Archive for March, 2012

It’s Not Just About Us. Many Other Nets to Explore.

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

   Seeing N9JBW and WV9E check in tonight reminds me that their Thursday nets are ON tomorrow night, and every Thursday. 
   N9JBW has been running the friendly Q5 net on 144.220 every Thursday at 7pm central for years now.  Look toward EN61, south side of Chicago.   John’s got a nice signal.  He starts out looking east and then goes clockwise from there.  That’s right, he also has a website now.   The address is:   N9JBW invites all VHF’ers to say hello.  
   Another SSB net within range of the Great Lakes on Thursdays is also at 0000Z or 8pm eastern.  It’s out of EM89, SE OH, on 144.250, called by AB8XG and sometimes KD8DJE.  

   If you’re looking for an FM simplex net, then WV9E in EN43, just north of La Crosse, WI has what you’re looking for.  Dave is in Year 3 of his 146.460 FM net.  They get on every Thursday at 8:30pm central.  The antenna is a vertical and Dave is the first to tell you that he lives in a black hole, BUT… I’ve made it into this net from clear across WI (using a vertical yagi) and I know Dave does better in the N/S direction.  So if you want, give it a try.  Friendly group.   Both WV9E and W9RPM  have helped get a number of new signals on the V/UHF airwaves from EN43. 

    Those are the Thursday night options I can think of.  If you’re looking for other nets on other nights, or on other bands, visit this post:   It has many options, and honestly, I need to update it a little bit. 
    For instance, we have active nets from EN93 on 144.245 every Monday and Wednesday night at 0100Z or 9pm eastern, plus on 432.210, also at 9pm eastern, on Friday night.  (I’d double-check that freq.  I wonder if it isn’t 432.110)  
   The EN93 nets are hosted by VE3XTM and Terry’s been doing this for several years.  The check-ins are primarily from the Guelph, Kitchener and Waterloo ONT areas, but I’ve been emailing with Terry, and they welcome all VHF’ers.

Big Night for .240 and .252 Nets. WB9LYH Has 20 Check-Ins and K8TQK Has 27.

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

   8:45pm Wednesday — 
  This is about the earliest I’ll ever get a net report up.  Just worked out right tonight.  
  WB9LYH reported 20 check-ins to the .240 net tonight.  Mark said signals were up and down and sometimes really up. 

  WB9LYH’s list:  N9OLT EN64;  WA8YLZ EN63;  WB8AUK EN80;  N8WNA EN82;  K9LQZ EM68;  KY9E EN53;  KC8ZJL and KD8IME EN71.    good to hear from EN70, a grid that’s rarely heard from.  N8IBV was nice enough to say hello — welcome. 
  Continuing — KC9CLM and KB9PSE EN52;  N9JBW and KC9ITR EN61.  KC9TIR is also a new call to the net.  Good to have another signal from Chicago.   Continuing — N9SS EN50;  WB0YWW EN22;  WA9BNZ EN40;  W0ANH EN47;  WV9E EN43;  N9KOR EN44 and WB0DBQ EN46.  
   Nice net Mark, and thanks to all the check-ins from every direction of the compass.  
   1)  I am net control for April 4th and April 11th.   KC9BQA  is 40 miles north of Milwaukee, grid EN63ao. 
   2)  Starting April 11th, we switch over to our summer hours, which means we start one hour later — 0100Z/8pm central — until at least October.   Please mention this to anyone you can think of. 

   K8TQK is NOW ON 144.252.  Yes, .252.   He needs to do this to avoid a new noise problem on 144.250.  Sounds like this will be a permanent change.   VHF’ers had no problem finding Bob’s big signal tonight.   He had 27 check-ins and was busy until 0130Z.   
   Bob’s list:  N8WNA EN82;  WB8AUK EN80;  N8IBV EN70;  KD8IME EN71;  W2UAD FN13;  NF8O, KD8FHY, K8GDT and KC8YJB EN91;  WT8E, W8WG and KD8DJE EM89;  W3BFC FM18;  AC3L/M FN00;  K4XXX EM97;  N1GC EM95;  AA4DD EM86;  W4TMW EM84;  K1KC EM73.  Going to give tonight’s DX award (no cash value) to K1KC.  I’m certain I haven’t seen K8TQK work an EM73 station on his Wed. net.  It’s great to see check-ins as far south as the Atlanta area, especially considering band conditions didn’t appear to be anything special. 
   Continuing… KY4MRG EM77;  WA4REE EM65;  KI4ROF EM55;  WA9M EM79;  WB9LYH EN54;  N8DJB EN81;  N9SS EN50 and W9GA EN53.    Great net!   How many states and grids did these two nets cover tonight?  Plus at least 3 new all-time check-ins. 
   Just so there’s no confusion, K8TQK is now on 144.252, and his net will continue to start at 0030Z, or 8:30pm eastern.  Bob does *not* change times for summer.  The time change to an 0100Z/8pm central start is only with the 144.240 net, starting April 11th.


Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

   Long-time visitors to this website and frequent net check-ins will remember that the 144.240 net (ONLY the 144.240 net) changes to a later start time every spring and summer.  We do this for two reasons:  1)  lots of northern guys are out enjoying the long days, and don’t want to be in front of a rig at well before sunset.  2)  a later start time takes advantage of a bump in band conditions toward twilight and beyond. 
    **THE 144.240 NET WILL BE STARTING AT 8PM CENTRAL, OR 0100z, EFFECTIVE APRIL 11TH, 2012.**  This should continue until at least early October.   Please help us spread the word so we don’t lose anyone.  Thanks. 

    Here’s the net control schedule for the next 3 weeks:
   Wed., March 28th:   WB9LYH EN54cl, middle of WI.   0000Z/7pm central start.
   Wed., April 4th:  KC9BQA  EN63ao, 40 miles north of Milwaukee.   0000Z/7pm central start.
   Wed., April 11th:  KC9BQA  EN63ao, *NEW START TIME* 0100Z/8pm central.  
    Both our WI net controls start out looking northeast or north (into N WI and the U.P. of MI).  We then rotate clockwise a full 360 over the next 60-90 minutes.   All are welcome; the net is informal; purpose is to stir up more activity on 2m SSB.
    We encourage all V/UHF’ers to call more CQ’s at any time.   Especially when we have quiet bands (most of the time).  A dead band always needs more CQ’ers.   What happens if 50 guys are all in front of their rigs, “just listening”?   That’s right — nothing.

K8TQK 144.250 Net MOVES to 144.252.

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

   4pm Tuesday —

   K8TQK will be ON with his Wed. night 144.252 net, from EM89je, or far-south central OH.   Start time is 0030Z, or 8:30pm eastern.  Bob starts out looking north, then goes clockwise a full 360 over the next hour or so.  
   **PLEASE NOTE THE 144.252 FREQUENCY.**  Bob has developed a birdie the past several weeks on 144.250.  He needs to slide a few kc higher to hear properly.  Please let everyone know to slide up 2 kc to 144.252 for the K8TQK Wed. evening net.  It sounds like this may be a permanent change. 
    Remember that K8TQK loves DX and has the station to work it.  If you’re 400, 500, 600 miles away from south-central OH, give a listen and see what conditions are like.

Badger Contesters Get Together and Pizza Party is March 30th.

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

   I have email from my elmer and long-time Badger Contester W9GA: 

“Hello all BCers and friends;
I now have our suite reserved for friday March 30 at the Radisson North shore,  suite 224 as like last year, just up on the second floor, above room 124 where we held it most years.  (KC9BQA adds — the Radisson North Shore is located at Good Hope and Port Washington Roads, on Milwaukee’s far north side, about 3 miles away from Amateur Electronic Supply) 

I will hope to see you all, even from out of town, who come in for (Amateur Electronic Supply’s) superfest. 
(Here is the link to AES Superfest, which is Mar 30th-31st

We get underway about 7:00 PM, and order in some pizzas from down the street. 

