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Spread the Word About the Ham Chat Rooms

Friday, August 19th, 2016

2:50pm Friday

It’s time to promote the real-time ham chat rooms again.  I have a permanent link on the middle right side of the home page here at but I know how it is, trying to scan a website for every useful nugget of info and your eyes start glazing over.  So here’s what you need to know: has a free, no obligation VHF/UHF chat that all are welcome to use.    This is what we need to improve activity.   During  nets,  band openings, any time at all.   Sign up is simple and free.    Chat when you want, or just observe.
For many years (at least back to 2001 or 2002) there’s been a popular 50 MHz chat that 1000’s of hams have enjoyed.  Honestly, being able to observe that 6 meter chat really motivated me to get my license and to get on VHF/UHF.
I always thought it would be good to have a 144 MHz and up chat, too.  Back on March 10, 2010, ON4KST — Alain — kindly created a V/UHF chat we can use.

Spread the word that VHF/UHF’ers everywhere should get registered for this chat.   It’s totally free and no strings attached.   By now, I believe there are 5000+ registered users just in North America.


How do you sign up for the chat?
1)   Go to   Click on “Try the low band, 50/70MHz, 144/432MHz …. chats”
2)  There’s the chats you can join.    Choose any one — you have to register first anyway.
3)  So choose a chat, and now you see “Not registered yet? — Click HERE”   Click that.
4)  Enter your email, call, password (choose your own), grid square and name.   Click register.
5)  Shortly, you’ll get an email with your activation key to log in.
6)  Once you’re registered, click on the IARU Region 2 144/432 chat, and see what’s going on.
7)  Also enjoy the IARU Region 2 50 MHz chat.   Many USA/VE and some DX  use it.   Lots of good ham discussions go on in these chat rooms — the 6m room is how I learned at least 50-70% of what I know about weak-signal V/UHF ops.

A personal note from KC9BQA — as I have sold most of my station and haven’t been on the air since early 2014, it’s possible that some things have changed with the chat.  If you find that any of the info above is outdated, please email me (I’m good on and let me know so I can make corrections.  But my guess is everything is still the way it was back in 2014 and 2015.

This Week’s 144.240 Net Report

Friday, August 19th, 2016

2:45pm Friday

Wednesday 144.240 net control WB9LYH said that 2 nights ago, propagation was not so good and few stations were on.  The 8 check-ins were WA9JML EN51;  AB9QH EN62;  W9BBP, WA9BNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  N9RXM and KD0JNQ EN41 and KA0PQW EN33.  Nice to hear from Matt in EN33, Ellendale, MN.
WB9LYH also noted that KA0EIV was heard in the noise, not enough for a contact.  He advised on the chat board (talking the real-time ham chat, I will make a separate post next about that) that his antenna was damaged, but some compromise effort at 10 feet was still heard slightly.

Net control Mark says he expects to be on for the next few weeks.  If you need more details about the Wed. 144.240 net (start time 8pm central/9pm eastern), just read the post below this one at

15 Check-Ins to 144.240 Net on Wed. Night

Friday, August 12th, 2016

9:15am Friday
WB9LYH’s net report said, “Propagation!  Good signals especially to the east.”
Check-ins were:  VE3ZV EN92;  W8IO EN63;  N8WAC EN81;  K8TQK EM89;  WB8LNG EM79;  WA9JML EN51;  N9JBW and KD9BGY EN61;  KC9PYV EN52;  N9RXM, KC9OVD and NG9K EN41;  WB0SWQ, WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40.  Also W1JWS tried checking in with a halo, but no luck.
Pleased to note that KC9PYV is a new all-time check-in to the net.  Welcome and glad you’re on 2 meter SSB.

I would expect WB9LYH to be on again next Wed. at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.

