Archive for May, 2011

Post Your June VHF Contest Plans Here (June 11-12)

Friday, May 27th, 2011

   ARRL June VHF QSO Party is in 2 weekends.  In the central time zone, it runs from 1pm Sat, June 11th until 10pm Sun, June 12th.    All bands from 6m (50 MHz) right on up thru 144, 222, 432 and into the microwaves (900, 1296, 2304, 3456, 5.7, 10 Gig, etc) are in play.  

   Here’s the link to the ARRL rules and info:   

   This has been created by W0UC in EN44.  I’m sharing it with his permission.  Thanks Paul.  
   Do not ask me questions about this; I’m simply the messenger.  I have no idea how to create or administer a Google Spreadsheet.  
   What I do know is it’s a great idea to help promote more activity in the contests.   It’s very motivating to see dozens of hams who will be on, making the airwaves come alive.   Even if you just have a limited station or plan to be on for only a few hours, post your plans.    There’s several different ways to display the data if you click on the tabs at the bottom.   Don’t forget the rover link.  Good to see a few rovers already planning to go out; hope we’ll see many more get on board.
    I know this website has visitors from all over the USA.   I appreciate every visit because I want better V/UHF activity everywhere.  BUT… when it comes to using this spreadsheet, I think it’s better if you post plans only if you’re in about a 500-mile circle from WI.   That’s not a hard and fast rule; simply a friendly guideline that takes into account typical range of 2 well-equipped stations on 2m, without any special enhancement. 
    If you wish you could post to this sheet but you’re well beyond range, consider this:   Create your own activity spreadsheet and promote it in your part of the country.  What W0UC has done here really helps.  Imagine if the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic, the Deep South, the Western Plains and Rockies each did their own sheets.  

    Want to know more about the ins and outs of a VHF contest?  Here’s a great resource:  I wrote those VHF Contesting School articles and am very proud of them.  No, they’re not for those in a hurry.  It’ll take an hour or two to read and absorb the info.  That’s why I broke things down into bite-sized pieces.   You have my permission to share VHF Contesting School with hams everywhere.  The whole point of the articles is to help get any ham, anywhere comfortable with sitting in front a rig and calling “CQ Contest”.
    Remember that 6m and 2m are the bread-and-butter VHF contest bands.  Easily 50% of all activity takes place on those two bands.  It’s fine if you don’t have 222, 432 and on up.  We’ll gladly take your contest points from your 6m and 2m station.   You just may get hooked and decide to add bands later.

    Summer is easily the busiest time on the VHF/UHF bands.  If you want a contest calendar, click here:

Wed. Net Reports — K8TQK has 9 Check-ins and KA0KYZ has 7

Friday, May 27th, 2011

   Here’s Wednesday night’s net reports.   We were OFF on 144.240, due to travel and weather problems. 

   K8TQK was on 144.250 from EM89je, south-central OH, at 0030Z/8:30pm eastern.  Bob had 9 check-ins, including DX from EM73.   His list:  WA8YUZ EN82;  AC8IS, KD8AUK, KG4HNI and KC8YXA EM89;  K8GDT EN91;  K1RZ and W3ZZ FM19 and the DX award goes to KX4R in EM73.  
   KA0KYZ was on 144.230, from EN33qw, far SE MN, at 0200Z/9pm central.  Terry had 7 check-ins which is pretty good, considering that high winds and cold rain were plaguing the Upper Midwest, plus 6 meters had opened up in the evening.   Terry heard from:  W0HXL EN21;  WB0YWW, WB0YNA and KG0SJ EN22;  N9OLT EN64;  KB0UCO EN33 and new check-in W0ERP from EN34.  Welcome Patrick to the nets and thanks for giving 2m SSB a try. 

