Archive for the ‘Blog Post’ Category

Other Nets and Activity on V/UHF in or near WI

Monday, September 24th, 2018

1pm Monday
I periodically remind visitors to kc9bqa.com that it’s not all about the 144.240 net here.  Been promoting more activity on the SSB/CW side of bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz for 10 years now.

If you scroll back to posts dated Feb. 15th, 2018, you will see I got busy and detailed multiple nets and/or activity periods.  I devote one post to each, so scroll thru each post’s headlines to find what you need.   And yes, help spread the word.  There’s far more activity on the “weak-signal” side of V/UHF, but it really helps to know when and where the busier times are happening.

144.240 Net Reports Going Back to Aug. 8th

Monday, September 24th, 2018

Noon Monday

Time to get caught up with net reports.

First a general announcement for anyone who may be new here.
The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern by net control WB9LYH.  Mark is in EN54cl, near WI Rapids, right in the middle of WI.
WB9LYH starts the net by looking NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N at the end.  This can take from 30-45 minutes, depending on activity levels.  Eastern time zone is always targeted first with the 144.240 Wed. night net.
All licensed amateurs are welcome.  We appreciate you helping to spread the word.  The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on the SSB side of 2 meters.  Horizontally polarized gain antennas are typically used to make contacts in that 100-300+ mile range that utilizes the full potential of SSB and CW modes on VHF/UHF.  You can certainly try a vertical to see if you hear anything, just be aware of the 20db loss with cross-polarization.
WB9LYH has a pair of stacked 16-element yagis and 500 watts from a high QTH in the clear.  Mark always wants to push the propagation limits and we encourage stations in that 400+ mile range to listen along and see if the band is “up” on a given night.  We also value all check-ins, regardless of distance.

Alright, there’s the general announcement.  Let’s get to the net reports.

On Aug 8th, N9XKH filled in as alternate net control.  Dennis does this from time to time when Mark needs cover.
On Aug. 15th, WB9LYH emailed, “Good to be back, great signals.  Checkins were WA9JML and N9UEB EN51;  AB9QH, KC9VHD and N9NDP EN62;  N8XEW EN71;  WB8LNG EM79;  K9CCL and N9KKF EN61;   WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  W1JWS EN50;  N9RXM EN41;  N0RWR EN42;  KC9TNK EN44 and WD8CBO EN35.”
I (KC9BQA) am pleased to report N9UEB is a new all-time checkin to the 144.240 Wed. net.  Still attracting new signals after 10+ years.  That’s a good feeling.  N9UEB — glad you’re on 2 meters SSB.

On Aug. 22nd, WB9LYH reported, “Decent signals, few stations.  Checkins were K9CCL and N9KKF EN61;  N9NDP and KC9VHD EN62;  WB8LNG EM79;  WA9JML EN51;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  N9RXM EN41 and KC9TNK EN44.  Also, W5LDA in EM15, central OK, called cw and a few bits were heard.  Tnx to him for trying.”

On Aug. 29th, WB9LYH relayed, “The weather moved east of us, so we had a successful net.  Checkins were AB9QH, KC9VHD and N9NDP EN62;  WB8LNG EM79;  KC9RIO and K9CCL EN61;  KG9AP EM59;  W1JWS EN51;  WB0SWQ, W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  N0RWR EN42 and KC9TNK EN44.”  Mark continued, “The weather here was wet but no high winds, so the antennas are still up there.”

On Sept. 5th, WB9LYH said, “It cleared here in late afternoon.  Some signals very good, others degraded by rain.  Checkins were WB9LNG EM79;  N9RXM EN41;  WB0SWQ, WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  W1JWS EN50;  N0RWR and WV9E EN42;  AB9QH and KC9VHD EN62 and KG9AP EM59.  I think N8XEW called, but we could not complete the contact.  The weather we had (in WI) went there (MI).”

On Sept. 12th, N9XKH pinch-hit again.  Thanks, Dennis.  Hope you had good conditions and lots of activity.
On Sept. 19th, WB9LYH emailed, “Good to be back on the net.  N9XKH called the net last week and tnx to him.  Good net tonight, good signals.  Checkins were KC9RAP EN63;  K9CCL, W9SUS, N9JBW, N9KKF and N9IYV EN61;  N9NAQ and WA9JML EN51;  KC9VHD EN62;  W1JWS EN50;  WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  N0RWR EN42 and N9RXM EN41.”  Mark finished by saying, “Mosquitoes were the topic tonite, and frost would be great to get rid of them.”

OK, all caught up.

N9XKH EN52il is Backup 144.240 Net Control for Wed. 8/8

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

5:45pm Tues.

N9XKH — Dennis — fills in occasionally when WB9LYH needs cover. N9XKH is located on the WI/ILL state line, southwest of Madison, WI. Grid square is EN52il. Dennis enjoys getting on 2 meter SSB but he doesn’t have a lot of free time. So when N9XKH is able to call a net, he really appreciates lots of activity, so he can verify how well he’s hearing and being heard.

If you need more info about the net, read on…  Feel free to share this info in all directions.
The Wed. 144.240 net is called by WB9LYH in EN54cl, Central WI, near Wi. Rapids. Start time is 8pm central/9pm eastern.
WB9LYH has a pair of long yagis and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH.  The yagis are horizontally polarized, which is the custom on the SSB/CW/Digi sides of VHF/UHF bands.  Mark can routinely work stations out to 300-450 miles if they have good, higher-gain antennas up in the clear pointed at him. This is under flat band conditions; distances can increase if there’s enhanced propagation.
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 have loyal ones going back many years.  But sometimes you get a night where someone checks in from 500, 600+ miles away and that’s exciting.  All licensed amateurs are welcome to listen along or say hello when they can.  The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.
WB9LYH’s antenna pattern is to start out looking ENE from EN54, then steadily move clockwise over the next 30-45 minutes. Talking E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and he wraps things up looking north.
Please help by spreading the word about our net and the other nets and activity nights I detail here at kc9bqa.com.

Do your own part for the bands and call CQ at any old time.  Don’t fall into the habit of “just listening”.  If a few dozen guys are at the radio and they’re all “just listening” how many signals are heard??

144.240 Net Reports for July 18 & Aug. 1

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

5:30pm  Tues.

On July 18th, 144.240 net control WB9LYH emailed, “Ordinary propagation after several good openings, though not on net nights.  Checkins were WA9JML EN51;  K9CCL and K9ILU EN61;  WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  W1JWS EN50;  KC9VHD EN62;  N9RXM EN41;  KC8ZJL and N8XEW EN71 and KG9AP EM59.”

There was no net on July 25th.  WB9LYH’s EN54 QTH was covered in thunderstorms.

On Aug. 1st, WB9LYH shared, “Thunderstorms (some distance away), noise, but it worked despite all that.   Checkins were WA9JML EN51;  N9XKH EN52;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  AB9QH and N9NDP EN62;  K9CCL and N9IYV EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  KG9AP EM59;  N0RWR EN42;  KB9RDS EM79 and K0SIX EN35.”

 

144.240 Net Report for July 11, 2018

Monday, July 16th, 2018

9:15am Monday

There was no 144.240 net on Independence Day.

On July 11th, last Wednesday, net control WB9LYH reported, “Some enhancement tonite.  Checkins were N9NAQ EN51;  K9CCL, N9IYV, N9KKF, N9JBW and K9ILU EN61;  W9YZU EM69;  KC9VHD EN62;  N9EM EN53;  WD9DCW and K9YR EN52;  KG9AP EM59 and WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40.”
Mark also said, “There was great tropo over 3 days last weekend.  More stations on than in the last contest.  It’s been a long time.”

KC9BQA wants to add that the 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern by WB9LYH, Mark, in EN54cl.  That’s central WI, near WI Rapids.   The net is informal and open to all licensed amateur radio ops.   The goal is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.  Please help us spread the word in all directions.
From his central WI QTH, net control starts the net by looking east and then SE, S, SW, W, NW and finally N over the next 30-45 minutes.  Sometimes a busy net runs a bit long.   Patience and flexibility is always appreciated.
WB9LYH has long yagis and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH.   Mark’s signal gets out a very long way and he enjoys pushing the propagation limits.   Again — please help spread the word in a large circle well beyond WI.

Happy to (finally!) get caught up with the net reports.  I hope we still have some readers who find this of use, despite my no longer being on the air (several years now) and my making less frequent updates to kc9bqa.com.   The 144.240 net is doing great, and that’s the main thing.  Thanks Mark!  Thanks all you VHF’ers who keep checking in!

 

144.240 Net Reports for June

Monday, July 16th, 2018

9am Monday
Here are the Wed. 144.240 net reports for June, 2018.

On June 6th, net control WB9LYH reported, “Few stations but good signals.  Checkins were KC9RAP EN63;  WA9JML and N9ABR EN51;  WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  AB9QH and N9NDP EN62.”

On June 13th Mark noted, “Good propagation, low noise.  Checkins were N9IYV EN61;  N8XEW EN71;  N9NDP, KC9VHD and AB9QH EN62;  W9YZU EM69;  WB9TFH EN53;  KG9AP EM59;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40 and N9RXM EN41.”

The June 20th report said, “Great 6 meter propagation and strong signals on 2, but it did not extend very far.  Checkins were WA9JML EN51;  WA9HIR and K9CCL EN61;  W9YZU EM69;  N8XEW EN71;  AB9QH and KC9VHD EN62;  W9DEY EN52;  N0RWR EN42;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  WV9E EN43 and KG0SJ EN22.”

June 27th continued the string of pleasant conditions, “Good propagation, low noise.  Checkins were WA9JML EN51;  W9YZU EM69;  K9CCL, N9JBW, KC9RIO and N9IYV EN61;  KC9VHD and AB9QH EN62;  KG9AP EM59;  KC9TNK EN44;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  N0RWR EN42 and N8XEW EN71.”

144.240 Net Reports From 4/25 to 5/23

Monday, July 16th, 2018

8:30am Monday

I will get caught up with the net reports in segments.  Here’s the first one this morning:
Back on Wed., April 25th, 144.240 net control WB9LYH reported, “There were some guys on despite the 432 sprint.  Signals are better with the advancing season.  Checkins were WA6TMJ and N9XKH EN52;  WA9JML EN51;  KG9AP EM59;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  AC0RA and N9RXM EN41 and N9JBW EN61.”

On May 2nd, Mark’s emailed net report talked about storms, “Severe static from storms in S WI and N IL.  Checkins were K9CCL EN61;  N9RXM EN41;  N0RWR EN42;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40 and WB9TFH EN53.”

On May 9th, WB9LYH noted, “No storms tonite, better signals.  Checkins were WA9JML and N9ABR EN51;  AB9QH and KC9VHD EN62;  N9IYV, K9CCL, N9KKF, W9SUS and WA9HIR EN61;  KC9RAP EN63;  N9EM EN53;  WA9BNZ EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  KC9AP EM59 and KC9TNK EN44.
Mark continued, “The tulips are blossoming, grass is green, propagation hasn’t caught up to spring yet.”

May 16th brought more spring  — “Warm weather and with it better conditions.  Checkins were K9ILU and W9SUS EN61;  WA9JML EN51;  KC9VHD EN62;  WB8LNG EM79;  W9YZU EM69;  W8SOL EN71;  KG9AP EM59;  WB0SWQ and W9BBP EN40 and N0RWR EN42.”

May 23rd had even better news — “The season has begun.  Good propagation.  There was some tropo a few days ago.  Checkins were WA9JML EN51;  K9CCL, N9IYV, N9JBW and N9KKF EN61;  W9YZU EM69;  K8TQK EM89;  KC9VHD EN62;  W8SOL EN71;  N0RWR EN42;  KG9AP EM59;  W9BBP, WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  N9RXM, K9EYU and NG9K EN41 and KC9TNK EN44.”
KC9BQA adds, I see 18 checkins here.  That’s a great group.  Glad so many hams are getting on 2 meter SSB.

On May 30th, N9XKH Dennis in EN52il filled in as alternate net control.  Dennis doesn’t send net reports, but I hope he had lots of checkins.

N9XKH in EN52il Calls 144.240 Net on Wed. 5/30

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

10:15pm Tues.
144.240 Net Control WB9LYH says that N9XKH will call the net tomorrow night — Wed., 5/30/18.
N9XKH Dennis fills in occasionally when WB9LYH needs cover. N9XKH is located on the WI/ILL state line, southwest of Madison, WI. Grid square is EN52il. Dennis enjoys getting on 2 meter SSB but he doesn’t have a lot of free time. So when N9XKH is able to call a net, he really appreciates lots of activity, so he can learn how well he’s hearing and being heard.
The 144.240 net starts at 8pm central/9pm eastern every Wednesday. If you need more info about the net, check the 2nd half of the post dated April 22, entitled 144.240 Net Reports at kc9bqa.com.

I need to get the net reports for the last 5 weeks posted.  In the meantime, I’ve heard that band conditions have been very good at times during this hot weather.  I hope lots of you have been on the air, calling CQ and listening in various directions and working new states and grid squares.

Two Websites That Help Show Band Conditions

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

9:30am Sunday
WB9LYH referenced a large red area over Texas in his net report from 4/18/18.  He must have been looking at the real-time APRS band conditions map.

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:
1)  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, usually over a wider area.

2)  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.

I should note that I haven’t been on the air since 2014.  I still update kc9bqa.com but I may have fallen behind on the latest and greatest resources.  I did check to make sure that both of these websites are still alive and well.

144.240 Net Reports From 4/4, 4/11 and 4/18

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

9am Sunday

Remember that the 432 Spring Sprint is Wed. night — see the post dated March 30th (directly below this one) at kc9bqa.com for the Spring Sprints announcement.

On to the 144.240 net reports.

Back on April 4th, net control WB9LYH (EN54cl, central WI) said, “Good signals tonight.  Checkins were W9LYX and WA9TT EN54;  N9IYV, K9CCL, W9SUS and N9JBW EN61;  AB9QH EN62;  WA6TMJ EN52;  WA9JML EN51;  WA9BNZ EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  N0RWR EN42;  KC9TNK and KA9OMY EN44.  W9YZU (Indy area — EM69) got thru the noise but no copy at his end.  ‘YZU, tnx for trying.”
Mark also added, “Lots of snow again, its Wisconsin.”
KC9BQA adds (with the benefit of hindsight on April 22nd)  Little did Mark know this would be just the start of his snowiest April ever…

On April 11th, WB9LYH reported, “Tough propagation, lots of up and down.  Checkins were WA9TT EN54;  WA9JML EN51;  K9ILU, K9CCL, W9SUS, N9IYV and N9KKF EN61;  WB0SWQ and WA9BNZ EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  WA6TMJ EN52;  AB9QH and KC9VHD EN62;  N9EM EN53 and KC9TNK EN44.”

Last Wed., Apr. 18th, WB9LYH noted, “A large red area over TX this AM, hope it spreads as the season advances.”  (KC9BQA will make a post that explains how you too can see large red areas, right after I’m done with the net reports)  Mark continued… “Signals strong with fading tonite, weather was a factor with a storm over southern WI.  Checkins were KC9TNK and AA9JL EN44;  WB8LNG and W9YZU EM79;  W9SUS, K9CCL, N9JBW, WA9HIR and N9KKF EN61;  N9NDP EN62;  K8TQK EM89;  WA9JML EN51;  KG9AP EM59;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ EN40;  N0RWR EN42;  and WB9TFH EN53.”
KC9BQA adds:   AA9JL is a new all-time checkin to the 144.240 net.  Thanks for stopping by.
KG9AP is the new call of KB9MIV, who checks in occasionally from the St. Louis area.  We are always looking for more stations from MO and Downstate IL.  Kansas City area, too.

IF YOU ARE NEW TO KC9BQA.COM, here’s the particulars about the 144.240 Wed. night net.

The Wed. 144.240 net is called by WB9LYH in EN54cl, Central WI, near Wi. Rapids. Start time is 8pm central/9pm eastern. All licensed amateurs are welcome to listen along or say hello when they can. The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB. Please help by spreading the word about our net and the other nets and activity nights I detail here at kc9bqa.com.
Do your own part for the bands and call CQ at any old time. Don’t fall into the habit of “just listening”. If a few dozen guys are at the radio and they’re all “just listening” how many signals are heard??

WB9LYH has a pair of long yagis and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH. The yagis are horizontally polarized, which is the custom on the SSB/CW/Digi sides of VHF/UHF bands. Mark can routinely work stations out to 300-450 miles if they have good, higher-gain antennas up in the clear pointed at him. This is under flat band conditions; distances can increase if there’s enhanced propagation.
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 have loyal ones going back many years. But sometimes you get a night where someone checks in from 500, 600+ miles away and that’s exciting.
WB9LYH’s antenna pattern is to start out looking ENE from EN54, then steadily move clockwise over the next 30-45 minutes. Talking E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and he wraps things up looking north.