I know that the following net info gets repetitive for “regulars” but I never know when we’ll have new visitors to so here goes:
The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern by WB9LYH.  Mark is in EN54cl, central WI, about an hour and a half west of Green Bay.  Mark has a pair of 17B2’s (horizontally polarized, as is the custom on the SSB/CW side of VHF/UHF) and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH and he routinely gets out 400+ miles to other well-equipped stations.
WB9LYH appreciates all check-ins, local and DX.  He does enjoy pushing the propagation limits.  Please let VHF’ers in a very wide radius know that we’re on the air on Wed. nights.  With warm summer nights comes potential band enhancement.  Let stations in that 500-1000 mile range know about us.

From central WI, WB9LYH starts out looking NE, E and SE.  Eastern time zone is always targeted first with the 144.240 Wed. net.  From there, Mark starts edging S, then SW, W, NW and N to finish.  All licensed amateurs are welcome; the net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.  We have had 100’s of unique calls to the net over the past 7+ years.  We appreciate you helping to spread the word and doing your part to make the SSB/CW portions of the VHF/UHF bands more active.

K8TQK EM89je Calls a Big Net Mondays @8:30pm Eastern on 144.252

Monday, August 8th, 2016

10:30am Monday

WB9LYH also wants everyone to know that K8TQK’s rotor problems have been fixed and Bob is back on the air with his mammoth signal from south-central OH (EM89je).  Imagine this means K8TQK is back to calling his 144.252 net (Yes, 144.252) every Monday at 8:30pm eastern.  When I was on the air, I was able to hear K8TQK (when our horizontal yagis were pointed at each other) 98% of the time, sometimes as well as S7-S9.  This was a 392 mile path.  WB9LYH works K8TQK on a 460+ mile path.  This is what good stations are capable of on 2 meter SSB, anytime, without special band conditions.  Just good high-gain antennas up in the clear, fed with low-loss coax and at least 100W of power.  Remember that the standard on the SSB/CW side of VHF/UHF is to have horizontally polarized antennas.

So again, on Monday nights, you want to be on 144.252 MHz and turn toward K8TQK at 8:30pm eastern.  Bob’s in grid square EM89je, far south-central OH, near Chillicothe.  This is also a friendly, relaxed net with check-ins from many states, sometimes as many as 12, 15 or more.  K8TQK’s antenna pattern from EM89 is to look N first, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes.  Please help spread the word and enjoy being able to work one of the best VHF/UHF hams in the USA, going back many decades.

144.240 Net Report from Wed., Aug. 3rd

Monday, August 8th, 2016

10am Monday

WB9LYH Mark was back calling the 144.240 net last Wed. night.  In his emailed net report he said, “Difficult propagation.  Lots of QSB, not many folks on the band.  Checkins were W8SOL EN71: N9RXM EN41; WB8LNG EM79: K8TQK EM89: WA9BNZ, WB0SWQ and W9BBP EN40.”

Unless I post otherwise, expect WB9LYH (EN54cl, Central WI) to call the net again this Wed., at the usual time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Antenna pattern from EN54 is to start out looking NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45-60 minutes.  Eastern time zone is always targeted first.   All licensed amateurs are welcome, please help spread the word as we love getting more signals on 2 meter SSB.

**HEADS-UP**  Wednesday night is expected to be warm and humid.  It’s late summer, which in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes is the most favored time of year for band enhancement.  I bet signals will be strong on Wed. night.  Please help spread the word to DX stations that WB9LYH loves pushing the propagation limits on Wed. nights on 144.240.    With stacked 17B2’s and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH, Mark’s the strongest EN54 signal.

Post Your August UHF Contest Plans Here

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

11:15am Tue.

Again, the August UHF Contest is this weekend — Aug 6-7.  Runs 24 hours from 1800Z Saturday to 1800Z Sunday.  That’s from 1pm central Sat. until 1pm central Sun.  All bands from 222 and 432 MHz and above are in play.
Go to the post directly below this one at for a full rundown of this year’s UHF contest.