   I’ve been watching long-range forecasts for signs of  better weather.  We may get into a nicer pattern next week — this has been hinted at for several days now.  In fact, taken verbatim, we would have good tropo in a lot of the eastern US starting this weekend and intensifying into next week.   This would be a very welcome change!    Keep an eye on the Hepburn Tropospheric Ducting forecast maps at

New 2m Net — 144.225, Tonight at 0100Z, WU5E NCS from EM66gl. Also EN72 (Kalamazoo, MI) 6m and 2m Every Tuesday

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

   I received email from WU5E Jim last night.  He wants readers here to know that he’s calling a net on 144.225 on Tuesday evenings at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  His QTH is EM66gl, just southwest of Clarksville, TN, or about 50 miles northwest of Nashville.   Jim says he’s running an M2 9SSB at 40′, into a TS-2000X. 
   I don’t hear much about weak-signal VHF/UHF activity out of the KY/TN area, so I’m glad to hear about this net.   Help spread the word about it, and say hello to WU5E on the air.

   PLUS EVERY TUESDAY THERE’S 6M AND 2M ACTIVITY OUT OF EN72, Kalamazoo, MI including AM mode.  Here’s the specifics:
TUE 7:00 PM Eastern–144.222Mhz– AM
TUE 7:30 PM Eastern–144.222 Mhz–SSB
TUE 9PM Eastern–50.3 Mhz–West MI Six Meter SSB net
TUE 9:30PM Eastern–50.4 mhz–West MI Six Meter AM Net
Net times may vary…

Excellent Rover Website From K0MHC — Enjoy.

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

   I should make a post about roving at least once every month.   Roving is really that important to the welfare of VHF/UHF contests.  

   Happy to share a great website with you today.  Thanks K0MHC Jim for putting this together and thanks for granting permission to share it with visitors to this VHF/UHF website.   Go to  Hope it motivates many of you to get out and go roving in the contests.  

   Here’s a link to the busy VHF/UHF contests this summer:   June VHF is less than 3 weeks away.
   My series of articles called VHF Contesting School is available here: 
   The specific articles about roving are at and   As always with my VHF Contesting School articles, you are free to share this info.  The whole purpose is to educate any ham, anywhere, about how to operate in a VHF/UHF contest.

Sunday Night Activity from MN and W MI.

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

    This post was originally made back on April 2.  
    I haven’t posted the Sunday night on-air activity for some weeks now.   If you only visit a few times per month, it pays to scroll back and catch up.   But most guys (me included) are in a hurry and just want a quick look at the headlines.  That’s why I frequently repeat prior information.  

   NLRS (Northern Lights Radio Society) out of Minnesota has active nets on Sunday nights.  For years now, K0SIX on 50.175 at 8:30pm central time, from EN35di has been a strong, reliable 6m net control.  Same with KA0PQW on 144.260 at 9pm central time, from EN33iu.  I know Vince and Matt personally and can vouch that they are looking for activity across a wide area.  Stop by and say hello.  (By the way, that 144.260 is not a typo.  The NLRS 2m net is on 144.260)   
    EDIT — May 22nd — Looks like KA0KYZ is often an alternate net control on 144.260, same time, same grid, so thanks Terry for pitching in. 
   **More good news** –  Starting in April, K0SHF Lenny stepped up to call a 432.120 net from EN34jv, from 7:45-8:15pm.  I have this news off the NLRS email reflector.  If you’d like more regular 432 activity, then point toward the Twin Cities on Sunday nights and  support their efforts.   K0SHF emailed to say that he has 100w on 432 and he will listen hard to the east.   I know Lenny wants widespread 432 activity, just like N4PZ does on 432.100 (from EN52gb) on Monday nights at 8pm central. 
    The NLRS website also lists a 222.120 net called every Sunday from 8:15-8:30pm called by N0KP in EN34gt. 

    Speaking of the NLRS website, it’s undergone a nice-looking facelift.  Looks like someone’s put in a lot of time updating it.  Visit   I hope their old links to Rovermania! aren’t gone forever.  That Rovermania info was incredibly motivating to me, and I’m sure many others felt the same way.   The scuttlebutt is that over time, NLRS has become mostly a 10 gig club.   If you’re into 10 gigging, you’d best bookmark the NLRS site

    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.

