9LYH anticipates being around next Wed. as usual. The net starts at 8pm central/9pm eastern. Mark’s QTH is EN54cl, Central WI, near WI Rapids. All licensed amateurs are welcome, the net is informal; purpose is to create more activity on 2m SSB. Antenna pattern from EN54cl is NE to start, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes. Weak signals and DX is encouraged to give it a try. WB9LYH has stacked 17B2′s (horizontally polarized) and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH so he truly has 300-500 mile range under flat band conditions.j
IF YOU HAVEN’T VISITED IN A WEEK OR MORE, MAKE SURE TO SCROLL DOWN FOR MULTIPLE POSTS I MADE ON FEB. 23RD. Lots of fresh info there.
While I am on the topic of clubs, I may as well repost this, too.
As of February 2015, 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. 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.
While we are on the topic of Michigan, let me share what I originally posted on Nov. 13, 2014.
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.
W8IO Roger in EN63vc (Spring Lake, MI, near the Lake MI shoreline) would like everyone in the Great Lakes and Midwest to know that he has started a PSK-31 net on 144.150, every Sat. morning at 9am eastern/8am central. Please help spread the word. Get involved now as they are looking for enough activity to justify continuing this net beyond March. Also monitor the ON4KST.com ham chat (IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz).
Here’s more detail in W8IO’s own words:
” I am going to try something different — a PSK-31 net on 144 MHz. Look for W8IO on 144.150 PSK-31 Sat. mornings at 9am EST. I will start with the beam north, then NE, E, SE, until I reach NW from Spring Lake, MI (EN63vc). I’ll be running about 100 watts into a 15 element horizontally polarized yagi. I will also announce where I am pointing in the ON4KST chat room room. If it works and there is enough interest, I will continue. Also thinking that 144.150 may not be a good frequency for a net, so this may change later. ”
W8IO went on to say, “Beam direction from W8IO (EN63vc) will generally follow the minute hand of the clock, unless we get more activity than I hoped for. So we will be looking across the lake for Wisconsin stations around 8:40-8:50 central time. ” (KC9BQA adds that stations in MN and IA ((plus anywhere else)) are encouraged to listen along and check in if they hear net control.)
While we’re on the topic of recurring activity you can count on, let me relay email from N4PZ, who has been stirring up more 432MHz activity for several years now. The pace has really picked up in the last year or so, as they’ve gone to nets every night. Plus N4PZ has a full legal limit amp and 4 long yagis on 432, so he can get out 400-500 miles to well-equipped stations under flat band conditions. Use CW if you care or need to, N4PZ is a big fan of CW and CW really helps when making those distant contacts.
Final tip — this group uses the ON4KST.com ham chat every night. Great way to let others know you are out there. Talking specifically about the “IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.” If you have no idea what this free, no-BS chat is all about, visit this post: http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072 By now, nearly 5,000 USA and Canadian VHF/UHF’ers are registered for the chat. There is normally good activity in the mornings and evenings. Joining does not obligate you to yak up a storm — most guys simply log in and observe.
Remember the 432.110 net Monday night at 8 PM CST / 9 PM EST.
As usual We will begin looking SE from EN52gb 100 miles west of Chicago.
Then east, NE N, NW etc .Anyone we miss to the east will be picked up after we complete the 360 degree sweep.
We’re asking that everyone help dig out the small stations I cannot hear.
Thanks all & happy hunting.
We need a big tropo opening to the gulf coast.
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.
11:35 am Monday
I renewed kc9bqa.com for two more years this morning. Even though I’m no longer on the air (visit posts dated March 15, 2014 for full details of my decision), I still feel as though I’m helping overall activity levels on weak-signal VHF/UHF bands. And even if I burn out at some point and stop posting for a while, this blog (and the archives) will be available until at least spring of 2017.
You know, I never mention much about the details of this website, mostly because I know next to nothing about websites and I deliberately chose a very simple solution (WordPress). I know kc9bqa.com would be more entertaining and eye-catching if I knew how to do things like insert images, but I wouldn’t hold your breath, LOL.
What I DO want to mention is that I have had www.qth.com do my website hosting (think that’s the right term) ever since I started this blog on April 1, 2009. Reason I mention qth.com is that fellow ham KA9FOX is the boss and Scott does a great job. I strongly recommend him for web hosting. He helped me so much when I was confused and trying to get this up and running.
PLUS… if you go to www.qth.com and scroll down just a bit, look toward the middle-left and you will see ham radio classified ads. Keep up to date with those ads, if you are looking for rigs, accessories, antennas, whatever.
11:30am Monday (2/23/15)
Even though the Spring VHF and Up Sprints don’t start until April 13th, it can’t hurt to make this initial post. I will repost this as we get closer to the end of March.