Let me know who is planning, so I can get a head count.  We will pass the hat as usual for the room and the pizza.
This is the first preliminary notification, but I will make a more formal announcement soon.
Keep that evening open for our annual beer/soda/pizza gathering.  If anyone needs to come in from out of town, Ray K9KHW has mentioned that we can get a special rate for a room at the Radisson that friday night.  Let me know if  you wish to do that, and I will get you the ‘code’ for your reservation.  
More later;  
Ken W9GA”

 KC9BQA Continues…
 The Badger Contesters are my V/UHF Club.  Their website is at  This link shows the 175-mile club circle.  Don’t let the infrequently updated website fool you; this is an active club.  Been around for probably close to 20 years now.  If you would like for your V/UHF contest scores to go toward a club effort, please join the BC’ers.  Follow the info at the website.  The BC’ers are a low-key, low-stress club, with no dues. 
   If you are a Badger Contester, you already received W9GA’s message via the BC email reflector.  If you are interested in joining BC and want to get together with some V/UHF’ers on the evening of March 30th, by all means visit the pizza party — it’s a lot of fun.  You can let W9GA know you’re coming by emailing him kboston6 (at sign)

Net Reports — K8TQK 17 Check-Ins and WB9LYH 13

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

   5am Thur.  
   Let’s get these net reports up bright and early today.  
   WB9LYH was back on the 144.240 net, from EN54cl, right in the middle of WI.  Stacked 17 B2’s and 500w from a ridgetop QTH.  Gets out a long, long ways.  Mark worked N9OLT EN64;  K8GDT EN91;  N8WNA EN82;  KC8ZJL EN71;  WB8AUK EN80;  KY9E EN53;  KC9CLM EN52;  K9CCL EN61;  WE9K EN62;  WA9BNZ EN40;  WB0YWW EN22;  KG0SJ EN22 and K0SIX EN35. 
   Mark says to expect him again on 144.240 next week — his work schedule has cleared up for now.   Same start time of 7pm central.   Starts out looking NE, then swings clockwise a full 360 over the next hour or so. 

   K8TQK last night was operating on 144.252.  Bob has had to slide up a little because of a new noise source that gives him a very hard time on .250.  Bob’s 17 check-ins were:  KF8MY EN84;  N8WNA EN82;  WB8AUK EN80;  KC8YJB, NF8O, KD8FHY and K8GDT EN91;  W8WG and KD8DJE EM89;  W2UAD FN13;  AC3L/M FN00;  W4TMW EM84;  N4PPG EM76;  KY4MRG EM77;  WA4REE EM65;  KI4ROF EM55 and WB9LYH EN54.
   Bob’s net starts at 8:30pm eastern.  He starts out looking north, then swings clockwise over the next hour or so.  Like WB9LYH, his signal gets out a long, long ways.  Both our net controls enjoy DX check-ins, so if you’re in that 300, 400, 500+ mile range, listen their way and say hello when they peak up on you.

   EDIT — 6:45am  Just got email from K8TQK and Bob is going to continue operating his net on 144.252 (not 144.250).  He needs to be up 2kc to get away from a new noise source that’s popped up in his area.  Please help spread the word that you can find K8TQK’s net from EM89je, south-central OH, every Wed. at 8:30pm eastern on 144.252.

Several Items — Net Controls Wed. Night + Spring Sprints Schedule + 144.205 Daily Activity is Soaring

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

   11:15am central Tuesday — 

   1)  Net controls tomorrow night (Wed.) are WB9LYH EN54cl on 144.240 at 0000Z or 7pm central and K8TQK EM89je on 144.250 at 0030Z or 8:30pm eastern.  Scroll down this front page to the March 12th post, if you want more info about the Wed. nets.   The nets are informal.  Licensed hams are free to listen along or say hello.  The purpose is to help create more on-air activity.    Our net controls enjoy DX check-ins so give it a try.  We also appreciate how so many of you  have helped spread the word these past 3-4 years. 

   2)  The Spring Sprints schedule has been announced.   Sponsor K9JK would like everyone to visit the Sprints website at   Once there, you will see a link to the 2012 dates and rules on the  left.   That link is   Please take a few minutes to go thru the website.   
    2m sprint is Monday evening, April 9, 2012, from 7-11pm in your local time zone.   
   222 MHz sprint will follow on Tuesday, April 17th,  7-11pm.  
   432 MHz sprint will be on Wednesday, April 25th, 7-11pm.   
   Looking into May, the Microwave sprint (900 MHz and higher) will be on Saturday *morning*, May 5th, from 6am – 1pm in your local time zone.   
   50 MHz sprint will be on Sat. *evening*, May 12th, starting at 2300Z time on Sat. and ending at 0300Z on Sunday morning, UTC time.  In the central time zone, that means 6pm-10pm Sat. evening.   The 6m sprint always runs on UTC time so that everyone across the USA and VE is on at the same time, in case there are sporadic E skip openings that cross multiple time zones. 
   Distance-based scoring will be used in all 5 sprints.  Please know your 6-digit grid square.  Any questions — visit the Spring Sprints website links I provided above. 

