Archive for April, 2010

This Week’s Nets + Should We Start Later for Summer?

Monday, April 26th, 2010

    Here’s an early heads-up about a few things:
    1)  I will not be on 2m this Wed.   I’m going to enjoy the 432 sprint, which runs from 7-11pm on April 28th.   
    2)  WB9LYH sounded undecided about whether he’d be available for the 144.240 net Wed. evening.   I’ll update the website when I know more.  
    3)  I wonder if we should have a later start time for the 144.240 net as we head into summer.   It’s just an idea at this point.   Feedback is welcome.   I would really like your opinion on this.  
          Currently, WB9LYH starts out at 0000Z, or 8pm eastern, looking into MI, then OH and IN.   By 0030Z, or 7:30pm central, he’s looking south into IL and MO and IA.   I think we’re going to have a lot of guys who aren’t available until closer to dark.   Think we’re seeing that already the past few weeks.   So we want your input.   Should we start up at 0030?   0100?   That would be the latest I’d want to start — 9pm eastern and end the net at 9:30pm central time.
      As always, the goal is to have as much activity as possible.

432/440 MHz Sprint This Wednesday

Monday, April 26th, 2010  is the link to the Spring Sprints website.   These sprints are sponsored by our roving buddy K9JK John from the Chicago area.   We want to support the sprints in any way we can.  

This Wed. from 7-11pm is the 70cm sprint.   90-95% of the activity will be on SSB, using horizontally-polarized antennas.   Most of that activity will be concentrated from 432.070-432.130 MHz (this isn’t an absolute, just a guideline).   Most guys have gain yagis and swing their beams in various directions, calling CQ frequently.    If you have FM gear, by all means, put calls out 446.000 FM.   With persistence, you’ll probably work a few contacts.  

Any sprint questions, ask away.   I love helping out newer contesters.  

Looking ahead, we have two more sprints after the 432 one on Wed.   The microwave sprint uses bands from 900 and 1296 MHz, right on up thru 10 gig and beyond.   That sprint is on Sat. morning, May 1st, from 6am-1pm your local time.   If you know microwavers or have the gear, get on and get involved.  
On Sat. evening, May 8th, we have the 50 MHz or 6 meter sprint.   This one is from 2300Z-0300Z, or 6pm-10pm in the central time zone.   6m was open a bit this weekend, and this will only improve as we head into May, June and July.

Overdue 146.430 FM Simplex Net Report

Monday, April 26th, 2010

   Hope everyone had a nice weekend.     Look for several website updates today.  

   So with the band up Thursday night, we had a lot of fun.
   Here’s who showed up:   KC9KPV, KC9ISU, KM4G/M, and W9GA all Washington Co.  
   K9FI and WD9ITJ in Waukesha Co.    KC9AOV near Edgerton, in far SE Dane Co.  
   WB9TFH and KA9OFA in Milwaukee Co.    N9NDP in Kenosha.   NW9S on Chicago’s south side.  
   W9JFM and KC9LNZ in Kewaunee Co. just east of Green Bay.  
   I had never heard K9FI or KA9OFA as strong as they were Thursday night.    NW9S from Chicago was very light, but only running 20 watts and a vertical up about 30′.  

   I was eager to get to ragchew mode and let the guys work each other, instead of everything flowing thru me.   They responded and many WI County contacts were made.   Sounds like a few guys are getting pretty close to their initial 20 counties for the WIVUCH award.   To read all about WIVUCH, go to   Take 5-10 minutes to get acquainted there, and think about what this program will do for VHF/UHF activity levels all around Wisconsin.   Please spread the word to every corner of the state.   I need word-spreaders — can’t do this all myself.

   By the way, WIVUCH contacts can be made any old time.   7 days a week, 24 hours a day.   On any V/U band from 6m on up to 1296 or higher.    WIVUCH contacts can be made during ragchews, contests, band openings, nets, whenever.  
    I hope plenty of guys are talking this program up on the repeaters they enjoy.   But do realize that repeater contacts are not valid for WIVUCH awards.   Gotta make the Q station-to-station.    We’re trying to get guys to improve their stations, their range, and their listening skills with this program.

146.43 Net Report — 13, 14 check-ins, great conditions

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

    I’ll have more tomorrow, but we finally had a night with some enhancement.   Conditions were very good along the Lake MI corridor and many contacts were made.   The post-net part was especially fun, because I got out of the way and several guys were exchanging WI counties for the award.   (WIVUCH stands for WI VHF/UHF County Hunters Award — see that website for full details)   
    Tuning around 146 and 147 MHz simplex between 9-10pm, I heard at least 6-7 different frequencies alive, so plenty of folks had figured out the bands were enhanced.  
    When I left the shed about 10:15pm, W9GA and W9JFM (Dan in Algoma) were having a great time on 432.110 SSB.    Conditions were *really* strong on UHF, and they were 40 over S9 on both ends.   This was even cross-polarized!   So lots of fun to be had tonight.

