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N4PZ EN52gb 432.110 Net Mondays @8pm Central

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Noon Monday

The 432.110 net is on Mondays at 8pm central.  Net control is N4PZ Steve in EN52gb, which is about 100 miles west of Chicago or just SW of Rockford, IL.
Not only does N4PZ run the net, but he has other guys in his area who look around and help find check-ins too.   As I’ve said before, good high-gain yagis on 432 tend to be very pointy so be patient and flexible.  This group uses the real-time ham chat at www.on4kst.com.  You can follow along there.  If you want more info about the ON4KST.com real-time ham chat, click here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072

Here’s some more info in N4PZ’s own words:
I start looking SW at 8 PM CST. Then S, Then SE, E, NE, N, NW, and West. It takes about one hour. So by that you can sort of guess when I am looking your way. About 8:40 I look at NW. It all depends on activity.

N4PZ also adds:  Please listen for my beacon on 432.320 from 6am-6:45pm CDST.  100 Watts to Alford Slot at 70 feet.  I am constantly improving the Alford Slot antenna and am interested in reports.  K0DOK in EM48 and K0SIX in EN35 both hear it regularly.  KG0SJ in EN22 as well.

KC9BQA wants to add… I’m not aware of any other regularly scheduled 432 MHz activity within several hundred miles of S WI/N ILL.  We’re fortunate that N4PZ puts his big station on the air to promote 432.  Many new signals are on the band as a direct result of this net.
N4PZ runs his own email list for the 432.110 net.  Contact him directly at N4PZ (at) live.com if you want more info.
“Look up” N4PZ at www.qrz.com and you can see lots of useful info and pictures there.

Finally, if you’re new to 432, or want to know more about it, here’s a few helpful hints:
On 432 MHz, N4PZ has 4 yagis up high and he runs QRO or high power.   Talking 1500 watt amps and he can get out 400-500 miles (and he’s also a big advocate of CW, which is how you work the really weak ones, out 500-600 miles)
Don’t expect anything close to this if you’re running a single short yagi, especially if it’s not high up in the clear, if you’re using low power or using lossy coax (coax losses increase greatly as you go higher in frequency)
BUT… at the same time, get on with what you have and see what you can hear.   Don’t worry about what Big Guns have or being looked down upon.  There are many hams with the N4PZ group the last 4-5 years who now have nice stations on 432, as they’ve made improvements over time to their antennas, feedline and power levels.

K8TQK EM89 Calls 144.252 Net Mondays @8:30pm eastern

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

11:45am Monday
Since it’s Monday, this post is timely.  I also need to promote a 432 MHz net that takes place on Mondays.  Will do that in a separate post, right after this one.

If you’ve been visiting kc9bqa.com for some years, you already know about many of the nets and activity nights we’ve been promoting since 2009.
But time passes, and (hopefully) we get new visitors, so I like to repost info and keep it fresh.

There’s a big 2 meter SSB net on Monday nights.  It’s called by K8TQK Bob, who’s located in EM89je, or south-central OH.  Starts at 8:30pm *eastern*.  It’s on 144.252 because K8TQK has a big birdie right on 144.250.  Bob has long yagis and good power from a hilltop QTH and he gets out forever.  When I was on the air, I could work him on a 392-mile path (from my QTH just north of Milwaukee) even under flat conditions 95% of the time.
The antenna pattern from K8TQK’s south-central OH location is North to start, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes.  All times estimated, never know which direction might be busier on a given night.  As with any net, be flexible and patient.  Typically K8TQK is looking NW toward Chicago and WI about 8-8:30pm *central* time.

For some years, K8TQK partnered with us on Wed. nights.  The goal (with using a few strong net controls spaced apart by several hundred miles) was to cover 20-30 states.  Had a lot of fun with this and even now, with the switch to Mondays by K8TQK, his net is right after an active net out of Northern GA.  There’s a lot to listen to on Monday nights.

Honestly, to stay on top of all this activity, a VHF’er should be logged into that ON4KST.com ham chat.  Specifically talking about the “IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz”   I haven’t been there in many months and just spending a half hour to buzz thru the chat archives (they have a dropdown menu in the upper left with several dozen useful options) I can see that nearly every night, there’s something going on.   This is such a valuable tool to help connect VHF’ers who might not otherwise know what’s going on.
If you need more info about getting hooked up to the ON4KST.com ham chats, click here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072

So Where Are Those Net Reports, Todd?