   3rd item today —  The KA1ZE 144.205 Daily Activity Group (every morning, starting about 1100-1200Z and sometimes running for several hours) keeps getting better and better.  I have had the pleasure of reading KA1ZE’s colorful and information-packed daily reports via email.  You can, too.  You can contact Stan at stanka1ze (at sign) and ask to be added to the email list.   OR… NEW OPTION… you can now visit and get the archived daily reports there.   Do yourself a favor and enjoy the daily listing of activity on not only 144 MHz, but 222, 432 and 1296 MHz as well.  You can read net reports from various parts of the country, look at shack and antenna pictures of VHF’ers all across the USA and Canada — it’s really something else. 
    Guys, this is easily the best thing going on weak-signal V/UHF.  7 days a week, there is widespread activity on 144.205 and by now, it has certainly spilled out up and down the band from there.  You can monitor the happenings via the chat (use the IARU Region 2 chat for 144-432 MHz).  Better yet, get on the air in the morning and see who all you can reach.  Help spread the word and improve V/UHF activity levels in your own backyard.

Net Reports — K8TQK has 24 Check-Ins on 144.250 and KC9BQA Has 14 on 144.240

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

  8am central —
  Want to get this net report posted this morning. 
   K8TQK had a very nice turnout last night, I’ll lead off with his 24 check-ins…

   K8TQK 144.250 net at 0030Z UTC/8:30pm eastern:
   K2PQI FM09;  K8GDT, NF8O and KD8FHY EN91;  VE3LPY and N8WNA EN82;  VE3VII FN03;  VE3SG EN92;  K8WFM EN90;  AC3L/M FN00;  WB2RVX FM29;  W2KV FN20;  K4XXX EM97;  KB8JNE EN80;  AA4DD EM86;  W4TMW EM84;  KY4MRG EM77;  N4VFB, KI4PQE and WA4REE EM65;  KI4ROF EM55;  KC9BQA EN63;  N8DJB EN81;  KF8MY EN84;  WB8AUK EN80.  
   What a nice turnout in a full 360.  Looks like several new calls in there, although I don’t keep track of Bob’s master list as closely as I do those from my own region.   Main thing is the word keeps spreading and so does the activity.  A big thanks to all of you who are helping.  🙂 
   I had the 144.240 net last night at 0000Z or 7pm central/8pm eastern.  WB9LYH in EN54 hopes to be back on next Wed.  If he is unable, then I pinch-hit.  Either way, we’ll announce the lineup for next week right here on the website, just like we always do.  
   Much of the Midwest had record or near-record warmth yesterday.  Milwaukee set a new record with a high of 78, and I had 70 degrees at net time.  I was optimistic that would be good for band conditions.  I was wrong, ahem.   The only direction signals were a bit above average was to the W and NW.  Signals to the E and SE were flat at best.  Everyone last night had deep, rapid QSB.  Many stations were S5-7 at times, and then would fade right into the noise. 
    My 14 check-ins were:  
   N9OLT EN64;  W8MIL EN74;  N8FR EN73;  N8WNA and VE3LPY EN82;  K8GDT EN91;  KF8MY EN84 (believe this is Mike’s first time saying hello to the .240 net.  Welcome and thanks for the shout.);  KC8ZJL EN71;  WE9K EN62;  KC9CLM  EN52;  KG0SJ EN22;  KA0KYZ EN33;  N9KOR EN44 and K8TQK EM89 at the end, when Bob looks our way (about 8:15-8:30 central) 
   Lots of guys last night talking about making station improvements.  Antennas, feedlines, amps, mast-mounted preamps.  Happens every spring.  🙂 

   After I was done with the net, I did turn south, via a request on the real-time V/UHF chat.  (We use the IARU Region 2 room for 144-432 MHz — the 7 simple steps for getting signed up are here:  Some of the EM65/55 stations wanted to see if we had a path.  I did get just a few dits and dahs from WA4REE ( I think it was) but not enough to make a proper Q.  Plus — full disclosure — my CW is so shaky that I don’t have a key hooked up to my 2m net rig.  I just don’t want to slow things down that much and embarrass myself.   I can copy CW with a chart if you send at about 3-5 wpm, (feel my face turning red as I type that) but for obvious reasons, 99% of my net is conducted on SSB. 
   Bottom line, we need a night with better conditions to make it with TN.  But it is fun to try and I appreciate the effort.  K4QH used to be a semi-regular visitor back in 2008-09, but I think he had a kilowatt.   I also think my station heard better, several years ago.

