Archive for March, 2013

144.240 Net Report — 12 Check-Ins

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

   9:15am Thur —

   WB9LYH reported propagation was up and down last night, somewhat difficult.  He had a lighter-than-normal turnout, possibly due to the clocks being turned ahead? 
   The 12 check-ins last night were:  N9OLT EN64;  W8BYA EN70;  N9YK EN71;  N8WNA EN82;  K9CCL EN61;  WB0YWW and KG0SJ EN22;  KG1X EN42;  KC9CLM EN52;  K0SIX EN35;  N0UJJ EN36 and W0ANH EN47. 

   Both Mark and I are thinking about when to shift the 144.240 net start time ahead to 8pm for the longer days.  If you have an opinion, share it here, using the comment feature.  Usually we move to 8pm central by about late April/early May.  And we keep that start time until about October.  Reason being is that we noticed a definite dropoff during the summer months, when we had a year-round 7pm start.  Seems us Northern guys just can’t get enough of those longer days.  
   With the long-range forecast looking quite wintry, it’s hard to square the longer days with the cold temperatures and persistent snowcover.  What that does mean is that whenever it finally does get into the 40’s and 50’s, it will feel all that much better! 

    Want to make another post sometime today.  We are still actively looking for another helper station to our south, someone who could take a little time to turn to their south, and try to find more activity in states like MO/AR/KY/TN.  I’ll explain it better in the next post.

WB9LYH Long-Range 144.240 Net ON Tonight — 7pm Central

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

  11:15am  Wednesday —

  As previously mentioned,  WB9LYH plans on calling the 144.240 long-range net tonight from his Central WI QTH, near WI Rapids, grid square EN54cl.  Mark will get on at 7pm central, start out by looking NE and then go E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next hour or so.   Because he has stacked 17B2?s and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH, he gets out a very long ways.  All licensed hams are welcome, and we especially appreciate DX in that 300-500+ mile range giving a listen and trying to push the propagation limits.  Help us spread the word.  
   Many times hams give the 144 MHz portion of their rigs a brief try.  They expect to hear many signals, are disappointed and give up.  If they knew where and when to hear on-air activity, it might just give them the kick start they need, until they become hooked by a good band opening or a contest. 

   The 144.240 net changes start times, to get in synch with longer and shorter days.  It was odd seeing it light outside until 7:30pm last night, especially given the dreary, winter-like weather.   But this does remind me that toward the end of April, we will switch over to our 8pm central start time, until next fall.   You’ll have plenty of advance notice, and the change is at least 5-6 weeks away.

Last Two Weeks of 144.252 Net Reports

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

   10:20am Wed. 

   FIRST OFF — WB9LYH 144.240 NET IS ON Tonight — 7:00pm central start. 

   Still in catch-up mode, but progressing very nicely with the belly button.  It’s been a week since surgery and it doesn’t hurt unless I press on it hard.  So I don’t press hard on it.  Simple, LOL.  Also had my best sleep in over a week last night. 

   By now, you all should know that K8TQK’s 144.252 net shifted to Monday nights, starting back in January.  WB9LYH has chosen to stay with Wednesday, as we’ve been there since I got the ball rolling in June of 2008.  (Wed. used to be net night for the old Badger Contesters net, and it presented no conflicts locally, so that’s why I chose Wed.) 
   This was a 100% amicable decision on both ends, and we support anyone who calls a net that reaches out to a variety of hams in a wide circle.  I will continue to type up the 144.252 net reports.   I do this via the “chat review” feature at the ham chat room.  (IARU Region 2 chat for 144-432 MHz) 

   K8TQK has had off-again/on-again problems with his 144/222 MHz rotor.  With help from K8GDT in EN91bf, they have called successful nets the past two Mondays — 8:30pm eastern start time.   They start out looking N, then go clockwise a full 360 over the next 45-60 minutes.   When K8TQK is 100% again, I’ll advise here.  Until then, just know that if you look toward OH on 144.252 on Monday nights, you’ll hear someone. 

