Archive for June, 2011

Big Night w/ Great Conditions for Nets. Will it Continue For Days?

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

   I wondered if last night might have enhanced propagation, and the net reports from WB9LYH and KA0KYZ said, “YES”!  
   If you missed out on last night, you should have other chances the next few days, at least.  Again, evenings, overnights and well into the next morning are the best times for enhancement.  If enhancement is good at midday, that usually means it will be even better as night falls. 

   WB9LYH reported, “Remarkable propagation.”  Mark had 23 check-ins, with DX award going to high-powered K4XR in EM64, northern AL.   Here’s his check-ins:  W0FAY EN42;  N9OLT EN64;  VE3LPY and WA8YUZ EN82;  KR8T and K8LR EN72;  K4XR EM64;  KC8ZJL EN71;  KC9UJY EN62;  KA9DVX EN41;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  N0IRS and KD0FEI EM29;  K0CQ EN32;  NT9E EN52;  KG0SJ, KD0BQK, WB0YWW (/M with only 10 watts) all EN22;  K0SIX EN35;  K0MHC EN26; N9HNO and N9JBW EN61.   Welcome to N9HNO; that’s a new call on the net. 

   KA0KYZ is on 144.230, starting at 0200Z.  Terry had a big night, and said conditions just got better and better after 10-11pm.  At 11:30pm central, the band was still open to TN and AL. 
   Terry’s 22 check-ins were:  N9OLT EN64;  KD0BQK, WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  WB9LYH EN54;  WA8YUZ EN82;  N8DJB EN81;  WB9TFH EN53;  NT9E and K9KEU EN52;  KC8ZJL EN71;  KC0PDX EN41;  K0CQ EN32;  N0IRS and KD0FEI EM29;  W0WFH EM48;  K0MHC EN26;  KC0YBM EN35;  KB9WZJ EM69;  K0KP EN36;  W9MP EN45;  WV9E EN43.  Want to welcome W0WFH and KC0YBM to the nets.  W0WFH has just changed his call (formerly WA0KBZ) and it’s good to have more Missouri guys on board. 

   If I get a net report from K8TQK, I’ll post it here.  I am happy to report that someone, somehow helped Bob get on board with the chat room.  I had 5 minutes this morning to review a bit of last night’s chat, and saw text from K8TQK.  That’s great news.   I imagine Bob had a lot of fun last night.   Hope he doesn’t have a DX hangover this morning.

K8TQK on 144.250; WB9LYH on 144.240 and KA0KYZ on 144.230 — Wednesday Long-Range Net Controls

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

   Been very short on time for this website lately.  To streamline things, I’ll direct you to the June 21st net announcement, 4 posts below this one.    Please note that WB9LYH will be taking the 144.240 net as usual, from EN54cl, middle of WI.

More Summer VHF/UHF Contests Coming Up

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

    On the weekend of July 16th/17th, we have the CQ WW VHF Contest.   This one runs for 27 hours, from 1800Z on Sat. until 2100Z on Sunday.   In some ways, this is the most enjoyable contest out there.   Little more relaxed than an ARRL contest, plus there’s only 2 bands to worry about.  6m is often open with sporadic Es, just like in the June contest.    Here’s the rules link:
   I hope many of you are making plans to get on.   Also hope you’re encouraging your ham buddies to give this contest a try.  Nearly every ham has 2m and/or 6m.   Remember that if you or your ham friends have no idea what a VHF contest is all about, you can study ahead of time with my series of articles called VHF Contesting School.  These articles are designed to take a total beginner and get them comfortable with calling “CQ Contest”.   The direct link to those articles is:   You are welcome to pass that info along to hams everywhere.   I wrote those articles with a goal of getting 100’s of new VHF/UHF contesters on the air.  I can’t do it myself, so your help is appreciated. 

    IF YOU HAVE PLANS TO ROVE IN THE CQ WW VHF on JULY 16/17TH, POST YOUR PLANS HERE.  Use the comment feature.   I want your plans to get the maximum exposure possible.  

   After July 16/17, the next important contest is the ARRL UHF from 1800Z Sat., Aug. 6th until 1800Z Sun., Aug. 7th.   In this contest, the lowest band is 222 MHz and it goes up from there.   Talking bands like 432, 902/903, 1296, 2304, 3456, 5760, 10 gig and higher, if you’re really hard-core.   Make sure to get on for the Aug. UHF.  Rules link is here:

   Then on the 2nd weekend of September, we have the ARRL Sept. VHF QSO Party  Runs 33 hours, from 1800Z on Sat., Sept. 10 until 0300Z on Mon., Sept. 12th (which is really 10pm central time on Sunday evening, the 11th)   Just like with the ARRL June and January contests, this one is all bands from 6m and 2m on up thru UHF and into the microwaves.

