Archive for the ‘Blog Post’ Category

Listing of VHF/UHF Clubs in or near Wisconsin

Monday, January 9th, 2017

9:30am Monday

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

With the 2017 VHF contest season nearby (ARRL January VHF on Jan 21-22), 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 www.badgercontesters.org.  If you are within 175 miles of Oshkosh, WI, you are in the BC circle.  A graphic showing our territory is available at:  http://www.badgercontesters.org/club_area.html  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 www.nlrs.org.

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 www.w9smc.com   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 www.k9cvc.org.

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 http://mivus.org/  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.

144.240 Wed. Net Has 14 Check-ins to Start 2017

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

12:45pm Sunday

Happy 2017!

The ARRL January VHF Contest is in 2 weekends.  Make plans to get on and help spread the word to your ham buddies.  Check kc9bqa.com later today or tomorrow for the usual set of promotional materials I post ahead of every VHF contest.  This will include the link to the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes-based Google spreadsheet where everyone can post their contest plans, to increase interest.

Back on Wed. evening, 144.240 net control WB9LYH reported “good propagation tonite”.  Mark had 14 check-ins:  KD9BGY, N9IYV and N9KKF EN61;  WB9TFH EN53;  W8SOL EN71;  AB9QH and KC9VHD EN62;  N9ARB and W9UIJ EN52;  WA9BNZ, W9BBP and WB0SWQ EN40;  N9RXM EN41 and W0HXL EN21.  W0HXL could hear net control but WB9LYH couldn’t hear ‘HXL.
I see that N9KKF is a new all-time check-in to the 144.240 Wed. net.  Welcome and glad you’re on 2 meter SSB.

The 144.240 net is called by WB9LYH in EN54cl, central WI, every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern.
If you need more details, scroll down to the 2nd half of the post right below this one at kc9bqa.com, dated Dec. 22 (2016)

 

22 Check-Ins to 144.240 Net Last Night

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

12:30pm Thur.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

Great to see the 144.240 net out of EN54cl, central WI, had a lot of activity last night.   Numbers have been very strong and we appreciate all of you who are helping to keep 2 meter SSB lively.
The 22 check-ins were:  K9UHF, KB9PSE and N9EM EN53;  KD9BGY, K9ILU, N9JBW, W9SUS and K9CCL EN61;  WB8LNG EM79;  K8TQK EM89;  AC8GD and W8SOL EN71;  KC9VHD and AB9QH EN62;  WA9JML EN51;  N9RXM EN41;  W9UIJ EN52;  WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  W1JWS EN50;  KA0SWR EM28 and W0HXL EN21.
Pleased to welcome KA0SWR to the net.  EM28 is a long haul from EN54, so I imagine the bands were up a little last night.  We used to have several check-ins from the KC metro area so it’s good to hear from MO again.

The 144.240 net is called every Wed. at 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Eastern time zone is always looked at first.
Net control is WB9LYH in EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids, or a good hour+ west of Green Bay.  WB9LYH has a big signal — stacked 17B2’s and 500 watts from a ridgetop QTH.  Plus Mark enjoys pushing the propagation limits so DX is encouraged to give it a try.   Antenna pattern from central WI is NE and E to start, then SE, S, SW, W, NW and N over the next 45 minutes or so.  All licensed amateurs are welcome.  The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.  We always appreciate you helping to spread the word.

** Net control WB9LYH advises he will be OFF on Wed. Dec. 28th.  The net will resume on Wed., Jan. 4th, 2017**

144.240 Net Reports for 12/7 and 12/14

Monday, December 19th, 2016

8:45 am Monday

Back on Dec. 7th, 144.240 net control WB9LYH said, “Very high noise tonight, we managed.”  Mark had 16 check-ins:  AC8GD and KC8ZJL EN71;  K9CCL and KD9BGY EN61;  WA9JML EN51;  W1JWS EN50;  N9EM EN53;  N9ARB and W9UIJ EN52;  WA9BNZ, WB0SWQ and W9BBP EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  W0HXL EN21; W0ANH EN47 and KB9MIV EM59.
This past Wed. (Dec. 14th), Mark’s comment was, “Conditions were difficult, variable propagation and lots of noise.”  The 17 check-ins were:  WB8AHT EN72;  W8YXT, AC8GD, W8SOL, N9YK AND N8JGG EN71;  K9CCL and K9ILU EN61;  KC9VHD EN62;  WA9JML EN51;  WB8LNG EM79;  W9BBP, WA9GNZ and WB0SWQ EN40;  W1JWS EN50;  N9RXM EN41 and W0HXL EN21.

Thanks everyone for making this a great net.  So many check-ins in different directions.  EN47 is far NE MN, near the Canadian border.  EM59 is down near St. Louis.  EN21 is SW IA.  EM89 is southern OH.  That’s a lot of territory to cover on the 2 meter band.  Especially with flat to tough band conditions in the dead of winter.
The 144.240 net is called every Wed. by WB9LYH Mark in EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.  Start time is 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Eastern time zone is always looked at first.  All licensed amateurs are welcome; the net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.
If you need more info about the 144.240 net, consult the 2nd half of a post I made on Nov. 18th here at kc9bqa.com.

