Archive for the ‘Blog Post’ Category

Happy 7th Anniversary to

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

9:30pm Saturday

I made my first posts ever at on April 2nd, 2009.   Back when I started promoting VHF/UHF regionally in 2007 via email, I realized a website would be a good idea, but I dragged my feet for a long time before learning about WordPress.

I still want to post updates about the 2016 UHF Contest being *ON* for the first weekend of August, and post the current status of my FOR SALE list.  But it’s been a long couple of days.  Perhaps tomorrow I’ll have time to get those posts made.

If you haven’t scrolled down the front page, please do so.  I made 3 new posts yesterday morning.

2016 Central States VHF Society Conference is July 28-31 in Rochester, MN

Friday, April 1st, 2016

8:15am Friday

Just realized it’s April 1st, but all the posts I’ve made today are legit — I’m not much of an April Fool’s prankster, and especially not with this website.  There will be another post tomorrow and perhaps a few others this weekend.  I want to get caught up with several things.

I received email on March 23rd from the NLRS (Northern Lights Radio Society out of MN see  NLRS is hosting the 50th annual Central States VHF Society Conference in 2016.
I am reposting the announcement from WA2VOI — CSVHF’s 2016 President — in its entirety.  Please spread the word about the Central States VHF Society and consider joining, if you are not already a member.

2016 CSVHFS Conference Announcement from WA2VOI to follow:

The Central States VHF Society is excited to announce its Golden Anniversary Conference, to be held in the rolling hills farm country of Rochester, MN Thursday, July 28 to Sunday, July 31, 2016. Rochester is home to one of the largest Amish communities west of the Mississippi and to the world renowned Mayo Clinic.  We invite you to come to Rochester to help celebrate this very special 50th Anniversary Conference!

The conference will feature many exciting activities, including state-of-the-art technical programs, noise figure measurement, antenna range, “Rover Row”, “Dish Bowl”, “VHF 101” presentations for newcomers to weak signal operation, luncheons, evening socials/hospitality suites, and, of course, the ever-popular grand finale banquet. Also, as this is the 50th anniversary of the CSVHFS and conference, we will have “Gear of Yesteryear” presentations and demonstrations to reflect on where we’ve been and just how far we’ve come!

Bring the whole family! The Conference hotel includes an indoor water park suitable for all ages. It is also near beautiful downtown Rochester, where shopping and other entertainment abounds. We will also be offering a choice of side trips designed to entertain the entire family.

Additional details are available on the Central States VHF Society web site, <>. Online conference registration will be available by April 15th,

2016 under the “Annual Conference” heading, or at <> directly.

The CSVHFS 50th Anniversary Conference is an ARRL-sanctioned Operating Specialty Event.


CONFERENCE DATES: Thursday, July 28 – Sunday, July 31, 2016.


Deadlines for Registration:

For online or early registration: Sunday, June 26, 2016 For hotel reservations at the Conference rate: Monday, June 27, 2016 For late registration and banquet/luncheon reservations: Tuesday, July 19, 2016 For walk-in registrations: Any time Wednesday, July 20, 2016 and later. No banquet/luncheon is available.


Registration Rates:

Early (Received before June 27, 2016)………..$40

NOTE: June 27 is the cut-off date to add room reservations for hotel

Late (Received before July 20, 2016)………….$50

NOTE: July 20 is last date for banquet/lunch sign-up

Walk-in (July 20 and later)……………………….$50

NOTE: No banquet/lunch available

Student (16-24 yrs):

15 & under:…………………………….Free with any regular registration

Proceedings are NOT included with registration, but are a separate purchase for $20



The 50th Anniversary Conference will be held at the Kahler Apache Hotel and Water Park in Rochester, MN, 1517 16th St SW, Rochester, MN 55902 (507) 289-8866.  The hotel is located in the south-west corner of Rochester at the junction of US52 and US14 Eastbound.  General hotel information may be found at <>.  The CSVHFS 50th Anniversary rate for the Conference is $109/night (plus taxes) for rooms away from the pool/water park, $131/night (plus taxes) for rooms pool-side or with pool-view.You can reserve a room online or by calling the hotel directly. To reserve a room online, you MUST use the URL/link:


to get the Conference rate! Telephone reservations may be made by calling (507) 289-8866 and asking for the “Central States Conference,” or “CSVHFS,” rates.