    I will also mention the 10 GHz and Up contest, as a nod to anyone out there with an interest in pointing high-gain dishes with very narrow beamwidths directly at other ops, primarily using cell phones or 2m to help facilitate contacts.  Some guys are very into 10 gigging, and one active club in the Midwest is NLRS out of Minnesota.   Visit and you should find more info there. 
    The ARRL 10 gig contest link is here:

Last Night’s Net Reports

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

   Let’s start with K8TQK’s 144.250 net report from EM89je, south-central OH.  
   Bob had 10 check-ins and they were:   VE3LPY, N8WNA and K8JA EN82;  K8GDT EN91;  W8WG EM89;  WB8AUK EN80;  KB8NOD EM79;  DX award goes to a couple of Badgers, WB9TFH in EN53 and WB9LYH in EN54. 

  **IF ANYONE KNOWS OF A WAY TO HELP A BLIND PERSON USE THE ON4KST.COM CHAT PAGE, PLEASE LET ME OR K8TQK KNOW**  Bob would love to join the chat, but he doesn’t know how to do it and I surely don’t.  I have emailed ON4KST and all Alain will say is “Telnet is the answer for the blind users: telnet 23000″.   I have no idea what that piece of info means. 

     I had most of the 144.240 net last night.   **WB9LYH WILL TAKE THE 144.240 NET NEXT WED., JUNE 29TH**.   Mark is home and he took over about 0200Z last night.  I had 10 check-ins:  N9OLT EN64;  KB9VUP, WB9TFH and KC9GMF EN53;  K9KEU EN52;  KA9DVX EN51;   KC0PDX EN41;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22  and WB9LYH EN54.   When Mark got on about 0200Z, he heard from KG0SJ and KD0BQK EN22; N8DJB EN81;  KC0RQH and K0SIX EN35.    Mark said signals were very strong to his west.  I’ll be honest — I thought conditions last night were flat. 

    KA0KYZ said he had a comedy of errors on 144.230 last night, but something must have worked, because he had a dozen check-ins.  Terry heard from:   WB9TFH and KC9GMF EN53;  N9OLT EN64;  K9KEU EN52;  KB9WLM EN40;  KC0PDX EN41;  K0SIX and KC0RQH EN35;  KD0BQK, KG0SJ, WB0YWW and WB0YNA all EN22. 

   AGAIN, PLEASE NOTE THAT WB9LYH PLANS ON TAKING THE 144.240 NET JUNE 29TH.   If that changes, I’ll surely put the info up here.  Always check here prior to the nets, just in case I have last-minute changes to share.

   THERE’S PLENTY OF THURSDAY NIGHT ACTIVITY.   It’s all detailed on the June 16th post, about halfway down this “front page”.

Have You Heard of Central States VHF Society?

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

   I am a CSVHFS life member.  It’s a strong group that goes back a long ways — back to the very pioneers of long-range communications on bands that were thought to have strictly line-of-sight propagation.  Every late-July, CSVHFS holds a Technical Conference.  This year’s is being held in Irving, TX (Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex) from July 28-31.    Go to for more information.  
   The goal of the conference is to raise the technical level of amateurs by providing a forum for presenting technical papers relating to VHF, UHF, and Microwaves, to provide a focal point for the discussion on operating practices and procedures, and exploration of modes such as EME, MS, FAI, E-skip, etc. and other topics that promote operation on Amateur bands above 50 MHz.  
   The conference offers Antenna Ranges for testing your VHF thru Microwave Antennas, and also Noise Figure/Gain Measurements for your Preamps and Transverters. 
   AGAIN, VISIT for more information.

Our Wed. Nets are ON Tomorrow Night + VHF/UHF Chat Page Info You Can Use.

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

   I have the 144.240 net tomorrow night and June 29th.  I start out looking north at 0100Z/8pm central, and then go clockwise from there, a full 360, over the next 60-90 minutes.  Some showers are in my forecast, but no mention of thunder or lightning so plan on a net. 
   K8TQK in EM89je, south-central OH is on 144.250 every Wed. at 0030/8:30pm eastern.  Bob starts out looking north, then goes clockwise a full 360.   He may be affected by t-storms, so we’ll stay flexible there. 
   KA0KYZ is in EN33qw, far SE MN.  Terry is on 144.230 @0200Z/9pm central.  He starts out looking east and goes clockwise from there.   Terry had a wonderful net last week — his most active ever.  Remember we always post net reports here, and last week’s is down this page a ways, June 16th post. 

   ABOUT THE ON4KST.COM REAL-TIME VHF/UHF CHAT  —   Both Terry and I are in the chat room, keeping an eye on any messages or reports of DX.  If you have a computer and internet near your rigs, get in the habit of monitoring this free and fun chat.  You want the “IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz”.   If you want more info about this VHF/UHF resource, click here:  If you want the 7 simple steps for getting signed up, click here:
    Again, this chat is free, no BS or losers.  Well over 2000 VHF/UHF’ers have registered from all parts of the USA.  The room is open 24 hours a day and most active in the evenings and on weekends.   Check it out and tell a friend.  When using the room, post what you’re hearing and who you’re working.  This helps everyone.