   Here’s the 144.252 check-in list from March 6th:   N8WNA and K8JA EN82;  W9SLQ EN70;  W8SOL and KC8ZJL EN71;  N8DJB EN81;  W2UAD FN13;  WD8CHR EN90;  K8TQK EM89;  N4PPG EM76;  WB9LYH EN54;  VE3YCU FN02 and VA3ELE FN03.  I see a final tally of 13 check-ins there. 
   The 144.252 check-ins from Monday, March 13th:  N8WNA, N8AIA and K8JA EN82;  K8GDT and KC8YJB EN91;  W8SOL EN71;  WT8E EM89;  K1KC EM73;  WA4REE EM65;  KI4ROF EM55;  KY4MRG EM77;  W9WZJ EM69;  WB9LYH EN54;  WD8CHR EN90;  AC3L/M FN00.  Looks like 15 check-ins.

WB9LYH Net Report From March 6 — 16 Check-Ins

Monday, March 11th, 2013

   12:30pm Monday —
   WB9LYH reported good propagation to the southeast and south last Wed.  His 16 check-ins were:  N8WNA EN82;  K9SLQ EN70;  W8SOL EN71;  K9CCL; N9JBW and KC9RIO EN61;  K9LQZ EM68;  KC9CLM EN52;  KA9DVX EN51;  KC9RJI EN41;  WA9BNZ EN40;  N9NYA EN43;  KG0SJ EN22;  KA0KYZ EN33;  W0ANH EN47 and VE3KRP EN58.   Believe this is the first time K9SLQ has checked in with our .240 net and want to say “welcome”. 

   Right now, WB9LYH’s schedule looks good for calling the 144.240 net the next few Wednesdays (7pm central start).   There’s always a small chance something could come up and if it does, check here or at the chat.  Our net rarely is off the air because N9OLT or I pitch in if WB9LYH can’t go.

K8GDT EN91 Calls 144.252 Net Tonight @8:30pm Eastern

Monday, March 11th, 2013

   Noon central Monday — 
   Was gone last week and I am recovering nicely from minor surgery on a small umbilical hernia.  My outie should be an innie again, hihi. 
   K8TQK emailed last week to say that his 144/222 MHz rotor has failed again and he cannot rotate on 2m.  Bob said that K8GDT in EN91 will call the 144.252 Monday night net in his absence.  K8GDT is EN91bf, a good half hour SSW of Cleveland. 
   Look toward K8GDT tonight at 8:30pm eastern.  Gerry’s got a nice signal; I can almost always hear him (when our yagis are pointed right at each other) on a 353-mile path.   I suspect K8GDT will be calling the 144.252 Monday net next week, too.   His calling pattern would be the same as K8TQK’s:  Start N, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 30-45 minutes or so.  
   K8GDT will also be on the popular ham chat page.  If you have internet and a computer near your rigs, check out this free and no B.S. service.  All USA/VE/XE hams are eligible to use the ham chat pages; they are open 24/7.  When you are VHF’ing or UHF’ing, use the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.   If you need more help, check out this post:
   K8TQK will email when his 144/222 rotor is working again.   It could be several weeks. 
   Now I need to post the 144.240 net report from WB9LYH last Wed.   Should have that up shortly.

2013 Spring VHF/UHF Sprints Schedule

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

   3:45pm Saturday —
   Pleased to see the 2013 Spring VHF/UHF Sprints schedule has been released by sprints sponsor K9JK, John, with help from the Central States VHF Society.   Go here:  for full details.   Please take  time to go thru the website, as it has many helpful hints and rule explanations. 

   The first sprint is always the 2m sprint and this one is a bit early this year, so start spreading the word in your area. 

   The 2m sprint will be on Monday, April 1st, from 7-11pm in your local time zone.   No fooling — April 1st.  🙂 
   The 222 MHz sprint will be on Tuesday, April 16th, 7-11pm. 
   432 MHz will be on Wednesday, April 24th, 7-11pm. 
   Microwave sprint will be Saturday, May 4th, from 6am to 1pm local time.  Microwave includes all bands from 902 MHz and up. 
   50 MHz sprint will be on Saturday, May 11th, from 2300Z until 0300Z on Sunday, May 12th.  (This will be from 6-10pm Sat. night central time and from 7-11pm eastern) 

   The reason the 2m sprint isn’t on April 8th is to avoid a conflict with the men’s NCAA basketball final. 
   The reason the uWave sprints are early is to try and take advantage of enhanced propagation that can happen in the morning hours.   
   The reason the 6m sprint uses UTC time, is so that everyone in different time zones is on at the same time, in case there are sporadic E skip openings that span the USA and Canada.   Sporadic E skip openings on 6 meters become increasingly likely by mid-late May, and continue thru June, July and sometimes into early-mid August.  