KC9BQA (144.240) and K8TQK (144.250) Will Be ON This Wed., Mar. 14th

Monday, March 12th, 2012

   9am Monday — 

   Getting caught up with a bunch of things, after being on vacation for a while.   Man, am I excited about the huge warm-up that’s forecast for a large portion of the USA.  We’re forecast to be 20-30 degrees above normal for at least the next week, and quite possibly into the March 20-25th time frame.   Will some band openings come with the abnormally warm weather?   Keep your rigs on and call CQ.  Remember that if 50 guys are all “just listening” NOBODY WILL HEAR A THING.    🙂  

   I now know that I am taking the 144.240 net at 7pm central/8pm eastern/now 0000Z UTC time.   PLEASE NOTE THAT UTC TIMES HAVE CHANGED, now that most of the USA turned their clocks ahead early Sunday morning.   Our net times have NOT changed, but the UTC time has. 
   To repeat, this Wed., March 14th, we have two net controls:
   1)  KC9BQA  EN63ao  (40 miles north of Milwaukee) on 144.240 at 0000Z or 8pm eastern/7pm central time. 
   2)  K8TQK  EM89je  (far south-central OH) on 144.240 at 0030Z or 8:30pm eastern. 
   Both net controls start out looking N, then slowly swing clockwise, calling CQ frequently over the next 60-90 minutes.  Talking NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and back to N before signing off.  
   The nets are informal, only purpose is to stir up more activity on 2m SSB.  All are welcome, please help us spread the word.  Remember we enjoy DX check-ins, we’ll hang in there for a noise-level QSO.   ALSO, can’t emphasize this enough.  I’m going bold print so VHF’ers will take this to heart.  
   The biggest goal of this blog is to help promote more activity on bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz at any time.   I continue to believe the weak-signal V/UHF bands are too quiet.  The cure for this really isn’t calling weekly nets.  The goal is to have a variety of stations calling CQ, swinging their beams in all directions, turning their VFO’s, spreading out a bit from 144.200 to avoid congestion.  
  Two more things:  1)  Prior to starting these nets in June of 2008, I had no idea how many hams still have SSB/CW-capable gear and antennas on V/UHF.  2)  If a majority of these stations would simply get on and call CQ for 15-30 minutes every week or two, we would be all set, activity-wise.  We truly would.  We wouldn’t need nets to help stir up activity, because hams would be proactive about doing it themselves.  
    Bottom line — we encourage everyone to get on the air and do your own CQ’ing.

K8TQK 144.250 Net Report From Wed., March 7th

Monday, March 12th, 2012

   8:45am Monday —
   K8TQK had 15 check-ins last Wed. with his 144.250 net from EM89je, south-central OH.  Bob heard from a new state (at least with this net) — NC — via N1GC in EM95.  I have no experience with shooting a signal over/thru the Appalachians and Smokies so I don’t really know how tough a contact that was.  I would think it is pretty tough, unless one of the stations has superior HAAT (Height Above Average Terrain)  For what it’s worth, N1GC was giving Bob an S7 signal report.   Hope we hear about more and more stations from the Carolinas, VA, MD, and DE checking in with K8TQK.  If there’s only one station in OH that’s going to make these contacts, it’s going to be K8TQK. 
   Here’s Bob’s list of check-ins:  N8WNA and N8AIA EN82;  K8GDT EN91;  W2UAD and VE3VII FN03;  AC3L/M FN00;  K4XXX EM97;  N1GC EM95;  KY4MRG EM77;  WA4ZKO EM78;  WA4REE EM65;  KI4ROF EM55;  KB9RDS EM79;  WB8AUK EN80 and a very tough contact via CW with KA0KYZ in EN33, as the net was wrapping up.  It has to be more than 470-500 miles between Bob and Terry, so good contact. 

   Both WB9LYH and I were OFF again last Wed.  I’ll update our status in a post I’m about to start making right now.  Check back here in about 10 minutes…