Archive for May, 2012

ARRL June VHF QSO Party is June 9-10

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

   7:45am Thur — 
   Want everyone to know — and want everyone to spread the word — about the VHF/UHF contest season getting underway. 
   The season always starts off with the ARRL June VHF QSO Party.  This contest runs 33 hours; operate as much as you care to.  In the central time zone, it starts at 1pm Sat. and runs until 10pm Sun.  The GMT times are from 1800Z June 9th until 0300Z June 11th.  
   Here’s the ARRL rules link:  
   EDIT — 2pm Thur. — Here’s another link to some helpful hints that I just found in my email:

   Hope you make plans to get on and enjoy the activity.  The June contest has soared in popularity, primarily due to more and more ops (even HF’ers) getting on 6m and taking advantage of the DX potential.   Most June contests will have several stretches of sporadic E skip, where signals are coming in on 6m from all across the USA, Canada, possibly the Caribbean and if we get really lucky, maybe even Europe or JA-land.   (In fact, around midday today, European entities like YU, HA, SV, UR and ER were making it into the Midwest on 6m) 

   If you are fairly new to 6m operating, here’s a website that will help:  In particular, these operating aids are must-read material —  
   6 meters has long been known as The Gentleman’s Band and reading thru those opaids will help you continue that tradition into the future.

Net Reports — K8GDT has 10 and KC9BQA 12 Check-ins

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

   7am Thur —
   K8GDT in EN91bf is filling in for K8TQK with the 144.252 net.  This may continue for a while, and we appreciate Gerry pitching in. 
   Last night’s check-ins to the 144.252 net were:  KB8SCI, KC8YJB, KD8FHY and NF8O EN91;  VE3VII FN03;  KB3TNZ FN10;  WB8AUK EN80;  KD8DJE EM89;  W8BYA EN70 and WB9LYH EN54.  
   Last night, I took the 144.240 net for the 3rd week in a row.  I spoke with WB9LYH and Mark expects to be back on next Wed. and for the rest of June.  I had 12 check-ins, which isn’t too bad on a night where 6m was alive with E skip to the southeast, south and southwest.   Band conditions on 144 were OK, but nothing special.  Still lots of QSB fades; several fellows were S5-7 and then would drop right into the noise. 
   Check-ins were:  N9OLT EN64;  N9YK EN71;  W8BYA and K9MRI EN70;  WB9LYH EN54;  WA9BNZ EN40;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  W0FAY EN42;  WV9E EN43 and K0SIX EN35.  Nice to have check-ins from every direction of the compass, and appreciate you taking a minute to say hi, even though 6 was open. 

   Again, as of right now, here’s our lineup for next Wed., June 6th. 
   K8GDT on 144.252 from EN91bf, at 0030Z/8:30pm eastern.   Starts N, goes clockwise a full 360 over next 45-60 mins.
   WB9LYH on 144.240 from EN54cl at 0100Z/8pm central.  Starts NE, goes clockwise a full 360 over next hour or so.  
   I always update this info here at by Tuesday/early Wednesday.

K8GDT in EN91 Takes the 144.252 Net Tomorrow Night

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

   10pm Tuesday —
   Just got a nice email from K8GDT.  Gerry has filled in for K8TQK before and he’s going to come thru again this week. 
   Instead of looking at south-central OH, look toward EN91bf, or about 20 miles SSW of Cleveland. 
   To stay consistent, K8GDT will operate the K8TQK net the same way.  It will be on 144.252 MHz, and start at 0030Z or 8:30pm eastern.  Gerry will also start out calling north, then go gradually clockwise in a full circle over the next 60 minutes or so. 
   Let’s get lots of check-ins for Gerry.  If you have a chance, spread the word there will be a different net control for 144.252 this Wed., May 30th.  This arrangement may continue into June — I will update here as I learn more.

Wed. Night Nets — KC9BQA *ON* 144.240 and K8TQK *OFF* 144.252

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

   4:15pm Tues.

   Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day.  Veterans — thank you for your service to our country. 