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

10:45am Monday

Long overdue with net reports.  144.240 net control WB9LYH has been sending them via email every Wed. night and I’ve fallen behind.  This is a correctable situation, so here goes.  🙂   But first the net info for anyone who might be newer to kc9bqa.com.

If you just want the basics about the Wed. 144.240 net from WI here goes:  The net has operated continuously since June 2008.  Our story is at this link:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5363
The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern by WB9LYH.  Mark’s grid square is EN54cl.  This is central WI, near WI Rapids.  Mark has a pair of long yagis and 500 watts from a ridgetop and he gets out a very long ways.  We value all our check-ins, both local and DX.  With the warmer months coming, expect better band conditions and more fun surprises in that 400, 500, 600+ mile range.
The net always looks into eastern time zone first.  From central WI, WB9LYH’s antenna pattern is NE and E to start, then SE, S, SW, W, NW and N toward the end.  A net takes about 35-50 minutes, and it depends on how many check-ins there are.   The net is informal — stop by when you can and say hello when you feel comfortable.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and the purpose is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.  We always appreciate you helping to spread the word and DX is encouraged to listen in and give it a try.  WB9LYH is the strongest EN54 station I know of on 2 meters, terrestrial.

OK — NET REPORT TIME —
Back on April 12th, 144.240 net control WB9LYH reported “very good prop to the south tonite.”  I’d say, given that we had a check-in from EM57, southern IL, near Carbondale and Marion.
There were 17 check-ins on April 12th:  KC9ZVZ EN53;  N9JBW, K9CCL, K9ILU, KD9BGY and N9KKF EN61;  W8SOL EN71;  K8TQK EM89;  WB8AHT EN72;  WB8LNG EM79;  W1JWS EN50;  N9RXM EN41;  WB0SWQ and WA9BNZ EN40;  W9FX EM57; WA9JML EN51 and W9UIJ EN52.
W9FX is a new all-time check-in to the 144.240 Wed. net.  The path to WB9LYH has to be at least 425-450 miles from just north of Marion, IL.  Glad you made the trip all the way up IL and halfway into WI.  Please tell your VHF friends in S IL, MO, S IN and KY that we’re up here every Wed. night at 8pm central.  Net control WB9LYH (EN54cl, central WI) loves pushing the propagation limits.

On April 19th, WB9LYH reported “Noise, weather and not so good propagation.”  Despite this, there was a nice list of 13 check-ins:  K9CCL, KD9BGY, K9ILU, N9KKF and N9JBW EN61;  WA9JML EN51;  KC9RAP EN63;  N9NDP EN62;  N9YK EN71;  W9UIJ EN52;  WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40 and N9RXM EN41.

On April 26th, Mark said, “Incoming weather enhanced prop. to the south and southwest.”  The 17 check-ins were:  WB8AHT EN72;  KC9RAP EN63;  K9CCL, N9KKF, KD9BGY, KC9RIO and N9JBW EN61;  N9EM, N9NWB and WB9TFH EN53;  WB8LNG EM79;  W1JWS EN50;  WA9BNZ EN40;  KB9MIV EM59;  N9RXM EN41;  KD9GCQ EN62 and WO0Z EN34.
Very happy to report 3 new check-ins — N9NWB, KD9GCQ and WO0Z.  To get 3 new ones after 9 years of 144.240 net operation is exciting.  That’s exactly why I started the net in June 2008, to get more and more hams on the SSB/CW side of bands like 144 MHz (and yes, 50, 222 and 432 MHz as well)

On May 3rd, the comment was, “Weather effects and a 432 MHz Sprint tonite.”  KC9BQA adds:  Seems like there’s been a lot of weather this spring.  Hopefully that will let up as we head into June and July.
On May 3rd, there were 12 check-ins:  KC9RAP EN63;  WA9JML EN51;  K9CCL, N9JBW, N9KKF and KC9RIO EN61;  N9EM EN53;  W9UIJ EN52;  W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  W1JWS EN50 and N9RXM EN40.
Want to wave hello to Illinois.  With the May 3rd net, 10 of the check-ins were from IL.  IL has been the foundation of this net for many years now.  We always have several from Chicagoland and always have a few from the EN40/41/50 area.  Lately, we’re also getting regular check-ins from EN52 and 51.  And yes, it’s good to hear from downstate IL grids like EM59 and 57.  Anyone who can help us get more signals from MO and downstate IN… please help spread the word.  Same goes for IA, MN and MI too.

