Archive for September, 2010

Good Effort with the N MN into WI Mini-QSO Party Last Night

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

    K0AWU in EN37 and I have been talking and emailing the past two weeks.   We wanted to setup a night where guys in N MN (and nearby) looked SE toward WI and WI guys looked NW toward them.   Ended up that last night (Wed.) was the night.   From about 8-10pm, they gathered from about 144.195-144.180 and guys on both sides called CQ and got a variety of contacts in their logs.  
    This was not a net, nor was any one station the single area of focus.   We set it up by emailing several dozen guys on both sides of the equation.   I couldn’t play because of my bad headache, but that didn’t concern me too much because I have a tough path to EN37 anyway.   My goal was to get guys to look around and see what they could do for themselves.   It worked out well — from what I’ve seen in the chat archives and via a few emails.   We de-emphasized the Twin Cities guys because they would have been in the middle and we wanted a shot at the longer paths way up north.   Another time, we’d enjoy including the rest of MN.  

    If you’re having trouble finding enough activity in your area, consider doing something like this.   Setup an evening or weekend morning where guys in your region look specifically toward another region.   Do email coordination ahead of time so guys on both sides will know to get on.   No point in doing something like this if it’s the same 3-4 guys you always can work.  

    We may have some other times where WI guys look east toward MI, or west toward IA, south toward IL, etc.   Many directions this could be done.   If you’re out-of-state and reading this, contact me if you’re interested.   Expect to put an hour or two into emailing and promoting with your guys.   You know I’ll do the same.

222 MHz Sprint — Made 15 Q’s in 11 Grids

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

   I’m going to give myself an Atta-Boy for Tuesday night’s sprint.   Really didn’t want to play, what with 222 yagis being stuck east.   But once I got out here, it wasn’t bad.   Had plenty of guys out east, and scrounged up some Q’s in different ways.   Found a few on 223.500 FM (that does rotate, separate tower — 10 el vert. beam up 75′).   Had two guys who went cross-mode (my SSB, their CW).    
   Tnx WB8BZK and K9JK for roving the NW Chicago grid corners of EN52/51/62/61.    Tnx N9LB for listening carefully as I was completely off his back.   Tnx WV9E in EN43 for taking 10 mins. to make a whisper-quiet cross-pol Q on a 160 mile path.   Tnx K8DIO EN91 and K8MM EN83 for slowing down their CW.

   REMEMBER — 432 Sprint is next Wed., Oct. 6, from 7-11pm your local time.   Use your 6-digit grid square.   Full sprint rules are at

9:30am — 146.430 FM Simplex Net *ON* Tonight 8pm Central

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

   It’ll be a nice night for 2m activity.   I never know when I’ll have my last night where I can keep things open in the shed with the radios, and enjoy fresh air.   The stupid headache is still in there, but not a big deal today.   

   Imagine most of you by now know the procedure with the FM net.   All are welcome, spread the word, enjoy DX-type check-ins, etc, etc.   If you want more detail, click on this link
   Remember that WV9E Dave in EN43, just north of La Crosse also has his 146.460 FM net, starting at 8:30pm central every Thursday.  

   If you prefer SSB activity on a Thur. night, then N9JBW John in EN61, south side of Chicago has you covered.   He’s been doing the Q5 net on 144.220, starting at 7pm central, for many years.   Good station, friendly net, and plenty of check-ins.    He starts out looking east, and slowly goes counterclockwise, or NE, N, NW, W, SW, S.   If I’m wrong about that, someone correct me, please.

K8TQK Did Get On 144.250 from 0030-0115Z Last Night

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

   He emailed later to say that he worked 10 check-ins, best DX was EM54 in AL.   So we’re very pleased to now have big-time coverage to a large part of the Eastern states, Mid-Atlantic and Mid-South.   Stay tuned here and keep spreading the word.    Wednesday is a “can’t-miss” night for 2m activity east of the Rockies.    See my Sept. 27th and Sept 25th posts here if you don’t believe me.

6:20pm — Bad Headache, I’m OFF Tonight Unexpectedly on 144.240 Net

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

   This is what one gets for exercising.   Started getting a weird headache 2 hours ago while taking a nice walk.   It’s not getting better, so I’m shutting down for the evening.    I don’t get many headaches, thank goodness.   

