Archive for July, 2009

Excellent Info about ARRL UHF ‘test Tomorrow/Sunday

Friday, July 31st, 2009

    This is going to be a long post but it’s a good one if you want to see how much is going to be happening around the Midwest starting at 1800Z (1pm central) tomorrow, until 1800Z on Sunday. 

    The short version is that a massive effort is about to get started on the 222 and higher bands.  Less than 23 hours away.  All hands on deck for this one.   The focal point for the effort will be a well-equipped multi-op from Buck Hill, just a bit SSW of Minneapolis.  Good antennas and power + all the UHF/UWave bands will be 500′ above surrounding terrain.  So look toward EN34 on 222.115 and 432.115 to hear a busy multi-op.

    I just got a great email from rover W9FZ Bruce.  He will be in WI for this rove, and many of you will be able to work him multiple times in his 8 WI grids.   I’m going to copy and paste Bruce’s email.  It has all the fixed and rover station info that has been posted to the NLRS reflector.  

     Here the full QST from W9FZ:

Personally, I hope you point your beams to Dodgeville, WI on
Saturday and Wausau, WI on Sunday looking for me on 222.140
or 432.140. See my schedule below. I hope to sweep with you
on all the bands you have running. But even if we don’t
work, I hope you’ll find many of the operators I mention
below–and more!  Please get on and have fun!  Send in your
logs and mark your club of affiliation!

First, the rules can be found at:
paper entry (summary) form
paper logsheet (ARRL) .pdf
paper logsheet (FZ) .pdf

Next, Rovermania 6 is a part of the UHF contest. It’s an
effort to increase activity nationwide by encouraging more
rovers than normal to get on the air for the UHF contest.
Benefits of roving in the UHF contest: only 24 hours,
shorter beams, two less bands, and lots of fun.  For
information on Rovermania 6 (which has a Northern Lights
Radio Society slant to it), see:
particularly check out the spreadsheets:

There will be a big multi-op (W0AUS) on top of a ski-hill on
the south side of Minneapolis for this contest. They will
have a FINE set-up and you should be able to work them. They
WANT to work you!!!  Look for them around 222.115 and

Known Activty (Fixed):
W9GA EN53  CD9E(F?)        K2DRH  EN41  CD0EFG
KC9BQA EN63  CD9(E?)F        N0GZ   EN31  CD9E
WA9O EN53  D9E(FGH?)I      KA0PQW EN33  CD
K9NS EN52  CD(E?)          W0GHZ EN34  CD9EFGHI
W0UC   EN44  CD9E            K0SIX EN35  CD
N0AKC  EN44  CD9EFG          K0VG   EN35  DE
K2YAZ  EN74  CD9EFGHI        K0AWU  EN37  CD9EI
K8EB EN73  CD9EFGHI        W9HQ   EN43  CD
N4PZ EN52  DEI             W9RPM  EN43  CD
W9ZIH  EN51  DEI             KC0VFP EN35  CD
W9XA   EN51  CD9EFI          KC0RQH EN35  D
VE3KRP EN58  DEI             KC0LXB EN34  CD

Known Activty (Rovers):
Rovers without schedules first, scroll down for rovers WITH

N0DQS/R  CD9EFGHIJ  EN-12/13/22/23/31/21
K0PG/R + K9ILT/R   CD9EF  EN61/51/52/42/41

EN53bb   1800-2000Z (first 4 near
EN52ax   2030-2230Z  Dodgeville, WI)
EN42wx   2300-0100Z
EN43wb   0130-0330Z

EN54ax   1000-1200Z  (Sunday near
EN55aa   1200-1400Z   Wausau, WI)
EN45xa   1400-1600Z
EN44wu   1600-1800Z

EN45fa   1800-1900Z
EN35     2000-2100Z
EN46     2200-0000Z
EN36     0100-0300Z

EN37     1200-1330Z
EN47     1400-1600Z
Mobile other times

EN51xr  1800-2030Z  Woodridge, IL
EN61ax  2145-2245Z  Wood Dale, IL
EN62ad  0030-0300Z  Arlington Hts, Il Nichol Knoll