**  WB9LYH expects to call the net this Wed. — Dec. 21st — as usual.  Mark expects he will be OFF on Dec. 28th. **

K8TQK EM89 Calls 144.252 Net Mondays @8:30pm Eastern

Monday, December 5th, 2016

10am Monday  (If you’re looking for last Wed’s 144.240 net report, scroll down 2 posts)

Since it’s Monday, here’s a repeat of what I originally posted on Nov. 14th.

If you’ve been visiting kc9bqa.com for some years, you already know about many of the nets and activity nights we’ve been promoting since 2009.
But time passes, and (hopefully) we get new visitors, so I like to repost info and keep it fresh.

There’s a big 2 meter SSB net on Monday nights.  It’s called by K8TQK Bob, who’s located in EM89je, or south-central OH.  Starts at 8:30pm *eastern*.  It’s on 144.252 because K8TQK has a big birdie right on 144.250.  Bob has long yagis and good power from a hilltop QTH and he gets out forever.  When I was on the air, I could work him on a 392-mile path (from my QTH just north of Milwaukee) even under flat conditions 95% of the time.
The antenna pattern from K8TQK’s south-central OH location is North to start, then NE, E, SE, S, SW, W and NW over the next 45-60 minutes.  All times estimated, never know which direction might be busier on a given night.  As with any net, be flexible and patient.  Typically K8TQK is looking NW toward Chicago and WI about 8-8:30pm *central* time.

For some years, K8TQK partnered with us on Wed. nights.  The goal (with using a few strong net controls spaced apart by several hundred miles) was to cover 20-30 states.  Had a lot of fun with this and even now, with the switch to Mondays by K8TQK, his net follows an active one out of Northern GA.  There’s a lot to listen to on Monday nights.

Honestly, to stay on top of all this activity, a VHF’er should be logged into that ON4KST.com ham chat.  Specifically talking about the “IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz”   I haven’t been there in many months and just spending a half hour to buzz thru the chat archives (they have a dropdown menu in the upper left with several dozen useful options) I can see that nearly every night, there’s something going on.   This is such a valuable tool to help connect VHF’ers who might not otherwise know what’s going on.

Help Support 222 MHz Tuesdays

Monday, December 5th, 2016

10am  Monday

I haven’t made a specific post about 222 Tuesday in quite a while.

Occasionally when I review the chat archives at the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz at www.on4kst.com, I look to see how 222 Tuesday is doing.  Well, it looks like it is holding its own, which I’m glad to see.

If you’re wondering what 222 Tuesday is, let me explain.   If you already have 222 gear, you can skip down below these next 3  paragraphs.
Back in the heyday of weak-signal VHF/UHF, guys had an informal agreement that Monday was 144 MHz night, Tuesday was 222 MHz night and Wednesday was 432 MHz night.
222 MHz is a great band with a low-activity problem.   I had 222 for years and it *always* was an S-unit or 2 better than my 144, and I had the same antenna gain, height and power levels on both bands.  Plus 222 is quieter.  So if you are serious about enjoying weak-signal VHF/UHF bands, you really should do yourself a favor and step up to 222 MHz.
The reason some guys don’t get on 222 is because it’s hard to find commercially-available gear for 222 SSB.  You basically have 2 paths:  1)  step up to a transverter.  I’m the last guy to talk intelligently about transverters because quite honestly, I am an appliance operator.  But a good transverter will do the best job, from a specs standpoint.  Ask other experienced VHF’ers or start poking around on Google.  The #2 path) is to find used Yaesu FT-736R’s that have the *OPTIONAL* 222 MHz module installed.   Look around hard enough at various ham classified forums and you will eventually find FT-736R’s.  You also have the rare Icom 375H or 375A rigs, but they are very pricey, if you can even find one for sale.

On to how 222 Tuesday works…
222 Tuesday is a general activity night.  It is not a directed net and if you sit around and “just listen” you may or may not hear a thing.  It is far better if you actually get on/near 222.100 and call some CQ’s in various directions, to get something started.
222 Tuesday starts about 8pm eastern/7pm central and I suspect it would be busiest during the first 30-60 minutes.  BUT… get on when you can, make some noise and look around in different directions.  Also consider following along at the ON4KST.com ham chat.  Talking specifically about the IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432 MHz.  There are guys in different states posting who they’re working and where they are looking, which really helps perk things up.  If you are diligent about playing along on 222 Tuesdays, and you let others know where you are and that you are looking for contacts, you could get some nice momentum going in a few weeks.

FOR THE FM’ERS…
I would get on/near 223.500 FM simplex and see what you can stir up.  No reason 222 Tuesday can’t include all modes.  It’s just that you get superior range on 222.100 SSB.

