Archive for the ‘Blog Post’ Category

144.240 Net is OFF on Nov. 22nd — Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

11am
144.240 net control WB9LYH wants everyone to know that he won’t be calling the net next Wed., Nov. 22nd.   Both Mark and I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and send our appreciation to the 100’s of you who are helping to keep the “weak-signal” (meaning SSB/CW basically) side of VHF alive and well.

Please check into the 144.240 net on Wed., Nov. 29th at the usual start time of 9pm eastern/8pm central.

If you’d like to read about the 9+ year history of the 144.240 Wednesday net out of WI, along with some of the changes over time, please enjoy this:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5363

144.240 Net Reports from Nov. 8th and 15th

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

10:45am
OK, just about all caught up.  Feels good.

On Nov. 8th, 144.240 net control WB9LY in EN54 reported, “Good to be back.  Decent signals, no bad weather.  Checkins were KD9BGY, K9CCL and N9JBW EN61;  KC9RAP EN63;  WA9JML and N9ABR EN51;  WA9BNZ, WB0SWQ and W9BBP EN40;  N8XEW EN71;  and KB9MIV EM59.”
(please note that WB9LYH was off on 10/25 and 11/1 and alternate net control N9XKH in EN52il filled in — thanks Dennis for keeping the net going)

Last night there were 10 check-ins.  WB9LYH commented, “Lots of wind, tough conditions.  Checkins were KD9BGY and N9JBW EN61;  KB9IME EN54;  WA9JML and N9ABR EN51;  K9LQZ EM68;  N8XEW EN71;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40 and AB9QH EN62.”
I want to point out that even on a night with lousy weather and certainly flat or subpar band conditions, K9LQZ was able to make it from EM68, southwest IN.  That’s at least a 420-440 mile path to net control WB9LYH.  That’s a classic demonstration of what can be done on 2 meter SSB between stations with good long yagis up in the clear and decent power levels.

IF YOU’RE NEW TO KC9BQA.COM OR WANT MORE INFO ABOUT THE 144.240 SSB NET, here’s the scoop:
THE 144.240 WEDNESDAY NET is typically called by WB9LYH Mark in EN54cl.  This is central WI, near WI Rapids.  Start time is 9pm eastern/8pm central, year-round.
This net is informal.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and we appreciate you helping to spread the word.  The goal of the net is simple — to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.
From his central WI QTH, Mark starts out the net looking into the eastern time zone.  Within 5-15 minutes, he is edging SE, then S, SW, W, NW and N to finish the net.  A net can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on activity levels.
WB9LYH has stacked long yagis from a ridgetop QTH.  You do not need this kind of setup to enjoy 2 meter SSB, but it sure helps!  Mark can regularly work 300-400+ miles to well-equipped stations pointed his way, under flat band conditions.  Remember that antennas are typically horizontally polarized on the SSB/CW side of 2 meters.
WB9LYH loves to push the propagation limits, so please help us spread the word that he’s out there on 144.240 on Wed. nights, looking to find DX.   Of course, we appreciate all check-ins, and we really have some loyal ones going back many years.  But sometimes you get that rare night where someone checks in from 500, 600+ miles away and that’s exciting.

THE SSB/CW PORTIONS OF VHF/UHF ALWAYS NEED MORE ACTIVITY.   You can do you part —   Make sure to get on and call some of your own CQ’s, at any old time.  Don’t fall into the rut of just getting on for a half hour once a week.   The best recipe for a healthy VHF/UHF band is multiple stations in a wide area calling CQ, turning the yagis, looking for contacts.
Another habit to avoid is “just listening”.   If there are a few dozen guys in a multi-state area all “just listening” on 2 meters, on 432 MHz, whatever… if everyone is “just listening” how many signals will be heard?    That’s right — zero signals.   Make yourself heard and keep the band lively.

144.240 Net Reports from Oct. 2017

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

10am
Continuing to get caught up.  Thanks, everyone, for your patience.