EN52Xc  1400-1800Z  Palatine,IL

EN61aa  1800-2000Z  First 4 near Chebanse, IL
EN60av  2030-2230Z  Times Approximate
EN50xv  2300-0100Z
EN51xx  0130-0300Z

EN62cc 1100-1400Z  Glenview, IL
EN52xc 1500-1800Z  Arlington Hts, IL

WA0VPJ/R  CDE   xxx.130
EN15mb    1800-1900Z
EN14xa    2100-2200Z
EN13xx    2230-2330Z
EN23ax    0000-0100Z
EN24xx    0130-0230Z

EN32hx    0600-0700Z
EN33qt    0830-0930Z
EN43iu    1030-1300Z
EN44ge    1430-1530Z
EN34xb    1700-1800Z

EN44bb  1800-2000Z  Near St Charles,MN Corner
EN43aw  2020-2220Z
EN33vw  2235-0035Z
EN34ua  0050-0130Z
EN34oi  0220-0330Z

EN35ad  1130-1250Z Near Winstead, MN corner
EN25xb  1320-1440Z
EN24wv  1500-1615Z
EN34fs  1700-1800Z

EN43aw  1800-2000Z
EN44bb  2020-2220Z
EN33xw  2240-0040Z

EN34nl  1500-1800Z

EN17xa  1800-1930Z
EN16xx  1930-2100Z
EN26ax  2100-2230Z
EN27aa  2230-0000Z
EN15xx  0130-0230Z
EN25ax  0300-0400Z

EN43ca  1800-1930Z  Near West Union, IA corner
EN42aw  2030-2200Z  For these four
EN32xw  2230-0000Z
EN33wb  0100-0230Z

EN34jt  1500-1600Z
EN35ja  1630-1800Z

Tune around! Please!  From .050 to .150 or more!  Keep those
beams swinging!  And send in your club score!

   73, Bruce W9FZ/R

146.43 FM net report — 10 check-ins

Friday, July 31st, 2009

   Had a nice group tonight, along with one new check-in, which is always a good feeling.
   We had:
   W9GA          Ken       Colgate           S5 (horizontal)
   KC9KPV    Randy   Germantown        20 over S9
   KM4G        Marv      Germantown      15 over
   KC9GJD    John     Port Washington   S5
   WB9WHO  Tom     Milwaukee           S9
   KC9PQF    Tom     West Allis             S5
   KA9AAB   Bob      Kewaskum           40 over
   N9LOH     Steve    Elkhorn                S1
   AC9RL      Ron       Kenosha             S3 peaks — QSB
   N9HR       Tom       Ixonia               20 over      Tom’s first time to the net.  He runs 100w with a 8-el quad up 60′ and is nice and loud.   We ragchewed later and he dropped to 10w and was still a full S9.  

    OK, it’s 10:30pm and that means the ARRL UHF Contest starts in 38.5 hours.   I’d better get caught up on my sleep!

146.43 FM simplex net *ON* tonight — 8:30pm central

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

    I doubt we’ll end up with any lightning tonight, so expect the 146.43 FM net to be on, as it is every Thursday.  

   I’ll be curious to hear about any skip you might have heard on 146/147 FM last night — talking from 5-7pm.  

  We’ll also talk briefly about the ARRL Aug UHF contest that is this weekend, 1pm Sat. to 1pm Sun.   All bands from 220, 432 on up are in play for this one.   223.5 FM and 446.0 FM will be the freq’s to call CQ Contest on, unless you have SSB capability on either of those bands.  If you do have SSB, then 222.100 and 432.100 are the call freq’s on the SSB portion.   Expect to hear activity from about 222.050-222.150 and 432.050-432.150 in a UHF contest on SSB. 