For years, W0UC in EN44 has been helping increase participation.  He creates interactive Google spreadsheets for Midwest and Great Lakes VHF/UHF’ers to post their contest plans.  The link to this weekend’s UHF contest spreadsheet is

Now that I’ve shared that link, a few reminders:
Your plans don’t have to be etched in stone; just an indication that you will be on is fine.  Also note that there’s a separate tab on the bottom for rovers.  Please share this resource with the UHF’ers you know in WI/MN/IL/MI/IN/OH/IA/MO/KS/NE/SD and ND.  Plus parts of VE-4 and VE-3 that can work into WI/MN.
I know nothing about Google spreadsheets, I’m just the messenger.  Also W0UC kindly asks that the emphasis remain on areas within 300-400 miles of EN44.  This is NOT a nationwide resource.  It would be great if other parts of the country developed their own contest “sign-up” sheets.

Good luck with this weekend’s UHF contest.  It’s very important for everyone to spread the word.  Please refer hams to and the posts I’ve made today (8/2/16) if they need more details.

August UHF Contest is ON This Weekend — Read the Details

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

I originally made this post back on April 3rd and repeated it on July 7th.  With the UHF Contest starting at 1800Z this Saturday, it’s time to get the word out.  Since ARRL dropped the UHF contest for 2016, many casual UHF’ers will (mistakenly) assume there’s no contest this year.  Help spread the word that the UHF contest is still ON for 2016.  Get lots of signals on the air and help ARRL realize they need to reconsider.
Read below and feel free to share this info with your ham buddies, or VHF group, etc.

Back on March 23rd, I received some great news in my email, via the VHF email reflector.

If you enjoy V/UHF contesting, it’s important you help spread this news to everyone you know who is on 222, 432, 902, 1296 MHz and higher.   Those are some great bands, and the UHF contest is the best time to find activity.

The announcement below by N6NB Wayne Overbeck is posted in its entirety.

“Please save August 6-7 for the 2016 August UHF Contest.

It will be held as scheduled this year, but under new sponsorship

After ARRL announced that it would not sponsor the UHF Contest in 2016, a group of radio amateurs from coast to coast came together to make sure that the contest does occur in 2016.

The sponsoring group includes the leaders of several large VHF-oriented clubs, two volunteers who write contest results articles for QST, the editor of the “World Above 50 MHz” column in QST, two people with extensive computer log-checking expertise, and others who are concerned about the future of contesting on the amateur bands above 222 MHz.

This will be the 39th annual August UHF Contest. We believe continuity is important.  Even a one-year hiatus is not a good idea for a contest that has shown an upswing in logs submitted for several years in a row.

The new sponsors will try very hard to make the 2016 UHF Contest a good one. There will be gavels awarded to the top-scoring clubs plus certificates for all division leaders.  We will try to publish the results promptly and prominently online and in print.  In addition, the Northern Lights Radio Society will again sponsor “Rovermania” and the limited (three-band) rover award–both fixtures of the August contest.

We already have a website to promote the UHF Contest. It includes a history of the UHF Contest and a photo gallery of rovers in five different time zones.     OR  (either domain name will get you there)

See you on the bands above 222 MHz on August 6-7, 2016 (1800z Saturday until 1800z Sunday).

73, Wayne Overbeck, N6NB”

N9XKH 144.240 Net Report From Last Wed. WB9LYH EN54 Plans to be back ON Tomorrow Night

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

10am Tues.

As mentioned here, N9XKH in EN52il filled in for regular net control WB9LYH last week.  Here’s Dennis’ net report.
Well it was a tough night. Conditions were so bad that I went out to see if I still had an antenna on the tower and to see what direction it was pointed. I pulled out my lightning arrestors and bandpass filters thinking maybe I had taken a hit this week… Eventually I found a few guys out there. At 8:48 pm local time my rotor died and that may be it for many months as I may not be able to make repairs until after my (hand) surgery in a month or so and then after some rehab time.