144.250 and 432.100 Activity Every Monday

Monday, June 20th, 2011

    N0PB’s long-range SWOT net ( for more info) is on 144.250 from EM39,  North-Central MO.    Phil is on Monday night, starting at 7:45pm with omni loops up high.   Then at 8pm, he switches to a beam and calls south first, then east, then north and west before going back to south about 9pm (all times central).    This is an active net called by a strong station.   N0PB would enjoy hearing from you.   

   There’s also 432.100 action every Monday night.    N4PZ  is 100 miles west of Chicago in grid square EN52gb.   Steve has 4 long yagis and a kilowatt on 432 and works even modest stations out to 400+ miles, if they’re pointed right at him.   You can’t believe how loud he gets when those sharp yagis peak right up on you.   
   N4PZ is on 432.100 every Monday night at 8pm central.   Believe he starts out looking SW and then swings his yagis counter-clockwise, or S, SE, E, NE, N, NW and then W.   You should get on 432 and say hello and see who else you can work — N4PZ is always trying to setup contacts between check-ins; it’s a lot of fun.

   Spread the word to your VHF/UHF buddies,  get on and have fun.

W9FZ/R Activates 4 WIVUCH Counties Tonight on Multiple Bands

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

   Here’s Bruce’s email that came in a few hours ago:
  “What:  St Croix  0000Z
       Dunn      0045Z
       Barron    0130Z
       Polk      0215Z

Where:  144.190

Why:  To exercise our radios and see how the bands are.

Who:  W9FZ/R and anyone else that wants to.
      chirping APRS

After 03Z I’ll be glad to revisit any of the counties if someone
missed one and still needs it on a band.  Don’t just work me, call
other fixed stations you hear–on .190 is fine.

I hope to be out there a little early, also.
Bruce Richardson W9FZ/R

For Sale — My 146/223 MHz Vertical Beam System

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

    8:10 Sat. morning —
   Yesterday, tower guys took down my working 10 element Cushcraft 146-147 MHz beam and my 10 element 223 MHz beam.  They are still connected by a sturdy cross-beam that was balanced across my smaller tower.  This package is ready to put up, no BS.  You want to start working  DX on 2m FM and 1.25m FM?  Here’s the solution.  
   Price is $70, picked up.   I’m not taking it apart and shipping it.   You are free to take it apart when you come here and pay me.  🙂 
   I took it off my tower because my plans changed and I have no room for this FM system.    I’d like to see someone get it on the air and start enjoying the benefits.  

   The CC 10-element beam for 146/147 MHz measures 144″ long.  Longest element is 40″.
   The 10-element 223 beam measures 115″ long.  Longest element is 27″. 
   The cross-boom that connects these is still attached, and is a 93″ long section of 1 1/2″ pipe. 

   Today I’m going to put this notice up on the Badger Contesters email reflector, plus email the info to several dozen known FM’ers in the Milwaukee area.   If you can think of someone else who’d be interested, go right ahead and let them know.  If you’re truly interested, email me at and we’ll take it from there.   In the event of multiple emails, priority will be given to those who were timestamped first.

SMIRK Contest This Weekend — 48 Hours — 6m Only

Friday, June 17th, 2011

  Some of you here may know about SMIRK (Six Meter International Radio Klub).    Their website is at   There’s plenty of solid tips on how to operate 6m SSB/CW there; spend some time at the website and become a smarter 6m operator.  

   The annual SMIRK 6m contest is from 0000Z June 18th — 2400Z June 19th.   In other words, from 7pm Friday night until 7pm Sunday night, central time.   I did join SMIRK (dues are $6.00, get it?) some years back and you can too.    You do NOT have to be a SMIRK member to enjoy 6m, or to hand out contacts this weekend.  SMIRK’s simply a friendly, well-established group of 6m lovers who has helped promote good operating practices for many years now.   Someone’s also spiffed up their website considerably — looks good. 
   Had to look up my SMIRK #, which is 6629.    If I forget it again, I can look it up here.   

   Again, you do not have to be a SMIRK member to enjoy the contest this weekend.   We want to work anyone on 6m, SMIRK or otherwise.   Full details are on their website.   Direct link to the rules: 
   For you newer guys, this is good practice for the July 17-18 CQ WW VHF Contest — 6 and 2m only.   I talked about the other summer VHF/UHF contests in more detail, scroll down this page to a June 14 post called, “Sounds like it was a Great June Contest… Also Looking Forward to the Other Summer Contests”   The info in that post may help you with the ins and outs of each contest.