The last date the hotel will accept reservations at the Conference rate is Monday, June 27, 2016. Reservations after that date are on an “as available” basis and at their standard room rates.



Rochester, MN is located approximately 90 miles SE of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, along US Highway US52 and just north of Interstate I-90.

Rochester International Airport (RST) is served by both Delta Airlines and American Airlines. Many visitors prefer to fly into Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and either obtain a rental car or take one of the numerous shuttle services to Rochester.  These services offer nearly 24-hour service between MSP and Rochester, typically running every hour or so for the approximately 90-minute trip to or from the airport.

For the Central States VHF Society 50th Anniversary Conference, the GO Rochester Direct shuttle company has added the Kahler Apache hotel to its route of drop-offs and pick-ups to the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport. Rates are about $60 per person, round trip, with discounts for seniors (60+) and children 14 and under.
Reservations are necessary to ensure your seat on the shuttle. Online reservations may be made at: <>.  Telephone reservations may be made by calling Go Rochester Direct at (800) 280-9270.

If you choose to use the shuttle service, please remember to add the shuttle travel time to your plans, especially for the return trip on your way home. It would be good to allow at least two hours for the shuttle trip.



When making online reservations with Go Rochester Direct, make sure you reserve for the Kahler Apache hotel. There are three “Kahler” Hotels in Rochester.  Two are in the downtown area, near to the Mayo Clinic, but we are at the Kahler Apache hotel, which is approximately 2 miles away.

I look forward to seeing you at the Conference!


Donn Baker, WA2VOI
2016 CSVHFS President

2016 Spring VHF and up Sprints Start Mon., April 11th

Friday, April 1st, 2016

7:45am Friday

Also got email from WB8BZK Mike, who’s been active on V/UHF for a long time.  WB8BZK and KA2KQM are the organizing committee of the 2016 Spring VHF and up Sprints.  Central States VHF Society is sponsoring the Spring Sprints and CSVHFS is celebrating their 50th annual conference in 2016.  This year’s CSVHFS conference is close-by, too.  It’s in Rochester MN, from July 28-31st.  There is a separate post about that directly above this one, here at

Help spread the word about the Spring VHF Sprints.  Let your ham buddies know.  Consider going out roving or hilltopping.  Sometimes VHF’ers don’t have a good horizon, or they are antenna-restricted.  Increase the fun factor by going mobile and operating from locations where you know you will be heard better.

Here’s the announcement:

The Central States VHF Society is proud to sponsor and announce the dates and times for the 2016 run of the VHF and up Spring Sprints!

144 MHz: Monday, 4/11/16 from 7 – 11 PM local, Exchange: 4 char grid

222 MHz: Tuesday, 4/19/16 from 7 – 11 PM local, Exchange: 4 char grid

432 MHz: Wednesday, 4/27/16 from 7 – 11 PM local, Exchange: 4 char grid

Microwave, 902 MHz and up: Saturday, 5/7/16 from 8 AM – 2 PM local, Exchange: 6 char grid

50 MHz: Saturday, 5/14/16 from 2300Z until 0300Z Sunday, 5/10/15, Exchange: 4 char grid

More information and rules are posted at:

Kent O’Dell KA2KQM & Mike Metroka WB8BZK
Central States VHF Society Spring Sprint Organizing Committee

KC9BQA adds that by May, DX can occur on 6 meters, due to the seasonal rise of sporadic E-skip openings.  Google that term if you are unfamiliar with it.  Sporadic Es are a blast.  Often in the late spring and summer, 6 meters (or 50 MHz) comes alive with dozens of signals from different states and grids.  Plus, when sporadic Es are strong and widespread, you don’t need a big antenna up high to take advantage of it.  Again, do some Googling and get yourself educated now, so you’re ready to have some big fun when 6 meters (aka The Magic Band) comes alive.


This Week’s 144.240 Net Report

Friday, April 1st, 2016

7:15am  Friday

Net control WB9LYH had 12 check-ins to the 144.240 net on Wed. night.   Mark said in his report, “Lots of weather noise but good signals from the SE.  Signals are getting better with the coming of spring but the continuing unsettled weather has kept some of us off the air at times.  Let’s see what next week brings.”