   Midwest activity levels will be increased by a big multi-op from just SW of Minneapolis, in EN34.   The Northern Lights Radio Society ( is taking a ton of bands and antennas to the top of a ski hill, up 500′.   With that sort of height advantage, they will really perk things up.   15-20  rovers will also be out all across the region, so keep your ears open.    In fact, to best keep track of the potential activity, go to this page, and scroll down for links to the rovers’ schedules:

    Here’s a link to the ARRL UHF Contest rules:

SSB net reports from Wed. 7/29

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

   An explanation is in order.  
   Large parts of the US had a big E skip opening on 144 tonight.   Stations who were on top of things from about 5-7pm worked many Q’s in various states.   I can handle letting some 6m DX go by me when I run these 144 nets.  But I can’t run a net when I know I can be working say VA or NC.  So the early 144.250 net that looks for MI/IN/OH fell by the wayside.   I did announce this on the website at the last minute, so I hope some of you checked here.  

   Also, if it’s clear that I’m not around to run a net (weather issues, etc) please feel free to make some noise yourself.  Anyone can (and should) create activity on the bands.   My long-term hope with these nets is that we’ll get so much activity going that a net won’t even be needed.   I’d far rather have several QSO’s scattered across the band, in different directions, than have everyone pointed toward me for the entire time.   Having multiple Q’s across the band is the way to go.  

   By about 7:30pm central, it appeared that 144 was closing up with Es, so I hastily started up the 144.240 net.  Glad I did, because plenty of guys were available, including a new all-time check-in from EM48,  west of St. Louis.
   On 144.240, starting at 7:45, we had:
   WA0KBZ    Bill       EM48      Linn, MO    S1 to start, then built to S7
   WA9JML    Steve   EN51     DeKalb, IL   S9
   KA9IVP    Loran   EN42    E Dubuque, IL   10 over S9.   Loran’s first time on the net — good to hear him. 
   KA0OKM  Harley  EN42    Dubuque     S7
   W0FAY    Bill         EN42     Dubuque    10 over S9
   W9HQ       David    EN43    Westby, WI   S9    Glad to report that we tested W9HQ’s new antennas for 222 and 432, and he and son KC9JTL are all set for this weekend’s UHF contest.  
   W9GA       Ken        EN53    Colgate, WI   20 over
   WB0YWW  Bob    EN22     Moorland, IA   S2   Bob got in on the 144 E skip.  Worked several new states out east. 
   K9JCZ     Gary      EN53     Fond du Lac, WI    Gary will be on at times for the UHF ‘test this weekend.  Talking a pair of 21’ long yagis on 432, plus a Henry amp.   He’s getting geared up for a fuller effort in the ARRL Sept. VHF QSO Party.
   KB9KTD   Dave    EN43     La Crosse         S6
   K0SIX     Vince    EN35    Big Bear Lake, MN    S2     Vince really cleaned up with the 144 Es earlier tonight.  An email from him to the NLRS reflector (  reported 9 different states.  

   The 144.250 Badger Contesters net ( was busy.   We had:
   WB9WKJ    Randy   EN62    Racine            S9
   K9FI            Jerry     EN53    Brookfield     S7
   KC8ZJL      Dennis   EN71    Cecil, OH       S2    off the side, to boot.
   W9GA        Ken          EN53    Colgate          30 over S9 — local.   
   N9JBW      John        EN61   S side Chicago   S9       John and I would like to invite you to his Thur. nite net at 7pm on 144.220.   It’s the Q5 net, and gets check-ins from a wide area.   Listen along and see what you hear.  
   N9WU       Rick         EN53    Germantown   S9     Rick checking in w 50 watts for a change! 
   W0FAY    Bill           EN42    Dubuque        S9
   KA0OKM  Harley   EN42    Dubuque       S9
   KB5ZJU   Phil         EN63   Sheboygan Falls    30 over  — local
   W9HQ      David  and KC9JTL   Christopher    Nice S9 signal from EN43  Westby, WI
   WA9FWT   Phil     EN63    Sheboygan      20 over — local
   AA9GC    Herb      EN63    Milwaukee     25 over    Herb’s loudest signal ever
   AH6EZ/9  Dick     EN51   St. Charles, IL    S3 with attic eggbeater, but S9 with attic 19 el beam.   Always nice to have new check-ins; thanks for stopping by.
   WB9LYH   Mark    EN54   Rudolph, WI   20 over S9
   KC9LCW   Roger   EN61    La Porte, IN   S9   

   Will 144 open up with sporadic E skip tomorrow?  It did a little bit on Tuesday; it opened up big-time this early evening…

Short 144.240 net to start looking EN41 in 3 mins. Regular 144.250 net *ON* at 8:30pm unless band reopens.