On Oct. 4th, the 144.240 net was very active with 17 checkins.  In his emailed comments, net control WB9LYH said, “Interesting net.  Variable prop. to east, very good to SW.  Checkins were KC9ZVZ EN53;  WA9JML and N9NAQ EN51;  K9ILU, K9CCL, N9JBW, K9KKF and KD9BGY EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  KC9RAP EN63;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ EN40;  N0JA EM49;  KB9MIV EM59;  KC9WIK EN54;  N8XEW and AA8CH EN71.  Mark also got a thrill out of noting that AA8CH “was operating with a handheld, 5 watts and a handheld beam.  Lots of fun.”  (KC9BQA guesses this would be about a 180-200 mile path, so yes, that’s a lot of fun on 2 meter SSB!)

On Oct. 11th, there was also good propagation and a big list of 19 checkins:  WA9JML EN51;  KC9RAP EN63;  WB8LNG EM79;  K8TQK EM89;  KD9BGY, N9IYV, K9CCL, N9JBW, K9ILU and N9KKF EN61;  KC9VHD and AB9QH EN62;  N8WAC EN81;  KC9ZVZ EN53;  W8SOL and N8XEW EN71;  WA9BNZ EN40;  KB9MIV EM49 and N9RXM EN41.

On Oct. 18th, there was another solid turnout with 16 checkins.  WB9LYH said, “Good propagation again.  Checkins were  AB9QH EN62;  K9CCL, K9ILU, KD9BGY and KC9RIO EN61;  WA9JML EN51;  N8WAC EN81;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9ARB EN52;  N9ABR EN51;  N0JA EM49;  W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  N8XEW EN71;  N9RXM EN41 and WV9E EN43.”    I (Todd-KC9BQA) want to say a special hello to our ol’ friend Dave from Onalaska.  WV9E put several years into promoting 2 meters in the entire EN43 region and is always a welcome signal from the La Crosse area.

I have no 144.240 net reports from Oct. 25th and Nov. 1st.  The nets were on and were called by our backup, N9XKH Dennis in EN52il.  I hope N9XKH had good turnouts; I bet there were because the net’s been doing great.

If you need more info about the Wed. night 144.240 SSB net called by WB9LYH in EN54, central WI, please visit the 2nd half of the Aug. 10th, 2017 net report here at kc9bqa.com.

144.240 Net Reports from Sept. 2017

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

9am
Back on Sept. 6th, the Wed. night 144.240 SSB net from WI had 12 checkins.
In the email that net control WB9LYH sends to me, Mark said that propagation was good.  Check-ins were:  WA9JML EN51;  K9CCL, K9ILU and N9KKF EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  KC9RAP EN63;  K9HBO EN53;  W9BBP, WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  K0DOK EM48 and N9RXM EN41.
Mark noted that,  “K9HBO was running portable with a vertical antenna from Waukesha.  Surprising how far we can communicate on this band with such equipment”  (KC9BQA estimates that’s probably about a 125 mile path to net control in Central WI)

On Sept. 13th, there were 14 checkins.  Net control WB9LYH remarked, “Some propagation tonite.  Good signals.  Checkins were KC9RAP EN63;  WA9JML, N9NAQ and N9ABR EN51;  N9EM EN53;  WB8AHT EN72;  KC9VHD EN62;  K9ILU and N9KKF EN51;  WB8LNG EM79;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  KB9MIV EM59 and KC9WIK EN54.

On Sept. 20th, there were 12 checkins.  WB9LYH said, “Terrible static again, thunderstorms to the south.  Checkins were KC9RAP EN63;  WA9JML and N9NAQ EN51;  KC9VHD EN62;  N9JBW and K9CCL EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  N0JA EM49;  K0DOK EM48;  WA9BNZ EN40;  AE0MM EN34 and WB9TFH EN53.