    EDIT  EDIT  — Dec. 2, 2011.  I’ve just learned that the 50.150 net is no longer on the air.   I read email from N8UYC that says N8QEM has sold his ham equipment.  So scratch the 50.150 net out of EN72 on Sunday evenings.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday Activity

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

    A big goal of this website is to make V/UHF’ers aware of their options.  Many times, if we can steer a newer guy to times and frequencies where he will hear activity, it keeps him motivated. 
   Thursday night has had widespread activity for some years now.   You have N9JBW with his Q5 net out of EN61, south side of Chicago, at 0000Z/7pm central.   Nice signal and a friendly group.  They’re on 144.220.  
   Also at 0000Z/8pm eastern on Thursdays, you have AB8XG calling his SWOT net (stands for SideWindersOnTwo, see from EM89, SE Ohio. 
    If you want more detail about these two nets, click here:

    On the FM Simplex side, WV9E in EN43, just north of La Crosse, WI has been calling an active net for over a year now.  This net is on 146.460, every Thursday at 0130Z/8:30pm central time.  The EN43/La Crosse area has gotten a lot of new ops on the air and WV9E and W9RPM have spearheaded the effort.  They have a vertical beam they can turn toward you if you email them ahead of time to let them know you are out there.   Email WV9E, or visit his website 

    Fridays and Saturdays have both 2m and 6m SSB activity out of Ohio.   Click this link and you’ll have all the details.  

    I’ll try to remember to make a post in the next few days about Sunday evening activity out of both Michigan and Minnesota.   Or you can check out the Minnesota activity by visiting and once there, clicking on the “nets” link on the left.  The NLRS website recently was updated and the info there is current.

WB9LYH Has 25 Check-ins, KA0KYZ Has 12 and K8TQK Has 8.

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

   11:45pm Wed.   — 
   Good nets tonight.   Good propagation, low noise and plenty of activity.  
   WB9LYH in EN54cl said, “great propagation tonite.  Had to turn the front end gain down for many stations.  Contacts included:  N8WNA and VE3LPY EN82;  W9KHH EN63;  KR8T EN72;  N9NDP EN62;  KC8ZJL EN71;  KC9AZ EN61;  N9CUE and W9YZU EM69;  KC9AOV, NT9E and N9LB EN52;  KA9DVX EN51;  KC9RJI EN41;  W9BBP EN40;  N0IRS and KD0FEI EM29;  WB0YWW, KG0SJ and WB0YNA EN22;  W0HXL EN21;  WV9E EN43;  K0SIX EN35;  W0ANH EN47 and N8PUM EN66.”
   This is the best 144.240 net in some weeks — thanks everyone for being there.   Thanks Mark for putting your stacked 17B2’s, 500 watts and ridgetop QTH to good use.   

    KA0KYZ on 144.230 from EN33qw reported “band conditions were good tonight, don’t think any major enhancement in any certain direction, but signals in most directions were strong (although still somewhat variable).  Low noise too!   Had a very nice net.  Sounds like several antenna and station improvements are underway with better wx condx.   Check in’s:  N9OLT EN64;  KC9RJI EN41;  KC0AAB and KB0UCO EN33;  N0IRS and KD0FEI EM29;  WB0YWW, KG0SJ and WB0YNA EN22;  W0HXL EN21;  K0SIX EN35 and WB9LYH EN54. ”
    Terry has been calling his 144.230 net since last August and is the night owl of the bunch, starting at 0200Z/9pm central. 

    EDIT — 1:40pm central Thursday — 
    I see Bob had a nice DX-type check-in from EM62, Central AL.   DX award goes to KI4PQE in EM62tm.  
    Bob’s 8 check-ins on 144.250 Wed. night were:  KD8OEK and AC8IS EM89;  WA8YUZ and N8WNA EN82;  KR8T EN72;  KB9HQF EN71; KI4ROF EM55 and again, KI4PQE with the DX award from EM62tm.  

    Want VHF’ers to know that K8TQK has a huge signal.  He’s the one southern OH station I can reliably work from my QTH north of Milwaukee.   When I say folks within 300-500 miles of EM89je should give a listen, I mean it.   Ops in the following states are within range of K8TQK’s 144.250 net, every Wed. at 0030Z/7:30pm central/8:30pm eastern:   WI, MI, VE-3, NY, PA, NJ, DE, MD, VA, WVA, OH, NC, SC, GA, AL, MS, KY, TN, IL, IN, plus parts of E AR, E MO and E IA.    That’s 22 states and 1 Canadian province that are within range of the K8TQK net.   Without any special enhancement.  Of course, we’re coming into the best time of the year for band openings, so keep an ear open on Wed. nights, and help spread the word.  
    Remember we announce all our Wed. night nets at this website, so you know just what to look for.