Resolve in 2017 to get more signals on 222 MHz.  Start spreading the word to VHF-curious ham buddies.  Encourage them to use this fine band.

 

144.240 Net Report for Nov. 30th

Monday, December 5th, 2016

9:45am Monday

The 144.240 net had 18 check-ins last Wed.  Net control WB9LYH said in his emailed net report, “Weather was lousy but signals were great.”  Check-ins were AC8GD, W8SOL and W8YXT EN71;  W9EWZ, W9UIJ and N9ARB EN52;  WA9HIR, K9CCL, N9JBW, KC9RIO and KD9BGY EN61;  KC9VHD, KD9HAJ and AB9QH EN62;  WA9BNZ EN40;  N9RXM and NG9K EN41 and WB9TFH EN53.  What a great turnout on a dreary late fall evening!
Also pleased to note 2 new all-time check-ins to our net.  KD9HAJ is not only new to 2m SSB, but is a new ham.  Welcome and thanks for saying hello.  N9ARB also checked in for the first time.  Hello to you out in Freeport, IL.

Net control WB9LYH expects to be on the next few Wednesdays at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  If  you need more particulars about the 144.240 net, read the bottom half of the post dated Nov. 18th — right below this post at kc9bqa.com.

 

Big Night — 23 Check-Ins to 144.240 Net

Friday, November 18th, 2016

5:45pm Thur.

Last night, 144.240 net control WB9LYH reported, “Good propagation and lots of stations”.   I’d say!  23 check-ins were:  W8SOL and N9YK EN71;  W9EWZ EN52;  KC9RAP EN63;  WB8AHT EN72;  WA9JML EN51;  KG9QT, K9CCL, KC9RIO, N9JBW, K9ILU, KD9BGY, N9IYV and KC9AZ EN61;  WB9TFH EN53;  KB9MIV EM59, about an hour NE of St. Louis;  WB0SWQ, WA9BNZ and W9BBP EN40;  N9RXM EN41;  W1JWS EN50;  K0DPL EN42 and AB9QH EN62.
While we get good numbers from greater Chicagoland, I’m pretty sure we’ve never had 8 check-ins from EN61.   Nice turnout and thanks for the support.
Please remember to return the favor with the Thursday night Q5 net on 144.220.  Net control is N9JBW John, south side of Chicago, EN61.  Good signal and lots of check-ins to this friendly, active net.  Start time is 6:30pm central for earlybirds and regular start time is 7pm.

** WB9LYH WILL BE OFF NEXT WED. NIGHT FOR THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY**  Please help spread the word, not everyone visits the website.  And by all means, if someone wants to make some noise and have a roundtable, go right ahead.
THE 144.240 NET WILL RETURN on Wed., Nov. 23rd, at the usual start time of 8pm central/9pm eastern.  Net control WB9LYH is located in EN54cl, central WI, near WI Rapids.  Mark has a big signal and is always looking to push the propagation limits.  We welcome all licensed amateurs, DX, semi-local or nearby.  From central WI, net control WB9LYH first points his yagis to the NE, then E, SE, S, SW, W, NW and N at the end.  Eastern time zone is always looked at first.
The net is informal and the purpose is to increase activity on 2 meter SSB.  We appreciate you helping spread the word — about this net or any of the other ones we’ve been publicizing.   And we always encourage VHF’ers to do their own CQ’ing, to help keep the bands alive at any time.

IF you haven’t visited kc9bqa.com in a while, I’ve gotten busy lately.  Made many different posts on Nov. 10th.  Some of those posts have slid off the front page so use the “older entries” tag at the bottom left if you want to scroll thru the older headlines.

144.240 Net *ON* Tonight from EN54cl @8pm central/9pm eastern

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

9:45am Wed.
Subject line says it all — our flagship 144.240 net called by WB9LYH in EN54cl, central WI, is on as usual tonight.
Last week’s 144.240 net report and a detailed description of the net have slid off the front page here at kc9bqa.com, due to all the posts I made on Nov. 10th.
Last week’s net report:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=8780

If you’d like a more detailed description of our 144.240 Wed. night net covering WI and surrounding states, visit:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=8777   Mostly the 2nd half of that post.

I should have tonight’s net report posted by tomorrow.

144.205 MHz Morning Group Is Active 7 Days a Week

Monday, November 14th, 2016

10am Monday

VHF’ers everywhere need to know about the 205MorningGroup.  In one form or another, this has been going on for 6 years.
If you’re in the Midwest, look east toward FN01 for activity on 144.205 every morning.  Start looking anytime after about 6 or 7am central.
Rather than type up another long post, read about the 144.205 Morning Group here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=6073  Or visit:  http://205morningreport.com/  to go straight to the source.
You can also log into the ON4KST.com real-time ham chat (IARU Region 2 Chat for 144-432MHz) and “watch” the 144.205 activity any morning.