The info below comes from WB8BZK Mike, who’s part of the organizing committee for the 2015 Spring Sprints. Feel free to distribute this far and wide. The sprints and contests always need more signals on the air.
The Central States VHF Society is proud to sponsor and announce the dates and times for the 2015 run of the VHF and up Spring Sprints!
144 MHz: Monday, 4/13/15 from 7 – 11 PM local
222 MHz: Tuesday, 4/21/15 from 7 – 11 PM local
432 MHz: Wednesday, 4/29/15 from 7 – 11 PM local
Microwave, 902 MHz and up: Saturday, 5/2/15 from 8 AM – 1 PM local
50 MHz: Saturday, 5/9/15 from 2300Z until 0300Z Sunday, 5/10/15
More information and rules will be posted at: https://sites.google.com/site/springvhfupsprints/home
Kent O’Dell KA2KQM & Mike Metroka WB8BZK
Central States VHF Society Spring Sprint Organizing Committee
As WB9LYH put it in his email to me, “From Detroit to St. Louis to KC to Sioux Falls — not bad for this weather”. I’d agree, considering it was -9F at Mark’s QTH (EN54cl, central WI) at net time.
WB9LYH’s check-ins last night were: KD9BGY EN61; N8WNA EN82; KF8MY EN84; N9RXM, KC9OVD and KD0JNQ EN41; WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40; KB9KLD EM58; KA9DVX EN51; N9XKH EN52; WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22 and N0IRS EM29.
KD0JNQ is a new all-time check-in to the Wednesday 144.240 net. Welcome.
The 144.240 net is on every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern. WB9LYH in EN54cl, Central WI near WI Rapids is net control. Mark has stacked 17B2′s and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH. All licensed amateurs are welcome. The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB. We appreciate you spreading the word to any hams with 144 MHz SSB capability.
WB9LYH’s antenna pattern from Central WI is NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes. Mark also loves pushing propagation limits so help us get the word out to VHF’ers in that 400, 500, 600-mile range.
Mark says his schedule looks good and he expects to be on regularly into March. If a conflict ever pops up, I will announce it here at kc9bqa.com.
As for the 144.252 net called by K8TQK every Monday at 8:30pm eastern, Bob has had rotor troubles for several weeks, due to the extreme cold. When the weather eases he will be back on.
**THERE ARE MANY NET OPTIONS, all 7 nights of the week, on multiple bands**
Take some time and visit posts dated Oct 13, 15 and 17th, 2013 at kc9bqa.com (use the monthly archives on the right) for details.
Noon Saturday –
I like to have these net reports posted sooner, but didn’t have time until now.
Very glad to report this winter’s nets are so active. The whole reason I started the 144.240 net back in June 2008, the reason I started kc9bqa.com in April 2009, the reason I emailed (at one time) to 10-15 different ham groups and email lists in a wide area of the Midwest every week was to help increase activity on the SSB/CW portions of VHF/UHF ham bands, plus to point hams where and when this activity takes place.
So when I see strong numbers of check-ins, plus new callsigns, it’s very gratifying. Congrats to net control WB9LYH, all our check-ins, plus all the other net control operators, check-ins and the hams who enjoy weak-signal VHF/UHF in their own way. Keep getting on the air, calling CQ at any old time, doing whatever you can to make it more active and enjoyable.
WB9LYH’s 17 check-ins on Wed. night were: KU8Y and K9CCL EN61; N9NDP EN62; KC8ZJL and W8SOL EN71; KB9PSE/P (I’m assuming EN52); W9YZU EM69; W9BBP, WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40; KC9OVD and N9RXM EN41; KB9KLD EM58; N0IRS EM29; N9XKH EN52; KA9VDU EN53 and KC9PEG EN45.
A new all-time check-in to this net is N9RXM. I thought KB9KLD in EM58 was new, too, but when I searched his callsign at kc9bqa.com, I see he checked in with me back in February of 2010. Welcome back, Jeff, and help us spread the word in downstate IL and MO.
My understanding is that WB9LYH expects to be around for at least the next few Wednesdays. The 144.240 net starts at 8pm central/9pm eastern every Wed. and the antenna pattern from EN54cl – Central WI — is NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes. All licensed amateurs are welcome and DX is encouraged to give it a try. The purpose of the net is to increase activity on 2m SSB. We always appreciate you spreading the word.
**K8TQK’s rotor is still frozen and Bob couldn’t call the 144.252 net this past Monday.** Best way to find out whether his net will run on a given Monday is to be at the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz at www.ON4KST.com in the early evening. If K8TQK can’t call the net, he will mention it in that chat.