Last Wed’s 2m Net Reports + Monday Night Activity

Monday, May 16th, 2011

   1:15pm Monday — 
   The 144.240 net was OFF last Wed.   WB9LYH was unavailable and I had lightning at net time.   WB9LYH is back on 144.240 this week, at the usual starting time for summer — 0100Z/7pm central/8pm eastern.   The other net controls should also be on; click on the link below (item #4) if you want more info.   
   The goal is to make Wed. evening full of activity on 2m SSB.   You can help with this by 1) spreading the word and 2) sliding down below 144.220 and calling your own CQ’s in various directions.   Several dozen stations checking into nets is nice.   BUT, when those several dozen stations help create even more activity, on different frequencies, in different directions, that’s when 2m SSB really comes alive. 

   Last Wed.  K8TQK was on 144.250 from EM89je, south-central OH, at 0030Z/8:30pm eastern.   In fact, I have two weeks of net reports from Bob. 
   May 4th — 8 Check-ins:  KD8OEK, AC8IS, KG8EK, AC8EO, WT8E and WA8FFT all EM89;  K8GDT EN91;  VE3VII FN03. 
   May 11th — 15 Check-ins:  KD8OEK, AC8IS, KB8JNE, KG8EK, WT8E, W8WG, KD8DJJE, WA8SST and KC8ITN all EM89;  WB8AUK EN80;  VE3DXP EN92;  W2KV FN20;  KI4ROF EM55;  KD8HHK EM79 and N8WNA EN82.   W2KV and KI4ROF definitely get the DX award (no prize $, sorry).   Good to have NJ and west TN on board with K8TQK.    K8TQK has a whopping signal, guys.  If you’re with 300-500 miles of him, chances are you’ll hear something.   Help us spread the word in a large circle surrounding south-central OH.   
    KA0KYZ was net control on 144.230 at 0200Z/9pm central from EN33qw.   Terry had company stop by so his net started a little late.   There were still 6 check-ins:   WV9E EN43;  KB0UCO, KC0AAB and KB0SPM EN33;  K0SIX EN35 and W8BYA EN70.      

    Other topics…  
    2)  Tonight’s weekly activity on 144.250 from N0PB from 0045-0200Z, from EM39, north-central MO and 432.100 from N4PZ in EN52gb, (half hour WSW of Rockford, IL)  starting @0100Z.   Both Phil and Steve have outstanding range and would appreciate you stopping by. 

    3)  I’ve heard or read nothing about the 6m Spring Sprint that was on Sat. night.   I saw no reports of E skip openings anywhere in the US, and I know that locally, our weather was miserable.   15-25 mph winds; cold and rainy.    I was not on as my 6m beam snapped in half this winter.   Besides that, my 6, 222 and 432 rotor is not currently working.  
     3a)  Newer VHF contesters need to know that the Sprints are always a lot quieter than the ARRL or CQ WW VHF Contests.   It’s been that way as long as I’ve been on (late 2003).
    4)    Our trio of Wed. 2m net controls should be full strength this week — nice weather is forecast.    See this post from May 3rd if you want more info.:

    5)  This website must have had publicity somewhere because the number of unique visitors shot up the past 3 days.   Glad to have as many visitors as possible as long as it helps get more signals on the SSB/CW portions of VHF/UHF. 
    6)  KA1ZE’s 144.205 group every morning @1200Z is doing great.   Very enjoyable  to read his daily email reports.   A good announcement about this from KA1ZE himself is here:

50 MHz Spring Sprint is Tomorrow Night — May 14th WELCOME to New Visitors

Friday, May 13th, 2011

   Get on the air and enjoy the 6m Sprint Sat. evening.   It runs for 4 hours, from 2300Z-0300Z.  This is 6-10pm in the central time zone and 7-11pm in the eastern.   The 6m sprint uses GMT to get everyone in the USA on at the same time, to best take advantage of any E skip openings that occur.    The 6m sprint will be busy, regardless of whether the band opens up or not.   Many new guys have gravitated toward 6m.   If you have a moderate beam up at least 30-40′ and at least 50-100w out, you should be able to make groundwave contacts out to 100-200 miles.   Those of you with dipoles, omni loops and the like, let us know you’re out there.   Don’t just wait for E skip, call CQ and work those in your own region, too. is the website for the Spring VHF and Up Sprints.