The 12 check-ins were:  KB9PSE and KY9E EN52;  WB8LNG EM79;  K9ILU, N9JBW and K9CCL EN61;  N9YK EN71;  K9SLQ EN70;  N9RXM EN41;  WA9BNZ EN40;  KG0SJ EN22 and W0KWZ EN34.
Grateful for the nice turnout on a night where a lot of showers and thunderstorms were scattered across the Midwest and Great Lakes.  Thanks everyone for keeping 2m SSB active.
Remember to create activity at any time.  Really appreciate our check-ins thru the years, but the recipe for a truly healthy band is to have lots of signals on the airwaves on a daily/nightly basis.  Call your own CQ’s in various directions whenever you can.  So many of us fall into the rut of “just listening”.  Well… if dozens of VHF’ers in many grids and states are all “just listening”, then how many signals are heard??  That’s right, zero.  Then everyone says, “the bands are so dead.”  There’s a remedy for this — Call your own CQ’s — start something.

I want VHF’ers to know there are many fine nets and activity nights, all 7 nights of the week, scattered across the Midwest/Great lakes and Plains.  Three posts here at detailing those VHF/UHF nets are dated Oct 13, 15 and 17th, 2013.  Use the “archives” at the right and click on “October 2013” and go from there.   Please spread that VHF/UHF net and activity night info to hams everywhere.

The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern.   Net control is WB9LYH in EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.   Antenna pattern from Central WI is NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  Eastern time zone is always targeted first.  All licensed hams are welcome.  The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2m SSB.

WB9LYH has a very big signal and loves pushing the propagation limits.  His typical range on 2m SSB, with normal band conditions is 300-500 miles.  But on nights with band enhancement, contacts beyond 500 miles are possible *IF* the stations are out there, giving it a try.  DX is always welcome to with the 144.240 net.   Help us spread the word in a very wide circle, especially with warmer weather and better propagation just around the corner.

We have called the 144.240 Wed. net from WI since June 2008 and our history is here:

144.240 Net Report for Wed., March 23

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

6:15am Sunday

Wed. 144.240 net control WB9LYH (in EN54cl, central WI) emailed the following:  “Todd, better propagation to the east, very bad looking toward the snowstorm in western IA.  Checkins were N9YK and W8SOL EN71;  K9CCL, N9JBW, K9ILU and KD9BGY EN61;  N9FEB EM69;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9RXM, NG9K and KC9OVD EN41;  WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40 and WB0YWW EN22.”

I count 14 check-ins, including some longer-haul contacts into EM69 and 79.  That’s pretty impressive on a night with widespread bad weather across the Midwest and Great Lakes.

WB9LYH expects to be on for the next several Wednesdays.  Start time for the 144.240 net from EN54cl, central WI is 9pm eastern/8pm central.  If you need more details, they’re in the post right below this one.

144.240 Net is ON Tonight — Mar. 23rd

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

6:15pm  Wed.

144.240 net control WB9LYH (in grid square EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids) has emailed to say the net is ON tonight.  Usual start time of 9pm eastern/8pm central.  Mark has a pretty good snowstorm setting up over him this evening, so please reward him for his efforts with lots of check-ins.   Should be lots of chatter about the weather with this vigorous storm moving into the Midwest/Great Lakes.

Remember that eastern time zone is always looked at first with the 144.240 Wed. net from Wisconsin.  So the antenna pattern from central WI is NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  All times are approximate depending on how many check-ins there are.

All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The 144.240 net is informal, listen along or say hello when you can.  The goal is to increase activity on 144 MHz SSB.  We appreciate you telling your ham friends and referring them to if they need more info.

WB9LYH has a big signal and really enjoys it when DX stations help him push the propagation limits.   Those of you 500, 600 or more miles away, be aware of the net on Wed. nights and see if you can check in on a night with a little enhancement.
WB9LYH is also on the real-time ham chat during the net.  You can learn more about this valuable, popular and free resource by visiting this link:  1000’s of hams are enjoying the various ham chat rooms at  The simple steps to get registered are in that link.

