Archive for August, 2010

WB9LYH EN54 on 144.240 and KA0KYZ EN33 on 144.230 @ 0100Z Wed. Night

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

     Both WB9LYH and KA0KYZ are on tomorrow night for the long-range 2m nets.   If either has thunderstorm problems, we’ll advise here, shortly before the nets start.  
    WB9LYH is on 144.240, and starts out looking NE toward the U.P. of MI, then goes slowly clockwise, or to his E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N.   He typically doesn’t look SW or W until at least 0130-0140.  
    KA0KYZ has been involved for over a month now, and he gives reach to areas that might be beyond WB9LYH’s.   At 0100Z, KA0KYZ looks S, SW, W, NW and N from his good EN33 QTH.   So he’s covering IA, MO, KS, NE, MN and the Dakotas.   Again, KA0KYZ is on 144.230. 

    WB9LYH and KA0KYZ don’t step on each other because 1) they’re 10 kc apart and 2) they aren’t looking toward the same places at the same time.

   Remember the best way to keep track of what all is going on is via the chat.   It’s free, no BS and most folks are registered in less than 10 minutes.   Choose the IARU Region 2 room for 144-432 MHz and visit anytime, but especially on Wed. nights.

222 Tuesday is ON Tonight

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

    222 Tuesday is ON every Tuesday.   General USA/VE Activity Night for the 222/223 MHz band.   No single focus of activity, and no net control.   222 Tuesdays are as good as you make it.   Most guys have been getting on toward dark.   Swing your beams, call CQ, see who’s out there.  

    If you want more info about 222 Tuesday, visit   Some helpful hints there.

ARRL Sept. VHF QSO Party is Sept. 11-12th

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

   Time to get the ball rolling with the next big contest.   The two biggest ones are the June ARRL and the Sept.   There’s already some exciting things going on and we’ll talk about those tomorrow, hopefully.   I’ll shoot a quick link that may motivate some to get on and do more.  
   And if you want to see how MidwestMania! was done in 2009, visit 

   Last year, W9FZ (a valued VHF/UHF elmer, great rover and the founder of Badger Contesters) decided he wanted to rove some unusual grids in Sept. to go for his reverse VUCC as a rover.   So since he was going to be in the Great Plains, he created a website and emailed a bunch of guys in his log to stir up more activity.   It worked and states like SD, NE, KS, IA, OK had above average participation.  
   Bruce is doing it again this year, so you Plains guys need to spread the word as widely as possible.   There’s still two weeks to improve antennas, replace bad coax, fix amps, pre-amps, whatever needs doing.    There’s also time to find a few guys who might do a bit of roving.   Doesn’t have to be a full-blown effort.   Even a 2 or 3-band rover can put a few local grids on and perk things up.   Then they just might be hooked for 2011 and beyond.  
   If you’re in the Dakotas south to Oklahoma and west to CO and east to MN, IA and MO, you want to be on board for MidwestMania! 2010.   Spend some time at that link above and then post your plans.

    Check back here tomorrow for expanded info about the contest, plus a link to my series of articles called VHF Contesting School.   A guy takes an hour to read those carefully and they’ll feel confident enough to pick up the mic and call “CQ Contest”.

I’m *OFF* on 146.430 FM Net Tomorrow Night — However…

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

   There might be some 146.430 FM Simplex activity from the Muskegon, MI area, perhaps at 8pm *eastern* time or 8:30pm.   I’d flip your rig on and monitor.  
   EDIT — 11:30am Thursday — Click on the “comment” that was just submitted by KI8UM in Muskegon.   He’s going to be calling CQ on 146.430 at 7:30pm central/8:30pm eastern.   That should get the ball rolling tonight.    I’m 100% in favor of MI getting their own FM simplex activity started on Thursdays.   And they understand that we’re on in WI at 8pm central, 9pm their time, so there won’t be any QRM issues.   Stay tuned. 
    Hope someone calls CQ from the WI side at 8pm central.   Remember that WV9E out in EN43 also runs his FM net on 146.460, starting at 8:30pm central every Thursday.   Dave cleaned up last week with the enhanced conditions, reported 14 check-ins a new all-time high for him.

Slow Night, Poor Conditions. 12 check-ins for KC9BQA on 144.240 and 8 for KA0KYZ on 144.230

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

    More detail to follow later or tomorrow.  Reminding myself to type in KA0KYZ’s list of check-ins from both last Wed. and tonight.

KA0KYZ in EN33 Will Be On 144.230 @ 0100Z Tonight

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

   We now have another option for tonight.   If you’re SW, W or NW of WI, then you have KA0KYZ at 0100Z on 144.230.   Terry will be calling CQ to his S, SW, W, NW and N, to reach stations that I probably cannot from EN63.  