On Sept. 27th, there were 15 checkins.  In his emailed net report, WB9LYH was pleased to mention, “No storms tonite.  Good signals, more guys on.  Checkins were WA9JML, N9NAQ and N9ABR EN51;  K9CCL, KD9BGY, N9JBW, K9ILU and N9KKF EN61;  N9EM and WB9TFH EN53;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9RXM EN41;  KB9MIV EM59;  WA9BNZ EN40 and KB9KLD EM58.

I (KC9BQA) really appreciate the variety of EM-land check-ins the 144.240 net has been getting.  Whoever is spreading the word in that direction, thanks!

If you need more info about the Wed. night 144.240 SSB net called by WB9LYH in EN54, central WI, please visit the 2nd half of the Aug. 10th, 2017 net report here at kc9bqa.com.

N9XKH in EN52il Will Call 144.240 Net on Oct. 25th

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

6:30pm Tues.

Regular 144.240 net control WB9LYH isn’t available tomorrow night.
When Mark can’t call the net, N9XKH Dennis has helped out the past few years.
N9XKH is located on the WI/ILL state line, a little NW of Rockford.  Dennis has good yagis up high and puts out a decent signal.  What Dennis doesn’t have is a lot of time for ham radio.  So when he is able to be net control, he really appreciates a lot of check-ins.  This gives him a good idea of how well he’s getting out.
Tomorrow night (Wed. Oct 25), look toward N9XKH on the middle of the WI/ILL state line — grid square EN52il.   I trust that N9XKH (roughly) follows the usual rotation of looking northeast into MI first then gradually swinging E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N to wrap up the net.  The 144.240 Wed. net always starts at 9pm eastern/8pm central.   All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The net is informal and the goal is to increase activity on 2m SSB.

NET REPORTS
I have fallen behind and hope to get caught up this week.
I’m glad that Wed. 144.240 net continues to have lots of check-ins across a wide area of the Midwest and Great Lakes.  That’s the main thing.

144.240 Net Reports from Aug. 16, 23 and Sept. 6

Monday, September 11th, 2017

8am Monday
Let’s get caught up.
Back on Aug. 16th, 144.240 net control WB9LYH emailed to say, “A somewhat hurried net because of incoming weather.  Good signals.”  Check-ins were:  KC9RAP EN63;  K9ILU, K9CCL, KD9BGY, KC9RIO EN61;  N8XEW EN71;  N9NAQ and WA9JML EN51;  WB8LNG EM79;  AC0RA and N9RXM EN41 and W9UIJ EN52.
On Aug. 23rd, Mark reported, “No thunderstorms, likely lots of guys enjoying the nice weather.”  Check-ins were:  KC9RAP EN63;  KC9RIO, K9CCL, K9ILU and KD9BGY EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40 and N9ABR EN51.  Net control also added “KE8FD in EM46 was monitoring and reported hearing a burst, but nothing more.  Tnx to N9RXM for following up, though no contact resulted.”
There was no net on Aug. 30th.
Last Wed., Sept. 6th, WB9LYH said that propagation was good.  Check-ins were:  WA9JML EN51;  K9CCL, K9ILU and N9KKF EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  KC9RAP EN63;  K9HBO EN53;  W9BBP, WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  K0DOK EM48 and N9RXM EN41.
Mark noted that,  “K9HBO was running portable with a vertical antenna from Waukesha.  Surprising how far we can communicate on this band with such equipment”  (KC9BQA estimates that’s probably about a 125 mile path to net control in Central WI)

WB9LYH would like everyone to know he expects to be on 144.240 MHz again this Wed. night at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.
IF YOU WANT MORE INFO ABOUT THE 144.240 NET, read thru the 2nd half of the net report dated Aug. 10th here at kc9bqa.com.

Q5 Net in Chicago is on 144.220 Thur. at 6:30/7pm Central

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

11:30am Thur.
Since it is Thursday, want to give a plug for a good net that’s on tonight and every Thursday — weather permitting.
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 From Aug. 2nd and Aug. 9th

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

11am Thur.