   The nets tomorrow night will be the same as last week.  I’m on 144.240, starting at 0100Z/8pm central/9pm eastern.  Next week, WB9LYH in EN54cl should be back.  I start out looking north for a few minutes, then rotate clockwise about 20-30 degrees at a time, calling CQ frequently.  It usually takes me at least 60-90 minutes to do a full 360, depending on how many check-ins we have and what conditions are like.  
   A rough guide is that between 0100-0120, I’m looking first into the U.P. of MI, then NE and E into Lower MI, VE-3 and then ESE into N OH.  Between 0115-0130, I am usually looking SE into IN and OH.  Between 0125-0145, I’m looking SSE to SW, or into Western IN, KY, ILL, S WI and E MO.  Between 0135-0200, I’m usually looking SW into SW WI, IA, adjacent parts of KS and NE and NW MO.  After 0150-0210, I am usually looking W or NW into far N IA, MN, the northwest 3/4 of WI and adjacent parts of Upper MI. 
   All licensed amateurs are welcome to listen along or check in.  The nets are informal and the purpose is to promote activity on less-used portions of 2m.   
   I encourage all weak-signal VHF’ers to call CQ more often — just not on the net frequencies while we’re using them, hihi!    On bands like ours, which are usually too quiet, it’s important to make a little noise.  Get in the habit of calling CQ in various directions.   When bands are dead, that’s a good time to make some CQ’s.  When they’re busy, that’s a good time to listen carefully.   It’s most effective to do your CQ’ing on or near 144.200.  If you get something going on .200, please QSY and leave the calling frequency open.

KC9BQA Wants to Buy an Icom SM-6 Desk Mic

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

   4:30pm Thursday

   Anybody have a SM-6 mic (or two) that they want to sell?  I need it before the ARRL June VHF Contest on June 9-10.  
   The cosmetics aren’t that important, but it has to be in 100% working condition. 
   Email me or use the “contact me” feature. 
   Thanks, 73,
   Todd  KC9BQA

KC9BQA 144.240 Net Report — 16 Check-Ins

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

   11am  Thur.
   Band conditions were much improved, compared to last Wed.   Seemed like the best direction was south.  I had a nasty noise level from about 90 thru 140 degrees.   I probably missed a check-in or two from MI or OH.   
   We had a nice turnout last night, and the net took a full half hour.  I wasn’t able to start looking south until at least 8:40-45pm, and southwest and west until at least 8:50-9pm.  Some nights are like that, and we appreciate you being flexible and patient.  You can also monitor the net in real-time using the real-time ham chat.  We’re in the IARU Region 2 chat for 144-432 MHz.   The 7 simple steps to get signed up for this free ham chat are here:

   The 16 check-ins were:  N9OLT EN64;  AC9DC EN54; N8FR EN73;  K8JA and N8WNA EN82;  K8MM EN83;  KC8ZJL EN71;  W8BYA EN70;  WB8AUK EN80;  someone in EN91, who I just couldn’t make out.  K9LQZ EM68;  N9NDP EN62;  WB9WOZ EN61; KC9CLM and N9TF EN52 and KC9GMF and K9JCZ EN53. 
   Nice to hear a new signal on 2m SSB from AC9DC, just south of Green Bay.  Welcome, Mike.    

   I plan on taking the 144.240 net again next Wednesday.   Same summer start time of 0100Z/8pm central/9pm eastern. 
   WB9LYH plans on being back as net control in June. 
   K8TQK sounds like he may be off the air for a few weeks.  If I can find an alternate net control, I’ll advise here.  Or you fellows off to the southeast could just get on and make some informal noise of your own.  If we had plenty of guys in different grids calling CQ most nights, we wouldn’t need nets like ours to ensure regular activity.

KC9BQA Has 144.240 Net Tonight. K8TQK 144.252 Net is *OFF*

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

   7am  Wed. —
   Got email from K8TQK.  Bob is going to be off the air for a while.  So his 144.252 net tonight will be OFF for tonight and possibly for some weeks to come.  If we can find a replacement net control, I will advise here and in the real-time ham chat. 

   I am *ON* tonight with the 144.240 net, from EN63ao, 40 miles north of Milwaukee.  I start at 0100Z/8pm central/9pm eastern by looking north.  Then I swing clockwise a full 360, calling CQ every 20-30 degrees.   A very rough guideline is that I’m looking E by 0105-15Z; SE by 0110-25; S by 0130-45; SW by 0140-0200; W by 0145-0215; NW by 0200 and then a quick last call to the N about 0215-30.   The times tend to be more variable later in the net, depending on how many check-ins I say hello to.  

   This net is informal.  Purpose is to promote more activity on lesser-used portions of 2m.  All licensed amateurs are welcome to listen along or say hello.