      If you need a link to the contest dates, websites and rules, click here:  Make sure to share that info with your radio friends.  

      IF YOU ARE A NEW VISITOR — welcome.   🙂    The reason I do this website is to encourage more activity on the SSB/CW portion of VHF and UHF amateur bands.    Take your time and scroll back a few pages.  At least scan thru each entry’s headlines and see what’s of  interest to you.   Think of this website as a VHF/UHF newspaper.  Read the paper a few times per week, and you’re up to speed. 

     IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR VARIOUS NETS/ON-AIR ACTIVITY — You’ve come to a good place.  If you go back to the posts between March 31 and April 2, you will find all the known (and current) nets within about 500 miles of SE WI.   There’s far more activity on weak-signal V/UHF than is commonly thought.  The trick is to know when/where to find it.
     I WOULD ESPECIALLY DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION to a newer net on 144.205, 7 mornings per week.  This 144.205 activity is spreading like wildfire across much of the eastern and southern parts of the USA.   Click on this link for great info from the net control himself, KA1ZE in FN01xt   There’s directions there to get on KA1ZE’s email list, and Stan will be happy to add you.

Net Reports: WB9LYH Has 12 and KA0KYZ 13 Check-Ins

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

    If/when I hear from K8TQK, I will get his net report added here.

   BTW — Looks like 6m went nuts today.  Reading emails about Midwestern stations working into South America.   Plus plenty of domestic skip to both coasts.  Hope some of you got in on it.   Looks like the Magic Band is having a nice start to the 2011 skip season.    If you want more info about 6m, it’s right down this front page. 

   On to last night’s 2m SSB net reports…
   WB9LYH started an hour later, and the 144.240 net will now start at 0100Z/8pm central/9pm eastern until at least September.   I have this net next week.   Mark said propagation was tough, but the later starting time was appreciated by all.   His dozen check-ins were:  N9OLT EN64;  VE3LPY EN82;  W9KHH EN63;  KX9M/M (assume SE WI);  N9JZN EN51;  KK7Z EN62;  KC9RJI EN41;  N0IRS EM29;  W0MTW EN24;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  K0SIX EN35. 
    EDIT — 8:30 Thur. night.  Want to say welcome to KK7Z, who checked in with WB9LYH last night on a Cushcraft AR270B at about 20-25′, and only 50 watts.  Ron has plans to soon put up a tower and get a 10-el yagi up about 50′. 

    KA0KYZ was on 144.230, with an 0200/9pm central/10pm eastern start time.  Terry said he had a nice net in spite of very high noise in most directions, and variable signals.   He heard from:   N9OLT EN64;  WB9LYH EN54;  K0NY EN44;  W9KHH EN63 (new check-in for Terry);  KB0UCO, KB0SPM and KC0AAB EN33;  KC9RJI EN41;  N0IRS and KD0FEI EM29;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  K0SIX EN35. 

   This Saturday, from 6am-1pm in your time zone, is the Spring Microwave Sprint.   I’ve gotten email from at least 10-12 hams who should be getting on bands like 902/903 MHz, 1296, on up to 10 GHz and even 24 and 47 GHz.   That’s a pretty good show of hands so far, and of course, there will be others on who we haven’t heard from.    I promised to post guys’ plans here sometime Friday.   Look for that info tomorrow.  If you need to add your plans, use the comment feature here.   Remember that guys will also be using 144.260 to look around and help coordinate contacts on the microwaves. 
    THE 6M SPRINT IS ON SAT. EVENING, MAY 14th.  Starts 2300Z and runs for 4 hours.