The 144.240 Wed. night net from WI has had good turnouts recently.  Plus we continue to hear new check-ins, which is great for 2 meter SSB.
WB9LYH expects to be on next Wed., Aug 16th, at the usual time of 9pm eastern/8pm central.  Full details about the 144.240 net are at the bottom of this post.

Let’s get to the net reports.
Back on Aug. 2nd, net control WB9LYH in EN54 said in his emailed net report to me, “The antenna system works again.  Noise was low, the weather good and good signals.”
There were 19 check-ins on Aug. 2nd:  KC9RAP EN63;  N8XEW EN71;  WA9JML and N9NAQ EN51;  KC9PQT EN70;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9KKF, N9JBW and KC9RIO EN61;  N9RXM, AC0RA and KD0WTE EN41;  WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  N0JA EM49;  KB9MIV EM59;  WB9TFH EN53;  W9UIJ EN52 and K0DAS EN42.  What a great turnout — thanks everyone for checking in.
Want to welcome 2 new check-ins to the 144.240 net —  KC9PQT and K0DAS.  Thanks for stopping by and glad you’re on 2 meter SSB.

Last night, net control WB9LYH reported “No storm tonite, low noise and decent propagation.”  Check-ins were:  KB9IME EN54;  WA9JML EN51;  K9CCL, KC9RIO and N9JBW EN61;  N8XEW EN71;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9NDP EN62;  KB9MIV EM59;  KG0SJ EN21;  WV9E EN43 and WO0Z EN34.
I see several calls in that list that are old friends of the net, going back to 2008-2010, when we were getting started and I was still the primary net control.   Special hello to Harvey, Richard and Dave from KC9BQA — and hi Gil, from Aug. 2nd.
If you want to know about our net history, our story is at this link:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5363
That does it for the 144.240 Wed. net reports.

In case you’re new to kc9bqa.com and you don’t know about the 144.240 Wed. net, here’s more detail:  THE 144.240 WEDNESDAY NET is typically called by WB9LYH Mark in EN54cl.  This is central WI, near WI Rapids.  Start time is 9pm eastern/8pm central, year-round.
This net is informal.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and we appreciate you helping to spread the word.  The goal of the net is simple — to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.
From his central WI QTH, Mark starts out the net looking into the eastern time zone.  Within 5-15 minutes, he is edging SE, then S, SW, W, NW and N to finish the net.  A net can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on activity levels.
WB9LYH has stacked long yagis from a ridgetop QTH.  You do not need this kind of setup to enjoy 2 meter SSB, but it sure helps!  Mark can regularly work 300-400+ miles to well-equipped stations pointed his way, under flat band conditions.
WB9LYH loves to push the propagation limits, so please help us spread the word that he’s out there on 144.240 on Wed. nights, looking to find DX.   Of course, we appreciate all check-ins, and we really have some loyal ones going back many years.  But sometimes you get that rare night where someone checks in from 500, 600+ miles away and that’s exciting.

This is the best time of year for enhanced conditions on VHF/UHF, especially in the evenings, overnights and mornings.   Make sure to get on and call some of your own CQ’s, at any old time.  Don’t fall into the rut of just getting on for a half hour once a week.   The best recipe for a healthy VHF/UHF band is multiple stations in a wide area calling CQ, turning the yagis, looking for contacts.

WB9LYH Will Call 144.240 Net on Aug. 2nd

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

7:45am Tues.

Received good news from WB9LYH yesterday:

“Todd,
Damage to the half wave transformer between the feedline and antennas repaired.  I expect to be on Wednesday nite.
Mark”

Todd (me — KC9BQA) continues…
If you want more info about the 144.240 Wed. night net from Wisconsin, go to the bottom 2 paragraphs of the post directly below this one — dated July 28th — here at kc9bqa.com.