Check ins for the night were…  kc9clm 52  wb8lng em79.  n9rxm  41.    kc9ovd en 41    ka0eiv en30.

Thanks to all for their patience getting into the log tonight.

Dennis N9XKH en52

KC9BQA continues…
Thanks Dennis for filling in, hope for a good outcome with the hand surgery.  Appreciate how you’ve helped out the past few years.

**WB9LYH expects to be on as usual tomorrow night.  The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Look toward EN54cl, central WI, about 1.5 hours west of Green Bay.**
If you need more info about the 144.240 Wed. net from WI, this is a good link:

N9XKH EN52il Will Call 144.240 Net on 7/27/16 @9pm Eastern/8pm Central

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

5:15pm Friday

Next Wed. 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 everyone appreciates it.  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 appreciates all the check-ins he can work.  Like everyone, he wants to know how well his signal is getting out.
One other special request next Wed. — N9XKH emailed to say that he’s having trouble with his hands and would everyone please be patient while he tries to log check-ins, perhaps type a few notes, etc.

Again, 144.240 net for Wed., July 27th 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 be back on for the Wed., Aug. 3rd net.

144.240 Net Reports From 7/13 and 7/20

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

5pm Friday

Let’s get these overdue net reports posted!

Back on 7/13, net control WB9LYH reported storms to the south and most station to the southeast were off.  Still was a nice turnout of 11 stations, including a new all-time check in from EM59, central IL.
The 11 check-ins were:  KD8DEG EN72;  KC9RAP EN63;  N9RXM, NG9K and KC9OVD EN41;  WB8LNG EM79;  KC8ZJL EN71;  KB9MIV EM59;  WB0SWQ EN40;  K0NY EN44 and KG0SJ EN22.   Hello to KB9MIV, about an hour northeast of St. Louis.  Glad you’re on 2 meter SSB.  We get a lot of loyal check-ins from EN40 and EN41, year-round, in any kind of band conditions.  But we don’t get much activity from the St. Louis region.  I know it’s a doable path, so if you are able, please help spread the word to MO and downstate IL.

On 7/20, net control WB9LYH reported good propagation (yep, it was hot and humid).  The list included a new all-timer, from a tough grid to find on 2m SSB.  Read on for the details…
The 16 check-ins were:  KG9QT, K9ILU, KD9BGY and N9JBW EN61;  KR8T EN72;  WB8LNG EM79 — really appreciate the consistent signal from SW Ohio ;  N9NMS and KC9CLM EN52;  W9BBP and WA9BNZ EN40;  KC9OVD, NG9K, N9RXM and KD0JNQ EN41.  Also had KA0EIV from EN30, between Ottumwa and Fairfield, IA.  Welcome to the net and glad you’re on 2 meter SSB.  When I was on the air, I enjoyed the contests the most and I played hard in those contests.  Called CQ in all directions for hours and hours and loved it when I scared up a rare grid or worked a new station (especially the weaker ones I had to dig out)  Well, EN30 was nearly impossible to get.  So even though I realize many hams won’t do contests, I’m glad EN30 is in the net log.  If you read this blog, tell your friends in IA and MO they can work into EN54, Central WI on Wed. nights with the 144.240 net.
More good news to report — K8TQK EM89 checked into the net and I’m told Bob is now able to rotate his long yagis again.
Remember to look toward EM89 (south-central OH) on Monday night at 8:30pm eastern.  I bet K8TQK is back on 144.252 with his net (yes, 144.252, that’s not a typo, Bob has a fat, loud birdie right on 144.250).  Bob has a whopping signal and easily gets out 300-400+ miles.  He runs a casual, friendly net and all licensed amateurs are welcome.  If nothing has changed, his antenna pattern from EM89 is to start out looking N, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW at the end.

*The 144.240 net will have a guest net control on Wed., July 27th.  More about that in a separate post that will be right on top of this one.*