WB9LYH gets 16 check-ins on 144.240; KC9BQA gets 9 on 144.250

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

   Conditions were poor tonight.   You really had to stick with a station to get them on a peak.   Still had good participation, and chat becomes more active every week.   Lots of spin-off activity was happening tonight via the chat, and that’s just what we’re shooting for.   These nets realize their full potential when multiple guys end up doing their own CQ’ing on other frequencies, after net control has passed them by.   What’s more useful?   20-30 guys all looking at one station for a brief QSO, or 20-30 guys looking around, calling CQ and working each other?    If you want more activity (and who doesn’t?) it’s the second option.

    Tonight, WB9LYH heard from:
    KB9WZJ EM69;  KB9BJH, N9NFB and W9GA EN53;  W1JWS EN50;  WA9BNZ EN40;  W0FAY EN42;  N0IRS, WB0NQD and W0DDC, all EM29;  N0GZ EN31;  KG0SJ and WB0YWW EN22;  W0ANH EN47, K0SIX EN35; and KC9BQA EN63.    Very strong showing from the Kansas City area and Iowa, too.    Believe W0DDC and N0GZ are new all-time check-ins.   I’ve worked N0GZ a few times from Des Moines in contests, and even with the poor cx’s tonight, he was S5 on my rig, while looking at WB9LYH.  
    WD0T was relayed in from DN94, Pierre, SD by K0SIX.   One of these nights, we’ll have good cx’s and he’ll make the full trip with his KW.   

    I heard from:
    N9NFB, W9GA and WB9TFH EN53;  W1JWS EN50;  WA9BNZ EN40;  NT9E EN52;  KB5ZJU EN63;  WV9E EN43 and W0ANH EN47.    Sorry conditions were so poor to EN50 and EN40.   Just could not hear more than a few scratchy words from ‘JWS and ‘BNZ.    Several fellows spun off to 144.240 to ragchew; I continued looking around for a bit on .250.    Glad to find Connie up in EN47; tough copy but there were peaks.   
    As WB9LYH does more and more of the DX-work, I am easing up on my net.   But I will try to work any “requests” in the chat room, after 0200-0215Z. 

    I’ll repeat this info next week, but here’s an early heads-up about a few things:
    1)  I will not be on 2m next week Wed.   I’m going to enjoy the 432 sprint, which runs from 7-11pm on April 28th.   
    2)  WB9LYH sounded undecided about whether he’d be available next week.   I’ll update the website when I know more.  
    3)  I wonder if we should have a later start time as we head into summer.   It’s just an idea at this point.   Feedback is welcome.   
     The 146.430 FM simplex net is *ON* tomorrow night, at 8pm.   I’m vertical and omni on FM.   Of course, all are welcome.   Only purpose is to stir up more activity on 2 meters.

222 Sprint Report — 36 Q’s, 18 grids, 10670 km (distance-based-scoring)

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

   If you’re wondering about tonight’s 144.240 long-range net it is *ON*.   Scroll down a bit for the net announcements for this week.

   222 Sprint worked out really well here.   Guys out east said few got on.   Guys out west said few got on.   I guess I was in the middle, because I think I worked just about everyone who was out there.   Illinois was especially strong — half of my total Q’s were from the Land of Lincoln.
   Propagation was not good.   Again, deep QSB fades meant having to try multiple times to catch guys on a peak.   Nobody was stronger than normal, that I can think of.  

   Here’s my log — note that  for the 144 sprint report down the page, I used miles.   For this report, I’m using kilometers, in accordance with the sprint sponsor’s preference.     I had a claimed score of 10732 km in the 144 sprint.    

K9EA          EN71le     360           N8PVT     EN64ve     137              N9NFB       EN53va    68
W9RM        EN52rb    178           WB0NQD  EM29xd   710              N0IRS       EM29ve    716
ND9Z          EN54ug    79           WO9S       EN61et     201             W9GKA      EM58cp    572
WB8BZK/R EN52xc  167             WV9E       EN43jv     264               KA0PQW  EN33iu      431
WB9WKJ   EN62cs     94            N9LAD     EN62bv      79                W9GA     EN53we     48
WB8BZK/R  EN62ad  162           W9RVG    EM57rn    673                K0PG     EN61au      194
K0SIX       EN35dj     499           N8WNA    EN82jm    405                VE3ZV   EN92vw    633
N9TF        EN52xg     148           K9GY       EN62ba     176               K9JK/R  EN51xx    181
KO9A       EN52xc     167            K9TMS    EN52wi     140               KC8QAE  EN91bf    566
WB8BZK/R EN51xx  181             K9JK/R    EN62aa     176               K9MRI    EN70iu     377
K8JA      EN82ln      417              W3KWH  EN90wk   738                WB8BZK/R EN61ax 181
WA9FIH  EN61cu   195               K9JK/R   EN61ax    181                 K9JK/R    EN52xa   176

   Good to work reliable rovers WB8BZK and K9JK in each of their 4 N ILL grids.   Rovers really boost overall activity.   
    Very glad for DX like W3KWH, VE3ZV, W9RVG, W9GKA, WB0NQD, N0IRS and KA0PQW. 
     There was some local FM activity on 223.500.   N9NFB, WB9WKJ, N9LAD, W9GA, KB9Q and K9TMS all tried.

     Remember the 432 sprint which is next Wed., April 28th, 7-11pm your local time.
     Microwaves (900 MHz and higher) are Sat. morning May 1st, 6am-1pm.
     6 meters is Sat., May 8th, from 2300Z-0300Z.

All Nets *ON* This Week

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

    Looks like everything’s a go this week.   WB9LYH on 144.240 at 0000Z Wed. evening from EN54cl.   Starts out looking east, then goes slowly clockwise from there.   Then I’m on 144.250 at 0130Z, from EN63ao, or 40 miles north of Milwaukee.   My net has evolved far more into a S WI/ N ILL roundtable for some regulars.   If you’re DX, know that WB9LYH is doing the heavy lifting there.  
    Of course, we encourage the use of chat to expand our activity across multiple directions and frequencies.    The idea is to make every Wed. night a “can’t-miss” deal for 144 SSB, across a wide portion of the Midwest and Great Lakes.     
     The Thursday 146.430 FM net is also ON this week at 8pm, hosted by me (omni-only).     If you’re out west, remember that WV9E Dave is in month #2 of his new 146.460 FM net, starting at 8:30pm from Onalaska, just north of La Crosse.

Don’t forget 222/223 Sprint on Tues. the 20th Any Milwaukee-area Rovers? Even on 223.500 FM?

Friday, April 16th, 2010

    Next Tuesday, we have the 222/223 Spring Sprint, from 7-11pm your local time.    As of now, it surely looks like I will be on, handing out EN63ao.  
    Those of you with 223 FM only, you’re more than welcome to play along.   Use 223.500 FM simplex.   That channel does get some action in any V/UHF contest including 222.   I will try to remember to call CQ from time to time on 223.500.   If some of you want to get a thread going for using 223.500 FM, do it via the comment feature.    If you talk your plans up ahead of time, it really helps improve the overall turnout.  
    If anyone were interested in roving the 4-grid intersection of EN62/52/63/53 at 70th and Lincoln, that would really perk things up.   You guys know me — I’m not a repeater guy.   Spread the word this weekend and see if anyone wants to put 4 different grids on for Tuesday night.   Even if it’s FM-only, it would get things perked up, if the word were spread.

    Looking ahead a bit, the 432 Spring Sprint is on Wed., Apr. 28th, again 7-11pm your local time. has your rules and dates.   It also has the details for submitting your log.   Each log is due 2 weeks after the corresponding sprint.

WB9TFH Gets 5 Check-ins on 146.430

Friday, April 16th, 2010

    Want to thank Gil WB9TFH for making some noise last night, since I was unavailable.    Especially want to thank Gil for emailing, so I could see the good news.   Gil said he put out a call at 8:08pm and heard from:   K9RZZ, KC9PQF, N9NFB, WD9ITJ, and KX9N.   By 8:20 or so, they slid into ragchew mode.  
    Thanks Gil, thanks guys for hanging in there and giving Gil some “business”.

I’m Doubtful for 146.430 FM net at 8pm

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

      It’s 9:30am — It looks like I won’t be around this evening.   Plus there’s a 50/50 chance of t-storms.   So I’m hoping someone else will call CQ FM Simplex Net at 8pm.    If I can sneak in later, I’ll try to say hello, but right now, I’m doubtful for tonight.    Remember that WV9E Dave has his 146.460 FM simplex net from just N of La Crosse at 8:30pm.   (That’s mostly for the guys out west.)