 

144.240 Net Reports Going Back to June 28th

Friday, July 28th, 2017

11am  Fri.

There’ve been some interesting nets and one night with two new check-ins.

Back on June 28th, 144.240 net control WB9LYH reported, “Some contacts tonite despite terrible conditions.  The storms south of us were very noisy but appeared to create some enhancement to the St. Louis area”  Check-ins were:  KC9RAP EN63;  K9ILU, K9CCL, N9JBW and N9KKF EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9NAQ EN51;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40; N0JA EM49 and KB9MIV EM59.

On July 5th, WB9LYH said in his emailed net report, “Good conditions tonite and the storms were localized to the SW.”  (KC9BQA adds that storms in the Upper Midwest on Wed. nights feels like a pattern that goes back several years now)  Check-ins were:  KD9BGY, K9CCL, N9IYV and N9KKF EN61;  N9NAQ EN51;  WB8LNG EM79;  W8SOL EN71;  N0JA EM49;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40 and KC9WIK EN54.

On July 12th, Mark’s net report stated, “Thunderstorms all around and rain, some really enhanced prop (propagation) through all the noise.”  Mark added, “I did not make it all the way around (to the W and N, presumably) because of the weather.  Check-ins were:  N9ZWL EN62;  WA9JML EN51;  KC9RAP EN63;  K9ILU, K9CCL, KD9BGY and KC9RIO EN61;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ; WB0SWQ and W9BBP EN40;  W9JLF EN53;  WA9OEX EM59;  N9ABR EN51;  N9QH EM49 and AB9QH EN62.  17 check-ins on a night with rough weather — that’s amazing.  Thanks to everyone who got on and safely operated.
Had 2 new check-ins to the 144.240 Wed. net on July 12th.  N9QH and WA9OEX both made the trip from downstate IL.  Welcome to the net and enjoy 2 meter SSB.
*Note — Mark’s net report had “N9OH”, which comes back to a ham in SC.  I’m making an educated guess that he meant N9QH in EM49 because that’s where he was looking and others were checking in from that area.*

On July 19th, N9XKH was all set to take his turn as backup net control.  Then a squall line with damaging winds roared thru his area right at net time.  Of course — it’s Wednesday!!  So there was no net on July 19th.

2 nights ago, the 144.240 net was a fluid situation.   WB9LYH explains, “Tonite, I started the net, contacted by WB9TFH (EN53) and KC9RAP (EN63) and closed down because of very high SWR.  Apparent wind damage.  I hope to be up again by next week.  I called Dennis (N9XKH) and he will complete the net tonite.  Tnx Dennis.  I will get in contact (with me, KC9BQA) when things are repaired.”
Once again, very grateful that N9XKH can pitch in when we need a hand.  If I get an emailed net report from Dennis, I will share it here.

THE 144.240 WEDNESDAY NET is typically called by WB9LYH Mark in EN54cl.  This is central WI, near WI Rapids.  Start time is 9pm eastern/8pm central, year-round.
This net is informal.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and we appreciate you helping to spread the word.  The goal of the net is simple — to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.
From his central WI QTH, Mark starts out the net looking into the eastern time zone.  Within 5-15 minutes, he is edging SE, then S, SW, W, NW and N to finish the net.  A net can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on activity levels.
WB9LYH has stacked long yagis from a ridgetop QTH.  You do not need this kind of setup to enjoy 2 meter SSB, but it sure helps!  Mark can regularly work 300-400+ miles to well-equipped stations pointed his way, under flat band conditions.  Guys have been doing this for 50+ years on 2 meter SSB/CW, there’s no secret or mystery.   What you need is some sort of horizontally polarized antenna up in the clear, (yes a yagi is better and the longer the better, but get on with what you can) decent low-loss feedline, at least 25-50 watts out (again, more output power will help you be heard better) and the patience to listen carefully for quiet signals.