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

  Subject line says it all.  Realize some of the guys out west may still have a shot at 144 Es, but we’ll see who’s around anyway.

Got FM 08/18/17/16 in log 2308-2318 on 144.180

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009


  At 2300 exactly, my 222 rig barked out a 4 call and immediately K9VHF in EN53 came back to him.  It didn’t sound like they completed, but the 4 station was at least S7.    Called CQ E skip on 222.100 intermittently since then, but nothing heard.   222 E skip is RARE, who knows if I’ll ever hear it again. 

   Obviously, the nets are on the back burner.  If 144 quiets down, I will at least try to call the 144.240 net at 7:15pm.  Stay tuned.

144 E skip happening for at least past 45 minutes

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

   Subject line says it all — basing this off of prop loggers, etc.  Seems awfully widespread.  Just got rig on, and hearing W4 lightly, and some Midwest stations calling W1/W2.  

   If this opening continues, the 144 nets are called *OFF*.   Go work some DX and have fun.   Can have a net any old Wed.  

   Edit — just missed connections with a K4RTS in FM08 on the call freq.   It’s getting crowded, going to have to spread out.

All 3 SSB Nets *ON* tonight

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

   Planning on another Wed. full of SSB 2 meter nets.   If you’re within a few hundred miles of SE WI and want to hear activity, tonight’s your night.   Listen along or say hello if you care to.   My nets are fairly flexible — the main purpose is to create activity on less-used portions of 2 meters. 

    144.250 looks toward Indiana/Ohio/Michigan from 2330 to 0115 utc or 7:30-8:15pm eastern time.   Stronger MI stations please wait to call me until I’m calling for MI specifically.   This gives the weaker ones farther away a chance to be heard.   

   144.240 looks toward outstate WI/IL, plus IA/MO/MN and the U.P. of MI from 0115-0220 utc or 7:15-8:20 central time.  

   144.250 is the Badger Contesters net (anyone is welcome) and is typically 60-80% from Milwaukee/Chicago areas.  I do look a full 360, though.   This net starts at 0130 utc or 8:30pm central, and runs 45-60 minutes.   There is frequently ragchewing afterward, and anyone is free to join in.  

    There are a few more tips or hints with my SSB nets, and if you take 2-3 minutes to read this post:  it may help you get more enjoyment out of Wed. night nets.  

    Finally, always feel free to check this website prior to net time.   If I have a last-minute weather problem, or anything else, I announce it here.   All nets are announced here, on or off

ARRL UHF Contest This Weekend 1pm Sat. to 1pm Sun.

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

     With the CSVHFS behind us, it’s right back to summer contest season.   This weekend, starting at 1pm Sat. Aug 1st, we have the ARRL UHF Contest.   All bands from 220 MHz on up.   No 6 or 2 meters in this contest.  

     Rules link:

     I would like everyone reading this post to give me a few minutes — there’s a Midwest angle to this contest that I care very much about.   If you have any bands above 2 meters, I’d like you to participate in the UHF contest this weekend. 

    First, ARRL has added Club Competition for the UHF contest.   That’s new this year.    The NLRS club out of Minnesota ( is going for a huge score by activating over a dozen different rovers, and anchoring their region with a big multi-op up on a ski hill, 500′ above average terrain.  The multi-op will be using the callsign W0AUS, from Buck Hill, just a little SW of Minneapolis. 