    It’s important to get the word out in your area about the sprints.  You are welcome to use the info here and make sure to refer hams to the sprints website link at the top.   

    The sprints are a great time for newer ops to get their toes wet.  Or to try a little roving, without having to make a larger time and travel commitment.  Make plans now to get on and enjoy the activity.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday Activity on 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz

Friday, March 1st, 2013

    7:30am Friday — 
    This will be my last post for a week or so.  I’m going to be gone much of next week and probably won’t be able to update until about next Friday or Saturday.  *REMEMBER THAT THE 144.240 NET WILL BE CALLED BY WB9LYH AT 7PM ON WED., MARCH 6, 2012.*   WB9LYH should also be net control on March 13th.  After 4 1/2 years of the .240 net, we still get new check-ins all the time.  Thank you for helping to spread the word.  🙂 

    Also remember that K8TQK calls his long-range net on 144.252 at 8:30pm eastern time, every Monday.  Plus K8TQK and others like N8WNA and K8GDT are making noise on 222.100 on Tuesday evenings, starting around 8pm eastern.  I’ve also read that stations in OK and TX are doing the 222 Tuesday thing, as well.   These are not nets.  Rather, they are general activity nights for *everyone* to enjoy some activity on 222.  Do your part by getting on, calling CQ and spreading the word. 

    If you have 432, be aware that N4PZ in EN52gb calls 432.100 activity every Monday evening, at 8pm central.  Not exactly sure of his antenna pattern, but he has a very strong signal and when he peaks up on you, you’ll know it.  I’m sure you could get some help at the real-time ham chat, too.  (Use the IARU Region 2 chat for 144-432 MHz at anytime.  It’s free, no BS or hassles and it’s open 24 hours a day — most activity is in the early-mid mornings, evenings and weekends) 

   On Sunday evenings, you have multiple options on 2m and 6m, from MI and MN.  Details are in this post:  My understanding is that currently, KA0KYZ is calling the EN33 Sunday net on 144.260, and not KA0PQW.  If ‘KYZ is net control, know that his signal travels a long way.  So does the 6m net control, K0SIX.

   EN93 has become a hot spot for nets called by VE3XTM on both 144 and 432 MHz.  A post about those nets is here:

K8TQK Has Streaming Audio of His Station Online

Friday, March 1st, 2013

   7:15 am Friday —
   For a few months now, certain VHF’ers have been starting to stream their audio online.  Meaning you go to a specific address on the internet and you are able to hear what their station is hearing.   I think this is a great idea, and will increase interest among all hams in the weak-signal side of VHF/UHF. 
   I’m going to pass along the info I have on K8TQK’s setup, just as he typed it himself.  But first a disclaimer or two:  I am not a very tech-savvy guy.  If you have problems making this work, I can’t help you.  I’m just the messenger.  🙂 

   So here goes and hope this helps.  Try it yourself and if it works, pass this info along to other hams, so they will develop an interest in the SSB/CW portions of bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz. 

   The following is info for the K8TQK streaming audio. 
   In your player type the following URL:
   If the audio stream does not come up, do the following:  type in the URL up through :88, and a list of players links will come up. 
   Also — below is a list of other URL’s, pick your player and try it. 
   Pse call me for any help if this does not work.   740 634 3773 from 7am thru 10pm EST. 

   Choose from the links below which type of connection and/or format of your player: 
   You will need to come to this page to make the MP3 links work for more than 15 seconds.  Refreshing the link in your player may not work.  (KC9BQA says “I have no idea what any of this means, I’m simply passing the info along”) 
   Broadband stream  Windows Media Player  iTunes, RealPlayer, Quicktime
   Dialup stream  Windows Media Player  iTunes, RealPlayer, Quicktime

    END of K8TQK’s TEXT

    KC9BQA adds… I have no idea when K8TQK is actually streaming his audio.  Don’t know if it’s 24 hours a day, or just at certain times or what…  I tried the broadband streams this morning and while my Windows Media Player definitely came up, I didn’t hear anything resembling ham audio (or dead-air static).   If there is someone out there who is able to make this work and has more details, please help us all by sending a comment.   I’m definitely willing to improve this post, if others will help.