On May 10th, WB9LYH noted, “Thunderstorms to the south kept some of the folks off the air.”  There were 10 check-ins:  N8XEW and N9YK EN71;  K9ILU, KD9BGY and N9KKF EN61;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  KB9MIV EN59 and WB8LNG EM79.  Always good to hear from our friends in OH.  N8XEW is a new check-in from NE OH, and WB8LNG makes the trip regularly from a little bit west-northwest of Dayton.

On May 17th, WI had widespread bad weather and t-storms kept the net off the air.

The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern by WB9LYH Mark, who’s located in EN54cl, central WI.  Full net info is at the top of this post at kc9bqa.com.  Feel free to share that info with hams everywhere.
WB9LYH expects to be on 144.240 this Wed., May 24th.   Thanks Mark for running the net for going on 8 years now.  I hope you get some DX this summer and fall.

Spring VHF and Up Sprints Schedule

Friday, April 7th, 2017

11:30 am Friday

The first Spring VHF Sprint (2 meter band) is 10 days away.  Time to repost this info on the top of the “front page” here at kc9bqa.com.  Feel free to share this info in all directions; get more signals on the air.

144 MHz:  Monday, 4/17/17 from 7-11pm in your local time zone.
222:            Tuesday, 4/25/17 from 7-11pm — again local time
432:           Wednesday, 5/3/17 from 7-11pm   local time
Microwave (902MHz and Up)  Saturday, 5/6/17  from 8am-2pm in your local time zone
50 MHz :   Saturday, 5/14/17 from 2300Z Sat. evening until 0300Z Sunday 5/14/17.   (In the central time zone, this would be from 6pm-10pm Sat. evening)

The reason the 50 MHz sprint uses UTC time is because there could be sporadic Eskip openings, meaning DX potential where 6 meters would be open across multiple time zones, so it’s best to have everyone on the same UTC time.

Here is the link to the Spring Sprints Website:

https://sites.google.com/site/springvhfupsprints/home/2017-information

Make plans now to get on for the Spring VHF and Up Sprints.

Two Websites That Help Show Band Conditions

Friday, April 7th, 2017

11:20am Friday

I haven’t posted this info in a while so with spring here, it’s time.

Here are two websites that can help you stay on top of potential band enhancement:

1st would be this:  http://aprs.mountainlake.k12.mn.us/  It’s not a perfect indicator.  It sometimes has false openings, and it’s even more important to remember that 2m SSB/CW has a standard range of 200-400+ miles under flat band conditions.  So even if you’re seeing little or no color in your area, you can still make good contacts.  The point is to not fall into the habit of only trying when that map looks good.  You will miss little mini-openings that pop up under the radar, so to speak.   But when there is a major band opening, it will be reflected by brighter colors.

2nd would be this:  http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo.html   This site attempts to predict band openings for days in advance.  Like weather forecasters, the forecasts here are not always accurate.  But I still feel the Hepburn site has value.  It’s very seldom that a major, widespread tropo event doesn’t show up here,  a few days in advance.  Plus, I’m a lifelong weather geek, so I like “keeping up with the forecasts”.  This site  updates in the early afternoon.

144.240 Net Reports for Mar. 29 & Apr. 5

Friday, April 7th, 2017

11am Friday

Back on March 29th, 144.240 net control WB9LYH reported “Better propagation tonite, lots of variation, even what sounded like Aurora buzz on one of the signals.”  Mark had a great turnout with 17 check-ins.  KC9WIK EN54;  VA3SGM EN82;  KC9ZVZ EN53;  WB8LNG EM79;  K9ILU, K9CCL, KD9BGY and N9KKF EN61;  AB9QH EN62;  WJ8L EN72;  KB8GUE EM89;  W9UIJ EN52;  N9RXM EN41;  W1JWS EN50 and WB0SWQ, WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40.
VA3SGM is a new all-time check-in to the 144.240 Wed. net.  Welcome and glad you’re enjoying 2 meter SSB.  I’m glad the net is still getting out to the Detroit/Windsor, ONT area.  At one time, we had several active check-ins from that EN82 region.  These things go in cycles.