Net Reports — K8TQK and KC9BQA Each Have 14 Check-ins

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

   8am Thur — 
   Conditions last night were below normal, to put it kindly.  Plenty of overall noise, and poor propagation.  QSB fades were something else.  Several guys were S5-S7, and would then all but drop out within 10-20 seconds.  Really appreciate those who came out to play radio, and I apologize to anyone I might have missed. 
   K8TQK’s list with his 144.252 net:  N8WNA EN82;  KD8FHY, KF8O and K8GDT EN91;  WB8AUK EN80;  VE3VII FN03;  W2UAD FN13;  KD8DJE and W8WG EM89;  KB9RDS EM79;  KY4MRG EM77;  N4PPG EM76;  KI4ROF EM55 and W8BYA EN70. 
   I had the 144.240 net last night, and will also take it for May 23 and May 30th.  Expect WB9LYH to be back in June. 
   My list was:  N9OLT EN64;  K9JCZ EN53;  K8GDT EN91;  N8WNA EN82;  W8BYA EN70;  N9NDP EN62;  WB9WOZ and K9CCL EN61;  KB9PSE EN52;  N9NYA EN43;  KA0KYZ EN33;  KG0SJ EN22 and N9KOR EN44. 

   Expect both K8TQK and myself to take the nets again next week.   As usual, we’ll put out another announcement about Tuesday.

144.252 and 144.240 Long-Range Nets ON Wed. Night

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

   6am Tues —
   Just got email from K8TQK.  Bob says his rotor is fixed so his 144.252 net will be ON Wed. night, from EM89je.  The K8TQK net start time is 0030Z/8:30pm eastern.   Bob’s pattern is to start N, then go clockwise a full 360 over the next hour or so, depending on how much activity there is. 
   I will be taking the 144.240 net for the remainder of May.  WB9LYH expects to be back in June. 
   I am located in EN63ao, 40 miles north of Milwaukee.  The .240 net starts at 0100Z/8pm central.  I do the same pattern as K8TQK — start N, then head clockwise a full 360 over the next 60-90 minutes.  
   Our nets are informal.  Purpose is to help create more activity on less-used portions of 2m.  We always urge all VHF’ers to call their own CQ’s.  Make Wednesdays –heck — make every night more active.  Yes, we enjoy and appreciate you checking in.  But also consider spreading down the band and calling CQ in multiple directions.   What’s better for the health of 144 MHz?  30-40 hams saying hello to a net control for a few minutes or 30-40 hams in different states and grids calling their own CQ’s, ensuring widespread activity?  
   Please change the habit of “just listening”.   If 50 guys all have their rigs tuned to 144.200, “just listening” and nobody calls CQ, how many contacts do you think will get made?   On dead bands, you need more CQ’ing. 

    Switching gears… I don’t have a 6m sprint report from Sat. night.  It turned out to be a fun family weekend, what with nice weather and Mother’s Day, plus a lot of May birthdays.   The few reports I saw didn’t mention any openings.  Don’t worry, that 50 MHz E skip will turn on any day now, and be common by June into July.

15 Check-ins Last Night to 144.240 Net, with Several New Check-Ins

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

4pm Thursday —

WB9LYH reports that propagation last night was mostly tough.  Despite this, Mark had a wide variety of DX, including several new all-time checkins.   Some of you must be spreading the word, and we really appreciate that — thank you.
With the flagship 144.240 net coming up on its 4th anniversary, I’m continually amazed at just how many SSB-capable stations are out there on VHF.   If there were a way to get all these stations to call CQ for 15-30 minutes, once or twice a month, the bands would be jumping.   We wouldn’t need nets like ours to increase activity, because hundreds of weak-signal stations would be doing it for themselves.

WB9LYH’s 15 check-ins last night were:  N9OLT EN64;  K8MM EN83;  KC9AZ and K9CCL EN61;  WB8AUK EN80;  KC9CLM EN52;  K9EJ EM59;  N0PB EM39;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  KC0WQK EN21;  KA0KYZ EN33 and W0WOI, KG0SJ and WB0YNA all EN22.
I think K9EJ, KC0WQK and W0WOI are all new to this net.  It’s great to get well down into Central IL, get out to the Omaha area, and EN22 has been one of our net hotspots the last 4 years, courtesy of WB0YWW and KG0SJ.  Nice to hear others on from EN22, as well.

I now know the 144.240 net schedule for the rest of May.  You’ll have to put up with me.  🙂  WB9LYH will be unavailable, so I pinch-hit when Mark can’t go.   Mark looks forward to getting back behind the mic in June.
I will be taking the 144.240 net on May 16, 23 and 30th.  Same start time of 0100Z/8pm central.   I am 40 miles north of Milwaukee, grid square EN63ao.  I don’t get out quite as far as WB9LYH — on 144 I have a 16-element KLM yagi up 70′, with about 200w out.   I start out looking N, then swing clockwise a full 360, going NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 60-90 minutes.  If I’m on the air, then I’m also monitoring the chat.  We use the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  By now, nearly 3000 VHF’ers all across the USA and Canada are registered for this free, no BS chat.  It’s available anytime day or night, and is busiest in the mornings, evenings and on weekends.  If you need the 7 simple steps to get registered, visit this post: