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N9XKH in EN52il Might Be 144.240 Net Control Tonight

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

10:30am  Wed.

It will pay to be flexible with the 144.240 Wed. net tonight and next Wed.  The 144.240 net may have a guest net control tonight.  In last week’s net report, WB9LYH advised me that his schedule is uncertain for the next 2 Weds.  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.
If I were trying to check-in tonight, I would look toward N9XKH and the middle of the WI/ILL state line first.   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.

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.

I have three weeks of net reports to type up.  Hopefully I can get to those later today or tomorrow.

144.240 Net Reports from 6/7, 6/14 and 6/21

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Weather permitting, the Wed. 144.240 net will be on tonight at the usual time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.
Net control is WB9LYH Mark, located in grid square EN54cl, right in the middle of WI.  Mark has a big station and enjoys pushing the propagation limits.  We appreciate our regulars and DX is always encouraged to listen in.   Please help us spread the word.  We continue to get new check-ins even after 9 years — very pleased by that.  Thanks to all who help increase activity on the SSB/CW portions of V/UHF.
The 144.240 net is informal and the goal is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.  All licensed amateurs are welcome.   Net control starts out looking northeast, east and southeast into the eastern time zone.  From there, WB9LYH looks S, SW, W, NW and N at the end.  A typical net can take from 30-60 minutes, depending on activity levels.

Back on June 7, net control WB9LYH reported there was decent propagation.  There was a strong turnout with 16 check-ins:  KC9RAP EN63;  KD9BGY, KC9RIO, K9CCL, and N9JBW EN61;  WA9JML and N9NAQ EN51;  WB8LNG EM79;  AB9QH EN62;  N9ARB and W9UIJ EN52;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40; W1JWS EN50;  N0JA EM49 and N9RXM EN41.
Had 2 new all-time check-ins to the Wed. 144.240 net.  Pleased to welcome N9NAQ and N0JA.  I enjoyed N0JA’s write-up on  50+ years of ham and life history, with a strong VHF presence thru the decades.

On June 14, net control WB9LYH reported, “An abbreviated net tonite.  Terrible noise to the south from weather.”  Glad 8 signals made it thru the noise:  KC9RAP EN63;  WA9JML and N9NAQ EN51;  KC9RIO, N9JBW and N9KKF EN61;  WB0SWQ and WA9BNZ EN40.   Thanks, Mark, for calling the net despite difficult conditions.

Last Wed. WB9LYH reported, “Good conditions tonite”  There were 12 check-ins:  WA9JML and N9NAQ EN51;  KC9RAP EN63;  N9ILU, K9CCL, N9JBW and N9KKF EN61;  KB9MIV EM59;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  W1JWS EN50 and N9RXM EN41.

Post Your June VHF Contest Plans Here

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

2pm Sunday

As mentioned below in other June 4th posts here at, the ARRL June VHF Contest is on June 10-11.  Rules link is here:   Make plans now to get on and tell all your ham friends and clubs.

Like he has for years now, W0UC Paul in EN44 has created a Google spreadsheet where those of us in the Midwest/Great Lakes can post our June VHF contest plans.  Before I pass the link along (with W0UC’s permission) a few guidelines.  Please read these.
1)  I (KC9BQA) know little about Google spreadsheets.  I’m just the messenger.
2)  Notice on the lower left that there are tabs for both fixed stations and rovers.
3)  Even if you’re part-time or you don’t know exactly when you can be on, post your general intentions anyway.  This is fun, not a legally binding contract.  :)
4)  We kindly ask that with this sheet, the emphasis remains on WI and nearby states.  We’re NOT trying to create a nationwide sheet.  If you are more than say 300-400 miles from WI, considering doing something similar for your own area.  It would be a big boost to V/UHF contesting if there were similar listings for other parts of the USA and Canada.
5)  Please spread the word among your V/UHF buddies in WI and nearby states to list your ARRL June VHF Contest plans here:
6)  Because this is an interactive spreadsheet, remember to check back from time-to-time and view updated plans from both fixed stations and rovers.

ARRL June VHF Contest is June 10-11, 2017

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

1:50pm Sunday
I will have one more post after this one.

Next weekend is the first all-band VHF/UHF contest of the 2017 summer season.
The ARRL June VHF contest starts at 1900 UTC time (1pm central) on Sat., June 10th and runs 33 hours until 0359 UTC time on Monday (which is 9:59pm central Sunday night, June 11th)    All bands from 50 MHz on up into the microwaves are in play.
Other big VHF contests are in June, July, August and September.  Remember that in late spring and summer, 50 MHz (6 meters, AKA “The Magic Band”) frequently comes alive with sporadic E skip propagation that makes for a lot of excitement.

The link to the ARRL June VHF contest rules page is here:

Links to KC9BQA’s VHF Contesting School Articles

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

1:45pm Sunday

Start spreading the word everywhere about the ARRL  June VHF Contest, which is June 10-11, 2017.   Other posts dated June 4, 2017 at promote the contest itself, and give publicity to the 5 known VHF/UHF contest clubs in and near Wisconsin.

If you want to know more about what a VHF/UHF contest is all about, I humbly refer you to a series of articles I wrote about 7 years back, called VHF Contesting School.   The goal of these articles are to get even casual VHF’ers, and hams in general, more confident about playing in a VHF contest.

Visit this link for KC9BQA’s VHF Contesting School articles   You are free to share those articles with hams everywhere.  The whole reason exists is to increase on-air activity on bands like 50, 144, 222 and 432 MHz.

Please don’t think that only the big guns get on for VHF/UHF contests.  The contests are a lot more fun if even the guys with just a few bands, or limited time, stop by and call some CQ’s, let others know they are out there, and make the airwaves more active.

Because those articles were written back in 2009 or 2010, some of the content may be outdated, in the areas of scoring or rules.  Refer to the ARRL website for current info.

Listing of VHF/UHF Clubs in or near Wisconsin

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

1:35pm Sunday

This is the first of several posts today.  I periodically repost this info when a VHF/UHF contest is near.

With the 2017 summer VHF contest season starting (ARRL VHF on June 10-11), this is a good time for readers to join one of the regional VHF/UHF contest clubs, if you haven’t already done so.

As of late 2016, I know of 5 VHF/UHF clubs in and near WI.  When I say “VHF/UHF Club”, I’m talking about clubs where the emphasis is on SSB/CW/Digital modes on bands like 50, 144, 222, 432 MHz, clear on up to microwave bands like 902, 1296, 2304, 3456 MHz, and even into 5 and 10 Gig and beyond.
If you are even a casual VHF’er, but would like your contest scores to go toward a club total, consider joining any of these clubs.  All the info you need to get started is below.

1)  My club is the Badger Contesters.  Their website is at  If you are within 175 miles of Oshkosh, WI, you are in the BC circle.  A graphic showing our territory is available at:  The BC’ers are a low-key, low-stress, no-dues club.

2)  NLRS stands for Northern Lights Radio Society, which covers MN, and probably adjacent parts of W and NW WI and N IA.  Their website is at

3)  SMC stands for Society of Midwest Contesters, based in IL and parts of adjacent states.  SMC is a very active HF club, with a decent number of V/UHF contesters, too.  Their website is at   SMC has done some amazing things, getting their HF contesters to try 6 meters in the June ARRL contest (when sporadic E skip usually opens up 6m across the country)

4)  CVVHF stands for Chippewa Valley VHF and they are pretty much centered on EN44.  I’m sure their territory covers most of NW WI and plenty of the U.P. of MI.  CVVHF’s website is at   EDIT — June 4, 2017.  I tried going to both and and neither address worked.

5)  As of late summer, 2014, Michigan is now represented here.  Several motivated guys got together and have created the Michigan VHF-UHF Society or MIVUS.  Their website is at  Check them out.

If you enjoy V/UHF contesting, these clubs would like very much for you to join and then submit your contest scores as part of the club’s  aggregate score.

I am not aware of any active V/UHF clubs in IN or IA.  If I’m mistaken, someone set me straight.

Wednesday’s 144.240 Net Report

Sunday, June 4th, 2017

1:30pm Sunday

It was a quiet Wed. night for the 144.240 net.  Net control WB9LYH said propagation was very poor.
The 7 check-ins were:   KD9BGY and K9CCL EN61;  N9RXM EN41;   WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40, W1JWS EN50 and W9UIJ EN52.

The 144.240 net is on every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Net control is WB9LYH Mark, located in grid square EN54cl, right in the middle of WI.  Mark has a big station and enjoys pushing the propagation limits.  We appreciate our regulars and DX is always encouraged to listen in.   Please help us spread the word.
The net is informal and the goal is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.  All licensed amateurs are welcome.
Net control starts out looking northeast, east and southeast into the eastern time zone.  From there, WB9LYH looks S, SW, W, NW and N at the end.  A typical net can take from 30-60 minutes, depending on activity levels.

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

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

10:45am 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!”

Last Night’s 144.240 Net Report

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

10:30am Thur.

In his emailed net report WB9LYH said, “No storms tonight.  Propagation was not great.  There was talk of an opening on May 16, which I missed.”
The 144.240 net had 11 check-ins last night:  WA9JML EN51;  KD9BGY, KC9RIO, N9JBW and N9KKF EN61;  WA8LNG EM79;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  W1JWS EN50 and W9UIJ EN52.

I made 3 posts on May 22nd, scroll down and you’ll be all caught up.

If you’re looking for full info on the 144.240 net, it’s in the top part of the May 22nd post with the 10:45am Monday timestamp.

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  You can follow along there.  If you want more info about the real-time ham chat, click here:

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) if you want more info.
“Look up” N4PZ at 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.