    ***Please remember that WB0OAJ will be operating from DN86 (yes, DN86) tonight, with a long yagi and 1500 watts.   K0HL may end up going out too, like he did 3 weeks ago.   If I get more concrete info, I’ll update here.    EDIT — 11:15am.   Sounds like WD0T in DN84 (Pierre, SD) will also be on tonight, starting around 0100Z.   He’s got plenty of antenna and smoke, too.   DOUBLE-EDIT — K0HL will be going out, activating DN96, starting as early as 0015Z. ***
    Those of you who are SW, W and NW of EN63, know that I will be looking your way on 144.240, starting with the SW areas (talking MO/IA/KS/NE) probably about 0140-0200Z.   It all depends on how busy I am in MI, OH, IN, WI and IL.

I Take 144.240 Long-Range Net Wed. Night — not WB9LYH. Plus More ND Activity is Planned.

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

     I’ll be updating this post later as more info arrives via email.  
    Here’s what I know at 5:30pm Tuesday:
    1)    I’m taking the 144.240 net, starting at 0100Z.   I start out looking N, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N.   Lately, we’ve been very busy so I imagine I won’t look west of WI or IL until at least 0130-45Z.  
    2)   I know that we’ll have activity from the DN grids of western North Dakota.   At this point, WB0OAJ plans on using a long yagi plus 1500 watts from DN86.   I’ve advised him to set up shop on 144.230.   I’m optimistic that K0HL will activate as well.    It’s entirely possible they would be on the air before 0100Z.   Or they might bounce between 144.200 and 144.230.  
    Like I said, I’ll update later when I know more.  
    My fingers are crossed we’ll have someone starting up from EN33 on 144.230 (yes .230) at 0100Z, looking S, SW, W, NW  and then N.    The purpose of this is two-fold:   1)   Not make the guys out west wait until 0145 or later to hear WB9LYH or myself on 144.240 and 2)  keep reaching stations that might not be able to work the WI net controls.  

     WE ARE STILL LOOKING FOR SOMEONE IN MI, OH OR IN WHO IS WILLING TO SPREAD THE ACTIVITY FURTHER EAST AND SOUTHEAST.    Even if you’re “just curious” let’s talk about the possibilities.

Catching Up After Anniversary Getaway

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

    Well, I see the tropo opening certainly delivered.   Looks like bands were open pretty much every night from Thursday thru Monday.   And actually open during some of those days, too.   Glad we had a resource like the real-time VHF/UHF chat to help make more contacts.  

     Tonight is 222 Tuesday.   Hopefully the propagation will still be up.   Scroll down to the August 16th post on the “front page” here if you want more info about 222 Tuesdays.   Help spread the word and consider getting on with a buddy, so the two of you can yak a little bit — this lets others know there is activity.   From some of the email I get, I’m still a bit suspicious that some 222’ers are falling into the   “just listening” mode.   On a dead band, all the listening in the world isn’t going to create one db of RF.  

     Tomorrow night is long-range 2m SSB net night.   I’m not quite sure what the plan is yet.   I know we’ll have a net, one way or another.   It looks like KA0KYZ in EN33 has been doing better each week.   He gets on and calls CQ to his S, SW, W, NW and N, starting at 0100Z on 144.230  (yes, .230).   This doesn’t bother WB9LYH or myself one little bit on 144.240, as we’re looking E and SE during those times anyway.   We will still look SW, W, NW and N from WI after about 0030-0100Z on 144.240. 

     When I know who net control is tomorrow night for 144.240, I’ll advise here.

Best Tropo Opening of the Summer Well Underway

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

    I’m celebrating our 27th anniversary for a few days.   Checking the laptop for a few minutes and it’s clear that a major tropo opening is underway.  Quick check of email, the 144 prop logger and the chat archives (use the “review” option under the main “menu” button) shows many 400-800 mile contacts being made.   N0IRS in Kansas City reported working W VA on 2m for a new all-time state.   Fellow in Winnipeg CA area is reporting plenty of interference to local 400 MHz comms from stations in ND and MN.   So don’t forget about those higher bands.   Often times tropo is better on higher bands — in good tropo openings it’s not uncommon to run into random activity on 222, 432 or even the microwave bands.     

    Conditions got good last night, and have stayed good even though it’s midday.   This bodes very well for tonight, and perhaps the next few days.    The guys who enjoy 10 gigging really have their fingers crossed as the first weekend of the 10 gig contest is this weekend.  

    I have to note with considerable irony that when we got away for our anniversary last year, that also coincided with a huge tropo opening.    Enjoy!    🙂

Thur. 146.430 FM Net Needs Help — I’m Not Available

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

     Early heads-up that I am not available to take the 146.430 FM Simplex net tomorrow night.   When this happens, I’ve asked anyone to pick up the mic and put out a few CQ’s.   I’ll do the same for this week.   This can also be a MI station.   In fact, if we had one WI station and one MI station, it might be even better.   Have fun with it and see what happens.   Remember these nets are informal and the only purpose is to create activity.    Don’t worry about a formal procedure or script.