     The W0AUS multi-op should be very loud and extremely busy.   In just 24 hours, they will attempt to keep track of 15-20 rovers on multiple bands in Lord-knows-how-many total grids.   In some parts of the Midwest, you’re going to hear more activity on UHF than ever before.   Get on board and support this contest!  I know I’ll be on — hopefully all night, if there’s enough action to justify it.  Propagation is almost always better at night on the high bands anyway. 

      If you have 222 or 432 SSB gear, great, you’re all set to go.   The call freqs. are 222.100 and 432.100.   In this busy contest, there may be activity from 222.050-222.150 and 432.050-432.150.  The rovers will especially have to spread out, so as to not be in each other’s way all the time.   So tune around, swing your beams if you have them, call CQ and see who’s out there. 

     If you have an FM-only rig for 223 or 440 FM, put those bands into play by using 223.5 and 446.0 FM.   You should be able to make some Q’s there, especially on 223.5 MHz.   I’m sure there are Q’s to be made on 900 MHz and 1290 FM, but I honestly don’t know where those bands operate on the FM side.   The call freq. on 902 and 1296 SSB is 902.100 or 903.100, and 1296.100 MHz.   I run on 902/903 via a Down East Microwave 10 watt transverter, into a pair of 33 element loop yagis up 80′.   My 1296 (when working) is a module I added on to my IC-910H, 10 watts out into a pair of 45 el loop yagis up 80′. 

     If you care to read a thorough report of all the NLRS Rovermania happenings, including links to Excel spreadsheets of where the rovers will be, when they will be there, plus their “assigned” frequency, here you go:    The whole Rovermania story is a good one — NLRS started this effort in 2004 to protest a possible ARRL decision to cancel the Aug UHF contest.

     NLRS’s ambition is a big part of why V/UHF contesting is alive and well in the Midwest.   Help support Midwest V/UHF’ing by coming out and playing this weekend.  

    As always  SPREAD THE WORD.    Help get a few guys on.  Have a new op over for a little while, to observe what it is you enjoy in ham radio.   If you live near a fair amount of other hams, consider going out on a local rove.   Talk up your plans, get your friends to come out and support you with their 223 or 440 gear.

I speak to the CSVHFS conference this morning

Saturday, July 25th, 2009

    Well this will be a fun morning.   At about 9:15am, I will speak to 100-150 attendees at this Central States VHF Society conference.   Woke up a little after 4am, and really felt like I’d fall back asleep.  Gave up on that concept about 5am, LOL.  
    I’m not actually nervous, but of course, I’m thinking of all these last-minute ideas to plug into the talk.   Nothing too ambitious —  just hoping I can hit a home run that will immediately increase V/UHF activity levels by 1000%, effective Monday, when everyone gets back home.   Yeahhhhh, righhhht.  

    I realize many of the CSVHFS attendees will visit the website for the first time today, so welcome and thanks for the visit.   Nearly all CSVHFS members are very experienced on V/UHF, so a lot of what I do will seem redundant for them.   What I ask of the CSVHFS visitors is that they keep track of this site, and think of how they can use it to find and elmer new VHF’ers in their own backyards.  

   There’s a strong upswing in activity and new ops in the Southern WI/Chicago area.  That I know.  So already, things have improved.  Now it’s time to throw more pebbles into the VHF/UHF pond, and have ripples spread out in all directions.   It takes way more than one guy like me to do that.   For those of you who are already helping, thanks!  For those of you on the fence, be creative, friendly, encouraging.   Share your enthusiasm with other hams who don’t yet know what we enjoy most in ham radio.  

    There are thousands of potential new VHF/UHF hams in the United States.   I’ve already found dozens since I started doing this promotion back in summer of 2008.   I’ve found a few more at this conference.  A dozen here, a dozen there, and it makes a huge difference.  

    2008 was a good start.   2009 and 2010 has the potential to see strong increases in V/UHF awareness.  Each of you visiting this website has the ability to develop new weak-signal hams.   You are free to use any material here.   Take some time to go thru my various posts and decide what you think would help.   If you have questions, it’s best to email me — I’m good on 

   Todd  KC9BQA   EN63ao     40 N of Milwaukee