   The deal with N MN and WI is *ON* after 8:00-8:30pm — has little to do with me.   I simply helped organize it.   Hope both sides enjoy and hear lots of activity.  

   Looking forward to next week on SSB.    We’ll get all our ducks in a row.   KA0KYZ should be back on 144.230 from EN33.   WB9LYH or me on 144.240, and K8TQK from EM89 on 144.250.

Exciting News — K8TQK EM89 Now on 144.250 Wed. from 0030-0115.

Monday, September 27th, 2010

    Just had a nice landline with K8TQK Bob in EM89, southern Ohio.   Starting this Wed., he’s going to be calling CQ in about a 200 degree radius on 144.250, every Wed. from 0030-0115Z or 8:30-9:15pm eastern time.   This keeps expanding the 2m activity across more of the eastern half of the USA and southern parts of VE3.  
   K8TQK will start calling CQ to his NNE at 0030 and then swing slowly clockwise, or NE, E, SE, S, SW and finally WSW by about 0115.   He has a huge signal and with flat conditions, he will have reach into OH, VE-3, NY, PA, W VA, VA, MD, NC, perhaps northern parts of SC and GA, plus TN, KY, S IN, S IL and S MO.   All are welcome, and you are encouraged to spread the word.   
   Want to add that there are two other 144.250 nets on Wed. nights.   You have EL99, Daytona Beach, FL on every Wed. at 8pm (eastern, I presume) and EM13, North Texas on at 9pm central.   More info is available at  

   Even if a net doesn’t interest you, realize we encourage overall activity.   We ask stations to tune around, call their own CQ’s and spread the RF in many directions.   We also encourage the use of real-time VHF/UHF chat.   This chat is free, no B.S. and available anytime for all USA/VE hams.   All our Wed. net controls will be logged in, and we try to post updates so everyone can follow along.    Please use that chat anytime to get more contacts in your log — we have a lot of fun in there on Wednesdays.

REMEMBER — 144.240 Wed. SSB Net Now Starts at 0000Z/7pm Central/8pm Eastern AND K8TQK EM89 Will Now Help With Wed. Nights

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

    Hope we don’t lose too many of you with the time change on Wed. nights.   We’ll be starting one hour earlier until next spring.  
    I know that this Wed. (Sept. 29th) I will be net control for 144.240.   I will do the same rotation — start out looking N into NE WI and the U.P of MI.   Then go slowly clockwise, or NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next hour and a half.  
    I also know that KA0KYZ in EN33 is unavailable on Wed. so 144.230 will be quiet for a week.   Of course, anyone can pick up the mic and call CQ.   You’ll probably have some guys happy for the activity.   KA0KYZ has been getting activity from WI, IA, MN, MO, KS, NE and the Dakotas.   I know he’s eager to resume things, starting in October.  

    The exciting news is that this Wed. K8TQK is going to put his big 2m signal to work from EM89, southern Ohio.   He’s going to start stirring up activity Wed. evenings, in areas we can’t reach.   When Bob and I are able to talk for a while on the phone, we’ll iron out the details and post them here.  
    The big picture is that on Wed. night (probably about 8-8:30pm eastern time) if you’re in a wide arc from southern VE-3, east to NY/PA and the Mid-Atlantic, and then swinging south thru the Carolinas, and of course, KY, TN, N GA, N AL, you’ll want to follow along here.   Start spreading the word with confidence.   We’re doing this to increase 2m activity at least one night a week, across much of the eastern half of the US.   We’ve got a darn good start the past 2 years, and now it’s really going to expand.

222/223.500 MHz Sprint This Tuesday Evening 7-11pm

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

    Next sprint is 222MHz on Tuesday, Sept 28th, and then 432MHz is on Wednesday, Oct 6th.   Both run from 7-11pm in your local time zone.   Microwave (900 MHz and up) is on Sat. morning, Oct. 16th, from 6am-noon and 50 MHz (6m) is on Sat. evening, Oct. 30th, from 2300-0300UTC time.     Full sprint info and rules are at:

    In the 222 Sprint, your call freq. on SSB/CW (and typically horizontal polarization)  is 222.100.   Guys may operate about 30 kc either side, to reduce congestion.   A 222 event will get a fair amount of activity on the FM simplex portion, right on 223.500 or nearby.   It pays to use 223.500 FM to find contacts.   Try vertical pol. first, but if you have both antenna options, then you increase your chances.   