On April 5th, the 144.240 net had 14 check-ins.  WB9LYH reported “Varying signals with lots of weather to the southeast.”  The list was:  WB8AHT EN72 (who has an interesting and detailed write-up about his results with various kinds of horizontal (for SSB/CW) 2 meter antennas at his qrz.com page).  KC9WIK EN54;  KC9ZVZ EN53;  N9IYV, K9ILU, K9CCL and KD9BGY EN61;  AB9QH EN62;  WB8LNG EM79;  W1JWS EN50;  N9RXM and KD9FCV EN41;  WA9BNZ EN40 and W9UIJ EN52.
Want to welcome KD9FCV to the 144.240 Wed. net.  Thanks for helping keep 2 meter SSB active.

Here’s hoping that warmer weather will bring improved band conditions.  Remember to get on the air and call your own CQ’s.  Too many times, VHF’ers are “just listening”.  Well… if 20 guys in several states are all “just listening”, how many contacts will be made??  Yep — zero.  Pick up the mic, call CQ, swing the yagi in different directions and see who all is out there.   All things equal, band conditions tend to be better in the early to mid-morning hours and again, about sunset and into the night.

The 144.240 net starts at 8pm central/9pm eastern every Wed. night.  Net control is WB9LYH Mark, located in EN54cl, or pretty much the exact middle of WI.   If you need more info, just scroll down to the March 29th post below this one.

144.240 Net Reports for Mar. 15 & 22

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

8:45am

Before I get to the net reports, it is Wednesday and that means the 144.240 net is ON tonight at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Most of you know all the details by now, but for anyone new, here’s what you need to know.

WB9LYH expects to be around in April and he will call the 144.240 Wed. net at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Eastern time zone is targeted first.  WB9LYH’s QTH is EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.  Mark has a big signal and enjoys pushing the propagation limits.  Always let stations in DX territory know that EN54 is on the air on Wed. nights.
The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.  All licensed amateurs are welcome.  We always ask that you help spread the word about this net or anything that’s happening on VHF and UHF.
Net control’s antenna pattern from EN54cl is to start out looking E, then SE, S, SW, W, NW and N at the end.  During nets, WB9LYH is also available at the real-time ham chat at www.on4kst.com.  Talking specifically about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  If you need more info about how to register for this free, no-obligation and no-BS chat, go here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072

 

On March 15, WB9LYH had 13 check-ins to the 144.240 net.  Mark reported signals were up and down, same as the rest of the winter.   Mark added, “Signal strength on average has been less than previous years.  Perhaps sunspots, or lack thereof, have something to do with this, even at VHF?”
The 13 check-ins were:  WA9JML EN51;  W8SOL EN71;  KD9BGY, K9CCL, N9KKF, W9SUS and K9ILU EN61;  W9UIJ EN52;  N9RXM EN41;  W1JWS EN50;  WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40 and WB9TFH EN53.
Last Wed., March 22, WB9LYH reported that propagation was better.  The 12 check-ins were:  WB8LNG EM79;  WA9JML EN51;  KC9RAP EN63;  KD9BGY, K9ILU and N9KKF EN61;  N9EM and KC9ZVZ EN53;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40 and N9RXM EN41.
Pleased to report that KC9ZVZ is a new all-time check-in.  Thanks for stopping by and glad you are on 2 meter SSB.

Q5 Net in Chicago is on 144.220 Thur. at 6:30pm Central

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

9:45am Thur.

Since it is Thursday, want to give a plug for a good net that’s on tonight and every Thursday.

For many years now, N9JBW in EN61, south side of Chicago has been calling a friendly net on Thursdays on 144.220MHz.  It’s called the Q5 net and they get out a long ways.  Under flat conditions, they can get check-ins from IL, IA, (eastern) MN, WI, MI, IN, OH, VE-3, MO and at least far eastern KS.  Probably KY and TN, too, if anyone down there looks north.

Many of the Q5 net regulars also check-in to our 144.240 Wed. net.  We appreciate this and wish their net well.