Q5 Net is on 144.220 MHz Thursdays @ 6:30pm Central

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

1pm Thursday

I say it often, but it bears repeating.  This blog is not just about the 144.240 Wed. net from WI.

For instance, every Thursday you have a popular net out of Chicago on 144.220.  I’m talking about the Q5 net called by N9JBW John from EN61 on the south side of Chicago.  The regular start time is 7pm central, but they also listen for earlybird check-ins at 6:30pm.  The Q5 net is a friendly bunch that’s always looking for more signals.  N9JBW has a good signal and takes check-ins from a multi-state area and Canada.  As John likes to say, “Check it out.”

For a much more complete discussion of nets on different VHF/UHF bands, all 7 nights of the week, take some time to read thru posts at dated Oct. 13, 15 and 17th, 2013.  Use the archives feature on the right to get there.

Last Night’s 144.240 Net Report

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

12:45pm Thur.

WB9LYH was back with the Wed. 144.240 net last night.  Mark reported a very good net, and decent propagation.  There were 16 check-ins:  K9CCL, K9ILU, KC9RIO, KD9BGY and N9JBW EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  N9YK EN71;  N9XKH and KB9PSE EN52;  N9RXM and KC9OVD EN41;  N9DG EN53;  WB0SWQ, W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40 and  KG0SJ EN22.

The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Net control is usually WB9LYH EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.  If Mark can’t go, we announce alternate plans here at  In his email last night, WB9LYH says he expects to be on the rest of the month.

The antenna pattern from Central WI is NE first, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  Eastern time zone is always targeted with the 144.240 Wed. net from Wisconsin.   The net is informal and the purpose is to stir up more activity on 2m SSB.  All licensed amateurs are welcome and we appreciate you helping to spread the word.

With warmer weather here, it’s worth looking for band enhancement, especially in the later evenings and mornings.  Make sure to get on and call your own CQ’s at any time.  Keep the airwaves alive; don’t wait for someone else to start something.  If dozens of guys are all near their rigs, “just listening”, how many signals are heard??  Yep, zero.


Last Week’s 144.240 Net Report from N9XKH

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

9:45am  Sunday

As mentioned in the last post, N9XKH Dennis filled in as 144.240 net control this past Wed.  Dennis sent a net report, which I will repost here.  Also want to add that WB9LYH expects to be back as regular net control for Wed. March 9th and beyond.

Slow night, a few found the “fill in” net control of N9XKH NW of Rockford, Il.

I could hear KC9AZ but we didnt connect.

I found out that my mast has slipped by around 70degrees again in the 80 plus MPH winds a few days ago. Once I figured that out I was able to make a few contacts to salvage the night.

KD9BGY, N9JBW, K9ILU, en61

W9UIJ en52

W9BBP, WB9SWQ en40

completed the short list for this week.

It is always a pleasure to fill in for Mark when he cant make it. Just a note to those who are listening for Mark, If you dont hear him look 100 miles to the south for N9XKH as a fill in. I tend to keep at it till after 9:30 pm local time trying to catch everybody. Towards the end I just spin the beam 10 degrees and call again and again a few times around.

Dennis Gray, N9XKH.


144.240 Net Report from Feb. 24th

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

7am Tuesday

Sorry for the late report…
Last Wed. night, WB9LYH reported weather to the east and lots of noise, with the Wed. night 144.240 net.  Even with tough conditions, Mark had 14 check-ins:  N8WNA EN82;  K9ILU, K9CCL and KD9BGY EN61;  N9YK EN71;  N9ZWL EN62;  N9XKH EN52;  W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  N9RXM and KC9OVD EN41;  N0IRS EM29;  WB0YWW EN22 and AD0MV EN34.  Plus there was another station who tried from the KC area.  KY0O reported hearing WB9LYH thru the noise, but nothing heard on Mark’s end in WI.  Thanks for the try, that’s what “weak-signal” VHF’ing is all about.

As mentioned in the post directly below this one at, we will have a guest net control tomorrow night.  N9XKH on the IL/WI state line in EN52il will fill in for WB9LYH.  Please read the post below for more details and help get Dennis lots of check-ins tomorrow night.  Start time is the same — 8pm central/9pm eastern and eastern time zone is always looked at first.