    My plans Tuesday night are to get on for a while.   My 222 SSB antennas are stuck pointed east.   Means I’ll get Worked All Detroit/Windsor and Cleveland again.   I’ll also hear a fair amount of locals and semi-locals even off the back.   I hear better on 222 than any other band, easily.   
    I now have a 10el vertical beam for 223.500 FM that’s on a separate tower and that one IS rotating.   I imagine I’ll be looking around, calling CQ a fair amount on 223.500.  

    If you have 222 SSB or even FM gear for 223.500, I encourage you to get on Tuesday evening.   Should be a beautiful night in the Midwest.   Is anyone going /P or /R with their setup?   Even an FM-only guy up on a high hill could make a nice difference.

    If you don’t know of anyone in your area with 222 SSB or 223.500 FM gear, do a little promoting.   Ask around on the air with your locals; you may find some eager to use their rigs.   That’s what 222 Tuesdays are for.   I know there was a Jetstream 220 rig (FM) that got a great review in QST — check the Jan. 2010 issue of QST.   It’s the Jetstream JT220M, 50 watt output.   You can also see what hams themselves have to say about that rig at   That is a great site for searching thru 1000’s of product reviews.  Reviews about rigs, antennas, amps, coax, accessories — the whole 9 yards.

Want Sunday Night SSB Activity? Here’s 3 Choices

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

   Sunday is a busy radio night with nets/activity.    A net that’s been on for months now is hosted by K9TMS Tom out of EN52wi, far NE ILL.   It’s a SWOT net ( and is on 144.250 SSB, starting at 7pm central.   He is horizontal, and gets a mix of polarities checking in.

   The focus then shifts to the Central and Southern MN area.    NLRS ( — is a great weak-signal website) hosts Sunday activity on 6 and 2m.    All times central. 
   K0SIX Vince in Big Bear Lake (EN35dj) calls their 50.175 net from 8:30-9:00pm.   Very nice 6m signal from Vince.   Good guy, and always looking for more check-ins. 
    KA0PQW Matt in Ellendale (EN33iu) is on 144.260 (yes, .260) at 9:00pm.   Another good guy who wants check-ins from a wide area.  

   We’re not quite done with the Sunday lineup yet.   Also have 6m and 2m activity out of SW Michigan.  
    Sunday             8:00 P.M.      50.150 USB     N8QEM    (EN72au)
    Sunday             8:30 P.M.     144.155 USB    K8NFT     (EN62ws)
    Those times are also central.

Overdue 144.240 and 144.230 SSB Net Reports

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

   Plenty have said they enjoy these net reports, and I appreciate the kind comments.   Glad to get caught up this afternoon.   I also do these net reports for myself.   It keeps me motivated when I go back thru the archives here and see the amazing number of VHF stations that are still out there.   I’d have never guessed there were half this many.  

   The bigger challenge is to somehow have these stations on the air more often.   If 30% of all weak-signal VHF stations would get on the air for just a half hour or hour every week, and call CQ, we’d be all set.   We really would.   If you want more active bands, do your part and make some noise.   Do it in the evening, in the early mornings, on the weekends.   Don’t “just listen”.   Listening on a dead band is useless.    I know it’s just not in some guys’ constitution to call CQ.   But I know from experience that there’s at least 5 guys “listening” for every one that CQ’s.   Probably more.   When you call CQ, you make activity happen.   I noticed this myself last Wed., before the net.   I called and within 5 minutes, I had several guys I QSY’d off 144.200.  

   No idea when, but someday I will compile a list of unique call signs that have checked in on SSB and/or FM simplex.   I know the number is over 500 now, going back to when we started all this in June of 2008.    We’re still getting new all-time check-ins so the word must be spreading.   Those of you who are helping, thank you very much.  

   On WED. AUG 18TH, we had KA0KYZ (only) on 144.230.   From EN33, SE MN, Terry raised 9 guys.    WB0YWW and KD0SJ EN22;  KD0KUK and K0SIX EN35;  W0FAY EN42;  W0MTW EN24;  NT0V EN08;  N0UY EN18 and WV9E EN43.    Great to get NE N.D. and NW MN in the net log, with NT0V and N0UY.  