The Q5 net on 144.220 has earlybird check-ins at 6:30pm every Thursday and the regular net starts at 7pm.   As net control N9JBW John likes to say, “Check it out!”

 

144.240 Net Reports for the last 3 Weeks

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

9:15am Thur.

I’m amazed there was any net at all last night, on account of the high winds.  I know it was quieting down a little by evening, but SE WI had widespread gusts to 50-60mph in the late morning and afternoon.   When I was still on the air, I had multiple long yagis up 110′ in a big box configuration and once the winds got over 30mph, the rotors really didn’t work very well.  So I think 11 check-ins last night is very impressive.
I’m behind again, so let’s get caught up.
Back on February 15, N9XKH on the WI/ILL state line (EN52il) filled in as net control.  I heard Dennis had 12 or 13 check-ins and he was very happy with the turnout.  Thanks Dennis for keeping the net going.
On Feb. 22nd, regular net control WB9LYH was back and Mark reported “the usual up and down propagation”  There were 15 check-ins:  WB8LNG EM79;  K9ILU, K9CCL and N9KKF EN61;  KC9RAP EN63;  AB9QH EN62;  WA9JML EN51;  W9CL and W9UIJ EN52;  W8SOL EN71;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40 and W1JWS EN50.
On March 1st, WB9LYH had 13 check-ins:   AB9QH and KC9VHD EN62;  N9IYV, K9ILU and N9KKF EN61;  WA9JML EN51;  WJ8L EN72;  W9UIJ EN52;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  N9RXM EN41 and KG0SJ EN22.
Last night, as mentioned above, WB9LYH had 11 check-ins.  Mark said, “Well the antennas are still there.  We had an abbreviated net.  The winds were still blowing.  Propagation has been rapidly up and down all winter and shorter to the east than a few years ago.”  (KC9BQA adds that we’ve had less check-ins from MI and OH, if anyone can help spread the word in that direction — Indiana too — we’d be grateful)
The check-ins last night were:  KC9RAP EN63;  N9YK EN71;  WA9JML EN51;  K9CCL, KD9BGY, N9KKF and N9JBW EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ EN40 and KB9MIV EM59.

OK, caught up on net reports.  WB9LYH expects to be around in March and he will call the 144.240 Wed. net at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Eastern time zone is targeted first.  WB9LYH’s QTH is EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.  He has a big signal and enjoys pushing the propagation limits.  Always let stations in DX territory know that EN54 is on the air on Wed. nights.
Mark’s antenna pattern from EN54cl is to start out looking E, then SE, S, SW, W, NW and N at the end.  During nets, he is also available at the real-time ham chat at www.on4kst.com.  Talking specifically about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  If you need more info about how to register for this free, no-obligation and no-BS chat, go here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1072

N9XKH EN52il Calls 144.240 Net Tomorrow at 9pm Eastern/8 Central

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

10:45am Tuesday

Tomorrow night the 144.240 net from WI will have a guest net control.   N9XKH Dennis on the WI/IL border (grid square EN52il) will fill in for WB9LYH.  Dennis has filled in before when Mark needs relief and we are grateful.  N9XKH has a nice signal, but he doesn’t have a lot of time to play radio so when Dennis is able to call a net, he really enjoys all the check-ins he can work.  Like everyone, he wants to know how well his signal is getting out.

Again, 144.240 net for tomorrow (Wed., Feb. 15th) will be called by N9XKH in EN52il, right on the WI/IL border a little SSW of Madison, WI.  Regular start time of 9pm eastern/8pm central.  Antenna pattern with the net is to always look into the eastern time zone first.  For N9XKH in EN52, that means he’ll probably look NNE into the U.P. and northern part of Lower MI first.  Then edge northeast into central MI, then east into southern WI, southern MI and VE-3, then southeast into IN and OH, then south down thru IL and into MO.  Then start turning southwest into MO, KS and IA, then west into IA, NE and at the end northwest into MN and perhaps the Dakotas??  Always nice when we scare up the occasional check-in from the Dakotas.
All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The net is informal and the purpose is to get more signals on 2 meter SSB.  We always appreciate you spreading the word.

Regular net control WB9LYH in EN54cl (central WI, near WI Rapids) expects to call the net on Wed., Feb. 22 at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.