   On WED. AUG 25TH, KA0KYZ EN33 was again on 144.230.   He had 8 check-ins.   WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  W0MTW EN24;  K0SIX and KD0KUK EN35;  N0UY EN18;  W0FAY EN42 and KC0MIA EM28.   Good to see our friend John KC0MIA in there from the Kansas City area.   He makes the most of what he can, using good yagis in his attic.   
    On 8/25, I was on 144.240 from EN63.   I had 12 check-ins.    N8FQ EN62;  KF8QL and KR8T EN72;  W9YZU EM69;  W9DZ EN61;  NT9E and N9UM EN52;  WB9TFH, W9GA and W9REL EN53;  KA0KYZ EN33 and WV9E EN43. 

    On WED. SEPT 1ST, KA0KYZ was on 144.230 and had 8 check-ins.   W0FAY EN42;  K0JRD EM38;  WB0NQD EM29;  N0DSN EN33;  KG0SJ and WB0YWW EN22;  W0HXL EN21 and W0MTW EN24.  
   On 9/1,  WB9LYH EN54 was on 144.240 and had 20 check-ins.     K8TQK EM89;  N8WNA EN82;  W8SRT EN80;  W9YZU EM69;  WB9WOZ EN61;  N9LAD EN62;  KA0OKM and W0FAY EN42;  W1JWS EN50;  WA9BNZ EN40;  K0JRD EM38;  KG0SJ EN22;  WV9E EN43;  N0WJY EN10;  KA0KYZ EN33;  N9KOR EN44;  W9MP EN45;  K0SIX EN35;  W0ANH EN47 and KC9BQA EN63 

    On WED SEPT 8TH, KA0KYZ took 13 check-ins on 144.230.   Great DX with W8BYA clear across Indiana in EN70.  
KA0OKM and W0FAY EN42;  KD0FEI EM29;  WB0YWW EN22;  W0HXL EN21;  N0WJY EN10;  N0DSN EN33;  W0MTW EN24;  K0SIX EN35;  N0UY EN18;  N9LB EN52;  WV9E EN43 and best for last, W8BYA EN70.   I’m not sure that Q would have happened if Terry and Gedas hadn’t been in the real-time chat for VHF/UHF.    Because they were both busy working other activity, they were able to coordinate via the chat and then make the Q.  
    Also on 9/8, WB9LYH on 144.240 had 23 check-ins:   KA0OKM and W0FAY EN42;  N8FQ EN62;  N9OLT EN64;  W8BYA EN70;  KR8T EN72;  K8TQK EM89;  WD9DSN EN71;  K9CCL and W9EWZ EN61;  N9CUE EM69;  KB9RDS EM79;  N9LB and K9VS EN52;  N9JZN EN51;  WB9TFH EN53;  N0IRS EM29;  WV9E EN43;  W0HXL EN21;  KA0KYZ EN33;  K0SIX EN35;  VE3KRP EN58 and KC9BQA EN63. 

   On WED SEPT 15TH, KA0KYZ was off 144.230 due to thunderstorms.  
   I was on 144.240 and had 18 check-ins.   N9OLT EN64;  N8FQ EN62;  VE3LPY EN82;  K8TQK EM89;  KR8T EN72;  W9REL and NT9E EN52;  W9DZ, W9EWZ and WB9OWZ EN61;  N9CUE EM69;  WB9TFH EN53;  N9JZN EN51;  WB0YWW EN22;  W9FZ/M and WV9E EN43;  VE3KRP EN58 and after the lightning moved on, KA0KYZ EN33. 

   On WED SEPT 22ND, KA0KYZ was again plagued by thunderstorms. 
   I was on 144.240 and had 26 check-ins.   A general summary is farther down this “front page”.   N2YZ in FN02, was a DX highlight.   I worked:  N9OLT EN64;  K8MM EN83;  VE3LPY and K8VFV EN82;  KR8T EN72;  NY2Z FN02;  K8GDT EN91;  K8TQK EM89 (Bob also relayed N8YOH/M from OH);  WB9MXX, and AB8GL EN62;  WA9KPZ, N9UM, K9IJ, K9VS and KC9AOV EN52;  N9UYC EM69;  W9LNL EN63;  W9EWZ EN61;  AA9MY EN50;  WB0NQD EM29;  WA9BNZ EN40 (relay help from K9UHF);  KC9FNM and K0VSC EN53;  WV9E EN43 and W0ANH EN47.